TEXT: TOPICAL/DOCTRINAL: The Racial Issue
INTRO: The state of our nation on this holiday weekend, is somewhat uncertain. I want to address a major topic that I think we as a church and as individual Christians must address.
I. THE RACIAL ISSUE.
A. The contention goes like this: the Europeans, due to the colonization that occurred through the Roman Empire and the Christian religion, developed a loose, but certain confederation that allowed an evolution in academic, political, socio-economic, and militaristic arenas. This, in turn caused the “white race” to be leaders in global exploration and colonization. Out of this, slave labor, which had been existent among all races as far back as written history, was used as a common form of both the agricultural and civic work force.
The second group became more and more disenchanted with their place in the culture, and many of those who have found success feel sympathetic toward those less fortunate. Often they base lack of concern and recognition of the problem on what they refer to as “white privilege.”
B. I readily admit that I don’t know what it is like to live life as a person of color, and, truth be known, I don’t know a lot about living life like anyone outside my own skin. That’s why, as the Lord said, I don’t have the right to judge others as though I was perfect. But I do know what it means to live as a human being in a fallen world
II. THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE
A. Where better to turn for guidance in such times than to the Bible, which I believe is the Word of God. First, let’s look to the Old Testament:
1.) Gen. 1:27, “So God created man in His own image: He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.”
2.) Gen. 7:21, 23, “[In the flood] every creature perished. . . .only Noah was left and those that were with him in the ark.”; 3.)9:1,5,19, “ [and God said to them] ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth’. . . . [God said], ‘I will require the life of each man’s brother for a man’s life (every person is accountable for the well-being of every other person). . . . [Shem, Ham, and Japheth] these three were Noah’s sons, and from them the whole earth was populated.” 4.) 11:1, 8, “At one time the whole earth had the same language and vocabulary. . . . so from [Shinar] the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”
According to Scripture, every person on earth is related in two ways: 1.)We all came from Adam through Noah. 2.) We are all created in the “image of God,” which means, at least in part, that we can reason and relate to God and one another.
B. The New Testament sets forth God’s view of the human relationship : 1.) Matt. 7:12, “therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them.” 2.) Matt. 22:36-39, “[A legal expert asked Jesus, ‘teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?’ [Jesus] said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. . . . the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 3.) Rom. 3:11, 23, “There is no one righteous, not even one. . . . For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
African-Americans that I respect have said that, indeed, what happened to George Floyd is something they have been raised to believe could happen to them at any point. They are warned by their family or friends that having an encounter with the police could turn very dangerous and unfair for them.
At the same time I must agree with the word of God. We have all sinned, regardless of skin color, cultural preferences, social and economic status, or any other differences. I can apologize and try to live better, but I cannot undo the past. The Bible says that is true of every person. It also says there is only one solution to stop the pain and rebuild a positive relationship and that is through forgiveness. If progress and healing is to occur, there must be repentance and forgiveness. Without these, there will be no justice or peace. Those attitudes and actions are incumbent on us all – but as Scripture teaches, we who know the Lord must be the initiators of reconciliation.