And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them into a kingdom, priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Have you ever considered the beauty of racial unity in the Kingdom of God? Those people groups who once fought and killed each other will worship together in perfect harmony beneath the throne of God for ever and ever! Think of it! The Chinese will sing with the Japanese. The Englishman will sing with the Native American. The Russian will sing with the German. They fought, warred, and killed, yet the blood of Christ brings all-encompassing unity. You cannot have true unity without it!
Or have you considered the beauty of racial diversity in the Kingdom of God? Right now, as you read this, Africans are worshipping God with their native tongue and cultural music. As you sit here breathing, voices are being raised in Asia and Europe, each distinct in tongue and music yet unified in message. There are believers worshipping in secret in China, and there are believers worshipping in public in America. All these people groups have so many different cultures and subcultures, yet we are unified in message. That is powerful. That is beauty. That is God’s work.
So I appreciate racial unity, and I appreciate racial diversity. They may seem paradoxical, but it is possible to combine the two through the blood of Christ. He formed us with different tastes and skin tones and tendencies, yet He allows us to use those in a unified message of truth, hope, and life. That is simply amazing.
On the other hand, I detest racial conflict and racial conformity. Racial lines should absolutely never breed conflict in the Church of Jesus Christ. We are one, so we should behave as one. Galatians 5:15 says, “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” That verse does not make an exception for race. It is crucial for the success of the Gospel in this generation that we avoid racial conflict in the Church. It seems to be breeding everywhere else, which gives the Church a unique chance to shine as the City on a Hill.
Culrural/Racial conformity also disgusts me. Who are we, as cultured Americans, to judge the culture of Africans? Or who are we, as complex and fine cultured people, to judge the culture of simpler folk? A parasitical plague devastating several Evangelical churches is the lie that God can only be worshipped by lofty and complex European music. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If anything is apparent from the Created Universe, it is the fact that our God loves a diversity of methods and objects that point to the same Thing, Himself. He uses all things to bring eternal glory to Himself and ultimate joy to His own. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
Sadly, racial unity and diversity are rarely emphasized in Conservative circles. Rather, racial conflict and conformity are often bred. I want to be 100% clear that I am a servant of Christ before I am a Conservative, Republican, or even American. No matter what certain individuals who align with me politically say, I stand 100% behind the Church of Jesus Christ. They are my brothers and my sisters. They are the ones for whom my Lord died. How could I not stand with them? I don’t care whether they’re black, white, Asian, or European, they are my family.
May we fight with all our strength for the glory of God in all ethnic groups. May we strive for racial unity and find beauty in our diversity. May we utterly detest anything that brings cultural conflict and demands cultural conformity. And may we be filled with a passion for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of race.