Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. — Matthew 7:12
Our world would be a much better place if people would follow this simple precept as a rule of life: Treat everyone as you want to be treated. The news is full of reports of discrimination, hatred, unforgiveness, segregation, racism, and strife. I am so thankful that Jesus Christ not only taught a better path to follow but also gives grace and divine love for people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities enabling all to get along in peace and harmony.
The subject of this issue of the Gospel Truth is “Christian Equality.” God created all of us equal, and though we have diversity of language, background, skin color, etc., we as Christians should love everybody and treat everyone with respect.
As I meditated on this subject, I considered having contributing writers from various countries and ethnicities. There are issues of discrimination in every country whether it be from racism, tribalism, caste systems, etc. We can all learn from one another and there is value in sharing. However, the Lord brought me to this conclusion: We all have thoughts, feelings, and a story to tell, but the standard of truth is not dependent upon my story or your story. The Word of God is the standard of truth by which everything must be measured, irrespective of our ideas and thoughts. It is a sad commentary when a Christian has more allegiance to ethnicity and cultural background than to faith in Christ.
Many people make exceptions for their attitudes and behaviors based on their experiences on all sides of this topic. Lord help us to look into the mirror of God’s Word and examine our own lives. All people are not treated equally and respectfully because of sin. There is prejudice, racism, and discrimination based on wealth, skin tone, tribe, and caste. It exists in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Regardless of the type of discrimination around us, Christians are to love and value all people. We are not to bring the prejudices and bitterness of society into the Church of God; we are to rise above them by the grace of God. Injustices and hurts are to be committed to the Lord.
It is wrong to judge or mistreat someone because of the color of skin, whether it be black, brown, or white. It is instinctually easier to accept that a rich man should not discriminate against a poor man and that a tribe in power should not be prejudiced against a weaker tribe. However, it is equally vital for a poor man not to discriminate against a rich man and for a weaker tribe not to be prejudiced against a more politically powerful tribe.
While my experience is different from yours, I have been misjudged, mistreated, profiled, and cheated because of the color of my skin both at home and abroad. I have experienced it by people professing to be Christians and by sinners in the world. When something rose up inside of me because of the injustice, God let me know that I was to forgive and not be bitter. That is the Bible standard!
We as saints are not to measure ourselves by the standard of the world, but we are to treat everyone with love and forgive those that have trespassed against us. May God help His people to dwell together in unity.
Michael W. Smith