SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
REALITY OF RACISM
(Acts 17:26) And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth...
When you look at the strife and wars that nations and societies face, so much of it is caused by the reality of racial discrimination. Just because the color of the skin is different there is a fear and suspicion developed that leads back to a person's or a group's pride and insecurity. To feel better about themselves they have to put down another group. It's as old as the bully in grade school. But racism has a greater consequence than being bullied by Big Bubba in the school hallway.
The Bible says we are all from one blood. That means that we all are related back to Adam and Eve. In the book of Genesis we see that there was the eventual migration of peoples. Perhaps over time physical adaptation and genetic mutation took place in people groups and thus accounts for skin color and distinctive physical features. These people groups formed communities, languages, and lifestyles that were unique to themselves. But the same blood that flowed through our parents in the garden still flows through us all as a world community.
It's the pride of man that says he is better than someone else. And racism is just one way man manifests his conceit. Racism stems from an unchecked sinful heart (Jer 17:9) and is also learned from others (1 Pet 1:18). Racism can be personal or corporate. It can lie hidden under the surface or it can manifest itself into all out genocide. It flies in the face of scripture that actually teaches us to esteem others better than ourselves (Phil 2:3). (That almost sounds like reverse racism on oneself!)
God had a dream for us to all be one. (Gal 3:28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. What would be the glue that would hold us all together in a common bond? (Col 3:14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. God's agape love in a person's heart sees no racial, social, or gender distinctions. The only disgrace is the fallen race...not any particular race. When a person is born again they get a new heart (Eze 36:26) and become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). They can now love as Christ taught us to love and demonstrated from the cross.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. He spoke it out on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. His "I Have a Dream" speech is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. We've come a long way since then. And to see the day we would have our first president of African-American descent! But the reality of racism is still in the world today and the fight against prejudice and bigotry will continue.
But may we console ourselves that racism will one day be eliminated from our existence? (Rev 5:9-10) And they sang a new song, saying: “ You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” Just think of it. One day we will all be around the throne of God from all backgrounds in perfect unity. But notice, the aspect of diversity will still be a distinctive even in the heavenly scene. But it all ties back to redemption. Through the blood of Christ we can all be redeemed and return to the universal reality of being one blood! Let's be different without causing a difference because Jesus makes a difference!