Acts 17:26-27 Bridge Church 7-17-16
Racism Is Wrong – All of It Pastor Marc Leverett
Act 17:26-27 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, (27) so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;”
Definitions: Racism - A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others. Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
Bigotry - a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
Intro. When Jesus steps into a conflict, He does not come to take sides. He comes to take OVER! I hope today to hit the sin of racism, and hit it hard with a sledge hammer. Racism is WRONG. ALL OF IT! It is wrong when it’s preached by the Klan and it is wrong when it is preached by Farrakhan. To the degree that we have all been influenced by racist philosophy and racist attitudes, we must be on guard that we do not bring this baggage into the Christian faith. In scripture we learn that there is only one race, the human race. The various ethnic people groups are far more alike than they are different and the things that we designate as racial differences are but small variations of our shared gene pool. It is wrong that any child or adult should be made to feel badly because of the color of his or her skin.
Our text is from a message from Paul the Apostle to an audience of Greeks. The arena for this message was the famous Areopagus, the place where the great Greek philosophers taught and where news and ideas were shared in public. This was the Greek version of the “world wide web”. This particular passage taken from the larger sermon will be our theme text this morning. Paul reveals the truth from God that the human race is one, and the various national distinctions and areas of habitation are all in the sovereign hand of God. It is HE who has guided, by either sovereign will, or permissive will, the borders, and the rise and fall of earthly political powers.
This truth stands as a refutation against the evolution based concept of humanity that supports racism. There is no scriptural support for thinking of one race as superior to another, and there is no support for judging an individual by the color of his skin or his ethnicity.
Yet, we live in a world where racism exists in many different ways. Sometimes it is very blatant, and other times it is more subtle or ambiguous. Sadly, some Christian groups have been influenced by racism and some have even tried to defend it by twisting scripture to say what they want it to say.
All racism is wrong because:
1. Racism is wrong because it is based on false science.
Many notable racists have become so due to the influence of the theory of evolution. While it may not be fair to say evolution caused this racism, it is certain that evolution lends itself to racist ideology in that it presents the concept of some species or human groups evolving at differing rates than others. Couple this with the concept of “survival of the fittest” and you have a philosophy tailor made for an Adolph Hitler.
2. Racism is wrong because it is based on false religion.
It would not be honest to ignore the reality that some religious teachings have contributed to racism. To me, the worst thing that anyone can do is to twist the scriptures to say what they WANT it to say rather than what it actually says. Regrettably, some have misused the Christian scriptures to lend support to racist ideology and justify mistreating others based on race.
3. Racism is wrong because it is fueled by fear and hate.
1Jn. 2:9-11 “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. (10) He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. (11) But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
1Ti. 1:5 “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,”
The practice of Christian love leaves no room for hatred of any kind. Racial hatred is just hatred. While some religions have room for hate and even promote violence against those who do not believe and practice as they do, Christ taught us to love one another. He meant that to apply to everyone, not just those who look like us.
4. Racism is wrong because it is based on pride. “Racism is not a skin problem; it is a sin problem.”
Pride is the original sin and it is the sin behind all racism and hate. Jesus taught us to be humble and to esteem others above ourselves!
Jas. 2:8-9 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you do well; (9) but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”
The whole notion of a “superior race” is not only stupid, it is sinful. Nations rise or fall due to attitudes and actions, not race.
5. Racism is wrong because it is unjust .
The entire sense of the second commandment “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” is to think and behave toward others in a manner that is just. The gold standard for this is fittingly called The Golden Rule - “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.” To treat an individual differently than you would another due to his ethnicity is a perversion of justice.
Deut. 24:17 “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow's garment as a pledge.”
Exo 22:21 “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
6. Racism is wrong because God’s Word condemns it.
Acts 10:28 “Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”
Acts 10:34 “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.”
Col. 3:10-11 “…and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, (11) where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”
Christ Died for All People. He died for YOU.
Heaven Will Be Multi-Ethnic! A true Christian must reject racism in all its forms! The injustices caused by racism and hate cannot be resolved with more racism and hate! If a pot of soup is already infected with poison, the answer is not to introduce more poison! When Jesus was answering the question “who is my neighbor?” he gave the story of the “good Samaritan”. His point was that your neighbor is EVERYONE, yes even THOSE people!
Rev 5:9 “And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,”
An excellent web site on the subject - https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/one-race-one-blood/