By Charlene Aaron
When you Google what the Bible says about racism an article of the same title by Dr. Jim Denison is the top result.
In it Denison highlights how Christians viewed slaves as their equal and how not a single New Testament leader owned slaves, even though many had the resources to purchase them.
In light of the George Floyd case, Denison said he is not surprised by the uptick in race-related inquiries.
“This is much more a present tense than we were willing to admit it was and I think we’re looking for Biblical guidance now,” Denison told CBN News.
This is guidance that Denison, a former pastor, eagerly shares.
“Jesus died for every person that we know,” said Denison. “God made all of us. According to Genesis 3, we’re all descended from the same mother. We all as Paul said in Galatians 3, there’s neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.”
More than one million people seeking answers on topics from abortion to gender identity tune into Denison’s podcast and daily newsletter as well as the Denison Forum, a digital ministry that tackles current events from a biblical perspective.
Through his extensive research, Denison pushes back against the narrative that systemic racism doesn’t exist in America today.
“First of all that’s wrong,” he explained. “Those that say that that’s the case are simply misstating the facts. They’re not understanding the realities that are before us today.”
“In the criminal justice system, you’re far more likely to be sentenced for the same crime if you’re black than if you’re white. As regards to employment, you’re fifty percent less likely to get hired for sending out resumes if you have an African American name than if you have an Anglo sounding name.”
Research shows the problem persists in many churches as well.
According to a 2014 Lifeway Research survey of 1,000 white protestant pastors, only 32 percent strongly agreed that their church is involved with racial reconciliation at the local level. Fifty-three percent of African American pastors strongly agreed with that statement.
A 2015 Lifeway study on church segregation found that fifty-six percent of white evangelicals believe that people of color are often put at a social disadvantage because of their race, compared to eighty-four percent of blacks.
Denison points out that these examples are all reasons why believers must sincerely pray as Peter did in Acts 10:28 when he said, “God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.”
“You start by getting alone with God and saying Lord show me just like Peter where this is in my heart. Reveal this to me, Lord,” said Denison.
Despite the nation’s racial divide, Denison says he’s hopeful the church can lead the way to racial reconciliation and healing.
“God’s still on his throne. Jesus is still King. He’s king of kings and he still redeems all that he allows,” he noted.
“We’re still salt and light and salt makes a difference you can’t see, and light makes a difference it may not know, and God can still use us in eternal ways if we’re willing to be used. Don’t give up,” Denison concluded.