Feedback archiveFeedback 2018

Sinners and saints regardless of race

Published: 10 March 2018 (GMT+10)

We can sometimes feel profound sadness or disgust at our own ethnicity, when we recall some of the horrors people of our race have been guilty of. Sometimes we can feel pride when we recall the best of our race. But does our moral worth have anything to do with our race? Should we let it control us? Is God even at fault for letting us be the same race as the worst of humanity? Hugo L. from the United States writes:

I hate being mixed race. I thought I was a “German Japanese Jew,” until I found out wartime Japan murdered six times the Nazis. Why would God let me be born this way? Please explain!

different-ethnicities

CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:

From perspective of God’s intentions, there isn’t anything to explain. As distressed as you are about your ethnicity, it’s not inconsistent with God’s perfect character to let you be born this way. A more important question, I think, is: why get so distressed over your ethnicity? In itself, ethnicity has no moral significance (it’s irrelevant to the moral worth of a human being), and it’s something you can’t change. I’m not saying you have to be proud of your ethnicity, but I’m saying that your ethnicity is irrelevant to your worth as a human made in God’s image.

At any rate, if your problem is being racially associated with people who have committed gross atrocities, what of Russians? What of the Chinese? What of the English? What of the Maori? [NZ], What of Italians? What of Greeks? What of Mongols? What of Huns? What of Incas? What of Aztecs? Name an ethnicity, and I’ll show you a pack of sinful humans. Every ethnicity has its villains. And its heroes (though even the heroes have feet of clay).

Considering the three ethnicities you mention, they all have examples of the best, as well as the worst, of humanity. Hans and Sophie Scholl were as German as Hitler and Himmler, but the former were executed by the latter for bravely distributing pamphlets telling Germans about what the Nazis were doing to the Jews (and the Scholls were motivated by Christ in what they did).

Of course, among Jews, there was Ahaz and there was Jesus. Not only were both Jews, but both were sons of David. One was a horrendous king, and the other is the perfectly righteous King of Kings. If one wanted a merely human example of a loving Jew, Boaz in his generosity to Ruth and Naomi would be a good example (he’s not a descendant of David, but an ancestor).

As for the Japanese, there was Tokugawa Iemitsu, who systematically killed Christianity in Japan (through brutal persecution), but also Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat to Lithuania around WWII who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust at great personal risk.

My point? Each of the races you mention have demonstrated the depths of human depravity and the heights of sacrificial, Christ-like love. Your race doesn’t predestine you to be a monster, nor does it predestine you to be a saint. I highly recommend our book One Human Family, which can help you think through issues of race, and perhaps provide perspective on the matter.

Helpful Resources

One Human Family
by Dr Carl Wieland
From
US $19.00
One Big Family
by Gary and Frances Bates
From
US $10.00

Readers’ comments

D. B.
I have family connections to the Third Reich and that part of history, not as strong as some, but there none the less. But the human atrocities of my genetic past have no baring on my spiritual future. All are equal before the cross of Christ. All will stand before God either justified by their faith in Jesus, or condemned by their rejection of Him. I think our human minds naturally look at our pasts and use that to perceive a future, but we need to see things through God's eye's: if someone is in Christ, then they are a new creation, with the potential to do great things for His kingdom. Our family history isn't important to God. Who and what have we become in Christ is the real question we need to honestly ask of ourselves. Blessings in Christ Jesus to you all.
Cameron N.
I, like many, have felt the pangs and horrors of racial discrimination. However, I come from a region in the US that is deemed the most diverse in America a country known for its diversity. It is because of my exposure to all of these different types of people that I have found the common thread of humanity. While cultural differences and prejudices do exist many people are just people prone to the same sins and flaws as any other.

When I was a child, I hated the stigma of blackness in the world and the seeming spirit of degredation people would impart on my heritage. This instilled in me a means to prove them wrong, but it also was like a hanging weight of perfectionist performance that I could never truly reach...

I would like to say that I no longer think of race, and that it doesn't come to the forefront of my mind especially at my lowest times, but that is simply not true. I am conscious of others perceptions about me and societal perceptions about my skin tone and ancestry.

I can try to fight misconceptions all I want, but folly is impossible to destroy while sin is imbued into our human flesh. Better to love God and see yourself as He sees you renewed and worthy through the worthwhile Resurrection of Christ than to let others determine your worth...
D. C.
On the issues of race, and gender: The 'public face' of creation.com has 41 white male team key writers out of a total out of 43 and on top of this only one female writer.

Astounding!

Why is creation so out of step when 53% of the workforce in UK civil service is female and 2017 UK election results result has seen 52 ethnic minority MPs elected? You obviously have a behind the scenes team but the main members who appear in the driving seat are mainly from Commonwealth countries.
Shaun Doyle
What's "Astounding!" is the amount of unfounded assumptions you need to make for any of what you've said to be morally significant. First, you need to assume that a proportion of women and non-whites equal to the wider population in the countries where we have offices have applied for writing and speaking jobs with CMI. Second, you need to assume women and non-whites have been preferentially rejected when they did apply. Third, you need to assume they were rejected because of their sex and/or skin colour.

Do you have any evidence for any of those assumptions? Or do you just assume that maintaining a diversity statistic regardless of who applies for the job is more important morally than hiring people who are willing and able to do the work? This is only more important, considering that comparing the employment scene for academic positions in a Christian creationist ministry like CMI are very different from the UK civil service and UK parliament.

And the public faces of CMI are from Commonwealth countries because five of our seven offices around the world are in Commonwealth countries. Plus, the ministry was started in a Commonwealth country: Australia. The countries from which our speakers and writers are from is an artefact of CMI's history and geographical distribution, not a matter of sex and race.
Gian Carlo B.
In this tiresome, heated political climate, particularly on the whole race/ethnicity wars; it’s no surprise the guy who wrote to you guys is so worried about being of X, Y and Z ethnicity and not of A, B and/or C ethnic group. Tell you what, I’m Latinoamerican and Puerto Rican, but sometimes I feel like I beling more to a sort of American, Italian Jewish sort of ethnicity. And guess what? I don’t give a damn. So people need to quit their whining about being of X ethnicity. Ethnicity is super irrelevant, what matters is your skills, your aptitude and the state of your soul, most importantly.
Matthew D.
Too bad for the Philistines, Canaanites, etc. Is some ethnic cleansing justified?
Shaun Doyle
Who said what happened to the Canaanites, Philistines, etc. was an 'ethnic cleansing' like the evolution-inspired Holocaust and Herero genocide? God judged those people groups because His patience had run out for their morally degenerate cultures (Genesis 15:16, Deuteronomy 20:18). Read Canaanite DNA confirms the Bible and Is God a ‘moral monster’?
Terry W.
Given my circle of news over the last several months, this article seems almost like a 2 Peter 3:9 moment in its tardiness, especially since I discovered some pretty solid evidence that asian/white people really do have 15 more IQ points on average than black people. And I realized that I, a white person, probably have more IQ points than my roommate. I came across multiple independent sources two days ago (in the process discovering the disappointing American Renaissance organization.)

But the world clearly puts too much emphasis on such things - I'm not about to bother my roommate with Raven's matrices, he's way too busy for that, but our almost twenty year old microwave, which still works a treat every other way, has a display which has shorted out so that it can't display any valid characters, but you can still read it in a Raven's matrices kind of way. I figured it out instantly while he hasn't figured it out months after moving in, and now less than a month before moving out. He's a South Sudanese M.D. about to return home with about 12,000 patient treatment kits he's planning to expend in only seven months! I'm his typist for the paperwork and despite the gratitude that he has for that, I still feel small next to this guy.

Racism is still alive and well in the modern world. We still have our AmRens and other white nationalist organizations in the US, plus I live in Saskatchewan where a controversial verdict came down regarding a drunk driving First Nations teenager getting himself shot while trying to steal vehicles from a farm (duck "stanley boushie" to find that.) 4chan/pol members triggered massive anti-white backlash with a few simple "It's okay to be white" posters.

All this only emphasizes that there is only one shade that matters: the Blood of Jesus.
Bill P.
For me guys there are no races as the world sees it. I am Spanish, Polish, and Jewish.
Does it not say in "The Scriptures" that "from the blood of one man he Lord made all the nations of the world?
A person can call me any name they want, and I just walk away, but when someone calls me a racist, (and it has happened twice in my life, by people who didn't even know me) I have to confront them because I hate that word.
That is a word or attitude I never allowed in my house. I have also learned that many of those who like to use that word are just reflecting their true feelings about this abomination.
John P.
There is really only one race-the human race-with a wide range of variety.Our ethnicity does not alter that. God accepts us as we are, after all He created us in His image. We need only repent and believe in Him.
Corey B.
What Shaun said is exactly right. Another thing to remember is that you are not your parent or your grandparents. If they have done something in their life it is their sin not yours. All you can do is lean upon Jesus and repent of your sins and trust that Jesus will strengthen you in ways that your ancestors weren't. The past is the past, while horrible things have happened all you can do is move forwards.

Comments are automatically closed 14 days after publication.