What Should We Do Personally About Racism?

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Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, and even though it’s been decades since his work for civil rights and fighting discrimination, prejudice is still alive. Why? Well, because racism is a consequence of sin in a fallen world infused with evolutionary thinking. The consequences of racism on a personal and social level are huge.

But what do we do about it? What do you do about it? Here are three very practical and personal application points from chapter five of my book with Dr. Charles Ware, One Race, One Blood. Like any true biblical conviction, these actions should start from a changed heart and a changed understanding about what is real and true. (For more on a biblical understanding of “race,” I strongly encourage you to read that book; you can purchase it or read it for free on our website.)

We Need to Do Away with “Race”

First, I would propose that we do away with using the term “race” when discussing the different groups of people in the world.

The Bible is clear (and science confirms) there’s only one race: the human race (Adam's race).

The Bible is clear (and science confirms) there’s only one race: the human race (Adam’s race). The idea of "race" is rooted in the thinking of the early evolutionists, even well before Darwin.

We all need to treat every human being as our relative. We are of one blood (Acts 17:26). All of us are equal in value before our Creator God. Any descendant of Adam can be saved because our mutual relative by blood (Jesus Christ) died and rose again. This is why we are commanded to preach the gospel to all people groups and nations.

We Need to Reprogram

Second, we need to be reprogrammed.

Here’s something you might find hard to accept: in the U.S. culture, we are racially programmed, particularly in regard to the skin color issue. Because of our culture’s racist roots, because of the way the world thinks, because of the influence of Darwinian thinking, we have been programmed to look at the exterior rather than the interior of a person and to make broad judgments based on what we see.

Had we not been programmed that way in this culture, you wouldn’t see the differences as we do. Different cultures are programmed in different ways. Our biases and prejudices show themselves in different ways, but in every case it is the world and our sinfulness (rather than science and the Bible) that drives our personal racism.

I realize those are very strong words. You might struggle to agree with me. But the fact is, it’s true. We just go through our days making all sorts of assumptions and judgment calls based on outward appearances of skin tone, facial features, size, height, etc. It’s very hard to see through the programming because it seems to be such a natural part of the way we think. No one likes to admit it, but the consequences are too serious to ignore. We’ve been programmed, and that programming needs to be changed.

This is no surprise to God, of course. He is fully aware of the pressures and the influences that the world places upon us. But he also states very clearly that it doesn’t have to stay that way. Change can take place in our minds and our hearts:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think . . . so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Romans 12:2–6)
If you want to solve the issue of racism in your own life, it’s simple: you’ve got to believe the Bible and the true account of the history of the human race.

If you want to solve the issue of racism in your own life, it’s simple: you’ve got to believe the Bible and the true account of the history of the human race. That’s the bottom line. All of us need to judge our attitudes and our worldview against the absolute authority of the Word of God.

We Need to Take Action

Third, it’s time to take action.

James 1:22 commands us to be more than just hearers of the Word. We are to prove ourselves “doers of the Word.” We are to be people of action. These actions must come from the heart—from a determined conviction that the issues of racism need to be confronted with truth and integrity.

Instead of looking at minor outward differences in our physical features or skin tone, it’s time to look past the reflection of the small percentage of our genes and say, “This is my brother; this is my sister. I am one blood with this person.”

It’s time to fully learn and apply the message that the Lord gave to Samuel. God challenged him to not look at someone’s physical features, skin tone, size, etc.

“Do not look at his appearance or the height of his stature . . . for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

The next time you see someone who looks slightly different from you, you should ask, “How can I help them? Do they need my love, my care? Do they need the Lord?” We need to treat people as the Lord did. Jesus continually reached across the invisible barriers of prejudice to love people, to care for people, and to speak truth into people’s lives. He reached out to touch those who were unclean or those who were plagued with leprosy. He reached across ethnic and gender divisions to speak truth into the life of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4).

If you truly want to see your life reflect the life of Christ, then you must begin to allow Christ to love others through you, particularly those who are different than you, just as He did.

If you truly want to see your life reflect the life of Christ, then you must begin to allow Christ to love others through you, particularly those who are different than you, just as He did.

What a difference it will make in the lives around you as you begin to think and act that way! What a difference it will make in the world as more and more of us take up this cause! By choosing to act, we are pulling out the weeds of evolutionary thought and replanting with seeds of truth, love, understanding, and compassion as we are taught to do in God’s Word. That’s what it’s all about.

Find this complete chapter, and the rest of the book One Race, One Blood, at AnswersBookstore.com.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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