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On the Bleeding Edge

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Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers? Malachi 2:10

On this day in 1905, Teddy Roosevelt gave a stirring speech on race relations. The wounds of the Civil War and Reconstruction lingered between North and South, as did the question, When will every citizen be treated equally, regardless of color? Though Roosevelt addressed primarily whites, exhorting compassion to all, his words did little to advance the conversation. To his credit, though, he nailed the issue at the end of his speech, quoting the wisdom of Solomon: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Jesus died because God loved the whole world, and His blood unifies all believers in a family where no man-made distinctions apply (Galatians 3:28). When it comes to salvation, we all stand on the same ground: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

Living that out, however, is much more complicated. That’s the best reason for the church—and you as a Christian—to take the lead in the discussion, modeling God’s vision of equality, grace, and forgiveness. Start with prayer, and remember: the blood of Christ can unite us in ways that are beyond race and ethnicity. They’re genuine connections of spirit that will last into eternity.

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