Racism is a sin. I want to make certain that everyone reading this blog understands that Carlton Weathers and Grace Fellowship denounce any and all forms of racism, ethnic superiority, or creating false strata based on ethnicity that causes the devaluing of any person based on the nation or ethnic group into which they are born. This is not just sad or ignorant. It is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it must be opposed in our hearts and in our communities and in our nation. Jesus Christ demands that this type of hatred cease!
So, why after years of social and political work to end the curse of racism in our culture do the events of August 12, 2017 happen? If you are a citizen of the United States of America then you know that last Saturday was a terrible day in our nation. It didn’t become terrible when a mad man drove a car into a crowd of protesters. That is terrible, but the day was already sad because there were thousands of racist protesters on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. I really do not want to talk about the politics of any of the groups present at these protest. I’m not even here to talk about what could be done to prevent this type of event in the future. Other people will need to discuss those things and find those solutions. I simply want to give four Gospel truths that will help us fight racism in our own hearts and then in our community.
- God created only one race, the human race.
The Bible tells us plainly that God created mankind in His image. The first man and woman (Adam and Eve) are the parents of the entire human race. Christianity holds to the literal creation of humanity from one set of parents. Creation is the act of the one true God. Even after the fall and the punishment of human kind through the flood during Noah’s day, God built from one family (this time the family of Noah) the entire human race. Paul says it this way in Acts 17:24-31, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’ As even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we out not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” We belong to the only race God ever created, therefore hating one ethnic group or favoring one ethnic group over others is foolish arrogance!
- Racism is a sin because it denies God’s creative genius and goodness.
God has created every language, every ethnicity, and every shade of skin color because he is creative and good. For any group to deny the equal beauty and worth of another group is to deny the wisdom of God in creation.
- Jesus Christ is the only hope for the salvation of mankind.
The only hope for any man is the grace and love that is given to us from Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus is not a tribal deity, he did not come to help one nation, he came to save the people of God that exist in every tribe and tongue on the planet! And we are told in Revelation 7:9-12, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen!’” If you are a true Christian, then you must confess that unity among the ethnic groups of the world is the ultimate plan of God. He will unite all peoples through his Son. Therefore, you are working against God if you harbor racism and ethnic pride in your heart.
- This means the Church should be the most diverse community on earth.
The implication of the Gospel is that our churches should be as diverse as possible so that Christ is glorified in our unity. When the world looks at our church they should not think that we are together as a body of believers because we have earthly things in common. It is more Christ honoring that each local fellowship is diverse ethnically, socially, economically, and in terms of education. This points to the one unifying thing that should be present in all of our lives as Christians, Christ! Paul says in Ephesians 2:11-22 that Christ has torn down all walls of separation and made in himself one humanity within the church. This humanity is neither Jew nor Gentile, Black nor White, Rich nor Poor, Powerful nor Weak. This humanity is simply Christian!
So what can you do as a Christian to combat racism in your own life and the life of your community? Here are four quick suggestions:
- Pray that God will show you the areas of your heart that you still harbor racism or ethnic pride.
- Seek to build loving neighborly relationships with people from various ethnic groups.
- Consistently point people to the only hope available, Jesus Christ.
- Build meaningful and significant partnerships within the local body of Christ that reach beyond ethnic barriers.
Here are some helpful links to articles on this subject. I hope that you are edified, encouraged, and challenged to think through these difficult issues as a Christian and not just as a citizen of this world.