"From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth."
– Acts 17:26a
You can see it in today’s headlines. Although race relations in
have made some real headway,
we have a long way to go. There is still far too much distrust, resentment and
hatred between Americans of different skin colors. Last month’s events in America ,
along with many other tragedies in recent years, have demonstrated that
reality. Charlottesville, Virginia
Now, let’s be honest. Politicians can’t fix the problem; legislation does not fix hatred. Our schools can’t fix the problem; they’ve tried, with only modest success. And for the 10 people in our country who still think that
has the solutions to our most pressing problems, let me just tell you
can’t fix the problem. Hollywood
So if the answer to racism is not found in government or in our schools or even in
where is it found? The answer to racism is in God’s word. The Apostle Paul
addressed this point when he was describing the “unknown god” to the religious
leaders and teachers in Tinsel Town .
As Paul spoke to these pagan leaders, he focused on God’s role as Creator:
“From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth;
and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should
live” (Acts 17:26). Athens
Paul revealed to the Greek religious leaders a fact that many today are ignorant of: We all have a common ancestry. Contrary to the theory of evolution, our ancestors were not Curious George and the Grape Ape. Every human being on earth is a descendant of ONE man and ONE woman. Period. God made one man and one woman, and every single ethnic group—every nation, every tribe, every clan, every person—is a descendant of that one Adam and that one Eve. Which means that when someone asks the question, “How many races are there?” the Biblical answer is: ONE.
So the first Biblical answer to racism addresses the ignorance of the human mind. We’re all cousins, descended from Adam and Eve. The Bible has been saying this for 3,500 years, and yet science has only recently confirmed it. Surprise, surprise—they’ve discovered that there isn’t a “race” chromosome in our DNA. Every human being is part of one species, homo sapiens. Our differences in skin color, hair color and eye shape are nothing but minor physical differences that have absolutely no bearing on the facts: We are all part of one single race. We should stop using the term “races.” There are different cultures and different ethnic groups, but there is only one human race.
So, it stands to reason that we should start treating everyone we meet as a family member created and loved by God. Which leads us to the second Biblical answer to racism: Our hearts must be changed. No matter our age, gender or ethnic background, we are all in the same boat spiritually. Before we become followers of Christ, we are all living in spiritual darkness. In other words, we’re all drowning in sin. And the Bible is clear that one of the sins that is prevalent in the darkness of this world is hateful prejudice—racism. And racism is always, first and foremost, a sin of the heart.
Cardiologists tell us that in certain instances severely damaged hearts need to be replaced. Similarly, a spiritually corrupt heart needs a spiritual heart transplant. And only God can do that. Only God can transform a hard heart into a soft heart. Only God can strip away our hate and replace it with love. Only God can transform a hate-mongering racist into a tender-hearted man of God who loves his neighbor as himself.
From God’s perspective, there is only one race: the human race. And from God’s perspective, there are only two groups within the human race: those who are groping around in the darkness and those who are living with Christ in the light. As a Christian, you have been chosen by Christ and set apart from the rest of the world. So, when you come across people living in darkness who are filled with hatred and prejudice, what do you do?
First, you pray. Then you stand with Christ as part of the one human race. You love your neighbor as you love yourself. You love him regardless of his skin color. You love him regardless of his ethnic background. You love him regardless of how he dresses or how many tattoos or body piercings he has. You love him regardless of his personality and even regardless of whether or not he likes you.
Don’t get pulled into the hate. Don’t get pulled into the bitterness. Don’t get pulled into the prejudice. That’s part of your old life. That’s part of the darkness. And you’re not living in darkness anymore. In the words of 1 Peter 2:9, you’re part of “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,visit www.fccvv.com and join us for worship Sundays at 10 a.m.