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Does The Bible Talk About Race

Listen Learn Lament Lead

Bible on Racism

Listen: Seek to hear rather than be heard. Seek to understand rather than be understood. Increased awareness will increase understanding.

Learn: While you cannot stand in another persons shoes, you can learn from his or her experience in this world. Taking a humble, teachable posture validates that their experience can be different than yours and may empower you to walk alongside your friend more effectively.

Lament: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. The ability to grieve with those who grieve as well as take responsibility for any part you may have played in their pain creates connection and trust.

Lead: Once understanding is gained, connection is established and trust is earned, you can now walk together into expanded conversations and actions that strengthen your relationship with one another and influence others in your life who need to join the journey of awareness and action.

Watch more about how to listen, learn, lament and lead >

Origin Of People Groups

Those with darker skin tend to live in warmer climates, while those withlighter skin tend to live in colder climates. Why are certain characteristicsmore prominent in some areas of the world?

We know that Adam and Eve were the first two people. Their descendantsfilled the earth. However, the worlds population was reduced to eight duringthe Flood of Noah. From these eight individuals have come all the tribes andnations. It is likely that the skin shade of Noah and his family was middlebrown. This would enable his sons and their wives to produce a variety ofskin shades in just one generation. Because there was a common language andeverybody lived in the same general vicinity, barriers that may have preventedtheir descendants from freely intermarrying werent as great as they are today.Thus, distinct differences in features and skin color in the population werentas prevalent as they are today.

In Genesis 11 we read of the rebellion at the Tower of Babel. God judgedthis rebellion by giving each family group a different language. This made itimpossible for the groups to understand each other, and so they split apart,each extended family going its own way, and finding a different place to live.The result was that the people were scattered over the earth.29

If we were to travel back in time to Babel, and mix up the people into completely different family groups, then people groups with completely different characteristics might result.

What Does The Bible Say About Racial Injustice

Racism is a major topic in this election cycle. Racism is a sin that has existed throughout human history, and, like all sin, is one that we as believers should be actively trying to eradicate.

Weve discussed the sin of racism more in-depth elsewhere, but here is a brief overview of biblical principles that we can use to examine ourselves and evaluate political candidates.

Racism, like all sin, will not be fully eliminated from the world until Jesus returns. However, we should still actively work to eradicate racism from our own lives and communities. Do not give up, and do not grow weary of doing good to everyone .

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Racism And Indigenous Americans

The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that ones own race is superior.

Many European explorers characterized the indigenous peoples they encountered as heathen and considered their race and culture to be inferior by nature. Many claimed that such people could be transformed by the introduction of Christianity and European customs.

One colonist described native Americans as having little of Humanitie but shape, ignorant of Civilitie, of Arts, of Religion more brutish than the beasts they hunt, more wild and unmanly than the unmanned wild Countrey, which they range rather than inhabite captivated also to Satans tyranny in foolish pieties, mad impieties, wicked idlenesse, busie and bloudy wickednesse.

Bible Study Day Five: 10 Bible Verses That Address Racism

What does the Bible say about race?
  • Romans 2:11: For God shows no partiality.
  • Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  • John 7:24: Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.

  • Acts 10:34-35: So Peter opened his mouth and said: Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

  • Colossians 3:11: Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free but Christ is all, and in all.

  • Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

  • Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

  • Revelations 7:9: After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.

  • James 2:9: But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

  • Romans 10:12: For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

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A Ministry Of Presence

Ive had the privilege to oversee the celebration of life of many dear people who have gone to be with the Lord. The circumstances surrounding these gatherings are varied some responded to the death of their loved ones with relief, while other situations were tragic and emotionally charged. Very often, before these events, I would be approached by an acquaintance who had no idea what to say or do in the presence of those who are in pain. My response has always been the same, Thats OK. You dont have to know what to say or do your presence is your ministry.

Jesus knew the power of presence. As he called his disciples, the first descriptor of their discipleship was that they might be with him . Presence with Jesus was a part of their training. God uses our presence to:

  • Honor

When it comes to present-day issues surrounding injustice and race, the lack of the presence of the evangelical church has been discouraging to people of color and culture, while the absence of their voice has been deafening.

As we have seen from previous installments of this conversation, the church was designed to be a voice that speaks out against injustice and a presence that intervenes for the marginalized and oppressed. The power of the churchs presence in these situations would be hard to deny or ignore. We have to learn how to stand with and speak for friends, fellow congregants and the people of our community when they have been treated unfairly. Our presence can be powerful.

What Does The Bible Say About Racism Prejudice And Discrimination

The first thing we need to agree upon when talking talking about this topic is that there is really only one racethe human race. For example, Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indians, Arabs, and Jews are not different races they are different ethnicities within the one human race. Other than minor variations, all human beings have the same basic physical traits, and every person is made in the image and likeness of God Himself .

How cool is that? We get to have similar characteristics as God, such as creativity and having a spirit. And He loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to lay down His life for us. When John 3:16 refers to the “world,” it is talking about the entire human raceall ethnic groups, religions, subcultures, and social cliques included.

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What Does The Bible Say About Interracial Dating And Marriage

Is there anything in the Bible that forbids people from different ethnic origins from marrying or dating? Can an African-American marry an Anglo-Saxon? Is it biblical to have a Hispanic or Latino person marry a Native American? Are there any Scriptures that address this issue?

First Samuel 16:7b says, The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Genetic Variation Is A Gift From God

What The Bible Says About Race and Racism

From a biological standpoint, we were made with the potential for ethnic expansion thanks to the marvelous mechanism for variation packaged within the human genetic reservoir by our Creator.

Certain traits persist in groups where there is less intermarrying, creating a more static set of traits than in an incredibly rich genetic pool. This is not a value statement, but a genetic fact. When a gene is passed by both parents to his or her offspring, that child will inherit the physical feature or character trait represented such as color of skin, temperament, height, predisposition to a disease or condition, etc. That trait might help the individual to cope with challenges of climate or elevation but does not represent racial inferiority or superiority.

Overall, the more we study the different ethnic groups of man the more alike they turn out to be. In fact, every ethnic group is too similar in their structural and functional characteristics for them to have originated from different apelike forms.

The devil did not create the various races, writes one commentator, God created them and gave them their unique identity. He built His creative masterpiece with all of the ingredients for adaptation to various extremes of temperature for living in high mountains and in desserts for withstanding extreme cold and digesting mostly vegetables or primarily fish.

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Invention Of The Curse Of Ham

A curious belief has arisen among some people about the origin of black-skin coloring. In Genesis 9:20-25 Ham is cursed by his father Noah for his dishonoring Noah in a situation regarding one of Noahs drunken stupors. Some think Ham and his descendants were cursed with black skin.

Some of Hams descendants, Cush and Put, for example, settled in Africa in the present-day countries of Ethiopia and Libya. These misguided people conclude that Cush and Put spread their black skin throughout Africa. Therefore, they conclude that Black Africans are a cursed race and thus inferior to White races. The fact that Ham had many other sons who did not settle in Africa is ignored by them.

This awful premise was often invoked by White people in the Southern United States as biblical proof to justify the institution of slavery. In fact, in Dred Scott v. Sanford in 1856 and a series of other cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Black slaves could not be citizens, were not real human beings and thus had no protection under the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, other rulings concluded that slaves were nothing more or less than the property of their ownerslittle different from horses and plows.

If You Are A Victim Of Racism Prejudice Or Discrimination

If you have been the object of racial hate, prejudice, or discrimination, as hard as it sounds, you must forgive those who have hurt you. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” We may not think racists deserve our forgiveness, but we didn’t deserve Christ’s forgiveness either. Though He was beaten, tortured, and strung up to die a painful death, He still willingly and lovingly said, “Father, forgive them!”

Of course, this does NOT mean that if you are actively being bullied or physically/mentally abused, then you have to roll over and take it. Physically defend yourself enough to get out of the situation, then seek help right away. Talk to a parent or guardian, aunt, uncle, youth pastor, trusted friends, neighbors, teachers, the policeanyone who can get you some help.

This is another reason why it’s so important that we allow God to heal our hearts and forgive others. Not forgiving someone only hurts you more. Just like loving people, forgiving someone can seem impossible. But as Christ is the ultimate example of forgiveness, through Him, nothing is impossible. Allow Him to teach you how forgiveness can set you free from the hate.

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Dont Be Unequally Yoked

It is very interesting that in the section of 2 Corinthians 6, Paul ties intermarriage of believers and unbelievers with idolatry. This is the same warning that God often gave Israel. Second Corinthians 6:14-17 shows the interconnectedness of the marriage of a believer and an unbeliever: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. Paul sees that if we marry someone who is not a believer, it is like trying to harmonize Christ with Belial. Belial is a Greek word which means worthless or wicked and is just another name for Satan. The idea of being unequally yoked goes well back into Israels history. A parallel of this idea was even commanded by God regarding animals: Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together . That is because it creates tension and disharmony. The same principle could be applied in the marriage between a believer and an unbeliever.

Different Skin Colors Are Life Giving

What does the Bible say about Racism?

Different skin colors are not a curse. They are life giving.

Different skin colors are not a curse. They are life giving. Certainly you have noticed that as we move farther north from the hot Tropics, to the more moderate Temperate Zones, to the frigid Arctic, skin colors gradually morph from deep black to pale white .

Why is there such a variety of skin colors and shades? No one knows for certain. Multiple reasons exist. Let me mention two.

Skin color is due primarily to the presence of a pigment in the skin called melanin. Melanin gives skin its color. Dark-skinned people have more melanin than light-skinned people. Two forms are producedpheomelanin, which is red to yellow in color, and eumelanin, which is dark brown to black. People with light complexions mostly produce pheomelanin, while those with dark-colored skin mostly produce eumelanin.

Melanin acts as a sunscreen and protects the skin from ultraviolet light. Since the deadly skin cancer melanoma often results from extreme exposure to the sun, dark skin with more melanin effectively limits the effects of long exposure to the sun, thus reducing the risk of skin cancer. By the way, freckles, which occur in people of all races, are small, concentrated areas of increased melanin production.

Editors note: A version of this article was published on Preach It, Teach It.

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What Does The Bible Say About Racism

Scripture teaches that God created all human beings in his image. There is no exception to that, and being made in Gods image makes each person valuable and precious. There is no hierarchy of human beings demonstrated throughout Scripture. Jesus came so that all may be saved.

The Bible makes it clear that racism is wrong and entirely contradictory to Gods command to love our neighbors, His unconditional love, and the teachings of Jesus.

We also want to offer you a to help us keep oureyes on Christ and our hearts surrendered to Him as we trust Him toheal His people and transform our land

How To Fight Racismby Jemar Tisby

The Bible has something to say about race and racism. But looking to the Bible for explicit racial terms such as Black and white will likely leave you confused. The Bible, written over the course of centuries by dozens of different authors in various cultures and contexts, does not speak of race in the same terms as people in the United States in the 21st century. When Bible translations use the word race, they generally mean it in one of two ways. The first is in reference to the human race, and this is usually to emphasize the unified origins of our common humanity. For instance, some Bibles translate the Hebrew word adam as human race. And he said to the human race, The fear of the Lordthat is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding . In this context, race refers to all human beings without exception. Wisdom, defined in this passage as the fear of the Lord, is something for the entire human raceno matter what their ethnicity or skin color might be.

English translations of the Bible also use the term race to indicate the difference between those who believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and those who do not. The first epistle of Peter reads:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

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