Resolving Racism Bible Study (RRBS)- Part 2 of Many
I began this study as a bit of an experiment. I really do not know what the Bible says about racism. My hypothesis is that It is against it, but I don’t know for sure. As a young believer who grew up as an unchurched kid. I realized that there were a lot of things that I just do not know. I heard somebody say one time that Jesus was a master question asker and so I read all the gospels and underlined every question He asked. I read where He says to teach others to obey everything He commanded so I read the gospels to see what He commanded us to do. I think you get the idea.
So, in Tim Howington fashion, the world is aflame with talk of racism and I wonder what the Bible says. So, I am systematically working through the Scripture looking for ideas that might help me wrap my brain around this volatile topic. The Christian is supposed to live with a newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. The paper tells us what is going on in the world and the Bible tells us how to deal with it. You may not agree with the passages that stick out to me and that is ok. Your list may be different from mine. But I do want a list.
Here is my second passage.
5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heavenMatthew 5
Let’s make some observations
- Believers are supposed to be salt and light in the world
- Salt is supposed to flavor and preserve our culture
- Light is supposed to show the culture the way to truth
- If we are not salty, we are not achieving our purpose
- If we do not do what we are supposed to do then we are good for nothing
- If we do not do what we are supposed to do then we will be criticized and trampled
- Our light is not intended to be hidden
- We are to live in such a way that the world sees our good works and glorify God
I had a Christian friend recently say that the Church has been the major instigator of racism in our world. I am not sure how he got to that conclusion- but it hurt my heart that someone would even say that. Whether he really believes that or is parroting something he has heard, we as the Church just cannot have that be true. We must be salt and light.
My hopeful opinion is the reverse is true. That the true Church of Jesus Christ has been and will continue to be salt and light in this discussion of racism.
I am reading a book by Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy called Unified. They are both from South Carolina. At the time of the writing of the book both were in Congress. One is black, one is white. Both are followers of Jesus. And they are great friends.
In the first of the book they jointly tell the story of the horrific killing of 9 black Christians at a Charleston, SC church by a white man. This atrocity had the potential to turn South Carolina racial tension on it’s head and cause a race riot like we are seeing across the country. But the Church stepped in. The black church in South Carolina stepped in. Somehow during that pain, grief and turmoil, the leaders of the church and the families of the slain forgave.
Did you hear that? They forgave.
Who does that? Nobody does that. That is from another reality than what I see every day. That is other worldly. That is something beyond just the strength of strong character. That is from God.
That my friend is Salt. That my friend is Light.