November 5, 2011

Racial Reconciliation

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 5, 2011

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”    Acts 22:21

Race divides. It inherently needs reconciliation. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are expected to be on the forefront of racial reconciliation. Christ is colorblind. There is no preference between Jew and Gentile, black or white, yellow or brown. They are all precious in his sight. Yet, every day, millions are disenfranchised or killed because of their cultural heritage or color of skin. Where pride and ego drive the human race into different geographical and racial directions, Christ reunites. He is the racial reconciler.

The feet of Jesus are level for all races. Sin is the only explanation for one race’s sense of superiority over another. It breaks the heart of God. Jesus went way out of his way to love a racial outcast in the Samaritan woman (John 4). He was compelled by the Holy Spirit to reach out across class, cultural, and racial barriers. In the same spirit, God is leading you to reach out to others different from yourself. He is calling on His disciples to be intentional in healing past hurts and serving current needs. Some will receive your sincere service, and others will question your motive. But when all is said and done, your part is to go and be a blessing, and God’s part is to facilitate trust and healing. You probably do not consider yourself a racist. That is, you do not feel or act better than another human being just because of your race.

However, to be silent or to not intentionally reach out to another culture is passive racism. It is subtle, but the same ill effects occur. The offended or disillusioned ones are still stuck in their inferior state of mind, economics, and education. It is not the role of government to figure this out. Rather, it is the mandate of the church because Christians know better. We can model the way of racial reconciliation as did Jesus and the early disciples.

Consider a weekly one-on-one study for a year with someone of a different race. Learn about their culture, history, and hurts. Indeed, racial reconciliation happens one person at a time and it happens relationally. Do not wait for someone else to come to you. You go to them. Yes, it is a little uncomfortable and yes, there will be misunderstanding. But Jesus is the standard bearer and the relational mediator. He represents all races, He created the different races.

Let the Bible be your foundational source of racial reconciliation. Start today on a cross-cultural mission. It may be someone at work or in your neighborhood. Invite their family into your home for a meal. Serve them every time you get a chance, and watch God work. Then the world will see—in technicolor—that you are truly disciples of Christ because you love one another, races will be reconciled, and God will be glorified. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Taken from the November 9th reading in the 365-day devotional book, Seeking Daily the Heart of God.

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Comments

  1. John says:

    Yes. Great article. There was a time when christians and secular people seemed to be getting better at racial reconciliation and working together as an American culture in the late 80’s-90’s, then all of a sudden…things became more divided and complicated about race in America. It is clear in God’s word that if you don’t have love for others, then your christianity and alleged spirit filling is questionable. The one problem, I still find even in large denominations is racial herding together of people. I can tell you that a new creature in christ is new creature in christ and the old has passed away…let focus on the new creation and we all don’t have a problem. God created one race..the human race. If the leaders of the church can get that right, then secular people would take us more seriously.

  2. Chris says:

    Good article, but it doesn’t go far enough. Christ is also age-blind, status-blind and gender-blind. Churches also herd people together by age, status and gender and create artificial, manmade hierarchies whereas Christ prayed “that they may all be one.” Let us remove *all* distinctions and *all* sit together at His feet, from where He turns no one away.

  3. John says:

    As a jew of european descent who has believed on/in Christ i believe that all believers r already reconciled to 1 another n Him who redeemed us. I dont call myself a “Jewish christian” because there is no such thing as a hyphenated chriatian. Nor does any other believer owe me an apology because they come from an ethnic group that persecuted me r others of my ethnic persuasion. Also i believe (based on the research i’ve done) that many churches r segregated not because of racism but because of their geographic location. Church’s by & large simply reflect the ethnic make up of the neighborhood in which they’re located. Another reason is perspective: while whites view their meeting place as a sanctuary to worship/fellowship, blacks view their church as a place of political action where anyone who tows the political line (both christian r nonchristian) is given full access to occupy the pulpit. Its a common fact that Nation of Islam members routinely speak (even on Sun mornings) at black churches all across this nation. But i believe that what really separates black and white churches is christian orthodoxy as exposed by the Obama/Rev Wright fiasco. Where as white churches predominately hold 2 an orthodox biblically centered theology, black churches r pretty much centered around an unorthodox, Christ dishonoring liberation theology which tries to cloak marxism n christian terminology. i.e. where race trumps grace & there’s no sin when clothed n black skin.

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