by Doy Moyer
If all Christians are committed to be united in Christ, then the racial and ethnic boundaries that exist in culture will dissolve as all strive to live out the culture of the Kingdom of God. Our citizenship is in heaven, and this runs counter to ideas and practices that are based on selfish, shameful, and earthly things (Philippians 3:19-20). Please consider:
- God desires all to be saved (I Timothy 2:4) and that none perish (II Peter 3:9). Those who love God will desire what God desires.
- All nations come from one (Acts 17:26). We are all related, as human beings, in one race.
- God’s intention was, through Christ, to bless all nations (Genesis 12:3; Acts 3:25-26).
- No person should be called “common” or “unclean” (Acts 10:28).
- “God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34-35).
- Showing partiality is a sin and contrary to loving your neighbor as yourself (James 2:8-9).
- Jesus broke down barriers to bring Jew and Gentile together into one body (Ephesians 2:11-22).
- Separating from brethren due to partyism and fear is condemned and out of step with the truth of the gospel (Galatians 2:11-14).
- Physical and social barriers are broken down in Christ — all are in equal standing as children of God (Galatians 3:28).
- All people are justified by faith (Romans 3:30).
- All Christians have been baptized into one body and made to drink of one Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13).
More passages can be given, but this should suffice to show that the intentional segregation of races in Christ’s body is sinful and out of step with the truth of the gospel. Such segregation harms the gospel message, whereas purposeful integration witnesses to the power of the gospel to break down barriers and unite believers in Christ. As ugly and wrong as forced segregation was and is, how sad is it today that segregation is still being observed even when not forced?
Christians need to overcome this so that brothers and sisters from all ethnic and racial backgrounds will stand together as one. Scripture shows us what God wants. We still have a long way to go as brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us love one another. Let us serve one another through that love (Galatians 5:13). Let us submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). Let us live in harmony with one another and as far as it depends on us be at peace with all (Romans 12:16-18). Let us repent of thinking evil of one another, sowing discord, partyism, strife, and separating ourselves from each other due to physical appearances. Let us all work to the purpose of the gospel and in so doing glorify God.
The gospel speaks to our issues. Are we listening?