Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's not a race.

This is NOT a post about racism.  Honestly, my emotions fall somewhere between outrage and sadness that I live in this time and place and feel I must preface my thoughts with that statement.  On the flip side, my family is biracial now so I do feel compelled to at least scratch the surface with a few comments on race and racism before I can present to you my very off the wall Tyson Brown Theory (TBT). This TBT I’ve wanted to write about for almost a year but I’ll probably spend more time on this opening than what is really on my heart to say. But, reality is, this is reality. This is our broken world and God chose broken people like me to work through to mend it.
So let’s get this racism thing out of the way.  I’ll only be using comments and scripture from a very small portion of Pastor Perry Noble’s powerful message on Interracial Marriage.  Then I’m leaving it at that.  Not open for debate or discussion, I’m merely removing some stones to lay my foundation.  Again, racism is not the theme of this blog.  If you are offended by the facts I’m about to put in front of you then there’s no reason to waste your time reading the rest of what I have to say.  Being a former racist myself, I’ve been there.  I know your feelings. I will pray for the softening of your heart and opening of your mind just like God did in me.  How’s that for pastor transparency and the evidence of the power of God to completely transform someone?  God is that good and He never gives up on anyone, I’m proof of that. I would strongly encourage everyone to listen to Pastor Perry’s entire message; you can go to the link here InterracialMarriage. Take a listen; it’s worth 35 minutes of your time.

Race facts from Pastor Perry’s message:

1.  Whites are the minority. (maybe not in America but globally it’s not even close)
2.  Jesus was NOT white.
3.  Whites, most of you do not know the name of your great great great great great grandfather.  So, how do you know he was white?
4.  Jesus had two interracial marriages in his lineage.
5.  John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [emphasis mine]
If whoever is good enough for God then it is good enough for the people of God.
6.  Revelation 7:9 says, After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (John’s vision of heaven)
If the nations worshipped together in heaven then why would God try to keep us separate on earth?
7.  When we refuse to believe the truth it does damage to our heart.
8.  Do you want to be held accountable someday in front of a God who is not racist?
Okay, now that’s all out of the way.  Let’s get to the good stuff with a TBT.  I have absolutely nothing biblical, historical, or otherwise to support this. This is the place my mind went to when I saw this picture in the National Geographic October 2013 edition.

National Geographic
October 2013
Photograph by Martin Schoeller

I thought to myself, this is one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever seen!  Now I know what some of you are thinking here, but listen, this was not a guy seeing a girl in a sexual kind of way.  No this was like, Wow, look at God’s creation.  Think of it like this.  I saw this picture like you would see an unexpected beautiful sunrise.  You didn’t know it was coming until you saw it and now you find yourself in awe at God’s masterpiece.  It was like that. 

So then I wondered, Why did I feel that way about seeing that picture? I surmised that it had to be the article I was reading that contained the picture that made me think differently.  It was called The Changing Face of America (We’ve become a country where race is no longer so black and white).  In a very watered down summary it was about the explosion of mixed races in America and well, the subtitle kind of sums it up.  Anyway the article was filled with picture after picture of God’s beauty and below each person’s pic was what they called their Self-ID, basically, what mixed races each person claimed to be.  There were black/white, Dominica/ Korean, Jewish/Eskimo, Filipino/Chinese/Spanish/Indian/Hungarian/German Jew, etc.  My personal favorite was the lady that described herself as biracial/human being.  Some simply had, mixed race/multiracial. 

For several days, weeks and now months I have pictured those faces and pondered the combinations of mixed races. I’ve especially dwelled on the simple biracial/human being

All of that led me to this, my TBT, Is the more we interracially mix, and further we get from any single identifiable ethnic group, in actuality bringing us closer to what God’s own image really looks like? 

Genesis 1:27 So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Think about it?  Scripture says we were made in his image so play along just a bit.  Haven’t you ever wondered, even if it was just when you were a child, what color or race is God?  Is God African, or Caucasian, or Indian or Asian or whatever? Wouldn’t God being God really be everything?  Why would He not be? 

Look back to the Revelation scripture from earlier, there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne… Maybe what John saw wasn’t uncountable separated races before him.  Maybe what he saw was this, a multitude of mixed people in the image of God.

National Geographic
October 2013
Photograph by Martin Schoeller

Is this the face of the new heaven and new earth he also speaks about in Revelation 21:1?  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared.

After all, wouldn’t every nation, tribe, people and language still be represented the more mixed we become?

Come on, it’s okay to play along with me!  Dream for a while only something that God could craft.  This very well could be a divinely orchestrated masterpiece that only the Creator of the universe is capable of pulling off!

Again, this is my own Tyson Brown Theory and I have not a single thing to support this other than my imagination makes it happen.  I am not a theologian and have never been to seminary.  The validity or fallacy of this doesn’t make a hill of beans difference in the salvation of lost people, but I’m being honest this is where my mind strolls off to sometimes.  This is why on every single report card of my life the word daydreamer was written on it somewhere.  So, I urge you, don’t take a believe or not believe side on this. Just for a moment let the imagination God gifted you with roam the courts of heaven and earth when you look into the eyes of the people you encounter this week.  You’re looking into the eyes of God and maybe even closer to Him than you think.