Does American society have a racism problem? Does the the church? Lately, everybody seems to claim or assume the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” but maybe those who preach, teach, and lead in churches and ministries have the same job to do either way—to ensure that the wealth of biblical teaching relevant to racism reaches the believers in their care.
To clarify a couple of key terms, I’m using “race” here in the old sense: basically a group of ethnicities from the same general geography who have some shared physical characteristics. Given the large amount of concept-overlap, I’ll treat race and ethnicity as being roughly equivalent. “Racism” here refers to devaluing and mistreating people (inwardly or outwardly) because we think they’re of a different race than ourselves.
Scripture gives us several reasons to reject these attitudes and behaviors. We’ll consider nine, with the first five in this installment.