Arminian Today

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Short Thoughts on Races and MLK Day

Before I was saved by God’s grace, I was a racist at heart.  I may have outwardly acted like I liked blacks or Asians or Hispanics but in my heart, I was a racist.  I believed that my race, white, was the superior race.  This had been taught to me.  Not that my parents sat me down and said, “Because we are white, we are better than this race” but it was put in my heart from a young age that we whites didn’t associate with blacks or other races.  We whites stayed with whites, married whites, worked with whites, and the world would be a better place if each race would stay with their own race.  I also admit that I often called blacks the N-word behind their backs and a few times I said it to their face.

And then Jesus saved me!  2 Corinthians 5:17 was true for me!  Jesus made me a completely new man.  He saved me from the power and penalty of sin (Romans 6:20-23).

With my new birth (John 3:3), I also experienced a new love for other races.  I wanted to see all races saved by grace.  I praised God for biblical passages such as Galatians 3:28-29 where Paul the Apostle wrote,

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

I rejoiced over passages such as this and Acts 10:9-23 where God gave Peter a vision in order to prepare him to take the gospel to a Gentile home.

God wonderfully broke the power of racism from my heart and I bless Him for that.  Yet I did see in the New Testament that race still played a major role.  For instance, after Peter’s vision and preaching to the Gentiles in Acts 10, we read in Galatians 2:11-14 that Paul had to rebuke Peter for being a hypocrite when it came to the Jews from Jerusalem visiting him.  Peter would only associate with Jews when the Jews from Jerusalem came but Paul goes on to point out what he preached in Galatians 2:15-21, mainly that Jesus has come to take away the Jewish distinctives so that we are now one in Him.  Our salvation is based on Jesus Christ and not upon being a Jew or practicing the Jewish law.

However, there is nothing wrong with our various races.  God loves color!  He created us all in His image but He created us with various colors and languages.  There is nothing wrong with loving your race so long as you love other races as well.  Paul mentions in Romans 10:1 that he often prayed for the salvation of his own race, the Jews.  Paul even labors in Romans 9-11 to show how the Jews had rejected the gospel and were no longer the promised people apart from Christ.  The Gentiles, through Christ, are now the people of God along with the Jews who believe the gospel.  God does not save races.  He saves sinners (Luke 19:10).  Jesus came to bear the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) and not just the sins of the Jews.  Paul could thus pray for the salvation of the Jews while still teaching that we are all one in Christ Jesus.  He loved his Jewish heritage (Romans 9:1-5) yet he loved God’s Church more.

So the bottom line is that I appreciate the labors of men such as Martin Luther King Jr. to end racism.  Yet I know that racism is not eradicated by laws of men.  It is only truly eradicated by the gospel.  Much has been done in the United States and in the West to help race relations but ultimately what will break the power of racism is the gospel.  We are all slaves to our Master, Jesus Christ (Jude 4).  Racism is not cured by political correctness and avoiding race and avoiding loving your own race.  Racism is broken when people see that there is nothing wrong with loving your race so long as you love all races and see that all races need the gospel (Mark 16:15).

Lastly, I urge you to pray for your race.  If you are Asian, pray for Asians to be saved.  If you are African, pray for Africans to be saved.  Whatever your race or nationality may be, pray for God to save your people.  Pray for Him to use you to spread His gospel to the lost.  All nations will bow down to Him who is King (Revelation 5:9-10) and our passion should be to break the power of racism by preaching the gospel to all races and do as Dr. King famously said, to judge a person not by the color of their skin but the content of their character.


Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/21/2013 at 6:22 PM

2 Responses

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  1. I’m so sorry, that one can klick the Like-Button only once, I would like to klick it a thousand times for this wonderful article. Thanks Roy, that’s one of the wonders the gospel of our Lord does, when it changes our heart.


    01/21/2013 at 7:01 PM

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