|Red & Yellow
Black & White
"Red and Yellow, Black and White,
They are precious in His sight;
Jesus loves the little children of the world."
These words ring through my memory clear as a bell on a cloudy day. I can remember singing
them from my earliest memories in Bible class. It is a message that was ingrained upon my
mind and heart: Jesus loves the world. God loves the world. That includes every nation, and
every race. We are all made in the image and likeness of God.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). This has been called the Golden Text of
the Bible because it proclaims the love of God for all. It portrays the universal application of the
sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross. God loves every nation, and every race so much that He
was willing to give His only-begotten Son as a sacrifice for their sins.
"You go into all the world,and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is
immersed shall be saved, but he who believes not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15,16). "You
go, therefore, and teach all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and in the
name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything,
whatever I have commanded you; and lo, I will be with you even to the end of the world. Amen."
(Matthew 28:19,20). The Gospel and all of its blessings are for the whole world. They are for
all nations. They are for all people. They are for "every creature": every nation, race and class of
person on the face of the earth.
In the doctrine of Christ, the teaching of Jesus, there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile,
no distinction between those of any nation, no distinction between those of any class. The
Utopian Kingdom where all live together as brothers of equal worth and acceptance regardless
of the artificial classifications that this world may impose upon them is the Kingdom of God and
of His dear Son, the church of Christ. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor
free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
In the church, all that matters is the character, not the skin, language or national allegiance. "Of
a truth I understand that God is no respecter of persons, but that all men who work
righteousness are acceptable to Him" (Acts 10:28). This was the lesson that Peter learned
when he went to the household of Cornelius. It took the vision of the four-cornered sheet, the
urging of the Spirit, and the recounting of the vision of the angel before Cornelius before it sank
in; but, it sank in. The same truth needs to sink in today.
Peter was rebuked by the apostle Paul for failing to eat with the Gentiles and withdrawing
himself from them (Galatians 2:11). Paul stated that Peter stood condemned for this
discrimination based upon the tradition of the elders, and the restrictions of the law. Such a
distinction between the circumcision and the uncircumcision in the church was wrong. Surely,
it can be seen from this that any discrimination, distinction, difference, or division made in the
church upon the basis of nation, class or race is wrong -- it is sinful.
James addresses, in particular, the problem of class division in the church (James 2:1-11). A
difference and distinction was being made upon the basis of riches. He plainly points out that
those who make such a difference and distinction are "judges of evil thoughts." Christians are
all brethren. It is evil and wicked to discriminate, divide and make distinctions and differences
based upon nation, class or race.
These passages show that prejudice, and the unwillingness to accept men of all nations,
classes and races into the church based upon their obedience to the Gospel, and nothing
more, is a sinful act that separates one from the grace of God. It is not merely a quirk of
character; it is a wicked, evil, sinful action that causes one to stand condemned.
Unfortunately, I have seen and heard differences made in the churches because of national
origin. We are proud, as Americans, of what our country stands for, and what it has
accomplished in the short time of its existence. There is a justified pride in these things; but,
we must not allow it to become an inordinate pride. The United States of America is not the
chosen people of God as was the nation of Israel. There is no more sanction of the U.S.A.
Than of any other country by God. Although we have accomplished a number of great things,
we have also engaged in great sins. An immoral slavery marred almost the full first century of
our existence. Prejudice, violence, drunkenness, theft, corruption and other vices, crimes and
sins have stained our national fabric for its entire time of existence. The immorality that has
attended America's entertainment from Little Egypt to Madonna, and the debacle of the motion
picture industry and television pollute the mind and soul of our nation. The acceptance of
divorce, pre-marital sexual intercourse, the killing of unborn children in abortion, and
homosexuality in the last part of the twentieth century show the corruption which has seized the
moral consciousness of the nation. We must realize that it is not political power, nor economic
strength which allows men to stand in the sight of God acceptable, it is moral strength and
spiritual power: it is godliness and righteousness. Our country is a perverse and wicked
nation. Although its political philosophies and economic opportunities are great, these are not
the criteria for determination of acceptance before the Jude of all mankind. There is no room
for discrimination, distinction, and differences in the church because of national allegiance or
origin. Yet, there are those who label, build or divide churches based upon what nation one
either belongs to, or has originated from.
To my embarrassment, I have seen and heard differences made in churches because of
social class and economic level. There are, and always have been differences in the ability
and opportunity that various individuals have in the procurement of this world's goods. Some
have and make more money than others. Some have and obtain more possessions than
others. Some have bigger houses, better clothes, and bigger cars. It is not the amount made,
but the willingness to work, that is of importance in the sight of God. Yet, these things mean
nothing in the sign of God. It not what a man possesses, but what he does with what he
possesses that makes the difference. There is no room for discrimination, distinction, and
differences in the church because of social class or economic level one belongs to.
To my total shame, I have seen and heard differences made in churches because of race. The
color of the skin varies between individuals in this world. From a light ivory to an ebony black,
from an olive an to a deep red, the complexion of people differs. Some differences are
because of climate. Some differences are because of lifestyle. Some differences are because
of genetics. However, all these differences are only skin-deep. There are some people who
are black haired. Some are white haired. Some are blond. Some are red-headed. Some are
gray. Some are bald. Others are a combination of any or all of these (especially in this age of
Miss Clairol). Some eyes are blue. Some eyes are brown. Some eyes are green. Some eyes
are hazel. Some noses are large. Some noses are small. Some ears are large. Some ears
are small. People differ in the way they look. Although few would think of making a difference
because of the color of the eyes or hair, they are willing to make a difference because of the
color of the skin. No distinction is made in all of God's word upon the color of skin, either in the
Old Testament or the New Testament. Yet, this practice has been so common among those
who profess to be Christians that it is assumed to be a characteristic of Christianity by some.
There is no room for discrimination, distinction or differences in the church because of race or
color of the skin. Yet, there are those who label, build and/or divide the churches based upon
what race one is or color of skin one has.
It is past time for us to listen tot he words of the songs we sang as children. It is past time for
us to put aside the sinful division which has been made in the churches based upon nation,
class or race. There are no American nor non-American churches. There are no High Class or
Low Class churches. There are no Red or Yellow or Black or White churches. There are only
churches of Christ, and churches which do not belong to Christ. Those which belong to Him
do not make distinctions and differences because of nation, class or race. They do not limit
their membership in any way other than by obedience to God's word. They do not care whether
the people are Americans or not; whether they are rich or not; whether they are educated or not;
whether they are red, yellow, black or white; they care only if they work righteousness and are
acceptable to God. They are not molded by the prejudices of the world, but they are molded by
the will of God. They seek not to conform to society, but to transform society by the power of the
word of God, in word and in practice. [see Romans 12:1-3]
"Red and Yellow, Black and White,
they are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world."