Racism and Christianity

OK, I’m going to start with the past, and come to what I hope is the obvious point later.  Sadly, throughout the history of (probably pretty much all) the nations, there have been huge divides and injustices based on race.  Being British, I’ll focus on us: we participated in the highly racist slave trade, treating people from certain places as property.  We also have a very serious history of unpleasantness directed particularly at Jews in our country, though from time to time it would seem they were highly favored (see this article).  I’m not going to apologize for it, because I didn’t do it, but I do heartily condemn these acts across the history of my country, and indeed the Western world.  I like to think things have got better.  I like to think the world we live in now is better.  However, recent events in America show us that there is still further to go.  I’m not going to deal with the actual news-events of the moment, as others have done this better than I could.  I am much more interested in the underlying attitude and what the Bible has to say about it. 

OK, we all know the law: “love your neighbor as yourself“.  It doesn’t specifically deal with race but it is pretty universal.  However, looking further, we can’t have any exceptions, even ones we might think are sensible, like enemies.  We must care for those who can do nothing for us, and treat the poor fairly.  Clearly, failing to love others for having different skin pigmentation or speaking a different language can have no part in honest Christianity.  There is simply nothing to support it, and that defining embodiment of love that is the Living God is utterly against it.  God explains to Samuel exactly what he thinks of judging by appearance, when He is directing Samuel to anoint a new king!

There is only one area of genuine distinction given in the New Testament as a racial divide, that between Jews and Gentiles.  (In the Old Testament there are necessarily more as God is building a Jewish Kingdom amidst a hostile world and needs them to be able to defend physical borders from invading armies and intermarriage leading to the worship of false gods).  But from then on God quite clearly changes tactic, he is defending the Spiritual Kingdom rather than a physical one.  As it has no boundaries and no outside-group (except those who chose to be) there is no point in fighting to defend it!

So, back to that one distinction: Jew and Gentile remain, different.  For according to Romans 9:5 “[t]heirs (belonging to the Jews) are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised!”  For those who profess to be Christian but are anti-Semitic, I ask, what do they think of Christ being shown in Heaven as the eternal Lion of Judah?  He remains Jewish in his eternal reign!

But, what has God done with this last potential wall of rivalry and jealousy?  He has removed it entirely through the sacrifice of his own life’s Blood, “who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.  Let’s respect that, and one another!  

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