What does the Bible say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination?

Question: "What does the Bible say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination?"

The first item to understand in this discussion is that there is only one race – the human race. Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indians, Arabs, Jews, etc., are not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race. All human beings have the same physical characteristics (with minor variations, of course). More importantly, all human being are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God loves the entire world (John 3:16). Jesus laid down His life for everyone in the entire world (1 John 2:2). The “entire world” obviously includes all ethnicities of humanity.

God does not show partiality or favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9), and neither should we. James 2:4 describes anyone who shows discrimination as “judges with evil thoughts.” Instead, we are to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (James 2:8). In the Old Testament, God divided humanity into two “racial” groups: Jew and Gentile. God’s intent was for the Jews to be a kingdom of priests, ministering to the Gentile nations. Instead, for the most part, the Jews became proud of their status and despised the Gentiles. Jesus Christ put an end to this, destroying the dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14). All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the work of Christ on the cross.

Jesus commands us to love each other as He loves us (John 13:34). If God is impartial, and loves us with impartiality, that means we need to love others with that same high standard. Jesus teaches at the end of Matthew 25 that whatever we do to the least of His brothers, we do to Him. If we treat a person with contempt, we are mistreating a person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody that God loves and Jesus died for.

Racism, in varying forms and to various degrees, has been a plague on humanity for thousands of years. Brothers and sisters of all ethnicities, this should not be! To victims of racism, prejudice, and discrimination – you need to forgive. Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” No, racists do not deserve your forgiveness, but we deserved God’s forgiveness far less! To perpetrators of racism, prejudice, and discrimination – you need to repent and “present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13). May Galatians 3:28 be completely realized: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Recommended Resource: One Blood: the Biblical Answer to Racism by Ken Ham.

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What does the Bible say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination?