He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? — Micah 6:8 (ESV)
Less than four generations separate us from the end of the Civil War. Deeply embedded in the fabric of the United States is the tyranny of racism that haunts us still today. Racism is an evil that lurks in our subconscious that, more often than we would admit or even notice, rises up to wreak havoc in our churches and our culture. Racism fully formed is hatred resulting in injustice by prejudging someone as inferior to one’s self due to physical characteristics or nationality. Racism should not be tolerated, especially in the church.
There is one race, the human race, bearing the image of the Triune God (Gen 1:26-27; 5:1-2; 9:6; James 3:9). Human beings share a common ancestry through the lineage of Adam (Rom 5:18-19), and by design of our Creator, and for His pleasure and glory, human beings are wonderfully diverse in skin pigmentation, eye color and shape, hair color, and a myriad of other unique characteristics. Every human being is unique by God’s design (Eph 2:10). We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and fashioned in the womb by God Himself (Psalm 139).
Because we descend from a common ancestry, we share in the sin nature that creates our common need for a savior, found only through gracious faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord (Rom 5:18-19; Eph 2:8-9). Unlike God who sees inwardly, humans see outwardly (1Sam 16:7). The result is that humans see complexion and not character. In Christ, we are given spiritual eyes that no longer see differences as means of division that separates, but diversity to celebrate (2Co 5:16-17). Physical characteristics no longer matter in the conduct of the Kingdom. Every believer is an ambassador of reconciliation, a joint heir with Christ, and able to minister within the context of their community, calling and anointing (2Cor 5:18-21).