One of the most offensive things the Bible says about racism is that it’s another form of partiality.
According to God, you and I are guilty of the same sin racists are guilty of. You are not better than racists. And I am not better than racists either. In fact, racists who hate people like me are no different than people like me who hate racists.
When racists hate black people like me, they are refusing to obey what God commands of them. And when I hate racists, I am refusing to obey what God commands of me. Racists refuse to love people like me as themselves—and if I hate racists, I am refusing to love them as myself.
Though critical race theorists suggest otherwise, racism isn’t an “omnipresent phenomenon”. It isn’t a unique sin—It isn’t an unpardonable sin. Racism is simply a particular version of a universal sin: partiality.
Racism is partiality against people because of their skin colour. Therefore, despite the havoc it’s wreaked on society, it isn’t necessarily more sinful than any other forms of partiality.
Partiality is judging a group of people differently than how we judge others. It is bias or prejudice that favours a kind of people at the expense of others. It’s a sin with many faces and many forms.
However, the Bible doesn’t suggest one form of partiality is worse than another. For instance, when the Bible says, “You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15), God is suggesting partiality against poor people is just as sinful as partiality against wealthy people.
Therefore, racism against black people isn’t worse than racism against white people. Racism isn’t worse than classism against poor people or wealthy people. Racism isn’t worse than sexism against women or men. Racism isn’t worse than partiality against tall people or short people. Racism isn’t worse than any form of partiality.
In other words, we are not better than racists. We all fall short of the glory of our impartial and loving God. God shows no partiality, but we cannot say the same. Many of us may not be guilty of racism—but we are all guilty of partiality.
We may not all be guilty of racism—but there is no one righteous on partiality—no, not one. That doesn’t downplay the destructive and divisive nature of racism. Actually, by addressing the root of racism—partiality—we would be better at digging out the universal temptations that cause some sinners to hate others because of their skin colour. Meaning, if we really want racists to repent, we should all repent from our own forms of partiality too—that way, we wouldn’t be blinded by logs in our own eyes.
But that presupposes that most of the people who claim to hate racism actually hate racism. It’s impossible to hate racism if we do not hate all forms of partiality. If we do not hate all forms of partiality—we do not hate racism, we just hate racists.
When you and I stand before God, we will be guilty of the same sin racists are guilty of: partiality. Therefore, there are many unrepentant racists in hell and there are many repentant racists in heaven.
This is because partiality is one of the sins God condemns—and it’s one of the sins he forgives.