I write as a Christian, here. And the Christian has a unique calling in the face of things like Charlottesville, because the Christian has something that can truly dismantle these evils.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
There is nothing in the universe that can unify human beings with more power and more permanence than the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth. Where the Gospel is believed and lived out, racial hatred cannot long live. There is no Jew nor Greek among His people.
But let me put the disease under the microscope for a second. Pride is at the heart of what we call “racism.” And pride divides. Now, the Gospel divides, too, but in a very different way. Where pride seeks to exalt the self by demeaning some other person or group, the Gospel divides the redeemed, those made meek and holy by the Father, Son, and Spirit, from the hardeharted and impenitent. Pride divides by breaking an island off from a continent; the Gospel divides by chiseling off a family from a mob. And pride produces men who hate those from whom they’ve divided. The Gospel produces men who pity those still in the mob.
Now let me step away from the microscope and use what we just saw to form a hypothesis: If you let the racially proud have their way, if you gave them a country made up of people who only share their skin color, it would only take about 10 years before they would start turning on each other for some other reason. They would find a new way to identify the “pure” or the “fit,” and of course in each individual’s case that ideal citizen would always be someone just like himself. Because pride always exalts the self, and thus it always produces factions. Proud people always end up with smaller and smaller circles, because they always want to be the one at the center of those circles. And a circle can only have one center.
Allow me an athletic metaphor: Pride always ends up being a solo sport.
But now back to the Gospel. The Gospel sets a man’s sight on the One who is truly the center of the universe. It takes a man out of himself. It makes him hate who he was and love who his neighbors are. It does to pride what RoundUp does to weeds. And so here we as Christians stand with something, and truth be told it’s the only thing, that can kill what’s killing people. The only thing that can destroy racial hatred and its cause. Here we have something that can bring men and women of all shades and all cultures together forever in the face of a sin that pits one violent heart against another. We have the power of the living, triune God: His Gospel. The Good News of the Christ who died to save sinners through faith in His Name. This thing does what no law nor education nor mere moral reform can: It kills old men and brings forth new ones. It slays proud men and resurrects them humble ones. We stand in a world of divided people, and we have something that doesn’t merely force black and white, old and young, city and rural people to tolerate each other; it changes them into men and women who want to die for each other.
We have a power, here Christian.
So, I know someone who can kill your racism.
He is the maker of all men, the King of all cultures, and the Savior of people from every tribe and tongue.
He is the God of the Gospel.
He is Jesus the Christ.