What Would Jesus Do? The Church's Response to Racism

When mankind is dehumanizing and oppressing a segment of the human race, God sends His "called out" ones. (Unsplash/Samantha Sophia )

Alt-right, alt-left, antifa, alt-light, progressive, conservative, Caucasian, black, Hispanic, Asian, white supremacist, Black Lives Matter.

Can we become any more divided?

Where does the church of our Lord Jesus Christ stand in all of this division?

The human race has heard all of this rhetoric before. Pharaoh demeaned the Hebrew people and made them slaves to build the storage cities and great monuments.

Black leaders in Africa demeaned the members of other black groups and sold them into slavery to British and North American traders.

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A German chancellor and his propagandists demeaned all Caucasians who were not blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Arians or who were disabled and sent them to concentration camps and eventually to the ovens.

Where the church of the Lord Jesus Christ stood in these moments of history is where the church needs to stand right now.

When the Hebrew people were in slavery to Egypt, being treated as less than human, God said to His servant Moses, "'I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry ... for I know their sorrows. Therefore, I have come down to deliver them ... and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land ... I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. Come now therefore, and I will send you ..." (Ex. 3:7-10).

That has been the plan of God in every generation.

When mankind is dehumanizing and oppressing a segment of the human race, God sends His "called out" ones.

Writer David Smith records in The Gaurdian that when African kings were selling other Africans to Arab, British and American slave traders, "Estimates vary that between 10 million and 28 million Africans were sent to the Americas and sold into slavery between 1450 and the early 19th century."

God saw.

God heard their cries.

God knew their sorrow and pain.

God called His people to deliver them.

John Newton: Not Your First Choice 

He became a cabin boy on board a ship following the death of his godly mother, when he was only seven years of age. His work on the seas led him into the slave trade, transporting slaves from Africa to the Americas. He had a miraculous salvation experience and became a preacher of the gospel and a firm abolitionist.

He wrote one of the most popular hymns of all time, "Amazing Grace," in 1779.

Interestingly, he wrote the music in what early Americans called the "pentatonic scale," meaning it was written entirely on the black keys of the piano.

The words of "Amazing Grace" are set to the melody of the black slaves.

Rev. John Newton was also a very close friend to a member of the British Parliament, William Wilberforce. Ten years after the writing of "Amazing Grace," Wilberforce began introducing bills into Parliament for the abolition of slavery. That victory was won March 25, 1807.

A Most Unlikely Missionary Candidate

Her health was very poor. However, God saw young girls in India were being forced into temple slavery and prostitution.

He heard their desperate cries.

He knew their sorrow and suffering.

He found a Scottish women with brown eyes and called her to India.

Amy Carmichael founded the Dohnavuer Fellowship in 1901. Amy is said to have rescued more than one thousand girls from slavery and prostitution. Her greatest victory came three years before she passed away. The Indian government outlawed temple slavery in 1948.

The German Blitzkrieg Swept Through Western Europe Like a Hurricane

With it came the required hatred and demeaning treatment of the Jewish people. It seemed all the world had turned the back of them, or at the very least, forgotten them.

In 1939, Cuba, the United States and Canada refused entry to 900 Jewish people on board the MS St. Louis. All of them were returned to various western European nations; all of them were again under the Nazi jackboot.

In Haarlem, Netherlands, God's Called-Out One Loved the 'Apple of His Eye'

Casper ten Boom was a watchmaker with a heart sold out to the Lord. He could not passively sit by and see God's chosen people being systematically arrested, deported and murdered.

He and his son and three daughters opened their home to be a rescue center for the Jewish people.

All of them but one would give their life rescuing God's chosen from the killing machine of the Nazi regime. Corrie ten Boom was miraculously delivered from Ravensbruck, a concentration camp north of Berlin, through an administrative error.

From there, God sent her a round the world to declare to all of mankind, "There is no pit so deep but what God's love is deeper still."

The Apostle Paul Preached a Similar Message on Mars Hill

Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious. For as I passed by and looked up at your objects of worship, I found an altar with this inscription:


Whom you therefore unknowingly worship, Him I proclaim to you.

"God who made the world and all things in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands. Nor is He served by men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives all men life and breath and all things. He has made from one blood every nation of men to live on the entire face of the earth, having appointed fixed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

Almighty God Made Mankind 'All of One Blood'

Whether Asian, African, European, American, black, Caucasian or Latino; we are all of one blood, no matter the color of the skin.

The Apostle Paul gave further clarification in his letter to the Ephesians. "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Eph. 3:14-15).

Every human being has the same Father, and we are all members of the same family.

No wonder we are all of the same blood.

We may have a different appearance and even a different skin color. But we have the same Father and we have the same blood flowing through our veins. We are brothers and sisters.

Just as God called Moses to rescue his people from Egypt; just as He called John Newton and William Wilberforce, Amy Carmichael and the ten Boom family, God is calling His church in America.

God sees the affliction.

He hears the groaning. He knows the suffering and oppression. He is calling His people to rise up to the occasion.

Don't Get Caught Up in the Rhetoric

Do not become swayed by the politically correct labeling and cultural pressure.

Refuse to be divided by the hatred and the anger of the men and women who are not born again.

Rather, seek the Lord Jesus Christ.

Allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate your heart deep and wide, revealing those areas of your inner person that has anything less than God's eyes and God's heart for other human beings.

Ask Almighty God to give you His love for His children, your brothers and sisters, whether they are African, European, Asian, South American or North American. We are all family!

In this way God's love is perfected in us, so that we may have boldness on the Day of Judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not perfect in love (1 John 4:17-18)/

When we allow our hearts and our lives to be filled with God's love, we will live in this world as Jesus is in heaven.

We will not fear and hate one another.

We will live in peace and harmony.

That must be the message and the mission of the church at this critical time.

 Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - FoundationalFacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

This article originally appeared at fdeanhackett.com.

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