We cannot turn on the television, open our phones, or listen to the radio without hearing about the anti-racism protests that are occurring around the world. In the wake of the George Floyd murder, American citizens in Minnesota incited riots and protests. They have been calling for justice for the man who was unjustly killed by a police officer, and demanding that Black lives be treated with dignity by law enforcement.
Everybody has an opinion on racism and inequality. If you log onto social media, you will find billions of tweets explaining why racism is wrong. Unfortunately, you’ll even find tweets that support racism and the actions of the officers who killed George Floyd. Everyone has an opinion, but what does the Bible say? You’d be surprised to know that the Bible does speak about racism. In this article, we will talk about what the Bible says about racism, protesting, and advocacy for issues relating to injustice.
The Bible does not explicitly say the word “racism”.
The Bible addresses race, mostly in the context of hatred. Racism is a form of discrimination, making it a form of hatred. The Bible explicitly says that hatred is a sin and that we should not participate in any form of it.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.Proverbs 10:12 (ESV)
Jesus goes as far as to say that people are not suppose to judge people based on their appearances. Rather, He expects all of us to judge solely on the content of one’s heart.
Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.John 7:24 (NIV)
Yes, many of us look different on the outside. Each of us is a melting pot of various ethnicities, races, and cultures. However, each one of us has a lineage that dates all the way back to Adam and Eve. We all descend from the same man and the same woman. We are all made by one Creator.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28 (ESV)
If we are united by humanity, why has systemic racism transfigured into violent acts against people of color?
This is a question that we have been asking ourselves over the course of this past week.
Protests are taking place around the globe to fight against anti-Black racism and police brutality. Us at The Melanin Series and Motivating.Academy has been paying very close attention to these events. At The Melanin Series, we have been having difficulty processing these events. Our Melanin Series team is composed of Christian, Black people. We are immensely heartbroken by the idea that people who look like us fear that their lives will be taken away from them because of the colour of our skin. Many of us are enraged by the idea that our skin is viewed as a threat or that people defend ridiculous stereotypes such as “Black people commit more crime than white people”. We have a right to be angry.
The unsettlement that the Black community feels means that God’s will is not being satisfied. If it were, then we would feel peace and contentment. The anger we feel when we see injustice means that as advocates of Christ, we need to do more and do better to make sure that His vision is fulfilled.Tweet
You are our God! Punish them, for we are helpless in the face of this large army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but we look to you for help.2 Chronicles 20:12
How did we get to a place where world leaders are more interested in arresting thousands of peaceful protesters rather than arrest 4 people who wrongfully ended the life of a Black man? How did we create a world that shows such little regard for human life just because they do not like the colour of their skin?
We can look at the facts to explain why racism is prevalent around the world.
We go into colonialism and early racism in several of our other articles. In short, the facts say that European settlers believed they were superior because they believed they were favoured by God. This idea of superiority is straight from the devil. Don’t be fooled; the devil knows the Bible inside and out. He can quote you Scripture, twist it, and use it to his advantage. The idea that colonizers, who brutally abused, kidnapped and killed thousands of Native peoples (Indigenous, Africans, etc.), justified their actions through the Word of God is an act from the devil. White supremacy is hatred. Racism is an act of the devil.
God loves us all equally. His love is as perfect as He is. He would not create an entire race of people that He would deem inferior. He would not create Black people if He thought that they were prone to dysfunction, disorder, or sin. God creates all things; the very fact that He created Black people makes us perfect in His eyes. He created Black people to receive all the goodness, glory, and love that He intended all His children to receive, regardless of race.
We are not stains on the pristine image that the government thinks their nation is. We are not “mistakes” that need to be eradicated through senseless violence. Black people are supposed to be here. We were created by God, with purpose and intention. To kill us, support killing us, unlawfully arresting us, or marginalizing us, is to negate His will.Tweet
For God shows no partiality.Romans 2:11 (ESV)
Racism produces a toxic way of thinking that is embedded in our society today.
The idea that superiority is attributed to people of lighter skin shades is present in every aspect of society. These racist ideologies explain why:
- Black people are less likely to receive timely and high-quality medical care.
- Black students are more likely to receive disciplinary action while in elementary and secondary schools.
- People with Black-sounding names are less likely to have an interview or be hired for employment.
- African-Americans are 5 times more likely than white people to be arrested and incarcerated in America
These are just a few of the ways that racism is demonstrated in America and Canada. Racism is in our policies, beauty standards, privileges, advantages, speech, economy, and so many other aspects of society. Many Black people, especially dark-skin Black people, do not have the option to divorce their racial identities from their day-to-day lives. Many Black people are not just teachers or doctors, they are “Black teachers” and “Black doctors”. Their race inseparable from their professions, charity work, accomplishments, education, relationships and so many other aspects of their lives.
This way of living is another disadvantage that Black people have. We do not get to have or be many things in mainstream society without being the “Black-one” to have or do it. These ideologies are, in part, due to the racist and stereotypical belief that Black people are incapable of doing anything but commit crime and cause disorder. Any time a Black person excels, they are viewed as the anomaly, not the norm. This way of thinking is racist.
The Bible says we have to advocate for social justice issues.
This includes racism. God’s word says that those in positions of authority and privilege must use their voices to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.Isaiah 1:16-17 (NIV)
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
Jesus was and is a social justice advocate.
It did not matter your wealth, your age, your health, or your race. Jesus sought to care for the vulnerable and make sure that their needs were met. Like many of the protesters who are fighting anti-Black racism, Jesus was not in a position of power. Yes, He is powerful; however, while on Earth, He chose to humble himself. He only worked miracles when necessary and never for His advantage. Like the protesters today, Jesus was ostracized. He faced police brutality before dying on the cross for our sins. He knows the pain and suffering that Black people are facing today. Jesus is sympathizing with the Black community, and He wants every single one of us to do better in the fight against injustice.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.John 15:18 (ESV)
The Black community needs non-Black allies.
The voice of the White community is the strongest in our society. Even the voices of the Asian community, the Hispanic community, and the South-Asian community are stronger than the voice of the Black community. The Black community needs your help because your privilege can change the minds of those in power. Your voice has the power to stop the senseless violence by signing petitions, protesting peacefully alongside Black people, and speaking with your government.
If you are silent, you are complicit. If you do not speak out about it, you allow it to happen. If you are more upset about the rioting than you are about the mistreatment of Black people, then you do not care about us.Tweet
Being colorblind is not and has never been the solution. We cannot ignore race because we need to address race if we hope to erase racial inequality. The racism that Black people experience is not just an issue that Black people have to face and reconcile with. As I said before, humanity unites people from all racial backgrounds. We are all connected through the Father. God instructed us to humble ourselves and treat others better than we do ourselves. This means that allies of the Black community must fight for inequality and racism with as much fervour, if not more, than if their community were facing these injustices.
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Philippians 2:2-4 (NIV)
In all the protesting and advocating that we may become involved in, let us not forget to include God in the midst.
We need to pray for our world. Not just our neighbourhood or our communities. Not just for our nation. Christians of all races need to rise together to pray for our entire world. Racism is an ugly and evil disease. It has rooted itself in our world for too long. When we are praying, consider asking God to give you the strength, wisdom, and/or resources to help Black initiatives fight against racism and police brutality. There are many things that you can do to support the Black community at this time. You can make donations, watch videos to make free donations, sign petitions, and educate yourselves on issues facing these communities. Our website has lots of information and resources that you can utilize to learn more about racism, injustice, police brutality, and Black history.
Until hatred is replaced with the love God intended us to have for each other our work is not finished.
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
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