Racism Breaks God’s Heart

4 Sep

Acts 17:26, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”

It is a principle, throughout all of Scripture that God has made all human beings of one flesh, as the family of man, in a manner of speaking.  Not all of us are in the family of God—that takes being born again through Jesus’ sacrifice—but all of us are created the same way and have the same inherent value to God.  He loved us enough to send Jesus to redeem us, so He esteems us all very highly.

One way we are all the same is our tendency to move within a comfort zone of people who are like us.  Sometimes that is people of a similar income level, sometimes it is people of a similar educational level, sometimes it is people with a similar national or ethnic background.

Problem is, that can become idolatry in about twenty seconds flat!!!  There is no scriptural principle that would indicate people are to remain segregated by any of these factors.  If we focus on ethnic/racial divides in the U.S. today, we soon see that in some places, these divisions are turning into chasms.

Oddly, our Generation Y adults spend more time with people of other races than any other generation in the history of our country but they still often reveal as little understanding of each other ethnically as their parents and grandparents.

I can’t count the number of times that I have seen, in my experience with the Navy, people come together for work, then bad mouth each other after hours.  I have heard white liberals making hateful, racist statements against blacks; I have heard white conservatives do the same.

I understand from black friends that there is the same tendency among black adults when whites aren’t present.

Meanwhile, what are we conveying to our children, who must grow up and move about in a multiethnic society?  It is like a national schizophrenia.  We treat each other nicely by day, then go our separate ways for evening activities.  Many, many churches are still segregated, even to the point that a historically white church might be in the midst of what has become a black neighborhood and still not have black members.

Just for one example, the verse at the beginning of this post is interesting because it supports the concept of the family of man.  It has been twisted in the past to say that people shouldn’t marry members of other races.

But look at the verse.  If it were truly forbidding marriages between people outside the bounds of their own habitation, it would be condemning me, for marrying someone from Britain, not American blacks and whites who marry each other as fellow countrymen!

This election year has made me heartsick.  Both parties have made statements that have divided us racially.  Whether those statements were intentional, they have done their damage.

As a conservative woman, I am very used to being treated as though I vote for my own enslavement, so I can relate to the feelings of black conservatives, who tend to be treated as though they are insane.  This election year has probably been particularly hard on them.

But the fact is that God cares less about our politics than we could ever imagine.  He cares about individual hearts, and whether they are right with Him.  And hearts filled with hatred for people who are different from us, whether racially or otherwise, grieve Him.

I John makes it plain that we cannot say we love God and at the same time hate our Christian brother or sister.  Many of our Christian brothers and sisters have different skin colors than us.  It has been that way since the early church (research the different nationalities mentioned in the list of names in Romans 16).

John 17 shows us, in Jesus’ High Priestly prayer right before He went to the cross, His heart’s cry that we all might be one, as one body of believers in Him throughout all the world.

One family of Christ, made up of all believers.  One family of man made up of all human beings.

We practice idolatry when we refuse to see people as God sees them; to love people as God loves them.


4 Responses to “Racism Breaks God’s Heart”

  1. Donald September 4, 2012 at 9:39 AM #

    You make some interesting points to consider but I fear you have swerved from those that separate themselves solely on the basis of a person’s skin color and those that would differ on political ideology. To often we have a tendency to do this but I do not believe the 2 are mutually linked

    • singingsoprano September 4, 2012 at 10:26 AM #

      Actually, I was more concentrating on hateful racist remarks I have heard from members of both parties. Political differences are just that. Attacking a person’s race and trying to justify hating that person is something else altogether. It is possible you have never heard people talk like this because you are a pastor. They may be afraid to say such things around you.

      • Donald September 4, 2012 at 12:56 PM #

        You’d be surprised the things I’ve heard, and once I moved from just volunteer chaplain work and included a deeper level of volunteerism within LE things really changed. I know exactly what you meant in your post and it was good, But with the political squable we seem to always be in in our country, the definition of the term racism has gone completely askew many times. Such was a commentator last week that accused another of racism when he stated, “The President is from Chicago”. What my point was that we correctly identify the term, and do our part to combat that definition.

  2. singingsoprano September 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM #

    Good point, Don, and one pertinent to the fact that this will not be the final post on this topic. Next time, I may include the definition, just to make sure we are all on the same sheet of music (at least for a little while, LOL!).

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