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Shane M. Oberlin

Shane M. Oberlin

In the English language, there are many controversial words.

Abortion.

Homosexual.

Democrat.

Republican.

Evolution.

The “N” word.

Muslim.

Christian.

Yet, few of them have conjured the same collective attitude as Racism.

I despise racism. In fact, I go so far as to ban the word from my everyday speech. All of us belong to the same “race.” The Human race. This may sound extreme to some, but if you look to Scripture, you may change your mind.

In Scripture, the Greek word “ethnos,” is usually translated as “gentile,” or non-Jew, yet its meaning goes far beyond that. Ethnos refers to the individual ethnic groups that comprise our world. In short, we belong to the same race, yet we fit into different cultural – and ethnic – distinctions within our genetic makeup.

When we try to draw distinctions between our “race” and that of another, we begin to lose sight of God’s design for humanity. When someone belongs to a different “race,” it is far easier to assume that they are either superior or inferior to us. This mentality is deadly. This same mentality motivated Hitler’s Germany, Mengistu’s Ethiopia, Hussein’s Iraq, Arafat’s Palestine, and Assad’s Syria. It also has the potential to motivate us – if we let it.

I can speak to this, because I once allowed my fears of Muslims and Arabs to dominate my life … Until I traveled to the Middle East to do missions work, and my perspective forever transformed. As radical as this may sound, I learned that Jesus loves the Palestinians just as much as He loves other Gentiles, and just as much as He loves the Jews! He died for all of us. What a novel concept!

Now, before I get a bunch of nasty comments or emails, let me just say that I am not going to “muddy the waters” by hosting a debate over the following topics (which happens whenever I write or speak about this subject):

  • “Replacement Theology” (Deception from the bowels of hell).
  • Zionism (God gave the land to the Hebrews. Read the Bible. Yet, kicking all of the Arabs in Israel out of their homes is not a complete answer).
  • The existence of the “Palestinian” people (I have seen them. They exist … In modernity – not antiquity).
  • The American distrust of people from the Middle East (Not every Arab is a follower of Islam just as not every American is a Christian).

My views stem from much study of Scripture, prayer, firsthand experience, and in-depth research. I would strongly encourage you to do the same, and draw your own conclusions. Yet, even though it is necessary to know where you stand on matters of faith, our allegiance to the King of Kings is far more important. Galatians 3:26-29 states:

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

In Christ, there is no division of ethnicity. We are all believers. We are all co-heirs, sons, daughters, and followers of The One Who Reigns Forever. God created humanity as a beautiful tapestry that reflects His glory and majesty. We have a commission to go into all the world and share the Gospel with every ethnic group. Once we begin to stop fearing the cultures and ethnic groups that we do not understand, we are one step closer to a Kingdom culture, which will prepare the way for the return of The King.

SHANE M. OBERLIN

SHANE M. OBERLIN

is a devoted lover of Jesus who seeks to impact the world through writing, the prophetic, counseling, travel, speaking, and song.

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