It is sobering to think about how much violence and oppression can be boiled down to hatred of people who are “of the wrong group,” judging their personhood and worth with “face value” criteria. We can at least start to make sense of it—though not excuse it—when someone seeks revenge for harm done to their family, livelihood, etc. “An eye for an eye,” though rejected by Jesus, is at least based on empirical action; a wrong committed. But a far more disturbing human tendency is the way we hate based on an abstract narrative of supremacy. In this space, a person is not guilty because of something they did but because of who they are.
In Acts 10, when Peter was first confronted by a world with less boundaries, he first responded, “Surely not, Lord” (Acts 10:14). I fear we still often do the same. But we need more Acts 10 moments—those times when we remember that “the Lord does not look at the things humans look it” (1 Samuel 16:7). Those times when we work, play, and make policy from the standpoint of our shared humanity and Creator. Land borders are man-made. Flags and national anthems are man-made. Ethnic group check-boxes are man-made. But all humans are God-made. What might the world look like if we lived and governed from this truth?
[Read the full article on the Baptist News Global blog]