Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
My sermon for this upcoming Sunday night is sure to be a good one, although one that will undoubtedly draw some complaints from those who are not as well-versed on the subject as I am. I intend to preach on “White Jesus.” You see, as we look back in history at the well-regarded paintings of Jesus, including Jean Malouel’s 1400 work, Pietà, it is clear that Jesus was a fair-skinned white man with lovely light brown hair. What this obviously tells us, theologically, is that everyone should do whatever is necessary to accommodate white people and to always make them feel welcome. White people should never be contradicted or made to feel bad because to do so is to offend Jesus himself.
Are you getting angry? Are you reaching for the phone or tablet to dash off an angry email? If so, you might want to hold off for just a second before you do.
I have no intention of ever preaching such a ridiculous, blasphemous, downright stupid sermon as the one I described above. But you are welcome to still write that angry email if you like, only you will not want to direct it to me at all. It will need to go to a different preacher entirely, one “across the pond.”
On Sunday the twentieth, at an evening service at Trinity College chapel, Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow, displayed three paintings of the crucifixion, including Jean Malouel’s 1400 work Pietà and Henri Maccheroni’s 1990 work “Christs,” and claimed that Jesus’ side wound in Renaissance and Medieval paintings of the crucifixion can be likened to a vagina, suggesting Jesus could have been transgender. To make matters even worse, when many students complained, the dean of Trinity College, Michael Banner, called Heath’s views “legitimate.” (https://www.christianpost.com/news/cambridge-sermon-claims-jesus-wound-is-a-vagina-savior-is-transgender.html)
Where in the world do we even begin with such lunacy?
Now, though, you may have a good guess as to why I started this column the way I did. If any preacher anywhere got up and preached that Jesus was white because he saw it in old paintings, he would be the literal laughingstock of the world. He would get hate mail, insults, and be called a racist and white supremacist. He would be informed that Jesus was far darker than white, a very solid brown, and almost certainly had dark hair and dark eyes. He would rightly be told that the Euro-Jesus look is nowhere close to what the real Jesus would have looked like.
And yet an actual Ph.D. from Cambridge is using the wounds of Euro-Jesus paintings to try and support trans ideology. He himself would almost certainly be at the front of the line attacking anyone who dared to use those paintings to prove white Jesus, and yet he does not see the irony of being the one using those paintings to try and prove trans Jesus.
It is pretty sad, really, that he has only paintings to preach from. If only there were some book that he could study and preach from, maybe a book that told about creation, and the fall of man, and the flood, and the call of Abraham, and Sodom and Gomorrah, and Joseph, and the Israelites in Egypt, and the Exodus, and the wilderness wanderings, and the people crossing into the Promised Land, and the years of the Judges, and the monarchy, and the captivity, and the coming of Christ, and his death and burial and resurrection, and his ascension into heaven, and his promise to return, and the growth and spread of the early church, and all of the prophecies that take man all the way to the return of Christ and into eternity.
If only there were such a book.
Back in Jeremiah’s day, the state of the clergy seemed to be pretty similar to the vile state of a growing body of the clergy today. Jeremiah 2:8 says, “The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.”
All of that verse is powerful and instructive, but I am especially struck by the phrase, “they that handle the law knew me not.” They were supposedly professionally trained doctors of the sacred law, but they did not even know God.
Jesus, the real Jesus, was all man and a manly man. His favorite and most commonly used title for himself was “the son of man.” He was a carpenter, a man with rough, calloused hands. Twice in his ministry, he strode into the temple, one man against the world, and flipped over the heavy tables of the moneychangers. On one of those occasions, he even made a whip and chased offenders out of the temple.
On the day that he was crucified, he was beaten beyond recognition, scourged so severely that he experienced massive blood loss, and yet was still strong enough to carry his cross to Calvary, part of the way entirely by himself, part of the way with a bit of assistance from Simon of Cyrene. If Jesus had been nothing but the man that he was, apart from his complete deity, he still could have whipped you and two or three of your biggest friends in a fair fight. There was absolutely nothing soft or feminine about Jesus.
As to that poorly educated Cambridge Ph.D., I truly believe he would benefit from having his education furthered just a bit by going to, say, West Virginia, driving way back up in the hills, and sitting under an old hillbilly mountain preacher with a ninth-grade education for a while. After a few years, he would have much worse enunciation yet a much better grasp of theology than he does now.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his books are available by clicking the “Store” link above.
Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner