Racism and Christianity conflict

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 30, 2006

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil.2:3 NKJV).

Racism is a philosophy which promotes esteeming others (those of a different race, color, nationality, etc.) as inferior and unworthy of the love and respect we would give to “our own.” Christianity and racism are two conflicting and irreconcilable systems of belief. They are mutually exclusive. To accept one is to reject the other. Notice the following examples:

Racism vs. the love of God

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What color is God anyway? We know that he created the human race “in his own image” (Genesis 1:27) and that all people are “the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). Can I honestly claim to love God if I do not love those He created in his likeness? The Bible answers: If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also (I John 4:20 – 21).

Racism vs. the character of God

As a child admires and imitates his earthly father, the child of God will seek to emulate the characteristics of his heavenly Father. Racism is about as far removed from God’s character as one can get. God does not possess the shallow trait of “judging a book by its cover.” While man looks at the outward appearance, “…the Lord looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). As Peter so accurately stated, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35).

Racism vs. unity in Christ

In the world of the First Century, there was constant enmity between Jew and Gentile (non-Jewish). Jesus came “…that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Eph. 2:16). In the body (or church) of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23), all barriers are removed (Eph. 2:14). A Christian is one who has put on the new man “…who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:10-11; cf. Gal 3:28). The barriers removed in Christ include those of nationality (“Greek nor Jew”), heritage (“circumcised nor uncircumcised”), culture (“barbarian, Scythian”), and social class (“slave nor free”). There is no place for racial prejudice in the Lord’s church.

Racism vs. the great commission

God “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:4). He loved “the world” (consisting of every race) so much that he gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8). Christians are to “shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16). We are to reach out to those of “all nations” with the saving message of the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20). Racism has absolutely no room in this task. It is a hindrance in carrying out the great commission of our Lord.

Racism stems from a carnal mind and evil heart. It should not be tolerated in our ranks any more than other flagrant violations of God’s will. It IS a serious matter. “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9). Brethren, love your neighbor in spite of his mortal differences just as God loves you in spite of yours. What counts is the condition of the soul, not the color of the skin.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the most segratated hour in America is Sunday morning’s at 11:00. If we are truly striving to be like Christ, there would not be black churches in Demopolis and there would not be white churches in Demopolis. If we were truly striving to be like Christ black people and white people could be able to come together and worship in spirit and in truth.

Like, Dr. King, I have a dream. I have a dream that racism will be non-exisitant in Demopolis now and forever.

God Bless,

-Rev. Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Demopolis. The church website is www.fccdemopolis.org