Webster’s dictionary defines racism as, “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” This world has seen many racists, some famous and some are not. It was rarely reported of Muhammad Ali’s racist remarks throughout his life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HBnc8YNaaQ), but nevertheless, he was a blatant unapologetic racist. We all know of the KKK and men like David Duke, but when a racist runs for president, it’s shocking! Donald Trump has made many unapologetic racist remarks and has a large following. It doesn’t make him right, but it shows that America has many racists who are willing to make him president. Historically, men like Adolph Hitler were racists, who attempted to make a pure race, but failed. What does the bible say about racism?
All of mankind was made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Jesus himself was made also in the image of God (2 Cor 4:4). The Bible teaches that there are many nationalities, but there is one genetic race known as mankind. When Eve was named by Adam, she was named so because “she was the mother of all living” (Gen 3:20). The “all” is significant. It means that every man and woman can trace their ancestry back to Adam and Eve. As Paul told the Athenians, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). While many of their children sinned against God, one man, Noah, remained faithful. When God destroyed the world Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their three wives were saved. Hence, every person in this world can trace their lineage back to Noah and to one of his three sons. “Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated” (Gen 9:18-19).
Genesis 11:1-9 records the origin of our various nationalities and languages. After the flood, mankind violated God’s command to fill the earth; instead, they attempted to settle in one area. They formed a building project to create a name for themselves, possibly to further encourage people to remain. “And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’” (Gen 11:4). God stopped the project by altering the language of each family. Since communication then became impossible, mankind began to scatter across the earth. Genesis 10 records the various nations that result from this scattering. Over 95% of these founding fathers have been located in our histories.
When Miriam and Aaron arose against Moses for marrying a Ethiopian woman, God intervened and plagued Miriam with leprosy. If not for Moses, God would have left her that way (Nu 12:1-15). Abraham also married Keturah and had 6 sons with her (Gen 25). He also fathered a son, Ishmael, from the bond woman Hagar, an Egyptian (Gen 25:12). God never commanded the races to be pure. God never said that he forbade the races from intermarriage. God made only one race, the human race, for we are all one through Adam who was formed in the image of God. Therefore, those who are racists truly think themselves better (highminded) than others based upon the color of their skin. We are commanded not to be highminded (Rom 11:20 ff; 1 Tim 6:17; 2 Tim 3:4). Racists hate others based upon the color of one’s skin color. Hate is equated with murder which is a sin (1 Jn 3:15).
It really doesn’t matter what the skin color is of any of our ancestors because to God we are all one. “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:35). We are all offered the same hope of salvation. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). This was the promise of the new covenant, the people from every nation would flow into the kingdom of Christ. “Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him” (Dan7:14). The gospel is preached “to those who dwell on the earth–to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6). John’s vision of heaven was one of “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Rev 7:9).
The gospel is to be taught all. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:19-20). No one is to be excluded. For one nationality to place itself above any other would be sinful. As God is no respecter of people, neither can be His people. Rather than seeking to divide, we must seek to fulfill Christ’s dream of becoming one. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21).
When will the day come when all of mankind will be known by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin? The day when all of mankind becomes a faithful Christian, and loves their neighbor as themselves, and loves one another as Christ also loved us! (Gal 5:14 f; Jn 13:34)