No racism, classism or sexism in Christ. Period.
Anytime I write something brilliant, it is usually something that I never knew that I knew. It came through my finger tips as I simply wrote the next thing that I thought the Spirit wanted me to say. Such was the case on my church history final where I observed a list of the three greatest divisions in society which are listed clearly in Scripture as abolished in Christ.
Jesus Christ abolished racism (Jew or Gentile), classism (slave or free), and sexism (male or female). In Christ Jesus, these separations do not exists.
The Apostle Paul teaches that believers are all children of God and clothed with Christ Jesus. In Galatians 3:28, he declares, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Unfortunately these divisions still exist in His body – the church of Christ. We, as His sisters and brothers, have not stepped into the freedom that He died for us to gain. Instead the rich are often against the poor and the poor against the rich. The uneducated find the educated clueless and vice versa. We like to hangout in churches with people of like ethnicity, and we often create Jesus in our own image through art, music and worldview. (Consider Jesus as a white European male with blue eyes rather than as the Jewish man that He actually was.) While Jesus and the early New Testament writers called women to a position of freedom, by the second century the church was busily putting them back into the place where paganism, religion and fear had bound them. Jesus saw her as a daughter of Abraham; but by the middle ages, the church didn’t even view her as created in the image of God.*
Today I want to challenge us to step into the freedom Christ has for us. It is most certainly a freedom where “isms” don’t exist!
If you are part of an oppressed race, gender or class, I encourage you to know your value is equally as great as the most exalted race, class or gender on this earth. YOU LACK NOTHING. You are complete in Him. You are as valuable as it is possible for a human being to be. You do not need to become a different color, sex or obtain a different economic status to find your value. YOU ALREADY HAVE YOUR VALUE. You are created in the image of Christ. In Him you are completely complete. YOU ARE PERFECT.
If you belong to a privileged race, class or gender, I challenge you to become aware in your interactions with those who do not share the same privileges. Many of these privileges are subconscious, and most people have no idea that they are even receiving them. I am white. White people are privileged in American society. This is a truth that I know and experience everyday. I am well-educated (with a background as a bit of a redneck). Educated people are privileged in Jersey City, NJ. I am also a woman. However, women are in no way privileged or free in most of the evangelical church.
How do we advocate for ourselves without being so aggressive that we are tuned out by those who don’t want to lose the privileges that society has given them?
How do we advocate for others without patronizing them? (Patronization as defined by helping others because we think we are more capable, valuable, intelligent, able, pure, etc. than they. are)
I propose the solution to the problem is simply in seeing Christ in those around us. Seeing them as having INFINITE VALUE. We will not condescend in our interactions with a homeless person if we see them as PERFECT, BEAUTIFUL, AND COMPLETE. When we give to someone in need, it is a necessity for us to realize that we are giving to an EQUAL.
Today be ONE in Christ. Let the “isms” fade away, as you worship His holiness, meeting all His children in perfect harmony of mind and thought! The blood of Jesus and the power of the Spirit unite us!
*General historical references about women taken from my reading of Her Story: Women in Christian Tradition by Barbara J. McHaffie. It is available for purchase on Amazon here. The reference Jesus makes to a daughter of Abraham is found in Luke 13:10-17.by