Racism, South Africa and God’s Rainbow Kingdom
South Africa is hurting. In the past few months there has been numerous incidents of racism, discrimination, anger, and violence throughout our beloved country. I have felt it and I have friends who feel it, one of my friends commented that it is difficult to navigate the racial divide as a Christian, this is true! So this morning I was asked by another friend to write something positive. I thought about this and wondered where to even start, at the same time I thought that God might use this insignificant blog to bring about something good, even if it’s just for one person.
One of my friends shared a Facebook post regarding the language policy at the University of Pretoria. “Groups of people want Afrikaans to be removed from the University”. The angry and hurtful responses to that post was depressing to read. My friend shared this post, asking people to think about this whole rainbow nation idea.
I am sure many of us are thinking this whole rainbow nation thing is a pipe-dream. Nelson Mandela famously said: “Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld – a rainbownation at peace with itself and the world”.
But oh how sin destroys any notion of peace and unity! We read the news…Penny Sparrow calling black people monkeys, T-shirts saying “Kill Whites”. Whites calling blacks criminals and idiots, blacks saying whites don’t belong and should go back to Europe. These are but a few examples of MANY incidents of racism.
What does a black Christian person who loves his/her heritage do? What does a white Afrikaans Christian person who loves his/her heritage do? I have black, and white friends who I love deeply and I long to give them Biblical truth, and as we know real Biblical truth is never easy. So here goes.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come”.
You are familiar with this Scripture right? What does it teach about your identity? You are in Christ! Your primary identity as a Christian is NOT English, Afrikaner, Zulu, Tswana, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Male, Female, or whatever else, you are IN CHRIST, a citizen of Heaven, promoting the most powerful kingdom in existence…God’s!
As a citizen of Heaven we have been freed from the need to fight for our own small causes, we are free to fight for a greater cause and a more worthy calling, the glory of God.
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves”.
Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”!
I said Biblical truth is hard right? Each of us ought to bring our hearts bare before the Lord. As soon as we fight to defend our rights without fighting to defend the rights of others we are selfish. As soon as I promote MY agenda to the detriment of others I am selfish. As soon as I see myself as better, more qualified, more equipped, more educated, more wealthy, more whatever, I am sick with sinful pride. Pray that God will help Christians honor this Word, looking out for the interests of others, seeing them as more significant than yourself. This is only possible if you fight for a bigger kingdom; God’s kingdom.
Notice also, it does NOT say count others more significant when they deserve it, or when they return the favor. Do it simply to honor God.
Revelation 7:9 “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands”,
This verse gives me courage and strength for days like these. What does it tell us? #Racismwillfall
It will fall because God will make all things new, God will set up His new Kingdom, free from sin and its consequences. When I worship before the throne of God I will do so hand in hand with people from every nation tongue and tribe. I WILL NOT be in a little Afrikaans huddle, all the languages will be represented there, for God is Lord of them all.
Since God is leading us into that future, is it not necessary to promote this unity and inclusion wherever we go? Is it not necessary to shout on the rooftops RACISM WILL FALL! God will make all things new! Come to Jesus for true life and rescue from sin! Fight the bigger battle Christian!
One last verse to explain exactly how God abolishes racism.
Ephesians 2:14 “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility “.
Christ destroys the sin of racism through His own death on the Cross. Through Christ we are made right before a holy God, and we are made right between each other. I can truly say that I dearly love people who are different to me, not because I am by nature a nice guy, by nature I am actually not nice at all. But God has enabled me to love as I should because of His work of salvation on my behalf. If you are a Christian then this is your story too. Now go and make it known to the world.
I also call on churches to embrace diversity, even if it is difficult. Churches ought to demonstrate the vision of Revelation 7:9. I call on individual Christians to show love to those who are of a different race or culture. Why don’t you spend time with such people this week. Invite them over to your house, bridge the racial divide, be the salt and light God instructs you to be. Love, love, love. And remember that we fight on the winning side, ultimately #Racismwillfall.
P.S. Glad to be part of a Church movement where diversity is embraced and fought for. Join one and see God’s love in action.