I read an article this week in which scientists were asked to explain how it can be that racism persists in 2017. It contained a lot of theories and quoted studies about lack of education, social constructs, media influence, and cultural norms.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
Racism exists, loved ones, because humanity is sinful. We cannot save ourselves. We can’t educate, counsel, or peace march sin out of our souls. We need to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Period.
And when we have come into relationship with Jesus, we can’t just coast from the ground to glory. We must press into Jesus, obey His Word, and yield to whatever process He enlists to transform us into truly loving, fully human beings.
It is wholly inconsistent with following Jesus to engage in racist thoughts, attitudes or actions. It is wholly inconsistent with following Jesus to hate. It is wholly inconsistent with following Jesus to harbor murderous thoughts, attitudes, or plans against another human being.
BUT, we cannot free ourselves from racism, murder, or hate without Jesus.
Those who try to combat these evils by conjuring up their own answers or salvations will find themselves engaging in just another flavor of evil.
Skeptics and even some believers, make much of there being controversies about what the Bible teaches. There are fewer places of disagreement than agreement, and fewer places that are hard to understand than those that are clear.
God is less concerned with the theology we haven’t mastered, than He is with our disobedience to the simple, straightforward Biblical commands that are as clear as day.
The following verses from the book of 1 John make it clear that no one can follow Jesus AND be a white supremacist or Nazi or racist:
“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.
13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:11-18
This is clear. True. Undebatable. Understandable to little children. Unequivocal. BUT, only through Jesus Christ are we freed from our sin to live it when the days are evil.
John continues to clarify in case anyone is still confused:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:7-12
If you harbor hatred, murderous thoughts, racism, or have committed any manner of evil, you can find forgiveness and freedom in Jesus Christ. If you oppose racism and all forms of hatred, but are seeking to combat them in your own strength, you can find forgiveness and freedom in Jesus Christ.
If you follow Jesus, but are falling prey to temptation to hate or yield to behaviors and attitudes that belong to your old self, step into the freedom provided you by Jesus and remember you are a son or daughter of the Most High God, called to love, not only in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.
These are evil days. Speak truth, live love, step into the freedom that is ours in Jesus Christ.
— Lori Roeleveld (@lorisroeleveld) August 16, 2017