What Does God Say About Race(ism)?


God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
(1 Corinthians 1:28 NLT)

For the past two weeks, it seems like the word on everyone’s lips is ‘racism.’ It’s a terrible word and an even more terrible concept but I don’t believe it’s the one we are actually fighting right now. I believe that people think we are fighting against racism. But, the reality is we’ve got a much bigger problem we need to face. 

Let me explain what I mean. 

The word ‘racism’ can’t actually exist in the Christian faith. Not because Christians are better than the rest of the world or because we don’t sin. I say this because the very definition of racism is a fictional concept if you believe in the Bible. Here’s the definition of racism:

Racism: /ˈrāˌsizəm/ noun Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. 

Did you catch that – according to this definition – there is more than one race? Or, rather, the “belief that one’s own race is superior.” But, if you remember from way back in Genesis, God only created one original Momma & Poppa: Adam & Eve. That means there is only ONE RACE: human. Based upon that, I’d say that “Christian” and “racism” can’t logically co-exist. 

Unfortunately, we all know that’s not how it’s playing out in the real world, though. And this is not only true of Christians. Every person lives out unfair contradictions in some way, shape or form. A more accurate term for it is sin. Sin leads every one of us to set up hierarchies in our minds that let us feel better about ourselves and our insecurities. 

  • Every time there’s a tiny tinge of happiness that someone else failed where I succeeded, that’s sin.
  • Every time I think I deserve something good more than someone else deserves something good – for WHATEVER reason – that’s sin.
  • Every time I let the world convince me that certain human qualities are okay to value less, that’s sin. 

Here’s what God says about that: 

  • “God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” (1 Corinthians 1:28 NLT)
  • “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 NIV)
  • “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV)

Sounds like God is pro-love and anti-sin, and we should be, too. I know it sounds like I’m oversimplifying the problem, but I’m only suggesting the solution is simple, not easy. Sin is not going anywhere on this side of Heaven. That means that there will continue to be unrest, hate, discrimination, fear, loss, and a lot of other bad stuff happening each day. But that doesn’t mean we should just kick back and let it happen. Jesus gave us the solution in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

He said “a new command” because he made a dramatic improvement to the previous command. The previous command is what we know as the golden rule: “Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12). The new command is: do to others what I have done for you. 

Don’t just do what humans do to each other; do what Jesus did for humans. All humans.

Prayer: Dear Lord, our hearts are aching over the troubles in this world. You promise that in this world we will have trouble. But, you also say that we should take heart because you have overcome the world! Give us strength to love everyone like you love us so we can overcome the world with you. Amen.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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