Melanin & the Imago Dei

The racial strife which has erupted around the United States over the last few months is heartbreaking. Watching the scenes of protests and counter-protests over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, are something that I thought impossible in this country in the 21st century. However, and alas, our nation appears to be at a tipping point with both ends of the spectrum seeking to pull apart the frayed ropes which have held this country together since 1865. 

Heartbreaking is the only word that I can use but it seems so inadequate because this is so unnecessary. If we would just turn away from our tendency towards moral equivalency which is nothing more than immorality in fancy language. And if we would just turn away from any sinful preconception that racism cloaked in whatever terminology is justified rather than what it is … sinful rhetoric which brings shame to the order of God’s creation. 
Why do I say this so empathically? Because Scripture itself is so empathic … we all are created in the Imago Dei (the image of God – Genesis 1:26).  Each human has a soul and each human needs to have that soul enveloped by the presence of the Holy Spirit. An enveloping only possible via a relationship with Messiah Jesus.

So … as the Children’s church of yesteryear used to proclaim “red or yellow, black or white,” you are indeed precious and special in the sight of God. You are a representation of the Imago Dei … even if you still require a salvific moment in your life because you are “dead in your trespasses and sin” (Colossians 2:13). 

So … what is the definable difference in creation between people? It is simply melanin and here is the definition. 

The pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their color. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people have. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. It provides some protection again skin damage from the sun, and the melanocytes increase their production of melanin in response to sun exposure. 

That’s it. And as for me, melanin is not worth protesting over. Melanin is not worth dividing over. Melanin is definitely not worth a claim of superiority, which is nothing more than a lie of Satanic proportions. 

May God forgive us for the sin of racism in our country and help us be united for the cause of evangelism. The only -ism that matters. 


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