Timothy Keller

When Jesus explains “You shall not murder” (Matthew 5:21), he says if you treat someone with contempt, calling him or her ‘Raca’ or ‘fool,’ you are violating the principle of the command and are “in danger of the fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22). To modern ears this seems excessive, but behind the sixth commandment is the doctrine of the image of God as expounded in James 3. It is a sin to treat any class or group unequally, as being less worthy of respect, love, and protection.

Next to sex and gender, the subject of race is the most discussed topic in our culture today. Storms of rhetoric and conflict swirl around it every day in politics, the arts, business, the media, and especially social media. It is natural and right for Christians to speak in these conversations out of their personal experience, but since we believe that the Bible has the right to interpret our experience and to critique every culture, we must look to it as our final authority.