“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6 (KJV)
The images of violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA are indelibly imprinted upon our conscience. They were a horrible example of what sin has done to our culture and represent the worst demons in all of us. There is no room in the Body of Christ for Ku Klux Klan hoods or Nazi Swastikas. It is incompatible with Biblical Christianity for any believer to harbor feelings of hatred or bigotry toward another because of the color of their skin or their ethnic origin. Racism is a sin. It is a sin like murder is a sin, like adultery is a sin, like stealing is a sin. Sin separates us from God.
I am on record, in May 2015, I preached a message entitled, “What’s Wrong with Racism” and I said, “As followers of Christ, we must take the challenge of Dr. Martin Luther King one step further. While he dreamed of a society where “children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Christians have a higher calling that directs our relationships with others. We are called to go beyond the content of character and to relate to individuals based on God’s grace.
In the United States, we live in a land that has afforded us great freedoms. The freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. The rule of law clearly indicates that our freedom ends at the beginning of someone else’s nose. To use violence in the exercise of our freedom is wrong. In our current culture those on the right and left have begun to believe that it is acceptable to browbeat others into accepting their worldview. It is not. Our convictions should be shared passionately, but peaceably, and the soundness and logic of our arguments should be the basis for change. Not the fear of violence and brutality.
As Americans, we must stand against a culture that is filled with hate: Liberal or Conservative. We must renounce any group that stands opposed to the dignity inherent in all individuals and we must stand for the rights of all individuals to express their ideas and beliefs without fear or recrimination. Someone once said, “I do not agree with what you said, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
In Romans 10:11-13 we read, For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
As Christians, we must lift the cause of Christ. In all that we say and do we must work together with other likeminded believers, of all nationalities, ethnicities, or skin colors to glorify God. Racism invites shame, ignores sameness, and interrupts salvation’s message. Former Democratic Senator, Sargent Shriver once said, “The roots of racism lie deep in man’s nature, wounded and bruised by original sin.” The answer for racism is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is only a personal relationship with Christ that can, instill the love of God in our hearts and set us free from the bondage of racism.
Do you know Jesus as your personal savior? Trust in Christ today.
Rev. Robert J. Smith,
Colonial Hills Baptist Church