Should “White Christmas” be Called “Racist Christmas”?

Written by Josiah Nichols

December 24, 2021

Branch, Celebrating, Christmas

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3: 11). 

Introduction

While this should be the title to a Babylon Bee article, this is becoming a problem in the culture, including the church. It saddens me as a person who believes there is only one race, the human race, that we would classify “white” people as being born racist. Our culture and many churches are telling people to hate people based on the color of their skin and not by the content of their character.[1] Even worse, it says every institution in America is racist, white people are born racist, unable to be rid of racism, and cannot be forgiven.[2]

A Gospel for All

This flies in the face of the gospel which says, “and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses” (Acts 13: 39, ESV). The gospel gives forgiveness of sins to every person who repents and trusts in Jesus. Here are a few examples:

  • “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1: 16, ESV).
  • “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.” (Romans 10: 12. ESV).
  • “But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1: 24, ESV).
  • “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12: 13, ESV).

Passages of Study

If this does not convince one salvation is for people of every ethnicity, social class, and sex, then consider these two passages:

  • “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” (Galatians 3: 28, ESV).
  • “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3: 11, ESV).

Galatians’ Context

Now the context of these passages are very different. Galatians was written by Paul to the church in district of Galatia who were struggling with accepting works of Judaism with the gospel (Galatians 1: 7, 4: 17 – 21, 5: 2 – 12, 6: 12 – 13).[3] Paul warned the Galatians any gospel contrary to the gospel received by faith is a different gospel, and its teachers are accursed (1: 8).

The surrounding context of our passage teaches the law showed everyone is a slave of sin but is not contrary to God’s promises of blessing though Abraham (3: 15 – 22). The promises give the blessing of Abraham to all who believe in Jesus Christ (3: 22). The law taught us we need the grace of Jesus through faith (vv. 23 – 25). Therefore, all are now children of God through faith in Jesus (v. 26).  If all in faith are one in Christ, all believers are spiritual descendants of Abraham, and receive the promises given to him (vv. 28 – 29).

Colossians’ Context

On the other hand, the book of Colossians was written to the Colossian church to combat heresy similar to Gnosticism.[4] The heretics were denying the deity of Jesus Christ, the true humanity of Christ, and the clear reading of Scripture while also embracing certain traits of Judaism.[5] This is why the book of Colossians is one of the most clear letters on both the deity of Jesus Christ and his humanity (Colossians 1: 5 – 20, 2: 9).

The surrounding context makes it clear that because Christ is God and believers’ lives are secure in Him, believers should act in a way which reflects this truth (3: 1 – 10). Believers have been changed from a sinful creature into a new creation in the likeness of Christ (vv. 9b – 10). This means whatever made believers distinct before is now absorbed into a new identity in Christ (v. 11). The verses after our passage reinforce this idea of being chosen by God and living new lives in response to this (vv. 12 – 17).

Conclusion

It is antithetical to the gospel message to say white people are racist, the only racists, can’t stop being racist, and cannot be forgiven. This is illogical and hateful. It is a racist ideology in itself. The gospel message saves everyone who believes that we are sinners who deserve Hell but God in His mercy sent Jesus to live a perfect life, die on the cross to bear the punishment of our sin, and rise from the dead to give us new life (Romans 1: 16 – 3: 26). The proper response to the gospel is to repent, turn from sin, and trust in Jesus to save us from sin.[6]

No, we should not change the name of the song “White Christmas” to “Racist Christmas”. Anyone reading racism into the song has an agenda. But the main point is this agenda known as Critical Race Theory is contrary to the gospel and needs to be rejected. Anyone with any shade of melanin who repents and trusts in Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross will be saved.

If you want to dive deeper in your understanding in biblical interpretation, check out the resources section at strivingforeternity.org/store. There are tons of biblical resources to help you grow in your faith. Lord bless you.

[1] Voddie T. Baucham, Faultlines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe, (Washington D.C., Salem Publishing, 2021). 122

[2] Ibid. 69 – 93.

[3] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible: ESV, (Wheaton, Illinois, Crossway Publishing, 2010). 1739.

[4] Ibid. 1782.

[5] Full Ibid.

[6] Check out this gospel presentation at https://www.livingwaters.com/are-you-a-good-person/

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