Racism is prevalent in the society we live in today… Actually, it has been around for quite some time, dating back to the biblical days. We find it in our schools, we see it on our jobs, we see it by way of our neighbors’ reactions, and for some, it is heard in the home, or some familial environment. These things don’t, or shouldn’t, come as a surprise to us from those of the outer world, those who aren’t believers in Christ. But it is a surprise, and very disheartening, to see such hatred expressed by those who profess to be of the church of Christ.
As of late, I’ve been seeing and hearing many racists views (some presented subtly) expressed by those in the church. Examples: I see/hear blacks calling out and downing “white evangelicals,” I see people expressing the need to “colorize” the Gospel more, having depictions that look more like them than them. I see Bibles dedicated to women of “color,” blogs also. I view whites who profess to be in Christ turning their noses up at black brothers and sisters in Christ because their skin (as well as backgrounds) is different. And none of this should be! It grieves me, seriously, and I know it most certainly grieves God, as He hates division among His followers.
In Galatians 3:28, we read about the Body, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” What does this mean? It means that the (undeserved) privilege of being children of God is one that can be relished by all true believers. Under the law, there was a distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free, and male and female. But now, under the New Covenant of grace, we are all one in Christ, on the same level. None is more superior for being of a certain group, and none is more inferior for being of a certain group. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection wasn’t commissioned for one group of people; it didn’t give a certain group an advantage or reason to gloat (as no one can!). Jesus’ mission was to please His Father, to pay a debt that we could not pay (for our massive sin), and to reconcile us to the Father. As His earthly mission was drawing to a close, Jesus prayed that all of His followers (present and future) would be unified, that we’d stand as one, displaying He and the Father’s love and oneness to the world, which would cause outsiders to believe in His mission.
We see this truth displayed in John 17. There, in verses 20-23, Jesus says, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they may also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that they world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.”
Oneness, sisters, not bitterness and division.
With all that is taking place in the world—the bickering back and forth, the subtle inferior versus superior views—I perceive it’s not hard to get sucked into the racial divide, to feel the need to express I belong, too. Nevertheless, those who are called by God are to uphold a higher standard. We are to follow Him in all of our ways.
As a quick example, in biblical times, the Jewish nation had a disdain for the Samaritan people (then seen as “fake” and half-bred Jews), and the Samaritans felt the same hatred toward the Jews. This disdain between the races lasted for hundreds of years (you can research the history). But when Jesus came onto the scene, He didn’t perpetuate the hate and dislike of the Jewish nation toward the Samaritans (although He Himself was a Jew). His concern was soul-saving, the mission of the Father He longed to please. Therefore, when He met with the woman at the well—a Samaritan woman (John 4)—He reached out to her (shocking even her), to lift her out of the slimy pit she was bogged down in, and to bring her into the Kingdom of God. The woman’s race (which she was made a part of by God) was a non-factor to Jesus, because 1) her race didn’t make her less valuable, as she was created in His image and likeness, and 2) He came to call all to repentance (although all won’t comply).
Jesus, sisters, wasn’t a racist; nor was He a divisionist or isolationist. And we can’t be of any of these classes, either (either overtly or covertly), if we profess to follow Him.
With that being said, if you’ve found yourself succumbing to the worldview of my race is better, or the Gospel needs more representation of me, etc., I strongly urge you to confess that to God and repent and to remember the focus of the Gospel: Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Christ is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. And, once we profess to believe that awesome Gospel, it is only fitting that we walk in it, that we live by it, following the commands of God… a chief being to love our neighbors as ourselves.
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments.” 1 John 5:1-2