With the tragic and evil events of Charlottesville still firmly implanted in our collective conscience, Christians need to speak with clarity on this topic. One of the first topics on the agenda needs to be drawing a line in the sand between racial supremacy and Christianity. They are mutually exclusive. Here are three reason racial supremacy can’t coexist with biblical Christianity.
1. Racial supremacy is an assault on the imago dei
When God created human beings, he made them distinct from every other life form. He made them in his image and likeness (i.e. imago dei; Gen. 1:26-27). The imago dei carries with it a dignity no other part of creation has. When God decided to create humans beings with this elevated value, he did NOT arbitrarily assign differing values among his image bearers. They ALL possesses equal dignity in the eyes of their Creator.
Racial supremacy is an assault on this truth. It is, as it were, shaking one’s fist at the Creator God to protest the way in which he made us and to prop oneself up as ‘god’. Racial supremacy declares oneself to have autonomy apart from the true God by its nauseating insistence that there exists a superior race.
2. Racial supremacy is a rejection of the gospel
On the cross, Jesus did not discriminate among or between races in whom would be the beneficiaries of his atoning work. He died in the place of human beings from every race so that every race may be joined to him by grace through faith.
Racial supremacy is ultimately a rejection of the gospel itself for it fails to acknowledge that the benefits of the cross-work of Christ are applied across every race and ethnicity.
3. Racial supremacy stands diametrically opposed to the conditions of heaven
To be straightforward: heaven will be racially diverse (Rev. 5:9). To paraphrase another pastor, if you don’t long for racial reconciliation, then heaven isn’t the place for you because that’s exactly one of the glorious conditions of heaven itself.
So as you can see, racial supremacy stands in opposition to at least three of the core tenants of biblical Christianity. That puts it well outside the zip code of biblical Christianity. While racial supremacists can gather in church buildings, make no mistake about it, they aren’t Christians!
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the provocative musical artist Madonna said, “My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. That’s always been pushing me, pushing me. Because even though I’ve become somebody, I still have to prove that I’m SOMEBODY. My struggle has never ended, and it probably never will.”
You don't have to search too long to figure out what Madonna has done to prove that she's somebody. Like so many in our world, she illustrates what human beings are reduced to when they seek to find their 'somebody-ness' through their own performance. Stories like hers are seemingly endless. And it's sad.
Her desire to be somebody is shared by all. We all have an innate sense that there's something wrong with us which prompts us to counter it by proving through a variety of means that we are worthwhile. But this pursuit is exhausting. And it ultimately falls short. That’s why the gospel is good news.
In the gospel, we don’t fix what’s wrong with us through an endless list of achievements. Rather, God intervenes to save, heal, and transform. If I had one shot at speaking with Madonna, this is the news I’d share. “Madonna, you won’t be successful proving you're somebody. Our problems are too severe. You need to come to Jesus. Only he can heal you. Only he can give you rest."