Why do some people believe the Bible teaches that their race is superior if Jesus Christ died for everyone? What does the Bible say about race?
"I grew up believing that my race was superior to every other race, and the reason (I was taught) was because that's what the Bible teaches. Does it? If so, then I don't want anything to do with your faith," the person stated in the "My Answers" section of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's website.
Addressing the question about racial supremacy and the Bible, the Rev. Billy Graham explained to the inquiring person that what they were taught during their upbringing "is not what the Bible teaches." Jesus Christ died for all people regardless of their racial or ethnic background.
"In fact, the Bible teaches exactly the opposite, because it tells us that God created every race equally in His image, and He loves every race equally," wrote Graham.
"Racism of any type is wrong in God's eyes, and it should be wrong in our hearts and minds as well. God's love is not restricted to one group or one race — and neither should ours."
Graham added that while it is "true that some have tried to use the Bible to justify racism," the scriptures do not endorse such a mindset.
"When Jesus went to the cross, He gave His life for people from all races and all backgrounds. And some day in Heaven we'll join with all those for whom Christ died, 'from every tribe and language and people and nation,' (Revelation 5:9)."
"Don't let the errors of a few keep you from Christ. God loves you — and the most important step you can ever take is to respond to His love by committing your life to Jesus Christ. Open your heart and life to His love today."
This is not the first time that Graham has addressed questions of race and the Christian life. Back in 2006, the famed evangelist was asked how one can claim to be a Christian and yet be prejudiced against certain ethnic groups.
"Racial or ethnic prejudice is a sin in the eyes of God, and no Christian should allow his or her heart to be filled with prejudice. Prejudice and hate go hand-in-hand, and hate is the opposite of Christ's love," responded Graham in 2006.
"Only God knows your acquaintance's heart, and whether or not he has truly given his life to Christ. But don't let his inconsistency keep you from giving your own life to Jesus. God loves you; He loves you so much that Christ was willing to die for you."
In the 2006 response, Graham also stressed the scriptural justification for racial equality, noting that the Gospel was meant to be preached to all peoples regardless of race.
"One reason is because God created the whole human race, and every human being bears something of His image. The Bible says, 'From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole Earth' (Acts 17:26)," added Graham.
"But prejudice is also wrong because Christ died for people from all races and all backgrounds — and He did so because He loves them all. How can we do any less?"