How Should We Classify Ourselves?

Over the last several weeks here in the USA there has been an upheaval about the verdict of one highly publicized homicide trial (George Zimmeran vs Florida) in the death of a teenage boy Trayvon Martin. There have been numerous people coming out screaming and yelling about what a miscarriage of justice this is and a white man was able to kill a black boy and it wasn’t that big of a deal to the majority so he was able to get away with it. But if you look closely Zimmerman is not a white male he is hispanic/white and looks more hispanic. While it is sad that a young man lost his life, the life of George Zimmerman will never be the same either.
What I find to be the most disheartening are several things; first is it is okay for black people to discuss their view of this case and how it turned out, but as soon as a white person says anything we are called a racist or a bigot. Secondly, there are those who call themselves Christians that have not shown very much grace to those around them, how are we to classify ourselves? Do we start with our ethnicity, the nationality, our sex, and finally our religion? Well, if we call ourselves Christian and truly believe that makes us who we are, then it should override every other label we would choose to place upon ourselves. The Apostle Paul tells the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28 ESV)
This has not been the case of what has been seen at least from most of the African American community. While our country has had a tremoltus past with racial tensions, it will never get any better if all that is focused on is what separates us instead of what unites us. While it will never be easy to live as the Apostle spoke to the Galatians is does not mean that we should not strive for that kind of unity. We will never be able to fully experience all that Christ has intended for us until we stop segregating ourselves and start uniting under the headship of Jesus. The price He paid over 2,000 years ago, was more than enough to bring reconciliation to the people of His time, and it can do the same for us. The more we grow in Christlikeness the less we should see of all the barriers that get in the way of us loving those around us, even when they have done us wrong.
Christ’s own countrymen had him arrested and executed and while He hung on the cross He cried out to His father, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And as long as we continue to persecute those who are supposed to be of the same faith as us we will be no better than the Jewish religious leaders of the time. So let us be sorrowful not only for the loss of one young man’s life and the destruction of another, but mourn the fact that the body of Christ still has a long way to go. If we want to bring people into the fold the best way we can do that is by handling events like these with more grace, love and humility.

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