The Sin of Racism
First, racism is a sin. Christianity emerged from the Messianic promise given to the Jews, fulfilled in Christ, who then sent His Apostles to the ends of the earth, to every tribe, with the message that He was the Savior of all nations. First century Jews struggled to figure out how this global mission of Christ’s Gospel would fit with their traditional ethnic “purity.” The answer was God’s people are “one in Christ (Gal. 3:28).” God’s people no longer fit in the category of only those who could trace their DNA to Abraham. God’s people were those who linked themselves to Abraham’s faith in God, and His promised Messiah: Jesus. Thus, Christianity was and is anti-racism to the core.
It is a sin to think in terms of racial superiority, as biblical doctrine teaches ALL mankind is under God’s wrath for our sin. So, ethnic arrogance is sin. This does not mean that some cultures haven’t achieved greater things than others, that is plain as the Pyramids. The pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16), which is of the world, seeps into every crevice of man’s heart and sets him at war with his brother. Hatred of another is indicative of an unregenerate heart, and hatred of another family, people group, or nation, is indicative of the same.
Now For Some Controversy
That said, in our recent culture clashes,RACISM has taken center stage. Some say it is systemic in our American system. Others deny there’s any instances of racism. Others insist on parading around in bedsheets, glorying in their shame. All that said, we must remember that the mass media is in the business of getting eyeballs, attention and clicks. After celebrity sex scandals, nothing grabs audiences like racism. This is partly due, I think, to our Nation’s Civil War, and many of the rifts that it created, as well as the segregation laws that followed. Other nations ended slavery rather peacefully, the USA set brother at variance with brother and still face the national consequences of that strife.
We all too often underestimate the effectiveness of media saturation on a given topic. When low-fat diets gained popularity, the talk shows loved to have on guests to tout their miracle diets, the nightly news spouted off the latest research, and bookstores had trouble keeping the shelves stocked with the many “best-sellers.” We demonized fat. What we had to show for it, was that low-fat diets didn’t do much to impact weight, cholesterol, etc. After decades of low-fat craze. Science shows that the right kinds of fat are actually very important for your well-being.
This anecdote shows that we ought to be careful to be mindful of the fact that what you sow is what you reap. Sow the gospel of low-fat diets, reap a harvest of low-fat dieters. Sow the gospel of systemic racism, reap a harvest of Social Crusaders demanding that white people leave their college or work place for a day. Sow the gospel of White Supremacy, reap the harvest of White Supremacists. There’s a difference between actual arrogance, manifesting itself as racism; and what we might call hypochondriacism. The power of suggestion, and in this case repeated suggestion by social media and mass media, can very well produce and perpetuate the very thing it feigns outrage over.
Anything But Repentance
The play that is being run on the church, is to convince her to surrender the Gospel which she must preach.My concern, especially for Christians rallying to go on a witch hunt for any hint of remaining racism in our country, is that we are running the risk of mistaking outrage for repentance, protests for compassion, #Activism with actual charity towards our neighbor. The play that is being run on the church, is to convince her to surrender the Gospel which she must preach. We are being convinced that social activism can result in Spirit fruit without preaching against sin, calling for repentance, and praying that God would give revival. If we insist on creating a new social order, without preaching the new birth, we will end up with a dead culture hellbent on insatiable vengeance. It will be the ugliest of unending feuds.
The messaging we hear is that we should see that racism is everywhere. Where racism exists it must be expunged. But not by unjust measures. Rather by the white hot Gospel that God sent His Son to die for His enemies, so that His enemies might become His friends. Only the Gospel of Christ’s atonement will satisfy the hurts of injustice, humble the arrogance of the human heart, and bring red, yellow, black, and white to join together in worship before the Lord Jesus Christ.