Too many shrink away when topics such as privilege, racial inequality and diversity are brought up. However, this is a not a subject to be avoided but to be instead faced with grace, compassion and understanding, especially by Christians. Christians ought to take the issues of racial inequality seriously for the following four reasons.

We are all made in the image of God

The Bible doesn't say only some of us are made in the image of God. It clearly states all. This means each and every man, woman and child, of any racial group, regardless of age, era or geographic location has dignity (Genesis 1:27). The U.S. constitution terms describes this dignity as "inalienable rights" because we are made in the image of our Creator.

So, if you are prejudice against a person because of their race, you are sinning against God. You are spitting at His image. And you do harm to yourself because by lowering the value of another human, you essentially lower the value of yourself.

Christ died so all humanity may be redeemed

Christ did not die so only some may be redeemed. Christ died so all who repent from their sins and ask for forgiveness may receive grace of God from the cross of Christ (I Peter 3:18, Romans 6:10, Hebrews 9:28). This offer is extended to anyone regardless of race, background, era, geographic location or sex.

By denying the value of a person of another race you mock the sacrifice of Christ given on the cross. Just think, for the person you are devaluing because of their race Christ died for. For him or her Christ became a man, bore this person's sins and died on the cross. Christ values them. Why don't you?

Divisions are broken down in the gospel

Divisions are not strengthened in light of the gospel. The Apostle Paul said to the Church in Galatia, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). The gospel shows us our common problem: we are all sinners before God. And gives us all the same solution: salvation through faith in Christ. From then on, as Paul said, "You are all one in Christ Jesus."

What reason, then, do you have for replacing the barriers Christ tore down? And if you do place barriers between yourself and others based on race, upon whose authority do you do so? Surely not Christ's. Then on your own? So you would place yourself above God?

Heaven is of a diverse, redeemed humanity

The Bible does not say Heaven is of a white humanity or black or Asian or Russian. It states people of "every tribe, tongue and nation" are before the throne and Lamb of God (Revelation 5:9, 7:9).

That is a diversepicture of who the Lamb called His kingdom and the priests of God, who would reign upon the new earth (5:10). To deny equality between a person of another race and yourself is to deny the redemption of all humanity in Heaven. What is true of our future ought to be true of our present.

That last point ought to cause you some discomfort. As Christians, our future should inform and affect our present. So, I pose some questions:

  • If our future is one of equality between every tongue, tribe and nation, why aren't we living that way now? Or working towards it?

  • We know all people will be worshiping God. So why are not worshiping like this now? Why do we have mono-racial churches?

  • Why would we put up barriers and divisions between people when Christ died to tear them down?

  • Why would we deny the image of God in another person by ignoring his or her divine claims to racial equality?

Let us rid the world of racisim in obedience to Jesus-in our personal lives and in various institutions. Let our actions and relationships reflect the view that God has of humanity: All are equal in value (created in the image of God), opportunity (receiving God's grace from the cross of Christ), guilt and the need for a Savior (the gospel) and responsibility to make the kingdom of God on Earth now (living in light of our future).

Do this regardless of how uncomfortable it is. Air out hidden thoughts, which may be wrong. Each race ought to take responsibility for their own contribution to the problem because racism is a human problem. We are all guilty, and we all need to change. The Apostle Paul said in a letter to the Church in Rome, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

This is not just a "white problem" or a "black problem." The only way we can come to the table and seek equality-genuine equality-is through the humility of the gospel, the grace of God and obedience to the Biblical mandate for social justice.

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