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Racial reconciliation: where do we begin?

by

Published: 12 June 2020 (GMT+10)
123rf.commultiracial

One would think that today we would be closer to the end of racism than ever before. Few people feel comfortable expressing racist opinions, let alone acting on them. There are legal protections preventing official racism in important areas like hiring and housing, and even in public speech in some countries. There are more interracial marriages than ever before. The average person feels that a person’s ethnic background has nothing to do with their intrinsic worth or equality with anyone else.

Yet today we see that racial tensions are still high. People perceived as privileged are pressured to state that “black lives matter”, and corporations, surely not motivated by their bottom line, fall into line to state exactly what they are doing to advance the cause. But as Christians, we should not be concerned with mere appearances or political correctness. It is not enough to say that racism is wrong, but we must come from a biblical foundation which will often put us at odds with a culture that says things that are on the surface very similar to what we believe.

Why do any lives matter?

Today, the idea that all humans are equally valuable is almost a given, so much so that the average person would struggle to say why that is, even though they would likely strongly feel that it is true. But this is a historical and geographical anomaly. Slavery still exists in parts of the world today, and throughout history, the inequality of different people groups was as much as given as their equality is today. Certain classes of people were considered not worthy of what we would consider basic human rights even well into the 20th century in ‘civilized’ countries. And when two of our scientists recently published their article Racial mixing is perfectly biblical! Debunking the anti-biblical racist arguments of ‘Christian Identity’, it unfortunately revealed that racist ideas are still alive today. This only confirms what many of our speakers frequently hear when out on ministry, particularly here in the US. There is really no excuse for this. Modern genetic studies have shown that across the whole gamut of human diversity, that all humans are over 99% genetically similar, indicating that there is only one race—the human race.

voyage-shook-the-world

As Christians, we believe that all human life is precious from conception to natural death, regardless of ethnicity, economic status, or any other variable. This is because humans, unlike animals, are created in the image of God. This belief spurred the abolition of the African slave trade in both England and America, because if we see someone as an equal image-bearer just like we are, it is impossible to claim ownership of that person.

By contrast, evolution has many racist skeletons in the closet. The Descent of Man, the less-well-known book by Charles Darwin written after The Origin of Species, is a deeply racist manifesto. This evolutionary racism is not unique but pervades evolutionary literature, and even subtly raises its head in some fairly recent examples. Our documentary The Voyage That Shook the World had interviews with Darwin historians who freely admitted this.

Get informed with answers!

Carl Wieland
Dr Carl Wieland

Christians can be intimidated when it comes to dealing with sensitive topics like racism, and this can cause us to retreat from the debate. The last thing anyone wants is to be insensitive or to minimize perceived injustice. We believe that the best approach is to start from Scripture, because that gives us truth that transcends current events. In 2011, Carl Wieland, the former CEO of CMI-Australia, wrote the comprehensive book One Human Family. It was so well-received that all of our paper copies sold out. We are substantially revising this title before we reprint it due to the ever-changing and ever-increasing scientific knowledge that makes racism untenable. But in the meantime, we are making the e-book versions of One Human Family at a greatly reduced price compared to the print version to get this vital information into the hands of anyone who wants it. Dr. Wieland comments:

Not only are the principles timeless, but in many ways even its analysis of events and situations in 2011 will be seen as prescient of the painful matters that are at the forefront of public attention worldwide. In short, it is no longer possible to say that race has ceased to be a frontline issue of concern for the believer.
Felix-Konotey-Ahulu
Dr. Felix Konotey-Ahulu

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Head Scientist of CMI-US, calls that book:

A masterpiece, one that avoids the extremes of lack of compassion and political correctness.

And Dr. Felix Konotey-Ahulu, Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics at University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and world-famous sickle-cell anemia researcher, says it is:

the best in-depth account of racism I have ever read. The book has information that will surprise, if not amaze, most readers.

Change starts at home!

It is my view that the Bible is the only answer to racism as it clearly states that all humanity was made in God’ image and is precious. Our CEO, Gary Bates, has often pointed out that hundreds of years ago Christian missionaries went to third-world countries to preach the Gospel. Yet, they had no understanding of the science of modern genetics. Even though people may have looked different they trusted and believed God’s Word that all humanity was precious in God’s sight and worthy of salvation. And their beliefs have obviously been soundly vindicated.

It is useless to wish for large-scale change if we are not ready to begin with ourselves and our own families. And a good first step is to become informed and be a force for good, particularly in the current environment.

One Human Family is available in .mobi and .epub formats, and one of the benefits of an e-book is that you can begin reading immediately!

Helpful Resources

One Human Family
by Dr Carl Wieland
US $10.00
Kindle (.mobi)
One Human Family
by Dr Carl Wieland
US $10.00
eReader (.epub)
One Big Family
by Gary and Frances Bates
US $12.00
Hard Cover

Readers’ comments

Geoff C. W.
There is an incredible irony here in Australia. One of our capital cities, in the Northern Territory where there are many indigenous Australians, is called Darwin - named after (for) the man himself. Imagine naming such a capital in such an area after a man who believed that indigenous Australians were not fully human - a blatant racist! I'm sure the people living in the Northern Territory, and the rest of Australia, would be thrilled to find out what this man believed. Time to change the name, if we are to be consisent.
S H.
This has been such a sad time for so many. It's highlighted the sin of the human heart in so many ways. But the light of Christ has been brought by so many in the Minnesota community and beyond, with even seeing hundreds of people respond to the Gospel and be healed. Thank you Lord! At the same time my disappointment has been the reaction from some Christians, especially in misrepresenting the Bible, attacking other Christians (sadly undermining the unity God has been bringing) or simply abusing Biblical accounts to hijack it to promote one cause or another. The Bible is the Word of God and is God's book about his kingdom, his world and his name. The Bible is neither a Republican manifesto or a social justice movement. Yes it touches on politics but it transcends politics. It's God's word of hope, help, healing and transformation into brokenness and as relevant today as ever. It's sad when some Christians promote justice but without the God of justice behind it. God's righteousness precedes 'peace and joy' in the world (Romans 14.17), it's not a side issue. Meanwhile atheism offers no hope through these times (you could argue that atheism taken to its limit would revel in the destruction of the 'weak'). But in every way this time of varied evils reveals quite how accurate and true the Word of God really is, especially in declaring that every person is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. The Bible perfectly reveals the nature of humanity, diagnoses the cause and offers the only solution - Jesus the only hope!
Douglas W.
In the much published Journal of John Wesley, the entry for 27th July, 1755, includes a letter received from a gentleman living in Virginia, which describes with great warmth, respect, and love, the fine spiritual, intellectual, and musical attainments, among the slaves in his region.
Lita Cosner
Yes, and Wesley's last letter, written days before he died, was to William Wilberforce encouraging him in his battle to end the British slave trade.
Edmond C.
In the world we live in, no one wants to accept the truth about themselves. They want the truth about themselves to be the truth that they believe about themselves and not real truth. While I understand the past and issues with race, the current issues with racism stem more from a cultural divide that is predicated upon prejudices of others and false perceptions of self. Rather than looking inwardly to determine what the individual can do themselves to make things better, they place all the onerous of change upon others. The idea that one group of individuals own all of the racial divide and that one group of individuals must accept and act accordingly to placate the outrage of another group is only going to make the problem worse. Real discussion though cannot happen as one group is not even allowed to talk about it without the accusations of being racist. So the grievances of the group perceived as the owners of all racial division cannot even express their own experiences and opinions. Rather the individuals in that group, no matter how they have personally handled the matter all their lives, are supposed to accept ownership, guilt, and shame, just for who they are. Additionally, they are forced to accept they have contributed to the matter simply because of their genetic make up. In my opinion that is just as much a matter of racism as any other.

From the Christian perspective we are all flawed and we must accept that truth about ourselves. There is no room for racism when we accept the truth about ourselves, we are fallen, depraved individuals in need of a Savior. Jesus Christ is the only answer for racial division. And once we can accept this and accept Christ then we can pull the mote out of our own eye first.
Stephen N.
The article was a good summary of the reason that all Christians should oppose racism - humanity was created in the image of God. No real follower of Christ should dispute that fact. There is another dimension to this problem that most people may largely overlook. At the risk of being labelled a conspiracy theorist, I believe that there is a group of people who are deliberately stoking the flames of racial animosity. To identify this group, I would no doubt be violating the policy of CMI governing the comments section. A critical look at recent events in the USA suggests that some authorities seem to be lackluster in their duty to combat civil unrest. Some people believe that certain events have been staged, with cooperation from those who are supposed to enforce law and order. The mainstream media are fanning the flames of fear and racial animosity. A "divide and conquer" approach might be pursued by those who want to seize more power for themselves. One must remember that Satan is a deceiver and he works through human agents. We must not only be against racism, but also oppose those who stir up racial division and strife to advance their own ends.
Trena S.
Beautifully written, Lita! I wish everyone would read this and take it to heart.
Christopher H.
Darwin's book was also called "The Preservation of Favored Races". This assumes the extinction of the non-favored races. The religion of evolution fuels racism. Christianity abhors racism.

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