A debate/discussion about whether Christianity perpetrates racism is ongoing within a segment of the African-American community. Questions raised by that debate/discussion are understandable and deserve analysis. Much of the controversy stems from the negative connotations the larger society associates with the term “black” and the positive ways in which “white” is presented. However, to connect those associations to skin color is wrong. As an in-depth study of Scripture shows, it is also wrong to use Christian Scripture to justify racial discrimination.
White Supremacists assert that black is inferior to white; therefore justifying racial segregation and subjugation.. They often cite Christian Scripture to prove their theory. However, a close examination of Scripture does not support racial superiority. In fact, the passages of Scripture often referred to by Supremacists have absolutely nothing to do with skin color. Nevertheless, they persist in inappropriately citing Scripture to explain and justify racism.
Racial superiority theories are etiological and highlight the degree to which humans seek to explain differences and to use those differences to create a false sense of superiority for some and a position of subjugation for others. Ignorant, malicious, and narrow-minded people misappropriate Scripture to validate: institutionalized racism, annihilation, and other forms of abuse. Their corrupt thoughts manifested in brutal, demeaning, and fatal behaviors are antithetical to Christian Scripture. Therefore, it is unfair to blame Christianity for the deviant representation of the tradition by a highly visible, vocal, and ill-informed minority.
As previously stated, an authentic examination of Scripture does not support the theory of racial superiority (see my exegesis of Paul’s Letter to Philemon for a perspective on Christian thought about slavery). To the contrary, racial superiority.is a strictly human concept. Humans have a history of corrupting even the most laudable ideals, philosophies, and theologies to gain and maintain the upper hand on fellow humans. Misquoting Scripture to segregate based upon skin color is just one of the myriad ways some seek to accomplish those goals.
February 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm
Wow, very insightful! I wish more people thought like this. The world would be a much better place. Thank you so much for all of your insight. I look forward to reading your blog.
February 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. Check back each week to see my latest post.
February 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm
I agree on how Scripture is miss used for personal gain in many ways to divide, abuse, mislead, brain wash and put fear upon the human race. Love is the only thing that exsits….and eternal… God is Love!!! Great Job!! We need this insight…because we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge!!!
February 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post. Your feedback is extremely important to me. Check back each week to read my latest post.
February 27, 2014 at 2:03 am
Thanks Allegra. Nicely written and thoughtful as usual! Here are my comments about racial superiority:
1. The entire race is infected with sin — that is the entire human race. Romans 3:1-20, among others, leaves us no reason for any of us to feel superior over any race, or for that matter, any individual.
2. Romans 3:21-31 (among others) should certainly give Christians no reasons to feel superior over others, either groups of Christians or individuals, since we’re all sinners saved by grace– and grace alone.
And the fact that the Bible has been used to condone both racial superiority and the terrible and brutal slavery we saw in our country should serve to remind us that churches were and are made up of sinful mistake-prone people like us who often, despite our best intentions (and sometimes *because* of our less than best intentions), are not able to see clearly what is right. See also the crusades, for instance. Sometimes it amazes me that God would want anything to do with us after we were corrupted with Adam’s sin! And then the fact that He sent His Son to die for us miserable sinners. There are no words to describe such love
February 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm
Hey Glenn, thanks for taking time to read and respond to my post. You are absolutely right, Scripture teaches that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Thank you for highlighting the biblical text that debunk racial superiority theories.
March 10, 2014 at 11:16 pm
Honestly, the bible introduces racism early on with the Hebrews & the Egyptians. & in the story of Moses we can see that along with many other misguided concepts, racism was one of them;
March 11, 2014 at 2:34 am
Wow! Your response is very interesting. I take it that you are referring to the enslavement of the Hebrews by the Egyptians. That was a fact, but how does that support the notion that the Bible condones racism? If one accepts as fact the biblical account as denoted in the Hebrew Scriptures, it seems to me that the Bible highlights the wrongfulness of the way the Hebrews were treated by the Egyptians.