David M. Green
“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
The Apostle Paul had a disagreement with the Apostle Peter about racism. You see, the Jews always had a tendency to look down on everyone else. During this time period, the early church , which was primarily Jewish, was going through some “growing pains.” All of their lives, they had known salvation to be a part of mostly Jews. In fact, many Jews had never seen a Gentile saved. Now, the gospel message was being preached to others, and other people were being saved. This caused Christians a lot of persecution from the religionists of the day.
Before we go further, we must define the word racism. According to Mr. Webster, it is “the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” Race is defined as “(1)a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock (2) a class or kind of people unified by community of interests, habits, or characteristics <the English race> (3) an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species; also : a taxonomic category (as a subspecies) representing such a group (4) a division of mankind possessing traits that are transmissible by descent and sufficient to characterize it as a distinct human type .”
Racism has affected different peoples at different times. As we look into our own time, we realize that we can find racism in many forms. We must ask ourselves, what does the Bible say about it?
“And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. ..Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:28, 34-35).
The Lord had appeared to Peter to show him that God is no respecter of persons...that He will save people of other nations. He taught him that no man is common or unclean.
WHERE DID THE DIFFERENT RACES COME FROM?
“ And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)
If we truly believe in creation, then we need to realize that all groups of men came from Adam and Eve. That means that black, red, brown, and all colors of men came from Adam. There are simply variations of men that came as a result of genetics.
Of course, God destroyed the earth with a flood. But even after the flood, there was only one family left. Noah is everyone's common ancestor today. Again, black, white, brown and red men all come from that one person. As hard as it is for some people to admit, we are all cousins!
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”(Genesis 11:1-9).
From this place, the people of the earth scattered to the four corners of the earth. Thus, we have oriental people, European people, African people, etc.
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” (Acts 17:26)
Paul, when preaching on Mars Hill, teaches that we are all one blood. There is only one race ... the human race! We all bleed red blood! We are all the same, we just have different characteristics. To deny this fact is to deny everything that we have already looked at in this article.
WE ARE ONE IN JESUS
“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:1-14).
Jesus gave this example while He was in the world. Jewish custom was to avoid the Samarians. He went to this woman to give her a message of life. Far too often, racism gets in the way of our personal evangelism. We need to realize that all humans have a soul. We also need to realize that Christ died for many different people.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)
Not only is everyone related through the blood of Adam, God's people are all
related through the blood of Christ. Jew and Gentile alike have become one family.
WHAT ABOUT INTERRACIAL MARRIAGES?
“And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.” (Exodus 34:10-16)
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.” (Numbers 25:1-5)
“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-4)
“ Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.” (Ezra 9:1-3)
Many people run to these passages to say that the Bible commands against interracial marriages.” Yet, as we have already seen, there are no races in the world...just the human race. What then are these verses about? Well, Israel, being God's people, had to be careful about marrying other people. Why? Because they would teach them about other gods. Notice the words that I underlined. It had absolutely nothing to do with their color of skin, but the god they served! Thus, God forbids inter-religious marriages, but not interracial ones!
“Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.” (Leviticus 19:19 )
This is another passage that people use to speak against interracial marriages...yet nothing in this passage speaks of such a thing. In fact, it is speaking of livestock. Are we degrading ourselves to the level of a cow??? Do we believe that Adam is our ancestor, or do we believe we are a higher mammal?
INTERRACIAL MARRIAGES IN THE BIBLE
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.” (Numbers 12:1-10)
Miriam and Aaron spoke out against God's servant Moses because he had married someone from another country. Yet, God punished Miriam, but not Moses!
“Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years... And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1:1-4,16-17).
Here we read of Ruth who was a Moabite! Remember Numbers 25 and Ezra 9? They both specifically spoke against Jews marrying Moabites! Does the Bible contradict itself? Certainly not! You see, even though she was of another country,”there was nothing wrong with the marriage because she was saved!Her religion was the same as God's people.
It is interesting to note that in Matthew 1,as the word of God traces the lineage
of Jesus' earthly family, Ruth is there! If God put such an emphasis onto the
interracial marriages like some people do, He would have made sure that He was
in a family of “pure Jewish blood.” But he didn't.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (II Corinthians 6:14-18).
God still forbids marriage of pagan peoples with Christians. Let's look at two
1. A white man and a white female get married, but one of them is saved and the other is lost. This is not acceptable to God.
2. A white man and a Hispanic woman get married. Both of them are saved. This is acceptable to God.
has changed with God! However, we need to change our ideas if we disagree with
Him and His Word.
WHERE DOES RACISM COME FROM?
Racism is all around us, but it is not Biblical. The sad fact is, it has crept into our homes and churches. I have heard of churches who would not allow a black man into their services, even in recent years. When we think of Christ, we think of Him as being Caucasian. We know that He wasn't. When we think of Adam and Eve, we think they were white, but it is doubtful that they were. The same goes for all the other people of the Bible.
Racism as we know it today is evolutionary in origin. Darwinism teaches that some cultures are not as evolved as we are in our society. So, in evolutionary thinking, the European is superior from the African, etc. Yet, as we have seen this is not the truth. We are all from the same man, Adam!
“And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.” (Acts 11:1-3)
This was the reaction of the people in the early church when Peter had fellowship with Gentiles. May God help us to not be like them.
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10)
Someday, representatives of the entire human race will be gathered together to worship our Lord in heaven! These are all cousins in Adam, made to be brethren through Christ. Will you be in that number? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, and you will be!
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