This is a True Story, but First…

What you’re about to read is a true story and retelling of something that to my family recently. Before diving into the story, we have to discuss why this story is essential.

America was founded upon the precept that all men are created equally.

Throughout our nation’s history, there is apparent evidence to prove times in history where people of color were not viewed as equal to Caucasians.

This has caused a ripple effect throughout history, and it looks as though people of color have not contributed in large part to the development of America. This same unfortunate lack of representation shows up in Christianity and the church.

Due to the lack of representation, some African Americans don’t know how to identify with the scripture because they cannot “find people who look like them” in the scripture. When they read the Bible, they’re not sure where they fit in or what they’ve contributed to the faith. To make matters worse majority of historical Christian art depicts the people in scripture as white Europeans.

Building on that lack of identity African-American Christians are more vulnerable to be approached and deceived by those of the black conscious movement and Black Hebrew Israelite beliefs.

Simply put, black people will be targeted with more false doctrines that other people groups do not have to deal with.

Now on to the story.

What happened at the Gas Station?

My wife came home with kids in tow, and I could tell something happened I just wasn’t sure. As she and the kids got settled I asked her what was on her mind.

At the gas station around the corner from our house, she was approached by a “Hebrew Israelite”. For those who don’t know “Hebrew Israelites” have varying beliefs, so it’s hard to define exactly what they believe but to sum it up I’ll lean on definitions I’ve found on the internet:

Black Hebrew Israelites are groups of African Americans who believe that they are descendants of the ancient Israelites. Black Hebrews adhere in varying degrees to the religious beliefs and practices of both Christianity and Judaism. These are people who believe that blacks who were taken in the transatlantic slave trade and brought to America are the real Hebrews and that because they are the “real Hebrews,” there are certain benefits they receive and everyone else does not.

My wife proceeded to tell me about how this person tried to argue her down about what the bible says in reference to black people. The “Hebrews Israelite” man was trying to appeal to my wife’s black dignity and identity, but my wife was wise enough to know that the guy was not using any bible scriptures or sources to explain or validate his claims.

I wanted to protect my wife

I felt a bit frustrated and vulnerable. On the one hand, I wish I was with her at the gas station to defend my wife against the potential of being deceived, but at the same time, I’m aware that I don’t know everything about some of the strange things this man mention.

I don’t know everything, but I know the Gospel is true.

As my wife and I continued to discuss the encounter, I could tell my wife wanted to know more about what this “Hebrew Israelite” was trying to communicate and what the Bible truly has to say about it along with a documented history of Christianity.

I wanted to know more

Not only could I tell she wanted to know more but I wanted to know more as well. Where could I go to find a trusted source of true Biblical history that also reflects the representation and dignity of what black people have contributed to the faith?

Ultimately it was a realization that I need to be sharpened not only on Biblical history but history and how it impacts our current culture. When I shared my story with others I found out they were also engaged by these “Hebrew Israelites” in similar encounters on the street corners or on social media.

I will get answers

The encounter I mentioned above is real and rather than have to search through a library research I am glad that the research is being brought to my doorstep to me with Conscious Christianity. What is happening on January 12 – 13, 2018 is not just for the improvement of my knowledge but for the betterment of my family.

Grace and Peace,
Jay

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