What You And Your Church Can Do To Stop Racism

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Even though there may be no racists in your church, there are ways you and your church can reduce racism around you, and in your communities.

Prejudice

There are all sorts of ways we can show prejudice toward people. We seem to naturally judge people on sight. For one thing, it is our human nature that is at work because, first off, we seem to notice the weaknesses in people first before seeing any of their strengths. We might catch ourselves thinking, “This person is overweight, this person has scars, this person seems poor, this person looks sick, this person looks old”…and so on. We are just too quick to judge a book by its cover. And I raise my own hand in guilt over that, but I am striving to do better. I am trying to look at the person through the lens of God’s Word. God judges their character from within…looking and seeing the heart. That’s something that we can’t do, but somehow, we try, and we’re usually wrong about it.

Personal Preferences

We are command, “do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2: 1). I have seen with my own eyes where two different men come into church and they “pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool” (James 2:3). I must first look into the mirror and remember that God choose me, for some reason, and that “God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him” (James 2:5). Prejudice comes in all packages…not just in skin color, but what about racism? What does Scripture say about that?

Discrimination or Racism

Maybe we forget (or I do), but Jesus Christ commanded us, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28), so how could we ever regard a person by their skin color alone?! It should not be so. The Word of God says “that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:35). That clearly means we are not to “show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” (James 2:1). When I see people now, I do not see the color of their skin. I am looking right into their eyes, listening to what they say. That’s the only way I can get to know them…by listening. My preconceived notions won’t help me here. In fact, they can mislead me.

One Race

The point of this article is the Bible tells us that there really aren’t lots of different races of people around the world. The truth is, there is only one race; the human race. Every human being ever born of a man and woman were descended from only one man, and that was Adam (Acts 17:24-26). Lest we think the Old Testament taught differently, the nation of Israel was told to “not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Ex 23:9). That helps me…I must remember I too was separated from God…a sojourner, but He saved me out of the world, just like He did for Israel when He brought them out of Egypt with a strong hand. That was great news for Israel because they could never have freed themselves from their bondage. Neither could we, but by the grace of God.

What You Can Do

So what can you or your church do to reduce or show no favoritism and especially display no racism among people? First of all, there is no excuse for anyone being racists. That is huge sin, and no believer in Christ lives this way (1 John 3). This type of behavior was even forbidden in the Old Testament. One such law was recorded in Leviticus 29:33-34 where it said, “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God .” Again, a good way to not be prejudice is to look at ourselves. We must remember our own salvation. Most of us where headed to hell on the expressway, but Jesus stepped in and stepped up for us, redeeming us by His precious sinless life’s blood, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. There was no good reason He saved us…it was only out of love (Rom 5:6-10), so we must treat all people without regard, discrimination, and prejudice.

Bible study About Joy

Conclusion

You and your church can do a lot to reduce racism. First of all, we can draw a circle around us…and start with the person in the circle. That would be us. We must examine our own hearts to see if we’re carrying prejudice in our hearts or have any preconceived notions about people of differing incomes or skin colors or… We should never treat people differently just because of how they look or their social standing or avoid some people and try to seek out others above others. Rather, we should “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil 2:3), and “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom 12:10). That’s the double-quick cure to racism if ever I heard one.

Here is some related reading for you: What Does the Bible Say About Racism, Prejudice, and Violence?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lamide Osinkolu June 19, 2020 at 11:39 pm

Thanks Jack for encouraging the church to take a stand against racism. May God give us the grace to look inwards and examine our hearts and may he fill us with love overflowing! Amen!

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Stephen Aki Braimah June 25, 2020 at 8:26 pm

Thanks, Pastor Wellman, for the admonition to Churches. Racism The silent subtle whispers of is among the tools that the enemy can employ to fracture the Church. We have to pray for the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to help tune-out that whisper. The Church cannot let the destructive cancer of racism prevent it from being the voice of love, the voice that can DEMONSTRATE GOD’S INTENTION FOR RACIAL HARMONY IN CREATING DIFFERENT COLOURS, SHAPES, HEIGHTS, FEMALE, MALE, AND FEATURES OF THE HUMAN RACE.

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