In changing times and as cultural identities evolve, a constant issue has been and seems always will be the struggle of favoritism and discrimination of people who look and act different. Even God’s people struggle with this issue to this day. How we address the issue is not found in worldly political strategies and policies but in the truths in Holy Scripture and the Characteristics of God himself.
First we need to wipe our minds of what the world has taught us how to view racial favoritism and discrimination. There is only one Race, the human race. To state there is a ‘black’ race or a ‘white’ race is thinking the way the world wants you to think so that people are generalized and marginalized. These concepts of ‘black’ people and ‘white’ people are human constructs and do not actually exist. Proven by the fact that light skin individuals can be considered ‘black’ and dark skinned individuals can be considered ‘white’. This construct of ‘race’ can not be based on where the person’s family linage is from; because we are all from the same place and same people. This then brings us to the defining factor and WHO decides what defines a ‘race’
Humanistic Construct of ‘Race’
Someone decided to be ‘black’ you have to be descended from (a) Africa and subscribe to certain sub-cultural (b) behaviors and (c) ideals [including languages]. These three culturally normative rules define what it is to be ‘black’ (or any ‘race’). Who decided this? This construct has been around in various forms throughout human history. In ancient history, where you were from, defined you. Because where you were from incorporated the ideals and behaviors of that region. Our first big questions is; Is this social construct part of God’s original design for Humanity?
Even evolutionary biologist agree that all the different human ‘races’ came from one common ancestor and that all humans have the same melanin in our skins cells that give us the various shades of skin pigment (Gen 3:20). Biologist also know that it only takes a few generations to get very distinct people groups with various shades of melanin. From Adam to Noah, people seemed to have lived together. They shared the same language and locations. Then God dispersed them and confused their language. In this dispersion some people would have went to different climate regions and created different daily habits causing the different melanin shades, behaviors, and ideals over the generations.
9 Generations of long living people from Adam to Noah all with the same language and general regions (Gen 4,5,11,12). The children from Noah’s children became more and more diverse in culture and physical appearance by specific isolation in that gene pool in each splintered people group (Gen 10-11). This example image helps understand the genetics and the gene pool isolation possible outcomes:
The same is true for physical features such as hair and eye thickness and color. Eye shape, noise size, lip, chin, head, and muscle density; all in DNA in each isolated people group developing the common genetics over the generations. The Holy Spirit declares there is only one race but many ‘pre-appointed’ unique people groups in their regions (Acts 17:26).
So back to our question: Yes and No. Human DNA shows that even if the world did not sin, God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. In filling the earth and multiplying, there would be these genetic variations- unrelated to sin. These genetic variations were ‘pre-appointed’ by a the Holy Almighty Creator. BUT the cultural variations in the behavior and ideals were NOT. God confused the languages and dispersed the people for a negative reason- because of the sin in the human heart.
Genetic Variations in different people groups is of God. It should be celebrated and respected. Cultural Variations in different people groups is a judgement of God. It was due to the sin in the human heart. This is NOT to say, cultural norms should not be respected and celebrated; most are not wrong inherently, some even can glorify God. BUT there are cultural norms that are sinful.
The current humanistic construct of ‘race’ is NOT of God: It dis-unifies the human race and allows for sinful cultural norms to define and influence an entire people group; which leads to conflict between people groups. The racial definitions are not transcended nor objective but evolve with the heart of whom ever is currently in control of the society that definitions it and is subjective in each generation. The current humanistic construct of ‘race’ actually perpetuates favoritism and discrimination in the human heart. How so?
You may have dark skin, adhere to all the social norms of a particular ‘race’ but may not have any linage to that race’s defined source. Then it would be said that you were not really that race. More commonly in our time is the same rejection of someone due to differing ideals. Someone who identifies as ‘black’ may be rejected and dismissed by the ‘black community’ because of having different ideals. Supporting a political candidate may cause the rejection and dismissal by the current leaders of the ‘black community’. Not supporting a subjective cause which has been declared by leaders of the ‘black community’ as a defining factor would also lead to rejection and dismissing. Labeling and insulting words such as ‘uncle tom’ are used to shun and shame that individual for not conforming to the subjective humanistic social norms of what it means to be ‘black’. It discriminates against individuality and forces favoritism of a particular subjective worldly definition. It is racist and hateful against someone of the same identity. It is hypocritical and slanderous. It is the human heart; perpetuated by a humanistic construct of ‘race’ imposed by prideful and self glorified leaders of the ‘black community’. It is oppressive and enslaving.
The truth that sets free from Identity confusion is resting your identity of what defines you and your individuality in Christ and seek the kingdom of God and his Characteristics. What defines you is not of this world. It is not based on cultural leaders formulating subjective rules that define a racial community; but is only found in Christ and defined by God alone.
When an ideal, behavior, or other people group interferes or threatens the defined construction of the particular ‘race’- an unequal unbalanced form of discrimination is imposed on that which is threatening, greatly favoring that which feels threatened. It sacrifices the sovereignty of one people group for the unequal favoritism of the other. This will continue to happen because it is an ever changing construct of evolving definitions of ‘races’. The humanistic construct itself has built within itself the propensity for discrimination and unequal favoritism caused by the continual conflict of people groups and their collective wants and needs. This too is oppressive and enslaving because the construct itself does not allow for an escape from conflict and peace except through forced favoritism through forced ‘justified’ discrimination. To say one people group matter while remaining silent as another people group is slandered and discriminated against is unequal favoritism as well. Long term forced focus on one people group alienates other people groups. Continues to perpetuate inequality through favoritism and the disunity of humanity.
Within each constructed ‘race’ there are norms that systematically ensures the humanistic construct continues. In each ‘race’, acceptable generalizations are made and taught. Even generalizations about the ‘race’ its self ensures that the subjective humanistic identity continues within the constructed race. The hypocrisy is when a generalization from a different people group is imposed, then generalizing is seen as discrimination; when within that group, generalizing was acceptable. For example: “Black people are criminals” is deemed racist and wrong BUT “White people are wealthy” is seen as acceptable. Both are generalizations based on a socially constructed idea about an entire people group based on the subjective definitions of their ‘race’. Realistically and logically, both statements are discriminating and hypocritical judgemental ideals.
Also read Social Justice and The Church
Another form of unholy social norms taught within particular people groups are subjective ideas of justified reasons to hate and cause violence. Because the reasons to hate are ‘justified’ within the ‘race’, it is not viewed as hate. Because the justification for violence is seen as ‘just’ it is not seen as violent. Committing heinous and unnecessary crimes to ‘survive’, creating and supporting violent resistance to simple government laws, and imposing ‘justified’ generalizations of other people groups while going on witch hunts and ‘race-bait’ for undesirable generalizations are taught social norms within a people group that do harm to the people itself. These generationally taught norms perpetuate the enslaving effect of the humanistic systematic construct of ‘race’ and maintain the blindness of the morally corrupt which is justifying hate and violence.
Also read Rioting Christians?
Ultimately when a people group is taught that they themselves are not responsible for their own decisions in the society but instead is due to historic injustices or a prejudice system and then impose unjust sanctions on another hypocritically generalized people group because of unrelated historic events; that people group are prevented from individual development through accountability and correction. Essentially, lack of responsibility and accountability perpetuate their enslaving to the humanistic system of constructed races in combination with all the other effects of the constructed racial systematic divide.
Hypocritical judgementalism, blind hatred, accepted discrimination, allowed inequality, forced favoritism, condoning and committing violence, silence in the face of hypocrisy, support and action of breaking just laws, slander and generalize other people groups, lack of accountability and responsibility; all are unholy social norms built in a humanistic constructed subjective definition of races that which perpetuates the enslavement of the mind and soul of a society that believes in and embraces the humanistic constructed subjective definition of their ‘race’.
Also read Racism and God
WHO Tells You What To Think
Where you taught to believe you belong to a particular racial group because you meet the qualities you were told? Are you ‘black’ or ‘white’ because you have dark skin, act, speak, and think a certain way? Are you afraid of betraying your race if you change your ideals? Who told you what it means to betray a racial definition that you did not define? Are you an individual defined by God or a humanistic subjective construct of what someone else says you are? Are you free to be an individual?
Those who have been granted faith in Jesus Christ have put to death their flesh and raised to a new life in Christ. Their minds have been renewed and have been given a new heart. Their eyes have been opened to see God and they have been BORN AGAIN. They are not their old self. They are no longer bound to their flesh and the limitations of it. They are a NEW creation. They are given a new life and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Their identity is IN Christ, not in the flesh. They may be defined as ‘black’ by the world, but are define as a Child of God which transcends how pigmented their skins is. God is the greatest and most important defining factor in their life for all eternity. They are not a black-Christian, or white-Christian, all are equally are eternally Christian. There is NOTHING that makes being Christian better and there is nothing lacking when in Christ.
Also read Radicalized Christians?
God’s Construction of ‘Race’
God made man in his image. All shades and physical features is the unique Human Race created by God and set a part from all other creation. Each person, given their own unique qualities for the purpose of serving God in the community they were called out of while simultaneously remaining unified with the rest of the body of Christ made up of all nations.
- Romans 10:12 – “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is
Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;”
- Gal 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man,
there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- Colossians 3:11 – “a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew,
circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman,
but Christ is all, and in all.”
There are worldly humanistic labels and dividing distinctions that define people; and break up unity of humanity but only two ways for God; those who worship God and those who do not. The world divides up, subjectively defines and labels, then marginalizes for the purposes of unequal favoritism and unjust discrimination. God divides up for the purpose of graceful eternal salvation and the need for eternal salvation from his perfect righteous justice.
All Christians are called out of a culture in the world, reborn, renewed, and equipped to re-enter the world as a missionary to find the rest of the lost sheep; to make known the grace of God. For those who come out of the ‘Black community’ or ‘Latin community’ are specifically equipped to go back as a missionary for those communities. But again, they are no longer defined by the community they came out of. Their citizenship is of heaven now. This is the mistake Peter made and the mistakes many Christians make now. They return to their familiar community and alienate everyone else. They show favoritism for the specific community they came out of and neglect the rest of their Christian family from all other communities. Favoritism and neglect are harmful to missions and the body of Christ as a whole. This goes against the grain of the worldly constructed expectations for people. The church needs to show that Black Lives Matter for example, without neglecting, belittling, and alienating the rest of the body of Christ form all the other people groups. To show the world the unity of God that can only be seen through The Body of Christ who is made up of all people.
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