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Question and Answer

Does the Bible have anything to say about racism?

irst, the Bible teaches that God loves all people: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And although God considers racist ideology a grotesque evil, He still loves racists and longs for them to come to repentance and to a true knowledge of forgiveness in the Lord Jesus.

Second, Scripture declares that God made all humanity in His image (Gen. 1:27). God has placed His fingerprints on every person, making each one so valuable to Him, that the Father paid an infinite price to redeem humanity, the death of His one and only Son. Third, when it comes to spiritual matters, the Word of God says that God does not show favoritism among peoples (Acts 10:34). When it came to God’s justification of sinners, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female” (Gal. 3:28). This doesn’t mean that in God’s eyes the world consists of one homogeneous people, anymore than it means that all people of faith become androgynous. Rather, it means that all people are justified the same way: through faith in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

Fourth, God celebrates ethnic diversity. The Bible depicts heaven as “a great multitude . . . from every nation, tribe, people and language,” worshiping their worthy Savior (Rev. 7:9–10). God redeems people from all the nations, receiving and enjoying worship from all these diverse peoples. In the end, worship in heaven will be a vast, glorious, multicultural event.

Finally, the followers of Jesus are to stand against the vileness of racism. God warns, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isa. 5:20). We must condemn evil and never justify it (Prov. 24:11–12). God’s people must oppose racism! As my wife, Eva, frequently says in her classes at Moody: “Racism is a three letter word: S-I-N.” Oh that those of us who follow Jesus would love Him and hate sin, even the sin of racism!

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the host of Moody Radio’s Open Line. He is the author of Understanding the Arab Israeli Conflict and The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? He is also the co-editor of the Moody Bible Commentary. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael also appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill.

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