BY REV. JOSEPH MAY
LIGHT OF THE LAKES CHURCH, ARNOLDS PARK
Racism is probably one of the most ugly things that any of us can use to differentiate between one another. It separates us and discounts what we have to offer to one another. Essentially we are declaring openly that the pigmentation of our skin determines our destiny, intellect, and worth not only in the eyes of men, but also in the eyes of God. Friends, this is not so nor can it ever be a truth that any of us believe.
The Bible declares in Galatians 3:26-28 "for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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."
For those who accept Christ we find our value, worth, and destiny in Christ and Christ alone. And we take this Gospel to the streets and tell others that they can their value and worth in Christ. Because as Christians we do not look to or even listen to others who would try to determine who we are based off their own personal beliefs. This means that we can never claim Christ while we berate and belittle others who do not look like us or assimilate to our culture.
Because racism promotes hate and hate is not a character trait the Lord promotes (see 1 John 4:20-21). And our love for another is motivated by the love Christ has poured into us when we accepted Him (1 John 4:19). So no Christian can promote racism if the Love of Christ is inside of Him.
In saying that, I applaud the Miami Heat and the L.A. Clippers for their silent protest, but my heart aches because although we are all rallying around and proclaiming injustice, there is still much work to be done. There are professional sports teams like the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins that have images and names that are offensive and outright wrong, yet we tend to give them a pass on their logos and names.
We are so wrapped up in the history of the names and the legacy that would be altered if we changed the name. The problem I find we encounter is when we will only fight for those who look like us and talk like us. We will blog it, boycott it, and tweet all day long if the comments are directed to people who look like us or someone we love, but when they differ from us or we do not care for them, the human tendency is to remain quiet.
But dear Christian, please understand they do look like us. One, we were created in the image of God whether others believe it or not (Genesis 1:27). Two, if they are in Christ then they look like Christ (Colossians 3:11). Three, Colossians 3:8-10 says, "But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
So we do not slander one another anymore but we speak to each other in the purity of Christ. We build each other up as opposed to tearing each other down with words or images for that matter, that depict a poor representation of how God views His beautiful creation that is fearfully and wonderfully made (Ephesians 4:29).
The sum of all things -- they do look like us. We all may vary in shade but we should just be as unwilling to stand by and watch anyone be racially bias toward anyone. It is the voice of the Christian that needs to be heard in this matter because we speak for the Lord in the hope that all men will realize that there is more to them that others may see. It is us who need to let the world know that they have worth, value, and purpose. It is dependent upon us to let the world know that Christ makes us whole and new. It is in Christ the racist man or woman can experience the life altering love of Jesus and watch how He can transforms their views and beliefs. It is up to us to let the world know that if they have fallen victim to racism they are victorious in Christ. It is imperative that both parties come to know that race does not limit us and Christ propels us to do His will and good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
So are you willing, Christian, to speak up for the Lord and share His Truth? Or will you stand by and watch the situation worsen? Don't discount your voice, it's the smallest ripple that ends up having the biggest effect. Stay focused, you can do this!
"In His JOY!"
Read the Word, share the Gospel, be accountable