Last Saturday, a man participating in a “rally” in Charlottesville, Virginia, drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, injuring 19 and killing one. The suspect has been arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including murder.
The driver was participating in a “rally” organized by white nationalists. He was photographed standing with other protestors carrying a shield bearing one group’s logo. To be clear, these are groups that claim America is an exclusively a white nation and that people with “white blood” have a special bond with American soil.
All these many miles away in Idaho, we witnessed evil that showed utter contempt for the Creator. We are all created in God’s image. In Idaho, we ache for our fellow Americans so far away. In Idaho, we wonder what is happening to us as a country.
This incident has stirred a national conversation about race and racism in America. For Christians, the central question is, “What does the Bible have to say about this?” The answer is straightforward:
You can be a follower of Christ or a white supremacist, but you can’t be both.
The dignity of every human life is a tenet of Christian faith. It is derived from the belief that God creates every person “in His image” (Gen. 1:27). Therefore, as Image Bearers, every person has inherent dignity, is precious, and has unalienable rights worthy of the protection of our laws.
One biblical application of this principle is opposition to abortion. Unborn babies are created in God’s image, therefore we work to protect them from being killed. The same principle rejects racism, because people of every race, color and ethnicity are created in the Image of God. Each person is an irreplaceable piece in God’s tapestry.
A claim of superiority by any group is evil and a rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To reject a person because of their race is a rejection of God’s way, but it is also means missing out on a gift that God has given us: In our differences, we see a fuller portrait of Him.
The Gospel speaks truth into the cultural issues of our time. The church…we…need to become more fluent in applying biblical principles to life in 21st century America.
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville attack, many expressed hope that pastors would speak to this same truth from their pulpit. The Gospel has something to say to racism, just as it has something to say about abortion, sexual sin, and more.
Rick Hogaboam, Pastor at Sovereign Grace Fellowship in Nampa wrote this, “Racial tribalists and ethno-nationalists hate the Gospel of a crucified, Jewish Messiah offering salvation to all people. I love this Gospel, which is why I absolutely hate racism and find deplorable any teaching that subordinates blacks or any people group based on their skin color. ‘For God so loved the world.'”
Did your pastor say anything? If so, would you email me and tell me about it? Family Policy Alliance of Idaho wants to connect with church leaders who understand this responsibility.