Black History Month

We are nearing the close of February, which means that Black History Month is nearly past, and I want to take this opportunity to express some things concerning it.

First off, to be perfectly honest, I do not view people as “black,” or “white,” “yellow,” “red,” or anything else for that matter. I am offended by racial jokes directed toward “non-caucasions” simply because there is zero division amongst races, and to insult a member of the human race for a natural trait is to insult us all. Most importantly, to divide the human race into sub-races is to deny that every man, woman, and child is made in the image of God.

And due to this very basic belief of mine, I have difficult accepting “Black History Month” as valid. I can agree with actor Morgan Freeman (quoted in the link above) in believing that racism will persist so long as people are identified by skin color rather than their actual persons. Black History Month, in my opinion, is itself segregation, a way of saying the history of certain people is of special interest and cannot be focused on at all for most of the year. We have come a long way in accepting people of all shapes, colors, and sizes, and I am glad I do not have to see “Whites Only” signs on bathrooms, shops, and elsewhere.

Ideally, however, all public observance of imaginary “racial differences” should be done away with.

And yet, even within the church, there is such a recognizable schism, and even in my small town I notice it, in that of the several churches I have been to, in only one of them have I seen African-Americans regularly attending. Yet in that church, there were few (if any? I can’t remember) Euro-Americans. That again seems like segregation, voluntary or not.

But what says the Lord? For that, we turn to Paul’s epistle to the saints at Colossae:

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:9-14, NASB

What a utopic vision expressed by God through Paul! Who doesn’t desire a society in which everyone is equal and everyone loves one another? Who wouldn’t want a society full of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”?

But notice what is said: this only applies to “those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved.” Only a person who has put aside “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech” (3:8, NASB) will be able to fulfill these commands of love toward one another.

That isn’t to say that an unbeliever cannot strive for a utopian vision, nor am I implying that every believer will fulfill them completely. The first one is not possible, for the goal is only achievable in Christ. The second is not possible because a Christian will always be at war with the sin nature which ever abides within them; it is this nature which has prevented the church from being triumphant on Earth, for the members of the church are always beset.

However, in Christ, there is at least possibility. And certainly, there is acceptance. No matter what the color of your skin is, no matter what color your eyes, Jesus Christ’s blood is able to wash your sins away. Whoever you may be, you are able to call upon the name of the Lord and ask for forgiveness for your sins. And you will be given an entirely new brotherhood, one that runs far deeper than skin or familial relation. You will become part of the family of God, a member of a communion which knows no boundaries, either in time or in space. And in love for the brethren you will find you are a part of the perfect bond of unity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Use your Gravatar-enabled email address while commenting to automatically enhance your comment with some of Gravatar's open profile data.

Comments must be made in accordance with the comment policy. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam; learn how your comment data is processed.

You may use Markdown to format your comments; additionally, these HTML tags and attributes may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

the Rick Beckman archive
Scroll to Top