The Lord’s Supper Condemns the Evil of Racism

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 08/17/2017

There is no coherent place for racism in Christianity. Since God created us in His image, making “from one man every nation of mankind” (Acts 17:26), we are all both equal and valuable. Derek Rishmawy, in a post responding to the horrifying white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, explains how the theology reflected in the Lord’s Supper condemns the evil of racism:

As one body we share one loaf and one cup with our one Lord through whom our one Father feeds us in the one Spirit we share. In it we hear the promises of the one Gospel. One Supper flows from one Gospel. This one Gospel is the good news of our one Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the Son become man by taking on our one humanity, putting it to death, and raising it to new life again in his resurrection. And it is this one humanity that is made in the Image of our one God.

It is precisely this oneness that any doctrine of racial supremacy and superiority violates. For that reason, I do not think it wrong to speak of such teachings such as white supremacy, not merely as sin, but as damnable heresy. It violates so many doctrines in the faith and practice of the Church, there is simply no gospel left on the other side of it.

The Supper stands, then, as testimony that now there is neither Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, black or white, but all are one in Christ who redeems and restores the original unity of humanity in a higher register. To practice the Lord’s Supper is to tacitly condemn the sin and unrighteousness of racial exaltation or subjugation. A racially-divided Supper is no Supper at all.

And yet the beauty of the Supper is that it is not primarily condemnation. It also stands as a witness to the gospel. It is an invitation out of these divisions into the unity of the body, into the family of God who share the feast of the Father’s forgiveness. Here in the Supper we begin to taste the justice and reconciliation of our God.

Christianity both condemns racism and offers the cure. We are all the work of our Creator—all with inestimable value as a result of being made in His image, all equally human, having descended from the same man—and we are reconciled “in one body to God through the cross” (Eph. 2:16).

A quick look at history proves that our equality and value are not obvious truths to everyone. Not every worldview can support them, and our own sin tries to distort them. They must be taught and argued for. For more on this, see these posts: