So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28 (NIV)
Back in the 90’s a Canadian church extended a call to me to come as their Senior Pastor. At the members meeting prior to my introduction to the congregation the pastoral search committee told the people that I was an immigrant from South Africa. An elderly couple were quite distressed, and standing up addressed the church saying, “We refuse to have a black man as our pastor!”
It was only a year later, after accepting a call to this particular church, that the elderly couple told me the story themselves. Not because they’d repented from their sin. There had been no change in their attitude and they saw nothing wrong with what they’d said. In fact to make matters worse they smiled as they admitted they were thankful I’d turned out to be white!
I was dumbfounded. Even now I’m ashamed to tell the story. Prejudice because of race or skin colour should be anathema in the church. In Christ the colour line has been washed away by the bloodline. Any attempt to use social, economic, religious, educational, language, or racial backgrounds as a means of division in the church comes from one source – it’s the work of Satan.
Those who call themselves by Christ’s name, should be marked by unity, not disunity. God’s Word doesn’t beat about the bush. In Galatians 3:26-28 it says, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Which is why, if we are truly God’s people, colour should only be skin deep. Racial prejudice, or any other bigotry, is not acceptable. God wouldn’t allow racial bickering from Moses’ sister in Old Testament times and He doesn’t allow it today. That’s because we’re “all one in Christ.” So don’t divide what God has put together. Be sure to express our oneness in Christ through your personal relationships and the way you behave. For with His blood, Christ “purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” Revelation 5:9. And what God has put together, we’d better not separate.