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In The Beginning: Becoming the Other

In the beginning, God created the rich and complex variety we see in every facet of His handiwork.. All of it is meant to show His glory.  His word says: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God;And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1   He created us to love and be loved, to love Him and love each other.  The differences in skin color, cultures, ethnicity and language in humanity are amazing learning experiences that are mutually enriching.  But because of the Fall, these differences are made the basis of hate and segregation, teaching us to destroy rather than build up what God has created in perfect love.  This hatred and destruction comes from the enemy of humans: Satan. Praise God, Jesus was revealed to destroy the works of Satan. “The one who commits[a] sin is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the devil’s works.” 1 John 3:8.  The devil uses the weapon of racism to destroy God’s creation.

Racism has a long history in this country, dating back to its founding.  Europeans established the New World on the foundation of white supremacy.  They believed in “manifest destiny”, that this land was meant for the white man to possess.  In order to do it, the “other” was created. In her book The Origin of Others, Toni Morrison tackles this concept.  She writes that “Race has been a constant arbiter of difference, as have wealth, class, and gender–each of which is about power and control” (page 3).   She goes on to write that “one scientific purpose of racism is to identify an outsider in order to define one’s self” (page 6) Building one’s identity on the backs of those deemed inferior, is building on shaky ground, but it happened and is still happening today.  We no longer have the enslavement of Africans on American soil, but white supremacy is alive and thriving at the heart of modern day systems, such as the education system, the prison system, and the political system. New heirarchies of oppression have replaced slavery.

 Tony Evans writes in his book Oneness Embraced, that “disunity and separatism have been etched between cultures in our nation over generations.” He calls racism something that is  “… embedded in the social, psychological, and spiritual structures of our land”. Racism is sin and sin has separated us from God. The greatest separation is that space between human beings and their Creator.  No law or policy can bridge it, only the Cross. It is unfortunate that those who claim to believe in Jesus use the Word to justify their hatred and maintain the deep fissures we experience today.

But it is not God’s agenda. The Church must be all about oneness, to transform white supremacy and Black Power to the supremacy of Christ and His Kingdom.  It doesn’t mean we lose our distinctions and culture. It means we put Christ above our cultures. (page 83). God created variety. Every individual adds something to the mix of humanity.  No one is inferior. We are all equal in His sight.

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