The Sin of Injustice is No Excuse for the Sin of Racism

Image credit: nypost.com


For many young black Americans today, particularly millennials, the pursuit of “social justice” has become somewhat of a raison d’être (the sole reason for which a person or organization exists.)

Being convinced that both their personhood and purpose are first and foremost founded in their racial and ethnic identity, they live by the credo: “Before I am anything else, I am black.”

This “black-first” mindset has given rise to a belief among these young people that, “Whatever happens to any black person happens also to me.” As such, their “righteous indignation”, such as it is, over perceived acts of injustice is purely subjective.

Their anger, for lack of a better word, is rooted solely in identifying racially with the “victim” of said injustice.

If the victim of what they perceive to be oppression is “black like me”, then, the right and requisite response must be to cry out for “Justice!” Conversely, if the victim happens to not be black, then, not only was there no injustice but I also absolve myself of any responsibility to care about what maltreatment may actually have occurred and why.

To that end, if my so-called “blackness” has become such a god to me that the degree to which my conscience is moved by acts of injustice is predicated upon the extent to which my own subjective standard of race-based morality has been violated – as opposed to being convicted that God’s objective standard of righteousness, which applies to all people equitably, has been contravened – then I must confess and repent of my idolatry.

And racism is idolatry because it exalts what which was created, namely race, above that of its Creator (Romans 1:21-25).

If there is a poor man with you, on of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you should shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’ – Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 10-11 (NASB)

We must be honest enough to acknowledge that this race-centered view of injustice has in fact been embraced by many black Christians.

Their rationale is that because Jesus had (and has) a particular concern for the poor and oppressed of the world (Luke 14:13-14; Mark 10:21; Matthew 5:3) – and who is more oppressed today than black people? – it is not sinful for them to possess the biased sentiments they harbor within their own hearts.

In seeing the world as if through race-colored glasses, they define terms like oppression and injustice within a construct that is shaped more by humanist sociology than biblical theology.

Consequently, in their pursuit of social justice the ends – including their racial attitudes – justify the means. Hence, they see themselves as ‘warriors’ not racists because, in their minds anyway, their cause is inherently “righteous” in itself.

The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.1 John 2:9-11, 4:20 (NASB)

The sin of injustice is no excuse for the sin of racism (Romans 12:17).

The same Jesus who washed the feet of Peter, washed the feet of Judas as well (John 13:1-15).

As Christians, the indignation we may feel over the egregious mistreatment of one person by another, irrespective of the race of either the perpetrator or the victim, does not give us the right to respond with our own nefarious actions and attitudes (Luke 6:27-38).

That followers of Christ would be in any way prejudiced toward anyone because of the race or ethnicity with which God Himself endowed them (Acts 17:26) is sin – period.

The God who Himself shows no partiality (Romans 2:11) cannot – and will not – condone any expressions of racism on the part of those who profess to believe in Him. Because, believe it or not, the same God who created you in His image created every other human being in His image as well (Genesis 1:27).

Christians should not simply reflect the morality of their era but the morality of the Bible. – John Piper

In whatever manner we might be unjustly treated, the model for how we should respond is Jesus Christ (Mark 14:64-65, 15:16-20). For nothing we encounter in this world, regardless the situation or circumstance, will ever rise to the level of indignation and humiliation Christ endured on the cross for undeserving sinners like you and me (Ephesians 5:1-2).

I realize the tone of this post may seem rather direct, but the Scriptures are unambiguous that if there was one thing Jesus clearly despised during His earthly ministry it was hypocrisy (Luke 6:42).

The truth is often difficult to accept.

This is especially true when you and I are confronted with the deprecatory truth about ourselves.

Nevertheless, we must be willing to call out sin wherever it exists (Ephesians 5:11), especially when that sin is hidden within the recesses of our own heart (1 John 1:9-10).

Humbly in Christ,

Darrell

Related:

Socialism in Jesus’ Name? – Dr. R.C. Sproul
Stereotypes, Generalizations, and Racism – John Piper

12 Replies to “The Sin of Injustice is No Excuse for the Sin of Racism”

  1. Pretty sure this is one of the best articles I have read in regards to this subject. Raising a black son and daughter I have asked the Lord for wisdom. He provided thru this article. Thank you so much for sharing this truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jeni. Your comments were very humbling. I pray the Lord will continue to guide you and your children in a biblical understanding of this issue. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. Take care and the Lord bless you and your family. – Darrell

      Like

  2. This is in deed a thoughtful and robust appreciation for the overarching outcomes of how ones carnal heart may be very much compelled to react rather than respond with the grace afforded through Christ’s promise of Holy Spirit.

    I also hear the Biblical command to “Be angry, and sin not’. As a Black father and Christian I find this to be the conciousness of most Blacks and other ethnicities I encounter – and would be grateful to encounter more.
    And yes, to your larger point that “sin is sin”; irrespective of the tangent it is manifested; is embraced wholeheartedly.

    It is not, I would argue, misplaced anger or “righteous indignation” to sense and empathize with the veracity of vulnerability and deeper victimization that is created by the wickedness of another persons heart when the target is of same tribe and nation. I beleive it a very reasonable and natural emotional affect. Even if one is regenerated or not. When attempting to diminish such characterizations one comes dangerously close to using the liberty which comes through Christ; as Paul presents in Ephesians and Galatians; in a manner that eviscerates the purpose of the unique qualities which are inherent in Gods presentation of various ethnicities. I do realize that is not your intent, but it plays directly into the hands of those who decry “Why must we see color?” Which as I’m sure you’d agree is a subversive theological ploy guised as intellectual laziness.

    I am – quite simple – in my honest appropriation of my own evil indents within my heart constantly massaging the redemptive work of Christ towards myself and others as I openly confess and publicaly acknowledge that #thereisgrace4them2 as well as #grace4me2.

    To strive ‘to be’ Jesus is a masquerade that we as believers are not called nor encouraged to perform. Accepting the full weight and causality of life with other broken “image bearers” is necessary, albeit reticent within these realities. Forgiving and loving others and ourselves is fare for the journey.

    I internalized this piece immediately after responding to today’s news of yet another murdeous death of a Black man. #TerenceCrutcher

    btw -I also become just as angry when it occurs to any other human being. It just seems as though I must get ‘that’ news from abroad, simply because relevant incidents of similar magnitude don’t appear or occur in my hemisphere to frequently.

    Therefore, I wanted to respond in support of this much needed piece of Theological insightfulness while casually pushing back – a tad – because I noticed (and openly assume) that most of the people reading and responding are Black also. Not fact – just assumption to make a point.

    We dare not fall into the trap of esoteric spirituality, so that we are of no earthly good.
    May the Lord save our sons and daughters…and all others too.

    #notcrazyjustdone
    #needHolySpiritNOW

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I stumbled upon your post from a Google search, and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It was refreshing to see it through the lens of the recent presidential election. I feel that the recent protests and riots against the president-elect have often not actually been in the name of “social justice” but rather as an excuse, or permission, to sin.

    This even happens with groups who feel their rights are being infringed upon in day-to-day conduct, not just protests. They hold their “minority” status (race, gender, religion, sexual preference) as an idol, and use it as an excuse to behave in a manner unbefitting of civil conduct. It also seems to blind them and give them a focus (the minority status) and a tunnel vision that makes sin a permissible offense — as long as it was in the name of social justice.

    For example, just because I am a female, I don’t expect fire departments to lower their requirements of weight-lifting ability should I want a job there. Me taking the matter to court is not only poor judgment on my part, but also a bad example to my children, a waste of public resources, and potentially, a detriment to the safety of my community should I actually be allowed to become a firefighter (in a department now with lower safety standards).

    Minority groups often accuse anyone not in their club who disagrees with them on policy to be infringing on their civil rights. It is sad that our nation has been reduced to finger-pointing blamers (on every side of an issue) with our thumbs plugging our ears. We have failed as a nation to focus on God and his Word, and this is where our indifference has led us.

    Liked by 1 person

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