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Is ethnic divide lost in heaven? The Michael Jackson question.

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#1 Rahul-IN



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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:30 AM

It seems to me one of the apocryphal writings, I think called Gospel of Peter, if I'm remembering right, makes mention that people in heaven all have milky-white skin. Since some apocryphal writings probably enjoyed circulation in the days of the Church Fathers, I wondered if they or any holy people of the Church had an opinion about this.

Seemingly, if I am not forgetting, the Light of Thabor made Christ appear snow white to the Apostles present, but then it must be wondered whether that was perception of physical colour or an analogy of the brilliance being perceived by their souls. I'm not sure what to make of the apocryphal text.

It seems funny to me.. Jesus Christ, since you and your people now enjoy milky skin in heaven, may I too be blessed with such beauty than this dark skin I now possess.  :lol:  Sorry for the poorly joke.

So, is ethnic divide lost in heaven? Thoughts?

#2 Kosta


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Posted 09 July 2015 - 08:33 AM

While it may sound politically incorrect today, it is common to associate purity with white. Actually the soul starts off as white but darkens with the stains of sin as time goes by. The offensive racial element was to associate demons described as filthy and full of soot as Moors or Ethiopians which was common in ancient literature.

#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:42 PM

From a more pragmatic and chromatic view, we should remember that "white" the color is not the same thing as "White" people. The color "white" is basically a mixture of all frequencies of the light of the visible spectrum. "White" people are not really white any more than "Black" people are actually black. And we should all be aware that, despite what some Protestants think, our Lord was not a blond-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian nor did He become one after His Resurrection.


So any reference to white in Holy Scripture has nothing to do with ethnicity, other than the unfortunate inferences as described by Kosta. But in the end, I don't think anyone in the Orthodox Church thinks we all become "White" people in the next life, but rather "clothed as with light" of all colors, which looks like white.

#4 Lakis Papas

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 11:02 PM

Christians see "colored" people as images of Christ, that is a spiritual vision - do not use your eyes they can only see photons.

#5 Anton S.

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:39 PM

Apocryphal writings are not part of the Holy Scripture, some of them may have been written by people in a state of spiritual delusion. They can really confuse you. I do not think that they are much use for spiritual progress of an Orthodox Christian.


As for whiteness as a symbol of purity, it has nothing to do with race. White things - clothes, for example - show even a little dirty speck which would not be noticed on a grey or brown or some other garment. When white cloth is really white you can be sure it is clean, while with other colours it is a bit doubtful. As simple as that. It has absolutely nothing to do with race.


If you look at the Orthodox Church, you will see that she does not consider people of non-white races as inferior. There are saints of all races - Moses the Moor was a black African, Peter the Aleutian was a yellow Aleutian, the Chinese martyrs of the Boxer Uprising were yellow Chinese, etc. People of all races are ordained as priests, tonsured as monks and nuns. Of course, some Orthodox Christians have their racial prejudices, but this is their personal sin and not something taught by the Church Fathers. If in the Byzantine Empire devils were compared to Ethiopians (meaning black Africans), it was for historical reasons as almost all blacks Byzantines encountered were heathens and 'Barbarians', not part of their own civilisation and sometimes hostile to it.

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