Speaking the Truth in Love
The Bible and Science
Tonight we would like to discuss a subject that is a very sensitive subject, but one we believe we need to talk about. Paul says in Acts 20:27, “For I have not shunned to declare (avoiding declaring) to you the whole counsel of God.” The subject of race is one that needs to be discussed, as it is one that the Bible does speak about.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
The Bible teaches there is only one “race” and that race is the human race!
(Genesis 1:27, 2:21-22, 5:4, 3:20, 9:18-19, 11:9)
Notice Paul’s sermon to the Athenians found in Acts 17:22-31
“The Bible does not even use the word ‘race’ in reference to people…” The term most often used is “nations”. Ken Ham, The New Answers Book, 2006, pages 220 and 223.
The Scientist’s Scientist; Darwin’s negative influence: In 1859 Darwin published his book “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”
“At the lowest stage of human mental development are the Australians, some tribes of Polynesians, and the Bushmen, Hottentots, and some of the Negro tribes.”
E. Haeckel, The History of Creation, 1876, page 363.
“Racist attitudes fueled by evolutionary thinking were largely responsible for an African pygmy [a man] being displayed along with an orangutan, in a cage in the Bronx zoo.” The man’s name was Ota Benga. Ham, page 221. This man later was very troubled and committed suicide in his 30s.
“Bronx Zoo director William Hornaday saw the exhibit as a valuable spectacle for his visitors, and was encouraged by Madison Grant, a prominent scientific racist and eugenicist.” Ota Benga, from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.
“Scientists today admit that, biologically, there really is only one race of humans.”
Ham, page 222
“Race is a social construct derived mainly from perceptions conditioned by events of recorded history, and it has no basic biological reality.” R.L. Hotz, Race has no basis in biology, CincinnatiEnquirer, p. A3, Feb. 20, 1997
“More and more scientists find that the differences that set us apart are cultural, not racial. Some even say that the word race should be abandoned because it’s meaningless.” We’re all the same, ABC News, Sept. 10, 1998.
“Researchers announced that they had put together a draft of the entire sequence of the human genome, and they unanimously declared, ‘there is only one race – the human race.’” Ham, page 222-223.
Skin Color, Eye Shape, etc.
“These so-called ‘racial characteristics’ are only minor variations among people groups.” Skin color, eye shape, etc. “account for only 0.012 percent of human biological variation.” S. C. Cameron and S.M. Wycoff, The destructive nature of the term race, Journal of Counseling & Development, 76:277-285, 1998.
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” (Matthew 19:14)
“There is one major pigment, called melanin, that produces our skin color. There are two main forms of melanin: eumelanin (brown to black) and pheomelanin (red to yellow). These combine to give us the particular shade of skin that we have.” Ham, page 227.
“No one really has red, yellow, or black skin. We all have the same basic color, just different shades of it. We all share the same pigments—our bodies just have different combinations of them.” Ham, page 229.
Skin Color: Freckles
“People with fair skin have less melanin in their skin to begin with, but some of their melanocytes make more melanin when exposed to the sun. So instead of easily getting an even suntan, they sometimes get freckles.” http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/talk/qa/freckles.html.
If one were to take any two people anywhere in the world, scientists have found that the basic genetic differences between these two people would typically be around 0.2 percent. J.C. Gutin, End of the rainbow, Discover, pp. 72-73, November 1994.
Implications of “Race”: Both the Bible and Science have in the past been wrongly used to:
- Justify subjugation or enslavement of groups of people;
- Elevate and declare “superior” certain groups of people;
- Justify oppression and extermination of “inferior” groups of people; and
- To deny marriages between groups of people.
Some claim that the Bible condemns interracial marriage. It is true that Israelites were not to marry non-Israelites under the Old Testament. In Deuteronomy 7:3-4 the Israelites were not to marry the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan, because “For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods.”
Solomon is the most obvious example of intermarrying with idolatrous woman, with the result of turning his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:1-11).
In Ezra chapter 10, the Israelites had taken pagan wives and they confessed this sin and put away their foreign wives.
The basis for the Israelites not to take foreign wives from the surrounding nations, was so they would not be influenced away from serving God to serving and worshipping the idols of these nations. It had nothing to do with the physical appearance of the people.
We actually see in the Old Testament where there were some “inter-racial” marriages that were acceptable to God.
- Moses married a Cushite (Midianite) woman named Zipporrah (Exodus 2:11-25). When we examine the heart of Zeporrah, we see a woman who wanted to serve God. She was the daughter of a priest of God (Jethro)(Exodus 2:16, 18). She also circumcised her boy when it seemed Moses was unwilling. By doing it seems she saved the life of Moses (Exodus 4:24-26). In Numbers 12 Miriam and Aaron complained against Moses. As a result, Miriam was stricken with leprosy for seven days.
- Rahab was formerly a harlot and a Caananite of the city of Jericho. She hid the Israelite spies, believed in God, and was saved from the destruction that came upon Jericho. She married an Israelite, Salmon, and became a part of the lineage of Christ. Her son was Boaz who married Ruth (Joshua 2, 6, and Matthew 1:5).
- Ruth was a Moabite. Her first Israelite husband died. She loved her mother-in-law and the God of Israel so much she wanted to dwell with Israelites (Ruth 1). She then married another Israelite, Boaz, Rahab’s son (Ruth 2-4). Both of them appeared to be very faithful to God and they were also included in the lineage of Christ (Matthew 1:5).
In the New Testament the only warnings concerning intermarrying is that a believer should not marry an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 6:14). Under the new covenant, any man can marry any woman, regardless of skin color or nationality.
Today seven percent of all marriages in the United States are “inter-racial”. However, extreme prejudice against “inter-racial” marriage between those with different skin colors still exists. Certain areas of our country still have incidents of persecution toward those who date or marry people with different skin colors. This persecution and violence sometimes results in death. This prejudice is not from God or the Word of God. God condemns partiality in any form!
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”(Acts 10:34-35)
Now you need to think about what God expects of you, no matter what nationality or skin color or gender you happen to be. Please notice a couple of verses in closing.
Acts 17:30-31 – All are now commanded to repent
Romans 6:1-8 – Through baptism we can be transformed from a slave of sin to a slave of righteousness
Galatians 3:26-29 – If one puts on Christ, no matter what you are, you can be a child of Abraham and an heir of God’s promises.
The most important bottom line is to not be concerned of the color of one’s skin, the gender of a person, or the nationality of a person. To God what is important is whether or not you have decided to become one of His children and then an heir of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. On judgment day it will not matter what color your skin is. What will matter is whether you have a pure heart before our Maker (2 Corinthians 5:9-11). Please consider these things and obey tonight. We hope to see you next time on “Speaking The Truth In Love”.