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Are you a GRACIST?

Spyware. Unibrow. Supersize. Do you know what these words mean? They are new listings in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. There are some…

post by Ben Cachiaras

Spyware. Unibrow. Supersize.

Do you know what these words mean? They are new listings in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. There are some other neologisms floating around as well. I’m not sure we really need these new words, but I love the idea of using fresh descriptors to picture a new reality. Check these out:

This past weekend at Mountain we welcomed in my good friend Dr. David Anderson, who is the Sr. Pastor at Bridgeway Community Church .  And he introduced us to a new word he coined. If you were here, you remember it well:


GRACISM is a mixture of two other words:

Racism – to speak, act, or think negatively about someone solely based on color, class, or culture.

Grace – God’s unmerited favor on humankind; unearned, undeserved, & cannot be repaid.

Put the two together and you come up with GRACISM: to extend favor on others in spite of, and sometimes because of their color, class, or culture.

When you realize how much you’ve been GRACED by God, you can’t help but share that blessing on others and the result is a special, care-full, considerate treatment of those who need it the most. Even if they are undeserving. That’s what Jesus’ true followers live like. Grace is beautiful, and it’s the only thing powerful enough to soften the heart calcified by racism.

Gracism is racism with a Big G in front of it. As David reminded us, the G doesn’t stand for GUILT – because every time we talk about race we are supposed to feel guilty or angry or frustrated with the problem of racism. The G stands for God – and when you put God in front of any problem, he will show you a way through it and teach you how to change the ugly into the beautiful. When you put God in front of a racist heart, He has the power to transform me to a GRACIST.

GRACISM is an ingenious way to describe something that is very close to the heart of God. The reality is that race, class, culture, creed, color, tribe, language, wealth, geography, & ethnicity create a world of gaps that divide us. The chasm seems insurmountable.

“They say” stay on your own side of the gap. “They say” keep to your own kind. “They say” don’t trust folk you don’t know or understand. “They say” it will never work, don’t bother, forget it, accept the division.

Here’s what I have figured out: God’s dream is that His love and grace would fill my heart so much that I will in turn seek out people I might otherwise ignore or mistreat, because they are on the far side of the divide from me. God has graced me so I can grace others by being a bridge builder across whatever divides I find.

Where is God calling YOU to be a GRACIST?

Where do you need to extend favor and build a bridge of kindness, welcome, or friendship? 


2 thoughts on “Are you a GRACIST?

  1. Hello. Your friend did not coin this word. It has been around for a long time and used frequently as in, “Don’t be a racist; be a gracist.”

  2. There’s a lot of racism rooted in the human teachings of Christianity, has been since slavery when they used the Bible to convince Africans that slavery was justified. So GRACIST just seems like a safe way to really say that you are in fact, a racist.

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