"The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness….But now, O our God, what can we say after this? For we have disregarded the commands you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: 'The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at anytime, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance” (Ezra 9:1-2, 10-12, NIV).
Now pour you a fresh cup of coffee and let's get serious about being prejudice. As I have often said, prejudice may be either positive or negative. Negative prejudice leads to discrimination, and discrimination leads to racism. Discrimination is evident in three categories: individual, legal, and institutional. Since sinful individuals form a legal institution called the church, all three categories join to form one very large and sinful super highway for discrimination to flow. This negative prejudice leads an ongoing practice of discrimination and racism within the church in total contradiction to the teaching of Scripture. Racism is a belief that race is the most important determinant of human traits and capacities, that racial differences produce an inherent superiority or inferiority of a particular racial group, and that these racial characteristics determine their respective cultures. This racism leads the institutional church to seek members, employees, and vendors of like race.
If you have ever sat in a church committee or board meeting and heard someone say that the church should find a vendor or an employee of a particular race or ethnicity, you have experienced individual discrimination and racism. If you did not speak up and confront the sinful individual discrimination, you participated in institutional discrimination and racism. But, you might ask, doesn’t God teach us in His word that Christians are to keep ourselves separated by race and ethnicity? Is it not correct for White people to worship together, Hispanic people to worship together and Black people to worship together, and so forth? Is this not what God told Ezra?
Notice what God really said to Ezra. God called for Israel to practice a positive Godly prejudice that the Church needs to practice today. God said his people had not “kept themselves separate from the neighboring…detestable practices.” The issue is that the people of God had mingled and married outside of their faith. Scripture does not teach that it is wrong for a Christian Black woman to mingle with or marry a Christian White man, or a Christian Hispanic man to mingle with or marry a Christian White female. It is wrong for a believer of any race to mingle in the ungodly practices of or to marry a nonbeliever of any race, even if it is the same race! The church today places more emphasis on men and women marrying within the same race than within the same faith. Believers are to be prejudice against mingling in sinful behavior and marrying those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We are to be prejudice against mingling with the detestable practices of the nonbelievers.
I know this is hard to hear in a “politically correct” society, but the Church must emphasis the positive prejudices. It must teach its members to refuse to mingle with the politically correct sins of our culture. Even if it is politically correct to call sin an alternative life choice, if it is an abomination to God, we must prejudice ourselves against it. Christians must live as Christ lived, and not as the world would have us live.
Prayer: "Lord, I ask you to help me guard against all negative prejudice, but hold to those positive prejudices. Lord, help me to guard against all discrimination that stems out of prejudice by loving others as you loved them. Help me Lord, to always want the best for others, regardless of what they have done to me. Amen.”