By Fady Al-Hagal
Ethnic new church catalyst, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board
When the church is not united, disunity will become a major hindrance intended to separate and render ineffective the mission of the body of Christ on earth of making disciples of all nations.
The sin of racism, prejudice and hostility toward other people groups, colors and nations has long been the very tool of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy between the nations and the people of the earth.
The body of Christ is to be actively sharing the unconditional love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts and is to be constantly on mission making disciples amongst people of every tribe, tongue, language and race.
There are seven biblical reasons why racism, prejudice and hostility toward people of different backgrounds, colors and nations hinder the mission of the body of Christ on earth and why we must promote unity in the church, acceptance and love toward others:
(1) Unity confronts and defeats hypocrisy. Romans 12:9 (HCSB) notes: “Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good.” God loves all whom He has created and He encourages us to do the same. Unity confronts and defeats the division of people based on the differences in color and culture.
(2) Unity confronts and defeats self -righteousness. According to Romans 2:11 (HCSB): “There is no favoritism with God.” Believing that one race or one culture is better than another is self-righteousness.
(3) Unity encourages the body of Christ to freely obey the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19-20 (HCSB) encourages everyone to: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you ….” The word “nations” refers to the diverse ethnicities in the world.
(4) Unity encourages the body of Christ to obey the Great Commandment (John 13:34-35 HCSB): “I give you a new command: ‘Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’ ”
(5) Unity honors God’s design. Acts 17:26 (HCSB) says: “From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.” It was God’s design that all of humanity be created from one man’s blood.
(6) Unity honors God’s redemptive plan. Revelation 5:9 (HCSB) reminds us: “And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.’ ” God’s redemptive plan includes people from every ethnic group.
(7) Unity honors God Himself. John 3:16 (HCSB) says: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” God’s act of love was for the world not for one race.
We are the image bearers of Christ our Lord in the earth; therefore, unity is not an effort to be made, it is our calling to be lived out. B&R