There is no question about the influence of the white-European-heritage part of the Church on the global Body of Christ and the world beyond, for both good and bad. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn penned the words, “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” The Church has not been exempt. Thankfully, there is grace.

We must make the effort to discuss, deliberate, debate and learn from one another what we may have missed in Scripture and life because the lens of experience through which we were reading our Bibles may have been tinted, perhaps partly by Hollywood’s portrayals or pictures on Sunday School walls.

By doing so we might also encourage those outside the Church to think beyond pale assumptions about the colour of Christ’s Body, whether in their consideration of two millennia past or today.

Descriptions of early Church ecumenical councils remind us the bishops of influence invited to participate were from a variety of ethnicities, races and colours. They discussed, deliberated and debated as equals to inform theological formation for the maturing Body of Jesus’ followers. We need similarly to continue having conversation that leads to action in the tradition of mutual respect.

Christianity was not and is not either a Western or a White religion. The cultural and global contexts in which the Church is situated reveal a demographic spread that is as wide-ranging as the cultural and global contexts of the planet.

The Church’s most dramatic growth in recent decades has been in the global South. In the global North much growth has been through immigration from the global South, as well as from East to West.

The Body of Christ has many parts, St. Paul wrote, required to relate effectively with one another in order for the Body to function well (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Some parts are White.

When we from many nations meet together one day with Jesus in heaven (Revelation 7:9), I wonder if he will be to our eyes like the photo circulating on social media accompanied by the query whether we see a black dress with blue stripes or a white dress with gold stripes? Or, hopefully by then we will have become accustomed to and appreciative of our various hues of human; and the colour of Jesus’ skin won’t matter.