Yesterday was the Birthday of Martin Luther King Junior. Today we celebrate it. He accomplished much, but racism is still prevalent in the hearts of many people, even Christians. As John Piper says, “New laws do not create new hearts”. The laws are becoming more fair for minorities, but there are still laws in place that keep them in economic servitude. There is a spirit for diversity of race, but there is still a remnant of singularity and dominance. Progress does not equal perfection. What truths can we lean on to keep the spirit of Martin Luther King Junior alive?
A Handful of Truths
- There is no major biological or mental difference between a white man and a black man. We are all human. We may live separate lives and pass down different cultures, but as has been commonly said, “We all bleed red.”
- We must fight for each other. I have seen an excess of racial tensions and biases lately. Have we forgotten that we count on each other for success and prosperity? The suffering of a few too often translates into the suffering of many. Let’s recognize that black lives matter. Police lives matter. All lives matter.
- Racism has no place in America. This is the country where we believe that “All men are created equal”. Let us live that truth through our thoughts, words, and actions everyday. Regardless of skin tone, every human has been created Imago Dei, in the image of God.
- Ultimately, there is no room for racism in the Body of Christ, the Church. Jesus died to make us one. He died to create one bloodline, His. We may have different skin tones, but the blood of Christ has made us one. Jesus acted upon this concept when he spoke with the Samaritan women in John 4. We too should imitate this idea of oneness. Several verses allude to the topic of racism:
- “Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)
- “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
- “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,” (Acts 17:26)
- “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
- “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 3:11)
- “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:9)
- “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” (Revelation 5:9)
The Body of Christ is diverse in several ways, including race. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5) May we strive to keep racism out of every crack and corner of our lives, and let us live in the unity Christ has called us to as Believers.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.