Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Human Nature, Racism, And Dignity

Human Nature, Racism, And Dignity

Ravi Zacharias

There has been an ongoing attempt in our culture to look at human nature apart from any transcendent accountability. Once that feeling of alienation from God is etched upon our consciences, we are alienated not only from God, but even from our fellow human beings and, ultimately, from ourselves.

I don't know how many of you heard the great tennis player Arthur Ashe interviewed when it first became public knowledge that he had contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion. He was one of my favorites. Tragically, Ashe had felt the sting of racism throughout his life. This mild-mannered gentleman looked into the eyes of the reporters and said, “As painful as it is to know that I have this dreaded disease, nothing could be as painful as the rejection I have endured all my life because of racial prejudice.”

Think of the agony encased in those words. Think about it. That a man so respected, so talented, so gentlemanly could express such pain endured over a lifetime of personal rejection because of someone else's capacity to hate. That is very sobering. As we look across the globe today, there are few things as deeply volatile as this issue—the tragedy and the hell of bigotry and racism. The pain of rejection by reason of birth alone is one of the deepest pains a person can ever experience.

In our day we have tried to do away with prejudice apart from God, seeking solutions by rewriting laws, by reeducating ourselves. Yet, who among us can say that we have succeeded in eliminating the victimization of people? If anything, our society constantly stands at the brink of conflict as violence erupts suddenly if there is even a hint of discriminatory judgment.

I am convinced that all our attempts to change laws and to reeducate people are merely band-aid solutions for a fatal hemorrhage. The system will never change because our starting point is flawed. The secular view of man can neither give the grandeur that God can give, nor can it see the evil within the human heart that God alone can reveal and cure. Naturalism implicitly denudes each individual of the grand image that God has imprinted upon his creation.

You see, if we can acknowledge that God is the author of life, then we lose any claim we may have made to superiority. If we can acknowledge that there is evil in our hearts, then God can transform us through His Son. If we want to right our social situation, we must start vertically with God.

© 2007 Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

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