Here’s my latest video-devotional on racism, bigotry, and the gospel:
Q: “How should a Christian respond to racism? I hear these racist, white supremacists groups say they are also Christian. What do you think of that, Pastor Michael?”
A: Right out of the gate: All prejudice, favoritism, racism, and superiority is anti-Gospel. Period. White supremacists, Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and all the rest who claim to know Christ while thumping the Bible are actually stomping on the Bible and know nothing of the Gospel of Christ. Their words and actions are repulsive to God and should be to everyone who knows and loves God.
How can I say this? Because God’s Word makes it abundantly clear.
First, there is one race but many ethnic groups all displaying the glory of God in their diversity. Here’s how the apostle Paul explained it to the philosophers on the Areopagus, “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth . . . ” Acts 17:26)
Second, no single ethnos or people group is more important or significant in God’s sight. Even the chosen people of Israel were to be a light to all other nations so they, too, would come to know the one true God.
For example, God condemns the prophet Jonah’s belief that the Assyrians of Nineveh should not receive full compassion and forgiveness from God, as people made in His image (Jonah 4:9-11).
Through Abraham’s progeny, God promised, “all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis. 12:3b), ultimately pointing to Christ who would die and rise again to redeem and rescue men and women “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation. 5:9b). Jesus Christ is the only One who has the right to be Supreme, yet he became the Servant of all to reconcile us to God and to one another (Philippians 2:5-11).
So Christ’s Gospel drives us to horizontal reconciliation with others because we have been vertically reconciled to God. God in Christ tore down the enmity, the hostility, the dividing wall, so now we are to live as a Church of unity in beautiful diversity. The life of the church should be like jazz harmony – unified in one song yet uniquely diverse in the mosaic of the music.
The life of the church should be like jazz harmony – unified in one song yet uniquely diverse in the mosaic of the music.
Our God is not a mono-lingual, mono-ethnic, mono-culture deity, but the Creator who has beautifully woven people from every background together into the one family of God in Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 2:11-22). Just as the first-century church was multi-cultural (Jew, Gentile, slave, free, rich, poor, etc.) so God’s design for His church today is unity within our diversity, only possible through God-empowered humility and love.
So how should we, as Christ-followers, respond to racism?
- Condemn it as anti-Gospel… silence is not an option.
- Listen and Love and Live life together… with those who’ve experienced the assault of racism.
I can’t begin to know or imagine what it’s like to walk in the shoes of my black brothers and sisters here in the USA. I don’t fully understand the struggle of Hispanics and Native Americans in our communities. I can’t begin to know what it’s like to be a Dalit in India or a POC in South Africa.
Therefore, you and I must not be silent and we must listen… love… and live together to display the glory of gospel through the church.
I believe Martin Luther King’s dream is God’s desire for His Church. What we know will one day be full reality all over the earth should, today, be displayed through the church.
“We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. . . . Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred… until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” – MLK from “I Have a Dream”