Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20
The answer to the question of whether racial reconciliation is possible is Yes—because in the Bible race is not even recognized as a category—only ethnic groups such as language groups, tribes, and nations. Also every human being, no matter what ethnic group he is born into, needs a saving knowledge of Christ. The most important reconciliation we will ever know is our reconciliation with a holy Creator-God through the blood of His Son covering all our sins. If we can be reconciled to a God so utterly holy and above our own ways of being and thinking (Isaiah 55:9), surely being reconciled to other human beings should be easier than that!
This leads us to the second answer: Maybe. Here is where we must plumb the murky depths of the meaning of reconciliation. Reconciliation must be patterned after the gospel. Christ did not think equality was to be grasped; rather he humbled Himself and emptied Himself. In our pursuit of reconciliation, equality must not be the end goal. The law’s goal is equality, yet Christ has called us to grace. Law was achieved in the 1960’s Civil Rights movement, but with the knowledge of the law, sin increased. In many cases, the law simply exposed racism.
Reconciliation is a spiritual process as well as a political one. Spiritual is an operative word, and process is an operative word. That means that reconciliation needs time and love. Building loving relationships between people takes practice; we learn from our mistakes and we keep trying to understand our differences. In short, every person in every generation will have the choice to put aside division and lay hold of Grace (God before race) or fall back into a fractured, racialized society where the dream is lost.
One-Year Bible Reading
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
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