Boycott Black Jesus?

Boycott Black Jesus?

Black JesusLast week, Adult Swim debuted the newest addition to its lineup that has stirred some controversy in the faith community. Aaron McGruder, the creator of The Boondocks, has set the life of Christ as the new backdrop his satirical irreverence with his newest show, Black Jesus. There has been a wide array of response to this show amongst people of faith on social media. Of course the natural reaction to someone making fun of you (or in this case, your Savior) is to be upset.  However, as we come down from the emotion of our initial response, hopefully we’ll find a ripe opportunity.

There is a discussion about Jesus taking place in the social sphere. I can’t help but to see this as an opportunity for knowledgeable believers to engage the world about the truth of who the REAL Jesus is. Who better than us to debunk this fake Jesus while introducing an interested culture to the REAL Jesus? Who will give a more qualified review? Who else will set the record straight?

At worst, Black Jesus is a modern answer to the REAL Jesus’ question to His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” In Matthew 16:13-15, Jesus’ follow-up question is, “Who do YOU say that I am.” The most important thing for us disciples to do during a time like this is to properly answer the 2nd question… rather than making a fuss that the first question must be asked.

So I encourage every believer to do two things:

1. Read your Bible.

It’s amazing to me how few of us actually know our Bible. Study the person & work of the real Jesus Christ. Know His purpose, His character, His relentless love, His sacrifice. You can’t contribute to the discussion if you haven’t studied the Word.

2. Watch the show at least once.

The controversy, plus the Aaron McGruder factor will guarantee that people will watch. People who need to know the real Jesus. Surely, you’ll be repulsed. However, don’t exclude yourself from the conversation by refusing to watch. Use it as a conversation starter to engage someone about the REAL Jesus. See this as an opportunity to participate in the discussion, rather than disqualify ourselves from this opportunity because we can’t overcome the initial shock & anger

So what do you think? Agree or disagree? Are you offended? Will you boycott? Do you know someone who will watch it anyway because they enjoy Aaron McGruders humor? Talk back to me!

 

Comments:
  • Celine Parker
    Reply

    I receive this as I’ve felt disconnected lately because I’m just not really interested in what everyone else is…What’s popular. But I need to at least give certain things a listen or view to get in the conversation and shed Light where there’s darkness. Good food for thought.

    August 12, 2014 at 9:43 AM
  • Larry Headen
    Reply

    Well here’s the issue….we know that in Hollywood, or major tv executive level, there are often non-black decision makers. We never know their names , most of them anyway.

    So how come there has never been a “Redneck Jesus” or “Trailer Park Jesus”..???…..for this idea to fly, not only had there had to be black participation, but some non black entity had to okay this as well. THey would never allow for such a foolish depiction of Jesus to be put on TV…but Black Jesus??…sure..

    Not only that Aaron McGruder has long held the Black Church in contempt, that was evident in his so call satirical work Boondocks…which to me is just as much as part of the issue as it was stated to solve the issue……

    Lastly, I’m HIGHLY disappointed at the actual actors that are partaking in this foolishness. Some fairly reputipal actors at that…very disappointed. I would have thought they would have been better and known better to say away form foolishness like that…

    Boycott or no boycott…..i will not be tuning in to any of it

    August 12, 2014 at 9:59 AM
    • Great point bro! I prioritized the faith aspect of the discussion above the racial aspect. Thanks for adding that important reality. I understand the desire not to support the show. What about equipping ourselves to engage discussion about the show?

      August 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM
  • Nathan Petty
    Reply

    Regarding this show specifically, I’m admittedly unfamiliar with it so I can’t speak directly to the particulars of the show. But overall I believe anything that trivializes or degrades Jesus is paramount to taking the name of God in vain (empty or meaningless)- that is to say we should not condone what is irreverent.
    On a more broad note- I think we (Christians in general) have bought into the notion that Jesus is a fluid icon of sorts- it’s almost as if we believe we have to morph Jesus to keep Him relevant. The identity of Jesus has been reinvented over and over in an attempt to make Him more like us- Environmentalist Jesus, Activist Jesus, Gay Jesus, Gun Jesus, and so on. We like to pretend that Jesus is on our team. Of course, the goal is for us to become more like Him, not for Him to become more like us. Jesus doesn’t need a makeover to be relevant. I’m ok with the fact that Jesus isn’t a 21st century middle-class white american with three kids and a mortgage.

    August 12, 2014 at 10:44 AM
    • I agree. This is irreverence in its purest form… And we have passively contributed to it. Every church has done the skit where Jesus comes to today. I guess my question is what do we do with it here? Do we ignore it by boycotting, or engage it with truth? We can’t do both.

      August 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM
      • Nathan Petty
        Reply

        We have to do just like the real Jesus did- present the truth. Boycotting doesn’t necessarily mean we ignore it. We can’t afford to ignore what’s going on around us. We have to be prepared to face sin with the Gospel.

        August 12, 2014 at 3:17 PM
  • @larryheaden:disqus – Great point bro! I prioritized the faith aspect of the discussion above the racial aspect. Thanks for adding that important reality. I understand the desire not to support the show. What about equipping ourselves to engage discussion about the show?

    August 12, 2014 at 10:56 AM
  • @nathanpetty:disqus – I agree. This is irreverence in its purest form… And we have passively contributed to it. Every church has done the skit where Jesus comes to today. I guess my question is what do we do with it here? Do we ignore it by boycotting, or engage it with truth? We can’t do both.

    August 12, 2014 at 10:57 AM
  • Yvette Blair Lavallais
    Reply

    I think the danger of any viewing of a film like this is that first, it translates into dollars generated, and dollars generated somehow equates to support of the film. Hollywood has this way of reshaping what we value or not, based on whether or not we will spend money to see it. It sends a message in dollars and cents first before it says anything about whether or not we find sense in it.

    Secondly, our conversation around the way in which Jesus is depicted in this film can be refuted by our (the faith community) understanding and articulation of who Jesus really is. We are called to be a prophetic voice in a broken world. I don’t necessarily think we have to be spectators of the fictionalized story in order to share our Christian witness of the Real Story. We do have an opportunity before us to still be the prophetic voice above this seemingly glaring pathetic voice of who Jesus is.

    August 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM
    • Great points. I couldn’t agree more about our responsibility to be a prophetic voice. However, can we really participate in a discussion without familiarizing ourselves with the subject? Could Paul preach his sermon at Areopagus without first walking through all the idols? I also agree that watching the show would amount to “support” in Hollywood’s eyes. I’m not saying become a fan and DVR the whole season. But I do think we should familiarize ourselves with the show in order to speak truth into it.

      August 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM
  • Nathan Rogers
    Reply

    As a white East Texan I can promise you there is already a “redneck trailer park Jesus” It is amazing how people like to make Jesus reflect their lifestyle instead if the other way around

    There is a mockery of Jesus by all races and groups and sadly many fail to represent the true Jesus of scripture.

    I like what Dr. Manning is saying here in the blog. It’s time for the conversation about Jesus in our culture to be impacted by truth.

    August 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM
  • @yvetteblairlavallais:disqus – Great points. I couldn’t agree more about our responsibility to be a prophetic voice. However, can we really participate in a discussion without familiarizing ourselves with the subject? Could Paul preach his sermon at Areopagus without first walking through all the idols? I also agree that watching the show would amount to “support” in Hollywood’s eyes. I’m not saying become a fan and DVR the whole season. But I do think we should familiarize ourselves with the show in order to speak truth into it.

    August 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM
  • Alexander Twyman
    Reply

    Ha. Wow, that is crazy. Anyway, I think that people should watch at least one show and then stop watching….then study. Boycotting is only a partial solution at best. In a best case scenario, the show gets cancelled but it will still be around on YouTube just like the Boondocks. I think the best solution is that we use this as motivation to study and have a prepared response. Fighting back with the gospel and the truth about Jesus will do more than switching channels will.

    August 12, 2014 at 5:10 PM

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