Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
Right off the bat let me once again state my opinion that there are far fewer actual racists anymore than one might imagine, especially given the prevalence of politicians and pop stars and thespians pinning the label on absolutely everyone with whom they disagree, even when said disagreement has literally nothing to do with race.
That said, racism, where it does exist, is utterly evil and vile.
There is also a solution for it. Real, genuine Christianity solves racism.
The Bible, properly studied and applied, makes racism the most absurd thing in existence.
Harkening back to the creation of man in the Garden of Eden, Acts 17:26 says God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” Every one of us from the whitest to the blackest to every shade in between is, quite literally, related. Every single day when I get up and go out into the world I am going to “the family reunion” with seven billion or so of my family members. So how exactly could one shade of the family be any better than any other shade of the family when every one of us could have a picture of great great great (and a whole bunch more greats) grandpa Adam and grandma Eve hanging over our mantle under our deer heads or tiny indoor basketball goals or crossed Samurai swords or the picture of junior bashing the pinata at his birthday party last year?
And then there is that little “for God so loved the world (all of it) that he gave His only begotten son” bit. Trying to fit racism into the thought process demanded by John 3:16 is like trying to fit fiscal sanity into Washington D.C.
Further, the Bible makes it clear that when Jesus died, he died for the sins of all, no matter the shade of skin they live in. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
He died for all. He shed his red blood for white sinners and brown sinners and black sinners and if there is such a thing as purple sinners, for them too.
In the early days of the church God made this abundantly clear. Desiring for the gospel to go into all the world, he sent Peter a vision in Acts chapter ten of animals that were unclean for the Jews to eat and told him to eat them. Naturally, Peter protested, to which the Lord responded three times, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” Peter was soon to find out that this had nothing to do with animals or lunch and everything to do with the fact that Christ was going to bring members of every race to a saving knowledge of God. Once he grasped this, Peter in Acts 10:34-35 uttered some of the most important words ever to cross human lips, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
The early church got the message and took the gospel across the known world, breaking every color barrier along the way. Paul himself wrote of the former barriers between the Jew and Gentile that Christ has “broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” There is no more level ground on earth than that found at the foot of the cross. We were all born sinners, we have all chosen to act on that sin nature, we were all under condemnation, Jesus died to pay for the sins of all of us, and any of us who bow the knee to Christ are redeemed regardless of the color of that knee.
The most beautiful result of all of this is found in Revelation 7:9-10, where a great multitude of every kindred, nation, people, and tongue are found worshiping the Lord together before his throne in glory. John saw this; he recognized, in eternity, all of the same skin colors this world has today, minus any of the animosity that those skin colors currently engender in some.
In other words, if you think your skin makes you better than someone else, you would not like heaven even a little bit. Christianity has no place for that type of thinking, nor does heaven. Real Christianity does not produce pride over skin; it produces brokenness over sin, and gratefulness over the salvation that none of us deserve.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are, utterly equally, precious in his sight.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Feature photo by Bo Wagner)