The first tract I ever published was written way back in 1973. An elderly Presbyterian minister insisted on purchasing a hand-cranked printer and gifting it to me. I was a little mystified as to why he did that. However, I wrote a tract called “Sin, Not Skin.” It was about racism and how humanity misdiagnoses the disease. They think the problem is skin, when it is more than skin-deep. It is the heart of man that is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), not his skin. Skin color simply sparks the fire of prejudice and racial hatred within the human heart.
Someone read what I had written, liked it, and ordered 5,000 tracts that I had to crank out by hand.
Nearly fifty years later, the world is still beating the same drum, and once again we have race riots in our country reminiscent of the out-of-control Los Angeles race riots of 1992.
Those riots were initially sparked by sinful men who were captured on video beating a black man. That was then fueled by more sinful men and women who saw this as an opportunity to run riot, and to steal, kill, and destroy. Sixty-three people tragically lost their precious lives in those riots and thousands more were injured.
Mankind is like a vicious pit bull looking for any opportunity to break free from the restraint of law. Could you imagine if the law was completely removed from society, and it was left up to the goodness of men to keep them from raping, stealing, and murdering? Imagine if there was no punishment for theft or for rape — it is then that we would see the wicked nature of humanity.
Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, said this week during the riots in his state, “Civil society is not maintained just by laws and the threat of punishments. It’s maintained by the sense of a social compact — that we share the same values.”
The problem is that we no longer share the same values. There was a time in America when adultery, pornography, homosexuality, abortion, fornication, and blasphemy were frowned upon, because most Americans respected the Ten Commandments and had a semblance of the fear of God. No longer. Today these sins are not shunned; they are celebrated. Every man does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6). There are said to be no moral absolutes of right and wrong. What we are seeing played out is the godless idea of evolution in practice. It’s simply survival of the fittest where the lion devours the lamb. So the godless world shouldn’t complain when others push the lawless envelope a little further than they have.
I have often used an analogy from an experience I had many years ago that illustrates the only way we can deal with the apparent problem of racism. We had a persistent spider that left a large web across the front wall of our home. Day after day I would brush the web away, and the next day it would be back.
One day I had the revelation that I was more intelligent than the spider. So I grabbed a can of insect repellent and a small stick, tapped on the web, and skillfully made the noise of a fly in distress. Sure enough the spider came out from his hiding place thinking he was getting a free lunch, and I killed him with the insect repellent.
Racism is the web, the spider is the sinful nature of man that conceals itself, and the stick is the rod of Moses. It is the moral Law (the Ten Commandments) that brings the spider from his hiding. It shows the sinner to be a lying, thieving, hateful, blasphemous, fornicating rebel at heart. And the insect repellent is the gospel that puts that evil nature to death.
Dear Christian, don’t get caught up in the fight against racism. Instead go for its cause. Continue to use the Law to expose sin, and then put it to death with the love of God revealed in the cross. Those who are Christ’s crucify that sinful nature (Galatians 5:24). This is a dark time in history, but keep your light shining. Your labor is never in vain in the Lord.