Let’s have a conversation, shall we?
On August 7, Aaron McGruder (the creator of the Boondocks) will premiere his new show Black Jesus. From viewing the trailer, the show portrays Jesus as a cursing, drinking and lack of a better term, overall ratchet man from Galilee. In the trailer, Jesus tells someone that he “died for your muthafu***** sins”. Yes…..he sure did.
Due to the content of the show, there is a swarm of controversy. Christians are petitioning to get the show snatched prior to the airing of the first show. There is no argument that this portrayal of the Savior is offensive in a manner that transcends race. It is also offensive as an African American that Black Jesus is perpetuating every negative stereotype seen in media. However, as I continued to watch the trailer I saw more than just an offensive portrayal of the Savior. Let me explain:
In the scene you have one person that does not believe that he is Jesus. Conversely, you have others that believe that he in fact is the Son of God. Although I have only watched the trailer, it is plausible to infer that the people who believe that the person purporting to be Jesus based their belief on the person’s appearance (he looked like Jesus based on popular pictures depicting Jesus’s image) and he paraphrased the scripture.
Looking beyond the delivery of the content, I see that Aaron McGruder’s show addresses an issue that plagues the Christian community: our lack of critical thinking as well as a lack of exercising wisdom and discernment. The pastor looks the part. He can hoop. He knows the scripture. Therefore he must be an anointed man of God….right? Like the characters in the Black Jesus trailer, we as Christians often have this very surface thought process when it comes to venting individuals who say they are representatives of God. There are sheep in wolves’ clothing that utilize the truth of God’s word for financial gain. Instead of asking God for discernment, we believe anyone who says that they are a prophet from God and consequently then turn over our resources (time, talent and or treasure) accordingly. As such, you have pastors that use the faith as a vessel to not only drain an individual’s finances and time, but also as a pipeline to drain a community. The money poured into false prophets could be used to rebuild the community. Don’t get me wrong: I am learning in my walk that the tithe is important. However, it is equally important that we seek God to know where to sow our seed so it can grow.
1 John verse 4 clearly states that we are to test the spirits because every spirit is not from God. This is critical in protecting our relationship with God as well as our well being. A lack of wisdom and discernment is a major reason you have God fearing individuals caught up on religious cults and unable to truly serve God because they have made a pastor or even their church ministry their God. As a result, people actually draw a wedge in their relationship with God instead of growing closer to Him.
Is the surface content of the show offensive? Absolutely. Does the show potentially raise a good point? Absolutely. Even if the petition to have the show taken off the network is successful, it is important that Christians address issues that plague the Kingdom.