Daniel Bramlett/Casey Curtis
I pray you read Alvin Hunter’s words with thoughtfulness and care last week. The Church should be standing at ground zero in this struggle against prejudice offering hope and example to all who come behind us. This week my friend, Casey Curtis, the pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist on 29 South has written the bulk of this article.
Casey’s heart is much the same as mine, that we, as brothers in Christ will one day stand before the throne of Jesus as representatives of Heaven and not Earth. Our sin invites us to divide. The Spirit invites us to unite. Our culture says we will never be equal. The Lord says we will all be equal before His throne. The world says one ethnicity must dominate over the others for there to be progress. God says He is the only One who holds any kind of supremacy in our lives. The members of the Body of Christ MUST live as though Heaven is our greater reality and the worship service around the throne is our goal. If this is the case, we must begin to adopt the race language of the Bible and set aside the race language of the South. Listen carefully to Casey’s words. They are wise and helpful and lead us in the direction we must go if we are to walk towards Jesus.
The Bible does not even use the word “race” in reference to people but it does describe all human beings as being of “one blood” (Acts 17:26). Terms such as these emphasize that we are all related, from one family, the descendents of the first man and woman. This is the reason Paul says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), because we are all descendants of Adam. Jesus Christ also became a descendant of Adam, when He came to earth as a man (Philippians 2:6–8) and died as a sacrifice for our sins. He was called the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). All human beings are descendents of Adam, all need to build their thinking on God’s Word and accept that they are sinners in need of salvation, all need to judge their behavior in every area, regardless of the culture, against the absolute standards of the Word of God, and all need to repent and receive a free gift of salvation.
We all need to treat every human being as our relative. We are of one blood, 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 the gospel can and should be preached to all tribes and nations.
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. You need to begin to see as God sees. When you see the European, the Arab, the Native American, the African American, the Aborigine, the Asian . . . you need to look at them and see your relatives—fellow human beings with the same needs you possess. Just like you, they are seeking love, affirmation, and truth. It’s time for you to show them the way you have found. Cross the street with your hand outstretched ready to shake the hand of another shade of melanin.
For there is no difference between the Jew and Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. (Romans 10:12)