The Wednesday evening Adult Bible Fellowship (08/28/2013) study was adapted from a free downloadable Bible study on Racism from Randall House. The leader’s guide and a PowerPoint can be downloaded free at http://www.accessbiblestudies.com/bible-studies/racism-the-bible-and-the-church/
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King delivered his now famous speech “I Have a Dream” during the March on Washington. It was a dream concerning Civil Rights for all people including black people. Much has changed in America since that day. There has been an influx of people from all over the world to America. The international mission field is no longer across the pond. It is now in our backyards. Therefore, it is imperative in our lives personally and in the church corporately to confront racial attitudes.
The first and foremost aspect of confronting racial attitudes in the church is to understand the biblical definition of race. The following are contained in the first three chapters of Genesis:
- God created man in His own image. Only man has a conscience. Only man has an idea that there is a being greater than himself. Only man understands morality and ethics.
- God created man as male and female. God create male and female to be different and to fulfill different roles in the marriage relationship. Adam called the female “woman” because she was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.
- One of God’s purposes in marriage is procreation. Adam, who first called the female “woman” named her “Eve”. Why? Because she was the mother of all living (humans). In other words, Adam and Eve are the first parents from whom all humans come.
A defining moment comes in the New Testament. Paul is evangelizing the Greeks who were worshiping an unknown god. Paul meets them where they are. He evangelizes them to introduce this “unknown god” to them as the God of the universe. He says, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,” (Acts 17:26 NKJV). All humans are of one blood. Multiple races do not exist. There is one race. It is the human race. There are multiple ethnic groups within the one race.
The question then, is how do we treat others who are different from us? Below is a summary of the principles to be employed. By the way, these principles apply to any bigotry or prejudice not just racism.
- Treat them as one who has been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
- Treat them as one who for whom Christ died (John 3:16).
- Treat others like you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).
- Remember that God seeks justice for all and fights against oppression (Deuteronomy 16:19; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 22:3).