God is not a white man

23 07 2008

i love controversial songs, messages, titles, ideas, themes, etc that challenge people’s often stalemated theology and challenge them to examine what they really believe and why.  i love to see people’s perceptions rocked to the point where they have to dig deeper past the surface.

a lot of people know michael gungor as the co-writer (along with israel houghton) of huge songs like “friend of god” and “say so”, but gungor also has a killer band of his own (the michael gungor band of course) and they have a new album that is very good, to say the very least.  the new album was released independently last year as “all i need is here”, but will be re-released through brash music this september 9 as “ancient skies” and will have a few new songs, including the one this blog is about, “white man”.

i love the simplicity of what this song says, and can’t wait for people to hear it.  some will love it while others will freak out publicly but be forced to privately wonder why the concept of “God is love” with no boundaries really freaks them out. the lyrics challenge a lot ideals and boxes that people, including lots of “christians”, have ascribed to and put God in for many, many years… and i love it!  guess what?  He gets out of all your boxes!

God is not a man / God is not a white man / God is not a man sitting on a cloud
God can not be bought / God will not be boxed in / God will not be owned by religion

but God is love, God is love / and He loves everyone
God is love, God is love/ and He loves everyone

God is not a man / God is not an old man / God does not belong to republicans
God is not a flag / not even american / and God does not depend on a government

but God is good, God is good / and He loves everyone
God is good, God is good / and He loves everyone

atheists and charlatans / and communists and lesbians
even old pat robertson / God He loves us all
catholic or protestant / terrorist or president
everybody, everybody
Love, love, love, love, love

romans 8:38-29 (the message) says:

i’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our master has embraced us.

the love of God is so limitless and far reaching beyond our human comprehension, yet we often think that we are entitled to God’s love because we live a certain way, in a certain place or don’t do things that “they” do. it’s very interesting, actually.

what parts of these lyrics challenge what you have come to believe about the love of God?  a lot of people find it easy to think about God “being” love as long as it fits in the confines of their experience or surroundings.  for example, when i was growing up i believed that God loved people who went to my church or other churches that believed like we did.  if you were outside of that group, you were questionable at best and a straight up heathen at worst.  when you say “God is love”, what does that mean to you?  how have your perceptions of God’s love been shaped and have those perceptions changed over the years?

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3 responses

23 07 2008

Growing up in Miami, I was exposed to something that was so foreign to my heritage…intense patriotism. Though my parents were there as missionaries to assist with the influx of beautiful refugees, in Jr. High I ended up attending a private school with kids from the South (this was because of the notorious Cracker Day and the growing violence in the schools in my neighborhood). It was Southern Baptist School. I was a tongue talker, who had witnessed demon possession and miraculous healings pretty regularly…it was an interesting form of persecution I stepped into at that school, but my parents always encouraged us to listen and love.
Anyway, patriotism was not a term we used often in our home. We had affection for the USA, but not a devotion to it or trust in it. We render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, we follow the laws of the land and live lives as good citizens, but our heart and devotion is for our King. The Kingdom was the culture we were taught.
So then fast forward a decade or 2 and then came 9/11. All of a sudden I joined in the movement of the land. I was singing God Bless America out of entitlement, not a cry for mercy. I was defensive of this land and our leaders. I had even built up a passion against Islam, our so-called enemy. I was the political and passionate American that my momma never raised me to be. There was something so exhilarating though, about being a part of defensive movement. I finally felt a part of THIS culture.
So in 2005 God sent me to France as a missionary. And to spare 8 more paragraphs…I repented. My mind changed and so did my behavior. I fell in love with my God, His people (the lost and the found) and haven’t done life the same since. My mother was the Home Ministries Pastor at our AG church in Miami…basically she was in charge of small groups, hospital visits and shut-ins. My mom was the only Christian I knew that loved gay people. She would go and sit with them in the hospice and even help to reconcile families that had broken because of a loved one’s coming out. She also had the only women’s bible study at the church with tons of Catholics. My mom loved. She did her best, with her humble and flawed self, to love and love and love some more. Never expecting from them, only knowing that the Word of God is penetrating their hearts (whether that be healing or conviction) so she was just free to love them and let Him do His perfect work. Now I am the “Rebel” in my world. I suppose they’d prefer if I hid my Jesus for President book by Shane Claiborne and not give a praise report publicly about a new girl I tutor, a lesbian teenager on probation. Is that supposed to be a prayer request? How silly!
The Ragamuffin Gospel changed my thinking. My testimony was that I was filthy and He washed me. I was naked and He clothed me. I was an Idiot and He taught me. I was LOST and He went and got me. But even when I wasn’t open to Him, He loved me. That is LOVE.

23 07 2008

interesting… i have had that cd on my desk for weeks but never listened to it.
now i’ll def check it out! thanx for the tip.

12 08 2008
God does not belong to republicans « the gideon chronicles

[…] guess what… God is not a man, God is not a white man, not even american, and God does not belong to republicans. […]

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