Your Theology Won’t Let You Be Colorblind

Elizabeth Behrens

Much ink has been spilled on how the concept of colorblindness is not only unhelpful, but actively harmful. Yet, people who want to claim they don’t see color, or say things such as, “there’s only one race: the human race” are plentiful. You can see them come out in droves in the comment section of any online article touching on race or racism.  

The response is usually people of color begging them to see their “colorblind” words are hurtful and diminishes their (POC) lives. So I have a word for my fellow White Christian brothers and sisters.  Not only are your words hurtful, they are unbiblical. It’s time to examine not only how your words affect others, but your theology as well.

The Image of God

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them.” Genesis 1:27

With these words, we have the creation of the Imago Dei: man and woman made in God’s very likeness. From that point forward, every man, woman, and child would continue to bear the stamp of “God’s own likeness”. The woman in East Asia is the image of God. The man in sub-Saharan Africa is the image of God. The child in Sweden is the image of God. The Native people of South America, Aboriginal people of Australia, Pacific Islanders, are all image bearers.  

Why It Matters

God did not do this by mistake. Each human is a glimpse, a reflection of who God is. In God’s all-knowing, perfect design, he did not make us all to look the same. The God we worship is so indescribable, infinite, and beyond our imagination that a single person cannot give us a full picture of the image of God. So he gave us a range of color, experience, culture, and lens through which to view his world — so that we, through loving and living amongst one another, could piece together a fuller, exquisite, and robust picture of this God we serve.  

When we as White believers, in our attempts to bring peace to racial conflict and stress, choose to pretend we do not see this array of God’s image, we are choosing to not view the fullness of our Lord. We are choosing to diminish his glorious creation, and this gift we have been given to acutely see and know our Savior. We take something God created intentionally, and say we don’t want it. We would rather pretend it doesn’t exist than do the hard work of reconciliation for how sin has damaged how image bearers relate to and treat one another. Our love for Jesus and our theology call us to do better.

6 thoughts on “Your Theology Won’t Let You Be Colorblind

  1. Christian

    Goofy (in theology and historical context). When the gospel is not enough … nothing is enough. As a “white” (whatever that means) Christian when my fellowship with others focuses on the majesty of Christ I have yet to experience a lack of depth, let alone “…unhelpful … actively harmful … hurtful … diminish(ing)…” reactions. There is ONE solution to the sinfulness of humanity. Sadly it’s lacking even in reformed responses.

  2. Gary

    What RAAN refers to as “colorblindness” is in fact the actual teaching of the New Testament in regards to ethnicity.

  3. Scott M Roney

    Colorblindness is better than prejudice. But it still involves intentional denial of two aspects of reality: the reality that God has chosen to create us with diversity to fully express His image, and the reality that we live in a fallen world where racism still exists. Because of the latter reality, colorblindness is a luxury that people of color cannot afford.

  4. Andrew Costa

    I am so confused by this article. I always thought “colorblindness” was just treating everyone with kindness regardless of their skin color? Also, is the author suggesting that we are not all of one race?

  5. Mark Mollenkof

    Well written. Thank you Elizabeth.

  6. Steph Nannen

    Great post, Elizabeth!

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