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What The Bible Says About Racism

June 21, 2020 Speaker: Jeff Bedwell Series: Common Ground

Topic: racism Passage: 1 John 4:18–4:21

Sermon Series: Common Ground
Message: What The Bible Says About Racism
Scripture: 1 John 4:18-21

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”
- Bob Pierce

Definition of racism
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b: a political or social system founded on racism

The Faces of Racism

  • Personsally Mediated Racism – when one person dishonors another person based on their race.
  • Institutional Racism – the creating of environments, structures or systems that make it more difficult for certain racial groups to take advantage of opportunities afforded to others.

See video: Holy Post - Race In America by Phil Vischer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGUwcs9qJXY

“You can’t say you love people and not care about the policies that impact those people.”
- Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil

  • Unintentional/Unaware Racism – being unaware or insensitive to the challenges and struggle of someone of another race and how our words or actions may impact them. 
  • Internalized Racism – when a person adopts the negative views and labels others have given them.

The Evil of Racism

Racism is an equal opportunity Destroyer

Racism is not simply a Skin problem; it is a Sin problem

Racism is the sin that makes our distinctions and differences into something that Divides us instead of something that Enriches us

Racism manifests itself as we fail to recognize and therefore Dishonor the image of God in another human being who is different in some way from us

Racism is a form of Otherism

“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory... If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” 
(James 2:1,8–9)

“Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman...When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.”
(Numbers 12:1 & 10)

Racism Can Be A Sin Of:

  • Commission – conscious (or sometimes unconscious) actions taken to perpetuate racism
  • Omission – things we could do, but do not do to alleviate the problem

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
(James 4:17)

The Hope Beyond Racism

Fear is a driver of racism and an ugly by-product of racism.

God calls us to another way!

Unity through mutual honor

Honoring the presence of God’s image in every person instead of settling for Stereotypes or avoiding one another in fear

Letting fear control us Dishonors God, others, and ourselves

Moving Beyond My Fear

Anytime I give in to fear instead of facing a difficult situation in faith I miss God's will."
- Rick Warren

F - Face your history. What have been your personal experiences? How has that helped shape your perceptions today? Is there a need for repentance? A removal of bitterness through forgiveness?

E - Get Educated about the “other.”

A - Adopt new ways of thinking, speaking, acting, and praying in light of Biblical truth.

R - Build Relationships, recognizing the image of God in everyone.

“Relationships resolve racism”

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Let us replace racism with Gracism!

Going above and beyond to extend grace to those who are different from us, especially to those who have been oppressed or dismissed in this world because of their race, class or culture.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.””
(John 13:34–35)

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” 
-Fred Rodgers

Making It Personal:

  • One truth I need to meditate on is...
  • One specific action that I believe God is calling me to take is...
  • Who can you share these truths with?

More in Common Ground

June 28, 2020

What the Bible Says About Civility

June 14, 2020

What the Bible Says About Race