Monday, September 29, 2008

Race and the Gospel

There are few things that make us an uncomfortable as discussing race and racial issues. In the message on Sunday, September 28, I argued that we are uncomfortable discussing these issues because we each (regardless of our own race or ethnicity) have a bias bent toward self. The result is that we tend, by default, to isolate and/or blame those who are not like us. And, we tend to prefer those who are like us.

The Bible makes it clear that such preferential treatment (or partiality or favoritism) is strictly forbidden. In James 2:1-13 James urges Christ followers to avoid showing partiality toward those who are rich and neglecting the poor. James' argument is not limited to rich vs. poor...but is an issue of showing favoritism to any one group. When we apply the term "favoritism" or "partiality" toward race we are talking about bigotry, or racism.

I argued that one reason we have to battle against such a mentality is because racism kills missions. It is unlikely we will sacrificially go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel with people who are not like us, if we have racially driven biases guiding us. One of the aims of God is to create, in Christ, "one new man" that transcends race, ethnicity, sex, and social standing (Eph 2:14-18). And, in creating this one new man, God promises a day when people from every tribe, tongue, language, and nation will be gathered before his throne (Rev. 7:9-10). It is only as we see our sinful nature tranformed more and more into the image of Christ that we will look forward to that day with great anticipation and longing.

What do you think?
Do you think churches (or Christians) struggle with race issues? In what ways?

Welcome to Pochek's Blog

This is my second attempt at creating a blog...
My goal here is to provide an opportunity for interaction and discussion related to a wide range of topics. Some of these topics will be trivial, while others will be more more complex and significant. Feel free to join the discussion!