The events last Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, fueled by racial bigotry were wrong. Sickening. Shameful. And sinful.
A 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, who was “a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised” was killed when a car was driven into a group of counter protestors. At least 19 others were injured.
The driver, James Alex Fields, has been described as “very misguided and disillusioned.” A former High School teacher told the Associated Press, “Once you talked to James for a while, you would start to see that sympathy toward Nazism, that idolization of Hitler, that belief in white supremacy.”
As a reaction to the actions and attitudes of this extreme fringe group, some have written, published blogs, and posted on facebook charges of racism attributed to conservatives and Christians.
Let me be clear. As a Christian and a social and political conservative, I disavow all forms of racial bigotry. It is wrong. And clearly against the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and the entire tone of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Consider these 6 Biblical reasons why racism is wrong.
(1) All people are created in God’s image.
On the sixth day of creation, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Then the Bible says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:26-27).
All races of people who descended from the original pair share in the “likeness of divinity.” Every person possesses an eternal soul. And has been endowed with the qualities and characteristics that can only come from our Creator.
(2) Jesus taught that the second great command is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
Christ did not distinguish one ethnic group from another. Love is not based on skin color or racial differences. In fact, Jesus associated with Jews, Gentiles, and Samaritans, who were traditionally discriminated against in that culture.
(3) Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.
The golden text of the Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (Jn 3:16). That’s everyone. Every nation. Every race. Every ethnic group.
Jesus said his mission was “to seek and save the lost” (Lk. 19:10). All people. Regardless of their skin color. Or their language. Or their ancestry.
(4) The Gospel is for everyone.
In the great commission, Jesus instructed the apostles to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:15-16)
Revelation 14:6 states that “the everlasting gospel” was to be preached “to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.”
(5) All are one in the Family of God.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slaves or free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). This passage was written to the churches of Galatia urging Christians to accept the equality of everyone as brothers and sisters in Christ.
(6) The Bible teaches that partiality, prejudice, and favoritism is sinful.
James, the brother of Jesus, expressed this way. “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (Jas 2:1). While the context speaks of relationships between the rich and the poor, the principle applies to all social, cultural and racial relationships.
After illustrating the problem of partiality, James concluded “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (Jas. 2:8-9).
It is an ugly reality that racism still exists in America today. However, as set apart people to glorify God, Christians must be a shining light in a dark world. There is no place for bigotry or hatred in our hearts.
“Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human,” wrote civil rights leader Alevda King. “It’s a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds into believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman