Resolving Racism Bible Study (RRBS)- Part 1 of Many
In our world today we have some real issues. One of the most discussed is how the majority culture treats the minority culture. I live in America and we are having our discussions under the banner of racism. Our discussion involves White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native Americans.
In Malaysia, the discussion is about Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other indigenous Bumiputra groups.
In Brazil the discussion is branco (white), preto (black), pardo (brown, or multi-racial), amarelo (yellow, or Asian), and indígena (indigenous).- Wikepedia
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela became a household name as he led a movement to overcome apartheid.
India has struggled along caste line for years. Brahmin, the priests; Kshatriya, warriors and nobility; Vaisya, farmers, traders and artisans; and Shudra, tenant farmers, and servants. Some people were born outside of (and below) the caste system. They were called “untouchables.”.- Wikepedia
Check out this census card from 2011 in Great Britain. Choose one section A to E
- A- White
- English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
- Gypsy or Irish Traveler
- Any other white background- write in
- B- Mixed/multiple ethnic background
- White and Black Caribbean
- White and Black African
- White and Asian
- Any other mixed/multiple ethnic background- write in
- C- Asian/Asian British
- Any other Asian background- write in
- D- Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
- Any other black/Africa/Caribbean background- write in
- E- Other Ethnic Group
- Any other ethnic group- write in
The reality is that in every corner of the world there are “us” and “them”. Sometimes “us” has more people than “them” and instead of playing fair “us” mistreats “them” just because. This is never right, and God speaks to our inclination towards mistreatment of those who are different than us. This study is designed to help us begin to understand how God views mankind.
We are attempting to identify key passages in the Bible that apply to the idea of resolving racism and discrimination. The criteria we looked for were
- What verses speaks to the majority party who was in power and how they were to use their influence.
- What verses apply to the minority or persecuted party and how should they respond when mistreated
- What verses speaks to God’s perspective of what groups He sees. Spoiler alert- the “us” and “them” in the Bible is the God followers and the people who don’t follow God. The character of the God-follower is the same no matter the race. We are all under the authority of the Scripture.
- Though it is fascinating to consider that when He describes the scene at the throne in Revelation chapter 7 there are representatives from every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping. So, He does recognize our differences. And expects all of us to worship Him and Him alone.
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”Revelation 7
Let’s start in Matthew. In Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, he launches the listing the character of the God-follower. Most commonly referred to as the beatitudes. These are the attitudes that we need to be having!
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5
Let’s make some observations.
- We are to be humble towards God and others- poor in spirit.
- We are to mourn injustice, our sins and the sins of others.
- We are to be gentle and kind towards others.
- We are to desire greatly righteousness. We should want for things to be right.
- We are to show mercy towards others.
- We are to have good motive and be pure in heart.
- We are called to make peace.
- We are to persevere through persecution.
When we display these characteristics we are blessed by God. The Greek word here for blessed is makarios. Which means happy, fortunate, blessed are the people who live out God’s intentions for us in their daily lives.
If we had a little more Sermon on the Mount living, we might have a little less need for racial reconciliation. Just saying.
Check back with us as we continue this study of how to resolve racism and live together in peace.