Ever since Curt Mize introduced me to Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?,” I have watched it dozens of times. I cannot get enough of it, and as I watch it, tears of joy come to my eyes and I lift my hands in praise because He is worthy. He is the Lion of Judah and the Lamb that was slain, and because of Him, I have eternal life that is filled with only the shadow of the true blessings that await me. And the same is true for you if you have entered into a love relationship with the Father that begins with His grace and culminates with your decision to 1) believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised from the dead and 2)confess with your mouth that He is Lord of your life.
This song is a very powerful song, and I challenge you to watch the YouTube video at the link above. But I must admit that I was shocked to find out that the day after this video was released that Mr. Peterson experienced a lot of criticism because everyone in the video is white. I was proud of the man for the brokenness that he experienced over this and the deep sorrow that he expressed for letting this happen even when it wasn’t his fault. He demonstrated true grace under fire, but that is not the point of this article. My point is that racism runs rampant even in “Christian” circles. Please know that I am not accusing Mr. Peterson of racism; I believe that he has been the victim of what some would call “reverse racism,” but that is a term that should not even exist. It is racist in and of itself. Racism should be simply defined as prejudice that arises from a feeling of superiority over a person of a different race, and if you agree with that definition, then you must agree that reverse racism is a meaningless, prejudicial phrase.
I have written about this topic on several occasions, and I must admit to you that I was born and raised in the South – well as South as Northeast Florida – but I have never considered myself to be nor have I ever been accused of being racist. And let me state very strongly that racism of any kind should NOT be tolerated anywhere but most especially in the church. Jesus made that clear in the parable of the Good Samaritan though most people miss the point entirely. Jesus wasn’t telling us that we ought to be helpful and do good things for people even though in other Scripture that is exactly His point. In this particular parable, He is showing us that racial differences don’t matter. People are people, and we are to love them no matter what they look like.
But until we get to the point that we no longer see the color of a person’s skin but do as Martin Luther King, Jr. taught – judge people by “the content of their character” — racism will continue to flourish in a society that is already way too divided. Divided by politics. Divided by sports. Divided by denominations/religions. You see, if we look hard enough, we can probably find enough criteria that would divide us to the point that we become a group of 1. “Just me and nobody else because I am superior.” But when you get down to it, people are people, and the outward differences come about simply because of the amount of melanin in our skin. Isn’t that a crazy reason to find ourselves superior to other people?
Here’s what I think: If Jesus Christ is worthy – and I believe He is — then He is worthy to be praised by people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures. And I can guarantee you that when we get to heaven, those same people that seemed so different from us here on Earth will be standing right next to us singing, “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10 (NKJV)