Before answering the question, it is imperative that the terms, racism, and sin be defined. First, the term racism is defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” As important as defining the term, it is also very important to understand what racism is not.
1. It is not a person of one “race” acting justly against a person of another “race.”
2. It is not a person of one “race” disagreeing with a person of another “race.”
3. It is not a person of one “race” correcting the misbehavior of another “race.”
Concerning the term sin: biblically the term “sin” is a transgression of God’s law. Sadly, whether ignorantly or indifferently, some have attempted to justify racism by their misuse of Scripture. However, what Scripture does show, is that racism, in any form, and by any “race,” is sinful because:
1. It goes against the character of God — (Titus 2:11-12; Romans 9:15; Romans 11:22).
2. It goes against the creation by God — (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139:14; Acts 17:22-31).
3. It goes against the cause of Christ — (John 10:10; Luke 19:10; John 3:16; Acts 2:22ff; 1 Tim. 2:4-5; 2 Peter 3:9).
4. It goes against the cross of Christ (Heb. 2:9-10; Rom. 5:8-17).
5. It goes against the commission of Christ (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).
Not only is racism a sin for the aforementioned reasons, it is a sin because it is often the root of division (1 Cor. 1:10-16 cf. Eph. 2:11-16). Essentially, racism is a sin because it is rooted in hatred.
While racism is a sin, we must understand that equally sinful is unrighteously judging someone of being guilty of racism. Ironically, to promote or practice either one ultimately results in the same consequence (Romans 6:23; Matt. 25:46).
Jamie Beller, Prague church of Christ, Prague, OK