A gracEmail reader in Ohio asks whether the Bible explains the origins of racial and color differences among humankind.
* * *
People in all nations share an original ancestor — we all are from one blood (Acts 17:26). Because God created us, we are his “offspring” by nature, made for fellowship with him — and with each other. Because sin has radically altered and distorted the human condition, reconciliation and ultimate fellowship are enjoyed only by divine grace, as we become children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:13-16; Gal. 3:26-29).
The author of Genesis tells the creation story twice, first in general, then focused tightly on human beings (Gen. 1:1-2:3; 2:4-25). From Adam (“Mud-Man”) and Eve (“Living-Mother”) sprang all humans since, and all ethnic groups and clans as well (Gen. 5:1-32; 10:1-32). Successive generations over several millennia provided plenty of time and opportunity for physical changes through climate, food and focused genetics — either by choice or through geographical isolation. (I personally think that humans originally were golden brown, but I couldn’t prove that if my life depended on it.)
In the beginning, the human family consisted of one race and one class. As differences emerged, fallen men and women used them as excuses to hate and to divide. For millennia, emperors and governments have dreamed of unifying people-groups into a new humanity. The Tower of Babel couldn’t accomplish it, however (Gen. 11:1-9), and neither could Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) — or Alexander, or the Caesars or potentates since. Nor will the United Nations, or any “new world order” dependent on human or demonic power. God is at work, however, “summing up all things in Christ.” For those who live in relationship with Christ, human distinctions of race, ethnicity and gender become irrelevant (Gal. 3:28).