Racism and Christianity have always been a hot topic, but lately it seems like we are talking about it a lot more and people are not happy.
What does God want? What’s His plan? What is the end game?
These are the questions we all need to ask ourselves every single time we are confronted with any issue, because I promise you, if we have the wrong answers to these questions, then whatever else we think, will be utterly irrelevant; like a paper umbrella in a hurricane.
So, when we think about race, what does God want? What’s His plan?
It’s not a hard question to answer. Jesus, the prophets and the apostles, have all been clear.
For in Your sight, no living man is righteous. Psalm 143:2a
There is no one righteous, not even one. Romans 3:10
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. Mark 10:18
It is clear from the Scripture that no human can exalt himself in the eyes of God. God resists the proud.
It reminds me of a scene from Gustav Hasford’s book about a marine corps correspondent in the Vietnam war, “The Short Timers”. In it the senior drill instructor tells the recruits that he is not racist against any of them, because to him they are all maggots; in his eyes, they are “all equally worthless”.
Except, of course, the drill instructor is not God. He’s nothing like God.
God does not despise us for our worthlessness. He knows that our worthlessness is a result of separation from Him. For while God resists the proud, He listens to the humble. He promises to be close to them. And while He makes no secret that He loves His chosen people Israel, He also makes it clear that He wants every person to have the chance to enter into that love, into all of His love.
That’s His end game; all peoples gathered into a beloved bride for His beloved Son, to eternal life. And He is clear about this:
The gospel must be preached to all humanity – Matt 28: 16-20; Mark 16: 14-18; Luke 24: 44-49.
If anyone responds to this with belief they will be saved – Romans 10: 9; Matt 10: 32; Luke 12: 8.
There is no partiality within Christ – 1 Corinthians 12: 21 & 22; Galatian’s 3: 28.
So, if He gives us instruction to tell everyone the gospel; promises that He will accept anyone who accepts the gospel; and refuses to make distinction between us once He saves us, then there is only one question left. Where does race fit in?
The straight answer is that it doesn’t! Race is not any part of the gospel.
No one, no matter their skin colour, is going to get favourable treatment from the Lord because of their skin colour; or their eye shape; or their skull shape; or their hair; or any other feature. And if some of us want to strut around, proud of their race and their achievements, then remember what the Lord has said: He resists the proud. Whatever we might think we have to be proud of, does not impress Him one iota!
There is no judgement coming to one part of humanity that your race is going to save you from. God the Father, creator of the universe, has only one standard, perfection; and there are no perfect people. So, as the apostle Paul told us, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is only one name by which we can be saved and that name isn’t whiteness or blackness or brownness or any other racial variation.
It’s Jesus; first, last and only!