Overcoming Prejudice

The murder of George Floyd by a police officer, in front of dozens of witnesses, motivated the world against prejudice. This is especially true of prejudice of whites against blacks. I believe the words “I can’t breathe”, at a time when the world is battling a virus that attacks the lungs, was a catalyst that helped motivate people. It made the murder of Floyd personal in a way that hadn’t been done before. Everyone is afraid of dying from a virus that prevents them from being able to breathe.

It’s more than Mr. Floyd’s words, though. His blatant murder was the straw that broke the camel’s back, if you’ll excuse the use of an old expression. People are fed up with prejudice, persecution, bias, privilege, and other forms of false aggrandizement. It’s true that black lives matter. All lives matter. In just the history of this country there has been-and is-unfair treatment of Mexican Americans, Native Americans, blacks, Japanese and other Asians, the homeless and women. Religious prejudice exists towards Muslims, for example. But prejudice also exists against Christians and within the church of one denomination against others. A missionary I know in India tells me that being a Christian there is dangerous. Roman Catholic nuns are sometimes raped and beaten, and the police mostly look away.

Women suffer from prejudice also. They’re usually paid less than men for doing the same job even if they do the work better. And, it hasn’t been too long in this country since women were not able to vote. White privilege and wealth privilege are other forms of elitism, which is discrimination. Whites feel they are better than people of other races, and the wealthy feel they are entitled to better treatment than those of lesser financial means.

All people feel entitled for one reason or another. Many blacks feel they are entitled to better treatment by whites than other people because of the way their ancestors were treated 200 years ago. Whites owe them. Well, no they don’t. Also, Japanese people in the U.S. suffered interment during World War Two, and Americans suffer from passive-aggressive prejudice against them in Japan. Mormons believe that non-Mormons are the lesser of the people, as a past cult president Gordon Hinkley called them.

The rush to pass more legislation in order to stop racism only hinders the commission of racial acts. It doesn’t stop the bigotry, but it does increase the frustration of bigots It’s impossible to legislate away psychological and social maladjustment. People still hate others as much as they’ve always hated, they’re just less likely to act on that hatred than before. But it comes out in passive-aggressive acts and other ways that are almost as damaging as physical violence, especially to children. Education can make people understand why they shouldn’t be prejudice, but it doesn’t completely remove the bias.

Prejudice isn’t biblical. It isn’t the way God acts towards us, and it isn’t the way He expects us to act toward others. God is no respecter of persons ( Acts 10:34; James 2:1). John didn’t write any Jew who accepts Christ will be saved, he wrote “whosoever will”. That includes every person: God so loves [everyone], that whosoever believes that Jesus is their personal Savior will be saved (John 3:16). Nor does God favor kings, presidents who think they’re fuhrer, princes, industrial magnates or others of wealth and status: “If you have understanding hear this; listen to the sound of my words: Should one who hates justice govern? Will you condemn Him who is most just? Is it fitting to say to a king, ‘You are worthless,’ and top nobles, ‘You are wicked’? Yet God is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; for they are all the work of His hand. In a moment they die, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and pass away; the mighty are taken away without a hand” (Job 34: 16-20).

We then should act accordingly, not being biased against anyone, nor feeling privileged or better than anyone else. The Jewish people are God’s chosen people originally not because God made them better than others, but because they were a much smaller nation than the others, and God could use them to demonstrate His power to other nations. The Egyptians come to mind in Exodus. God called them “a stiff-necked people” and worse. They couldn’t wait for Moses to come down off the mountain before they made their own God, and they paid the price for their impatience.

Jesus often used the least of the people to do His work. And He was born not in a fancy palace, but in a manger among the horses and cattle. He worked as a carpenter, not as a king or other ruler, and He was a homeless, wandering preacher with “no place to lay His head”. Who are we to think we are any better than God Himself? Remember this the next time you come in contact with a homeless person on the street. The homeless deserve to be treated with respect as much as anyone else because God loves them as much as anyone else.

Christ makes up the third part of the human trinity in Christians. We are born with a sole and spirit living in a human body for a while. When someone becomes a true Christian, then Christ comes into that person and he or she into Him. Jesus isn’t just in your life like your spouse or a friend, He is inside you, and along with your sole and spirit make you complete. If something is missing in your life, Jesus is that something.

It is impossible for a true Christian to remain prejudiced against other people. A Christian’s new nature in Christ prevents all forms of prejudice. If you think you’re a Christian and yet harbor ill will against others simply because of their nationality or social status, then you’d be well advised to reconsider your relationship with Christ.

Very simply, Jesus is the only cure for racism and all forms of bias. Only He can change a person’s core values. It is up to Christians to do as much as they can to bring others to Christ because only in Him does bigotry disappear. All-that includes you and me- have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and only being in Him and He in us are we complete and brought into His light. All Christians need to work harder on spreading the Great Commission. And now is the time to start.

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