Racism and Christianity Are Incompatible

Racism is stupid. There’s no doubt about that. It’s logically fallacious to think that one color of human being is superior to another, or that all people of a certain color behave a certain way. But not only is racism idiotic from a logical perspective, it’s inconsistent with even a casual reading of The Bible. One cannot be a Christian and be a racist…at least not consistently.

1: The Bible Teaches Mankind is Made In The Imageo Dei (Latin for “Image Of God”)

The very opening chapter of The Bible presents the most potent argument against racism; Genesis 1; The story of the creation of the universe. Genesis 1 is one of the most hotly debated, carefully analyzed, and one of the most talked about chapters in the entire word of God. Genesis 1 states in verses 26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” These two verses of The Bible removes any basis for thinking that one race of men is superior in any way from another race of men. God made humans in His image, in His likeness. It also says “Male and female He created them.” So it’s not only men who are made in God’s image, but women too. Humans bare the imago dei. Not only does this teaching decimate racism, it decimates sexism as well.

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Theologians have pondered this for centuries. There are different interpretations on what exactly it means to be made in the image of God, but what every Christian agrees on is that, whatever imageo dei means, mankind bares it. The position of GotQuestions.org is (and I agree with them) that mankind is made in the image of God mentally, morally, socially.

They write “Mentally, man was created as a rational, volitional agent. In other words, man can reason and man can choose. This is a reflection of God’s intellect and freedom. Anytime someone invents a machine, writes a book, paints a landscape, enjoys a symphony, calculates a sum, or names a pet, he or she is proclaiming the fact that we are made in God’s image.”

They write “Morally, man was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. God saw all He had made (mankind included) and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Our conscience or “moral compass” is a vestige of that original state. Whenever someone writes a law, recoils from evil, praises good behavior, or feels guilty, he is confirming the fact that we are made in God’s own image.”

They write “Socially, man was created for fellowship. This reflects God's triune nature and His love. In Eden, man’s primary relationship was with God (Genesis 3:8 implies fellowship with God), and God made the first woman because “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Every time someone marries, makes a friend, hugs a child, or attends church, he is demonstrating the fact that we are made in the likeness of God.”

Racism is biblically untenable. Whites, blacks, Asians, native Americans, and all other races are made in God’s image. We are divine image bearers. As such, every human is intrinsically valuable, has rights that should and are protected under the US Constitution and is a person for whom Christ died (John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 2:9).

2: Christians Are United By The Spirit of Christ.

ALL HUMANS are made in God’s image, even if they refuse to worship Him. However, another biblical passage that decimates the charge that one race is greater than another is in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Paul writes “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28

We are “all one in Christ Jesus”. Paul writes that our Christian faith unites us, such that all social divides break down and should not be given a second thought. It doesn’t matter what color or race we are ((Neither Jew nor Greek)), it doesn’t matter whether we’re male or female, it doesn’t matter whether we’re rich or poor, tall or short, none of this matters. Because we have The Holy Spirit in us, we have become children of God (John 1:12, 1 John 3:2) and as such, we are united by that spirit (Galatians 3:28). We are members of The Church; the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:17) and scripture makes it absolutely clear that one member of the body is not more important than another (1 Corinthians 12:4–31).

3: God Does Not Show Favoritism, So Why Should We?

S. Michael Houdmann Of GotQuestions.org writes “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 those who discriminate 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: Jews and Gentiles. 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.”

I wholeheartedly agree with him. When Jesus said “love your neighbor as yourself”, He never specified which race, gender, religion, sex or nationality our neighbor should have in order for us to love then. We should assume then that Jesus meant that such things are irrelevant and that we should show love and kindness to a person no matter what sex, race, religion, or nationality they have.

“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red, and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

If you’re someone who has racist ideologies, I have one word for you: REPENT!