The Gospel and Racism
Racism: “An explicit or implicit belief or practice that qualitatively distinguishes or values one race over other races.” (Presbyterian Church of America)
“From one man he (God) has made every nationality to live over the whole earth…”
The Bad News- Racism is a Form of Relational Death that was Born Because of Sin
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The Good News-Racism is a Form of Relational Death That Dies Because of Jesus
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Nine Biblical Exhortations to Fight the Sin of Racism
1. See the Image in the Image-Bearer
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
2. Avoid Sinful Stereotypes (A Subtle Self-Justification)
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
1. We want a person to fit a negative generalization (accurate or inaccurate) that we have formed about a group.
2. We assume a statistically true negative generalization is true of a particular person in the face of individual evidence to the contrary.
3. We treat all members of a group as if all must be characterized by a negative (or positive) generalization.
4. We speak negatively of a group based on a generalization without giving any evidence that we acknowledge and appreciate the exceptions.
5.We speak disparagingly of an entire group on the basis of a negative generalization without any personal regard for those in the group who don’t fit the generalization.
3. Let the Gospel Continually Slay your Pride
“We have a fatal tendency to exaggerate the faults of others and minimize the gravity of our own.” John Stott
“The Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up— and it shall be brought low. . . . And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” ,
4. Control Your Tongue
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
5. Weep With Those Who Weep
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
6. Call Evil Evil and Good Good, According to God’s Definitions
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
7. Believe in the Vengeance of God
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
8. Fight Apathy Towards Injustice
8. Fight Apathy Towards Injustice
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
9. Make Much of God, Not Race
I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.