Is Stereotyping and Division Married?
Is it possible that the tendency to stereotype people based on the colour of their skin could be at the root of the division we find among Christians today?
I’ve been thinking about some of the causes of division among Christians today. The Word of God is clear that Jesus Christ is the Head of His body and the unity of the body is accomplished through the indwelling Holy Spirit who truly makes us one. The apostle Paul told the Ephesian believers to be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). It is therefore clear that there is unity within the body of Christ, accomplished by the Holy Spirit and maintained by the members who are part of that body.
The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian Church to urge them to be united because divisions and factions became a problem in the church. Factions developed around church leaders and the division in the church escalated to the point where the apostle Paul wrote a letter to correct their wrong behaviour. In the day and age we are living in, there is something which I believe is instrumental in dividing the church into different groups based on the colour of their skin. The instrument that is being employed into dividing the church is the notion that certain groups are inclined to be involved in certain things based on the colour of their skin. I believe that the grouping of people together based on the colour of their skin and then making assumptions about them is one of the root causes of the division we see among Christians today.
Stereotyping people based on the colour of their skin is like saying that all computers operating on the windows 10 operating system has exactly the same content on their hard drives. The truth is that each individual person who uses a computer might use the windows 10 operating system, but each individual will load different software, organize their folders differently and “customize” their computer the way they see fit. If 100 out of 150 people with the same skin colour load Microsoft office 365 on their personal computer it does not mean that they should be “labeled” together just because they use the same software. It is possible, even probable that individuals with another skin colour will also use Windows Office 365. Instead of stereotyping people based on the colour of their skin, why don’t we rather look at each individual (who are created in God’s image) individually and then evaluate their individual choices. When a group of individuals made bad choices we need to show brotherly love and unity when we call on them to evaluate their bad choices and make good choices.
There is an unfortunate tendency to stereotype people based on the colour of their skin and we find that general assumptions are being made which is not true about everybody of a certain skin colour. Some assumptions could be true of some individuals but it is not true of everyone. It is important to remember that people are individuals who make individual choices. Some choices are good and others are not so good. What people do and how they act should be addressed on an individual basis. Stereotyping is counterproductive and it lies at the root of the disunity we sometimes find within the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit unites all believers, but we need to eagerly maintain that unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). Stereotyping groups of people based on the colour of their skin is not how we are to eagerly maintain that unity of the Spirit. It is an instrument of division which Paul warns the Corinthian and Ephesian believers against.
May we eagerly strive to maintain the unity of the Spirit as instructed to by the apostle Paul. It can be accomplished when we love each individual believer and in love step out with caution to help individual believers make good, wholesome, Biblical choices which will glorify God the Father, exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and maintain our unity through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Voddie Baucham answers a question in the questions and answers session during the G3 conference on Pentecostal and Africa Americans. Voddie calls the question “racism” to say that black people are more presupposed to the Pentecostal movement. The video was uploaded by Off The Kirb Ministries.
You can whatch the video by clicking on the link below: