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Christianity and Racism

Christianity and Racism


Prejudice.
Racism.

Inequality.

Oppression.

Racial injustice.

There’s a lot of talk about racism these days, and understandably so. Unfortunately, despite how far we’ve come, racism still exists in our modern world. All around us we see tragedies where people are treated differently, or even killed, because of their skin color.

Is there any place for racism in Christianity?

Spoiler alert: the answer is no… but I still want to talk about why. In fact, I’m going to prove that true Christianity and racism can’t co-exist using scripture.

As Christians, we are supposed to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and there is nothing in the Bible, or in all of history, to suggest that Jesus would have condoned any form of racism. In fact, all evidence points to the exact opposite.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24 KJV

There you go. Jesus himself is telling us not to judge other by their appearance. That means not judging anyone based on their skin color, height, weight, or anything else. Instead he tells us to judge by character. This principle always reminds me of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech in which he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I’ve always had great respect for Dr. King based on his beliefs and the fact that his views were similar to Jesus’ own.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34 KJV

Jesus clearly tells us to love one another. He doesn’t say that we should love everyone that looks like us. Instead he says – plain and simple – love everyone. In Matthew, when asked by his followers what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 KJV

Go and teach ALL nations. ALL nations. No one is excluded. God doesn’t want us to exclude anyone, and even says so in Deuteronomy 10:19, which reads, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Here he is telling the Jews to love those from foreign lands, because they were foreigners themselves when they went to Egypt. In modern terms, this is God way of telling us that we should love immigrants, because truthfully most of come from immigrants, and we are all considered foreigners in the kingdom of God.

Jesus wasn’t the only one to speak out against racism.

While Jesus had a lot to say about loving others and treating everyone equally, he wasn’t the only one in the Bible to speak out against racism. For example:

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV

This verse is spoken by the apostle Paul and it uses terms like “one spirit” and “one body”. It even says “one spirit” twice, which is letting us know that God’s Holy Spirit is not prejudiced, but comes to all of us. Acts 2:38 confirms this by saying, “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’”

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” Acts 10:34-35 KJV

You don’t get much more concise and to-the-point than this. The NIV version even translates to say, “God does not show favoritism.” Colossians 3:25 says, “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”, which means that we’ll all be judged equally, based on our actions alone.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 KJV

Even back in the Bible days, people were prejudiced. For example, the Jews believed the Greeks to be an unclean people, and the Greeks likely felt the same way about the Jews. The Jews were also notably racist against the Gentiles, which is a category that covers literally anyone that wasn’t Jewish. But in this verse, God is telling us that, in His eyes, there is no race, no sex, no slavery or freedom, but that we are all the same. We are all one in Christ Jesus.

“For there is no respect of persons with God.” Romans 2:11 KJV

Once again, this verse is translated to “God does not show favoritism.” That’s at least twice that God is stating he’s not partial to anyone. This was said earlier by Peter, and later again – this time by Paul.
John 3:16 even tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” James 2:9 also goes on to say, “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”, which indicates that if we discriminate, we are breaking the law and should be treated as criminals.

“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” Genesis 3:20 KJV

Adam and Eve were the first people that God created. This verse says that Eve is the mother of all living. If we all have the same mother, we’re all the same race. Genesis 1:26-27 also says, “And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Last, but certainly not least, I leave you with a verse from Revelation, the last book of the Bible.

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10 KJV

This verse is a description of what is to come in the future: a great multitude that couldn’t be numbered, people from every nation, tribe, and color, all standing before the throne of God.

Prove it ✅

So I ask: what more proof do you need? Jesus was clearly not a racist and he doesn’t want his followers to be, either. As Christians, it is essential that we stand up to racism and refuse to tolerate it in any form.

But…

Don’t just take my word for it!

I hope this post has blessed you in one way or another. However, I encourage you to open your Bible and look these things up for yourself. Spending time in the Word of God is always beneficial!

Copyright © 2020 J. Edwards Holt. All rights reserved.

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