I was having a conversation with a friend who is ethnic Chinese.
He told me an Indian Christian started attending church and seems to be taking a growing interest in his daughter. He frowns on that relationship over concerns of ethnic and cultural differences.
Perhaps jokingly he said, “Between a snake and an Indian, I would kill the latter.”
Although this person does not regard himself a racist yet his strong racially bias feeling and ethnic remark reveal otherwise.
Contrast to this is Warren Webster. He was a missionary to Pakistan. One day he was asked: “What if your daughter falls in love with a Pakistani while you’re on the mission field and wants to marry him?”
Warren Webster replied with great forcefulness: “The Bible would say, better a Christian Pakistani than a godless white American!”
Are you a racist?
You will know for certain when someone of another ethnic group enters your family circle. Or when a neighbor, colleague or client from another ethic group did something really nasty to you. Do you allude to his or her ethnicity?
In Numbers 12 we read of the dissension of Miriam and Aaron. That rebellion was based on racial prejudice because Moses married a black African from Ethiopia.
“Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman” (Numbers 12:1).
That rebellion seemed to focus on the skin colour of the Cushite woman who was black.
What is most significant about this story is that God gave to Miriam a punishment that was frighteningly appropriate to her prejudice.
In His judgment, God said in effect, “Look Miriam, you think light-skinned is better. I’ll make you light-skinned.” At once, “Miriam was leprous, like snow” (Numbers 12:10).
I have no doubt that God is teaching the people in a graphic way that there is to be no racial prejudice. Never for a moment imagine that white is superior.
No one can rightly regard one race to be superior to another.
Still the world today is very much divided along racial lines. One would have thought after so much gross racial injustice, disgusting racial inequality and heinous ethnic cleansing, the world would be more enlightened. Yet in this 21st Century we seem to be in the dark ages on this issue of race.
In the midst of this darkness, the Church must be a shining example where ethic and cultural differences are no barriers to a real and profound fellowship.
“Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all” (Colossians 3:11).
The Church of Christ has no racial walls of segregation.
George Wallace warns, “Segregation today. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever.”