In a world so divided, how do we choose unity over racial prejudice? We have been trained to create categorizations based on our differences. Black or white. Republican or democrat. Gay or straight. Old or young. Where does it stop? Today, we're learning practical steps Christ-followers can take to choose unity over racial prejudice and division over our differences.
Now, to find healing for a divided culture, we look to God's answer in Ephesians 2:13-22 of the New Testament in the Bible. Here, the Apostle Paul wrote to a 1st-century church that was racially divided. Through his letter, Paul urged the early church to understand how central UNITY over racial prejudice is to the Kingdom of God. See, as Christians, we believe the Cross Jesus Christ not only builds a BRIDGE between God and man... but through the Cross, Jesus took a sledgehammer and knocked down the walls that separate people!
So, how do you take two separate groups, with all their differences, and bond them together into one new family? In Ephesians 2, Paul points to the Cross of Jesus and says the Cross is God's EMULSIFIER. Know what that is? It's the scientific process of bringing two things together that otherwise naturally separate. Just as an egg is an emulsifier that bonds oil and water to make mayonnaise, the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ is the emulsifier we need in the church to unite people of different races, backgrounds, cultures, and classes.
HOW TO EMBRACE CHANGE
Recently, I discussed the subject of unity over racial prejudice with my friend Rich Villodas, Pastor of New Life Fellowship in Queens, New York. Rich pastors a beautiful, multi-ethnic church with over 75 nations represented! Rich said if you really want to unearth the roots of racism in your own heart, Christ-followers need to ask themselves these three questions:
#1) What messages about race and racial prejudice did you receive from your family of origin?
First off, we all experience something formative when it comes to our view of race growing up. These experiences shape our attitudes as adults. How did your experience as a kid shape your view of different races today?
#2) Who are the people you were taught to fear?
Next, we have to recognize that we all have blindspots - and environments that shaped us. That means you can be a great Christian, but if you are unwilling to be honest about what's shaped your worldview, you won't even have the opportunity to become aware of blindspots.
#3) Who are the people you were taught were beneath you?
News flash: Racial prejudice and racial superiority are not always based on the color of your skin. It comes from a sinful attitude that says: "I am better than you. Superior to you. I have more worth than you." Understand this: Racism is NOT just a white issue... or a black issue.... or an Asain issue... Or a Latino issue. It's a HUMAN issue that impacts every person.
UNITY IN CHRIST
Truly, the Christian vision of UNITY IN CHRIST gives us HOPE in our fractured world. That solution to racial prejudice didn't come from culture. It didn't come from the government. It came at the Cross of Jesus Christ!
You may ask yourself: What can I do now? Change has to start at the heart-level, so first REPENT of ignorance. Then, broaden your group of friends to include people who are not like you. Remember, Christ is our emulsifier - He bonds us together with His blood. We know now that our commonality in Christ is deeper than the color of our skin and his UNITY overrides our differences so we can become one united, new family as the body of Christ!
To learn more about choosing unity over racial prejudice, watch Liquid's 2-part message series The Third Option: A Conversation About Race In America.