Saturday, January 13, 2007

Racism: Ill-Biblical

It’s been one of the few main stains that have blemished our great country. It’s been around, haunting us, since virtually the beginning of this young nation. It shows itself in slavery, in discrimination, in violence, and in groundless side-taking. It’s shameful, and truly a sign of the fallen nature of mankind. It’s racism. For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, what better topic could I come up with?

Racism has actually been establishing itself ever since the Tower of Babel, when God scrambled the people’s languages and spread them over the face of the earth. (Genesis 11:7-8) Apparently, people started to think that their scrambled language, their lands which they were scattered to, and they themselves were better than those unlike them. Racism shows itself on a more personal level today—rather than countries going to war against each other—because of the integration of persons in communities. This way, it can be shown in both big ways and small. This is especially true when speaking of America—the melting pot of the world.

The truly grieving thing about racism is the way it seems to be prevalent even in heavily Christian societies and regions. We know that America, in its beginnings and even until now, has been a severely Christian nation--at least in comparison to others--built upon Christian principles by Christian people. The South has long been a center of Christianity in America—a symbol of traditional, faithful believing. Yet these two places—America as a whole and the South as a region—have been and still are—to a certain extent—hot stoves of racism, and the acts that ensue from such a sentiment. This is sad, for it is damaging to the Gospel by setting a bad example to unbelievers, and it is sad because it raises the question of how many of these “Christians” were and are actually in a proper relationship with God.

The thing that is so confounding about this hypocritical cohabitation of beliefs and feelings is that not only is the Bible sufficiently clear on the topic of racism, but racism is simply ILLOGICAL when you take an intelligent look at the Bible. Hence my title: Ill-Biblical. Then, there’s the fact that—even if racism wasn’t addressed in the Bible, and even if racism was not dealt with by implication in the Bible—the RESULTS of racism are ALSO addressed by God in His Word.

Allow me to demonstrate:

There is only one race. This is becoming scientifically recognized. The only race is the human race. We all came from two people: Adam and Eve. We all came from one God and Creator. We are all made in His image. (Genesis 1:26-27) God made humans complete. We are not evolving upwards and we have not been evolving upwards. We did not evolve upwards in order to gain “image of God” status. That was immediate, as we were created on the sixth day. (Genesis 1:23-28) Therefore, no sect of humans is “more human” or “less human” than others, despite what a Hitler may think about the Jews or the KKK about blacks.
The fact is that skin color is only skin deep. It has no deeper significance—in reality—than eye color or hair color, and yet few war or spit epithets about those two things. Is it only because skin is the largest organ of the body? Is it because it reminds man, subconsciously, that as he was building a tower to the sky, God showed him that he could do nothing without God’s allowance?
After the aforementioned Tower of Babel instance, when peoples were spread across the earth, their bodies naturally developed different skin tones, within their genetic potential set by God—either to absorb as much sun and Vitamin D as possible (pale tone), or to block out the harmful rays (dark tone). Other things are different about different peoples as well, such as eye shape. This can be a point of racial tension, as Orientals are made fun of sometimes for their elliptically shaped eyes. But such a small factor rarely exerts such a large reaction.
God makes it clear that He cares little for outward appearances. “…for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) If cultural nuances are what causes such racial divisions, the Lord makes it clear that he makes no distinction in this sense either. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him.” (Romans 10:12) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) “…a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11) If past run-ins with a specific cultural group is what causes the disdain, we are reminded that, as Christians, we are to forgive as our Father forgives us. (Matthew 18:23-35)

So, if people physically and culturally different than you or me are equally human—we are all ultimately brothers and sisters biologically and hereditarily—and if all can be equally in Christ, then what then? Where does any prejudice like this belong in the Christian's life? Where do the acts that follow belong? Where does the hate belong? NOWHERE. After all, the Bible tells us not to hate.

On the contrary, we are to LOVE. Love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39)—as ourselves; love our enemies (Matthew 5:44)—and bless them; love our brothers and sisters in Christ—as Christ loves us. (John 15:12) We are to be at peace WITH ALL MEN, as far as it depends on us. (Romans 12:18)

The world is making progress on the front of racism and prejudice. But this is only temporary, and artificial. It can never be fully defeated by purely worldly, fallen attempts. Part of the world's seeming victory over the former division between cultures and "races" is because it is fading into the background to allow a much deeper division to come to the forefront--those who are Christians, and those who are not. "You will be hated by all because of My name." (Matthew 10:22)
Any worldly progress on the racism front is either--as I said--temporary and artificial, or it is another sign of the End Times, as the nations of the world move to a one-world, "one people" government system.

So, how do we truly fix the problem? How can we and the world be saved from this? There’s only one way: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) While Christ says, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Ultimately, the only efficient answer is Christ.

~Kingdom Advancer


Kierstyn said...

haha, thanks. I really shouldn't link to people when I'm on multi-task I get all the names mixed up. Actually I JUST saw the Advancing His Kingdom blog 5 minutes ago. *will fix*

Sorry 'bout that, I should have waited until my mind was off of overload...

Kingdom Advancer said...

No biggie. Actually, I felt kind of demanding by asking you to correct it. However, I'm glad you did. :)
It's just that there are so many blogs out there, there's such a propensity for confusion.

Moriah said...

Wow! That was an amazing blog post, Kingdom Advancer. I completely agree with you concerning racism. I shouldn't have a place in the lives of Christians. The shade of our skin doesn't matter to God; it's our hearts.
Keep up the good work, and God Bless!

Detective J said...

I added you to my blogroll.

Detective J said...

I added you to my blogroll

Detective J said... is my blog. You're deffinitely right sbout racism.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thanks, Moriah. I always appreciate the encouragement, and I'm glad you agree.

Thanks, DJ. You're on my blogroll too now.

Llama Momma said...

Check out Ed Gilbreath's new book, "Reconciliation Blues." It offers an excellent historical overview of racism in the church as well as the racial climate of the church today.