It is sad that in the year 2017, anything has to be said about racism. In our history as a nation, you would think that we would have learned our lesson by now. Racism, in any form, is against the Word of God. Galatians 3:28 says, “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” (emphasis mine). It’s amazing to me that the truth of a children’s song, which teaches the truth of that verse, could be so relevant today: “Jesus love the little children. All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
As a Christian, I look forward to the day when I get to stand before my Lord to worship him for all eternity. And when I look around me, I look forward to seeing “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9-10)! Heaven will not be full of one race or segregated, but we will all be united, worshipping Jesus Christ!
Before I continue, I want to give you a little bit of a background on my life. I was not raised in a home that was racist in any way. I had friends that were white and black. In fact, there was a big group of us that would get together and play wiffle ball a lot. We played baseball together and played around the neighborhood together. As I grew older, there were still no racist tendencies taught to me by my parents. But let me clarify: this does not mean that I was never exposed to racism or racist talk. To me, however, that’s all it was…talk.
It was not until I went to college and met one of my good friends that I learn the subtleties of racism that existed. Then I began dating the girl who would become my wife, and she opened my eyes to the big picture of racism, the fact that it was more than black and white. It was at that time that I began to see how prevalent racism still is, even among those who call themselves Christians. Brothers and sisters in Christ, this should not be so!
In my study of history, I look back on recent times and see things like the Nazis and the KKK, whose agenda was to wipe out or basically enslave inferior races. What’s more, both of these groups had ties to Christianity. But there is nothing in the teachings of the Christian faith that can be reconciled with racism or thoughts of racial superiority.
Dr. Albert Mohler of The Southern Baptist Seminary wrote, “I would argue that racial superiority in any form, and white superiority as the central issue of our concern, is a heresy. The separation of human beings into ranks of superiority and inferiority differentiated by skin color is a direct assault upon the doctrine of Creation and an insult to the imago Dei—the image of God in which every human being in made. Racial superiority is also directly subversive of the gospel of Christ, effectively reducing the power of his substitutionary atonement and undermining the faithful preaching of the gospel to all persons and to all nations.”
As a Christian, those are really the two biggest reasons why racism should not exist in my heart and life. First, as a white man, I am created in the same image that a black, Hispanic, Asian, and so on are created. We are all created in the image of God. There is nothing superior or inferior about any race. We are equally created in God’s image. We should take this seriously because God does. Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”
Second, since we are all on a level playing field, the gospel is for everyone. To withhold the gospel from a person or group because of their race is in direct opposition to God’s Word, where the salvation of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation is described. There is no distinction!
With all of that being said, I want to throw my voice among the many who are responding to the events that took place this weekend in Charlottesville, VA. In my understanding, there was a rally being held by white supremacists and/or neo-Nazis. At some point, counter protestors showed up. Violent reactions occurred on both sides, but the man on the side of the white supremacists drove his car into another car that then went into the group of counter protestors. This killed one lady and injured more, some critically.
I have two responses to this tragic event. My first comes as a pastor. From what I have already said, I don’t think white supremacy or any racial superiority should exist. We are all created in the image of God. Black people are not inferior to white people. That should not even be an issue. But I realize it is, which is why a response to an event like this is necessary. My hope is that people will realize that what the white supremacist group stood for is not what all white people believe and neither is it what true Christians believe. My heart breaks for those who have to deal with racism in any shape or form, and I pray that the day would come that it would no longer be an issue.
My second response comes as a pastor who is American. I realize that although I have no desire to see white supremacist views taught and for them to have rallies to spread their hate, they have the freedom, at least to an extent to do so. In the same way, the counter protestors have the right to stand beside them and proclaim their views. Both should be able to do so in a peaceful way without the threat or fear of violence. I think we could all agree on that, right? No matter what your group is, in America you have rights, and I thank God for those rights. So do what you must, but do it in peace realizing that the people on the other side have the same right that you have.
Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment. If you have something to add, I would love to hear that also. Thank you for reading!