We’re called to put racism to death

A fundamental theological conviction of the Christian faith is that all humanity is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). In light of the death of George Floyd, however, I feel I need to be more specific. Black men are created in the image of God and, as a consequence of this, not only are we to honor this image in them but also to treat them with the dignity that has been bestowed upon them by their creator. 

Failing to do this reveals a deeply flawed understanding of what Scripture teaches about our shared humanity. And like other heresies, we as a church body, must guard ourselves carefully lest we move away from the faith “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). 

The apostle Paul himself instructed the Christians in Galatia that their ethnic and socio-economic difference were to be overcome by their union to Christ and to Christ’s church (Galatians 3:28). We’re not different. In our fallen and sinful world, bias comes naturally. It comes naturally because all sin comes naturally. And as Christians we’re called to put sin to death (Colossians 3:5), we’re called to put racism to death.

In too many instances white Americans have adopted a sub-Biblical and un-Christian understanding of race that has given rise to grievous sins such as slavery, segregation, and other forms of discrimination that remain to this day.

Weekly we confess that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We confess this because it is true at a level and to an extent we can barely comprehend. Daily we need the grace of God extended to us in the gospel of Christ. 

In light of the death of George Floyd and so many others, and in light of the civil unrest across our nation, would you join me in acknowledging before God and one another that things are not as they ought to be in our nation and in our world?

Would you bring to mind that one of the chief aims of Christ’s church—and affirmed in the foundational documents of our congregation—is the promotion of social righteousness and the manifestation of the kingdom of God in our world?

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

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