Summary: Jesus’ choice of a Samaritan as the hero of his parable was not accidental or incidental. Racial difference was the occasion for problems that were acute, divisive, and controversial in that day. And in America today racial issues still have great emoti
Christians and Racial Issues
Jesus’ choice of a Samaritan as the hero of his parable was not accidental or incidental. Racial difference was the occasion for problems that were acute, divisive, and controversial in that day. And in America today racial issues still have great emotional, social, religious, economical, and political significance.
This morning I want us to look into the scriptures and see what we as Christians can do to make sure we are in-line with God’s word.
I. The racial problem in our country
a. This problem is worldwide in significance.
i. Since 9/11 people have formed a prejudice against any Middle Eastern Muslim person they see.
b. It is a long standing problem
i. From the time this country was founded, we have been struggling with racial issues.
1. The Native Americans were mistreated and killed because of their difference.
2. The native Africans were captured and brought to America to be forced to work for us.
ii. Unfortunately, we are still struggling with this problem
c. It is very complex, without a convenient solution.
d. Racial prejudice has continued to create pockets of hate.
i. Just about a month ago right here in the DFW area, we all heard on the news about this family that had their house garage doors, written on with racial slurs.
ii. Our children see the way we react to this situation and start to imitate us.
e. We are part of the problem
i. We are silent when we should speak
ii. We refuse to become involved.
1. All to often we have come to the point that we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.
2. So instead we would rather sit back and watch this moral decay going on all around us.
iii. We condone conditions our consciences condemn.
1. When the Holy Spirit talks to our conscience, we should not ignore Him.
iv. We make inaccurate generalizations.
1. We lump people into categories, based on a few peoples mistakes.
2. Every race has it dark spots, but we shouldn’t let those few, drive us to think of the rest the same way.
II. What is the teaching of the Bible?
a. The origin of the different races is not revealed in the Bible
i. Genesis 9:24-27, is a passage used by segregationists to allege that God doomed Ham and his descendants (blacks) to perpetual servitude.
ii. A careful examination of this passage though reveals the following:
1. The curse was pronounced by Noah, not by God.
2. The curse was pronounced upon Canaan and not Ham.
3. The descendants of Canaan were Canaanites, who were white tribes (Genesis 10:15-19)
a. It is neither scriptural nor scientific to take isolated passages of Scripture and twist them so as to support the subjugation of anyone.
b. God created humans in his own image (Gen 1:27)
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
c. God “made of one blood all nations” (Acts 17:26)
i. Paul was speaking to a proud, intellectual, pagan people who felt that all except Greeks were barbarians.
ii. We are all from the same source
iii. We are one human family.
d. With God there is no preference of persons.
i. God’s blessings are available to all.
ii. All are precious in his sight.
iii. So who are we to decide?
e. Salvation is for all people of every race
i. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”
III. What can be done by the individual Christian?
a. Face up to our responsibility to be Christ-like as we face racial problems.
b. We can put ourselves in the place of those who are the victims of prejudice.
c. T.B. Maston wrote a short poem, that I believe helps us understand this problem.
If you discriminate against me because I am dirty,
I can make myself clean.
If you discriminate against me because I am bad,
I can reform and be good.
If you discriminate against me because I am ignorant,
I can learn.
If you discriminate against me because I am ill,
I can improve my manners.
But, if you discriminate against me because of my color, you discriminate against me because of something God Himself gave me and over which I have no control.
d. We can obey the second greatest commandment
i. Matthew 22:39, “You shall love your neighbor as Yourself”
e. We cannot judge a brother.
i. Romans 14:7-12, “For not one of use lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. for to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”