No Prejudice at the Cross
Galatians 3:26-28 says concerning believers, "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, ...There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
Racism is ungodly; it is a lack of brotherly love towards others of a different race or culture. There are at least three kinds of racism: overt, covert, and us vs. them. This tract will show how to spot these in yourself, and the love we should have toward God and others.
Overt racism is due to what we think and feel about others. It may be due to feelings of inferiority or superiority. In all cases, it is a dehumanizing blindness of individuals, a "void of love" that like a disease, harms both victims and carriers.
Not all who are racists know that they are. Someone once naively said that many of another race were racist, but racism was impossible for anybody of their race. Actually racism is like mold, it comes in all colors. Racism can be hateful, patronizing, or envious. Check your feelings towards people of other cultures and races. Do you feel any ill-will, superiority, or jealousy towards an entire race? That feeling is evil.
Much racism is perpetrated in the name of religion. The Nazis claimed it was good to kill Jews, because among other things, they were "Christ-killers." If Jesus had been alive in Germany, the Nazis, not the Jews, were would-be Christ killers, because Nazis wanted to kill all of Jewish nationality, regardless of religion. Though Hitler "hid behind a cross", during the last half of the war he was actually being advised by one who was trained in astrology and the occult.
As one who is born-again in Jesus, I have to confess that even a few true Christians have prejudice. Though Bonhoeffer and other German Christians did oppose Hitler, far too many Christians remained passive and did not follow the Bible's teaching of helping the oppressed (Prov 24:11-12; 29:7; 31:9; Isaiah 1:17; Jer 22:16; Psalm 41:1) as the Ten Boom family and others did. However, for those with hatred towards others, according to 1 John 3:10,15 and 1 John 4:19-21, they are not bad Christians, rather they are not true Christians at all.
While overt racism is because of what people think and feel, covert racism is due to what people neglect to think about. I cannot count how many studies I have read in which the subjects were all Amer-ican and the results strongly assumed "what's true for America is true for the world." Think about this when you write.
Racism is also an unintentional insensitivity towards other cultures. It is fine to discuss various peoples, but always ask yourself how one of these people would feel if they were listening. If you really do not know, then privately ask them. There is one cure for insensitivity to another culture though: learn more about it and make friends who are of that culture.
Some may think covert racism is not so bad because it is not active or violent. Jesus gave an example that says otherwise. Most people know the beautiful parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.
It is not racist to admit the fact that there are minor differences. One can appreciate the variety among ourselves without stereotyping, de-humanizing or "de-individualizing" people.
James 2:1-4 stresses how important it is to have no partiality. The context is rich and poor, but it also applies in general. If you are in any group that segregates, or regards people as less due to wealth, or background, then ask if Jesus would want you to remain there.
Us vs. Them
This racism does not seek to harm others, and it is not a blind assumption that others must be just like them. If "they" stick to themselves and "we" stick to ourselves, everyone will be just fine. This uncaring too is racism, a lack of love towards our neighbors.
Some Orientals dislike all Japanese because of evils done in World War II. Some blacks dislike all whites because the slave traders were white. (Slave traders are evil according to 1 Tim 1:10, Ex 21:16, & Deut 24:7.) A common reaction to racism is more racism, and so the diseases spreads. Unfortunately, an evil use of history is to reinforce old hatreds and prejudices. The Bible says harsh words against those who do not forgive.(Luke 8:15; 16:36) Economic trade-bashing is sometimes called for due to unfair trade, but if "bashing" includes a hatred or a lack of love toward a people, then it is evil.
What exposure do you have to other cultures and races? How many friends do you have that are very different from you? If you have an "us vs. them" mentality, God's ideal is that "us", that is, our neighbor, includes everyone in the world.
The book of Numbers, chapter 12 speaks of interracial marriage. Moses' sister Miriam and brother Aaron opposed Moses because he married a Cushite (black) wife. God told all of them to come to the tent of meeting. There, God directly rebuked Miriam and Aaron, and made Miriam "leprous, white as snow." They repented, and Moses prayed for God to heal Miriam, which God did after seven days.
False Crosses vs. the True Cross
Some might claim there is prejudice at the cross, because an evil, ungodly organization, the KKK, burns crosses in yards. Since the cross is a symbol of the greatest gift ever given, it is offensive but not surprising, to true Christians that Satan would try to corrupt its meaning. Don't let crosses of Satan blind and keep you from the cross of Jesus.
God loves the world (not just some) (John 3:16) and is the One God and Father of all (Eph 3:14;4:16). He wants us to love each other (1 John 4:19-20).
Mankind of every race has become sinful (Rom 3:9,19-20), being hated and hating one another (Titus 3:3) and turning to false gods (Matt 4:10).
Jesus came to die for the sins of all mankind, especially for those who believe (1 Tim 4:9-10).
We must repent and cast aside our hatreds, and jealousy and accept Jesus our Savior's gift of eternal life (Titus 3:3-7).
We must obey Jesus (John 14:23), and love God with all we are and love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).
Because of these things, it is important that we tell you this and share the gospel not just with own race, but with all people everywhere (Matt 28:19-20).
Prejudice and true Christianity go about as well together as a fire in a rainstorm. If the fires of hate and prejudice burn within you, give your life over to the "reign" of Jesus Christ, and He will transform your feelings or rage, pride, and envy to love, humility, and a desire for the best for others of all races.
For more info please contact Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714 www.BibleQuery.org
by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.