I don’t think it’s any secret that racism isn’t dead within our society by any stretch of the means. It is one of the many things that is dividing us as a nation, and it’s sad to see it unfolding before us. Even while Jesus was here on Earth, there was racial tension in Israel (Jews vs. Gentiles). So, let’s take a look and see what God’s take on racism is/was.
Before we begin, the definition I will be using and referencing for racism is as follows; Racism is the notion that I’m superior to someone else because of their race or ethnicity. It also comes in the form of negative stereotypes such as; seeing someone of a particular race and immediately assuming character traits in that person because of the color of their skin.
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We may not have as much blatant racism as we did 50+ years ago (i.e., slavery, KKK, Jewish holocaust, etc…) but there is more than enough subtle racism to go around. At one point in time, we have all battled subtle racism. You may be thinking that you never have, but read through the list below and see if you have ever had any of these thoughts or feelings run through your mind:
- Do you see someone from a particular race and avoid them?
- Do you pass along racial jokes?
- Do you allow racism to impact your hiring decisions?
- The way you manage your people/church?
- Do you restrict your kids from being friends with certain races?
- What’s your view on interracial marriage?
- What if your kids were in an interracial marriage?
- Are there any friends that you have regular conversations with that are of different skin color than you?
Again, don’t feel judged or shame if you can relate or know you have had those thoughts before. We all have from time to time, and God extends us Grace to cover that sin.
God, his Church, and Racism
So, what does the bible have to say about racism?
Acts 10: 27-29 – As he talked with Cornelius, Peter went inside where he saw many people gathered. He said, “You people understand that it is against our law for Jewish people to associate with or visit anyone who is not Jewish. But God has shown me that I should not call any person ‘unholy’ or ‘unclean.’ That is why I did not argue when I was asked to come here. (NCV) (emphasis mine)
How cool would it be if the church led the way on this line of thinking? That no person is too unholy, unclean, too light skinned, or too dark skinned to befriend and cared for in the name of Christ. Like mentioned at the beginning of this post we live in such a dark time. Just imagine the positive attention and difference we could make if we shine some spiritual light in the racial divide arena?
Is racism a big part of your family or community? What’s one practical thing, we as Christians, can do to help with the racial tensions?