And again, I'm saying this to help us understand that if you've come from a white world, you don't understand you need to walk around the other side of the bottle.
And so this message is going to help you walk around the other side of the bottle. And what I want to do today is address racism and talk about how the Bible addresses racism. We have a problem in our country. And I believe, obviously, all of us know Jesus is the answer. But I believe the reason we still have this problem today is because of the church. I don't believe the church has taken the stand that the church needs to take. And I want us as a church to take a stand. Now, when I talk about a lack of understanding, let me show you a Scripture. Hosea 4.6 says, My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. They just don't understand.
I don't think that we have really understood the depth of this problem. And so let me let me give you an illustration. So here, here's a water bottle. I haven't opened it. It's got water in it. And if y'all if you guys could get a close up of that water bottle so everybody can see it on every campus. Okay, so what I mean, there we go.
All right. So what, what do you see on that? What do what word do you see?
Ozarka. Everyone see that? Okay, I don't see that. I don't see the word Ozarka is not on this side. I see the words born naturally. And then I see some words that are too small to read. Okay, but we're looking at the same bottle, right? Everyone right? But I'll never see what you see. Unless I take the time to walk around the bottle and look at it from your perspective.
Are you following me? We have a problem in our country. Mainly because white people don't understand.
It's really true. And we need to take the time to walk around the issue and see what our brothers and sisters are seeing and see what they're feeling. But we'll never know unless we ask instead of simply arguing about a protest or demonstration or something like that. Why don't we sit down and say what do you what are you hearing?
What do you see? What do you feel? And not see it as an issue or as history, but as people. So it's going to be a sobering, serious message, but I'm going to put some humor throughout to kind of lighten it up every now and then.
Is that okay? So I'm just letting you know, I think really that we're ignorant of the problem to the depth it is. I think we're ignorant. That doesn't mean we're stupid. It doesn't mean that we're rebellious or anything like that. I'm talking mainly to white people now.
I mean, we're just ignorant. I've been learning some things for the past several years as I've met with pastors and friends of mine to help me understand. And it has now become personal to me, not just an issue.
And I think we've got to come to a place where it's personal. So first of all, we need to know Jesus ministered to everyone. He was sent to the house of Israel and there are very specific theological reasons why grace came to where there was a foundation of law. And I don't have time to go into that, but he ministered to the Syrophoenician woman.
He ministered to the Roman soldiers, the centurion's slave, his servant. He ministered to the Samaritan woman that was considered interracial. But a lot of times we don't even realize where pigmentation came from. Pigmentation, I think we all think we know what the word means. It does refer to color, but it refers to color of skin. And it refers to a genetic DNA in our bodies that determines what our color of skin is.
And you can try to change it, but you can't change it much. It's amazing how light-skinned people want to be darker and dark-skinned people want to be lighter. It's amazing to me, but it's simply the color of your skin. So some people don't even know where it came from. Well, we all came from Adam and Eve.
We didn't come from monkeys, just to let you know in case you have bought into that. I know sometimes they'll say 98% of us have monkey DNA. It's really not true. That's really not a true statement. It's about 70%.
And I'm doing everything my wife says sometimes it's 98 in my case, but it's really only about 70%. But that 30% is very distinctive, plus we have a soul. And we were made in the image of God. But we all came from Adam and Eve. But then in Genesis 6, God starts all over with Noah and his family and three sons. And there's something real interesting about Noah's sons, and that is their names. Their names do mean something.
So Noah had three sons. Ham means hot and black. That's what it means, hot and black.
Laphath means fair or light skinned. Shem, now this one will throw you for a loop because you don't know quite what it means, but I'll explain it. It means name. That's all it means is name. I believe Noah was prophetic in naming his sons for several reasons. But one reason, Shem was where Abraham came from his line. House of Israel came from his line.
Jesus came. So it's amazing that the person who got the name above all names came from name, the person named name. But why would he name one dark skinned or black, and why would he name one light or fair skinned? Well, because, and why wouldn't he say something about Shem's color? It's because Shem was probably brown. The reason Shem was probably brown was because Noah and his wife were probably brown.
I'm about to throw some of you for a loop. The reason Noah and his wife were probably brown is because Adam and Eve were probably brown. Because you can get black from brown and you can get white from brown, but you can't get white from black and you can't get black from white. So most theologians believe that God created Adam and Eve brown so that we could have white skinned people and dark skinned people. And by the way, white is not the predominant race in the world.
It's amazing how many people believe that. Brown is the predominant skin color or pigmentation in the world. More people are brown than are white or black. So it's very possible that Noah has a dark son and names him dark or black. He has a light skinned son, names him fair, light skinned. Then he has one that's his color and he says name. You know, it's just your name is name.
I've got too many kids now, I can't think of anything new. And yet God knew what he was doing. By the way, hot and black in the Hebrew, that's when you say, well, why hot? It's scientific fact that a dark skinned person does better in a hotter climate. And a fair skinned person doesn't do well in a hotter climate. A fair skinned person can burn, skin can burn very easily and can get skin cancer much more easily. A dark skinned person, on the other hand, many times might live in a colder region.
The reason it's colder, it's farther from the sun. And so sometimes a dark skinned person actually is recommended by doctors to take vitamin D in a colder region of the earth. But my point is that God created us not to all look alike. God created some of us to be lighter and some of us to be darker. But God didn't create the races and the racial divide. You go to Genesis 12 and, yes, he created the languages. But so many people believe then that he created some sort of a racial divide. God did not create a racial divide. He created diversity. He created light skinned and dark skinned.
I was talking with a pastor a while back and he said this to me. He said, you know, in our church we tell people we're not color blind, we're color blessed. We're color blessed.
So we do have dark skinned and we have light skinned. Some people don't know that there are black people in the Bible. Just to take a few in the New Testament, the man that God chose to carry his son's cross that gave this man the honor of carrying his son's cross was a black man. There were black people on the day of Pentecost. Read the nations they were from.
Read the North African nations that they were from. In Acts 13, everyone knows about Acts 13 when the church of Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas, the two most famous, most well-known apostles ever. What people don't know, it lists five leaders in the church. Now I'm going to shock some of you. It's amazing that, again, I'm telling you white people are ignorant of this.
They're ignorant. Two of the five leaders were black in the church at Antioch, the church that began sending missionaries around the world. Let me read you the verse, Acts 13, verse 1. Now in the church that was at Antioch, there were certain prophets and teachers. Barnabas, okay, we already talked about Paul and Barnabas, Barnabas. Simeon, who was called Niger. I'm going to come back to the word Niger in a moment. Lucius of Cyrene, that's a North African nation.
Menin, who had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, and Saul, that we know as Paul. So you've got Lucius and Simeon, who was called Niger. Now this was not a derogatory term, but Niger means black. That's what it means. Look it up. It means black.
We have a country called Niger, and we have a country called Nigeria. And this is where, by the way, the sad part of this word is this is where the slang word came from. From this word that means black, it came from this word. And it's a horrible word, but this is where it came from. But two out of the five leaders in the church of Antioch were black. And when Paul and Barnabas left, then two out of three were. And again, I'm saying this to help us understand that if you've come from a white world, you don't understand, you need to walk around the other side of the bottle.
And so this message is going to help you walk around the other side of the bottle some. When we talk about interracial marriage, most of the time we're not talking about Asian or Hispanic, we're talking about black and white. This has been a plan of the enemy for many, many years now to create a divide there. By the way, the Bible does not forbid interracial marriage. It forbids interfaith marriage. When God told Israel not to marry with other nations, it had nothing to do with them being a different race. It had to do with them not being believers in the true God. And what they were doing, Israel was literally selling their daughters in marriage to enter into a business agreement with another nation so they could do business with them.
But that nation, God knew, would draw them away into an idol worship. So he said, don't do that. Don't marry.
Don't do that. Don't give your daughters in marriage to heathen nations. It had nothing to do with race. It had everything to do with faith. And the New Testament then backs that up and says, what fellowship would light have with darkness or a believer with an unbeliever? When my daughter was about three years old, we used to have this couple that would come and stay with us.
He played basketball overseas. Now, there will be times when I'll say this man or this person or this family was a black family. The reason I'll say it is because it's pertinent to the conversation. I want you to think about if it's not pertinent to the conversation, you don't need to say it. Like this guy was talking to me one time and he was another pastor, and he said there was a black woman lying behind me at the supermarket and we started talking and he told me the conversation.
And at the end of the conversation, I said to him, I said, hey, I want to ask you something. Why didn't you tell me she was black? Why didn't you just tell me there was a woman and we started talking? Why did you tell me she was black?
Would you tell her you said there was a white woman behind me? Would you have said that? And he said, no. He said, I don't know why I said that. And then later, about a month later, he called me and he was crying.
And he said, Robert, I've been praying about that ever since. And I realized when I was growing up that that's the way my parents introduced any black person. Anytime they talk about a black man or a black woman, they always use the word black, but they never used it when they talked about white friends. And so he said, God's convicted me about, I have prejudice in my heart by growing up, from my growing up. Let me, by the way, define racism and prejudice for you, all right?
Because it's very, very important to understand. Let me give you three definitions of racism, starting from the worst to what would be, what is probably more dominant or predominant in our country. First of all, racism can be defined as hating a person because of his race. And we do have that type of racism in our nation, unfortunately. People hate someone because of race. Second is, though, believing that a race is superior or a race is inferior to other races. That's racism. If you believe that there is a superior race or an inferior race, that's racism. The third is what I think is most predominant in our nation, and it is prejudice toward another race. Prejudice is making a judgment about someone without having all the facts.
Pre is the prefix, which means before, and Judas means judgment. Judas thinks about the judicial system. The only problem with prejudice is that you make a judgment before you have the facts. Our judicial system makes a judgment after they get the facts.
Are y'all following me? Okay, so prejudice is making a judgment on someone. That's the racism that we have mainly in America, although we do still have hate.
And, of course, Jesus is the answer because he's love. And although we do have wrong thinking that there's a superior race or an inferior race, and it's completely false, the Bible never backs that up. But most of it is that most of us have some sort of prejudice toward people.
We make some sort of a prejudgment even though we don't know that person. So when my daughter was about three years old, this family, a black family, he played basketball overseas. Many times he was like the MVP for the national team, and he used it to witness. He had a chance to play in the NBA. He really felt like he was called more to be a missionary, so he played for different countries overseas. And he would play for about six months, and then he'd come home. They would stay in our home for two or three weeks or a month until they found a house that they could rent until they went back for the next season.
And so they'd stay in our home. So one day, Elaine, my daughter, was playing with his son. And they're sitting there playing together, and the Lord spoke to me and said, Is it all right with you if Elaine marries a black man? And I said, Well, yes, Lord, it is.
If he's a godly man, if he's a man of good character, if he loves her, and if he loves you, yes, it's okay. And the Lord said this to me, No, is it okay with you? And I knew when he said that, what he was saying was, You still have some prejudices that I need to deal with, but I can't deal with them if I can't reveal them to you. I need you to be open that you have some prejudices. By the way, most of you know, but let me just show you a picture of my daughter and her beautiful husband and beautiful children right there. So God was already preparing me because what I realized later was that I had things in my heart that I didn't know were in my heart.
Now, y'all are being real quiet. Are you okay? I mean, would you agree that God has shown you that you grew up probably with some prejudice?
How many of you would say, I grew up with some prejudice? I know I did. Okay, well, God wants to deal with that. So this is going to shock you, what I'm about to tell you, but I have seven points today.
It's amazing. But I'm going to do them very quickly. I'm going to do them very quickly, and I'm not going to comment hardly at all.
So if you're going to write, you got to write fast. I'm just going to go through the seven points and then share something else with you, all right? So number one, racism is pure evil. It's just pure evil. Romans 12, 9 says, let love be without hypocrisy, without judgment, without being fake. Love people truly and abhor what is evil. And let me tell you what evil is. Evil is Hippocratic love, hypocritical love.
That's what love would be. In other words, loving some people, not loving others. Abhor what's evil. By the way, when we say that racism is pure evil, I don't know if you ever noticed this, look at the word devil and then look at the last four letters. He's the evil. He's the evil.
He's the evil. That's free. I just threw that in for you, all right? Okay, number two, racism is pure self-righteousness. It's pure self-righteousness. That's all it is.
Luke 18, 11, the Pharisees stood and prayed thus with himself. God, I thank you that I am not like other men. In other words, I thank you I'm better than other people. Believing that a racist superior or a racist inferior is nothing but pride and self-righteousness.
That's all it is. Number three, racism violates the Great Commission. Racism violates the Great Commission.
Most people know the Great Commission. Matthew 28, 19, I'll just use part of it. Go there and make disciples. Go there for and make disciples of all the nations. The word nations is the Greek word ethnos.
It's where we get our word ethnicity from, ethnic. Go make disciples of all ethnicities. So racism would violate the Great Commission. Number four, racism violates the Great Commandment. Not just the Great Commission but the Great Commandment. John 13, verses 34 and 35, a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you that you also love one another. By this, all will know that you're my disciples if you have love one for another.
This is the way people are going to know that we're different because we love each other. Number five, racism questions God's creation. Racism questions God's creation. Acts 17, 26, and he has made from one blood every ethnicity, nation, ethnos, every ethnic group.
He's made from one blood. So we talked a moment ago about black, white, and brown. Let me just let you know, no matter what color you are on the outside, all of us are red on the inside. We're all red. That's what color we are.
We're all red because we come from one blood. Number six, racism questions God's plan. It questions God's plan.
Revelation 5, 9, they sang a new song saying, You're worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you are slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation. God's plan is to redeem people out of every ethnic group. Racism questions God's plan and God's creations. We said, here's number seven, racism questions God. Just questions God. And I decided to put in parentheses, defies God. And even these last three where I used the word question, you could put it this way, five, six, and seven, you could say racism defies God's creation, goes against. This is what the word defy means. Goes against God's creation, it goes against God's plan, and it goes against God.
So how does it question God or defy God? Well, the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3, 16. For God so loved the world, not one race, but the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
See, we got to somehow walk around to the other side of the bottle. I can remember hearing about the Holocaust. And most of you have heard about the Holocaust. But if you've ever visited a Holocaust museum, I've been to the one in Israel, and I've also been to the one in Auschwitz. I've been to Auschwitz and seen the ovens and seen all of it. The Holocaust for me was an issue and an event, and it was history until I went to Auschwitz. And when you see shoes that belong to children, piles of them, piles, and eyeglasses.
And here's the tough part, hair and teeth. It's not an issue anymore, and it's not history anymore. It's personal. It's people. And we've got to walk around the other side of the bottle and understand that the atrocities that have happened in our nation and around the world happen to people. So I have some black pastor friends that have been helping me understand.
I lack of understanding, helping me understand. And one of them, Dr. Ricky Temple and his wife, Diane, I have a picture of them. They were at our conference, and I asked them to share for a moment. You'll notice that Diane is light-skinned, and she shared her story that her great-great-grandmother was impregnated by a slave owner, white slave owner, and had a child, had a little girl. And for some reason, he decided to let him go free. So he put the mother and the little baby girl on a boat, but some white men got angry about it, and they began shooting at the boat when it was leaving. The mother did what any mother would do and covered the baby. The mother was shot and died, and the baby lived. That's Diane's grandmother. So, see, it's not an issue anymore to me.
It's something that happened to my friends. We'll never understand until we walk around to the other side. What some people that you work with that live in your neighborhood that come to our church, what they and their families have been through. And it's time for the church to stand up and declare that racism is evil, and the answer is Jesus Christ. APPLAUSE I really believe that the problem that we have in our nation today is a lack of understanding. And I'm not trying to boil down a very complicated problem into a simple solution, but I believe if more of us took the time to just walk around to the other person's perspective, we would understand it is a wound that can only be healed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I want us as believers to pray for this wound in our nation to be healed. I'd love for you to get this message because I actually share more in this message, and I have one of my friends share a testimony about something that happened to him, and I believe it will give you more understanding about how we can see this wound healed in our nation. Let's pray and see God heal this wound.
I want to encourage you to watch next time because I'm going to continue this series, Be a Better You. Wouldn't it be amazing to get a glimpse of the priorities that are on God's heart for your life? To know what's most important to God and our relationship with him and with the people around us? In the exciting new teaching series, Be a Better You, Blueprints for Christian Living, Pastor Robert gives us a look into the priorities of God's heart and explains how we can grow and mature in our faith in him and in our love toward each other.
Think about this. Jesus Christ, God's son, came to earth, and the sinners wanted to hang out with him. These six messages contain principles that will help you develop a blueprint for building your life on what matters most to God. You'll gain a better understanding of how to live a Christ-centered life that is not moved by the changes in culture or by circumstances. These powerful and life-changing messages will help you become a better you. Right now we want to send you this new six-message series on CD as our special thank you for sending us your best gift and helping support the television outreach of Pastor Robert Morris Ministries. If you share a gift of $55 or more, we'll send you the entire six-message series, Be a Better You, on both CD and on DVD. As always, we are grateful for your generous support, which helps us share life-changing truths from God's Word through this program. Call or visit us today at PastorRobert.com to share your prayer requests and testimonies with us, and be sure to request your special thank you gift. We can't wait to hear from you. .
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