MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Black history, in the beginning
After fourteen years absence, I returned to my home town and accepted a position in a hospital pharmacy. I had worked there only a few days when I overheard two of the technicians conversing about the hospital being in deep financial trouble. A certain woman had given the owner of the hospital a very clear understanding that she would provide a financial bailout in exchange for his romantic attention. His wife was unaware, as was the general public. The technicians agreed that- knowing the man- he would close the hospital rather than cheat on his wife.
I interrupted the technicians. “How much time do we have?”
The techs looked at me with puzzled expressions.
“I couldn’t help overhearing you talk about the hospital closing. How much time do we have before we lose our jobs?”
They laughed. One of them said, “We were just catching each up on a soap opera we watch on our days off.”
So it is with our understanding of Christianity. Instead of studying Scripture in context, we accept what our teachers feed us. The Truth, with a capital T, is found in the whole Bible. An example of misinformation is the fact that the phrase “...there is no God” is in the Bible- twice! The complete statement is: “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1)
Since colonial days Scripture has been misused to justify white nationalism. If we who know better remain silent while the lie that black lives do not matter as much continues to be repeated in word and deed, we are complicit in the lie. One reason black people are gravitating toward the Black Hebrew Nation, the Nation of Islam, and other religions is that Christianity is presented in a manner that is irrelevant, or even hostile to the needs of people of color.
We are all related to Adam and Eve, and therefore to one another. After the Flood, Noah’s sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth repopulated the Earth. Since our focus is on black history, let us look at Ham and his descendants. The people now referred to as black Africans, or African Americans, are genetically derived from Ham through his sons.
The so-called ‘Curse of Ham’ is derived from a misreading of Genesis 9:19-28. Noah got drunk. When he came to himself, he realized that Ham had uncovered his nakedness. Noah could not curse Ham because God had already blessed Ham. (Genesis 9:1; Numbers 23:8) So, Noah cursed Ham’s son Canaan.
Canaanites were virtually exterminated when the Israelites took over the Promised Land. Only the relatively few descendants of the Canaanites known as the Gibeonites (aka Nethinim, or Hivites) remained as servants to the descendants of Shem called Israelites. This fulfilled the blessing of Shem. This fulfilled the blessing of Shem found in Genesis 9:26.
An open minded study of the Scriptures leads to the inevitable conclusion that the Bible cannot legitimately be used to prove that people of African ancestry are under a curse. Yet, we must constantly remind one another of the truth that black people are valuable because God made us, and He don’t make no junk.
> The next Homer McQueen Moments with the Minister continues this message with a listing of Hamites who were significant to the development of the Bible. Meanwhile, read each Friday’s ‘Moments; I do.
Homer McQueen serves as assistant pastor of Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ, secretary at In His Shadow Outreach Ministries, chaplain for the Sherman District Parole Office, ministry volunteer for the Texas Youth Commission and Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a part-time pharmacist, and a full-time husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.