Woke is a word that has enjoyed a revival in recent times, along with a significant change of meaning. It’s a word I’ve used for years to mean the progression of arising from sleep, as in, “I woke up.” But these days, it’s become an insult that is particularly popular with conservatives, including conservative Christians. So, let’s explore the meaning of woke and find out if I really am a woke bloke.

How it started

Woke was first used by Blues singer Lead Belly in 1938. Lead Belly’s “stay woke” encouraged black people to be vigilant to physical danger. The word was then adopted into Black slang from the 1940s onwards.

The expression “stay woke” became popular on Twitter about a decade ago as a hashtag encouraging people to stand up for those on the margins of society, especially the victims of systemic racism. Woke was also adopted by white people who wanted to stand with their black brothers and sisters in their fight for justice.

Woke gets hijacked

But at the same time, woke was being co-opted by other white people as a derogatory replacement for political correctness. And that’s the way woke is mainly used and understood nowadays. I’ve had this sneer thrown at me a few times when I’ve stood up for marginalised people.

When I speak out for refugees or the LGBTIQA+ community (or any other victims of discrimination), I’m woke.

When I wrote blogs to counter some bizarre conspiracies at the height of the recent pandemic, I was denounced as woke. One Christian leader dubbed me “that woke pastor from Melbourne.” The word has become a condescending insult to dismiss anyone perceived as being a politically correct lefty.

But I like Merriam-Webster’s definition the best, that woke people are “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” That meaning describes my worldview and how I live and should define any genuine Jesus follower. So yes, I truly am a woke bloke!

Last week, Christie and I, along with millions of others, watched the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I must admit to not being terribly excited about the prospect of seeing it. Still, the rest of the family was keen, so here are some take home thoughts:

Everyone has an opinion

What followed was several days in which newspapers, TV shows, and social media seemed interested in little else. Professional commentators and amateurs alike had various opinions of the couple’s attitudes, behaviour, and words. Families and friends across the world have been arguing passionately about the Royal Family. Are Harry and Meghan manipulators or schemers, victims or bullies? Were they innocent or guilty? Was it the Queen’s fault, or was it Prince Charles? Or Prince Phillip? Everyone wanted someone to blame.

I will not comment on the interview or their behaviour, but the hubbub made me wonder what Jesus thinks. Who would Jesus blame? Whose side would he take?

Jesus’ Example

And that’s just it. Whenever Jesus was challenged to blame people, to take sides, he questioned the motives and actions of others instead. Consider these examples:

  • A prostitute washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair and anointed him with expensive perfume. Those present questioned her motivation and generosity as well as Jesus’ discernment. But Jesus didn’t condemn her. Instead, he celebrated her heart and actions.
  • A soldier from the oppressive army occupying Jesus’ country asked for help for his beloved servant. Jesus gave it.
  • As a religious teacher, people were shocked when Jesus invited himself to a cheating traitor’s home, treated as an outcast by Jericho’s townspeople. They grumbled and gossiped until the money started to flow from Zacchaeus’ wallet when his heart was transformed by Jesus’ love and acceptance.
  • Jesus touched lepers. He was not repulsed by people considered to be outcasts. He talked to women, a taboo for a single man in his culture. Jesus frequently shattered the stereotypes of every expectation of a religious leader. And the people loved him for it.

Acceptance First

The wonderful thing is that the people who met Jesus in first-century Palestine were profoundly changed. It’s important to note that, on most occasions, Jesus didn’t demand change first. He welcomed and accepted people unconditionally as a precious gift. Often, individuals, communities, and cultures reject people who do not look like them or don’t behave in line with “the norms”.

This acceptance by Jesus of others is one reason why he is such a compelling figure to me. This gift of his acceptance attracted me to follow him when I was a young atheist radio DJ. This same acceptance has challenged millions of people throughout history and across the globe to strive to live the same way.

This desire to follow Jesus’ example has challenged me to model that same acceptance to others. Sure, I fail at this sometimes, but desiring to be courageously like Jesus gives me example and motivation. And this is my challenge for all of us. As we express our opinions about Harry and Meghan, are we showing the acceptance of Jesus?

And what about in everyday life? As Jesus’ followers, do we accept or shun? Do we embrace or reject? Do we harbour secret feelings of superiority? Like the Pharisee who stood by himself and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like the other men – swindlers, evildoers, adulterers” (Luke 18:10-11). This man was very religious, but his pride prevented him from accepting those he considered unworthy.

Sadly, this kind of religious superiority and bigotry is still alive and well in Jesus’ church. For them, people need to get their beliefs and behaviour in line BEFORE they can belong. Jesus flipped this on its head and put BELONG at the front. Christians and Churches would do well do to get the order right too.

We have witnessed much hype around Harry and Meghan’s interview. Everyone’s got an opinion about them, and the Queen, Prince Charles & Camilla, William and Kate. After all, we’ve watched The Crown, on Netflix, haven’t we?

What we witness in the Royal Family is what we see in all humanity. We are all deeply flawed. We are all deeply loved by God. We are all eternally accepted in Jesus. May our lives reflect that same level of grace.

One of the phenomena related to the race protests is the toppling of statues, removal of certain movies and TV programs, and suggestions for name changes. Some people have suggested this is wrong because it’s erasing history. But is that the case?


I wonder how much the average person knows about the history represented by statues. Next time you see a statute, stop for a moment to observe. How many people actually slow down to look at it or read the plaque? Probably no one. Statues are, by and large, resting places for birds. They are monuments to history and a testament to what life was like at the time.

I understand that this is a divisive issue. Maybe some statues do need to be removed and placed in a museum. Others may benefit from an information board, or a more artistic approach, giving acknowledgment to historical facts. The statue of Captain James Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park is inscribed with “Discovered this territory 1770.” From a British colonial standpoint, this is true. Still, it completely ignores the fact that Australia’s Indigenous people lived here for thousands of years before Cook arrived.

For too long, history has been white-washed. As a Christian man, I stand for truth, so let’s have it, the good, the bad, and the ugly! In this regard, the Bible is an incredibly honest book. Its pages contain historical accounts of the best and worst of humanity. People’s mistakes aren’t left out. Everything is there in glorious colour: Noah getting drunk, Abraham lying, and King David’s adultery and coverup.

Scripture & History

Just like history, the Bible is not a static book. In its pages, you’ll find human progress and advancement, and God engaging with and nudging people along every step of the way. For example, in Genesis 22, we see the story of God directing Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Understanding that in Abraham’s culture, one appeased the gods through child sacrifice, helps us understand why Abraham didn’t question this command. God let Abraham follow through up to the point of taking the knife to slay his son. Abraham was told, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him.” A ram was provided as an alternative to child sacrifice, and ancient humanity was prodded into a less barbaric practice.

It’s not that God desired or required animals to be sacrificed either. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, God frequently tells people he doesn’t want sacrifices. People start to get the message, “You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; you are not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, you will not despise a broken and humbled heart” (Psalm 51:16-17). Finally, Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross to end all blood sacrifices once and for all (Hebrews 10:4-9). Today, the thought of sacrificing children or animals is abhorrent. We’ve come a long way. The Bible, history books, documentaries, and the like are a testament to this truth.

Embrace History Lessons

The Bible doesn’t erase history, it embraces it and then moves it forward. We can look back at some of the Bible’s writings from 3,000 years ago and be horrified. But, at the time, many of the statements, laws, and practices were incredibly progressive. Consider that Leviticus was one of the first times any sort of justice was prescribed for women, slaves, and non-Jews. Today, these same statements appear archaic and barbaric, and they are because humanity has progressed.

In the first century, the apostle Paul gave instructions on the proper care of slaves. He also told Christian slaves and slave-masters how to behave. In the Roman Empire of the first century, there were between 70 and 100 million people. About 50% of these were slaves. The economy of the entire Empire was dependent on slavery. The world wasn’t ready to abolish slavery. If William Wilberforce had been alive, he would not have led an abolition movement.

Fast-forward eighteen hundred years and the world was ready – or at least some were ready – to agree to abolish slavery. Thanks to Wilberforce and many others, the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 abolished slavery in most of the British Empire. Of course, that doesn’t mean there is no slavery in the modern world. People trafficking, especially sex trafficking of women and children, is still rife. India, China, and Russia are the most-offending nations. It’s estimated there are currently 15,000 people in slavery in Australia.

How Far We’ve Come

If we look back one hundred or two hundred years, we can see how far we’ve come. Acceptable practices then are abhorrent now. We must not erase history, we need to know, and acknowledge it, and vow not to repeat it. Let’s look back and be encouraged by how the world has improved. Let’s also realise there is still much work to be done. While poverty, discrimination, and inequality exist, our job is incomplete. And it invariably takes a crisis to force the world forward. That’s what we’re witnessing now. And yes, some will be opportunistic, and others will be violent. Like the suffragettes whose motto was, “deeds not words!” Today, women have the right to vote because of the work of the Suffragettes!

Deeds are what we need now. One hundred years from now, people will look back and wonder at some of the things we say, believe, or agree with. History will record how the pandemic of 2020 moved the world forward. How racial protests brought lasting change and equality for people of colour. How names were changed, and statues removed, and laws introduced to make the world a fairer place.

No doubt, we will zigzag down this path. Somethings will work others won’t. But let’s not erase history. Let’s learn from it.


I want to make it clear that this blog is not a judgment on America. We have plenty of race-related challenges in Australia, so I’m not about to point the finger at another country.

But right now, the world is watching on in horror at the events in the United States. The brutal murder of George Floyd is just the latest in a string of black people killed by police.

Many of them were going about their daily lives (sleeping, driving, walking, at home) while others had a mental health episode and desperately needed professional help.

Many of them became hashtags that were quickly forgotten by society. So, it’s easy to understand the boiling anger of people who feel unsafe.

The Latest Victim

George Floyd had a criminal past. He’d spent time in jail for a 2007 assault and robbery and convicted of charges ranging from theft of a firearm to drugs.

Several years ago, George Floyd moved to Minneapolis for job placement and a Christian discipleship program. He became a committed Christian and wanted to turn his life around.

Then came the fateful day when George Floyd was accused of handing over a fake $20 bill to buy some cigarettes. It’s unlikely that Floyd knew the bill was fake. The store owner said they would no longer call the cops in similar situations: “Police are supposed to protect and serve their communities; instead, what we’ve seen over and over again is the police abusing their power and violating the people’s trust. We realize now that escalating situations to the police almost always does more harm than good, even for something as harmless as a fake bill.”

The video of Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd is horrendous. People standing around are begging Chauvin to get off his neck. Neither Chauvin nor the other officers do anything, and Floyd falls unconscious.

Chauvin’s wife has filed for divorce; and riots and looting grip America. No doubt there is opportunism going on, but this should not blind us to the deep anger and frustration of many Americans, not just African Americans.

Enter the US President

In the midst of this, the US President had a photo opportunity with a Bible in front of St John’s Church; a little like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned.

Protesters had been cleared from the area using force minutes beforehand.

The cynic in me thinks this was a political ploy to shore up the Evangelical vote that brought him to power four years ago. With a looming election and dismal polling, he needs to do all he can.

The vast majority of Americans are dissatisfied with their president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the riots.

Racial Resentment

According to Ryan Burge (Eastern Illinois University), white evangelical Christians have the highest racial resentment score in the US.

How bizarre that followers of Jesus (and readers of the Bible) should be totally out of whack with his teachings.

But this research sheds some light on why the deep racial divisions thrive even in a profoundly religious country.

One hundred and fifty five years have passed since the 13th Amendment ended slavery, but white superiority and its corresponding prejudice and brutality are alive and well.

The Curse of Ham

Justification for slavery was based on a flawed doctrine called “The Curse of Ham” (Genesis chapter 9).

The story occurs in the context of Noah’s drunkenness and a shameful act perpetrated by Noah’s son Ham, who “saw the nakedness of his father.”

A myth was proclaimed by certain preachers that Ham’s punishment was for his skin to be turned black: “Cursed be Canaan [Ham’s son]. The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers” (Genesis 9:25). This erroneous teaching has justified enslaving black races for hundreds of years; they’re inferior, they’re cursed, and the Bible is clear!

In the 1800’s, George Fitzhugh, an American lawyer and social theorist, argued that African slavery was “expressly and continually justified by Holy Writ [and] natural, normal, and necessary.”

Bishop Stephen Elliott of Georgia, suggested that slavery was beneficial for Africans: “For nearly a hundred years the English and American Churches have been striving to civilize and Christianize Western Africa, and with what result? Around Sierra Leone, and in the neighbourhood of Cape Palmas, a few natives have been made Christians, and some nations have been partially civilized; but what a small number in comparison with the thousands, nay, I may say millions, who have learned the way to Heaven and who have been made to know their Saviour through the means of African slavery! At this very moment there are from three to four millions of Africans, educating for earth and for Heaven in the so vilified Southern States…These considerations satisfy me with their condition, and assure me that it is the best relation they can, for the present, be made to occupy.”

Real Christianity

Contrast this with Frederick Douglass, the American social reformer, abolitionist, and Christian. About American Christianity in the 1800s he wrote: “Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason but the most deceitful one for calling the religion of this land Christianity…”

How profound! I wonder if Frederick Douglass were alive today would he say the same about some sectors of Christianity in America? “I can see no reason but the most deceitful one for calling the religion of this land Christianity…”

A Christian that espouses violence against enemy, clears a crowd with tear gas to hold up a Bible, and is more likely than any other group in society to be resentful of non-white races, is far from the faith taught and modelled by Jesus.

There is no doubt that America has a massive problem on its hands.

What is needed is compassionate leadership, a de-politicised Christianity, and all people seeing all people as equal.

God created everyone in his image (James 3:9-10; Acts 17:28), and everyone has the same remote ancestry. That means every human being is our brother or sister with an equal right to worth, dignity, respect, and justice.

Serena Williams’ upset at the U.S. Open women’s final on the weekend has gained much attention in the news, as has the Herald Sun’s Mark Knight’s cartoon of the event.  Knight has felt the force of outrage against him, many seeing his cartoon as racist.  He has even received death threats which are unacceptable and has disabled his Twitter account.


Consider Empathy

I don’t believe Mark Knight intended his cartoon to be racist, but I do think this situation highlights a vital matter we all need to be aware of, that is, empathy: “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another;”[1] to put oneself in another person’s shoes.  Much of the commentary I’ve heard and read is from people who say that those who are accusing Mark Knight of being racist are being ridiculous.  It’s no surprise that the majority of these people are white men who have probably never experienced what it’s like to be on the receiving end of racism.

Now I realise that cartoons are expected to be edgy, satirical and pointed, but making fun of oppressed people is not satire, it’s bullying.  Satire is designed to take concepts to the extreme to show how silly they are.  If Mark Knight didn’t mean to be racist or offensive towards Serena Williams, then a simple apology would be appropriate.

Certain people are already jumping up and down about threats to freedom of speech, but there is no threat here. Mark Knight was utterly free to publish his cartoon and others are just as free to protest.  It seems we only want freedom of speech when people say what we agree with, but I’ll save that topic for another blog.

The point here is that we all need to be aware of what others face, or have suffered, in life.  We need greater empathy (understanding, compassion, identification) for one another.  What we saw from Serena Williams on the weekend was not a “hissy fit” or “dummy spit”, it was the boiling over of years of frustration from being subjected to bigoted abuse throughout her career – things that white male tennis players don’t experience.[2]

Empathy Questions

Empathy causes us to ask the questions, what is it like to be you?  What is it like to see the world through your eyes?  The only way we can know the answer to this is to ask, to talk with people of different races, genders and sexual orientations, rather than to make ill-informed judgments through the lens of our own experience.

I heard a classic example of this last week on Melbourne’s 3AW.  The Royal Adelaide Show removed three award-winning golliwog dolls from a display of handicrafts following a racism outcry on social media.  Tom Elliott interviewed Michelle Hocking, the director of the Royal Adelaide Show, and then took some calls from listeners.  It was interesting to hear the number of people who could see nothing wrong with golliwogs and thought the whole thing was a ridiculous display of outrage.  Tom Elliott naturally agreed – he’s a 50-year-old white man.  However, what if we look at this through empathetic eyes?

Golliwogs are historically associated with blackface — a performance tradition in which white performers would wear dark makeup and crudely stereotype black people.  The golliwog also inspired the racial slur “wog,” which in Britain is a derogatory term for dark-skinned people. [3] African-British writer Hannah Pool said, “unless you have been spat at, kicked or had eggs thrown at you, all while being called that hateful term, it is unlikely you will ever understand why a small doll causes such a big fuss.”[4]  Empathy.

I was talking about this with a dear friend recently.  He is of Indian descent and was adopted by a white Australian family when he was a baby.  He’s more Aussie than I am but his skin is dark brown whereas mine is white.  He told me of the horrendous bullying and racist slurs he’s been subjected to all of his life. He’s been called a golliwog and sworn at many times.  Even when he married his wife, a white woman, he was at the brunt of awful statements even by Christians.  A man in their Baptist Church asked why he was marrying a white woman: “Aren’t there enough of your type over there that you wouldn’t have to come here and marry one of ours?”

When he was 12, he was doing some voluntary work at the World Vision stall at the Easter show, signing people up for the 40-Hour Famine.  A middle-aged white woman told him, “All black people should be dead.  If they can’t look after themselves, we should just bomb them all.”  Fancy saying that to a young boy!  As a white guy, I’ve never been at the brunt of this sort of comment.  Sure, I’ve had pommy jokes told in my presence, but I have never been scorned or ostracised for being British.  I don’t have a history of racial abuse that has left me scarred and vulnerable.  The same goes for my Irish wife who tells lots of hilarious Irish jokes.

Empathy Considers Context

Another factor to consider is location.  For example, telling a joke about a Protestant and a Catholic may fly under the radar in Australia because we haven’t gone to war over this, but in Northern Ireland, it’s a different matter.  Empathy will consider location, as well as cultural and social factors, and be sensitive and caring towards those who are in other places and from different backgrounds.  Wisdom cultures (like Bible cultures and our own indigenous Australians) believe that every part of the land has its memory and history, which is why it is hurtful when we tell jokes or make light of what unfortunate events have taken place on their land.

Empathy will ask what it’s like to be in the shoes of another.  What’s it like to be a woman commuting home on her own after dark?  What’s it like to be a Muslim woman identified by wearing a hijab or burqa?  What’s it like to be same-sex attracted in a straight-dominated world?  What’s it like to have a skin colour other than white?

Let’s be slower to condemn people like Serena Williams and spend some time trying to see life through their eyes.


[1] www.dictionary.com

[2] https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/45468290

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/feb/06/bbc-race-golliwog

[4] https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/why-golliwogs-are-viewed-as-racist-in-australia/news-story/9b0d8f1aacb2d3004b0a85b6bb26ada6


One of the major problems I see in the world today is the politicising of the issues that face us.  Even Christian people get caught in this trap.  Let me give you four examples:

  • Climate change
  • Asylum seekers
  • Conservation
  • Racial and gender equality

When you read those words, it’s quite likely that you perceived them through your political worldview.  For example, when you see the words, “climate change,” some of you went “right,” and others leaned “left” in your thinking.  If you tend “right” politically you may see other issues as much more important than climate change – or maybe you think it’s a big con and not a real issue at all.  If you are more left or “green” politically, you will see climate change as a major issue and maybe even “the great moral challenge of our generation” to quote former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

It’s the same with other issues.  On asylum seekers, some will go “right” while others will lean “left” and so on.  But for followers of Jesus a higher ethos comes into play because “our citizenship is in heaven” and, on earth, we are ambassadors of Christ who are to represent our eternal homeland in the here and now.  That’s why Jesus encouraged His followers (in The Lord’s Prayer) to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10).  The focus of the entire Lord’s Prayer is what happens on earth.  Jesus taught His people to pray for God’s kingdom to come and for His will to be done, on earth.  God cares for His creation and He wants His people to care for it too.

The aforementioned is the filter Jesus’ followers are to use when considering their response and actions to life’s big issues.  Rather than making our reaction a political one, we are called to think with a heavenly mindset.  Take climate change as an example.  Instead of making this a political issue that leans to the right or left, why not make it a Biblical issue that reflects our care of God’s creation?  Let me ask you a question, “Do you think it is a worthy goal for humans to pump less pollution into the atmosphere?”  Whatever your political persuasion I’m sure you answered “yes”.  If God has given humanity dominion (rule; control) of the Earth (Genesis 1:28) then surely a Christian would take that responsibility seriously and do all they can to care for the planet God has given us?

Conservation then, is no longer the domain of the Greens but rather the responsibility of everyone.  The ethical use and protection of valuable resources, such as trees, minerals, wildlife and water, protecting their sources, and recycling, is something I do because I take God’s gift seriously, not because I vote for a particular political party.

Some of my early teaching as a Christian was dominated by a certain view of the “end times” that taught Jesus was returning at any moment, the world would end, and God would make a new one – so it wasn’t worth looking after this one.  Imagine if we used this logic in our daily lives?  One day I’m going to buy a new car and so I might as well trash the second-hand one I currently drive!  I have an old house now, but one day I want a new one, so I think I’ll light a fire on the kitchen floor and cook on it!  That sounds ridiculous – and it is – but this is how some Christians act toward the Earth of which God has given us care.

Praying “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” means that Christians will pray and work for peace and justice among all peoples and nations.  We strive for economic justice and equality between rich and poor, male and female; racial equality for people of marginalised communities; and protection for refugees and asylum seekers (and yes, I want secure borders, but that doesn’t give us the right to mistreat some of the world’s most vulnerable people).

These are not merely political issues that don’t affect my faith and me.  They are significant matters that should concern all of us who pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus taught his followers to live this way day-to-day.  In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16).  Jesus’ people are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  Treating this world, and the people in it, with kindness, justice, love, mercy, and goodness reflects God’s nature and becomes a powerful force that attracts others to Him.  That’s the way He calls His people to live.

Divisions, wars and disputes often happen in our world because of differences in race, culture and religion. So what is a Christian attitude towards these things?

Acts 17 tells of Paul the apostle’s time in Athens – particularly his discussions at the Areopagus – the place in which the Areopagites, the supreme judges of Athens, assembled. It was on a hill almost in the middle of the city. Many accounts suggest that this was the most celebrated tribunal in the world. Its decisions were distinguished for justice and correctness. This court punished vices of all kinds – including idleness; they rewarded the virtuous; they were especially attentive to blasphemies against the gods; and to the performance of the sacred mysteries of religion. Paul was brought before this tribunal, being regarded as a teacher of strange gods and doctrines and introducing a new mode of worship.

Athens was a city of people from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. When Athens was incorporated into the Roman Empire it became one of the leading cosmopolitan cities in the world. Paul referred to the Athenians as being “very religious.” This was an accurate statement according to Roman Satirist and historian, Petronius, who said it was “easier to find a god in Athens than a man.”  The city was crammed full of temples, shrines, altars, images and statues. Paul’s response to this multi-racial, multicultural and multi-religious city is a good response for any Christian facing questions or challenges over race, culture and religion today.

Paul affirmed the unity of the human race by recognizing two things: Everyone was created by one God and everyone was created from one man: “He himself gives life and breath to everything, and satisfies every need there is.”  In verse 28 Paul quotes some Greek Poets who wrote, “We are His offspring” – speaking of the entire human race. In a general sense, God is the Father of every person; since He created us we are all His offspring. That means every human being is our brother or our sister. One of my favourite writers, John Stott, put it this way: “Being equally created by Him and like Him, we have an equal right in His sight to worth and dignity, and therefore have an equal right to respect and justice.”  We would do well to remember this as we seek justice for every person, especially those who are unable to fend for themselves, like refugees and the 35 million people in modern-day slavery.

One God created everyone and everyone was created from one man!From one man he made all the nations that they should inhabit the whole earth.”  British Anthropologist Ashley Montagu wrote, “Concerning the origin of the living varieties of Man we can say little more than that there are many reasons for believing that a single stock gave rise to all of them. All varieties of Man belong to the same species and have the same remote ancestry. This is the conclusion to which all the relevant evidence points.”  This is backed up by the fact that the four human blood types are, in every respect, the same in all human beings regardless of ethnic background.

With this in mind there is absolutely no room for racial prejudice and there is no room for generalizations about races. On this the apostle James wrote these words, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (3:9-10).

The Christian community should be a place that brings heaven to earth, where we enjoy unity together in our faith regardless of racial background with persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

When it comes to race – embrace!

Next week we’ll discuss a Christian attitude to differences in culture and religion.