A Biblical look at the issue of Racism-Part 1

I want to interrupt my regularly scheduled series to take a Biblical look at the issue of Racism. We have been constantly confronted with the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. When this situation came to light, I truly asked the Lord to bring to light any area in my heart that contained prejudice against any person. It has led to a huge journey in my life. You would not take the time to read all the articles I could write about this so I will do my best to condense it to no more than three articles. In this article, I want to show, from the Bible that the actions and attitudes of racism are sins.

What this article in the series will not cover

In any issue such as this, it is very easy to jump into our political corner and allow our political affiliation to be what dictates what we believe about certain political issues. Yes, that’s a tendency I have too much of the time. However, I am asking you to do what all believers in Jesus Christ must do and that is to view things through the proper lens of the Bible. So I will not jump into political hot-button issues until we have a Biblical foundation to stand upon.

Defining Terms

I also want to define some terms that I will use here so there is no misunderstanding. The definition of Racism comes from the definition of https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism. My paraphrase of this is that Racism is the idea that a group is inferior based on their ethnic lineage and so, therefore, not worthy of equal treatment. As we will see, the Bible not only exposes the outward sin of racism, but also the inward sin of prejudice.

Defining A major conviction

In any discussion of race, we have to deal with the idea of some that racism and inequality include the inequality of LGBTQ+ individuals. Let me be very clear. I completely reject the idea that LGBTQ+ individuals must be included in the discussion of racism because I do not believe that homosexuality or transgenderism is an inborn and unchangeable trait. It is outside the purpose of this article series to address homosexuality and transgenderism so I will not do so.

The One Race-Human

Although we have to use the term Race to refer to those differences in skin color and ethnic background, that is actually wrong. When we look at Genesis 1 and 2, it tells us about the creation of man as Man and Woman. We do not see a separate creation of an inferior man that was the father of the blacks, or of the whites, or of the Asians. I think I have proven my point. You see, every ethnic group has come from Adam and Eve. Present in their genes were the genes of every ethnic group that exists today. In Adam and Eve, every ethnic group was created in the Image of God and created to be His representatives on earth to rule and reign.

Okay, so what about the Fall?

I am so glad you asked. If you read the account of the fall in Genesis 3:1, you will see that it had to do with the disobedience of Adam and Eve against the one commandment of God. Because of this sin, every son or daughter of Adam and Eve has been born with a nature that wants to sin. Commenting on this in Romans 5:12, Paul says that all have sinned. The fall of man is universal. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says in Adam, all die. No race is immune to the fall. However, have we lost the status of being in the Image of God? Absolutely not. We see God repeating to Noah and his family to multiply and overcome the earth in Genesis 9 just as he had to Adam before the fall. The fall did not revoke our status as God’s representatives on earth. It did, however, corrupt that image for all of us.

All are equal at the foot of the cross

For the most detailed exposition of our place as Believers, we can look at the writings of Paul. The book of Romans could be called Christian Doctrine 101. In this letter, Paul lays out the basics of the Christian faith. He takes chapters 1 and 2 talking about the fact that non-Jews are sinners and are condemned and that the Jews, though given God’s promises and the 10 commandments are condemned by the moral law that God gave them. Then he brings Jew and Gentile together at the foot of the Cross. For centuries, God himself made a distinction between the Jews and all other nations as His covenant people. And, although many promises to the Jewish People still stand, Salvation and being God’s people is now extended to all nations through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The Gospel was a revolution to the Jewish understanding of the world. There was an arrogance and superiority that the Jews had because of their status as God’s people. However, the Cross became the great equalizer. Paul lays out in Romans how that all have sinned and that all must trust Jesus as Lord and Savior. This leads us to the following truths:

  • God wants all to be saved and come to the truth. (Romans 5:8, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4)
  • God commissioned us to preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples for Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20, Romans 10:12, John 3:16)
  • As believers, we are all equal (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Acts 15:9)
  • There will be individuals from all nations in Heaven to worship the Lord (Revelation 7:9)

In our next article, we will talk about our role as believers in this discussion of racism.