Framed - Racism
Genesis 1:27 shows us that all humanity is a part of the Imago Dei. Every human on earth is a part of God's image and has worth and value. If you have a bias against "those people", then you have a problem. Racism is defined as "any attitude, belief, behavior, or institutional arrangement that favors or degrades one race or ethnic group over another."
Herod's Temple was full of separation (gentile court, women's court, High Priest privilege) until God tore it at Jesus' crucifixion and allowed all people to come into His presence. Our identity is in Christ alone. We celebrate the differences. Jesus makes us family. Our commission, The Great Commission, is to make disciples of all ETHNOS (ethnicities). Remember, Jesus was a Jewish man (and we should see Him that way).
Dr. Derwin Gray (Pastor of Transformation Church) reminded us that The Great Commission (Matthews 28:18-20) was really hard for the Jewish disciples. The Jews had been under constant oppression of the Gentiles (Egyptians, Romans, Samarians, etc...) To go and love them (their enemies) would have been hard, but it was The Great Commandment (love God and love your neighbor) and they did it. Paul goes on and establishes churches with Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, male and female. The gospel crucifies sexism, ethnocentrism, and all the other isms that separate us.
Revelation 7 shows us that every tribe and every nation will be together worshipping King Jesus! If that is our forever reality, then why not experience that now in the present?
In Genesis 11 we see the account of the Tower of Babel. The punishment of separation was reversed in Christ at Pentecost (Acts 2). The separation became unity!
James 3:9-10 shows us that racism is a gospel issue. The government is not the solution...redeemed people filled with the Holy Spirit are the solution. John 17:20-21 shows us that when we are ONE, then the world will see Jesus. Let's live that way.
To Discuss Today AND ONGOING:
1. Do you have any friends that don't look like you?
2. When was the last time someone from a different ethnicity ate at your table.
3. Listen to the perspective and challenges of those from other races to learn where they are coming from. Remember, if you are white, you are benefiting from the systems that are set up in our culture. Understanding and caring about the challenges out there is critical.
4. Do you stereotype a group of people? Where does that stem from?
5. Smile at people!
6. When you eat food from another culture, talk about and pray for that culture.
7. Go watch "Emanuel" at Stonecrest on either June 17 or 19 (only days shown). It is the movie about the Charleston church shooting.
8. Find a list of the nations and pray through those nations as you learn about them.
9. Repent personally and on behalf of our nation.
10. Obey Jesus and love people!