Skin or Sin?

on April 1, 2015
Featured in Answers Magazine

Twice last year, grand juries in different US cities decided not to indict police officers in the separate shooting deaths of young black men. Since then, Bible-believing church leaders of various ethnic backgrounds have urged churches to examine the country’s racial divides.

One such leader is Pastor Fredrick Boyd, who leads an inner-city ministry in south Indianapolis. Boyd has been a keen observer of racial conflict in America. Careful not to use evolution-laden terms like “race,” this pastor (who prefers not to be identified as “African-American” or be called “black”) confidently declares that we are all of “one blood” (Acts 17:26) and that there is only one race of people—the human race.

“People need to understand that the problem is more about sin as opposed to skin.”

He notes that people of dark skin have endured hundreds of years of injustice in the United States, and that even though the United States has made much progress since the 1960s, it is still not a post-racial nation. In support of that contention, he points to his own experiences of “driving while black” (a popular expression for people with dark skin being pulled over for no legal reason).

It grieves Pastor Boyd that in the aftermath of the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, violence and looting filled his TV screen. He acknowledged that we may never know exactly what happened in this suburb of St. Louis that night, but we can still learn from it. He echoed the well-publicized observation NFL player Benjamin Watson posted on Facebook, that in order to bring about true racial reconciliation, people need to understand the problem is more about sin than skin.1

Sin causes racist attitudes, argues Boyd, but God has provided a remedy through our Savior, Jesus Christ. The gospel of Christ can break down the barriers that help maintain racial divides. Pastor Boyd believes that, understanding we are all of one blood (a biblical truth confirmed by modern genetics), Christians should be leading the effort for racial reconciliation.

Answers Magazine

April – June 2015

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