No Place for Prejudice in God

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“Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as God says, the door is open. “

Acts 10: 34-36

Humanity began from the same source and in fact we have learned that all of the earth began out of the same stardust. We are kindred. People keep forgetting that we are one humanity, living on this one earth, and are meant to be the very image of God. Forgetting who and what we are leads to baseless hatreds towards others who are seen as different and foreign. God has been chasing us down through the centuries in an attempt to call us back to our origins in God. God wants us to be true images of God, and God is love. There is no room for prejudice in God.

After God helped slaves escape from Egypt the scribes wrote on behalf of God saying, “Do not oppress a stranger; you yourselves know how it feels to be strangers.” (Exodus 23: 9) And again in Leviticus, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Most High your God.” (Leviticus 19: 34) The Christian scriptures proclaim again and again that we are to love one another and Galatians makes it clear that this includes all people, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3: 28)

There is no such thing as race. Race is a made-up construct devised to separate people from each other. I’ve often thought that the scriptures’ story of the towers of Babel is the perfect story of humanity starting to fracture into warring entities. “Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11: 4) Once the towers were built, people began to identify themselves with their particular tower and from this point on — it was tower against tower. This was not God’s plan. It was humanity going down the wrong path.

If we are to be on God’s side we need to stand against every form of racial hatred. Today that means standing with the Asian community against the haters who are attacking them. The state I live in, Washington State, has a sordid history when it comes to hatred and prejudice against Asian people. Our state has sinned against God with this hatred. As a citizen of this state and of this country, I repent of the sin of ignoring the prejudice toward Asian people as if it were not my problem. I call on others to join me in this repentance.

As it says in our ECC statement of Racism, “Our nation is in desperate need of racial healing and transformation. The healing process cannot begin until the truth of our country’s past and present sins are confronted.” and “We proclaim that it is time for metanoia – turning away from evil and turning toward God’s liberating love.”

The ECC statement concludes, “Jesus, the heart of our faith, lived and died for love. He showed no partiality. God’s community is diverse and totally integrated. We pray for God’s guidance and mercy as we work to attain racial justice and build the beloved community, walking together the path paved with truth, love, equity, and justice. In the prophetic tradition, we boldly proclaim, ‘Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.'” (Amos 5:24)

Christ said to us that the kingdom of God is already in our midst, but humanity keeps saying, “Not yet.” It is humanity that is holding back God’s kingdom, not God. We are the ones who resist the ways of God. But each one of us can defy the systems of this world and get on God’s side. We can get with God today and turn away from the evil of racism in all its forms.

My beloved in Christ, let us join God in the work of overcoming prejudice and partner with God who yearns to bring the Beloved Community of God to earth as it is in heaven.

Bishop Kedda

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