One of the most misused scriptures, in my opinion, is Galatians 3:28, ” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This scripture is the first scripture many Christians slap down in front of you in a conversation about racial tensions. They misuse this scripture as a form of deflection from racial issues instead of noticing a powerful truth to this scripture—that it acknowledges our differences.
It’s showing us that we aren’t to be bound by our differences, but rather united under the care and call of Jesus Christ. This verse doesn’t say to ignore the concerns of those groups but rather to unite and trust Christ for each group together. Yet, believers quote Galatians 3:28 as a way of insinuating that racial concerns aren’t important or relevant to the gospel; as if the proven acts of racism aren’t sin against fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and those we hope to share the gospel and promises of God to.
When a child has been abused or an innocent person has been attacked by a group of people and they’re crying out for help, do you tell them, “stop playing the victim” and, “pull yourself up by the boot straps” and, “stop playing the abuse card”? If not, then why even think such thoughts toward black people in your heart? What if I told you we’ve (black race included) been conditioned through generations of racist subliminal narratives to simply not care about the sins against black people? That’s why the cries of various people of color regarding race may bug you. Why does it take so much pressing and fighting to get people to feel any compassion toward people of color? It’s noticeable that there’s a strong lack of empathy in the air, even from believers on the topic of race.
Have you ever wondered where some get the idea that black people feel less pain? Or that blacks aren’t as smart as other racial groups? How about the feelings that blacks “look guilty”? Believe it or not, our unconscious cognition of people shape how we treat them, even in the church.
I implore you to take a moment to check out this brief interview between NPR host, Michel Martin and Jason Silverstein, writer at Slate.com. Then check out social scientist, Dr. Joy Degruy’s presentation on the matter where she goes into great detail and history of where such degrading thoughts were spawned to condition people against blacks. These recordings are a classic in my book and are quite insightful and humbling. Please share this in the spirit of unity in Christ.