Houtz: The pride of racism

Published 9:22 am Friday, February 2, 2018

God created the heavens, the earth, fish, plants, birds and beasts, but the prize of his creation was mankind.

Mankind was made in His image, but the diversity put within man was phenomenal. There are many skin tones, hair shades, eye colors and variation in form.

When God finished man, he proclaimed, “It is very good.”

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While most of us have heard the Biblical account of creation, few seem to comprehend the ramification of the story. The concept of chosen is introduced in Genesis, but when that word is read, we think it means more than it does.

When we think of the Jews as God’s chosen people, some believe it means they are so special they get special favor above the rest of us. Some even believe that if you are Jewish, you are God’s natural child, but as a non-Jew you can only hope for adoption.

These notions may never be said from the pulpit, but many people absorb these thoughts as they ponder being “chosen.”

Ethnic envy is sometimes present in church folk.

Truly God creating all these variations indicates His value for each.

There is no ethnicity that God created which He does not value.

You being made in His image indicates that you are innately valuable in the way you have been created.

Some will use the Bible as a means to diminish the value of other people.

Passages have been used to teach white supremacy, black supremacy, Jewish supremacy and Asian supremacy.

God isn’t seeking a supreme gene pool; He made it in all its diversity.

God didn’t deem one race superior

over the others. He gave each unique qualities and equips them for service to all mankind.

God’s love overwhelms every ethnicity, and even every religion. All religions may not lead to God’s desired behavior, but your religion does not inhibit God’s love or desire for your best.

Supremacy comes from pride and fear, pride in that we always assume we are the best, and fear in that we often fear what we do not know. We demonize the unfamiliar.

It would be good for us to remember a proverb from the Bible.

Proverbs 29:23 says, “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.”

When we value all mankind in the way God made them, we develop that humility in spirit. If we embrace those ethnically different from us,we are rewarded with new experiences and pleasures.

We must seek out friends who do not share our same heritage.

I am please to be a part of an organization that desires to help develop an understanding of those not like our ethniciy, nation, language group or religion.

If we truly attempt to understand the outsider with respect, we will tear down barriers that separate us.

Then the greatest talents will rise to the top.

Jefferson College at Pilot View will be hosting Dr. Iglahliq Suuqiina this coming Thursday.

I spent a good deal of time with Dr. Suuqiina about a year ago and came away very enriched.

I found a loving and accepting, wise man who enlightened us on racial issues.

Dr. Suuqiina has dealt with prejudice and has overcome with love and forgiveness.

With Martin Luther King day just passing, maybe now would be a good time to hear from an indigenous brother.

In coming together and laughing together, we can appreciate God’s creation more as He intended.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could walk away feeling more in unity with our fellow man and less in contention.

Such would be the reward of burying our pride and walking in humility.

Frank Houtz leads the congregation at Beit Menorah. He can be reached at afhoutz@gmail.com.