Saturday, February 21, 2009

What Can I Do About Racial Prejudice?

One of the truly tragic problems in our society is racial prejudice. Jesus was born into a very prejudiced society, and He worked to break down the barriers. To the first-century Jew, there was nothing worse than a Gentile, except a Samaritan. Jesus, however, showed the brotherhood of all mankind with His Parable of the Good Samaritan, in which a hated Samaritan showed himself to be the good neighbor to the Jew who had been beaten and robbed on the road to Jericho (Luke 10).

Racial prejudice has no place in the heart of any Christian. James wrote, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ... if ye have respect (respect translating to partiality) to persons, ye commit sin (James 2:8-9). We must treat people of other races as we wish to be treated, which is Christ's Golden Rule: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12).

"There is no respect of persons with God" (Romans 2:11). God does not show favoritism for one person or one race over another. All are equal in His sight. Jesus died for all people, and came to unite the world in Himself (1 John 2:2).

Conquest of prejudice begins in the home. Parents must bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). This includes teaching children the brotherhood of man, the necessity of respecting all people, and the creation of all men in God's image (Genesis 1:26-27).

Paul wrote "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). Paul was not saying that there are no differences between Jews and Gentiles, the free man and the slave, or males and females. He was saying that all are created equal in God's sight, and all deserve respect.

We must foster the spirit of brotherly love among races. As the children's song reminds us, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight."
"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20).
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