What The Bible Says About Racism

Does the Bible mention discrimination or bias, and if so, what is the biblical view of racism?

Grace, not Race

Even though the word racism is not in the Bible, the Bible clearly teaches that racism is not part of what God intends. There are far too many Scriptures to support that statement in one article, so there are enough to consider, in both the Old Testament and New Testament. First of all, there is no excuse, most of all Christians, to treat anyone with a different skin color, language, nation, or religion in a way that they would not want to be treated. Like Jacob’s multi-colored coat, God is saving people from every nation and people on the face of the earth. Worship in heaven will include people from many different backgrounds. After Christ’s return, they sing in heaven, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9). John does not see just one nation or group of people worshiping God in heaven, but in fact people from every nation. He saw “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Rev 7:9). People from all tribes, peoples, and languages will stand before the throne, and before the Lamb, so God has no greater or lesser regard for any person, nation, language, or tribe. Surely you’ve heard the Apostle Paul’s statement that “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” (Gal 3:28), since, “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:29).

Old Testament Examples

When the nation Israel came out of their Egyptian bondage, there were people who came along that were not of the children of Abraham. God gave the same rights to the Israelites as He did to resident aliens. An example is Deuteronomy 1:16 where Moses wrote, “And I charged your judges at that time, Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.” The Lord’s command, written by the Prophet Jeremiah, says, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place” (22:3). Ruth, a Moabite, was welcome to dwell with the Israelites as she was welcomed by Boaz, along with her mother-in-law, Naomi, later, marrying Boaz and becoming part of the royal lineage of Jesus Christ. Knowing that she was a Moabite, which was an enemy of Israel, you could tell she was surprised by her acceptance, and why “she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner” (Ruth 2:10). As long as a foreigner obeyed the laws of God, they were offered the same protection under the laws of God, just as would any natural born Israelite would be. In both the Old Testament and New Testament, we find that God is more interested in receiving worship in spirit and in truth than in who worships Him (John 4:24).

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 (Gal 3:28).

Judging

I think it’s in our nature to look at people and judge them. I don’t mean condemn them, but we can judge people by the way they look because if they look a certain way, it may or may not fit our expectations, but obviously, we’re wrong to do that because we don’t know their heart like God does. We should “not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24). The word “judge” in this context doesn’t mean condemn but we can easily become judge, jury, and executioner. Every day you hear someone who has done this or has done that, and it’s almost as if they’re guilty till proven innocent. The Lord told the Prophet Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). I have heard some very harsh judgmental statements from believers, and I haven’t been innocent either, but I’ve learned to accept people for who they are and where they’re from. I have no excuse now. I understand that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26), so we have no right to show partiality because “God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34-35).

In God’s Image

Genesis 1:27 records the fact that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them,” so even in creation, God shows no partiality, and why Paul can write that “God shows no partiality” (Rom 2:11), so we know “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him” (Rom 10:12). If we do show partiality, God’s Word says, we “are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:9). That’s not a good place to be. Why not leave the judging up to God and assume the best in people. The Bible teachers that love believes all things (1 Cor 13:7), which I believe means we give people the benefit of the doubt and don’t make the worst assumptions about them.

Conclusion

Christians are commanded to love one another and not judge people by the way they look, so I hope we can see just how sinful it is to have regard, lesser or greater, for anyone of a certain color, nationality, language, and so on. There is no room for discrimination in this present world or in the world to come. If God accepts us, then we ought to accept one another, and that includes accepting their differences. Just look at nature; you can see God loves variety, and there are so many differences among the nations that I think it gives our world the look of Joseph’s coat of many colors. “This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring” (Rom 9:8), and “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Rom 4:16). It is never about race….it is only about grace.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • Carlos Santiago

    Very true. We are all God’s children. Although it’s taken over 200 years for this country to get it right ( and we are still figuring it out); Thomas Jefferson mimicked this truth when he authored our Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

    • pud

      He cut out all the crap from your stupid book….Google “Jefferson bible”

    • Jack Wellman

      Great reference to the Declaration of Independence statement sir. Thank you.

      • pud

        LOL!!! How ironic coming from a priest who can’t get enough of slavery to an invisible undetectable mythical “king”

  • tovlogos

    Always an appropriate message in this world; and some very good references, several of which are practical
    examples. Matthew 22:37-40 is a poignant theological reality — being endued with the genuine results (Romans 9:8)
    of John 3:3, and that which follows, John 4;24; this responsibility is inconsistent at best.
    1 Samuel 16:7 — one of my favorite verses.

    Of course we have all fallen short — yet, we are on the Path or we are not, though we can all be a little shaky at times.
    The fact that we are not perfect like God, is not an excuse. The importance of Matthew 22:39 is inescapable — the second commandment,
    which is to love one’s neighbor as himself, which is to “seek the best or higher good for others” — is like the first which is
    to love the Lord God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. So, when a person who never misses church,
    yet hates a fellow believer because they have a different genetic profile, what is he saying to God? And how do people do what they
    feel like doing and still go the the kingdom?

    • pud

      Compulsory love…or else…how sick

      • tovlogos

        Okay — That’s how you feel.

        • pud

          It’s not how I “feel” it is exactly how it is. In your cult you are ordered to love that which you must also fear…compulsory love which is sick….Try North Korea

          • tovlogos

            Right

    • Jack Wellman

      1 John 3 is good reading for all who profess Christ but may not posses Christ.

      • tovlogos

        No question, and John 3:3 is the way to possess Jesus with heart, mind, soul and strength — after which if one still hates his neighbor,
        something is amiss.

        • pud

          Which would be at best willful delusion and at worst advanced mental illness. Demonstrate that any “jesus” ever existed …..waiting…

  • pud

    “Genesis 1:27 records the fact that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them,”

    It is NOT a “fact” and to put if forward as such is a lie.

    You and the other willfully deluded gullible sheep that relentlessly cling to the absurd can not, have not and never will be able to EVER offer any rational evidence to support a single of your ridiculous infantile claims.

    • Phil

      God is Bi-sexual or transgender? He created both man and woman in his image.

      • pud

        It’s all nonsense from the infancy of our species….some people never evolve or grow up

  • Jack Wellman

    Let’s all pray for Pud. She is so angry and hateful, she needs counseling or better yet, God’s Spirit.

    • Myles

      Which of the millions of gods would be the appropriate one? How do you decide?

    • Kera Lynn

      Mhmm, yep. Happening right now.

  • I’m a little confused. You’re just cherry picking nice verses from the Bible to support your modern opinion that racism is bad. Uh, okay, but you could just do the opposite to support the opposite conclusion, right? Prohibitions against intermarrying, God regulating slavery (Lev. 25:44-46 comes to mind), prohibitions against Moabites or Edomites (sorry–I don’t remember which) entering the temple, down to the 10th generation, Jesus saying nothing against slavery, and so on.

  • Myles

    Why all the clapping when one man of a different race, married to one woman of their race, was violently murdered because of that? (One of the fairy tales in Exodus,I think)