Westernized Christian Ideology

Hello everyone I am Sal, I am 100% 2nd Gen Italian American from the NW side of Chicago. Though I grew up extremely Catholic, I can honestly say that I am now just a spiritual Agnostic, I haven’t been to mass since my wife and I pulled the kids out of CCD About 20 years ago; due to the church insisting on a nice chunk of my yearly salary. Plus, my family and I take the Bible’s scripture with a grain of salt so to speak; our family just doesn’t care for the way that the church has shunned the LGBTQ community and see it as a big $$$ business now. Now offense to any devout religious, people, I support your right to practice religion however you please and won’t try, to change your opinions. Aha It’s just that one of our sons is a happy and married Gay, our other son or I should say daughter is Trans and our Cis daughter is also happily married. man in our opinion the Europeans, especially us Paisans, Jesus into a stereotypical looking European Roman man of the times. In a humorous way, our current Westernized deception of Jesus Christ is that of a Paisan. In reality his appearance, name and every other biblical character with names from the Latin alphabet; were probably more similar to that of current day Middle Eastern/Arabic people. I mean, come on people, Jesus was Jewish as well; if you’ve ever been to Israel, Jerusalem, Egypt, Turkey, or even areas of Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, areas of Sicily/Southern Italy etc. Many tend to have darker complexion, though there are many blue eyed/blondies in those general areas too. Just like how I grew up in a majority Italian and Polish community in Chicago, where many of the Polish/eastern Euro people that I know are darker than many of the full Italian people that I know, in both America and Italy; where I still have many relatives in Calabria, Campania and Sardinia; all places that I travel to frequently. Anyways, being the loud outgoing Chit chatty Midwesterner That I am, I will shut up.aha Id just like to get other Christians opinions on this subject.

This topic has been raised several times on the forums.

I am in agreement with you over Jesus’ probable dark/ tan complexion but don’t see a problem with Him being depicted as white, or Asian, or African, etc… since I believe that Jesus being God belongs to all cultures and not just the Jewish/Middle Eastern one. It’s quite normal for peoples to make Jesus resemble themselves in paintings and icons, but quite wrong for them to insist on their own depiction at the expense of the depictions of others’.

3 Likes

It’s an artistic convention. Different religions and cultures across the globe do it. Buddha is depicted as East Asian in Chinese and Korean art (and other geographically similar countries) even though in all probability he would’ve looked quite different. Likewise, Jesus and Mary are quite often “Asianized” in visual depictions in East Asia.

No Christian in East Asia actually thinks that Jesus looked East Asian, and no Christian in Europe actually thinks that Jesus looks like Tom, Dick or Harry who’s watching the telly at the pub.

5 Likes

I agree 100% on concept of it being perceived as artistic; also I rarely get into religious conversations since my wife and I moved to Florida.aha I stated this topic at a work related Christmas party when a Southern Baptist woman was talking about her perception of Jesus Christ being exactly how his image was created artistically. Don’t get me wrong, any Artistic concept is beautiful; especially from that time period. Though, the group then got very heated with me, claiming that it is fact that JC really looked exactly how he is portrayed in most places. Any spiritual person , whom has a personal relationship with their Maker or higher power has every right to perceive what they feel emotionally tied to. Though, I was just honestly surprised on how many of these people were claiming that it was actual “fact” that Jesus was European in appearance or that everyone during that time period actual had western type names from the Latin alphabet; which I believe wasn’t even complete yet. I didn’t get offended until, the started gaining up on my wife and I for being stereotypical Catholics, because appearently we’re only Spiritual on Sunday or choose what areas of the Bible to believe. I just think any relationship with God, or whomever your maker is, shouldn’t be based on Literature and Art. From my experience traveling in Europe, the churches are more like museums nowadays, and if people are Spiritual; it’s becoming better understood that its nobody’s business. I cannot say much about Asia or Buddahism, for I really haven’t studied any of it, nor have I been to Asia. I’m going to talk to the wife about planning an Asian continent trip soon. Have a great day everyone!

Also I am not trying to generalize other types of Christians, like Protestants or Evangelicals for instance. We were just disappointed, because we intended on joining their church since we’re new to the area and seemed to get along with them. Then we went to a bible study, and I couldn’t believe how bashful they were of things like Homosexuality or whatever. It was honestly very rather judgmental and hateful, than spreading the word of God. My wife had two Gay best friends when we met in 1974 and it wasn’t much of a problem in urban Chicago even then. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs though.

You’ll never understand the faith until you get past cultural trappings and practices and human foibles- and get to heart of the message itself. That requires really wanting to know truth and God-and seeking on our own.

2 Likes

I have no idea why IHS’ human appearance or complexion should be an issue. The Middle East to this day has numerous residents with white skin, and many are not European Israelis at all.

To my mind, there’s a reason why we have no physical description of IHS; that way He could be anybody.

Depictions of Him in art reflect the labors of European masters working from European models. There’s nothing wrong with that.

ICXC NIKA

You’re absolutely right, that’s why I started this topic. I honestly never thought about the physical appearance of our higher power being a big deal. Honestly, I remember going to a movie theater as a kid for one of those Blaxploitation films from the early 70s and it had to do with a black Jesus or something, I thought that concept was actually very credible and honestly badass. Yes it was obviously a cheap 70s era B-movie made to shock people. But I didn’t care, they made JC into a smooth talkin’ Shaft type character, which I thought was great and I even think that JC was black or dark skinned. Regardless, I don’t care what he or she looked like. I thought it was funny that for the first time in my 63
years, that I would see a bunch of adults get so bent out of shape about something so unimportant. I even consider that he could’ve been a she, but that’s just me. I’m a spiritual person, whom doesn’t put a lot of significance into the Bible for my faith. Also I’m hilarious and know how to crack a joke or two.aha

Hi Sal, Jesus did not have a name from the Latin alphabet. His name is Jewish. Jewish alphabet.

Who do you believe wrote the Old Testament and the New Testament?

Modernism, where being Catholic or following a religion as been relegated to just a hobby. “oh thats nice, your hobby is going to church and being Catholic”
Where humanity is its own God.

Do you guys still go to Mass on Sunday?

It is not, and should not be, it is based on faith.
The Catholic Church has Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. It started with Oral Tradition, not literature and art.

You went to a protestant Bible study. The view of Sacred Scripture is different between Catholicism and Protestantism.

Everywhere nowadays people say “i am spiritual, but not religious”
Does this mean they believe in God the Creator, or in themselves as being the author and director in their own lives. ?

Nowadays with Neo Paganism, the thing is to deny the Cross, get Jesus down off that Cross, deny this great sacrifice. What is the difference between ’ I am spiritual but not religious" ? I find it is usually the denial of the Cross and Jesus. It goes like this ’ We have no need of a Saviour, we can save ourselves. Thats neo Paganism and the new atheism in some respects.

What is it for you Sal?
I did it for a while, "I am spiritual but not religious’

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.