Bigotry - Any Expression of Intolerance, Hatred or Aggression Toward Anyone or Any Group Who Is Different.
Differences That Ignite Bigot Attitudes
- Ethnicity, Nationality, Skin Color and Shades, Sibling Rivalry and Favoritism, Social Status (elitism and the ruling classes who feel privileged and superior), Economic, Educational and Vocational Status, Gender Prejudice, Age Discrimination, Religious Affiliation, Ideological Differences.
A Question that Has to Be Asked: "Is the Solution to Bigotry Natural or Spiritual?"
- If the Root Cause is Spiritual, then only in God's Kingdom (His Righteous Rule in Human Hearts) can we find God's Solution
Answer to the Question: The Root Cause of All Bigotry Is "The Fallen (Sinful) Nature"
- Sin separates people from God and alienates them from one another.
- Sin generates jealousies, hatred, violence, domination and cruelty.
(A Few) Biblical Examples of Bigotry Expressed Through the Fallen Nature
1. It all began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve's sin.
- Blame Shifting - Adam blamed both God and Eve for his problem.
- Jealousy, Hatred and Violence – Cain murdered his brother, Abel.
2. Gen. 46:34 (Egyptians hated Shepherds); Esther 3:1–6 (Haman tried to exterminate all Jews); Luke 15:2 (Pharisees hated sinners); Acts 10:28 (Jews hated Gentiles); Luke 9:51–56 (James and John wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans); Acts 1:13 (two disciples were Zealots – overthrow Rome at all costs); Acts 6:1-6 (Greek Christians complained against Hebrew Christians because of unequal distribution of food). Acts 10:34-35 (Peter was shocked when God filled Gentiles with His Spirit!).
God's Solution to Bigotry and Racial Unrest
- First of all, there is only one "Race"…the Human Race created in the image of God. The "Nations" (ethnos) are different ethnicities of the human race.
- The entire human race is fallen. Unregenerate humankind will NEVER find a lasting solution to bigotry. All human efforts are futile, like placing a Band-Aid over cancer.
- God's solution for the fallen humanity is Redemption in Christ. Our assignment is to make Disciples of all Nations (ethnos). Matt. 28:18–20
- When God's Kingdom resides in us as it does is in heaven, the King redeems us and righteousness rules both in and through us. We cannot love God and hate our brothers (1 John 4:19-21). When we are in Christ, there is no ethnic, social or gender distinctions (Gal. 3:28–29; Eph. 2:19).
- Only when the Holy Spirit joins people together as brothers and sisters in Christ, will there be an end to Bigotry…at least in those individuals.
- The world (fallen masses) will continue to exercise bigotry with strife and war (Matt. 24:7), but not so with Christ's Church. We are God's redeemed community living above the chaos of the world, modeling the way of Christ and beckoning to all men to come to Him.
How Then Shall We Live?
1. Honor Civil Authority
- In 58 AD, during the demonic reign and oppression of Nero, Paul wrote the epistle to the Roman Church. Christians are more than natural citizens of a nation, we are citizens of God's Kingdom (Phil. 3:20; Col. 1:13)! We live under the Righteous Rule of Christ, the King, NOT by the dictates of a fallen world.
- Rom. 13:1-7 To discover how we, as Christians, should view civil authority, read again the astounding words that Paul wrote to the Roman Church, who was persecuted, terrorized and murdered by Nero's corrupt government. This is not just passively allowing cruel authorities to dominate us; it's an expression of how we must live in God's Kingdom. We cannot ignore this passage or forget that it's in God's inerrant word.
2. Pray for Civil Authority
- 1 Tim. 2:1-4 "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
3. Become Leven to Influence Society for Godly Change (God's Church is the conscience of society)
- Matt. 13: 33 "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened."
4. Demonstrate Life in God's Kingdom (His Righteous Rule) at all Times
- Philip. 2:14-16 "Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain."
5. Be God's Ambassadors in an Evil World, Entreating the Fallen to Be Reconciled to God
- 2 Cor. 5:20 "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
In Conclusion: Read Again the Dream of Martin Luther King Jr.
- "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood."
- The ONLY way for this to become a reality is when men and women of all ethnic groups become brothers and sisters in Christ and live in His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven!
A Modern Day Demonstration of Christians Dealing with a Racial Injustice and Tragedy
- In 2015, the relatives of people slain inside the AME church in Charleston, S.C., spoke directly to the gunman at his first court appearance after he had mercilessly murdered their loved ones.
- One by one, those who chose to speak did not turn to anger. Instead, they offered him forgiveness and said they were praying for his soul, even as they described the pain of their losses.
Pastor Dan Rhodes, Destiny Navigators, LLC DanCRhodes@DestinyNavigators.org