Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #339 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Revelation 5 today and our focus is on Is Christianity Mainly a White Religion? Is Christianity Primarily an American Religion? NO! We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
I have heard many people make some strange assumptions about Christianity and race. I’ve heard racists attempt to justify their racism with the Bible, and I have heard more left-leaning people seem to insinuate that the Bible is a racist document in some way, shape or form. I’ve heard many criticize Christianity as a white-person’s religion, or an American religion. All of these various opinions and accusations have long flummoxed me, to be honest with you, because it is quite difficult to find any sort of racist justification in the Bible – ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE WHITE. Why especially if you are white? Because the vast majority of the people in the Bible – including King David, Moses, Abraham, Paul, Peter, ALL of the disciples, AND EVEN JESUS HIMSELF are all NOT white, but Middle-Eastern people – olive skinned. I suppose it is possible that a Gentile like Luke, or Titus, or Timothy could – MAYBE – be considered white. (From my understanding, it is only very recently that Italians, Greeks, Spanish, Irish and other groups came to be considered white. And, by the way – what does white even mean? Who determines who is white? I’ve no idea, really. I hope in my lifetime that “whiteness,” whatever it is, because an out of date concept.) At any rate, 95+ percent of the people in the Bible are Middle Easterners, so thinking the Bible somehow promulgates a “white” religion is utterly ridiculous. And, while it is conceivable that maybe a handful of the people in the Bible are white, I can assure you with 100 percent certitude that NOBODY in the Bible is American – not a soul. To think of Christianity as white or American religion is an utterly silly notion that is absolutely foreign to the Bible. (see what I did there?) One of today’s passages, by the way, demonstrates exactly what nationality that Christians are, however:
8 When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song:
You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slaughtered,
and you purchased people
for God by your blood
from every tribe and language
and people and nation.
10 You made them a kingdom
and priests to our God,
and they will reign on the earth. Revelations 5:8-10
Did you hear that? What nationality is Christianity? What skin color is Christianity? What language is Christianity? How about ALL OF THEM. Jesus has purchased a people – by His death on the cross- from EVERY tribe, language and people and nation. If I sound fired up about this, I am most certainly fired up. I am fired up at racists who use the Bible to justify racism, and I am fired up when others accuse the Bible of somehow promoting racism. Here’s another passage that indicates what kind of people make up those who follow Jesus:
Revelation 7:9-10 9 After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
How difficult such a passage must be to somebody who is a white, black, yellow or red supremacist?! According to the Revelation of John, Heaven is composed of “a vast multitude from EVERY nation, tribe, people and language.” And they are all evenly spread around God’s throne! Passages like this obliterate racist ideals and racist principles in the light of truth, and demonstrate the completely illogical nature of one somehow being a ‘Christian’ racist.
Here’s another passage that desecrates any idea of “Christian” racism: Acts 17:26 From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. Acts 17:26 represents another great foundational truth of the Bible, boiled down to one sentence. All humans spring from one man, Adam, and thus all humans have common ancestry. This ideal forms a significant pillar of the Bible’s teaching on race, and it completely repudiates any sort of racist ideology that God created different races for different purposes. In commenting on this passage, John Piper writes: First, notice that God is the MAKER of ethnic groups. “God made from one every nation.” Ethnic groups do not just come about by random genetic change. They come about by God’s design and purpose. The text says plainly, “GOD made every ethnos.” Second, notice that God made all the ethnic groups from one human ancestor. Paul says, “He made FROM ONE every ethnos.” This has a special wallop when you ponder why he chose to say just this to these Athenians on the Areopagus. The Athenians were fond of boasting that they were autochthones, which means that they sprang from their native soil and were not immigrants from some other place or people group. (See Lenski and Bruce, ad. loc.) Paul chooses to confront this ethnic pride head on. God made all the ethnic groups—Athenians and Barbarians—and he made them out of one common stock. So you Athenians are cut from the same cloth as those despised Barbarians and Scythians. Source: http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/racial-reconciliation
Thompson, Chase. The Bible And Racism: What the Bible REALLY Says about Racism (pp. 31-32). ChaseaThompson.com. Kindle Edition.
Along those lines, pastor Tim Keller writes:
This is a time to present the Bible’s strong and clear teachings about the sin of racism and of the idolatry of blood and country. In Acts 17:26, in the midst of an evangelistic lecture to secular, pagan philosophers, Paul makes the case that God created all the races “from one man.” Paul’s Greek listeners saw other races as barbarian, but against such views of racial superiority Paul makes the case that all races have the same Creator and are of one stock. Since all are made in God’s image, every human life is of infinite and equal value (Gen. 9:5–6). When Jonah puts the national interests of Israel ahead of the spiritual good of the racially “other” pagan city of Nineveh, he is roundly condemned by God (Jonah 4:1–11). One main effect of the gospel is to shatter the racial barriers that separate people (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:14–18), so it is an egregious sin to do anything to support those barriers. When Peter sought to do so, Paul reprimanded him for losing his grasp on the gospel (Gal. 2:14). (Writer and pastor Timothy Keller, responding to the Charlottesville white supremacist’s march of August, 2017. Source: www.thegospelcoalition.org /article/race-the-gospel-and-the-moment)
Source: Thompson, Chase. The Bible And Racism: What the Bible REALLY Says about Racism (p. 24). ChaseaThompson.com. Kindle Edition.
Bible Memory passage for the month of December: Revelation 5:12, “They said with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
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