The Gospel and Racism

Racism is alive and well in America. It takes a special kind of blindness to doubt or deny that statement, especially after the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. How should Christians think through the events that unfolded last weekend? I’d like to share a few thoughts from a sermon I preached in January at Poquoson Baptist Church.

During that sermon I argued that racism isn’t just politically incorrect or morally suspect. It’s blasphemous. It preaches a Satanic anti-gospel that undermines the central truths that Christians have upheld for 2000 years. This is true for no less than three reasons:

Racism Preaches a Blasphemous View of Creation

The Bible clearly teaches that God made man in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Regardless of our skin color, all of us come from the same dust. All of us. Paul tells us in Acts 17:26 that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” The blasphemous anti-gospel of racism preaches a lie about the brotherhood of man. It implies that some races or ethnicities have lesser dignity, value, or worth than others. The Gospel says that all men are created with equal value, regardless of what they look like on the outside.

Racism Preaches a Blasphemous View of the Curse

When Adam fell, all humanity was subjected to the curse of sin. All of us. Every single one. Racism implies that some individuals are more fallen than others. We do this in more ways that we realize. Ask yourself, who is more likely to become a Christian? A good ole’ white “hayseeder” farmer from Poquoson, or an olive-skinned Middle Eastern Jihadist, or an African-American pimp from Detroit? The Gospel tells us that if any of these repent and believe it’s a miracle wrought by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel says that all of us are equally fallen.

Racism Preaches a Blasphemous View of the Cross

The heart of the Gospel is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). We are redeemed, not by the color of our skin (or even the content of our character), but by the cross of an olive-skinned Middle Easterner with calloused hands and stripes on His back. When we treat some people as lesser than us due to the color of their skin, we’re implying that the cross was enough to redeem us, but what they need is a little bit more. The Gospel says the ground at the foot of the cross is level.

Racism Preaches a Blasphemous View of the Church

Maybe you’re reading this and you say, “Of course God created every race and ethnicity in His image. Of course we’re all equally fallen. Of course the ground at the cross is level.” But you might affirm all those things and still suggest that even though we all get to heaven the same way, we should worship separately until we get there. Maybe your solution in Paul’s day would be a church for Jews and another one for Gentiles. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.” Are you comfortable with this? What would you do if your ethnicity became a minority in your church? Would you stay? If you’d be tempted to leave, perhaps it’s because you’re brought into the subtle lies of a demonic heresy otherwise known as racism. The Gospel says that the church should reflect the Kingdom of heaven, a Kingdom with a kaleidoscope of colors (Revelation 7:9-10).

So let me be as clear as I can possibly be. The white supremacist racism demonstrated in Charlottesville last weekend is demonic. The leadership and people of Poquoson Baptist Church condemn it as godless heresy. This is not who we are. And may God forgive us for anything we’ve said (or left unsaid) in the past or present that would hint at any equivocation on our part. Soli Deo Gloria!


© M. Hopson Boutot, 2017

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