Friday, August 29, 2008

Are You a Racist?

With the current election in full swing, I thought it would be good to pull out a Bible study I did on racism a few years ago. I hope this is beneficial.

Are You a Racist?

Part 1

Adapted from:

Let me start by saying what my motivation for teaching this is. My job as a Bible teacher is to teach what the Bible says. Often, this can fly in the face of our culture and upbringing. Racism is one of those areas. Even with parents that taught me that racism was wrong, I still have to fight the racist tendencies in myself. I can only imagine the struggle for a young Christian whose upbringing has taught them that racism is OK. Some would even use the Bible to teach this. This is a gross misuse and misunderstanding of Scripture!

Also, I am not advocating the political correctness of today's so-called civil rights leaders. If the dream of MLK, Jr. was for people not to be judged by their skin color, then why do 'civil rights leaders' support things like Affirmative Action that determine a person's value primarily based on skin color? Racism is a two way street. But since my audience for this was primarily white, I taught it from that perspective. Let the backlash begin!

If someone saw your myspace page, would they think you were a racist?

Do you use the 'n-word', Rebel flag, other hurtful language and images (not political correctness!)

Do you do other things that make you look or sound better than people of other races?

Do you do things at school, home, work, or other places that make you look racist?

Are you 'afraid' of certain types of people? Do you simply avoid certain types of people and the places where YOU will be the minority? Do you actually think that you are better, smarter, or more spiritual than others because of their races?

What is a 'race', anyway?

  1. country of origin (all of us have mixtures of different origins)
  2. genetics (scientist say race is cultural, not genetic)
  3. skin color (we're all shades of brown)
  4. cultural (this is the true difference between us, but even it is fading)

What does God say about races and racism?

Genesis 1:26-27
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are a descendant of Adam and Eve, who were created by God, in God's Own image. Humans, all humans, are God's children.

John 4:4-26

When Jesus Christ, as a Jew, taught the Samaritan woman, He didn't care that she was a Samaritan, or a woman, since The Messiah, as the Son of God, was neither a racist, or a male chauvinist. The Lord taught the woman because she was one of God's children.

Acts 8:26-39

When Philip, as a Christian, baptized the man from Ethiopia, he didn't care that the man's skin was black, because Philip, as a true servant of God, was not a racist. He baptized the man because the man was one of God's children.

Anyone who thinks that Christianity, or The Bible is about favoritism or superiority, or in any way justifies hatred toward other people, should carefully consider these Scriptures:

  • Galatians 3:28-29
  • Acts 10:34-35
  • 1 John 2:9-11
  • James 2:8-9

If the early Christians (converted Jews) had been racist, then you and I would have never heard about Jesus. We are not Jews!

Interracial Marriage:
In several OT passages, God tell His people not to marry people of other races. Some today would say that this means that we should not marry people of difference races.

What do you think?

What are God's criteria for who we should marry? 2 Corinthians 6:14

Ruth (Ruth 1:3; Matt. 1:5 line of Jesus)
She's got an entire book in the Bible about her, AND she is one of Jesus' ancestors! Do you think God cares that she isn't a Jew? This also means that Jesus was not 100% a Jew. He also has a former prostitute in His ancestry (Rahab)! Oh, the scandal!

Next week, we'll look at another case of interracial marriage. God got mad, but not for the reason you would think…

Are You a Racist?

Part 2

Adapted from:

I. Aren't We All Brothers? (Acts 17:26)

"and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,"

A. Biological: Grandfather Adam (Gen 1-4) - Grandfather Noah (Gen 6-11)
B. Spiritual: If we all come from Adam & Noah, then how do we figure out who IS our brother? (1 Sam 16:7)

"But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

C. Separation: Tower of Babel (Genesis 11)

II. God Won't Tolerate Racism

A. God Says: "You like white, try this!" (Num 12:1-16)
1. Why was Miriam mad about Moses' Ethiopian wife? (Num 12:1)
2. What color skin disease did God give Miriam as punishment? (Num 12:10)
3. What was her only hope for healing? (Num 12:13)

B. Remember the Jews hated the half-breed Samaritans (Luke 10:25-37)

1. Why is the Samaritan in Jesus' story called "good"?
2. Who are the neighbors that Jesus expects you to serve?
3. Does Jesus give a command or a suggestion in verse 37?

III. Spiritual Brothers By Grace

A. What is the cause of division? Race or sin? (Jam 4:1)

"What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?"

B. What is the payment for sin? (Rom 3:23; 6:23)

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

C. How did Jesus pay the price for our peace with His Father? (1 Cor 6:20a) "For you have been bought with a price"

D. Are you a part of the Father's Family? (John 17:20-22)

"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one"

E. Our hope for peace is not a thing but a person. Who?

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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