It is that time of the year again when I take the time to review the facts regarding the subject of black nations in the bible. This is an important subject since a great deal of our difficulty in nation building, the problems we encounter in building a strong and prosperous society in the black community, is related to a poor concept of who we are and where we came from.
Many Christians will tell you that who you are ethnically is irrelevant if you are a Christian; that your historical background is of no consequence if you are saved. This is an argument reserved for black believers only, it would never be offered to Jewish or Hispanic or Korean or Italian believers. In fact, not even unbelievers buy the argument, which is why we have Black History Month.
The entire bible is about the journey of a single ethnic group; from their miraculous creation to their final destiny. Israel’s remembering and understanding that history is imperative to the spiritual growth and well-being of their people [Deut. 6].
Knowing and understanding your history, especially if you can gain that understanding from the Word of God, is an element in the creation of human capital: the beliefs, attitudes, aptitudes, knowledge and skills that may be passed from one generation to the next. Without human capital, every generation must start at the beginning, relearning the hard way the same lessons learned or not learned by the generation before them. This is the basis of slavery. The first thing that is done to slaves is to destroy their historical, ethnic memory. The second thing is to provide them with a religion that advances the aims of slavery.
The accurate understanding of the bible sets people free, which is why every oppressed people are saturated with false teaching and false teachers. In the case of black people, there is something being left out of biblical instruction that is critical to our spiritual growth and national development. It had to be left out in order to serve the needs of a racially stratified society. As far as I can tell, it has seldom been added back to bible teaching to black people, and we can see the results: thousands of churches in the midst of social, political and economic bondage.
Ethnic self-knowledge is critical to the growth and development of young people. The anger and self-destructive behavior of our children is directly related to not knowing who they are and not being able to properly name the forces around them that demean them and limit their prospects for the future. They are not allowed to name many of these forces, for fear of being accused of “looking for excuses” and of playing the infamous “race card.” Therefore, their unnamed rage turns inward resulting in hatred towards anything that looks like them.
The bible must be directly applied to the source of the problem, and it can be so applied. We are very fortunate that the bible has a great deal to say about black people: our part in the story of redemption, our role in the development of civilization and our place at the table of nations, our great achievements and our great failures. This kind of knowledge is one aspect of the overall bible doctrine which leads to spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth, true spiritual growth will result in genuine mental health. There is no significant spiritual growth possible in a person that is convinced that he or she is inferior, cursed by God, lacking in moral capacity, history and destiny [Rom 12:1-4]. However we will see that this is precisely how many theologians describe the black peoples they reluctantly identify in scripture.
God created blackness and he has a destiny for the descendants of the black nations. We need an accurate interpretation of the scriptures that will speak honestly about the black nations and peoples that dominated the landscape of the Old Testament and were significant in the formation of the early church.
In this series of blogs, I will speak frankly about the actions of historians, anthropologists and theologians in their efforts to confuse the biblical record concerning blacks. We live in a time when the chief sin one can commit is to offend a heretic or to avoid fellowship with someone who promotes the spiritual destruction of believers. This is also true in the arena of race. Many believers would rather see an entire generation of black youth be destroyed than to offend someone by speaking frankly and honestly about race.
As you read these articles, taken from my unpublished manuscript entitled, “Black Nations in Scripture and the Black American Renaissance” please read carefully the scriptural references and the footnotes.