Our culture is saturated with accusations of racism. There are certainly racists in every community, and with every color of skin. We would expect that in a world dominated by sin. But I think most of us would agree that charges of racism have gotten out of hand. In some circles, a person who supports the police in his community will be accused of racism. If he worries about our wide-open southern border and the danger it poses to our nation, he may be called a racist as well. Many fear that their words, especially at work, will be construed as reflecting hatred of various groups. In some cases, such accusations can ruin their lives. As a result, many keep their opinions to themselves.
Supporting the police and wanting a secure national border are not racist views. Any sane person recognizes that. Some other alleged indications of racism are even more ridiculous. I know that most people, upon hearing such examples, shake their heads and laugh internally. Occasionally, these accusations make the news. Camping is racist, we are told, because the abundance of trees around our tents reminds us of lynchings in the South. Math is racist because it was promoted by white European countries. Scheduled meetings for which people are expected to show up on time are racist because certain cultures don’t value punctuality. Such expectations demean those ethnic groups.
You don’t know whether to laugh or cry over such inane ideas. A person can love to camp because they want to get away from the rat race and spend quiet time with their family, not because they want to hang somebody from a tree. A teacher may want her students, regardless of their race, to be good at math because she wants them to succeed in college and in life. A boss probably wants his employees to be on time because he is running a business, and the success of that business benefits all involved in the endeavor, whatever their ethnicity.
Recently, I was made aware of another purported example of racism based on something I’ve used many, many times. I believe in the Rapture of the Church and know many others who do, too. It is the belief that the Lord can call His people home to Him at any moment. It could happen as you read this blog. It is called the blessed hope in many Christian circles (Titus 2:13). Our hope is not in this world’s progress. Instead, we are looking for the Lord and His kingdom. He will take us out of this sin-cursed world and establish a righteous, eternal rule.
Some maintain that this view is racist. That is certainly as strange as the view that camping or math is racist. What is the connection? Won’t Christians of all races and ethnicities be raptured? The Rapture is not an exclusively white event.
The reason given is that belief in the Rapture provides an excuse for privileged believers to ignore the trials and difficulties of the less fortunate because they believe this world cannot be improved. These privileged people are often white and those less fortunate are often not.
I suppose it’s possible that a hate-filled racist could not believe in the Rapture of the Church but preach it to provide cover for his hateful views. But I am convinced that 99.99999 percent of people who wake up every morning hoping the Lord will come today don’t do so because they hate people who don’t look like them.
As with math, camping, and meetings, this way of looking at the Rapture is strange, to say the least. But we live in strange times. There are many people who are afraid to speak in public. There are probably people who, for fear of what others might think, don’t want to talk about their love of camping or the need for our schools to have high standards for math. They don’t talk about how much they appreciate the police in their neighborhood.
We must not allow that to happen when we talk about the Lord’s return. This wonderful news is not hateful. It is the greatest news of all. It is the blessed hope of all who have believed in Him for eternal life, regardless of the color of their skin.