The “R” word is once again making headlines in our country. Its an unfortunate reality that our nation will continue to be plagued by prejudice and discrimination for generations to come. The problem of racism is obviously not just something endemic to our country. International news will regularly reveal the reality of race hate in many nations. It is true, however, that we have a sad history of organized racism in South Africa and we continue to live with the consequences.
While it may be true that some organizations and individuals are using the current racism platform for their own agendas we must not ignore or rubbish this ongoing issue. God's people ought to be at the forefront of declaring and demonstrating just what it means to be reconciled to God and each other. We know and proclaim that Christ offers forgiveness and reconciliation of sinners with God but we must also not forget that in Christ we have reconciliation with each other(Eph.2:14-18). This is not just between Jew and Gentile, but between all people of all colours and communities. The only distinction the Bible makes is between those who have faith in Christ and those who do not - from heaven's point of view there are only “sheep and goats” (Matt.25:31-33).
We will not make progress against racism without ongoing prayerful self examination and repentance of our own (often unconscious) prejudices. It is also right for us not to be passive on this issue but to intentionally demonstrate our unity in Christ to the often confused, divided and angry society around us. Peace with God and with each other is a precious gift in Christ and we would do well to show and tell it to our nation and to our neighbours. God has given us a timely opportunity to hold out Christ as we hold hands in Christ. Let us not let the hour pass us by.
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26-28 ESV)
I am encouraged by a number of our churches who are tackling this issue from a Biblical perspective and I commend to you this recent series of interviews and Bible teaching from Christchurch Midrand.
written by Glenn Lyons