Unashamed: Embracing my identity

David WilsonUncategorized

Within the Christian faith there is no room for racism, bigotry or prejudice of any kind. Since the beginning the human race, which shared the same parents, have always founds ways to divide themselves from one another over familial status, tribal locations, economic standing or even how “sun kissed” their skin was. We share a certain brotherhood as every single one of us was created in the image of God according to genesis. So where does this spirit of division come from?

Certain groups have made claims that “racism” is somehow inherited by those with lighter skin and that we are somehow “born that way”. This of course is neither a scientifically accurate claim nor does it square with the scriptures. However, the Bible does teach that something has been handed down to us over the ages that makes it difficult for us to progress morally as the human race. It is an obstacle that seems to fight us at every attempt to achieve some kind of future utopia. Is spoils the Babylonian tower building visions of our greatest minds and will continue to frustrate our efforts as long as we refuse to acknowledge its existence.

The Bible calls it “sin” A rebellious streak within human kind that refuses to acknowledge God and at the same times purposely pushes the knowledge of God away. Sin is not some invention of the mind or mere theological concept. It is buried deep within each of us and we can either ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist or we can acknowledge it and deal with it. The sad thing is that when we ignore sin It grows within us and take over our lives often with devastating results. Some may scoff at the idea of the existence of sin or even the concept of good and evil but I have never found any clearer explanation for why people that are supposedly created in the image of God could so such horrible things to one another. The answer is that we let it in. We want to blame God for the evil that we ourselves as the human race perpetuate. But there is a solution.

God chose through his son Jesus Christ to deliver us from sins power over us. Yes we are forgiven of our sins through Christ sacrifice on the cross and we have eternal life but somewhere along the way many in the church have bought into the idea that there is nothing we can do to change behaviors and lifestyle. This is simply nothing less than a betrayal of the true gospel message. We do have power to overcome the deepest darkest impulses. It is supernatural power and it can even deliver us from racism, bigotry and prejudice. In fact It is expected of us once we enter in to a new life with Jesus Christ that our identity in him comes before anything else. He is what binds us altogether. Notice how God spoke to The Apostle Peter in regards to his prejudice against non-Jews.

Acts 10:34–35 (ESV)

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

If God shows no partiality than neither can we. Any system of philosophy or political manifesto that proposes one group of people as the enemy and cause of all pain in society should therefore be rejected by clear thinking Christians. The Apostle Paul makes very clear that there are to be no divisions among us

Galatians 3:28 (ESV)

28 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.

Finally, the Apostle John shows us in his vision in the book of Revelation that at the end God will bring us all together as one from every nation. What an incredible picture. What the human race has been trying to do on its own without God for thousands of years will finally be accomplished in His power.

Revelation 5:9–10 (ESV)

And they sang a new song, saying,

       “Worthy are you to take the scroll

and to open its seals,

       for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation,

10    and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,

and they shall reign on the earth.”

Knowing this the Christian needs to affirm each and every person as made in the image of God regardless of the color of their skin and wherever they can work to make things for their fellow image bearers. We also must make sure that the identity that we wholly embrace is our identity in Christ. For it is through Christ that we will best be able to minister to others/