Racial Idolatry

Excessive focus on one’s skin color is just another form of idolatry. We tend to think of idols as ancient relics of bygone religions. However, idolatry can be anything that we give weightier importance than God. When we become more consumed with our racial identity than our spiritual identity, we may be guilty of racial idolatry. If we are using perceived racism as an excuse to disregard God’s calling for His children to love not only their neighbors but also their enemies, we may be guilty of racial idolatry.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:43-44

Yes, racism is very real, but Christians should not be willingly swept up into foolish racial disputes and conflicts. We must show spiritual unity in the Church as representatives of Christ to a fallen world, lost in darkness. The light of Christ resides in all believers. We cannot shine our light while we are caught up in the darkness of the world. When Christians become divided, we present the world with the false notion that God esteems each person differently.

For there is no respect of persons with God.

Romans 2:11

Jesus didn’t die for white people, black people, or people of any other skin color. He died for ALL PEOPLE, regardless of their skin color. He died in order to set mankind free from the bonds of “sin which so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1). But some people are still holding on to their chains.

The Bible is clear that God shows no such partiality. Everyone is welcome at the foot of the cross. We divide by color. God does not. Race labeling is a human invention that is entirely based on a lie. We are not many races. We are ONE race, the human race. And if you are a Christian, we are brothers and sisters. The world will continue to draw out its dividing lines but the Church must not recognize such boundaries, or risk losing its credibility. We must shed the false labels of racial idolatry and embrace our identity as sons and daughters of God, a new and wonderful creation with no divisions, one unified Church of Jesus Christ (and, no, not a new denomination).

When you reject the godless ideologies of this world, you are going to get flack. You may even be hated. You will definitely become a target. The ruler of this world desperately desires for you to be ensnared you in hatred, bitterness, and jealousy in order to keep you holding onto your chains. And as long as you’re holding onto those chains, you’ll think you’re still a slave. But you’re no longer a slave but “you have been set free” (Romans 6:22). Our peace does not depend upon our conformity to what the world says we are, but the reality of who we are IN JESUS.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

The evil currently happening in this country in the name of racial equality (riots, violence, and looting) flies in the face of everything Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for. Christians are commanded not to “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). We have a higher calling to preach the good news to those blinded by darkness and to “open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).

We have a responsibility to future generations as well. What do you want to be remembered for? What will your lasting legacy be? The color of your skin or the content of your character before God? My hope is that, as brothers and sisters in Christ, you will join hands with me in fulfilling an all but forgotten dream of Martin Luther King Jr:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The world might never embrace that dream but we, the Church, must if we are to maintain our light in the ever growing darkness.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

Jenn showed me this video after I’d written this, and thought it would be perfect to include. Yes, it’s a little long, but it’s worth watching to the end.

Bevelyn Beatty / fb.com/zaria.beatty / AtWellMinistries.org

Further Reading:

Ephesians 4

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