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If you haven’t seen racism firsthand, haven’t studied its origins or don’t see its effects in your everyday life, it could be easy to dismiss its existence. It could also be easy to disengage when the sin of racism feels bigger than you and outside of your influence.
It is important for those who follow Jesus to understand that racism is a deeply rooted sin issue that has long affected the church’s witness. Racism is sin, which means it is a problem that the body of Christ must confront by going to God’s Word to understand what He says about it. God’s Word says this:
“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb, I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” — Psalm 139:13-14 (New International Version)
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, ... all things have been created through Him and for Him. — Colossians 1:15-16 (NIV)
God created ALL things, including our inward parts. God intentionally created each person with individual characteristics, visible and invisible (eyes, nose, skin color, culture, etc.), and He calls them wonderful. All these things He gave us, not to ignore them, but to use them to bring Him praise.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13:34-35 (English Standard Version)
Jesus re-emphasizes the significance and importance of the Great Commandment. If we want the world to know that we belong to God, then we must consider the way we treat one another. Our love for each other shows His authority over our lives.
We, as followers of Christ, have been called to love. We know that in other Scriptures, Jesus reminds us to also love our enemies. Essentially, being a Christian means loving ALL people because they were created in the image of God. In this conversation on race, it’s important that we love by listening when people say that something is wrong. Here is a list of resources to help you listen and grow in your understanding of and compassion for the experiences of others.
HISTORY OF RACE IN THE UNITED STATES
THEOLOGY AND RACE IN THE CHURCH
LEARNING CULTURAL SELF
UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF RACISM IN MY LIFE AND SOCIETY
RESPOND: PRAYER AND LAMENT (Personal and Corporate)
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