How The Life of Jesus and The Gospel Condemn Racism

Hi Friends, Jemeia here! In honor of Black History Month, I am re-launching a blog post that I wrote two years ago for my personal blog. An issue that I am extremely passionate about is racial equity. Equity is different from equality in that equality denotes that nothing can be done about the issue at hand whereas equity implies that the issue at hand is unfair and that steps can be taken to address the said problem.

The heart behind this post is to simply demonstrate, through scripture, that racism is UNFAIR, NOT BIBLICAL and DOES NOT REFLECT THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST. I hope that this post challenges you! Enjoy and please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

“I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition.”- Maya Angelou

  • Colonization, over 200 years of slavery, over 70 years of Jim Crow laws and colorism
  • Ongoing racial inequities in the U.S. healthcare, prison, and criminal justice systems
  • Racial inequities in employment and education
  • Poor mental health among Blacks/African Americans and other minorities
  • Stereotypes of Blacks/African Americans and other minorities as uneducated
  • Socialization of black men as violent, dangerous, drug dealers, and gangsters
  • Socialization of black women as ghetto, overpowering, hypersexual, and unattractive
  • Police brutality and the misunderstanding of the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Recent auction of West African men in Libya
  • Use of Christianity to justify slavery
  • The silence of the church

The list goes on…

As a black woman, I struggle to reconcile my identity as a black women and a follower of Christ.  My questions are, “Why, Lord? If your word says that I am made in your image and likeness, WHY does my life hold no value simply because of the color of my skin? Moreover, where are you and what is your heart on this issue? Can you identify with me?” 

After being tired of being angry and striving to rationalize these questions on my own, I sat before the Lord and He revealed the following to me.

1. GOD made ALL of mankind in His image and died for ALL of mankind.

He gave all of us EQUAL power and dominion over the earth. Therefore, racism is unacceptable, unfair and unjustifiable. NO member of mankind should have dominion over the other. Moreover, if the ways in which Blacks/African Americans and other minorities are socialized, do not reflect the image and likeness of God, then they are simply untrue.

  • Genesis 1:26-26 -then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
  • John 3:16 -For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. Racism is more than JUST a SIN PROBLEM. It is something that Christ died for on the cross.

Many Christians, who don’t want to admit that racism is a problem, lightly use the phrase “it’s a sin problem” and they just leave it at that. The problem with this phrase is that it over simplifies the issue at hand. If racism truly is a sin problem, and Christ died for our sins on the cross, then this means that He ABSOLUTELY felt the weight of slavery, racism, and oppression on the cross. Given this truth, HOW can Christians take the issue of racism so lightly?

3. Scripture is very clear that God is impartial. Therefore, we should also be impartial.

We have failed at this. WE created the social construct of race in order to create partiality and have dominion over each other. Racism is not GOD’s doing, it’s NOT just something He randomly allowed to happen. In fact, God has done everything possible to reconcile us to Himself and to unite us as a people. Therefore, racism is something we did to ourselves and it is our duty to take steps towards dismantling it.

  • Romans 2:11 – For there is no partiality with God.
  • James 2:4 -have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

4. When you are racist to people made in the image of God, God is also impacted.

  • Matthew 25:40 – And the King will answer them, “I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.”

5. Absolutely, Jesus CAN identify and here is why:

Jesus can identify with slavery, the beatings of black slaves, and the lynching’s of black bodies. This is true because before slavery, He was also brutally beaten, humiliated, held captive, nailed by His hands and feet and died hanging on the cross for our sins.

He can identify with poor mental health, emotional stress, and feelings of abandonment as a result of racism because He was abandoned by the Father in The Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. Furthermore, we (mankind) rejected and alienated Him during His time here on earth.

The appropriate response of the oppressed is to forgive.

The cross was a story of forgiveness. Jesus can identify with the oppressed because He endured the same horrific tragedies (and beyond) on the cross. Yet, He forgave. Repent of un-forgiveness and always seek to extend grace.

[bctt tweet=”The appropriate response of the oppressed is to forgive. The appropriate response of the privileged is to evaluate bias and seek education.” username=”heyhanha”]

The appropriate responses of the racially privileged and the church are to:

Evaluate your own implicit biases and get educated on the issue. Learn to see ALL of mankind as equal AND created in the likeness of God. Fight for justice because as a part of the body of Christ, if one is hurting, all should be hurting. Members of the body of Christ and the church are called to be set apart and allies for each other.

PSA announcement for all human beings:

Racism is our problem and we are called to take steps towards undoing it. The greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. As a result of loving God, we are to love people as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).

Therefore, racist views, stereotypes, silence in the midst of injustice, and partiality towards some issues of injustice AND NOT ALL issues of injustice do not align with scripture.

  • Isaiah 1:17 -Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
  • James 2:8 – If you really keep the royal law found in scripture, “Love you neighbor yourself,” you are doing right.

Lastly, I leave you with a timely reminder.

John 16:33 -I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Meet Hanha!

Hanha Parham is a Christian author and speaker. Her personal mission is to help woman overcome fear and self-doubt so that they can confidently believe who God has called them to be. She holds a Masters in Divinity with a concentration in pastoral counseling and is currently pursuing her PhD in Christian leadership. Hanha has published two books, Jesus is Bae and The Confessions Project and she is passionate about teaching, equipping, and discipling the body of Christ. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she loves spending time with loved ones or exploring new coffee shops. 

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