Does God Care About Racial Justice?
For years, the phrase Black Lives Matter has reverberated through the streets of cities and on the feeds of social media in the United States and throughout the world. With each unjust act, the chorus grows louder. Black people care about this issue. White people care about this issue. In America, Europe, and beyond, people care about this issue.
Does God Care?
Going all the way back to the beginning, it’s important to see how God views human beings. In Genesis 1:27 it says that “God created man in His own image". Now, being made in the image of God may seem insignificant, but God points directly to this reality as the source of your value. In Genesis 9:6 He says, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”
Did you catch that? God demands justice for wrongful killings precisely because human beings are made in His image. You and I bear the image of our Creator whether you believe in Him or not. God says that, because you bear His image, you matter. Black lives matter.
If God Doesn’t Care, No One Does
The world knows that Black lives matter, but the world doesn’t understand why. A few years ago, when I was in Cuba, a little boy ran up to me and tried to sell me an old, worn baseball. He insisted that it was worth a lot of money, but that he would give me the special price of $5! (For those who may not know, a brand-new baseball is hardly worth $1). He was a good salesman, but him saying that this baseball was valuable didn’t make it so. I bought it just so he could have the money, but I promptly gave it away to another kid who has, presumably, lost it since then. It was just an old worn baseball.
If people across the world shout that Black lives matter, that doesn’t make it true. What makes it true is that God values people. If, for example, God didn’t exist, people wouldn’t actually matter. We would be the product of billions of years of random evolutionary processes – time and chance bringing about a chaotic reality in which you and I simply exist. A world in which strength is the only virtue and the only ones who matter are the ones who survive. In this hypothetical “no-god” world, no one matters, people just claim they do. However, in the real world, the one that exists, the God who exists has made people valuable. The fact that He cares enables us to care. In fact, it’s not just that God cares and so should we, it’s that God bestows value. If He doesn’t, no one else can.
People are not old, worn baseballs that protestors are trying to upsell. People are indeed valuable, made in the image of Almighty God, who loves us and gave Himself for us. He is the Author and Giver of Life. Black lives are His handiwork – His treasure. They matter to Him. The world can see the beauty of humanity – the world knows that Black lives matter. It’s a fact of the world we live in. The value of Black lives is not invented – it is perceived. It is true. It is only true because He has made it so.
How should we respond?
First, if you have never believed in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, that is step one. John 3:16 famously says that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” It’s not going to church, it’s not trying to be good, and it’s not going to a rally. It is simply trusting in the person and work of Christ. The moment you trust in Him, you have eternal life.
Second, if you know Jesus as your Saviour, you are commanded to, transformed to, and enabled to love people. 1 John 4:10-11 says this: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” There is no room for racism in the Christian faith. We need to and are enabled to treat people with the value they truly possess as image-bearers of our God. We need to and are enabled to love others sacrificially and unconditionally as God has loved us.
Finally, act on your love. Micah 6:8 says: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Does God care about racial justice? Absolutely. He has told you.
• Do Justice
• Love Mercy
• Walk Humbly with your God
Tyler Wilson is pursuing his Master of Theology degree as a full-time student at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas, USA. Prior to becoming a full-time student, Tyler ministered to university students for four years while serving as College Pastor at a church in Oklahoma. Tyler loves teaching the Bible and helping others to have their worldview shaped by and grounded in the Word of God. Furthermore, he is passionate about the grace of God and the beauty of the gospel. Tyler is married to Michelle, who works as a Veterinarian at a clinic in Dallas. Together, they enjoy doing missions around the world and reaching people for Christ.