Racism has no place in the life of a Christian
It is important to understand that genetically, all humans are of but one race. Indians, Arabs, Jews, Caucasians, Africans, and Asians, are not different races, but rather, different ethnicities of the human race. God created all humans with the same physical characteristics, with only minor variations. Furthermore, He created all humans in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), and has invited all of us to enter into communion with Him. A black man is just as much my brother as a fellow Norwegian with blue eyes like mine.
In the Book of Acts we read that with the coming of the Holy Spirit, diverse expressions of languages were being spoken. And in Revelation we see a glimpse of eternity with men and women from every tongue, tribe, and nation making up the choir of eternal praise (Rev. 7:9). That the writers of Scripture took notice of ethnicity, and saw diversity as good, makes it impossible for the Christian to hold to thoughts of racial superiority, or separation of the races.
How can we hold to racist ideologies when even the Apostle John hinted at prejudice concerning Jesus, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth (John 1:46)?” How can we dare hold to racist opinions when the Lord Jesus Christ presented parables which even offended the religious leaders of His time? The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) and the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) make it impossible for us to hold to ideas of ethnic superiority over different races. Even our Orthodox iconography intentionally reflects the full range of skin hues when painting a saint’s face in order to stress the interconnectedness and blessedness of all races of humanity.
All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the work of Christ on the cross. Jesus Christ died that all men might be saved, be they Jews, Africans, Spanish, Norwegians, Asians, or whatever. In Christ we are united as One Body, and as humans we are all of one race. Ethnicity should mean nothing for the Christian, and our parishes should demonstrate the truth of the ethnic diversity of the Kingdom of God. If we hold to racist beliefs we only demonstrate how far we have distanced ourselves from the teachings of Our Lord. Can a Christian be a racist? The answer is an emphatic NO!
With love in Christ,
Photos: I’m serving as the keynote speaker for the Ancient Christianity Conference, sponsored by the Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black, taking place in Columbia, South Carolina.
Saturday October 6, 2018 / September 23, 2018
19th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
The Conception of the Honorable, Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John.
Canonization (1977) of St. Innocent Metropolitan of Moscow.
New Hieromartyr John priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr Arsenius archbishop (1937).
Venerables Xanthippa and Polyxena (109), disciples of the Apostles, who died in Spain.
Virgin-martyr Irais (Rhais) of Alexandria (308).
Martyrs Andrew, John, Peter, and Antoninus of Syracuse, martyred in Africa (886).
“Slovensk” Icon of the Mother of God (1635).
“Hawaiian” Myrrh-streaming Iveron Ikon of the Theotokos (2007).
New Martyr Nicholas Pantopolis at Constantinople (1672) (Greek).
New Martyr John of Epirus (1814).
Venerable Adamnan, abbot of Iona, biographer of St. Columba (704) (Celtic & British).
The Scripture Readings
1 Corinthians 15:58-16:3
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Collection for the Saints
16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.
Jesus Casts Out an Unclean Spirit
31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. 33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. 36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”