Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Race-Colored Glasses

The Spirit of Racism is Alive and Well

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

I am becoming more convinced each day that when Scriptures talk about "running this race" people mistakenly think God is talking about the color of their skin. I don't make this statement from a political or social perspective. I am speaking strictly of spiritual implications.

First, let me say that I acknowledge there are still many social ills which occur based on race. I also experience these things. However, what value should we as Christians put on race?

Many are quick to admit that religious cults such as Mormons, Hebrew Israelites, Christian Identity Movement, etc. which have used race as a means of excluding others from faith in Jesus Christ are in error. But there are other sides of this coin which apparently some Christians have no problem with.

A number of Christians still identify themselves predominantly by race (even subconsciously). It is this type of perspective that made many feel justified in voting for Barack Obama since he is a "Black man", without regard for his anti-Christ agenda. When it comes to matters of race, too many are ready to set aside the cause of Christ in order to champion their own cause of skin color. Race can be an idol just like anything else if given preeminence above our relationship with Jesus Christ.

One of the criticisms I received about this blog is that I "talk too much about Black people". They said that I must be a "White man trying to stick up for my European ancestors." Another person recently said, "I want to share some of your articles with my family as I feel they are true, but I want to make sure you are not a racist first." I mention this not because I care what people say, but because it provides insight into this warped mindset. An inordinate allegiance to race can even prevent you from seeing truth!

The question I have for these people is, "Who cares? When are you going to start walking in the fullness of new life that Jesus has given and stop clinging to worldly distinctions that have no relevance in Christ?"

A Christian's identity is to be found in Jesus Christ above any national, ethnic, gender, or social identity.

"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3

Believers do not defend or offend the races because the Gospel message is not racial. God is focused on the "human" race and its condition - fallen in sin. That is why His church is here.

The truths of God cannot be preached by race, nor can we cater to men's views about race (whether to prop up a race as superior or degrade a race as inferior). There are no such distinctions in Christ.

"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

When people still see by race, then they have not understood and appreciated the newness of life that is available to all in Jesus Christ. Yes, there are racial divisions today; but such is a product of the flesh. The best way to address this and all issues is by focusing on the Spirit.

"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." II Corinthians 5:16

In Philippians Chapter 3, Paul admonishes about putting ANY confidence in the flesh.

"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." Philippians 3:3-8

Jesus said to know no man after the flesh. Paul said we are to have no confidence in the flesh. He counts such things (his ethnicity, education, his social affiliations, etc.) as dung! Is not skin color a matter of the flesh?

Are there ethnic differences? Sure. Are there cultural differences? Yes. Are there national differences? Absolutely. But these things only add to the beautiful tapestry which is the Body of Christ; they don't define the Body.

Christians are to be like water; able to ebb and flow as the Spirit wills with no worldly identifications that would interrupt or disrupt this movement. If you see yourself as a Black, White, Asian, Indian, or Hispanic person more than (or even as much as) you see yourself as a Christian, it WILL affect your testimony for Christ. More importantly, it will limit your relationship with Him and with His Body.

I am not saying to pretend you don't notice skin color. I am saying not to put stock in that. Understand that God - the Creator of ALL of the races - has made you new in Him, with a spiritual heritage that does not have its roots in this world.

"Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." Luke 21:10

The word for "nation" in the above text is the Greek word ethnos which literally means ethnic groups. Jesus states that one of the signs of the end times will be contentions between ethnic groups. That doesn't just apply to those who use race as a means of oppression, it also applies to those who try to insulate their race against any criticism. If you cannot receive truth because it offends allegiances to your race, then your race has become your god.

Racism is certainly a wicked spirit. I have come against it many a time. However, I write this article to try and impress upon you the importance of seeking and finding your identity in Christ alone!

"For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." Acts 17:28


  1. I think this also ties in with some ppls fixation on whether Jesus is black or white or whatever. I think it's irrelevant. That debate has been used to oppress ppl and IMO is the biggest deception to turn black ppl away from the so called "white man's Jesus" and turning to Islam, Hebrew Isrealites and other religions, and this whole concept that christianity is not for black ppl. because we're from Africa. My opinion is God put us all exactly where we are supposed to be on this planet at this given time.

  2. I agree Cris! It is completely irrelevant. We know no man - even Jesus - after the flesh. Many times people come to me with the "white man's Jesus" and how the Blacks are the "real" Israelites. It is all nonsense.

    We must embrace who we really are in Christ to get past these barriers; and that has everything to do with who He is, not who we are.

  3. And this goes far beyond color/race I think. Just with the way people dress and the material things they have. If it's not the latest in the greatest people assume, who are "so called Christians," that you are not blessed by "GOD" and that they are. I hear preachers all the time saying look at all these nice things and money GOD has blessed me with and until "You" can (how can I say this) "Get Like Me!" you're not going to be blessed. So In my opinion this goes far beyond race; looking into the meanings deeper than the lettering of this article which I am in total agreement with.

  4. Hi Estes,

    You are right. Race is just one example of what it means to follow after the flesh. We must look for the leading of God's Spirit in all things so then we are not led astray by such charlatans in the pulpit.

  5. This post actually kind of reaches home for me. I have never experienced any overt racism but I have seem how the mindset is so prevalent. I attended a college where the minority population was less then 5% out of a total of about 12 to 15,000 students. I was usually the only black student in my class and I was always looked to as if I was THE VOICE for my community. Well there was one instance on campus where a predominately white Christian organization that was throwing a party with the them "Ghetta" so this organization approached a predominately black Christian organization whom they had befriended about how to dress and act...ahem...well, Ghetto. And the uproar began! There were letters being sent to the upper eschalon of the university and mass emails from the latter group to most of the student body about the astrocities of the former group. I wasn't involved in this at all but found it rather interesting.

    I was in an African American studies class one time and the topic was reparations. Of course, I became the spokeswoman. All I could say was, you don't owe me anything. The professor was shocked at my answer. I told a friend about this and I was like my mind won't even go there. I am FIRST a child of the Most High God...all that other stuff pales in comparison to the cause of Christ. I still feel that way. I thank God for that revelation even though I wasn't even looking for Him to make it that way.

  6. I do agree that the color of one’s skin shouldn’t have anything to do with their character. I must admit as an African American in this society it still bothers me a great deal when Christian movies are portrayed and there are no black people. It bothers me because it perpetrates the lies. All the lies, the lies about slavery and the lies about Christianity and it is hurtful. It matters to me. Yes it does matter to me because to suggest that my people are obsolete unless we are talking about some kind of slavery is hurtful. Any lie is hurtful. To suggest that Christ isn’t real is also hurtful. I just get tired of all of the lies used to turn God's people away from His love and mercy. I understand getting caught up on race in certain topics can cause one to be blinded by what Really matters but African people were very relevant in those times in the times of Our Lord and there is still that part of me that wants it to be made clear. We were more than relevant, while we are reading of Moses and Abraham know one pictures them with thick, jet black curly hair and strong features and yes wide noses not even African American people and dear God it bothers me. Why is it so hard to believe? True it doesn’t matter what race they are but then it does because if it didn’t matter then they would be portrayed in their likeness as close as it can get. Anybody who understands geography at a 6th grade level could see that it’s impossible for the very people that we are learning about especially in the old testament didn’t have African blood in them. It wouldn’t make me any more excepting of the race God chose me to be if there were movies about King David done very well and he was depicted as maybe a race we couldn’t necessarily determine off hand. Perhaps they would make him so beautiful and so wise and truly tap in to the true character of who he was to God that we really wouldn’t care, but it’s just I’d like to see an attempt at some truth and fairness. I would just like to see an attempt at common sense whenever referencing the men of that time of that land and depicting them in paintings or on film and not as “ the black man’s Moses” or “the black man’s Abraham”. Just depict the men of the bible as men of that land and that time in as close to their likeness based on the geography during those periods.

    Our Lord saved me not because of the color of my skin and this I will believe for always and I don’t care what Jesus looked like with regard to the color of his skin however when lies are being perpetrated even if it’s about the color of anyone’s skin or their nationality in the Holy Scriptures I can’t say enough how much it hurts Me!.

    I suppose there are far more things for me to be concerned with and so, thats all the venting i will do on that subject.

  7. Hi Anonymous,

    I understand and agree that people have presented distorted versions of race in the media, even today. But consider this.

    If people have used race - even subconsciously - as a means of perpetuating stereotypes in the media, that is still their problem. It has nothing to do with the reality of who you are or who people of color are in general. It is THEIR problem.

    I remember walking into a department store and looking at a pair of shoes. I thought they were sooo ugly! I called my friend over to take a look. The salesperson said, "Those shoes cost a lot of money." Well, he was truing to insinuate that I shouldn't look at them because I guess he thought I couldn't afford them. Yet, I was looking because they were atrocious! So I said, well, they are so ugly you all ought to be giving them away. And the whole thing cracked me up even more.

    Was this a racist interaction? Yes. Did this salesperson assume I couldn't pay for the shoes? Yes. But that was his problem and not mine.

    The point is, as long as we look for anything in this world to define who we are, we will always be a victim of the injustices of this world. I can recognize racism when I see it, but I don't internalize it because these people don't define me. Their perceptions don't define me. Their prejudices don't define me. Jesus Christ alone defines who I am.

    People have always used the name of Jesus to further their own perverse agendas, even along the lines of race. That is the way of the world, it all lies in wickedness.

    So don't expect fairness or justice from man. Look instead to the holiness and righteous of our Father, who works everything out for our good.

    God Bless!

  8. Thank you Latter Days. My mom reminds me to not look to man but to always look to God to validate me. Sometimes you get caught up you know. I know I am not dealing with flesh I know clearly that it is the spirit behind the flesh. Sometimes though infact for me most of the time it gets so heavy. Sometimes every where we look there is so much hate and sometimes the littlest things like how a man is represented in a picture or on film puts salt on the wound. I am stronger than that though and I know that it is my flesh talking so I have to stay prayerful and I have to stay studying because it wont be long now. He will be here soon and I need to focus on getting my house in order. I also have a 14month old son. I have to teach my only child how to be a God fearing man regardless of his race. I have to prepare him for what is sure to come and the only way I can really do that is to be an example. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I truely appreciate you sharing your perspective it helps me to keep moving forward and reminds me that I cannot be sidtracked by trivial matters. I guess I just needed to vent a little. What you said about those shoes hit home tremendously and I truely appreciate you being so direct and straight forward. God Bless you too.

  9. Hi Anonymous,

    It sure sounds like you are already on the right track. And feel free to come here to vent anytime you like. Sometimes, these posts are my opportunity to do that too. :-)

    I believe it is even harder out there for men of color are racism seems particularly targeted against them. Yet, God is greater than anything we might face in this world I am confident that He is more than able to help your son grow secure enough in who he is in Christ to combat any of that.

    Stay strong and keep going in the faith! You are right these these times may get heavier, but our burdens will always be light in Him.

  10. The Latter Days and Estes,

    Thank you so much for sharing this article; for commenting on this article. The Holy Ghost has been bringing Col. 3:3 back to me lately and I now see it in a different perspective. God is so AWESOME! I love to share with my brothers and sisters in Christ! Estes, I can totally relate to your comment bc the pastor of the ministry I attend believes people who give more, get more as in relation to ANYONE who has more "stuff" is more blessed. He even believes people like Bill Gates are extremely blessed by God bc their extremely rich. I believe those that submit to Satan's system will gain many earthly possessions bc that's the root of his deception-promises of fame and fortune/if you invent a product that is in high demand, you will get alot of money-Plain and simple. However, I do believe that we most definitely share and give money to advance the Kingdom of God. I also know I'm no less of a follower of Christ than one who can give more money than I can. The Latter Days, Can you please do an article or help me on the subject of tithing vs. free will offerings because I have always been taught that I will be cursed if I'm employed but don't give tithes and offerings. You can e-mail me if it's more conveniant for you. ( Thank you both again. TRUTH:JESUS:LOVE

  11. hey i am thanking you for posting this article, i have been trying to say these things to people around me for years. that as christians should we believe in man made social construct as race and should be identify ourselves in this lie we are told such as being black or white. i am glad to spoke on this. not too many pastors or young people are talking about the bondage of following a race.


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