A Biblical Response to Racism
– Due to the major influence of social media on our world today, mass ignorance exists over the issue of racism – even among Christians. Thus, we must seek biblical definition.
1. What racism is not:
1.1 The recognition of different races of people. (“I am white, you are black, we serve a Jewish Master, etc.)
The Bible recognizes different races of people (e.g. Jews/Gentiles; Philistines; Amalekites; Canaanites; Ethiopians; Egyptians; etc.)
1.2. Acknowledging that there are certain behaviors/traits/lifestyles common among a particular race (Tit 1; Gal 2:11; Jer 5:15-16; Isa 18:1-2)
1.3. Viewing people as personal property (i.e. slavery)
The first (and most “notorious”) example that most Americans think of when considering the issue of Racism is the slavery once practiced in this country. The American slave trade is viewed as one of the “low points” in our country’s history – the high point being when it was abolished.
What however people fail to realize is that the fight to end slavery actually did more to fuel the fires of racism than remove it. Why? Because the real problem was not being addressed. Slavery is not racism. In other words, owing or viewing people as property is not wrong according to the Bible. (Gen 17:10-13, 20:17; Exo 21:7-11, 20, 26; Lev 25:6, 44-48; Ecc 2:7; 1Co 7:21; Eph 6:5-9 – wives and children (in the home) are viewed as the personal property of the husband)
All of God’s people exist as His slaves (1Pe 2:16; 1Co 6:20; Mat 10:24-25; Lev 25:38-42, the Apostles also viewed themselves as God’s slaves, Rom 1:1; Phi 1:1; 2Pe 1:1; Jam 1:1)
So then, by making this racism, that which truly was racism remained not only untouched but empowered. The phenomenon of false justice/scapegoat syndrome = something other than the real problem is punished – allowing the truly guilty to feel vindicated and empowered (since something else has taken the identity of the sin/problem)
1.4. Believing that one race of people are better and should be exalted (even as rulers) over others.
If you are a Christian, then you believe this whether you know it or not! God’s “new race” of Christians are those that will be exalted above all others. (1Pe 2:9; Rev 5:10 w/ 1Co 6:2; 2Co 5:16-17)
1.5. Preferential treatment in regard to our brothers and sisters in Christ (Gal 6:10).
2. What racism is:
2.1. Believing that a particular race or races are less human.
This is the wonderful product of Darwin and his evolutionary views on man’s origins. He writes about it in his book “The Descent of Man” (that some races are genetically superior and “more human” than others; whereas some are genetically inferior and closer to apes than other humans)
This was a part of Hitler’s thinking and propaganda.
The Bible and science however reveal that all races came from the same two original parents (Adam and Eve).
Therefore, all races have been created as image bearers for God (Gen 1:21-28 w/ Act 17:26)
2.2. Believing that skin-colors of a different kind are forbidden to marry (i.e. intermarriage) (Col 3:10; Gal 3:28)
The only form of intermarriage prohibited (2Co 6:14-18) is intermarriage between God’s new race and those still a part of this world.
2.3. Treating someone unrighteously or unfairly because of their skin color or race.
God calls us to love (i.e. be righteous in our behavior with) all people. It is the 2nd greatest commandment (Mat 22:39 w/ Lev 19:15-18) This includes then:
- 2.3.1. Showing no partiality in judgment (Lev 19:15)
- 2.3.2. Refusing to believe/spread racial untruths. This includes refusing to judge people according to their deeds/actions and using unnecessary derogatory language (Lev 19:16a)
- 2.3.3. Hoping/pursuing the downfall of a person/people because of their skin color (Lev 19:16b).
- 2.3.4. Refusing to help a brother or sister in Christ to be holy because of their skin color (Lev 19:17 – “your brother”)
- 2.3.5. Refusing to forgive/pursue what’s best for someone because they are a different skin color (Lev 19:18)
2.4. Preferential treatment due to skin color (again, Gal 6:10 – preferential treatment should be shown only to other Christians) (e.g. for a Christian: choosing non-Christians (blood family/same race) as your men and women of honor. You are honoring (showing preference) to someone based on blood/race rather than Christ (His race, which is the only legitimate one to show “racial preference” to.)
3. Closing thoughts/remarks.
3.1. People who practice racism are not only some of the stupidest people on earth but some of the most wicked since they are by their prejudices against those of a different color, doing the same as the murderer, they are attempting to destroy/deny the image of God that other person exists as.
3.2. We need to make sure that as Christians we take pride in (and fight for, get upset about, and protect) not our skin color racial group, but rather the new race God has made us a part of (otherwise we are fighting for the wrong side).
3.3. The pagan, anti-God, demonic philosophies (i.e. religions) of humanism and individualism have done more to confuse and fuel the issue of racism than anything else.
These two were why slavery was demonized (though the Bible does not see it that way – Isa 5:20)
These two were a driving force behind the American Revolution (an event God views as sinful – Rom 13: 1Pe 3)
These two are behind the erosion of godly parenting (esp. spanking) in this country and massive child rebellion.
What they are:
Humanism = human freedom is the highest goal (vs. image bearing or divine imitation)
Individualism = every human being is their own personal sovereign, free from the beliefs, constraints, control or ownership of others (including punishment where there is non-conformity)
Both of these beliefs are what no drive “child emancipation,” the argument is very similar to those that were made against slavery.
3.4. Not all discrimination is racism or wrong (e.g. Christian separation, 1Co 5)