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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 10, 2013
I had the privilege of growing up in Los Angeles during the 1960-1970’s. Despite the reputation that city received from the 1965 Watt’s riots, Los Angeles was one of the great “melting pot” cities. I grew up with people with many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. My High School had a wide mix of students. The sons and daughters of lawyers, doctors and business owners went to school with the children of blue collar workers living in the barrio. The ethnic mix included red and yellow, black and white, and with hair dyes, sometimes things in-between. The churches I attended were welcoming to everyone with the cultural mix demonstrated in church dinners filled with many ethnic foods – most of which I learned to like (the exception being homemade kimchi – my apologies to my Korean friends who like it).
My mother was born and raised in Los Angeles. My father is from Mississippi, and while I do have some relatives on that side that are prejudice, my father is not. I cannot recall him ever making derogatory comments about any ethnic group as a class. (His derogatory comments were reserved for liberal politicians, those who followed them, and those who did really stupid things). My parents taught my brothers and me to be color blind toward people.
This does not mean that I did not see prejudice. I did. In my senior year in High School the racial tension on campus finally erupted one day in what was called a “racial disturbance.” I had made it to class before things got bad and the teacher locked the door. I could see people getting beat up outside the room. The police came out in force and made a sweep of the campus. After things were secure, we were let out of class and went home.
I had a much more heightened awareness of prejudice around me after that, though I could still be somewhat oblivious. When we first moved here in 1991, this church reflected the ethnic make up of the community of being well over 90% Caucasian. I was aware there was some prejudice here, though I did not know how much. Two things taught me that the prejudice in the northeast is as strong as it is in the deep south but just expressed differently.
The first was inviting a friend of mine from seminary who had moved to Harrisburg, PA to come speak. He seemed well received by everyone and I started talking to him about the idea of him coming and working together here as we had done in Los Angeles. He said it couldn’t happen because he would not be accepted by this church at that time. Victor was aware of subtle prejudices I did not recognize. Victor is black. The truth of what he had sensed was proven some years later when I found out from a man from Haiti that one of our Elders had been purposely trying to discourage people from different ethnic backgrounds from coming.
It has been and continues to be one of my goals that this church, and indeed every true church of the Lord Jesus Christ, be working to reflect the nature of the true church described in Revelation as being made up of every nation, tribe, peoples and tongues (Revelation 7:9). God’s people should be blind to ethnic heritage and striving to bring every culture into conformity to God’s word. Some cultures do better in this than others, but all cultures can be improved. Christians in America now must stand against their own declining culture. We do not wish to see it replicated in other nations.
For these reasons racial harmony in the church is important to me. It disturbs me greatly when professing Christians demonstrate prejudice. It bothers me even more when professing Christians buy into the world’s methods of supposedly overcoming racial prejudice instead of proclaiming the Lord’s solution. That is the topic of my sermon this morning.
I Have a Dream
I used to receive an invitation from a church in our community to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Every year I would look over their program with the hope that I could join in a celebration of the unity that every people and nation can have in Christ. I was always disappointed that it was instead a celebration of a man and the civil rights movement.
While there is much that is commendable about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, there are also disturbing things. He was a man of great courage. He was a strong advocate of peaceful means of gaining equality in the law. Many suffered in the civil rights movement to accomplish this, and we are a better society because they were willing to do so and accomplished that goal in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
My main problems with celebrating Dr. King as a person are theological. First, he was an ordained minister that was also a womanizer. Such men should be censored and defrocked, not commended as an example to others. Christian pastors are held to a higher standard of qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Second, while Christians can join with non-Christians who share common goals in advocating or opposing specific proposed laws and solutions to problems, ordained Christian ministers should never compromise the gospel and the truth of Scripture in the pursuit of political goals. It is politically advantageous to list out different groups and say they are “all God’s children,” but non-Christians are not part of God’s family. They need to have their sins forgiven by faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ before God adopts them into His family and gives them the right to be called children of God (John 1:12).
The Christian minister can be passionate about political issues and work hard to bring about political change that will reflect godliness in the culture, but there should never be confusion that such efforts will bring God’s kingdom to earth. Emancipation from slavery is good (1 Corinthians 7:21), but true emancipation does not occur until a person is freed from their slavery to sin (Romans 6). Equality before the law is also good and worth striving to achieve, but true equality before the law will not happen until the just judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns and sets up His millennial kingdom. My problem with the civil rights movement is that having won its victory, it has pushed on to enshrine the very thing it originally opposed – discrimination in the law based on ethnic heritage. Neither a color blind government nor a business has legitimate reason to know my ethnic background.
I like Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech of 50 years ago (except for the concluding remark about “all God’s children” as noted above). I agree with his sentiments of a nation recognizing that God has created all people equal before Him and so should have equal standing in the law. I agree with his desire that there should be a national brotherhood regardless of ethnic, social or economic heritage. I am an American, and where in the world my distant ancestors were born is irrelevant. I agree with his longing for a nation in which oppression has yielded to freedom and justice. I agree with his dream that people should be judged by the content of character and not skin color. I agree with that dream so much that I have it
on a bumper sticker on my car that I vote on that basis. Those things are worth working toward in this life – but I don’t expect it until Jesus returns. Why? Ultimately it is because men are sinful and their actions will reflect that sinfulness including the governments they set up. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, yet tensions between various groups have been increasing instead of decreasing. Even the election of Mr. Obama has not helped, instead, it has deepened the divisions.
The Origin of Races
It must first be recognized that people will naturally segregate themselves into groups with others that are similar in some way. One of the first factors in this is actually language. This has been pointed out in a minister’s forum in which I participate. A missionary wrote about growing up in a church in which there were three languages spoken. He is serving in an area in which there are more than four language groups. He observed that the people naturally divided according to the language they understood. Only those who knew multiple languages or were willing to learn another language would be involved in multiple groups. There was an appreciation and cooperation with the other groups among these believers, but there were still natural divisions.
If that happens among believers, what happens when sin is also involved? With sin comes pride and the arrogance that the other person must learn your language since your language must be superior because it is what you speak. That quickly degenerates into a disdain for people who speak some other language instead of your own. This even finds its way into the dialects of the same language. People look down on those who do not use the same slang and idioms or pronounce the words the same way that you do.
The point is simply that man’s sinful bent allows his pride to quickly add arrogance and condescension to the natural divisions that occur among people groups simply because of language. Add in the cultural differences and the variations in physical appearance and the divisions become more sharp, harsh and dangerous. Things such as envy, jealousy, haughtiness and disdain feed on these differences to make the divisions even deeper. The strong attack the weak to destroy or enslave. The rise of evolutionary philosophy gave justification to these already evil divisions and made them even worse.
Most people are unaware that the full title of Charles Darwin’s thesis first published in 1859 was “On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in The Struggle for Life.” His follow up book in 1871, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, applied his general theories to man. He considered the white races to be superior and the other races inferior. Under Darwinian influence, it came to be commonly believed that human races were descendent from different apes – Caucasians from chimpanzees, Orientals from orangutans, and Blacks from gorillas. Darwin considered African pygmies to have hardly matured from apes. Those that believed him carried out atrocities. The family of Ota Benga was slaughtered by the Belgian government in the Congo because they were “the evolutionary inferior natives.” He was captured and sold into slavery. He was purchased by African explorer Samuel Verner and brought to America in 1904 where he was displayed as an “emblematic savage” in the St. Louis World’s Fair and subjected to “scientific” testing. In September 1906, Ota was put on display in the monkey house of the Bronx Zoo by Dr. Hornady. (See: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/orob/darwins-plantation)..
Again, humans had already divided in various groups based on language, culture and physical appearance. Darwin gave man supposedly scientific justification for the struggles between these groups to prove themselves superior by their achievements including the conquering of inferior groups. A flourishing grave robbing industry developed in the later part of the 1800’s by those trying to find the missing link among more “primitive” people. The Smithsonian Institution holds the remains of more than 15,000 individuals. The remains of perhaps 10,000 Australian Aborigines were shipped to British Museums. Some Aborigines were murdered so their bodies could be sent as specimens for scientific study.
By the early 1900’s evolutionary philosophy, especially as modified by Ernest Haeckel and others, dominated German intellectual and social circles. This formed the foundation for the racist policies of the Nazis including their eradication of supposedly inferior races in order to keep the Aryan race from contamination and give active direction to the progress of the evolution of mankind (See: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v13/n2/nazi#f7). In a similar manner, the Japanese considered themselves to be the most “highly evolved” race on earth as part of their justification of their military conquests. They considered westerners with their longer arms and more hairy bodies to be closer to apes than themselves.
Modern evolutionary thought has backtracked on the idea that human races are descendant from different lines of apes. Instead, most evolutionists commonly believe all humans descend from some common apish ancestor. However, evolutionary philosophy demands a competition between races to ensure that the superior dominates so that evolution can continue to progress. Evolutionary philosophy diminishes the value of human life so that the inferior are considered less human and therefore subject to extermination – a baby in the womb, the physically or mentally handicapped, the old, the sick and the injured. (See: The Value of Human Life). Don’t be fooled by the political correctness of the “progressive” liberal elite to mean that they believe all people are created equal. They do not believe in creation and they do believe certain ethnic groups are inferior and so must have government help in order to make it. In addition, though Margaret Sanger’s organization, Planned Parenthood, is becoming more business savvy, it still has its eugenics heritage and philosophy.
The Origin of Ethnic Groups
What is the origin of man and ethnic diversity? The truth about both are found in Genesis. “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created man” (Genesis 1:27). Genesis 2 gives more detail about God creating man, Adam, from the dust of the earth and breathing into him the breath of life as well as the fashioning of the woman from one of Adam’s ribs. In Genesis 3:20 we find that Adam “called his wife’s name, Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.”
All humans are descendants of these first two and not from apes of any sort. Adam and Eve had the complete genetic potential for all the diversity that would later be expressed in their descendants. The population of mankind rapidly expanded, but then God judged the world and sent the flood that destroyed the world that then was (2 Peter 3). The only humans and air breathing land animals that survived were those in the ark Noah had built. All human genetic potential was reduced Noah’s three sons and their wives. Genesis 10 details the nations descended from each of them.
Genesis 11 starts with Noah’s descendants refusing to obey God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. They all had the same language and wanted to stay together to build a city and a tower that would reach to heaven. God forced them to disburse by confusing their language so they could not understand each other. Again, language is a natural cause for division among people. Those who could understand each other formed
groups that then left Babel to pioneer new territory to inhabit. The isolation of a smaller gene pool is the cause of the genetic differences of the various peoples, tribes and nations that formed as people spread around the earth. Some groups would not have the genetic information that other groups would have and so would also have differences in appearance. The more isolated the gene pool, the more dramatic the differences in physical appearance can be.
The genes in your chromosomes control everything physical about you. You receive half from your mother and half from your father to form a unique mix of genes. This genetic mix determines your physical characteristics including the pigmentation or color of your skin, eyes and hair, your potential height, type of hair (kinky, curly, wavy, straight, fine or thick), shape of nose (wide, thin, large, small, pointed, flat, button, ski jump), thickness of lips, amount of hair on the body, etc. Let me give a quick very simplified example of this.
Eye color is controlled by many genes resulting in various shades of brown, blue, green and hazel. For the sake of illustration, let me reduce this to just two, one that codes for brown (Bn) and one that codes for blue (bl). The possible genetic combinations are BnBn, blbl, Bnbl and blBn. Brown is dominant, so if you have that gene at all, you will have brown eyes. Blue is recessive, both genes must be blue in order to have blue eyes. My father has brown eyes, but his mother had blue, so his genetic mix was Bnbl. My mother had blue eyes (blbl), so I could have received Bnbl or blbl. I got blbl and have blue eyes. My wife as blue eyes (blbl). We could only have children that have blue eyes (blbl) since neither of us carried the genetic information for brown eyes. In a population with only one gene type, only that characteristic will be expressed.
Skin color is also complex but it is all related to the amount of melanin in the skin. The more melanin, the darker the skin, and so human skin color ranges from very dark brown, to very pale tan – (often turned bright red by sunburn). (See skin color picture at http://science.nationalgeographic.com/staticfiles/NGS/Shared/StaticFiles/Science/Images/Content/skin-colors-711079-sw.jpg). There are no black people. There are no white people. All people are just various shades of brown.
The descendants of each of Noah’s sons spread out from Babylon (modern Iraq) to different areas creating small gene pools in which greater expression of recessive genes would be seen. Some of Shem’s descendants stayed in the area of Babylon while others went south into the Arabian peninsula, east into the areas around the Persian gulf, and some to the west into what is now Turkey. Ham’s descendants spread to the east into parts of Persia and then south into western India while others spread throughout Africa, and Canaan went west to settle in the costal areas of the middle east. Here I must point out from Genesis 9:25-27 that it is Canaan, Ham’s son, and not Ham that is cursed by Noah to be a slave to his cousins. Those that have claimed the Bible justified enslavement of or segregation from black Africans because Ham was cursed by Noah are wrong. It is tragic what ignorant people have done in falsely using the Bible to justify their sin. The full measure of the curse on Canaan came when God instructed the Israelites to conquer them under Joshua.
Noah’s blessing on Japheth that God would enlarge him is seen in the spread of his descendants throughout most of the world. They went north into Russia, west into Europe, east into India, farther east into Asia and south into Indonesia and Australia, across the Bearing straight into North and then into South America and the Caribbean. (See: http://onehumanrace.com/)
The Bible recognizes that there are different peoples, tribes, and nations that formed due to God confusing their languages and forcing them to spread throughout the earth, but all people are of one blood. There is no Biblical justification for racism. When people want to know your ethnic heritage, ask them which family lines you supposed to trace and how many generations back you are supposed to go? If you go back far enough, we all got off the boat in the middle east on the Mountains of Ararat, and we are all descendants of Adam and Eve.
Man’s Effort to Reach Racial Harmony
Man has made many efforts to reach racial harmony. Most have been harmful instead of helpful.
Intermarriage – Biblical and secular history record the practice of kings marrying the royal daughters of surrounding kingdoms in the effort to bring about peace between the nations. Sometimes this worked. Sometimes it did not. The same is true for common people who intermarry with those of other tribes or nations. Sometimes it helps bring harmony between the two groups, and sometimes the two groups remain in tension with the couple that intermarried enduring persecution from both sides with their children becoming outcasts from both communities as “half-breeds” or mulattos.
The “melting pot” of the United States did achieve great success in bringing harmony to different people groups by creating an American identity and culture. Each ethnic group added to the milieu of what was American. That is not to say that there was not prejudice, misunderstanding and conflicts, but it is to say there was a greater identity that allowed the various distinct groups to be unified as Americans such as occurred during World War II. With the rise of multi-culturalism, the American identity is being fractured into hyphenated forms – “African-American,” “Arab-American,” “Chinese-American,” “German-American,” “Italian-American,” “Mexican-American,” “Japanese-American,” “Russian-American,” etc. Without assimilation into a greater American identity and culture, our nation will continue to faction with increasing tensions between the hyphenated people groups that are here.
When there is intermarriage, usually one side, most often the wife, assimilates into the people and culture of the spouse. This could be voluntary, such as in the case of Ruth who said to Naomi that “your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” It could also be forced as in the Mosaic laws concerning the capture of a woman during a war (Numbers 31:15-18; Deuteronomy 21:10-14). This of course could lead to additional war with her relatives (Trojan War).
War – Biblical history and secular history both record war as a means of forcing racial harmony by either destruction of the enemy, or conquest and forced assimilation of the enemy. War is generally bad, but sometimes necessary for self-defense. In addition, God uses war to punish wicked nations even to the point of their complete destruction (Deut. 20:10-18; 28:25, 36, 48, 49f; 1 Samuel 15:3).
Annihilation does not create racial harmony, it only removes the possibility of racial disharmony with the group destroyed. Conquest and complete assimilation can create racial harmony by combining everyone into one people with one culture. When assimilation does not occur there will be animosity between the different groups and a breeding ground for those who feel oppressed is created. When given the opportunity, the oppressed will rise up to seek revenge.
Segregation – Physical separation between people groups is helpful in keeping conflicts to a minimum by reducing the interaction between them, but it does not produce harmony. It usually only increases the animosity and resentment from not being allowed to go places or do things other people can. Segregation is not an approved Biblical practice or concept.
The Mosaic Law demanded elements of separation, but not segregation except in the case of the Temple itself. Gentiles, non-Jews, we
re restricted to the outer court of the Temple. Only Jews were allowed into inner courts. The Mosaic law prohibited Jews from intermarriage in most cases with the people from surrounding nations in the effort to protect the nation from falling into their idolatry and not because of their genetic makeup (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). A similar restriction exists within Christianity in that Christians are only to marry other Christians. This has nothing to do with the genetic background for the only concern is that the husband and wife share the same faith (1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 6:14-16). The restrictions some Christians have placed on marrying outside their “racial” group are completely without Biblical justification. All people are of one blood, not competing races.
Desegregation – I mention this because it has been an effort in the Unites States that has had some partial success, but a lot of failure. Where desegregation was simply a change in the law that allowed anyone to participate regardless of ethnic heritage, there has been success. People would interact together because they were willing to do so, and the interaction broke down prejudice. Where desegregation was forced, it was resented by nearly everyone involved and tensions between people went up.
My schooling experience is an example of this in both ways. When I was in sixth grade, I participated in a program in which my class was matched with a sister school in south Los Angeles. We would occasionally go to each others school, but most often we went on field trips together. We developed good friendships with people with different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. It was a positive desegregation program. The other extreme was the forced busing of High School students from south Los Angeles to Van Nuys. While friendships were formed with some of those students, most of them resented having to endure long bus rides and exclusion from most after school activities because of it instead of being able to attend their local schools. Some of the local students resented what they felt was an invasion of their territory eventually resulting in a “racial disturbance” – a riot at the High School – that I mentioned earlier.
Affirmative Action – Efforts to correct past injustice by creating new injustice hinder instead of help harmony between people groups. The civil rights movement of the 1960’s became a movement for special rights. Affirmative action is a nightmare that fosters racism and has left Dr. King’s dream about being judged based on character instead of skin color still a dream. It hurts everyone when someone gets a position because of a quota instead of competency.
God’s Means of Producing Harmony
God has a different means of producing harmony between different people, tribes, nations and tongues, but it requires recognition of the truth and submission to His will.
Truth – You must first humble yourself and recognize several critical truths.
First, no matter how different from you the other people may appear physically, you are both of one blood. You are cousins, not competing races. (Genesis 1,2, 9 & 11).
Second, regardless of what your ancestors may have accomplished and important positions they may have held, that was them, not you. God will judge each of us on the basis of our own deeds, not those of who have gone before us (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12).
Third, no matter how wonderful you think your heritage may be, you are not the culmination of a long line of wonderful people. You are one in a long line of sinners. Some of them may have become saints, but many remained scallywags. The harder truth is that you yourself are a sinner who has offended your Creator by your rebellion and disobedience and are deserving of eternal punishment. (Romans 3:23; 6:23). This brings up the need for submission.
Submission – You must humble yourself before God, believe and follow Him.
First, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, so humble yourself under His mighty hand (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
Second, you need to have faith to believe and seek God. Hebrews 11:6,”And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Third, you need to place your faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This means believing the claims about who He is and trusting in the promises that He gives. Who is Jesus? He is God in human flesh, who lived a sinless life, that yielded His life on the cross of Calvary as the sacrifice for sin as the price of redemption, who rose alive from the dead on the third day, who has ascended to heaven where He is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for His followers, and who will return one day for those that belong to Him to take them to the place He has prepared for them in heaven. (Philippians 2:5-10; Hebrews 4:15; 10:12; Ephesians 1:7; Matthew 28:6; Acts 1:9; 2:33; Hebrews 7:25; John 14:1-3).
What are promises to Jesus’ followers? That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but is passed from death to life (John 3:16; 5:24). Those who receive Him are given the right to become children of God (John 1:12) for they are born again of the Spirit of God (John 3:7-8). If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Any man who is in Christ is new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and is no longer in bondage to sin (Romans 6:1-23). Those who die in Christ are with Him immediately in Spirt and their bodies will be resurrected to eternal life with Him while those who are alive at His return will have their bodies immediately translated into an immortal one to join Him in the air (1 Corinthians 5:3; 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
Harmony – How does believing in Jesus Christ bring about harmony among different people, tribes, nations and tongues? In three ways.
First, the change in identity. Disciples of Jesus Christ have a change of identity from whatever it was to being first and foremost a Christian. I still have an ethnic, national and family identity, but those are all superseded by being a Christian. They are no longer of much importance. I am not a Caucasian Christian, I am a Christian who is a descendent of Adam through Noah through Japheth. I am not an American Christian, I am a Christian who is an American. I am not a Harris Christian, I am a Christian whose surname is Harris. I am not an English speaking Christian, I am a Christian that speaks English.
Second, there is harmony in the church because Jesus has broken down the walls of separation between all believers (Ephesians 2:14). As Galatians 3:28 states it, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As Colossians 3:11 states it, “. . . there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” (Link to Col. 3 sermon) Other believers are my brothers and sisters.
Third, there is the potential for harmony even with non-believers. I say potential because harmony will also take a proper reaction from the non-believer. Jesus was clear that those who oppose Him will also hate His followers. We can expect to be reviled, lied about and slandered by non-believers because of their rebellion against God. We can expect to have trouble in this world (Matthew 5:10-12; John 15:18-21:16:33). The Christian, however, is to act differently. Yes, we must oppose sin and therefore expose it calling for people to repent. This will often result in a negative reaction from the sinner. Yet, the Christian is to do this out of love to see the sinner saved, not animosity in wanting to condemn them. Even when treated bad
ly, the Christian is to respond as Jesus did in loving our enemies and praying for those that persecute us for they are our mission field. Our struggle is not against them for they are flesh and blood. Our struggle is a spiritual one against Satan and his demons (Ephesians 6:12).
The hope for racial reconciliation cannot be found in the efforts of man. It can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not just a wish for the Christian, but a confident assurance for one day He will return and bring it about in fullness, but in the present, all Christians are to become unified and walk in harmony regardless of their ethnic, social or economic heritage or standing.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times the words “race” or “ethnic” is said. Talk with your parents about how to live in harmony with people who have a different ethnic heritage
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. How were you raised to think about people who were of a different ethnic heritage than your own? How have you seen / experienced prejudice in your own life? What was good about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? What was bad? What was good about the Civil Rights movement? Where has it gone wrong? Why do people naturally segregate themselves? Why do people have prejudices against those who are different from themselves? What has been the effect of evolutionary philosophy on race relations? What is the origin of man? What was the cause of their now being so many different people groups? What determines your physical appearance? Where did the descendants of Shem settle? Ham? Japheth? What is the importance of the truth that all people are of one blood? How has each of the following helped or hindered the harmony between different people groups: intermarriage? War? Segregation? Desegregation? Affirmative Action? How does God produce harmony between peoples? What must you do? Who is Jesus? What are His promises? What is your primary identity? Examine yourself for any prejudices – how will you change to match the scriptures?
Sermon Notes – 2/10/2013
Racial Harmony – Selected Scriptures
I was taught to be color ______________ toward people
Prejudice in the ______________ is also strong, it is just expressed differently
Racial harmony in the church is __________________
I Have a Dream
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is to be commended for:_____________________________________
Ordained ministers must meet a ___________standard – 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1
Pursuit of political goals must not compromise the _____________
Pursuing political goals _____________ bring Christ’s kingdom to earth
True emancipation is being freed from the bondage to __________- Romans 6
Pursue ___________in the law, but don’t expect it until Jesus sets up His millennial kingdom
Discrimination in the law based on ________heritage is contrary to the original Civil Rights movement
Recognizing that God ________all men equal before Him and so should be equal before the law is good
The desire for a national ________________irrespective of ethnic, social or economic heritage is good
The longing for oppression to yield to freedom and ______________ is good
The dream that people should be judged by the content of their ________ & not their skin color is good
The Origin of Races
People naturally ____________themselves into groups that are similar – language being the first factor
Sin brings pride and arrogance which generates a ___________for those that do not speak your language
Cultural differences and variations in physical appearance can _______the divisions to dangerous levels
Evolutionary philosophy gave ____________to these already evil divisions and made them even worse
Evolutionists commonly believed that human races were descendent from different __________
Ota Benga __________________________________________________________________________
Grave robbing and __________ to get specimens for scientific examination in search “primitive” people
Evolutionary philosophy became the foundation for ____________ racist policies
Modern evolutionists have backtracked to think all men evolved from only ______common ape ancestor
Evolutionary philosophy ________________ the value of human life
The Origin of Ethnic Groups
________ created man – Genesis 1, 2
All humans are descendants of ____________________________
All humans are descended from Noah’s three sons and their __________- Genesis 9, 10
God forced mankind to spread throughout the earth by confusing their __________
The isolation of small gene pools resulted in genetic _______________ between people groups
The genetic code in your chromosomes control all your ______________ characteristics
Eye color is complex – but ______________ is dominate and other colors are recessive
Skin color is complex, but all people are simply different shades of _________due to amount of melanin
The descendants of Shem – to Arabia, middle East, Persian Gulf, Turkey
The descendants of Ham – to Persia, western India, Africa, coastal middle East (Canaan)
It __________, not Ham, that is cursed – the Bible does not justify enslavement / segregation of Africans
The descendants of Jepheth – to Europe, Russia, India, Asia, Australia, Pacific islands, N & S America
The Bible recognizes that there are different people, tribes, and nations – but all people are of one blood
Man’s Effort to Reach Racial Harmony
Intermarriage – political marriages; “melting pots;” ___________ or forced.
War – necessary for self defense. God uses to chasten – and even destroy wicked peoples
Annihilation; Conquest and complete _______________; Conquest and subjugation
Segregation – helps to _____________immediate conflict, but generally increases animosity
Segregation is not an approved Biblical practice or concept
Christians are restricted to marrying other _____________irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds
___________programs have helped, forced programs are resented and increase tension
Affirmative Action -Correcting past injustice by creating new ________hinder instead of help harmony
God’s Means of Producing Harmony
Truth – You must first humble yourself and recognize several critical truths.
1) All people are of ______________no matter how different they may appear physically
2) The successes and failures of your ancestors were __________, not yours
3) You are one in a long line of _____________- not the culmination of a line of wonderful people
Submission – You must humble yourself before God, believe and follow Him.
1) ____________ yourself before God – James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5
2) Have faith to believe and ____________ God. Hebrews 11:6; Jeremiah 29:13
3) Have ____in the person & work of the Lord Jesus Christ – Believe His claims, Trust His promises
Harmony – Believing in Jesus produces harmony among different people, tribes, nations and tongues
1) Your identity is changes into being a first and foremost a _______________
2) Jesus broke down the walls of separation – we are ___________ and sisters in Him
3) Believers respond with ___________ even to enemies – non-Christians are the mission field
All Christians are to be unified and walk in _________regardless of ethnic, social or economic positions
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