Is Racism A Sin?
Is Racism a Sin?
Whether we like it or not racism is a part of every society and has been for thousands of years. The Egyptians held sheepherders in low regard, the Jews viewed the Gentiles on the level of dogs and the Samaritans were viewed even lower and the Europeans viewed the native Indians as savages or less than human. The list could go on and on as each race and nationality has found reason why they are superior to other races or people of other origins.
Though racism was not new when this country was founded, it grew worse with the start up of the slave trade. People were treated not as human beings but rather as someone’s personal property. In spite of the picture often painted, North America was not the leading importer of black slaves. That “honor” falls to Central and South America. In any case, even after slavery was abolished in this country, the racial prejudices of white people have continued on even to this present day. We have white supremacists, skinheads, and neo-nazis who preach hatred not only toward the blacks but the Jews and Hispanics as well. Strangely enough, even though the view and treatment of Blacks has improved much since the 1960s, yet even the blacks have been guilty of prejudicial feelings toward the whites and the Hispanics. No one is immune to this cancer.
Why is racism such a common problem among humanity? Several reasons are commonly given.
1) People struggle with differences: when we encounter someone who is different in color, language, origins or custom it makes us feel uncomfortable and there is a tendency to react in a judgmental way. Thus we get statements like “he dresses funny” or “he talks funny”
2) It is the way we are raised. We have been raised in a culture where certain races are viewed as inferior and so this becomes our outlook in life. Thus our racial treatment of others is based not on facts but on beliefs. I am realistic to know that though I was not raised to be racial yet racial feels from this society have impacted me in various ways.
3) Religion teaches us to be racial or prejudicial. I wish it were not true but often religion has build into its teaching racial prejudices. In the Hindu religion there are different classes of people and the lowest class can not hope to rise out of his condition. The Islamic religion is very biased against the Jewish race even though they both trace their roots back to the same father, Abraham. Even many Christian groups have preached racism toward the Jews and the Blacks. It was taught by many that the sin committed against Noah in Genesis resulted in the curse of Noah’s son Ham from who the black race arose. Therefore it was taught that they were cursed and thus were inferior and deserved to be treated as slaves. This was used by many in the South for centuries to justify slavery.
The Bible, however, gives us the true source of racism and the reason it has been so prevalent among all people. The true source of racism is the fall of man. Man’s nature was instantly distorted at the fall and with it his view of his fellow man. Take a look at the Scriptures and you see the evidence of it from the Garden on. In Gen. 3:11-13, notice that when God confronts Adam and Eve with their sin how Adam and Eve show the beginnings of prejudicial feelings.
Gen 3:11-13, “And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Adam charges God with giving him an inferior mate. Go to chapter four and the evil heart of Cain drives him to kill his own brother. A few verses more and Lamech kills a young man because the young man had inflicted a injury upon him. It was probably an accidental injury but the black heart of Lamech drove him to so hate that young man, he murdered him.
You say that wasn’t racial, Cain and Lamech killed people of the same race. But it was racial, because from a biblical point of view we are all brothers and sisters physically. There is no race in God’s eyes because all men have the same original parents and all present races trace themselves back to Noah and his 3 sons. There is only one race in God’s eye, that is the human race. You want proof of this? Take a look at the following Scripture passages where it is clear that God show no man partiality. If partiality is not found in God it must then be the product of the fallen heart of man.
Deut 10:17, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.”
2 Chron 19:7, “Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes."
Gal 3:27-29. “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 neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Rom 2:11, “For there is no partiality with God.”
Gal 2:6-7, “But from those who seemed to be something — whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man — for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.”
Eph 6:9, “And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.”
Col 3:25, “But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality".
Some might say that there is partiality with God, because He has chosen a people to represent Him, the Jewish race. But that partiality has only to do with physical earthly blessings and has nothing to do with what really matters, that is eternal life. The Scriptures are clear that God makes no distinction between the Jews or the Gentiles when it comes to the matter of salvation!
Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Rom 3:29-30, “Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also”
Rom 10:12-13, “ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
1 Cor 12:13-14, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into* one Spirit.”
Eph 3:5-7, “which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel”
Col 3:11. “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”
With this said, the only races God ever speaks of are the Jews and Gentiles (Greek). The reason He gave special privileges to the Jewish race is so that they might be the instrument of His salvation to the whole world. But consider this idea from another angle. God only recognizes Jews and Gentiles and nothing else. That means that all the races of the world, with the exception of the Jews, are all considered the same race, the Gentiles. In other words God sees the oriental, the black, the white, the Indian, etc as all being the same race, the Gentile race. That means the races of the world are all equal in God’s eyes and if they are all equal in God’s eyes, they ought to be considered all equal in the eyes of the believer as well! The white are not better than the black and the black no better than the white. All are equal in God’s sight.
So racism is due to man looking at others as his darkened heart sees them, rather than as God sees them. Now keep this in mind as we take it one step further. There is a scientific theory that was begun some 200 years ago and is commonly accepted as fact that is feeding the idea of racism. That theory is evolutionism. One can not be an evolutionist without being a racist. The premise of evolution is the “survival of the fittest” and since chance is in charge, it only makes sense that some races will die out while others will flourish because of the survival of the fittest. This being the case it would be reasonable to assume, based on evolutionary doctrine, that one race is genetically superior to other races and has the greatest potential to survive and flourish. You do not hear that taught in the public school systems and yet that is the conclusion of evolutionary thought. This shows that evolutionary thought does not come from God, for He shows no partiality between races therefore it must be the product of the blackened heart of man.
To summarize, racism comes from the fallen heart of man and is the manifestation of hatred toward others. It does not align with God nor His Word and as believers we should therefore abandon our racial and prejudicial feeling and actions and embrace all men as equal.