An interesting item appeared in the news some time ago. A family company was fined $20,000 for their refusal to hire a caravan to a black couple on the grounds of race. They might have had some bad experiences in the past, but only bigotry could lead a person to believe that all blacks smash up caravans when rented to them, and all whites leave them spotless.

Yet I wonder, in the end, if it is possible to legislate against bigotry. A person will protect their investment. The smart ones will get around the law to make sure that they lessen potential damage. Care, concern, consideration......, cannot be instilled in any community by the fear of punishment.

Of course, we churchies are not immune to a bit of bigotry. Sometimes we can develop a sense of our own superiority. Other religions, other faiths, can be viewed as corrupt and worthless. Yet, they are no less worthless than any endeavor of humanity - of the arts, crafts, sciences, politics.... Jesus would say of the Jewish leaders, that they belonged to their father the devil, but they belonged to him in the same sense as the whole of lost humanity. The Jews are not specially evil; Jesus was a Jew. Jesus was simply making the point that his fellow countrymen were lost. And what of us churchies? We are the lost who are found; the last made first by God's grace in Christ; no people who are now God's people. We who were worthless have worth only through God's grace, therefore we have no ground for boasting.

The Bile tells us that the human race is infected by sin. The story of the Tower of Babel describes one consequence of sin - racial divisions in humanity. The Bible tells us that, "in Christ", those racial divisions, tribal barriers, can be broken down. We are told that in heaven, all divisions will be healed. Therefore, we who believe in the coming day of glory must work to see that those divisions are removed from our own lives, from our church, and where possible, from secular society. If we believe in heaven we can't help but foster harmony and acceptance between the races.

On this earth we will never see perfection in the bigotry department, but that doesn't stop us striving to respect those who are different.


[Pumpkin Cottage]