There is No Longer Jew nor Greek....

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness;...” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. - Genesis 1:26a; 27

As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. - Galatians 3:27-29

Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. - Acts 10:34-35

I was angered with much of America over this past weekend concerning the events in Charlottesville where a few hundred hatred filled white nationalists and self proclaimed neo-nazis descended upon that town to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. It quickly became clear that their reason for gathering was just an excuse to push a larger agenda of hate and bigotry; and they came looking for a fight.

As a Christian, I firmly believe that all people are created in the image of God including those who look different than I do and who think differently than I do. Every child of God is precious in God’s eyes, and it is our responsibility to look at people as God does. There is no place in our faith or country for any ideology that lifts one race or people above another.

Paul wrote that in Christ all distinctions of one person over another no longer matter: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Faith in Christ overcomes distinctions of ethnicity, economy, and gender. While some of the agitators in Charlottesville may claim faith in God, their attitudes and behavior do not reflect the teaching of Jesus and the practices of the early church. Instead, they reflect the priorities of the evil one who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” - John 10:10

As Christians, we need to stand firmly against all hatred and bigotry and bear witness to the love of Christ in our interactions with all people. We still have a long way to go to fulfill Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of a country where people are judged not by the color of the skin but by the content of the character; yet I believe it will be through the witness and action of Christians that we will move closer to King’s ideal.

The good news is that in a country of over 300 million, the numbers of those who identify with the fringe ideas of this group are infinitesimally small. Eventually, their ideas will be left in the dust bin of history. But in the meantime, let us be a witness to the world of the love of God as we look at the world with the eyes of Jesus, speak with the mouth of Jesus, and serve with the hands of Jesus.

May the Lord bless each of you.
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee