1 - One Race

The Root of Racism

Racism may look different today than it did fifty years ago, but it's still present. What does the gospel say about race and ethnicity? What would it look like to dialogue and build bridges in our churches, workplaces, and communities? In this 3-part course, D.A. Horton answers those questions and more as he challenges believers to understand the problem of racism and engage in the ministry of reconciliation.

D.A. Horton is a national speaker and writer who previously served as the National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board, the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries, and as an urban church planter and pastor in Kansas City. D.A. is currently preparing to plant a church in Los Angeles. In this first session, he talks about the dignity and depravity of humanity. 

What comes to your mind when you think about racism? Why?
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Genesis 1:27 (ESV)

27So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

D.A. talked about the dignity we all share as image bearers of God. What does this mean for your body and mind? What do you learn about God looking at yourself and others? How can you extend dignity to others?
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D.A. said, “The reality is that there is only one race—the human race. But within that race, God has blessed us with a multitude of diversity in ethnic heritages…there is one race, no one is superior to another.” 

What is your ethnic heritage? How have you been blessed by people of other ethnicities? What have they taught you about God?
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Have you ever felt superior to someone of another ethnicity? What influenced your thinking and behavior? What did repentance look like for you?
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Have you ever been the victim of racism? How so? How did it make you feel?
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D.A. said that racism is rooted in sin and, “If rooted in sin, it is only right to say that the actual cure for racism is the gospel. Since the church of Christ is the only group of people to steward that message, then the issue of racism is one the church must be engaged in.” 

How have you seen the gospel “cure” racism in your own heart, your family, your church, or your community? Do you think racism will ever be completely cured on earth? Why or why not?
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How would you describe your engagement in racial and justice conversations? What motivates your engagement? What might be some fears holding you back from talking about racism with others?
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Racism not only ignores the dignity we all share as image bearers, it rejects the gospel. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” May we be stewards and heralds of this global gospel message in our churches, workplaces, and communities. Head to the next session to learn more about how the gospel brings people from all ethnicities together.