GRACE AMBASSADORS

5 Bible Cures for Christian Racism

By Justin Johnson

Racism is defined by the Random House Dictionary as:

“A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement”.

The Bible is strongly against this false doctrine. According to the Bible there is only one lineage of men, sharing the same blood, all traced back to Adam, the son of God (Acts 17:26, Rom 5:12, Luke 3:38).

This has not stopped some Bible teachers (Custance [1], Jordan [2], Morris [3], Priest [4], et al.) from wrongly teaching that God has equipped certain races with inherent racial capabilities for higher intellectual and spiritual achievements.

This could be called Christian racism since it is taught by Christian brothers who invoke the Bible and God to defend the teaching of genetic boundaries of achievement on the races. Subtly different from the racism that stems from secular evolution, or the hateful violent variety that ends with mass slaughters, this kind of racism is shrouded in academic sounding language, anthropological apologetics, and speculative stories about Noah’s sons from the Bible.

Its irenic and Biblical sound makes racism taught by Christians all the more dangerous, since its spiritually sweet coating makes the pill of prejudice easier to swallow. The teacher may be friendly, but the teaching is still racism and is contrary to what the Bible actually says[5].

The truth is that no one is born with special racial capabilities or shortcomings. Rather, all men are born with human capabilities, and the Adamic shortcoming of sin. All mankind’s achievements, no matter of whom they are born, will fade like paint on an old Chevy (Isa 40:6-8).

“Hasn’t history shown that most of the spiritual/intellectual/inventive achievements have come from this or that race?”

Let’s say it again, a little differently. Whatever has happened in history, there is no genetic branch of Adam’s family tree that possesses inherent (genetic, racial, or otherwise) capabilities for higher intellectual or spiritual achievement more than another.

“But didn’t God choose one people Israel to separate from other nations and to rule over them?”

God created the nation Israel and gave them his promise for earthly dominion, but it was not because the sons of Shem, Abraham, and Jacob had superior racial capabilities for spiritual understanding (Deut 7:7). Israel’s promise to have dominion on the earth would be accomplished by God’s direct intervention, not because God chose the best race.

Israel’s history proves that God’s intervention was required for his promises to be fulfilled to bless all the nations of the world. Israel has failed to achieve it on her own. Christian racism is a farce and brings untold damage to the ministry of the body of Christ.

The Cures

The cure for racism is understanding the dispensation of God’s grace which tells us more about humanity and God than any other revelation in scripture.

God’s manifold wisdom would surely have the answer to such a problem as racism, but studying the Bible rightly divided is not on the radar of anthropology, nor Christians influenced by its arguments.

First, the characteristic of this dispensation is not human achievement, but the achievement of the Lord Jesus Christ by the cross (Titus 3:5). We receive all spiritual blessings in Him by faith, and not because of the genes we were born with.

Second, Israel is fallen. God choosing to work through Israel in the past was not racism. Nevertheless, Christian racism has been taught by twisting verses of separation given to separate God’s nation from sin, and applying them to races of people.

Since, Israel is fallen, there is no longer any nation or group that can wrongly or rightly claim to take hold of Israel’s promises (Rom 11:11). The fellowship of the mystery knows no race.

There is neither Jew nor Greek that has any inherent capabilities for wisdom, knowledge, or spirituality apart from Christ (Col 2:3, Col 3:11). Likewise, we all have the same depravity in sin, and none of us are born any less depraved than another (Rom 3:10-11).

Third, we are complete in Christ alone (Col 2:10). Anthropologists have said that humanity will not realize its full potential until we allow the races to work separately in their own supposed area of expertise.

The Bible says, we are complete in Christ, and our full potential will not be realized until we are complete in Christ by faith, not by our own achievements.

Fourth, we are to know no man after the flesh today, since we are all members of the same body (2 Cor 5:16-17). If this be true, then why would we need to separate each member by their flesh according to race? There is no such division in the Bible.

Fifth, we are instructed not to give heed to fables and endless geneaologies (1 Tim 1:4). Fables and endless geneaologies is what abound in the circles where the Bible is tortured to teach racism.

Racism reeks of Romans 1:22, and has led to all sorts of sins and prejudices. What is the cure for this false doctrine? Answer: the right doctrine of the fellowship of the mystery of Christ.

Before we can rid the world of this problem, we must rid the church of it. It is unbecoming God’s workmen.

It is time for God’s ambassadors of grace to provide the cure by making all men see the fellowship of the mystery of Christ (Eph 3:9), especially to those who don’t apply it to race.

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Footnotes:

1.In his Doorway Paper series, Noah’s Three Sons, Arthur Custance writes:

“This threefold division is more than merely a genetic variation of certain “racial” types: there is evidence that it is intended to indicate that the three branches of the race were divinely apportioned a characteristic capacity which has been reflected in the unique contribution each branch has rendered in the service of mankind as a whole.”

Custance goes on in his papers to say that these capacities and aptitudes are genetic and our knowledge of a person’s genes could help us understand their unique capacities and contributions.

2. Richard Jordan, a mid-Acts teacher, has introduced many people to dispensational Bible study, but has neglected to apply the principles of right division when he teaches the terribly wrong prophecy of the races in his Grace School of the Bible course on Genesis.

“What you are going to see here is a divinely appointed division of responsibility to care for the specific needs of mankind at three fundamental levels of need. Three racial heads. There is Shem. Then there’s Ham; then, Japheth. Those three. God appoints each one of them a specific area of human need to take care of. There is the spiritual need that people have. There are the physical needs that they have, then, there are intellectual needs. … These three needs are designed to be met by the specific contributions by these three racial groups.” – Quotation taken from the Genesis class 103 lesson 5 of Grace School of the Bible

3. While Henry Morris testified to not being a racist, a testimony that we could accept in sincerity, it is a shame to read the continued publishing of his wrong teaching of races in his book, The Beginning of the World, 1977, 2006 edition.

“Truly, they [Hamites] have been the “servants” of mankind in a most amazing way. Yet the prophecy again has its obverse side. Somehow, they have only gone so far and no farther. The Japhethites and Semites have, sooner or later, taken over their territories and their inventions, and then developed them and utilized them for their own enlargement. Often the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have become actual personal servants or even slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane matters, they were eventually displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites.”

4. Reading Josiah Priest’s, Bible Defence of Slavery, 1851, gives insight into the “Biblical” position of racism that justified slavery in the 19th century and prior. His teachings on the races still circulate today, though slavery of Hamites is no longer allowed in America.

5. The wrong teaching of the races has pervaded many Christian groups, and while we may accept the individual testimony that the teachers are not racists, this does not change the fact of inherent racism in the wrong teaching of Genesis 9 concerning Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Custance admits, “there are those who argue strongly against this concept as food for racists” (Noah’s Three Sons, Part V, ch. 3). Indeed, not only do racists find sustenance in this wrong concept, it is the very genesis of racist thought in many groups that sincerely study the Bible.

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Published: September 14, 2013
Last Modified: June 18, 2014
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