Biblical Unity, Part 1

The past decade has seen a pressure cooker of division, hate, racism, and injustice overwhelm our world so much as to result in a high-pitched scream coming out of the container that was trying to control it.  This struggle has been occurring for longer than just the last presidency and will no doubt go on longer then the next several unless hearts are changed and minds seek unity the way it was designed. We have witnessed atrocities that leave our minds blank just trying to process events, we have seen high profile people cry about personal injustices while forgetting the poor communities that daily fear for their lives due to crime and educational disparities; truly inequality has held the stage long enough, thus fanning the flames of anger. It is time for a change.

If everyone valued each other the world would be different. Such a powerplay goes on when politicians give more money to fund ending a child’s life in the womb than trying to better the neighborhood that it would have been born into and likewise, the politician that fights for life in the womb but does not care for the neighborhood in which this life is born. Appealing to people’s illusions of control instead of doing what is right welcomes division. There should be more outrage about what happens every night in cities like Chicago, than what occurred once in the Capitol.

In his book Oneness Embraced, Dr. Tony Evans gives an inspiring, thought provoking and encouraging matter of fact look at a key problem in America. Racism is still alive in our country and the myth of Black inferiority is pervasive. Some may say “it’s really not that bad”; if you aren’t looking at the problem, asking questions and learning it is easy to be blind to reality. Others have taken advantage of hurts and injustices and propagated hurts and injustices, in the name of the past. One thing is quite clear, people are hurting people who have hurt people then they hurt more people. A house divided cannot stand! It is time that all members of the human race come together in Biblical unity, where the only weapons we carry form the armor of God.

Myths invade cultures like a red sock being thrown into a load of whites in the washing machine. Anyone who has done this knows what happens, all the whites turn pink. This analogy describes how myths take hold and affect all of us and we must guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and our minds against falling prey to such lies. Among the myths that Dr. Evans describes in his book, I find that one of the most astonishing myths is the one that Charles Darwin fueled. We have replaced God’s truth of creation in our public schools with the myth that a mortal man penned, but how many people take the time to discover the entirety of the myth he promoted? We are so quick to dismiss God, who created all men equal, but not so quick to dismiss a man who was wrong as he helped endorse the idea of the inequality of men. Darwin’s follow up book to The Origin of Species, applied his theory to people in Descent of Man. “His theory that human beings changed from molecules to man, over the course of millions of years, with one of our intermediate states being that of an ape, implied that certain races are more ape-like than human while others are on a higher level of the evolutionary scale. He concluded that those of darker skin were more ape-like than those of lighter skin and had evolved to a much higher plane.”[1] Darwin makes me sick!

I heard the song “We Are the World” on the radio today as I was getting my nails done and I had to hold my breath to stifle tears. I was 8 years old when this first came out and I watched the video often—when MTV played music videos all day long! I remember thinking how cool it was to watch all the talent get together to sing a song. The song has a great melody, stirred my soul a bit back then even though I didn’t know why, and then there was Michael Jackson decked out in sparkles and Cyndi Lauper with yellow and orange hair.

I realize this song was for a specific purpose back then, helping Africa after a severe famine. But I can’t help now as I look and listen from my 40-something year old perspective to wonder what if? What if all humans really believed that “we’re all part of God’s great big family”[2]? What if we fought more for the betterment of others than from fear-stained lenses? What if we let the “truth of God be the standard by which we measure right and wrong and the way we accept skin color, class and culture”[3]?

Biblical unity, like Dr. Evans discusses, is much like a football team.  We all have on ‘uniforms’ that display our team, but we can’t all be kickers or linebackers. We each have a role in our life towards a common goal. Dr. Evans teaches about a “kingdom perspective.” No one should ever feel shame for being one race or the other; we are God’s creations, God’s design, beautiful and special.  God embraces each of our own unique identities, including race.  Through developing a relationship with Him we can fully live out our lives for the kingdom purpose. We must come together, embrace each other’s differences, and let compassion and love tear down the walls of inequality.

[1]. Tony Evans, Oneness Embraced: Reconciliation, the kingdom, and how we are stronger together (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2011), 97.

[2]. Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie, “We Are the World” Quincy Jones & Michael Omartian, 1985

[3]. Tony Evans, Oneness Embraced, 27.

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