Responding to Racism with a Biblical Worldview
As we face the current circumstances of racial division and confront racism in our history as a nation, we must do so with a biblical worldview. What I mean by a biblical worldview is the development of a framework of ideas and beliefs about racism that are in alignment with scripture. Simply put, as we as Christians face this issue, and every issue for that matter, we must ask, What does the Bible say?
In contrast, it is easy to get swept up by our emotions and the pain. It is also easy to get lathered up by politicians and media types who want us to see this issue through the lens of their agenda. And when we do, the result is often hate, destruction and retaliation. More than that, we extend the confusion by arguing and defending a position based on opinion and feelings which often lacks moral moorings. All of this quickly devolves into lines being drawn and sides being chosen with both sides hellbent on winning at all cost. And as you’ve witnessed, the result is chaos. We must stop and ask ourselves, is any one winning? Is the issue at hand being addressed?
I have a novel idea. Instead of taking sides, let’s focus on being right with God in speech, attitude and action. I simply want to be on God’s side in every circumstance and I hope you do as well. And when we are on God’s side, which will be consistent with a biblical worldview, every human being will be treated with respect and dignity and be afforded equal justice under the law. How do I know? I’ll show you in scripture.
What does the Bible say about the mission of the church? God loves all people groups of the world. He died on the cross for the sins of every person regardless of origin, race, gender, culture and status. As the church, our mission is to carry out the command of Jesus to make disciples of all people groups (nations) without prejudice. What does the Bible say?
JN 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
MT 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
AC 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
GAL 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
What does the Bible say about racism? Every person from every nation is created in the image of God and the atoning work of Jesus is without exclusion regardless of tribe and nation. Jesus even demonstrated his love for all people by crossing racial and social barriers. What does the Bible say?
GE 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
1 JN 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
JN 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
What does the Bible say about justice? Our every thought, attitude and action should express equal justice for all. What does the Bible say?
MT 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
ISA 1:17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
MIC 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
PS 106:3 Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.
What does the Bible say about favoritism? God does not show favoritism and neither should we. What does the Bible say?
DT 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
RO 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
AC 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.
JA 2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.
What does the Bible say about how we respond to hostility? The Bible clearly articulates the proper Christian response to hostility. When we are cursed, we are to return a blessing. When we are unloved, we are to love in return. Our response must demonstrate that something supernatural is motivating us, something that transcends mere human nature. What does the Bible say?
LU 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
MT 5:46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In conclusion, let’s call racism for what it is. It is sin. Let’s call hatred for what it is. It is sin. Let’s call street violence for what it is. It is sin. Let’s call retaliation for what it is. It is sin. And let’s not be deceived. Things won’t improve in our nation and in our communities until we ask the question, What does the Bible say? And with that, we must be determined to do what it says! In doing so, we will develop a biblical worldview that guides us to truth and light as we face the current circumstances of racial division and confront racism in our history as a nation. Otherwise, and you can be sure of it, we are destined to continue in our sin of racism, hatred, violence and retaliation and we will repeatedly be faced with chaos in every community and institution.
A Work in Progress,