Racism is a word that is used often nowadays. In recent months there has been an obvious increase in tension among race relations in America. In fact the tension seems to be building with each news cycle covering stories focusing on crime that happens to be one race against a differing race.
In a recent survey 57% of Americans said that race relations are bad and 38% feel they are getting worse. The situations in Baltimore, New York and Missouri have each shown that there is a growing problem with increased conflicts revolving around race.
This problem is not only in the US but, all around the world. In this time together we will look into why racism is bad and what does God say about this problem with his people.
As Christians, we look to the Bible to shape our thinking on all world issues, cultural battles and answers to questions and challenges of life. We look to the Word to remind ourselves that we are all of one race, one blood created by the same God with the same parents. (Acts 17:24) states that He has “made of one blood of all nations.” In (Malachi 2:10) the prophet here raises the question “have we not all one Father, has not one God created us?
Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
When we remember we have the same God and Creator there should be no room for racism. Evolutionary thinking that some races are superior by evolving stronger, smarter or faster have fostered racism. When we reject the idea that there are few if any common threads among races due to evolution and accept the truth of the Bible that we are “one blood” from one family, one God and Creator the outcome should be peace and harmony even in a sinful world.
Behind racism is the sin of arrogance, pride and selfishness. When one repents of their sin, turning from sin to Jesus who died and rose again with forgiveness, mercy and grace one can experience true unity with God and fellow man. So let’s look back to the Bible, look to Jesus and follow Him to find a solution for the unnecessary tension among race relations today!
(Romans 10:12) “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.”
The Bible makes it clear that we are all equal. The only person above that is God. Whether Jew, Greek, Black, White, Asian, God cares for us all. In the same way, we should care for each other regardless of our race. In His eyes we are all sinners and no one is better than the other. Paul says in (Romans 3:10) “None is Righteous, no, not one.”
(1 John 2:9) “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.”
God makes it clear that all Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s rare that someone would hate or discriminate against their biological siblings. In the same way we shouldn’t hate or discriminate other people because of their race. They’re in face part of our spiritual family.
The command to love one another had been in force from the beginning of the world; but it might be called a new command as given to Christians. It was new in them, as their situation was new in respect of its motives, rules, and obligations. And those who walk in hatred and enmity to believers, remain in a dark state.
Christian love teaches us to value our brother’s soul, and to dread every thing hurtful to his purity and peace. Where spiritual darkness dwells, in mind, the judgment, and the conscience will be darkened, and will mistake the way to heavenly life.
These things demand serious self-examination; and earnest prayer, that God would show us what we are, and whither we are going.
(John 13:34) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
There are no conditions with this commandment. It doesn’t say to love people who look like you, it says we should love one another. It doesn’t stop there either. We’re commanded to love each other as God has loved us. His love for us is insurmountable. It is of great depth and this is how we should love each other.
At this time, we can draw comfort and gain perspective from how God sees us. Before Christ left the disciples, he would give them a new commandment. They were to love each other for Christ’s sake, and according to his example, seeking what might benefit others, and promoting the cause of the gospel, as one body, animated by one soul. But this commandment still appears new to many professors.
Men in general notice any of Christ’s words rather than these. By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not show love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.
When we examine the Bible we find stories about racism, it might not be in the same form that we see today because, there was no news, no Facebook, twitter, or any social network back then for these stories to reach the world like today.
Jesus in (John 4:1-25) meets a Samaritan woman that to the eyes of a lot of people was looked at with hatred because, of her mixed race and her reputation. She was known to everyone for living in sin, no respectable Jewish man would speak to a woman with reputation. But Jesus did and you want to know why?
The Good News is for every person, no matter what race, social position, or past sins. Jesus teaches us that we must share the Good News with anybody that crosses our path, He crossed all barriers to share the Word and we who follow him must do no less.
Christ asked the woman for water. She was surprised because he did not show the anger of his own nation against the Samaritans. Christ took the occasion to teach her Divine things: he converted this woman, by showing her ignorance and sinfulness, and her need of a Savior. By this living water is meant the Spirit. The racism here in this passage is when His disciples return from getting food and none of them had the courage to ask Jesus about speaking to that type of woman.
The Bible says in (John 4:27) that the disciples were shocked that Jesus was speaking to this woman. But, Jesus says that His Word is Living Water for everybody that wants to drink and never be thirsty again.
In the Old Testament in (Numbers 12:1-16) Miriam and Aaron, representing the priests and the prophets, the two most powerful groups next to Moses were beginning to be jealous of Moses’ position and influence. They tried to find fault with what Moses was doing and in not finding anything, the only option they had was to criticize his wife. They criticized that he had married a Cushite woman which in (Jeremiah 13:23) it explains what this means. They lost focus on what was important to God. They lost sight of the big picture and their purpose of what they were doing for God.
The only bad thing (In their minds) that they could criticize Moses on was his wife, which God did not like and punished Miriam for what she did. This lets us know that God doesn’t care about race, He cares about our heart and soul. We also read about another story that is in the Book of James (James 2:1-26) that warns about prejudice, about judging people by how they look.
I have been told about stories like this in the present day church, so we can’t think this doesn’t happen in today’s church. This does happen today but, it’s because we forget what Jesus did for us on the Cross. He didn’t just do it me, He did it for everybody that believes in Him.
Racism starts with hate and when we come to Christ Jesus and He redeems us we should not have room in our hearts for hate for anyone or anything. We always think that racism is about a white man hating a black man but, that is not always the case. I have met all kinds from a black man criticizing a white man and vice versa and you know what they all have in common? Hate. The only way to defeat Hate is through Gods’ Love. We need to pray to our Father and ask Him to renew our heart to Love our neighbor like Christ loves the Church.
We must change that hate to love because in (James 3:11-13) it says that a spring cannot pour from the same opening both fresh and salt water, meaning we cannot have hate and love in our hearts. When Christ makes our hearts new and brings us back to God through the finished work of the cross, only then can we begin to love like Christ, to think like Christ, to lay down our lives for one another like Christ.
I’ve had people tell me that God was in favor of not mixing race when He told the Israelites not to mix with other nations. But, this is taken out of context because, the only reason God said that to Israel is that He wanted to keep the Seed pure. By the Seed He means Jesus, God had the to keep the lineage of Christ pure or else Christ would not be perfect as it is explained in (Galatians 3:1-26).
Unfortunately, we twisted the Bible to try to justify human fears and prejudices. Some consider the “curse of Ham” to be an excuse to hate those of African descent. Others insist that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death and deserve our derision. The fact of the matter is that we all killed Jesus through our sins.
The Bible tells us that God’s judgment is not based on appearances but what is on the inside (1 Samuel 16:7), and those who do judge according to appearances do so with evil intent (James 2:4). Instead, we are to treat one another with love (James 2:8), regardless of ethnicity (Acts 10:34-35) and social standing (James 2:1-5). Christian love negates all prejudice, and the Bible condemns racism.
Racism is against the very fiber of God’s ideal will for humanity. He sent His Son to die for the entire world. “Red and Yellow, Black and White, Jesus Loves everybody in the World.” God’s people need to have this same attitude regarding their fellow man. The solution to the problem of racism isn’t social justice movements or political activism, though these do help. The solution to the problem of racism and every social injustice is the reuniting of individual hearts to their Creator through Jesus Christ.