BTSF in chronological order (most recent articles appear first):

Monday, May 14, 2012

For the Bible Tells Me So: Racial Justice and Reconciliation

In this series, we revisit some of the foundational posts that lay the groundwork for much of what is expressed at BTSF. 'Biblical Premise' originally appeared on 4/08/2010:

Diversity in the church is scriptural. It is holy. God himself is a manifestation of three vastly different entities communing together in unity.  God has designed his people so that we need everyone in order to fully understand who He is. We know this because that is how He says heaven will be like:

Rev 7:9-10 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nationfrom all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb!"

This is a picture of creation in all its diversity coming together to praise God. Let it be 'on earth as it is in heaven.'

But this environment doesn't just magically happenThis is not about being PC because it's popular thing to do—it's about Christ-driven redemption of a broken worldWe must identify and actively combat the injustice and disparity that underlies our modern racial divisions. True reconciliation means bearing with one another, and sacrificing of ourselves to combat injustice in the lives of others.

Examine what scripture has to say about the importance of justice (Isaiah 58) and unity (Ephesians 4:1-14). Observe how the early church dealt with unjust systemic practices (Acts 6:1-7). Notice how Jesus interacted with people from many different cultures and backgrounds, intentionally surrounding himself with people from all walks of life. He loved them, cared for them, and radically brought people together across cultural, social, economic, and religious divides (Matthew 8:5-13Mark 1:16-19Mark 7:24-30Mark 14: 3-9John 4:1-42, John 8:1-11John 9:9-12John 13:34). He listened to the needs of those around him, and then acted to ease those burdens. Is this model reflected and acted upon in your church?

All Eyes=Not Good
Notice that we are not supposed to be 'colorblind.' If we pretend as if 'we are all the same' then we miss the richness that God gave us. He has designed the Church to be a body that is unified, but that has unique parts that need each other—we are not all eyes or feet, remember. "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others" (Romans 12:4-5).

The Church must step up for the sake of justice and reconciliation, demonstrating in practical ways that we care about these issues that are so deeply rooted in scripture (Philippians 2).

See Also:
Why It Is Important
Religious Roots of Racism


  1. If you have questions, or meet with resistance, it’s okay and it’s good to wrestle with these things. For this purpose, BTSF has been brought into cyber-existence. As we build these relationships with other communities we must remember that it takes intentionality and perseverance. Sometimes it is uncomfortable but it is also rewarding. And I'm excited for our journey.

  2. This brings us to the point of oneness . This is the point in which all the laws of cultural conduct established by a human nature’s natural desire to divide vanish. This is in lieu of the personification of a society that encourages an atmosphere of; seditions, dissentions cultural bias, prejudice and racism. In essence all of the unwritten laws that have long been established are no longer meaningful and all ethnic diversity is harmonized. This is not a melting pot, but this is the biblical reconciliation model of Galatians 3:28.

  3. I love this post. I remember reading it ages ago and thinking, "Yes, that's what I'm committed to!" At the time, I genuinely didn't know how to make it happen. I could see it as God's vision for our world and church, with the church to lead the world. But I hadn't done the hard work of learning how to partner with God on this topic. I appreciate this post as the end we are to strive for, and many of your of your other posts that help us to get there.

    One thought I have on your quote of Ephesians 4 as a symbol of unity, chapter 4 is just the outworking of the first three beautiful chapters that are also on the same topic. In Eph 1-3, Paul goes beyond ethics and shares with us how the "mystery" of God (ie, inclusion of all) is at the very heart of the gospel itself! It calls us to re-image our very theology its so core to Jesus' gospel of peace.


  4. An important reminder of the Biblical foundations that give us the ultimate reason and motivation for bringing and demonstrating the justice and reconciliation that God desires for all people. 

  5. We always gotta go back to the instruction manual!

  6. Thanks for bringing up the bringing of Ephesians. Such good stuff!


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By Their Strange Fruit by Katelin H is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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