Since Jesus was a Jew is it wrong to portray him in a different culture (like African American or Hispanic for example)?
Or White European, as He is usually depicted?
We can never portray Jesus accurately, since Jesus arrived before the invention of cameras and never sat for Gainsborough. Most of us grew up with "White Jesus", who looks like just the kind of person mosquitoes love to bite. Certainly that is not accurate, yet I've never heard anyone ask or complain about that. Was that wrong?
No. But it did have repercussions. It took the Jewishness out of Jesus and allowed for all manner of religious and ethnic persecution. That was wrong. If the purpose of making Jesus white in the first place was so that people could relate to Him, then the Jewish people were purposely left out of relating to Him.
Jewish is the one way you'll rarely see Jesus portrayed in art, which is the only way we have to portray Him. I've seen more scientific and historic types go for some kind of Jewish Jesus rendition, but no one has that image on their wall on hanging from a crucifix as far as I've seen. So if it is wrong to portray Jesus as other than the Jew that He was, then just about every image of Jesus ever made is wrong.
And since we've been happily making Him white for so long, I really can't see a problem making Him any other color in which people actually come.
That's not to say that "anything goes". But reasonable people may disagree about portrayals of Jesus. I have a problem with those "sports Jesus" figurines, where Jesus is out playing soccer with the kids, or baseball or whatever. There is one for just about every sport. I appreciate that it's nice for kids to imagine Jesus in their lives that way, but the figurines always make it look to me as though Jesus was taking sides, kicking the ball away from the other poor little kid. Some people love these figurines. I find them a little depressing.
And then there were the rather smarmy looking "office Jesus" portraits. I haven't found anyone who likes those.
And let's not forget where Jesus appears. Not so happy with Him on the bottom of an ashtray, although again, the sentiment is helpful.
I've never been a fan of "glow in the dark" religious items either, but many of my readers are thrilled with them, what with being able to find their rosaries on the bedside table at 3AM during some sleepless night.
And...these are all white Jesus' we're talking about. Someone recently gave me a plastic plate with White Jesus on there. I "re-gifted" it, as they say. The recipient was thrilled. I hope she doesn't serve deviled eggs with it.