Read - Psalm 103
One of the greatest tragedies which can happen to any people or any family is that of reduction of or the elimination of the status of the father symbol. For God had given fathers in order that we might know the meaning of firmness mixed with tenderness and mothers that we might know tenderness mixed with firmness. - (Gardner C. Taylor).
Fathers of the earth ought to take great and justifiable satisfaction in the fact that the highest symbol of God known to man is that of being a “father”. God is always viewed in the context of being a Father. A father produces and cares for his children. This is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray to His Father to put them under the Father’s care.
The word “father” evokes memories for most of us, good, bad and some sad; fathers we adore and appreciate, fathers we have never seen, fathers that were never around or emotionally attached to the family. Yet God in His wisdom had given us mothers and fathers so that our emotional balance might be properly established. When either the mother and father’s influence are missing, emotional imbalance is established and behavior deviations are introduced into a home, a community, a race.
A weak father’s image in the home results in a lack of life’s moral direction, especially for the males in the home. This is not true for every family experiencing a missing father in the home. Some mothers do a great job in filling the male and female gender roles as they care take their families. This dual role is tough going for the mother. However God, the father, is able to help her with her children. This is why parents should dedicate their infant children back to God.
There are many Afro-American churches which are not true to themselves in that they worship a God which they see only as being white. They have trouble worshiping a God, Who is part Black in His creation. Lest we forget, We are made in His image (Gen 1:27). As a matter of fact, many black churches resist displaying images of a black Jesus or angel. No one has ever seen God so we do not know what color He is (John1:18). However, if you have experienced the Son through some spiritual experience, you also have seen Him and the Father.
Black Theology is defined as God working within the particular life of black people - the black life experiences of the Afro-American people from Africa to America up to the present day. It is the black experience which makes us “black” and not so much the color of our skin. Our skin color identifies us as a people with a particular history and cultural experience. The Creator-God is the Father of all black experiences, whether we infuse Christianity into them, or not. God is the Father of all people’s experiences, regardless of race, creed, or color. What is the color of the God you see when you pray? Or do you pray putting in a blank face?
Therefore, if we are made “in the image of God”, then God is black with us and in us. God is able to be anything HE wishes to be to any of His people. This is what makes Him God. Yes, from a theological view point, God is Black so as to be able to relate to His non-white creation. He is Spanish, He is Jewish, He is Russian. In what language does God hear His people? (Gen 11:5-8). God hears all languages. God hears the black man’s prayers and supplications which comes out of the black experience.
What spiritual, image is the black church to present to its congregation, if it is not sure what color God’s image is? Or does color make any difference? In my travels I have seen celebrations and statues of the “Black Madonna” and “Black Christ” in the Eastern Christian churches of Europe, Russia and South America, but not in black North America. Apparently Blacks, here in America, have trouble viewing God as being black, spiritually, or any other way.
There is a reason as to why there are less black men in church today than yesterday. Some black families have not experienced Christian role modeling of black fathers, as God would have it. The result is, no priestly oversight in the home. The lack of priestly oversight does not make for an easy spiritual transfer to God as a caring, priestly, but compassionate Father. Christian fathers are called to be earthly examples of God in the family (Deut 4:10).
There is German theology, French Catholic theology, Jewish Theology, every race has its own theology. Why not Black theology, so as to help the black man gain a better perception and image of the God he worships and serves through the black experience - enslavement, oppression, racism, segregation, civil rights, discrimination; hoping, dreaming, sorrows and joys relating to the black experience. Today barriers to the black man’s pursuit of happiness still exists, but in more subtle forms. Yet, God is able to guide His people through any and all obstacles, if obedient. Black Theology parallels the Good News Gospel - both are gospels designed to set a people free from sin and all forms of enslavements (1Cor 7:21-22; John 8:32; 36).
God is a better Father than our earthly fathers. Like the young eaglets cast out of the nest by the mother eagle, and while in desperation of falling they learn to fly, while being watched over by the great mother eagle who sees to it that they will not crash to the ground (Duet 32:11). God, the father, mixes enough security with enough risk to make true sons and daughters of whom He can be proud. He gives us roses but surrounds them with thorns, sunshine but with rain at times. God gives us spring time, but also the chill of winter is His gift also. He gives us the power to laugh, but also gives us the capacity to cry. He gives us births, as well as death, so as to remind us we’re not home yet.
A good father has to reckon what effect his leading and behavior will have on his children as they grow up. He prepares his children and family to survive. There is no quirk or weakness in God, the Father. God is our perfect example of a father. We are called upon to be just like Him. Earthly fathers will fail at times, but God, our father, will never fail to be the best Father to us. He will never leave nor forsake His children regardless of skin color.
Our Lord encourages us, “Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt5:48).