Years ago, I recognized a man who helped me counsel a young woman at my church. He and his wife noticed me and stopped walking. As I approached them, to thank him again for helping me, his wife spooked and stood behind her husband. The man, who sat in the same room with me for a few weeks, placed his arm around his wife and tucked her in behind him, and said, “Don’t worry, you’re with me.”
“What’s wrong?” I asked. They both shook their head that nothing was amiss, but the wife looked at me with contempt. I followed her eyes as she appraised my body from top to bottom. She sneered at me.
When I finished my conversation and walked away, I heard her say, “Those people scare me.” Those people! Shame on her. A portion of me was sad for her; it made her small in my eyes. As a Puerto Rican woman, born here in the States, I can tell you that race does not define me—at least I was never raised that way.
My relationship with Christ is the core of who I am, not the culture God placed me in when I came to life. I had no choice in my heritage, but I did have an opportunity to accept Jesus as my Savior, and to me, that is what should draw either praise or criticism from fellow believers.
I hate racism—it has no place in society, but most importantly, it has no place in the church. Bigotry is the ugliest trait of someone who claims to be a Christian. What does one person gain from thinking they are better than another? Pride? Thoughts of Superiority? Those are empty accomplishments.
In an article entitled, “Did Darwin Promote Racism?” (accessed June 2020) the Answers in Genesis website states, “Darwin demonstrated how he believed evolution shaped man in his subsequent book The Descent of Man. In it, he theorized that man, having evolved from apes, had continued evolving as various races, with some races more developed than others. Darwin classified his own white race as more advanced than those “lower organisms” such as pygmies, and he called different people groups “savage,” “low,” and “degraded.”
I can tell you that racism is atheistic. It suppresses the fact that God created us. It says that God made a mistake and accidentally colored someone when he should have left them white. Yet, He chose our families, our appearance, and the region that our people would stem from; it’s not our choice. To think you are better than another because of your skin color is an insult to our Creator.
The Bible clearly states that God does not show favoritism to anyone; he treats us all the same. In Deuteronomy 10:17, it says, “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.” Job 34:19, says, “…who is not partial to princes and does not favor rich over poor? For they are all the work of His hands,” and Acts 10:34 states, “Then Peter began to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism.”
Dr. Al Mohler provides the counter punch to racism in his article, “Letter from Berlin: The Lessons of History and the Heresy of Racial Superiority” (Aug 13, 2017). He says, “We must see claims of racial superiority–and mainly that means claims of white superiority–as heresy. That is not a word we use casually. Heresy leads to a denial of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the eclipse of the living God as revealed in the Bible. A claim of white superiority is not merely wrong, and not merely deadly. It is a denial of the glory of God in creating humanity—every single human being–in his own image. It is a rejection of God’s glory in creating a humanity of different skin pigmentation. It is a misconstrual of God’s judgment and glory in creating different ethnicities.”
I’ve heard from several Christians that their parents or grandparents looked at different races with disdain or suspicion, and today they fight the example of their parentages when they meet people who do not look like them.
May I encourage you then to bow your knee before God and ask Him to root out all such thinking? Ask God to search your heart and show you if there is any spot on your spirit that considers yourself more important than others.
Remember that racism hinders love, it prevents us from serving, it ruins the church’s reputation, and ultimately, it destroys the gospel. How can we live with ourselves knowing that our prejudices, sheds a poor light on our great Lord and Savior who died on the cross for each of us as individuals?
Ephesians 2:1-3 says, “Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility, consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”