Racism, in all its evil forms, militates against our Christ and his call to be his Church. Perhaps in part, it is our failure to understand the value our Creator-God embedded in those he made in his image (cf. Genesis 1:27-28).
In the beginning, all was good and fruitful, but following the break caused by that original sin, humans became immediately separated from their Maker and increasingly distanced from each other. As the population expanded, people suppressed the knowledge of God, sinned exponentially, and were scattered to the ends of the earth.
At Babel, the diversity of races was born, not merely through environmental or cultural adaptation, but forced ethnicity and cultural variety through linguistic barriers established by God because of human failure to give glory to the Almighty. Originally, this diversity was intended to show the wonder of God’s generosity illustrated in the lavish multiplicity of his creation. Yet because of sin’s invasiveness, ethnicity became another irritant in such Divine pursuits (cf. Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:1–9, esp. 6–8).
In spite of this, God promised a rescue for humanity through the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15). Jesus Christ is that person! The spiritual exchange of his perfect obedience to and relationship with God for our disobedience and distrust was achieved by his perfect life and sacrificial death (cf. John 3:16). Out of his death and resurrection arose a new humanity that is “all one in Christ Jesus”.
Here is the baseline of Christ’s call to his Church. Diversity? Ethnicity? All part of the rich fabric of praise offered to our God which will culminate in “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before” (Revelation 7:9) our God to offer the worship he rightly deserves.
And there is so much more to discover and live: loving one another as Christ has called us to do (John 13:34–35), keeping an eye out for each other’s interests (Philippians 2:4), and being unified as our loving Savior prayed for us (John 17:11), which will take a good dose of humility (1 Peter 3:8).
The unity of ethnicity in Christ excludes attitudes of arrogance, superiority, prejudice, favoritism, and elitism to name but a few. Christ calls us to be deferential worshippers of God. This is the reality within the Church, which marks us as different from the rest of the world. Come, let us join together, sisters and brothers in Christ, for the praise and glory of our Lord.
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