THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT
Joe Gilmore, deceased
To be prejudice against others simply
because they dont look like we
look is sinful. The Bible does not say
teach and baptize all races, but keep
them in their place.
In Acts 10:34-35 Peter said, Of a truth I perceive that
God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth
him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Whether you believe it or not, we are all prejudice about
some things. Some of us are prejudice as to where we live. We
wouldnt live over here; we want to live over there. Many are
prejudice about where to go to school. We are prejudice about what
we eat. But let me tell you: to be prejudice against others simply
because they dont look like we look is sinful. In other words,
there are many people prejudice because some peoples hair is
straight; they are prejudice against other people because their
hair is curly; prejudice against other people because their hair is
kinky. If that is the reason you are prejudice, youre in
trouble. That kind of prejudice is being sinful.
The congregation where I preach is integrated. We have two
black song leaders, a red preacher, and the audience is made up of
red, yellow, black, and white. So, when you come to our
congregation, you get a lot of color. Its all there. This is
The Bible has a lot to say about racial prejudice.
Naturally, the Bible is against it. The Bible condemns it. We look
back in the Old Testament and learn about a minority group of
Hebrews. The Egyptians were the majority. According to this verse
(Gen. 43:32), the Egyptians thought it would be an abomination to
eat with the Hebrews. There wasnt just a pocket of hatred that
existed solely among the Egyptians. There was a pocket of hatred
with the Jews and that is true today. Sometimes we think white
people may be prejudice against black people. On the other hand,
there is just about as much prejudice of the black man throughout
the world against the white man as there is the white man against
the black. So, as the Egyptians were prejudice against the Hebrews,
the Hebrews, in turn, were prejudice against the Gentiles.
Think about the time when the apostle Paul announced to the
Jews that he was going to the Gentiles to preach the Gospel. Did
the Jews like it? They certainly did not. In Acts 22:22 the Jews
said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not
fit that he should live. Here we have the viewpoint of the
Jews toward a Gentile, and anybody that was going to go preach to
the Gentiles isnt fit to live upon the earth. Paul, being a
Jew, and going to preach to the Gentiles, away with him;
he shouldnt even be alive fit to live upon the earth.
If you want to see Gods love for all races of people,
you want to read the entirety of the book of Jonah. Jonah despised
the people of Nineveh. He didnt want to go and preach to them,
and yet, God told him to go and preach, yet forty days, and
Nineveh shall be overthrown (Jonah 3:4). God didnt
say if theyll repent in forty days Ill save them, but
that is implied. Because they did repent, and God saved them. It is
strange indeed, later on, they went wrong again. This time, they
did not repent, and God destroyed the Ninevites (Nahum 1-3). But
here is a wonderful lesson. Jonah didnt want to go and preach
to the people of Nineveh. He didnt like these people; he
despised them. And, then, of course, you remember how he was put
out of the ship, and God prepared a great fish to swallow old
Jonah. You know, when that old fish spewed Jonah out on dry ground,
I believe he went in a run to preach to Nineveh. Dont you
believe he did? These were people he had despised, that he
didnt want to preach to; but now, he is going to Nineveh.
In Genesis 1:26, God said, Let us make man in our
image. Which man did God make? Did he make black man? Did
he make yellow man? Did he make white man? Which man did God make?
What color of skin did Adam and Eve have? Did they have black skin?
Did they have red skin? Did you ever find a passage that told you
what color of skin Adam and Eve had? I havent been able to
find it. Did God make Adam and Eve black? Did he make them red? Did
he make them yellow? A lot of people said, No, he made them
white. Id like to see that passage of Scripture. Where is
My people (American Indians) believe that Adam and Eve were
red. Some of my relatives and I went to a Creek and Seminole
pow-wow. My Indian cousin, Netsie Gray, was directing the ceremony.
After a while he came by and said, What color was Adam and
Eve? I didnt bite. He said, What does earth
mean? I said, It means dirt. What kind of
dirt? Well, red dirt. Youll have a hard job
convincing him that Adam and Eve were not red people.
God said, Let us make man in our image.
Again, I ask, What man? It means all men. It means black,
yellow, red, white all men. God made all men in His image.
We come to the New Testament and find there is much to be
said against racial prejudice. Did you know that our Lord broke the
normal barrier of etiquette of His day? When he came to Jacobs
Well he asked the Samaritan woman for water. She was startled. She
didnt know what to say about it. But here is her answer in
John 4:9, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of
me, which is a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with
the Samaritans. Here was the despised race of the
Samaritans, and Jesus converted the woman about living
water at Jacobs Well.
Jesus had set his face to go to Jerusalem and sends some of
his disciples ahead. One of the villages of Samaria rejected Jesus
lodging and would not let him stay in their city. No, not for a
night. Do you know what James and John did? These two disciples of
the Lord wanted to command fire to come down from heaven and
consume them. Here is racial prejudice on the side of the
Samaritans. They didnt want Jesus in their town. Here is
prejudice of the Jewish disciples against the Samaritans
Shall we command fire to come down from heaven and
consume them? What did Jesus say? You know not what
manner of spirit you are of. The Son of man is not come to destroy
mens lives, but to save them (Luke 9:51-56). Here is
a lesson against racial prejudice. Prejudice on two sides, both of
the Samaritans and of the Jews.
What a lesson the Lord gave when the hero of a story turns
out to be a Samaritan. I wonder what those Jews thought who heard
Christ make the hero a Samaritan? Jesus tells in Luke 10 about a
certain man that goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho. If you leave
Jerusalem and go anywhere, its down, because Jerusalem is the
highest point. It shows you the Bible is historically and
geographically accurate. As this man went, he fell among thieves.
They stripped him, robbed him, and left him half dead. A priest and
a Levite passed by (both Jews). Along comes a Samaritan, a despised
race of people. He sees the man and pours oil and wine in his
wounds; puts him on his beast and takes him to an inn and tells the
innkeeper, take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest
more, when I come again, I will repay thee (v.35). Now,
the question: Which of the three was neighbor to him that fell
among thieves? Answer: He that showed mercy. Now, hear the Lord,
Go, thou, and do thou likewise. This means a man
of any nation, any nationality, regardless of who he is, help him.
Put him into a place of care and even spend what you have, be
responsible for a man of another race. This is what Jesus our Lord
We see another picture in John 17. The Lord prayed,
Neither pray I for these (apostles) alone, but for
them also which shall believe on me through their word: That they
all may be one (17:20-21). Didnt say black.
Didnt say red. Didnt say yellow. Didnt say white.
That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and
I in thee, that they also may be one in us. Thats the
black man, the red man, yellow man, white man. All one. Here is
unity. The Lord didnt pray for unity-in-diversity.
Unity in diversity is contradictory. You might as well talk about
an honest thief. Did you ever see a truthful liar? Unity in
diversity theres no such thing. Just mixing blacks and
whites all together and let them walk around on the street
thats not unity.
Jesus wants all races of people to be one like he
and His Father are one. Thats for all the black, the white,
the red, and the yellow. The Lord teaches against division.
Its wrong to be divided. Congregations have been slow to
answer the Lords prayer.
Racial prejudice was in the early church. When the Gospel
was first preached in the city of Jerusalem, God intended for all
nations of men to obey. The early church understood, or so they
thought, that the church was to be a Jewish church and they went
along for some years believing that. God had to correct that Jewish
thinking. It took a miracle to do so. Peter received a vision, a
vessel descending from heaven as a great sheet lifted by the four
corners and let down to the earth. On it were all manner of
four-footed beasts and wild beasts and creeping things and fowls of
the air. There came a voice, Arise, Peter, kill and
eat. Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never
eaten anything that is common or unclean. This is a
scripture that you very seldom hear quoted. Brethren just leave
this passage alone. They talk about the sheet, the vision, that
Peter was told to kill and eat and his reply that he had never done
so. But they leave out verse 28. What does this verse say?
God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or
unclean. Peter gives a summary of all it meant. Isnt
that beautiful? Have you ever called a man common and unclean? If
you have, you need to repent. Thats sinful.
The doctrine Peter preached was safeguarded by the Holy
Spirit, but the way he lived was in his own control. He walked as
a hypocrite. He didnt leave all his prejudice. He carried it
on. It continued for a while. In Galatians 2:11 Paul said,
When Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the
face, because he was to be blamed. Peter didnt get
rid of his prejudice. He held some of it. Paul, a member of the
Lords family, set another member of the family straight. There
ought to be some setting straight today of members of the family.
Here was a man acting as a hypocrite. Peter knew better. God had
told him to call no man common and unclean. And now, he was doing
the very thing opposite of what he had learned in the lesson of the
sheet. There was a problem of prejudice in the early church and it
had to be dealt with.
The apostle Paul clearly and totally showed the equality of
all men in Ephesians 2:14. For he is our peace, who hath
made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition
between us. Verse 16, That he might reconcile both
unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity
thereby. Christ makes peace in one body. This shows the
equality of all men. People were divided in the days of the Jews
and the Gentiles (the common two classes of the day). He made both
one, one body, by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
What can we, as the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13-16), do to
eliminate prejudice in the world and communities in which we live?
We can be a Christian. It would be a good idea to
practice Christianity. We claim to follow Christ. So, why not just
be a Christian? If you are a Christian, you are going to love all
men. If you are a Christian, you arent going to cull-out any
race of people. You are interested in one just as much as another.
One soul is just as precious as another. So, try being a Christian.
We can search our hearts. It might surprise you
what is in your heart. Have you ever really stopped to search out
what is in your heart, whether youre prejudice or whether
youre not prejudice? It will surprise you what you might find.
Some people are more prejudice than others. In the house of God,
all races belong. If you have a problem that some race does not
belong, then, you dont belong. The problem is with you.
We can apply and live by the second greatest
commandment of the Bible: thou shalt love thy neighbor as
thyself (Mark 12:31). Who is your neighbor? If youre
a white man, your neighbor is a black man, a red man, a yellow man.
Thats who your neighbors are. It may be another white man,
We can understand that Jesus died for all men. He
didnt die for the black man, just the black man or the red
man. We are told that Jesus tasted of death for every man (Heb.
2:9). Do you believe that scripture? If you do, you know that
Christ died for the black and the red and the yellow and the white.
He died for all.
We can realize that God has made of one
blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the
earth (Acts 17:26). Some have misunderstood this. Hitler
believed that the German people had superior blood better than
anybody elses blood. That belief cost the lives of six million
Jews. Verse 29 says we are the offspring of God.
This is not talking about monkeys. Theyre telling us in
schools that we have an ape ancestry. Today, were seeing boys
and girls running up and down our streets acting like apes. I see
a lot of them that remind me of an ape. We dont have a monkey
ancestry. We have a divine ancestry. This is true of all races of
people. Human beings are not animals. I get tired of hearing people
talk about man being an animal. Man is a creature made in the image
We can begin by teaching our children. Children have
no hate pockets in their hearts. Theyre born pure,
born in the image of God, born without corruption. They are called
innocents in the Bible. The only way they learn hatred is from
their parents. There is only one Gospel. Jesus said, preach
the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved (Mark 16:16). In the past it has worked
something like this: Go preach the Gospel to the Indian and baptize
him, and then after he is baptized, put him in his place. Ive
used the Indian rather than some other race because I think I can
get by with that better. It has happened to the Indian. It has
happened to the black man. It has happened to the yellow man. Go
baptize him, but, after that, put him in his place. That is not
taught in the Bible.
Put yourself in the place of the victims of prejudice.
Think about it and you wont be prejudice. You will say with
Jesus, The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that
heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever
will, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).
Brother Gilmore was a Creek Indian by physical birth and
a child of God by spiritual birth. He traveled far
wide preaching the Gospel for many years.
Table of Contents
ARE YOU A RACIST?
Garland M. Robinson
According to Webster, racism is poor treatment of or
violence against people because of their race. The belief that some
races of people are better than others. Any program or
practice of racial discrimination, segregation, persecution, and
domination, based on racialism. The World Book Dictionary
says: The belief that a particular race, especially ones
own, is superior to other races. Discrimination or
prejudice against a race or races based on this belief.
Racism is wrong, no matter on whose part it may be. It is
sinful regardless which race is guilty. No particular race has a
monopoly on it, even though some think so. Racism is totally
unchristian. Christians cannot be racist and be pleasing to God.
Racism is totally man-made. It is not a natural born
instinct. No one is born a racist. Children are innocent a
clean slate. They are molded and shaped by those around them.
Racism has to be taught, fostered, promoted and learned. And sadly,
there are many who foster the ill feelings of hatred, distrust and
racism. Generations grow up thinking it is normal and natural to
hate those of a different ethnic background, neighborhood, culture,
or skin color. Basically, the truth of the matter is: love and
respect in, love and respect out suspicion and
hatred in, suspicion and hatred out.
Racism is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways. To oppose
those of a certain race because of the color of their skin (or for
whatever reason), makes one a racist. But on the other hand, to
champion and promote your own race to the exclusion of a different
race is likewise racist. It is racist (respect of persons and
prejudice) to NOT support, defend or vote for someone because of
the color of their skin. BUT, it is also racist (respect of persons
and prejudice) to support, defend or vote FOR someone because of
the color of their skin. It works both ways doesnt it?
Its just as wrong either way. As Christians, we owe no man
anything ...but to love one another (Rom. 13:8).
I do not owe someone my vote because of the color of their
Should we NOT vote for a person because he is black? No
Should we vote FOR a person because he is black? No
Should we NOT vote for a person because he is white? No
Should we vote FOR a person because he is white? No
Color has absolutely NOTHING to do with voting,
whether FOR or AGAINST. When it does, youre prejudice,
youre racist. Dont you agree? When I vote for someone
because he is one of us, or I do not vote for someone
because he is not one of us, Ive abandoned the
principle of righteousness.
Brother Ken Burleson made some excellent points on this
topic. He pointed out that RACISM IS NOT:
On the other hand, RACISM IS:
Arresting an individual of another race,
Hiring someone based solely on qualifications,
Police searching a neighborhood of a particular race when the
victim says the attackers were of that particular race,
Marrying someone of your own race.
Attacking someone because of their race,
Saying you will not vote for someone because of their race,
The government providing benefits for someone because of their
Allowing solicitation of funds for colleges and universities of
one race but not of another race,
Having a pageant for one race but not allowed for another
(pageants are wrong, period),
Being hired for a job based solely on race,
Adding points to the Civil Service test for a certain race so
they might get a job but not add points for another race.
Having a special Bible for one race and rejecting a Bible for
When employers do not pay certain employees a fair salary
because they are of another race.
While great strides have been made in an effort to curtail
racism in this country, there are still many who keep fanning the
flames. They have a vested interest in keeping racism alive. They
utilize it for their own advantage for all its worth. They
make their living by it. They love the lime-light and notoriety.
They feel entitled to privileges (that are denied to others)
because of the color of their skin. Weve even heard some say,
so and so is too white, or so and so is not black
enough. What in the world do statements like this mean!? We
know the answer, they say it in order to keep racism alive! They
dont want it to cease. These are dissenters who thrive at
sowing discord, unrest and turmoil. The recent violence in
Ferguson, Missouri, New York, Sanford, Florida, Cambridge,
Massachusetts and other places prove this to be the case. Some,
even in high places, lift up their voice to charge an incident as
racism before they know the facts. Actually, many
dont care about the facts. They have to keep stirring the pot!
Our blessed Lord and Savior has no part or lot with such hatred.
Every human being on the face of the earth is equal in
Gods sight. The Lord made of one blood all
nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth
(Acts 17:26). We all came from the same place. What color where
Adam and Eve? Doesnt matter! No race is better than another
race, nor is one race inferior to another race.
Jesus never condoned violence nor promoted anarchy. When the
Pharisees sought council how they might destroy him (Matt. 12:14),
he did not raise a band of supporters and march in the streets to
defend his rights and promote his cause. He did not set fires and
destroy property because of his outrage. When He learned about the
plot against him, ...he withdrew himself from thence: and
great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16And charged
them that they should not make him known: 17That it might be
fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 18Behold
my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well
pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew
judgment to the Gentiles. 19He shall not strive, nor cry; neither
shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20A bruised reed shall
he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he
send forth judgment unto victory. 21And in his name shall the
Gentiles trust (Matt. 12:15-21; cf. Isa. 42:1-4).
This text says the Lord did not strive (v.19).
That is, he did not engage in strife, dissension and turmoil. He
did not cry (shout, clamor, uproar); nor did anyone hear
his voice in the streets (v.19). He did not take to the
streets and march in protest. He did not lift up his voice to
arouse anger and frenzied emotion in the community in order to
exploit his own purposes. He was gentle and peaceful. He would not
even break a reed (plant stem) that was bruised (broken to shivers,
crushed) and ready to die. He would not extinguish a smoking flax
(the smoldering, expiring wick of a lamp). His mission was to help,
not hurt rescue, not harm. Those engaging in protests around
the world and right here in the United States have never learned
the example and lesson of our blessed Lord. Racism is a major
factor in their course of mayhem and destruction. They feel they
have a license to wreck and destroy.
What does the Bible teach on the subject of racism? Note
these very clear and plain passages.
God is color-blind. So are faithful Christians. God respects
no mans person. It is so also with faithful Christians. Peter
was made to understand that centuries long segregation of the Jews
and Gentiles would no longer to be maintained in the Christian Age.
At the house of Cornelius he announced, ...Of a truth I
perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in
every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is
accepted with him (Acts 10:34-35). The middle wall of
partition between Jew and Gentile (the races) was broken down by
the Lords death and the preaching of the Gospel (Eph. 2-3).
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of
commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of
twain (two) one new man, [so] making
James chapter two clearly teaches against prejudice. The
Lords people must not make a distinction between the rich and
the poor; and, by extension, the lowly and the admirable, those of
a certain status and those of another, those of one skin color and
those of a different skin color. To have respect of persons is a
sin (James 2:9).
Salvation is freely available to all, For there is
no respect of persons with God (Rom 2:11). ...He
that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done:
and there is no respect of persons (Col. 3:25).
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of
persons judgeth according to every mans work, pass the time of
your sojourning [here] in fear (1 Peter 1:17; cf. Gal.
The Lord teaches to love our neighbor fellow human
beings. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself
(Matt. 22:39). The golden rule takes care of racism!
Jesus said, Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that
men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law
and the prophets (Matt. 7:12). May we all treat people the
way God would have us treat them. Every person of every race has a
soul that will one day stand before God.
What color was Jesus? He was not white, nor was he black.
The point is, what difference does it make? Why would we think in
terms of his skin having to be of one color or another? He was the
sinless, harmless, undefiled son of God (cf. Heb. 7:26). His blood
was red just like ours. His blood was the price paid for the
forgiveness of humanitys sins (Eph. 1:7). He did not die for
men of a certain color. He died for all men (Heb. 2:9).
We cannot condemn, look down upon, or refuse to fellowship
anyone because of the color of their skin. But neither can we give
someone a pass (ignore their sin) because of the color of
their skin. Ones status in life, their position in the church,
the community or politics, whether they have money or dont
have money, who their parents or ancestors are, or who they think
they are, makes no difference according to the Scriptures. Our task
is to preach and teach the unsearchable riches of Christ to every
human being in the world.
EVERY soul is precious! We are no better than anyone else,
nor are we any less than anyone else.
Table of Contents
A crown is an emblem of distinction and honor. There are
different kinds of crowns in the Bible. There is the diadem of the
king, the miter of the priest, and the laurels of the champion. The
cruelest crown of all was the crown of thorns placed in mockery and
derision upon the head of Jesus.
There are also metaphorical crowns. Paul wrote of the pride
and glory he had in his brethren calling them his joy and
crown (Phil. 4:1) and crown of rejoicing
(1 Thess. 2:19-20). When writing in anticipation of his reward for
faithful service he spoke of receiving a crown of
righteousness (2 Tim. 4:6-8). For the special service of
faithful elders, Peter wrote of a crown of glory that
fadeth not away (1 Peter 5:1-4). The laurel wreath of an
athletic champion would perish, but Paul wrote of an
incorruptible crown (1 Cor. 9:24-27). In
Revelation 2:10 Jesus told John to write, Be thou faithful
unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Sometimes earthly crowns come with a heavy price.
Shakespeare has King Henry the 4th saying, Uneasy lies the
head that wears a crown. Most of us have neither expectation
nor desire for an earthly crown; we would rather settle for a good
ball cap. But we who are in the Lords service and faithfully
remain, anticipate the reward of these metaphorical spiritual
crowns. But like earthy crowns, sometimes spiritual crowns come
with a great price and we may be tempted to lay them aside. We
should resist that temptation. Paul said in Romans 8:18,
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in
us. Jesus instructed John to write, Behold, I come
quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy
crown (Rev. 3:11).
647 Finger Bluff Rd.
Morrison, TN 37357
Table of Contents
OVERCOMING RACIAL PREJUDICE
James. W. Boyd
We may be able to remove some injustices and
unfair treatment through laws, but education
in the way of God is the only way
to remove racial prejudice.
Acts 10:9-15, On the morrow, as they went on their
journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the
housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10And he became very hungry,
and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a
trance, 11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending
unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners,
and let down to the earth: 12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted
beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and
fowls of the air. 13And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter;
kill, and eat. 14But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never
eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15And the voice [spake]
unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, [that] call
not thou common.
Our subject is very controversial and it is unlikely all
will agree with what is presented here. Even though I have tried to
avoid personal opinions and concentrate on facts, Scripture, and
the spirit of Christ, the nature of the subject makes it difficult
to disassociate oneself from the emotion of it and be totally
objective. The day in which we live contributes to this.
We assume from the start that racial prejudice is something
undesirable, and where it exists it should be overcome. A sense of
fairness, the opposite of prejudice, and Biblical teaching lead us
to this conclusion. Prejudice is a judgment-in-advance without
examination. It prejudges. It is not prejudice to approve or
disapprove of something or someone after adequate examination has
been made and the evidence speaks. Racial prejudice is one of the
more volatile and explosive kinds of prejudice, surpassed possibly
by religious prejudice. Racial prejudice is an attitude and action
that is injurious and negative toward a person because of his race
or color of skin.
Shall we be realistic? We have racial prejudice all around us
in this world, and probably within us. This is true
internationally, nationally, and even among those of us in the
church. What is the Christ-like way to handle this problem? What
does God expect of His people? Regardless of what the rest of the
world says or does, or how anyone of us may think or act, what must
we do to please God?
Christianity was born in the midst of intense racial
prejudice. It is not a product of it, but it began where it was
thick and violent. No people have been more guilty of racial
prejudice than the Jews and Gentiles of the first century in the
land of Palestine. Some exalted themselves for no other reason than
they were of a certain race, and considered others as outcasts,
dogs, or worse; and on racial grounds. This was taught, expressed,
reflected in behavior, laws and in every other way.
One prominent mark of prejudice is the willingness to generalize
concerning other people. Let me illustrate. Even though every
person is an individual, unlike any other, yet, in describing each
other and forming attitudes toward each other we will generalize.
Southerners are this way; northerners are that way. Who could dare
say that all southerners are alike in everything, or all
northerners are alike? It has been said: College people are
snobbish. The rich are money hungry and think they are better than
others. The poor are lazy. Elders are holding back the church.
Preachers try to run things. Women are overly emotional. Blacks are
not responsible. These generalizations are found in some of every
Right here, let us consider a thought that is worth the
entire study if we can learn it. What may be characteristic of even
a majority of a certain group is not necessarily characteristic of
every individual in that group. Whether we realize it or not, we
are guilty of too many generalizations that only announces our
What has caused our present day racial prejudice? Certainly the
past has contributed to it. Prejudice is taught, handed down by
word and example from generation to generation. Run your own
experiment. Children of different races can and do play peacefully
with each other. The difference in color of skin does not affect
their conduct toward each other. But after a few years of
traditions, customs and adult examples, they learn to distinguish
on the basis of race. Whatever may be their race, they are usually
taught that those of their race are right and all others
are either wrong or certainly less right.
Behind much prejudice is the attempt to build up oneself at
the expense of running the other fellow down. This occurs not only
in race relations but in many areas of life. It reveals jealousy,
envy, inferiority and a lack of maturity and self-esteem. When we
are inclined to consider ourselves somewhat and better
than others, we would do well to realize that there are many
others, in any race, who can excel and exceed us in whatever we
attempt. We really have no justification to consider ourselves
special simply because of our race.
How does the will of Christ deal with this problem? Romans
10:12, For there is no difference between the Jew and the
Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon
him. Acts 10:34,35, Then Peter opened his mouth,
and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of
persons: but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh
righteousness is accepted with him.
PROBLEMS ATOP PROBLEMS
These passages teach that God considers every person a soul
worth saving and the plan of salvation is open to all on the same
terms. Jesus used the Samaritan as an example of a man who showed
love toward his neighbor (Luke 10:25-37). John the Baptist warned
that the day of dependence on fleshly ancestry to be acceptable to
God would soon end. The long standing social traditions that
alienated one from another would come crashing down. But they would
have to fall through teaching, not through violence and revolution
that usually set prejudice in cement for generations to come (Matt.
The crash programs designed to remove prejudice
usually make the removal of prejudice far more difficult. They may
temporarily remove some of the effects of prejudice. But people
must be converted in heart to the doctrine that God loves every
soul, and it is the will of Christ that all be treated as each
would want the other to treat him. This is the golden
rule (Matt. 7:12).
Something that ought to help us become less prejudice is to
remember the brotherhood of the human family. Acts 17:26,
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell
on all the face of the earth.... The fact that God created
Adam and Eve, from whom we have come, verifies this relationship.
Not only is there Biblical evidence to this brotherhood of man
physically, but scientific evidence as well. We do not propose to
explain where the different races originated because we are not
informed. But foolish and unlearned (untaught, JWB)
questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strife (2
Tim. 2:23). If we never know why there are such varieties among the
human family, our ignorance of that does not discount the fact that
we are of one blood and ultimate origin.
We often create problems trying to remove problems. This is true
in dealing with racial prejudice. Impatience is a problem, and
there is good reason why impatience exists. Hypocrisy and
self-righteousness always has aggravated the problem. Some years
ago a president of a northern university denounced the race riots
at the University of Georgia, and they were reprehensible. But
unfair discriminations existed on his own campus that had been
suppressed through intimidation and there were no riots. Racial
prejudice will not likely be dissolved, even eased, until each one
considers himself. No one section, no one race, no one element of
society has a monopoly on racial prejudice. Some, while denouncing
it, exploit it for their own advancements as far as they can.
Everything from the raised fist and the shouts of Black
Power to the Ku Klux Klan is offered as evidence. We
would again insist, though it demands patience, education in the
way of God is the only way to remove racial prejudice. We may be
able to remove some injustices and unfair treatment through laws,
demonstrations, threats and such like (this has been prominent in
race relationships in our time), but we shall never remove the
taproot of one of humanities evils, racial prejudice, until there
is greater conformity to the will of Christ.
Should we advocate an across-the-board mixing of all races? Is
this what God requires? We think not, nor can we find the Bible
calls for that. We have good reason to be proud of the race to
which we belong and so do others of other races. All men have this
right. But can we justify some being advanced over others just
because of race? Can we exonerate a system of justice that is
unequal? Can we hate one color but love
another? It is not really a question of mixing the races. The races
have been intermingled through the ages of history. The question
is, To what extent are they to be intermingled in keeping with
Gods will? What does His law teach us?
While it has proven expedient in many instances for there to
be congregations predominantly one color or the other, to contend
that this is a must is wrong. If we are to have
segregated congregations, let it be because it may be easier to
reach the lost with this arrangement, not because of racial
antagonism or because we think God requires it. Let us be honest
Inevitably comes the question, Do you favor intermarriage
of the races? Both the answer and the reason for the answer is
important. It is not favored. We do not doubt that with more racial
intermingling there will be more such marriages. Wisdom,
experience, good judgment and the vast host of problems that would
accompany such marriages in our society place unwarranted strains
on such marriages that they would be more likely to fall, dissolve,
or provide unhappiness possibly for generations. We would also not
encourage a rich girl to marry a poor boy, or an educated man to
marry an illiterate woman, or even people with extremely different
customs. We do not favor such things on the grounds of wisdom and
expedience. But have we the Scripture at hand that teaches such
marriages are necessarily sinful, even interracial marriages? If
so, where is the passage? Produce it! While it may be unwise to
enter into a marriage with so many strikes against it from the
start, where does the Bible teach it is a sin?
We should teach our children to seek those with whom they
have an extensive compatibility, especially to marry a Christian.
Some are so warped about race that they would never allow a
marriage outside of their own race, but seem to care little about
marriages to those who will take their souls to hell.
Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there
is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye
are all one in Christ Jesus. Spiritually, we become united
in Christ. When a Jew is baptized he does not cease to be of Jewish
ancestry and lineage. When a male is baptized he does not cease to
be male. When a black, white, someone big or little, rich or poor
obeys the Gospel, these things do not change. But our spiritual
relationship with each other changes. Our attitude toward each
other changes. We can recognize these differences because they
still exist, but these differences will not separate us
spiritually, but will make us brothers who are considerate of our
differences and treat one another kindly.
THE RIGHT OF CHOICE
I once baptized a black man. He went down black and came up
black, just like I went down white and came up white when I was
baptized. But if we have the right spirit, we are brothers in
Christ, and are determined that such differences (that we both
recognize exist) shall not separate our fellowship in the Lord. We
will treat each other fairly, considerately, helping each other get
to heaven. Is not that the way it should be?
Christians have the right and privilege of choosing their
companions, closest friends, daily associations, without being
racially prejudiced, and we should grant that right to everyone
without branding it prejudice. We make discriminations among those
of our own race in many matters. Certainly it is not wrong to make
certain distinctions elsewhere. All discrimination is not evil. But
unfair, unjust, unkind, injurious discrimination is evil. The
latter is motivated by racial prejudice and even hatred.
Many stand guilty as charged in this matter. Who is
guiltless? Because the guilt is so widespread, the problem is hard
to solve. Many good people in other areas of life have stumbled
here. Peter and Barnabas did, and Paul rebuked them for it (Gal.
2:11-12). It has hindered our work among many elements of human
beings. It has soured our attitude toward many good people. It has
caused the church and individual Christians great embarrassment
because of our inconsistency and guilt.
Cant you almost hear the wail that the solution offered is
to simplistic? But the matter goes back to the teaching of Christ
and our attitude toward others. The golden rule is still
a good place to start. When God considers every soul worth the
price of His Sons blood, who am I or you to declare that all
people of a certain class, element or group regarding race are this
way, that way, some other way, without taking the individual into
consideration. We might ask ourselves if Jesus sought to save those
who were not His fleshly race? Should we do as He did? Did He
persecute and mistreat anyone? Why should we? Are all blacks just
alike? Are all Jews just alike? Are all whites just alike? Are we
not individual souls before God, and deserve to be looked upon that
We both should study the matter in fairness and in the light
of truth. But what is said here would go a long way toward making
the world a better place if we would apply these things. As I write
this, I think the best place for me to start is with me. Will you
start with you?
2720 S Chancery St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
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