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Narcissistic Jesus and the Deified Myth




White supremacy is inherently narcissistic, and when it animates Jesus and scripture, it places us in a narcissistic codependent relationship with a deified myth.

When you’re with someone who’s narcissistic, it can often throw you off initially because they’re so charismatic. But over time, all of that superficial façade is met with a real lack of empathy, a lack of compassion, and they often don’t listen very well.


White Jesus was most definitely a bait and hook. I started following him initially because I didn’t want to go to hell. It was a very different invitation than the kind I see in the gospels, but it worked.

God was going to kill me if I didn’t accept Jesus, and I think that is why my Christianity was characterized by so much anxiety and fear. How much would you rest if you knew you were alone in a room with someone who wanted to kill you but was paid off instead? Is it a real relationship if it’s coerced? Isn’t the best part of love—the “choice” to do it?


The tough thing about an intimate relationship with a narcissist is that they persist on the hope of a someday’s better, like a weird inverted beauty and the beast nightmare. I used to think like Belle when it came to white Jesus—if I love him enough, if I dance around enough, if I’m sweet enough, if I’m lovely enough, if I’m this enough, if I’m that enough, then I will please him and he will go from being a raging beast to a prince. And at the very same time, operating in the back of my mind was the conundrum that I was the beast, not him, or at least that's what they told me.


The other thing about narcissists is that they know how to woo. They are showy about affection and look like a great person in front of other people and use it to contradict any complaints you might have about them. When I was a follower of white Jesus, I saw this a lot, especially when it came to evangelism. I had to smile and pretend that the story I was telling was good news, and like people's legitimate questions and cognitive dissonance were because they were “unsaved” or “demonized.”


I feel a lot of shame about the ways I treated so many relationships as transactional or a means to the end of bringing them to youth group, or getting them “saved”. I felt like that is what I was supposed to do to make him happy and “glorify” him. If I didn’t, I was taking his sacrifice for granted and I didn’t want to do that. Not only because I wanted to be a good daughter, but because I was scared I might lose it and go from God's good book to His hit list, which caused more fear and anxiety and the fear and anxiety made me work harder. I got stuck in a feedback loop that all the leaders kept calling “faithfulness”.


That gaslighting is also typical of narcissists. Gaslighting takes place when an individual uses words or behavior to cause you to doubt and confuse your own reality. Often times the bible was used to gaslight. That gaslighting was reinforced by leadership and then it got to a point where I was gaslighting myself and stopped asking questions.


“It really doesn’t seem like this could’ve actually happened.”

“Well, you can’t argue with the word of God.”


“Hmm. It really seems like Joseph is wearing a dress. Maybe that’s why his brothers hate him so much? And also isn’t he kind of taxing his own people pretty intensely?”

“No. Couldn’t be. He’s prototypical Christ.”


“Wouldn’t the only inspired part of this thing be the Old Testament, since the New Testament didn’t exist?”


“God’s ways are not our ways.”

“Didn’t Jesus talk about nonviolence?”

“It was a temporary ethic, he was only like that the first time.”

“Ok, well doesn’t he say that we should love our neighbors?”

“Yes, unless there are terrorists hiding among them.”

“Okay, but what about the part about loving your enemy?”

“For everything there is a time and a season. The Bible is clear.”

“It really doesn’t seem clear…it doesn’t agree with itself half the time.”

“God said it. That settles it.”


“…”


What I had to learn was that in the same way a narcissistic person might enhance their partner early in the relationship, as the relationship progresses, they will only become more focused on their own wants and needs—to the detriment of the other and the relationship. This was true of white Jesus. I gave it my all and it turned out to be a lie.


And like with most narcissistic-codependent relationships, as much as the person being abused may want to hope for change, it’s crucial to recognize that the mere act of sticking around and putting up with it will not improve the narcissist's behavior. They need to want to work toward change. I tried to make White Jesus work, but eventually, I had to dump the myth and move toward mystery.


I didn’t need the Bible to be inerrant to be inspired or authoritative for that matter. In fact, the Bible has so much more to say when we stop choking the life out of it with demands that were never meant to be placed upon it. I recovered my agency and intuition and I stopped gaslighting myself. I chose health and authenticity instead of fear and anxiety. I stopped hoping for a future time to experience life; I started living. The beautiful thing was I had done so much reading and so much praying and so much seeking of the truth that when it showed up, I listened and I followed it. I think that’s the reason I am exactly where I am now.


What if deconstruction and decolonization is a part of our discipleship as opposed to a diversion? If we are supposedly going from glory to glory and strength to strength, then this thing is already inherently progressive. Plus, anything that isn’t growing is dead

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