The world has recently been rocked again by issues of racism following the murder of George Floyd, a man of African-American heritage, by a white policeman, and racial discrimination continues to be a huge problem for many people throughout the world. Because our world is tainted by sin, we (people in general) seem to find it easy to find all kinds of reasons why we can exclude people and discriminate against them, and this has sadly been the case throughout history. The Jews found it easy to believe they were superior to all other races because of their position as God’s chosen people and looked down on the Gentiles (every other race) as a result; Christians have been similarly guilty of racial discrimination at times. This kind of wrong thinking and wrong behaviour is not limited to any one type of person; it’s everywhere in some form, because of sin. The Christian message is that all human life matters because we are all made in the image of God.
One of the revolutionary messages of the gospel is that there are no outsiders to God’s love, and no one can be excluded from salvation. Acts 15 and Romans 3:22-25 make it plain that the way of salvation is the same for everyone on earth: we have to call on the name of the Lord by faith and accept His way of reconciliation if we are to be saved. Peter tells us ‘God… accepts people from every nation who fear Him’ (Acts 10:35) and makes no distinction between Jew and Gentile, purifying hearts by faith. (Acts 15:9) This is the basis of our hope that God will bless all nations through Jesus and that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21) This is the basis of our belief that racism (prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group) has no place in the church, for there should be no barriers to salvation.