History vs. Racism
When called upon to defend his preaching to the Jewish leaders of the time, Peter the Apostle replied,
"…Men of Israel why do you marvel at this … you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of Life…"
- Acts 3:12,14-15
In this passage Luke (a Jew) quotes Peter (a Jew) as he addresses the leaders of the Jewish people (all Jews). It is interesting to note that Peter placed the blame for the death of Jesus (also a Jew) squarely at the doorstep of his own people. In other words, a Jew, denouncing other Jews for the execution of an innocent countryman.
Many today back away from making the claim that Peter so clearly made at the time, labeling it some form of racism. But Peter, accusing fellow Jews of hypocrisy and murderous intent is not racism, it is history. To say this and repeat it as part of the gospel record is simply to repeat what the people of that day and time experienced and saw.
Racism is hatred based strictly on culture. Its root is fear and ignorance. It is anti-Christian because the Bible teaches that all men are created by God and their souls are equally precious in His sight (I Timothy 2:4).
To recognize that the Jewish nation of the 1st century largely rejected Christ and participated in His death is history. To recognize that, for the most part, the Jewish nation of today continues to reject Jesus as the Messiah is a constant reason for prayer and remains our greatest evangelistic challenge.