There has been a lot going on around us over the past few weeks. When we look around it can become very easy to get discouraged as we ask God how these things can be happening. I draw great encouragement in knowing that the God that I serve is sovereignly in control of everything that is going on. Nothing surprises God and certainly nothing happens apart from his control and divine will. We can rest in that. When life is unsteady around us God can be our constant, our rock.
As many of you have seen by now there have been some deplorable events happening below us in the USA. A man’s life was unjustly taken from him and for what? The color of his skin? When I saw these events unfolding I couldn’t help but ask, what does the Bible say about what is going on? The Bible is the Christian’s final authority because it is God’s revelation of himself to mankind. So what does God say about racism? I addressed this issue with our teens in youth group last weekend and as I result I wanted to share some of the things that we talked about with you. I hope you can see that God’s word is very clear on the issue of racial injustice.
What is racism? The definition that I am going to use for our purposes here is not my own. “Racism is an explicit or implicit belief or practice that qualitatively distinguishes or values one race over other races.” There is one flaw in our thinking when it comes to racism and the definition that I just provided. The Bible is clear that there is only one race. The human race. (Gen 1:26-27; Gen. 3:20)
Acts 17:26 says, “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.”
There may be different ethnicities and nations but there is only one human race. That human race was made in the image of God. (Gen. 1:26-27) Being made in the image of God is special. It means that we all have value, dignity, and worth. God created us special, separate from all of creation!
What is so deplorable and wrong about racism is that it says that one race of people has less than their God given value. We most certainly grieve God when we treat what He created with hatred, prejudice and this kind of injustice.
Not only does the Bible teach us that we are all created in the image of God, but we are all one body in Christ. When we believe in the name of Jesus and become a part of God’s family we are united as one. Jesus died so that the “wall of hostility” between all kinds of people might be abolished. (Eph. 2:13-22) Jesus died to unite us. We are all heirs of the same promise. (Gal. 3:28-29) Jesus shed his blood to reconcile people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. There are no distinctions in the Kingdom of God, we are all children of God with the same privileges and the same promise. (Rev. 5:9)
In the Kingdom of God there is no room for racism. There is no room to treat God’s creation unjustly. We are to bear one another’s burdens. When one member of the body suffers the whole body suffers. (1 Cor. 12:26) When a brother or sisters in Christ is unjustly treated we need to bear that burden with them. We suffer with them because we are of the same body. We have been brought together by the shed blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
So pray for the body of Christ in the world today during these difficult times. Pray that human lives would be valued, treated with dignity and worth. Pray that the wall of hostility between people groups would be abolished at the foot of the cross as God has already declared that it is so.