Opinion: My Identity is in Christ, not my skin color, sexual orientation or gender
Christians should aim to find their identity in Christ and not in superficial qualities or traits.
“Gay Pride,” “Black Power” and “Women’s Rights” are terms frequently thrown into the ether if you pay attention to the political climate.
If you are in the LGBTQ+ community, there is significant pressure to be “proud” and align yourself with the community. I’ve met many gay people who told me how they aren’t fond of the LGBTQ+ community because they put so much emphasis on who they desire to sleep with rather than other qualities.
One example is Rob Smith, who happens to not only be black but also gay, conservative and a Trump supporter. This is a man who doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of what it means to be black or gay.
According to Pew Research, “About half of black adults (52%) say being black has hurt their ability to get ahead at least a little, with 18% saying it has hurt a lot.” This belief that black adults have is conjecture and shows us just how much black people view their skin color as an important part of their identity. As a black man myself, I have felt the pressure of wanting to believe everything about my identity comes from my skin color.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race,” when referring to the family of God. Why are so many people of color being forced to choose between their communities and the family they’re supposed to have been adopted into?
In an article Smith wrote for Fox News, he said, “I love God and God loves me. I came to a deeper understanding of that particular fact after a tour in Iraq while I proudly served in the U.S. Army. Wartime service in combat helps you see the world in a completely different way.”
Smith is a man that sees his identity not in his sexual orientation or skin color but in the idea that God loves him and he loves Him back.
“Whether or not others interpret Christianity in the same way I do is none of my concern,” Smith said. “Whether or not they believe I was born gay is also none of my concern until it starts to negatively impact my life. In 2019 it does not.”
Searching through scripture to see how it applies to your race, sexual orientation or class is idolatry disguised as social justice. Paul says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
God’s endgame is that you spend eternity with Him. If you seek for your life to be comfortable without ever being offended, but ignore the evergreen question on where you will be when you enter the afterlife, you have misunderstood Christianity.
We believe Christianity is about being a good person on earth and that is how you maintain a relationship with God, when in fact, it is about being a bad person yet still being called His friend. We find conflict in our sins but ignore the benefits of grace. Am I saying it is okay to sin because grace is ever present? Certainly not! I am saying that God is the holy counterbalance to our loss.
Our sins should not keep us away from a relationship with Him. Where before, as non-believers, we were completely thrown into chaos, as Believers, we are able to live a balanced life until we meet perfection when we stand with Christ in Heaven. Revelation 7:9 reads, “Behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”
Social justice tells us to fight for marriage equality on earth, yet there is no marriage in Heaven (Matthew 22:30). It tells us that the color of our skin matters and we’re separated by melanin, but in Heaven, we are one people in Christ. We are told that women are lesser than and must compete with men, but who are we competing with in eternity?
I want to make clear this is not an argument to ignore the problems of this world. It is an argument that says a person cannot truly make an impact in society unless they have their priorities in order. Jesus said if you build your house on sand it will fall, but if you build it on rock it will stand. A Christian whose identity is in their skin color, sexual orientation or gender has their house built on sand and not rock.