If You Want to Be a Christian

POEMS WITH A SOCIAL/POLITICAL THEME - poems by Bhikkhu Moneyya - If You Want to Be a Christian

In memory of Clementa C. Pinckney and the others who died in the June 17th shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina


If you want to be a Christian,
Then be black.
Show me
That you can rise up from slavery,
That I am your long lost brother,
That we are of one family,
That truth will not stab me in the back.
Pull me out of the morass
And heal the wounds that you have inflicted on me –
Become the Good Samaritan that you are not.

If you want to be a Christian,
Then don’t act superior.
Don’t think you’re better than somebody else,
Just because of the color of that person’s skin,
For skin is only as good as the person within,
And I am far brighter than the holes in your soul,
While you are the blight that spreads from heart to heart,
Dividing brother from brother
And father from son.

If you want to be a Christian,
It all begins in the heart,
For as you think, so you become
A child of God or a servant of Satan.
You have the choice
Between darkness and light,
Between love’s ray of hope and the beam in your eye –
From the twisted perception
To the growing occlusion,
From the rage and the blame
To the imminent blindness
Of a fool’s cataract.
You think it’s white,
But your lens is dark with poison.

And yet, you call yourself a Christian,
But I know what you see –
It is the color of hypocrisy,
The grain of pretense and deception,
That will bring you to the deepest hell
And consign you to the flames
Of your own self-begotten hatred.
But I have forgiven the error of your ways;
Therefore, my strength is greater than your loss,
And with it, I will inherit the earth,
Shining like black diamonds in heaven.


No matter how hard you try,
You can never take away what was originally mine,
But this kind of logic you will never understand –
It is as if you had fallen into a deep pit
And forgotten there is a world outside,
Beyond the barrenness
Of this narrow hole in the sand.

One with wisdom would be seeking to escape,
Leading the others with him
To the freedom of a better life.
You spend your days and nights conspiring against me,
Endeavoring to keep me with you
As your prisoner in this pit,
As if my life had no significance,
Other than to serve
Your every whim and need,
And that I should be as you would have me be –
A creature of your dictates,
Servile and unquestioning,
Subordinate to you
In every measure.

But now,
Because God’s Law would grant me
Equal stature in his sight
And set me free from your dominion,
You are plagued by jealousy, and I –
I have become the object of your spite,
The scapegoat of your status quo,
A pawn within your twisted game –
White above black,
Dark above light,
Treachery above shame.

Such is the nature of your jaundiced prayer,
That for the sake of loathing,
You would turn the world into a pit
And cast me in,
To keep me under your control,
Downtrodden and distressed,
I, the slave, and you, the master.

But who are you to choose my fate
And do to me such things
As would tarnish e’en the Golden Rule?
Then let me ask you on this fateful day
To take a moment and reflect
On the way you treat your Christian brothers,
And if you know,
Or think you know,
How you will answer for yourself
When the Day of Judgment comes,
Or if you’ve given thought
To who will testify for you on that same day,
As you sing your psalm of wrath,
Or forgive you – the unforgiving – of your sins,
You who would raise Cain from the dead
And crucify Abel,
Tarring and feathering the Lamb of God,
Pretending to be the Christian that you are not?

Temple of God of Espiritista Cristiana
Urdaneta City, Philippines
July 2015


To view more poems and musings by Bhikkhu Moneyya, klick here to go to a PDF of my book “The Moneyya Chronicles.” You can also buy my book at https://www.amazon.com/Moneyya-Chronicles-Selected-Poems-Musings/dp/1732287716