ONE IN CHRIST | LRC MINISTERIAL
The solidarity and unity of the human race is a Biblical reality and fact, beyond dispute for the believer. It is a Biblical truth that is plainly and irrefutably given. No one who claims to be of Christ, a Christian, can take any other view. To do so is racist, and such perverted power-seeking thought has laid the foundation for oppression and genocide throughout history.
From the slave trade to the Jim Crow experience in America, to wars, and apartheid, and even to Rwandan genocide, the idea that a “group” of people are “other”, or “not as human as we are” is intolerable.
It opens the door to evil and is the opposite of loving our neighbor. Any competent scientist will tell you that “Race” is not even a scientific reality, but one created in the minds of men to be used to accomplish the satanic purposes of the beast of Revelation. There is one race — the human race. As Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday we will celebrate on Monday, stated, “Racism is based on an ontological affirmation. It is based on the notion that the very being of a people is inferior. And the ultimate logic of racism is genocide.”
In a speech at Stanford University in 1967, King said:
“Now the other thing that we’ve gotta come to see now that many of us didn’t see too well during the last ten years — that is that racism is still alive in American society, and much more wide-spread than we realized. And we must see racism for what it is. It is a myth of the superior and the inferior race. It is the false and tragic notion that one particular group, one particular race is responsible for all of the progress, all of the insights in the total flow of history. And the theory that another group or another race is totally depraved, innately impure, and innately inferior.
In the final analysis, racism is evil because its ultimate logic is genocide. Hitler was a sick and tragic man who carried racism to its logical conclusion. And he ended up leading a nation to the point of killing about 6 million Jews. This is the tragedy of racism because its ultimate logic is genocide. If one says that I am not good enough to live next door to him, if one says that I am not good enough to eat at a lunch counter, or to have a good, decent job, or to go to school with him merely because of my race, he is saying consciously or unconsciously that I do not deserve to exist.”
— “The Other America Speech” at Stanford University, April 14, 1967 by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brothers and Sisters, the times are speaking to us. And the world is waiting and yearning to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ with clarity from the sons and daughters of God, who are redeemed by His blood. (Romans 8: 19-21). Christ Jesus embraced all of humanity in Himself through His great sacrifice, (2 Corinthians 5: 19). All were included; none were left out. Whether the wrongly-called “Untouchables of India” or the Royal Family of England; whether from Ethiopia, Germany, Nigeria, Slovenia, Myanmar, Czechoslovakia, or the United States, Jamaica, Haiti, El Salvador, or any of over 200 Sovereign nations, in the Savior there is no separation, there are no categories, or hierarchies of human beings or countries that existed then or now.
Whether one is a billionaire of the so-called American “top one-percent,” or living on pennies a day, Christ affirms the dignity and pricelessness of all people, male and female. He even goes further to declare his fellowship and solidarity, not with the rulers of the earth or the wealthy, but with “the least of these” (Matthew 25: 31-46). As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we can do no less, and should allow no one to depreciate or denigrate the high standard of the love of Christ for “every nation, kindred, tongue and people,” Revelation 14:6.
As a boy, I remember my first visit to Grenada, Mississippi, the home of my father and family going back to 1872 (before that our records are lost in the American slave trade, as often blacks were called simply by a first name on records of sales). On that trip in the 1960s, I saw Jim Crow still alive. I had relatives who still lived in humble shelters without plumbing. They literally had “outhouses.” However, as church-going folk, who knew Jesus and feared the Lord, their mouths were not filthy and they, to my amazement, did not speak of whites in hateful terms, but in terms of pity and prayers for God’s mercy for those who were racist and privileged. (Not a few as this was the infrastructure of Mississippi.) They lived and walked with dignity and self-respect, in spite of all their social status among whites. Today, as some “go low” let us arise and shine, following the footsteps of our Master who, for the joy of seeing us redeemed and a blood bought multitude of all nations, endured the cross and despised the shame. Whether from Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Togo, Guatemala, the U. S. or wherever, Christ is not ashamed to call us, all of us, His Brethren.
To the Haitian, and African members of the Lake Region Conference: we affirm you, and celebrate the countries of your birth. It has nurtured and shaped you to uniquely minister for God in the Lake Region Conference. Thank you for making this Conference what it is, and what it will become in Christ Jesus. Thank you for choosing to be part of this tapestry of God’s Love. May you know with certainty that your efforts to speed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue and people in the Lake Region territories of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin will be met with those faithful words of our Lord, “Well done good and faithful servants … enter into the joy of your Lord,” Matthew 25:23.
Yours in Christ, our Soon Coming King,