Racism: A Direct Attack on the Gospel
"I can't breath." These were the last words of an African American man, a fellow image-bearer of God, before he was killed at the hands of Minnesota police officers. His name was George Floyd. Since his death, the world has erupted into chaos. Peaceful protests quickly turned into deadly and violent riots. Store owners have lost their livelihood. Innocent people have been injured. Some have even lost their lives. Division and racial tension continue to plague our country, our cities, and our neighborhoods.
For some, recent events are nothing more than a political ploy, an opportunity to push an agenda and seize power for personal gain. For others, the news of George Floyd's death came in a long line of injustices served at the hands of organizations designed to serve and protect. Church, let's make one thing clear. Racism, or injustice of any form, is not merely a social justice, political, personal, or ideological issue. Racism is a gospel issue.
At the heart of the cross stood a division of cosmic proportions: sinful man separated from a holy God. And yet, Christ in his wisdom, mercy, and love, brought worlds that stood infinitely apart together through the shedding of his blood. Christ is the ultimate example of reconciliation and peace. Paul notes this in Colossians 1:20 as he says, "[Christ] reconciled to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."
The gospel of Jesus Christ is one of reconciliation and unity, a "pulling together" of people that are equally diverse and undeserving. When viewing recent events through this proper gospel lens, it becomes clear that racism is far more than simply men wronging other fellow men. It is a direct assault on the gospel itself and the unity it provides in Christ. The Bible tells us that Christ, along with his followers, have an "adversary," someone who "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
What better way to discredit the legitimacy and harmony that the gospel provides than to send the world into a divided and hostile frenzy over racism? The gospel pulls together. Racism pulls apart. The gospel creates and promotes unity. Racism creates and promotes disunity. The gospel makes all "one in Christ" (Galatians 3:28). Racism inappropriately distinguishes and elevates from the oneness that is found in Christ.
The "adversary" Peter refers to is systematically, methodically, and intentionally working to reverse the life-transforming effects the gospel is meant to have on this broken world. Racism is but a tool in his tool belt to accomplish just that. Church, the fight against racism is a fight for the gospel...the life-transforming, eternity-securing, worship-inspiring gospel.
As Christians, it is our responsibility to be "salt and light" of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). That means it is our job to promote what God promotes and "fight" for what God fights for. And the gospel makes it clear. God fought for sinners of all nations, tongues, and cultures. He fought for reconciliation. He fought for unity. And He did it by sending His Son, His only Son, to die on a cross for those who were considered His enemies.
So, as you continue to think and process through everything that is going on in the world, remember what is at stake. The enemy is seeking to undermine and discredit what Christ did on the cross. The gospel is a message about unity, peace, and reconciliation. It is a message that our world desperately needs to hear. May God grant ears to hear and eyes to see the beauties and glories of the gospel that reconciles sinful man to a holy God.