When the non-Christian sees hypocrisy in the church or hate-filled Christians, he should be aware that Jesus Himself warned that there would be counterfeit Christians among the true ones and that God would be their judge (Matt. 7:21-23). Instead of looking at them we should keep our eyes on what the Bible really teaches and what true Christians believe and practice.

Christianity, far from being the "white man's religion," is a universal faith open to all men and women: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Christianity is found on every continent on earth among every race of man: black, yellow, red, and white.

People in this country often think of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jeffrey Hunter (who portrayed Jesus in King of Kings) when Jesus is mentioned. But Jesus was an Asiatic, a Semite. He was a descendant of Isaac, the half brother of the father of the Arabs, Ishmael (Gen. 16:1-12; 17:15-19). It is historically false to state that Christianity is "the white man's religion."

Additionally, one of the central themes of the Bible concerns the care and love that true believers are to show, both for each other and for the poor and oppressed. In the Old Testament God rebuked Israel for pretending to love Him when they were unconcerned for the poor and oppressed (Isa. 58:6-7; also cf. Mic. 6:8, Prov. 29:7; 30:14; Amos 8:4-5). In the New Testament Jesus stated that the ultimate sign of those who were truly His followers would be the love they displayed (John 13:34-35). Scripture also tells us that anyone, whether he be white, black, brown, or yellow, who hates other people is blinded and not a true believer (1 John 2:9-11).

Jesus was very specific that this love was not to be directed only toward the other members of the Christian faith. Christians are commanded by Christ to love not only each other but also the non-Christian, even if he might be an enemy (Luke 6:27-28, 32-33, 35).49

The Christian, then, is called to a commitment of radical love and a rejection of all hate. That many professing Christians have failed to live up to this standard is the fault of human sinfulness, not Jesus Christ or biblical teaching. The same cannot be said, however, for the Nation of Islam. As we saw earlier, its teachings encourage a hateful attitude toward one's "enemies," whether real or merely perceived. Just as the hatred and racism of the white man begat a reciprocal hatred and racism in Elijah Muhammad and his followers, so their hatred can only engender more of the same. In a world seething with distrust and hostility, Jesus' radical teaching ("love your enemies") desperately needs to be applied by people of all races. Only then can the vicious cycle of hate be broken.

To the black man in this country: we urge you to look toward Jesus; He not only knows what you are suffering, He also understands. For centuries you have suffered innocently, simply because the pigmentation of your skin is different. Jesus too suffered persecution and revilement innocently. Isaiah the prophet foretold that the Messiah would be "a man of sorrows, despised and rejected of men" (Isa. 53:3). The reward for His love was an agonizing death on the cross. Reject the urge to hate and listen to His words:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).

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