From Guest Pastor: Kevin Trembley, First Baptist Church, Minitonas, MB
We live in a very divided world right now.
Countries are at war. People groups are in conflict. Cultures are clashing. New and traditional values are increasingly at odds.
Even in our own country, there seems to be an increasingly wide divide between people for a variety of reasons- race, gender, sexual preference, religion, and so much more.
Racism especially seems to have received a lot of attention lately.
Putting aside the fact that the word “racist” is thrown around as an insult WAY too casually nowadays- racism is and always will be a problem.
It’s just the reality of living in a fallen world.
Ever since the tower of Babel event happened in history, the world has been divided.
People are suspicious of people or cultures that they don’t understand. Though we are all human, we ARE different. Some people don’t like that. Some even hate it.
But that’s the world- what about the church? How are we as believers in Jesus supposed to respond to racism or prejudice of any kind (both in our world and in our own hearts)?
Sadly, much of what the church is pushing today to “solve” racism is of the world and has absolutely no power to change people’s hate.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is one such teaching in the church today that not only does nothing to solve racism, but is a teaching that is actually racist!
To say (as CRT does) that you are automatically a racist because of the color of your skin isn’t helpful or true.
To say (as CRT does) that Jesus can free you of any sin (except racism)- is a complete and total lie.
And yet many churches today are beginning to use the wrong assumptions of critical race theory to address racism (that may or may not even exist) in the church, while all along the Bible had the solution!
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both (Jew and Gentile) one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. – Ephesians 2:14-18
The Jews and the Gentiles hated each other. The Jews (who ironically were called to be a light to the Gentiles!) considered the nations around them as “goyim” who were good for nothing except to be fuel for hell someday (their words, not mine). The Gentiles also had no love lost for the Jewish people.
And yet we’re told here in Ephesians 2 that in Christ both of these people groups who hated each have been brought near to God and each other because of the blood of Christ that was shed for them!
Whatever wall it was that divided the different races and cultures in the world have been totally broken down in Christ.
The world is still divided over race and culture, of course. But in the church- all races, genders, cultures, and backgrounds have been brought together as ONE body in Christ!
What we now have in common far outweighs our differences. The oneness we now have as the church is a spiritually reality. And just like everything else Paul says in Ephesians about those who are in Christ, the unity we have in the Body is TRUE of us. What we need right now isn’t new solutions for racism in the church.
What we need is to back to Scripture and realize that the greatness of Christ and His sacrifice has removed all of those barriers between us. But like much of the truth in Ephesians, this truth must be lived out.
Are we willing to live it out?