Christianity and the Racial Divide

Posted on February 11, 2019

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By David Ettinger

The Growing Menace
The United States has been rocked during the past several years by escalating incidences of black men being killed by white police officers. The justification for these occurrences has been debated, but judgment has not; most people know where they stand on the issue, and they are immovable in their beliefs.

Accusation

The spate of such shootings has led to protests – both peaceful and heated – and retaliatory assaults upon law enforcers. The hostilities have clearly fallen along racial lines, our nation’s longstanding wounds of bigotry, discrimination, and segregation ripped open and bleeding profusely. Slavery and racial discrimination have stained America’s otherwise laudable history. Tragically, the stain has never been blotted out, and the wounds have never healed.

And now, the wound is festering and the stain is spreading. As a Bible-believing Christian, I am grieved by the widening racial chasm in our nation, and I am sure many of you are as well. I am sure that you, too, are wondering how Christians should respond to the racial divide in the U.S., and what kind of attitude we should develop toward this growing menace. Let’s take a look.

Racism Will Never End
This sub-head is a downer but let’s face it: In this world, where God has given Satan a substantial swathe of authority, racism will never disappear or be alleviated.

Though unbelievers in the West like to blame “religious fanatics,” i.e., Christians, for all such tensions, Christianity is not to blame for race divisions. Yes, in the mid-1800s, the Church in America was tragically complicit in maintaining the institution of slavery, but it did so against the mandates of the Bible, where race is of no account to God.

slavery

Also, despite the charges of those who refuse to study the issue, the Bible does not advocate or endorse slavery. The issue is far too big to go into here, but an absolute abolition of slavery in both Old Testament and New Testament days would have resulted in social havoc, particularly in the Roman Empire where slaves outnumbered free citizens 10 to 1. For now, permit the apostle Paul’s assessment of slave traders to be the Lord’s official position on slavery:

We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me (1 Timothy 1:9-11).

Notice how “slave traders” – and this includes all things slavery – is included in a list of what God considers society’s most flagrant sins.

In essence, slavery, bigotry, and racial divide are foreign to the heart of God, can find no substantiation in the Bible, and are clearly tools of Satan – the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31) and the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).

The Bible’s Dividing Line
There is, however, most definitely a dividing line in God’s sight. There is, as the expression goes, “just two kinds of people in the world.” We turn again to Paul for clarity:

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28).

Based on this passage, the “two types of people in the world” are the saved and unsaved; those redeemed by the blood of Christ and those not redeemed by the blood of Christ. The two types are those who will spend eternity with Christ in the New Heaven and New Earth, and those who have rejected Christ and will spend eternity in tortuous separation from God.

the cross

These two categories encompass the gamut of society: Jew and Gentile; men and women; the wealthy and impoverished. This list of the redeemed and unredeemed can easily be expanded to say: “Neither white nor black; neither European, Asian, nor African; neither Muslim, Hindu, nor Buddhist; neither rich nor poor. Regardless of the color of your skin, the religion you once followed, or your financial situation, if you are now Christ’s, you are all one in Him. There are no divisions in the body of Christ.”

What to Make of It All
The bottom line is this: the racial divide is the work of Satan and of humanity’s natural wickedness, and will continue to fester until Christ returns. Satan will nurture this pet scourge of his along until it becomes the cause of pandemic chaos and bloodshed.

But there is an antidote to this racial epidemic, and it is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Secular racial harmony is no solution. Even if racism can be purged worldwide, what good would it do if soul-salvation is not included? Only Christ can blot out the dividing line of racism and hatred, and this is the message we must bring to our segregated world which is being roasted alive in Satan’s cauldron of hatred and destruction.

Soon, Christ will return and make all things right. May we – those who have been redeemed by His blood – do our parts as His envoys, heralding the message of His coming Kingdom, a Kingdom that will know nothing of murder, hatred, bloodshed, and racial division.