Have you ever said or done something that was miscontrued or taken out of context by someone else? Early this year ('09), I posted on Facebook an email we received that consisted of a “joke” that made a poignant point about socialism in our nation. The anecdote told of a new immigrant who sought to thank an American for free health care, free education, etc. He spoke to different ones of various nationalities only to be told by each one that they were not American. Finally, he asked, “Where are the Americans?” and was told, “Probably at work!” The point to the story is that Americans are paying for the freebies.
Though many of the responses were positive or well-meaning, it was very surprising to see negative responses from Christians who thought the joke was “racist” or that it could be taken as such! However, no one pointed out exactly WHAT in the story gave rise to this accusation. The story mentions countries or continents like “Russia,” “Mexico,” ”Vietnam,” or “Africa,” but these are NOT ”races” nor are they “racial characteristics” like skin color or eye shape. In short, there couldn’t be ”racism” in the story. It could only be there if that is the reader’s perspective. If there had been the slightest inference to “racism” in the story, I would not have posted it in the first place. However, since it did turn out to be a lightning rod for the subject of people groups or ”races,” I thought it a wonderful and necessary opportunity to broach this critical subject.
What is race and why do we so often hear or refer to races? The Scriptural view of “race” is that we ALL are of the “human race.”
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;(Act 17:26 KJV)
Any differences that humans have physically in skin tone, eye shape, or other unchangeable characteristic is ultimately the result of the dispersion at the Tower of Babel. At that major event in world history, mankind rebelled against God’s command to “fill the earth” and said,
Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.(Gen 11:4 KJV)
However, God had a different plan! He changed one language (most likely ancient Hebrew) into many languages and brought about the greatest of changes in humanity. In light of this, there are a number of factors we must consider:
1. God established the languages.
2. Many languages exist today.
3. Similarities exist between languages or groups of languages.
4. Using Scripture, we can discern that ancient Hebrew was the language of Adam.
5. A language barrier from Babel would have caused the separation of people groups.
6. Intermarriage within a separated group would have isolated various physical characteristics.
7. Disunity that exists among people today over ‘race’ is "not skin, but sin.”
In reality, what we see today as “race” is nothing more than the results of the Biblical event called the Tower of Babel! We may then ask, “Why are there such divisions over “race”? For one, we know that God is not the author of confusion:
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.(1Co 14:33 KJV)
Who then is the “author of confusion”? It is none other than Satan! He is the one who seeks to bring confusion where God’s design is clear. His lie to Eve,
Yea, hath God said…
…created doubt in her mind as to what God had clearly said. Based upon this founding premise, he then denied the very word of God:
Ye shall not surely die…
After this, he was able to draw her into disobedience by exalting her to equality with God, deifying mankind.
…your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods.
It is interesting to note the double-speak of Satan as he used the word elohim, a word that is also used for the LORD. It is a plural-unity: a word that is singular and plural at the same time. Literally, Satan was saying that Eve could be like the one true God! Then, she and God would be more than one god and NEITHER would be supreme!
As Satan causes confusion regarding the people groups so often referred to as “races,” he follows the same pattern. Through evolutionary, humanistic teaching in schools and in society as a whole, he has created great division even among God’s people through a false view of people groups. Through a belief that men are related to an ape-like ancestor “millions of years ago,” he creates doubt in God’s Record, particularly of Genesis. This doubt leads to a denial that the Word of God is trustworthy as an historical account of mankind. Rather, it is a “story” that teaches truth. Finally, the lie leads some to think that they are in charge (”as gods”) of their lives.
Adolph Hitler was one such individual. He was religious, yet he believed Jews were the lowest evolved of the "races," and therefore unfit to live. He based his beliefs upon the teachings of Charles Darwin, who was a racist. The full title of Darwin’s book is often not included because of its racism:
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.
Evolution, when applied to humans, is a devastating and destructive belief! It has even caused a great deal of confusion among Bible-believing Christians who believe what they hear from numerous untrustworthy sources. We hear terms such as “race” or “racism” so often, but the meaning is unclear because of confusion in society that stems from the teaching of evolution in our schools as a “fact of science,” a world view without God.
The Word of God is like eyeglasses. Where “fuzziness” about any subject exists in our culture today, we can put on the Bible glasses and see that subject more clearly from the standpoint of God’s design. There should not be “frenzy” among Bible-believing Christians over a simple anecdote that mentions nationalities! Rather, we should expose folly over an incorrect and unBiblical view of the various people groups, and bring the subject of “races” to the light of God’s Word, the One Who made us all “of one blood” (Acts 17:26).