Where Does Racism Come From?

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Where Does Racism Come From?

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Where Does Racism Come From?

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Perhaps at no time in modern memory did the evil of racism manifest itself worse than in Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution.” After Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933, Aryan racial superiority became German government ideology. Such racist thought culminated in the deaths of some six million Jews.

More recently, “ethnic cleansing” became the term used to describe the racially motivated slaughter of population segments considered inferior. This was the case in Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s and in other human tragedies since. Today in America, racism explodes in violent street clashes in cities like Ferguson, Missouri, and Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Bible is clear: The evil of racism comes out of the heart of man.

Racist thought and racially motivated hatred is deeply rooted in mankind’s psyche. As defined by Merriam Webster, racism is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

Where does racism come from? Like all evil that men do, it comes from the heart of man. Christ said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19 Matthew 15:19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
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).

Racism does not come from a system of economics that supports slavery, such as in the days of the Roman Empire or in early American history. It does not originate from societal structures that support class distinctions. These things have perpetuated racism, but they are not where racism comes from. The Bible is clear: The evil of racism comes out of the heart of man.

An attitude like racism was even addressed in the New Testament Church. Here, the apostle James warns the believers not to “hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (James 2:1 James 2:1My brothers, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
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). The word “partiality” seems less serious than racism, but it means nearly the same thing. Partiality means showing favoritism, or “respect of persons”—that is, thinking one person is better than another due social class, wealth or race.

If the believers were doing this, James asks them, “Have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:4 James 2:4Are you not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
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). God will have no part of such thinking, for Scripture says, “There is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11 Romans 2:11For there is no respect of persons with God.
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).

The Bible says, “God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
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), which includes men and women of all races. Further, it says, God “made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 1:26 Acts 1:26And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
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).

If we treat a person with contempt for their race, religion, social status or any other reason, we have “become judges with evil thoughts.” Harboring such thoughts in the heart is to hate another person made in the image of God. Scripture says, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15 1 John 3:15Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
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).

Such evil in man’s heart—evil like racism—influences all his attempts to justify his supposed superiority on his brother. According to God’s Word, this is a spirit of murder.

Racism has been and will continue to be a scourge on mankind. To eradicate it, this ingrained and evil way of thinking needs to be cleansed from man’s heart. Thanks to God and His mercies, there is such a plan in the works. To anyone who draws near to God in true repentance and cleanses himself from such evil, God will draw near to him and purify his heart (James 4:8 James 4:8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
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).

When God brings His Kingdom to earth, racism and all evil in man’s heart will be eradicated. God will show mankind a better way: “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them” (Hebrews 10:16 Hebrews 10:16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, said the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
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). The heart of man will be cleansed of the evil that comes from it, thus ending the scourge of racism forever.