Racism, Baptists, and the NFL

By now, you likely have read more articles and heard more debate about the NFL kneeling debacle than you care to handle! Are they right? Are they wrong? Should we boycott? Should we just ignore the whole mess? And so forth! While there are many issues surrounding this matter, one of them is certainly a matter we should address. That matter is RACISM! I have been thinking about it for some time and have finally decided to go ahead and write. Bear with me. Give me grace. And may God help all of us to be right and to do right!

Here is a bit of humor before I begin. I told my son that I was going to write an article on racism. His reply: “Dad, there’s nothing wrong with NASCAR!” LOL That is a pretty funny kid I have there!

So, anyway, here goes . . .

The Error of Racism

I have been surprised that some have emphatically declared that racism does not exist! I disagree and believe that I have sufficient reason to do so.  Here is a sampling of those reasons:

  1. A pastor friend recently told me that in a former ministry he baptized a wonderful “black” family who had actually been won to Christ in the bus ministry of a sister church. However, the sister church did not baptize blacks nor did it permit blacks to join their church.
  2. Another pastor called me several years ago because he was concerned about an “interracially” married couple who had been attending his church. He asked me about their former church (in the north) and was disappointed to find out that they came from a strong, like-minded, Fundamental, Independent Baptist Church. He was, quite obviously, looking for a reason to suggest that they not join his church. His final analysis, at least in his conversation with me, was that he could not allow them to join.  Their children might become friends with some of the kids in his church and that could damage the church. I would call that racism!
  3. Yet another pastor published a “racist” book in his Independent-Baptist-supported-printing ministry. Among other things, it emphatically made a case that blacks are under the curse of Canaan and can only “succeed” when they are in a “proper servant position.” He did decide NOT to include his church’s address and information as the publisher. I guess he knew that some would perhaps refuse to support his ministry if his position were made known.
  4. More than a few times in recent meetings, I have been told jokes about “blacks.”  I always use it as an opportunity to declare that racism is wrong and that I don’t joke that way!
  5. One Facebook post recently postulated that “blacks are just as prejudiced as whites.” That may be true, but it still doesn’t make it right. It simply acknowledges that the error of racism is alive and well.

Unfortunately, I could go on.  You could probably add some stories as well.  We do have an error that ought to be addressed!  So, here are some Biblical reasons to reject racism views.

The Answer According to the Bible

Does the Bible address racism issues?  Of course.

James teaches that it is “un-Christian” to have respect of persons.

James 2:1 “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.”

James 2:8-9a “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin.”

John declares that if I don’t love a brother whom I have seen, I don’t love God either. PERIOD.

1 John 4:20 – “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

Doesn’t the Bible also teach that the evolutionary idea of varied races is false?  We are one race. God created Adam and Eve and all of mankind are descended from these two.  Aren ’t they? Creation-wise, it would even be realistic to believe that Adam and Eve would have been created “darker” rather than “lighter.”  Racism, therefore, would be an attack on the Bible doctrine of creation!

And what about the “curse of Canaan” in Genesis 9?  Nothing about that story would declare that this one man’s sin places an entire group of people under a curse for thousands of years. Nothing. Think about the absurdity.  A “hungover” dad “punishes” his son and God now curses an entire group of people as a result? The Bible doesn’t teach that at all.  And, even if it did, it would be wicked and wrong to use that as a justification for racism anywhere, especially in the church! Prejudice is wrong. It always has been!

My Plea

  1. Stop the racism. Not one joke. Not one negative comment about a brother or sister of a different color. Call it sin. Denounce it.  Rebuke it. Stop it.
  2. Repent.  Ask God to forgive you for the error of your way. Make no excuse.  The way you were brought up is wrong if it includes racism.  Your grandmother was wrong if she were racist. Your pastor is wrong if he is racist. Your church is wrong if it is racist.  There is sin in the church, and God’s word teaches that judgment “must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
  3. Stop treating other people with prejudice.  Don’t judge a person by the color of their skin. Don’t be condescending to a person because they are different from you. Don’t judge! Don’t permit anyone under your influence to do so either.
  4. Love people and witness to them and win them to Christ. Make disciples of them.  In your church family.  With your church family.  Through your church family.
  5. Dialogue. Have coffee. Talk. Invite someone who is “different” to your home and have a meal together. Love them.  Respect them. Seek to understand them. In my youth, my father had a friend who was “black” and I remember that my dad treated him the same way he treated everyone else. Isn’t that the way it should be? Martin Luther King Jr. was right when he stated that we should judge a person by “the content of their character and not the color of their skin.”

Our world may never get it right. However, we in the church should! We are without excuse.

Well, there you have it!  I do believe there is an error. I call it an error because I believe the Bible does.  I believe we should correct it.  May God help us to do so! Church, let’s not wait for the political leaders of our land to address and attempt to handle this mess.  Let’s correct this error in the church!  We should have done so long ago.  Perhaps had we done right in the church, this whole mess would have never happened.  After all, judgment must begin first at the church!

What do you think?

Thanks for reading,

Your sincere friend,

Dave

P.S. Feel free to comment. I only make one request: if you comment, please identify yourself. For this post, I will refuse to allow anonymous comments.  Thanks!

10 thoughts on “Racism, Baptists, and the NFL

  1. Amen, Amen, Amen! If you have to think twice about agreeing with this post then you should sincerely look at yourself in the Scripture and ask why? If you are afraid what others may think of you, then you are contributing to the problem.

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  2. The college I went to did not permit black men to date white ladies or vice versa. To me that always seemed racist. It shouldn’t be about skin color but character and godliness when choosing a husband/wife.

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  3. Thank you, Dave. Thank you so much. Having returned to the workforce after 20 years as a stay at home mom, I’m shocked and disgusted by the racism I’ve seen, particularly how some of my coworkers are treated because of their color. We, as the church, need to be ministers of reconcilation, horizontally as well as vertically. One coworker thought racism was a biblical concept based on what she’s sadly experienced in her life. Disgusting is the only word I have for that nonsense.

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  4. Bam! You are right on the money. Thanks for speaking the truth in love! It hurt my soul to read about this “Baptist” preacher… and I know there are many more out there from all sorts of denominations… I am a devoted follower of Jesus first and foremost. I am baptistic in doctrine by would rather be referred to as a Christian than as a Baptist. I have been a Baptist preacher for 16 of 22 years in ministry. Blessings and thank you for your declaration of truth!

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  5. Pingback: Racism and Baptists – Part 2 | The Dave Young Blog

  6. Very good article! Thank you for sharing your thots, agree totally with what you’ve said. Have had to take a good look at some of my thinking over the years and adjust. God is so good and His loving instruction blesses my heart. Again, thank you for sharing this. God Bless

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