It’s Black and White

Racism is an ugly subject. I approach the issue with both fear and loathing, but I approach it nonetheless because it has taken a very dominant place in the headlines. There are constant rantings and ravings, finger-pointing, misrepresentations, exaggerations, and downright lies.

racism:

hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

This suggests that a racist is an equal opportunity hater. It doesn’t matter if it is coming from White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, or any mixture thereof. I raise this point because I have been told that only Whites are racists. Black hatred of Whites is not racism because the Whites oppressed the Blacks. Using that standard we can all say we are not racists because there is not a people group alive on the planet that has not been oppressed. I am Irish. The Irish were wickedly oppressed (some say they still are) by the British. The Chinese were oppressed by the Japanese. Most of the slave traders in Africa were (and sadly still are) Black…oppressing Blacks. The Commanche, Creek, and Pawnees all oppressed and enslaved weaker tribes. Racism is, above all color, culture, or political issues, a human issue rooted in sin, bitterness and pride. It doesn’t matter who is hating whom, it is hatred nonetheless and when it is based on something as superficial as skin color or race then it is the lowest, most ignorant kind of hatred.

One of the things I love about true Christianity, as opposed to religion which is littered with racism (old adage: the most segregated time in America is Sunday morning), is that it will not let us get away with that kind of mindless living. It confronts our sinful nature.

Historically the Jews hated the Samaritans. Jesus went out of his way to talk to a Samaritan woman about her soul. Her response is found in John 4:9 (NKJV) 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. She was surprised that he was not at all put off by racial barriers.

He tells the parable of the good Samaritan, one that most people have at least heard of. Good Samaritans are people who lend a helping hand, right? But the story was a direct assault on Jewish bigotry and racism. The hero of the story is a Samaritan and the bad guys were a priest and a Levite. That was not arbitrary. That was a deliberate shot at racism.

Paul wrote: Galatians 3:26-29 (NKJV) 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Again he wrote to the Colossians: Colossians 3:9-11 (NKJV) 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

You see, the answer to racism is a mind that is renewed in knowledge and a heart that is converted from the sin nature to the Christ nature. The great lie is that one person is superior and another inferior based on race. Paul says do not lie to one another and follows that statement with a shot at racism.

I am happy to report that our church services look like a gathering of the United Nations, filled with Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Islanders, Middle Easterners, etc. etc. If we are going to be true Christians, then that is exactly what a church should look like because Jesus has broken down the walls of division.

Martin Luther King said: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’  I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

I found that table. It’s the communion table of Christianity where one and all are sinners saved by grace.

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