If you are a frequent driver of the main drag in Quinlan, you may occasionally notice random “protestors” who stand in front of Soulman’s restaurant. We don’t always know what they are protesting but we do know they like flags. Well today, I saw something quite upsetting with some people “demonstrating.”
Amongst the usual confederate flags were Nazi flags, Arian nation flags, and Ku Klux Klan flags. But wait, there’s more: Christian flags.
That’s right, some people decided that they should add the flag that represents Christianity in and amongst flags that represent groups that are abjectly racist. Here’s the thing, while the Christian flag is not necessarily biblical insomuch that the bible no where gives instructions on making a flag including what symbols and colors to include, it is a fact that Christians in America see that flag as being a representation of Christianity. So most Americans who see that flag will immediately couple it with Christianity or the church.
That being said, it must be stated that Christianity and racism of any kind are completely and utterly incompatible. Racism of any kind must be condemned under any banner, for any reason, at any point. Racism that seeks to find safe haven or attempts to find animation from the gospel must be even further condemned as out of step with, not only the gospel, but the imago dei (image of God).
Racism breaks down at, not just the gospel level, but at the very first chapter of the bible. Paul says in his address to the council at Areopagus, “And he [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26a, ESV). Paul says plainly that every single person on earth has their ancestry in “one man” namely, Adam. That isn’t just biblical, it’s logical.
Further, Christ has broken down walls of separation whether they be race, socio-economic status, or zip code. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:13-14, ESV).
Now Paul is speaking of the wall of hostility that separated the Jews and Gentiles, which now has been broken down to make the gospel accessible to all. If you’re reading this, the gospel is for you. Not just your neighbor, not just the guy down the street, not just people who sin different then you, it’s for you. The people who are different races than us don’t need the gospel more than us, they need it just the same as us.
Racism is a perversion of the image of God and it is an affront to the gospel of grace. Put plainly: racism and the gospel cannot live together, they are so incompatible that it is hard to put into words.
Even further, and this may be news to the Arian nation, Jesus was a Jew. He was not the northern European Anglo that He appears to be in our paintings and movie casting. Jesus wasn’t just Jewish, He was very Jewish. Jesus came from the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which means the salvation of the world came through the Jewish line.
And, the picture of the New Heavens and New Earth (aka, Heaven) is one of every tribe, tongue, and peoples of the earth, (Rev. 7:9) not just people that look like us, talk like us, and think like us. Heaven isn’t going to be just full of white folks; it’s going to be a beautiful mosaic of peoples worshipping at the feet of King Jesus singing, “holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty!”
This is not only the picture of a future reality; this is something we at Grace want to see in our churches now! And so I stand now saying, Grace Baptist Church of Quinlan, Texas abjectly and fully repudiates anyone who would claim Christ and Hitler at the same time. It is incompatible and nonsensical.
Now I am not against their peaceful protesting (seriously, what are they protesting?). But I am against racism and a racism that would claim Christ is beyond ridiculous.
The gospel of grace is for all, Christ died for all regardless of race or nationality, and you know something else? Grace is so scandalous that it can even save those who worship at the altar of their nationalism if they would but lay it aside and repent at the foot of a homeless Jewish rabbi who died for their sins and rose again so they can one day gather at His feet with a mosaic of people and sing His praises for evermore.