What is Racism?
Racism is the belief that all members of a specific race possess qualities or characteristics that cause them to be inferior or superior to other races of people.
What does the Bible say about Racism?
Genesis 1:26-28: 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
In the very first book of the
Bible we see that God created all humanity to bear his image. This means that
all people regardless or race or gender are equally created in the image of
Galatians 3:28: “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” (ESV)
In Galatians, Paul is writing about the way that Christ died equally for all people. Salvation is not for a specific race, gender, or social status.
John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (ESV).
In John we are reminded not to base our judgments on appearance.
In all these passages we see that people are to be valued because they bear God’s image, that we are to treat all people as our equals, and that the human heart is more important than the way one looks.
In Scripture there is no basis for racism.
When Jesus tells his listeners to love their neighbors and they ask “who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds with a story where the good neighbor is a person from a race that the Jews despise. Jesus is letting his followers know that they are to treat all humans with dignity and respect regardless of their ethnicity.
How should Christians act towards Racism?
Christians should not be racist towards others. They should not support racist agendas, and they should argue for the intrinsic value of all human life.
The Bible clearly teaches that God made humans in his image and that both men and women equally represent God. It also teaches that Eve was the mother of all living. This means that if someone is a human, then ultimately, they descended from her. If all races have the same origin, that should settle the question for good. People are not to be racists. They are not to discriminate in business, education, marital relationships, churches, or any other number of things.
We should love and cherish the cultures and backgrounds of others. We should learn from them and from their art and experiences.
The Southern Baptist started out as a denomination that wanted to send out missionaries who were slave owners. We have since repented of this sinful belief and practice, but we still see effects of it today. There are very few African Americans in the Southern Baptist convention.
In the Old Testament people were condemned for marrying outside of their ethnicity, but this was a religious practice not a racial practice. The Bible only condemned people who served Yahweh for marrying people who served other gods. This is no different than the New Testament idea that believers are not to marry unbelievers.
Let us continue to work together through our art and culture, and in our faith to break down racial barriers. Let us love one another as bearers of God’s image regardless of our color or status.
Let us the beauty in how God designed each of us differently. Let us work to build bridges across our racial divides. Let us all show the care and concern for one another that can only come as a result of being a new creation in Christ.
What if I am being discriminated Against?
If you are being discriminated against, tell someone. No one deserves to be treated as less than human. If it is at school, inform a teacher. If it is at work, inform a manager.
What if I someone I know is being discriminated against?
Help the person to see what is happening (if they do not recognize it) and then stand with them against it. If they refuse or are scared to make a stand, consider helping them find more representation.
If you are dealing with racism and need help, contact a local minister for prayer and guidance. Remember that you are not the one with a problem and that you have rights. Stay safe, keep evidence, and get others involved. Find a counselor who can help you work through the struggle, process the information, and move forward in life. Do not hold it in, and do not keep it to yourself.