If You Are Concerned About Racism
Korean Stores Targeted by Looters
Racial Unrest Between Blacks and Jews Heightens
Headlines like these highlight the racial discord and violence that is tearing countries apart.
Does racism bother you? Do you care about the hatred and pain that racism has brought to so many lives?
Let's go back another step. Are you racist? Pretty direct question, huh?
Your first response is probably, "Me? Of course not." You may say, "I support affirmative action," or "I marched against apartheid," or "I have many friends of other races."
In fact, all these things may be true and you still may not be free from racism. Why? Because racism is a matter of the heart, not only a matter of certain actions.
What is at the root of racism? Why is there distrust and strife between people simply because of skin color, language, or customs?
The Cause: God's Word says that when man was first created, he was in harmony with God and other people. However, when he sinned, he immediately experienced a barrier between himself and God, and his relationship with other people also suffered. Blame, mistrust, and selfishness destroyed the harmony he had previously enjoyed. Racism is one of the results of people being alienated from God through sin.
God's Word says that war and fighting come from man's selfish desires (James 4:1). Fallen man wants all he can get for himself regardless of the suffering it brings to others. Racial conflicts often result from one group exploiting another's land and resources. This selfishness can produce racial hatred and mistrust that lasts for generations.
Failure to recognize God as Creator of all people is another cause of racism. God's Word in Romans 1:21, 22 says that this leads to futile thinking and foolish, darkened hearts. The theory of evolution is one result of "professing to be wise" but "becoming fools." This unproven theory, which has permeated the world's educational system, is the philosophical breeding ground for racism. Survival of the fittest and natural selection easily contribute to the superior or inferior race idea, which has brought some people to regard other races as less than human, as dogs, or as creatures without souls. At its extreme, this philosophy has instigated the attempted genocide of entire races.
Racism is a form of pride. When we look down our noses at people of another race and consider their ways, their rights, or their abilities as inferior to our own, tension is sure to result. God's Word says clearly that "by pride cometh contention" (Proverbs 13:10), and again, "He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife" (Proverbs 28:25).
The Solution: Jesus showed us both by His life and His teaching how we can conquer racism.
Once during His travels, Jesus sat at a well and struck up a conversation with a woman of another race who was coming to draw water. Although interaction between these two races was taboo, Jesus took the first step to bridge that racial gap. The woman was surprised, noting the differences in the two races. Instead of arguing with her, Jesus pointed her to the solution--we need to restore the relationship with God that was broken by sin. Only when this happens is the way clear for our relationships with man to be restored also.
But solutions are easier to talk about than to put into effect. In fact, there is nothing we can do to put this solution into effect. Our choice to disobey God builds a barrier between God and us that is insurmountable in spite of our most desperate efforts to reach Him.
Only God can break down that barrier. He did it by coming to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus suffered the pains of death, our rightful punishment, that our sin might be forgiven and that our relationship with God and man might be restored.
When we repent of sin, have faith in Jesus, and allow Him to be Lord of our lives, we are able to love and worship God with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourself. At that point we become citizens in the kingdom of God. In this kingdom the ruling ethic is love. All people will know we are Jesus' disciples by our love for each other (John 13:35). "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
Jesus told a story to illustrate how citizens of this kingdom will treat others: A traveler was mugged and beaten by robbers who left him lying beside the street nearly dead. Two people of the same race who were traveling that way saw the man but avoided him. However, a man of a different race came by and helped the suffering man. Racial barriers melted through his act of love and kindness (Luke 10).
Recently, as I stood arm in arm with brothers of different races in a church meeting, I praised God for the harmony that only He can bring. It was just a glimpse into heaven where God's Word tells us, "a great multitude...of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues," stand before God, praising Him in beautiful harmony (Revelation 7:9). I'm looking forward to being there. How about you?
Wickedness and sin are increasing!
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (II Timothy 3:1-5).
OPEN YOUR BIBLE
Many people claim to believe in God, but never read what God has said.
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (Psalm 19:7, 8).
"For the word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
OPEN YOUR HEART
To the transforming work of Christ!
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:20).
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
© Copyright, Christian Light Publications
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