By Juan Valdes
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Racism has no place in this world! God is not a racist! Jesus was not a racist! Christianity is not racist! And yet, racism plagues us. There isn’t a single sector of our society that has not been affected by racism. Shamefully, even among Christians, racism is alive and well. Unfortunately, however, racism will continue to be a problem as long as we fail to acknowledge that there is ONLY ONE race—the human race.
The problem of racism begins with this world’s misunderstanding of what it means to be human. This becomes rather obvious when we read how the word “racism” is defined. According to the Random House dictionary, racism is defined as,
“a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others; hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.” (emphasis added)
Imbedded in the very definition is the erroneous view that there are various human races. That is not the way God created this world. There is only one race—the human race! We come in different sizes, shapes, colors, etc.… but we are essentially the same, human. Racism stems from the sinful notions that some colors are better than others, that some cultures are better than others, that some physical features are better than others, or that one gender is better than the other. The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that in Christ there is no room for any of these notions. The Apostle Paul expressed it to the Galatians in no uncertain terms,
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal.3:26-28). Emphasis added.
We are all descendants of Adam and Eve! We are all image-bearers of Almighty God! Therefore, any notion of superiority is ungodly.
What does the Bible teach about racism? One the most inspiring anti-racism word portraits ever painted is a picture of heaven that the Apostle John describes as God allowed him a glimpse,
“9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,” (Rev. 7:9)
This is God’s best for the human race! And while the Bible includes many examples of racism (and murder, stealing, lying, etc…) the biblical message is not one of approval, but rather a clear condemnation of it. Among the many passages, we find the admonition of 1 John 2:9, “9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” How about, James 2:9, “8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”
One way to stem the tide of racism is to educate people in God’s truth. God says we are all one race. Adults must know this and believe it. Then they can educate their children to be a generation in which racism is unacceptable. Children are not born racist, they are taught racism. Let’s teach our children to love one another, regardless of size, shape, gender, or color. The words of the old Sunday School song come to mind—“Red and Yellow, Black and White, we are precious in His sight.” I believe Clare Herbert Woolston (1856-1927), the Chicago preacher who wrote that song was on to something.
Every pulpit across this great nation should be preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and that includes love and impartiality. Our churches should be filled with people of all colors, sizes, and shapes, worshipping together as one. Let us proclaim loudly, “there is no place for racism in this world and there surely will be no racism in the world to come.”