In the Spotlight
By Richard Allen – October 6, 2021
I’m sure that Spiritual Race Theory will be an attention getter, in fact I chose this title for that very purpose – to get people’s attention, and draw them into additional learning that might hopefully challenge them to think through the trendy terms and slogans that masquerade as socio-political discourse in our modern world!
Spiritual Race Theory is not a theory, but a reality – since Jesus’ resurrection two millennia ago, and the inauguration of His Everlasting Covenant (Heb 13:20)! Also, SRT not part of a “Aryan Master-Race” myth, but the teaching of Jesus that anew race of people not born of flesh and blood (I Cor 15:50), but the born of His Spirit are His children now, and will physically populate a new world that’s coming! Paul the Apostle, always a peace maker seeking to promote racial harmony in the fledgling Church, told believers in the province of Galatia of their unity:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28)
He also told Gentile Believers in the Church at Ephesus – that along with Jewish believers, they were a New Man:
“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh . . . . were . . . .separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off (Gentiles) have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both (Jew & Gentile) one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. . . . . that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, that he might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Eph 2:11-16)
And the Apostle Peter echoes our status as a Spiritual Race when he told believers:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now have received mercy”. (I Pet 2:9-10)
Well, there you have it. According to our Lord Jesus, as a result of His death, burial and resurrection – those who believe in Him are now a SPIRITUAL RACE! No longer encumbered by the trappings of our physical distinctives, with all our prejudices and racial strife, but a Spiritual Race filled with God’s Spirit and made into a New Man! We are no longer Jew and Gentile but a Holy Nation, a Royal Priesthood! Even our life stations (slave or free), Genders (male or female) are no longer qualifiers to exclude us from membership in this Spiritual Race created by Jesus!
There’s no place that this is more clearly taught than in John chapter 4:7-30 where Jesus’ encounters a broken woman of mixed heritage at Jacob’s well in Samaria. I say broken not only because of the information that we learn about her, but because John’s narrative says that she came to get her water at the 6thhour of the day, in mid-eastern time, “high noon!” She was likely coming at a time when few others would endure the heat of the day to fetch their own water, and she could avoid the shame of meeting other Samaritans who might judge her. To her surprise, there was someone already waiting at the well ready to share some really good news with her, Jesus!
Sadly, this woman like many single women today was a victim of the Social Engineering practiced by the Ancient Empires, and her own poor choices. After several tumultuous centuries of strife – the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians in 721 BC. As was their practice, the Assyrians re-populated northern Israel with other deportees from similar conquests. Years later during the Grecian rule, some exiles were allowed to return and intermarry with the Gentiles. This strategy was mostly political – so as to assimilate newly conquered peoples, and keep racial and ethnic unrest to a minimum. As such, the Samaritan people were the product of this social experimentation, and were shunned by ethnic Jews who saw them as half-breed mongrels, and unclean.
As a result they had developed a bit of a “chip on their shoulders” in their relationship to the Jewish inhabitants in Judah. This may well explain her initial shock when Jesus, a Jew would even dialogue with her (John 4:9). And even more shocking, she was a Samaritan Woman, with whom Rabbis wouldn’t normally talk or discuss the merits of “where men ought to worship!” Jesus had a habit of seeking those who were thought little of in civil society.
But this woman’s shame went even deeper. After rebuffing Jesus for asking her for a drink, Jesus honestly tells her that if she’d realized that He was the Messiah –she would have asked him for “Living Water.” Still thinking about things in purely human terms, she stated the obvious: “the well is deep and you have nothing to use to draw from it” (Jn 4:11). This poor woman was also a victim of her own, and others sins and failures. She was in need of a new kind of water, a new life, and anew way of worship! With a simple statement: “go call your husband,” Jesus openly revealed her sordid past – that she had five husbands, and was now living with a man to whom she wasn’t married. While we may not know, Jesus knew what her life had been like. We can only imagine her past history of lies, betrayal, lust, physical abuse, all the while looking for acceptance yet never finding it. Jesus alluded that her coming to the well outside Sychar was a metaphor for her life. She drew from it daily, yet she was still thirsty! In this one story, Jesus foreshadowed the removal of the barriers that were keeping her from His Living Water: Her Race as a Samaritan, Her Gender as a Woman, and Her Sins! His Kingdom would atone, forgive and restore!
But she’s still interested in talking with Jesus about Location, “i.e. where’s the right place to worship (in Samaria or Jerusalem),” Jesus then tells her that change is coming – and God’s true worshippers won’t worship by Location:
“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:21-24).
By both Jesus’ teaching, and His presence with this woman at the well, Jesus addressed hers (and our) most critical need: “To have our eyes opened to see that the Old Rules of physical location, gender, race, physical props like the temples made by man,” (Acts 17:24) WOULD ALL BE DONE AWAY! And we’d all need to become part of a Spiritual Race of people, the New Man in Christ! (c.f. Gal 3:28; Eph 2:11-16; I Pet 2:9-10). This is Spiritual Race Theory as it’s taught in scripture! To worship in Spirit and in Truth we can no longer worship in the flesh, with all of its special man-made rules, barriers and prejudices: Race, Gender, Social Standing, Location, Exclusive Priesthood, Ceremonies, Special Liturgy, Special Days / Times, and Special Rituals, and any other trappings from man-made religion! A New Worship in Spirit & Truth would require a New Spiritual Race of Worshippers!
It goes without saying, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is still based on the “old rules of human worship and behavior.” It’s based on Hatred, just as Jesus challenged the beliefs of this thirsty woman in Samaria! CRT doesn’t promise a “New Worship in Spirit and Truth!” NO – it’s just more of the same: Man’s hatred & pride! To some people, CRT reverses the tables, pretending to lift up the downtrodden by knocking the oppressors back on their heels – all give them what they’ve got coming to them! But in the end, hate begets hate, and lumping all of mankind into CRT’s Two Racial Categories of: Oppressed and Oppressor WON’T BREAK THE CYCLE OF RACIAL HATE, IT WILL JUST CONTINUE UNDER NEW OPPRESSORS!
Only by being a part of a New Spiritual Race, that is Jesus’ Church, His Body – can we beset free to Worship in Spirit and Truth. Truly satisfied as “springs of water well up inside us unto eternal life” that only Jesus can provide! This Spiritual Race is no longer tied to all of the fleshly passions like Race, Gender, or Possessions, but tied to a “New Creation” (II Cor 5:17)!
Next time you hear someone say that Critical Race Theory is just a tool to help address dis-parities and grievances between Races, proclaim to them: “Jesus has already healed our Racial problems by atoning for our sins, and putting all believers into a Spiritual New Race, a New Family who won’t thirst for this world’s empty wells, but will worship in Spirit & Truth!