Galatians 3:28 says..."There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." [NIV]
I sure like the following paragraph from a much longer editorial by Columnist Walter Williams who is himself an African-American journalist. It seems to me he nailed it. I thank him for doing so.
"Race is no longer the problem that it once was. That doesn't mean there are not white and black bigots or that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated. But what racial discrimination remains is nowhere near the insurmountable barrier it once was. For the most part, white bigots are no longer respected among whites and I look forward to the day when black bigots are no longer respected among blacks......"
Columnist Walter Williams.
What Williams said reminds me of how our message of the gospel sets us straight as Christians on THAT topic whether society ever sees it or not.
Our text at the top says it all.
It goes without saying that for Christians the race issue is settled. We are a new Kingdom people and neither race nor gender is permitted to add or detract from our value or our relationship with each other. Anyone who names Jesus as Lord is equally my brother or sister in the Kingdom of God or the Body of Christ and anyone who denies that is being unbiblical in thought. There is an equality in Kingdom living that society may or may not understand depending on the culture in which, or of which, one is speaking, but it is to be EVER PRESENT in the present Kingdom of God.
Paul's culture of the NT time did not understand this equality and consequently did not permit slaves or women that free status. But the gospel did. And while Paul did not fight the societal distinctions that existed per se, he laid down the Kingdom principles of grace and life that did eventually fight against slavery in any form in the mind and lifestyle of believers. One would hope that our culture would follow suit, but whether it does or not, the Kingdom remains our hope in this matter.
Women and slaves were chattel property basically in the NT times but that did not keep Paul from declaring a different thing for the Kingdom while not taking on gender or slavery per se. [As you are aware "per se" means "in and of itself."] Paul had only one focus and that was the doing and dying of Jesus and the resulting grace embodied in any human who is found to be in Christ. It's called "The Gospel."
Eventually, Christians, as people "in Christ," had to learn to live totally different than their society as they made full application of that gospel and that difference was to be seen in slaves, females, husbands and wives, and every relationship one might can have with another person. Christians WERE different that's for sure. But they were ONE with each other in value AND relationships when the gospel did it's work. "You shall know the Truth [Jesus] and the Truth shall set you free,"
As said already, all this does NOT dispute the fact that people ARE DIFFERENT whether it be race, gender, age, abilities, strengths, giftedness, and a host of things left unmentioned. But the Body of Christ is not to be structured or viewed on the basis of any of those differences. We are to use our differences, under His anointing and authority, for the good of all and I believe, when properly understood, the scriptures will not allow for value OR relationships to be based on anything in our differences, but the grace of God alone.
This is not to say that the color of skin does not remain white or black or red or yellow and people don't remain male or female or deny that one does not remain young or old, obviously. But that is only a biological reality that does NOT alter the biblical reality.
Using Walter Williams words in this context I would say that I look forward to the day when racial bigots or gender bigots are no longer respected among anyone in Kingdom living. Then we ALL could serve our Lord by loving and serving each other as the highest privilege we have as we live out the gospel while sharing it with our world. This is the example that act as light and salt yo our culture and what a difference that can make. I think it all needs to begin in me. How about you?
You can tell I believe there is only ONE head of the Body, the Church, or the Kingdom and only ONE Lord and issues such as race, marriage, or church relationships in Kingdom living are not to be one of "authority over" [men rule and women submitting for example] but one of serving "one another" out of our giftedness and uniqueness under His authority. He rules and we all submit and serve Him and one another.