Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). Who then is our neighbor? I have never really asked anyone that question. After living here in Tennessee for almost 64 years, my fear is the answer my ears would receive if I did ask that question:
Who is my neighbor? Well, that’s obvious. My neighbors is the people who live on both sides of me and across the street. That’s why they call it a neighborhood. Jesus knowed what a neighborhood was and what it meant. Now you ain’t gonna try to tell me that my neighbor is some n-word that lives over in Muddy Run or some China doll in Peking. You know Peking. That city named after some briled duck. Them’uns ain’t in my neighborhood, so they ain’t my neighbors. Did you vote for Trump? If you didn’t, I shore ain’t yore neighbor.
Okay. Deep breath. Hold it. Exhale. In the Bible Jesus does not define neighbor in the neighborhood sense that we think of in American culture today. He leaves the definition wide open and reminds us in Luke 10 that even an ancient despised person like a Samaritan is still our neighbor.
People of other races are our neighbors too—here at home and all over the world. Moreover, from God’s perspective in the great creation parables in the Book of Genesis, all people are the descendant sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, which makes each person of every race a member in good standing in one worldwide human family—even blue people who live in Kentucky. We are all brothers and sisters in this same human family. That African-American man in Muddy Run is your brother. That China doll in Peking is your sister.
My on-line friend April Kelsey has written a wonderful blog article on Christianity and racism. Everyone should read this short article and take it seriously—especially all you American conservatives who claim to be Christians. You may read this article at the following safe link: