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Christ First, Everything Else Second


There have been different times when I have written about our identity in Christ. As a Christian, this is the most important aspect of our walks. Yes, I said our as way of describing believers as a whole as we are one body in Christ but in terms of our walk, well, too many Christians take a different path other than that of Christ and how we identify ourselves is proof of this.

Think about the different ethnicities and notice how I stayed away from the term race. We, as people, are the human race and there is no other race. We may be labeled as black or white or Asian and Hispanic and so forth but we are still one race. It is clear that Christ tells us that we should not identify ourselves as being white or black, at least not first, but too many of us do and before anyone questions my motives, continue to read before reaching a conclusion.

First, the term Christian simply means that we profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior but there is more to being a Christian than simply believing. The word Christian was used different times in the New Testament, three different times, and it was first used at Antioch not simply because the believers simply believed but because of their behavior and the ways they acted and talked were like Christ: “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch”

–Acts 11:26

Maybe you’re asking yourself why is this important? The importance of this issue is that, as people, we see ourselves as this or that before we do Christians. Yes, I am an American but first, I am a Christian and no, this has not always been an important issue for me so I know exactly what I speak of. A Christian is not about a particular color or gender or age or a certain denomination but rather, that we believe in Christ and all the things that He claimed but also, that we do our best to live His word.

We should look at how all groups of people define themselves. As a white man, I have heard too many people cling to their ethnicity and hold it above their faith in Christ. Sadly, I have heard some family members and friends say that their God is not black but when I remind them that He is not white, they say that He’s not black either. This issue should not ever be of any significance as our faith does not rest in what color Christ may have been but in what He did. There have been different times when black people have told me that Christ is black and hang a black crucifix in their homes.

If this is the first time you’ve heard or seen this discussed, do an internet search about the color of Christ. There are different resources and they’re all over the black. Some have Christ as being white, others have Him being black, and others have Him being a brown, Middle Eastern (which is correct). This article is not one about a particular skin color but rather, one that points out how people view the importance of their skin color and for many, it’s more important than their faith. As people, we have to get away from this perspective as it does nothing but take us away from Christ and in many instances, divides people.

Recently, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg who is Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and has served this post since 2012, made a comment about God not having a political party. This is a true statement as God does not belong to either of the two main political parties of the United States. God is not a politician but He did give us the foundation of Western Civilization’s rules and laws in the form of the Ten Commandments. While God is not a politician, He gave us these Ten Commandments as a way of administering law and order but also, in living our lives.

Yes, Mr. Buttigieg is correct in his observation but it’s ironic that while mentioning God, he ignores that God says it’s an abomination to be homosexual. No, this is not me saying this but rather, God. There are not too many things that God explains as an abomination but homosexuality is one of them. Mayor Pete brings God into the equation when it benefits him just like most people but forgets about Christ when His word no longer benefits the argument. Trust me, this is not a political argument and both political parties are guilty of this.

While this is not a political article, I do want to point out that most Christians are voters and active in politics but rather than going by what scripture teaches, we align ourselves with the party that we adhere to even if what scripture teaches is contradicted by a particular politician and/or party. In justifying doing so, many state that we should not judge (which is not what is taking place) and that politics are a personal matter and yes, I agree that politics are a personal matter but honestly, how can we say we adhere to God’s word when our personal and political beliefs contradict scripture?

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

—Proverbs 16:3

When we commit our works to God, they should be based on His word. After all, He gave us His word for a reason. Colossians 3:17 tells us that “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” The problem with so many groups or denominations is that we have shaped God’s word to fit our personal beliefs but this is also in direct violation of God’s word as we should never add or take away from His word (Deuteronomy 4:2).

Typically, I do not get too controversial when I write but God calls each of us to live by His word even if it means upsetting people. Yes, I understand that people are prideful about their ethnicity(ies) and many of us are proud of our nationality and hold each as significant in the same manner as people hold their political beliefs. Personally, I love being an American and am proud of this but I am Christian before I am anything else. Yes, I am an American and a white man and a conservative but, again, I am a Christian first and everything else second.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

—Matthew 6:33

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Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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