Develop a Kingdom Race Theology

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There is no discussion of sociology that from a Christian point of view should not be plugged into biblical theology. God’s view on the matter should matter most. If people do not start with God in their viewpoints or discussions, they’re not going to stay with you if you discuss these issues from a bibliocentric worldview. God does not want you to leave Him out just because others (sociologists, theorists, professional educators, media) don’t bring Him in. Instead, followers of Jesus Christ must address these issues from a theocentric, Christocentric, and bibliocentric kingdom perspective: God, Christ, and Scripture.

There exists great legitimacy in looking at research and identifying problems from a sociological or socio-political standpoint in order to gain better awareness of the realities of life such as systemic racism, microaggressions, implicit biases, and the like. But for believers in Christ, the Bible must sit on top of all problems to serve as the defining reference point. If not, our methods, messages, and approaches to rectify racism and its schisms and stains in our land may be not only inept, but may even lead to greater division and furtherance of racism (from both sides).

God Unites; Satan Divides

In bringing us together across racial and ethnic lines, God is creating something new. He is producing the sweet-smelling savor of biblical reconciliation so that the broader society can see His handiwork. One hundred pianos tuned to the same tuning fork will intrinsically be tuned to one another. But it seems like today we’ve got too many people playing their own keys and their own rhythm with their own cadence rather than operating under the reconciling rule of God.

This issue of illegitimate division is so critical that the Bible says in Romans 16:17, “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” Keep your eye on those who cause dissensions. Watch out for the dividers. Watch out for language politics that seeks to divide. Watch out for those who post hate-filled verbiage, or condescending statements. Watch for the insulters. The belittlers. Those who judge. Watch out for those in the body who intentionally state or share divisive images or messages on their personal platforms, but then join together on Sunday morning singing about praising God. Division is straight from Satan’s playbook. The enemy’s number one approach is to stir up division, keeping the body of Christ from impacting the world for God and for good.

John 17:22-24 tells us why this is Satan’s strategy where we read Jesus’ own words:

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  

The world is not seeing God’s glory as it should God’s glory because we are illegitimately divided along racial, class, political, and ideological lines. Those who name the name of Christ still use culture, race, and preference as an excuse not to do the work of reconciliation among each other. Not to talk to each other. Not to listen to each other. Not to read each other’s writings if we think they disagree with what we believe. Yet, if we are fighting, marginalizing, dismissing, and downright insulting each other in the global church, the same – and even worse – will be happening in the world.

Amid Chaos, Christians Can Clarify

In the midst of the social chaos swirling all around us, we have been positioned for impact as the church of Jesus Christ. Rather than allowing ourselves to be co-opted by the racial confusion of the culture, we should be operating with a kingdom agenda for race, racism, and reconciliation. Any use of the word kingdom that does not recognize and submit to the rule of God based on His self-revelation in Scripture is an abuse of the term. Therefore I am proposing a different, biblically framed paradigm for Christians to use when addressing contemporary racial issues and that is Kingdom Race Theology.

I define Kingdom Race Theology as the reconciled recognition, affirmation, and celebration of the divinely created ethnic differences through which God displays His multifaceted glory and advances His rule in history. God displays His glory through us while His people justly, righteously, and responsibly function in personal and corporate unity under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

“Our theology must inform, affirm, or correct our sociology.”

Kingdom Race Theology sees race, racism, and reconciliation as a kingdom issue and not merely a cultural or social one. As such, it must be first and foremost addressed biblically and theologically if true healing and reconciliation is to occur in the church for the benefit of the society. Biblical reconciliation is the restoration of a previously broken relationship based on repentance and forgiveness. It removes the hostility between parties and restores peace and harmony in the relationship. This reconciliation among people is based on the reconciliation God has provided to humanity when Jesus died on the cross for our sins (Rom. 5:10).

This biblical theology of race will examine, critique, analyze, and respond to all social movements against the backdrop of God’s inerrant Word. Our theology must inform, affirm, or correct our sociology. Racism in any form must be seen as the humanistic evil expression of the sin of idolatry since it is an attack on the value of the image of God in which all humanity of every race is created. This means that the dignity of every human life must be maintained from the womb to the tomb (James 3:9).

Kingdom Race Theology also argues that it is sinful not to recognize and appreciate, without apology, the legitimate distinctives and differences that God has intentionally endowed in the unique racial and cultural makeup of His creation. He is not colorblind as some would argue since He will even extend our racial distinctions into eternity (Rev. 5:9, 7:9). Our identity in Christ is designed to correct and enhance – not limit, cancel, or replace – our racial uniqueness and their usefulness to the kingdom.

For Further Reading:

Kingdom Race Theology

by Tony Evans

The 2020 murder of George Floyd ignited a racial firestorm throughout America, provoking lament and grief over a long history of tragedy. The...

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