The Table of Nations: Are There Many Races or One?
By Voddie Baucham
Join me if you will in Genesis 10 and as we said when we thought about preaching through the first 11 chapters of Genesis there were several places that sort of gave us pause. And one of the places was Genesis 10.
What do you do when you get to Genesis 10 and the table of nations?
But we are committed to systematic exposition and one of the things that means is just
like in our reading of Scripture. I am sure if you are a guest with us and you haven’t been with us and you don’t really know about what we do and what we are committed to in worship, well, one of the things we are committed to is that the Bible says to give
attention to the public reading of Scripture. And so we read systematically through Scripture. And we will read in the Old Testament and we will read in the New Testament and we will take a book and we will read through the book. And so right now we are reading through Exodus.
And a lot of people sit there and they have never been with us and we are in Exodus 26 and they are going, “Huh,” wondering how they are going to tie this in to everything that they are doing in the…
We don’t tie it in. We are just committed to the systematic reading of Scripture. And if we believe that all Scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work,”1 then what part of Scripture would be inappropriate to read in worship? Well, none.
1 See 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Do we really believe that? Well, most times we don’t. That’s why most of us have never been in a church where Exodus 26 has ever been read. Amen? But we read systematically through the Scripture. We read, you know, Revelation, the next week we will read Revelation 22 and then we will find another New Testament book and we will read through it from the beginning to the end.
We preach systematically. So right now we are preaching Genesis one through 11. Most times you don’t tackle Genesis chapter 10, the table of nations, lists of names. Amen, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord. Make you just want to get up and shout and do the Hallelujah Holy Ghost dance, all right, reading lists of names.
But if we are committed to systematic exposition and we look at the Scriptures as a whole, the question is: God put Genesis chapter 10 in here for a reason. Can we, in light of what we have taught all the way through Genesis chapters one through nine and in
light of what comes up in Genesis chapter 11, can we understand how Genesis chapter 10 fits into God’s redemptive plan? And the answer, I believe, is yes.
Let’s read together, shall we? Or I will read it.
These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.2
By the way, we have a lot of expecting mothers here in the church with us this morning and as we go through here feel free to just dive in and grab any one of these names.
The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations. 3
And so now we see the sons of Japheth going off to these coastal regions.
The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.”
The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh,
2 Genesis 10:1-2.
3 Genesis 10:3-5.
Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom the Philistines came), and Caphtorim.4 And so now we have seen the Philistines as well. We recognize them.
Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.5
And so now we see the sons of Ham, much more prolific these sons of Ham. We have one who has gone sort of coastal and another one who has moved in a sort of southerly direction.
To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born. The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arpachshad fathered Shelah; and Shelah fathered Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east. These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.6
And so now we have Shem taking off in an easterly direction. “These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.7
Now here is the question. Do we believe that? That is the question. Do we believe that? When we look at the table of nations what the table of nations suggests is this. All the different people groups on earth are derived from the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Do we believe that?
4 Genesis 10:6-14.
5 Genesis 10:15-20.
6 Genesis 10:21-31.
7 Genesis 10:32.
Now, don’t answer that too quickly because you may be surprised by the answer, because for the most part we don’t believe that. We don’t believe that we all are of common descent and of common origin. Most of us when we think and ask ourselves the question about the different people groups and from where they are derived and how they are derived, we ask ourselves that question from a perspective that is given to us by our culture.
So as we think about this issue of nations and the origin of nations, we have been conditioned to think this way. There are multiple races of men who come from multiple origins. We believe this because that is what we have been taught. And there are several reasons that we have been taught to believe this. But all of the sudden we get back to Genesis 10 and the table of nations and we have to ask ourselves a question.
How do we get multiple races of people if everybody goes back to Shem, Ham and Japheth? How was Noah able to have children who were multiple races? How did that happen? And if Noah didn’t have children who were multiple races, where did the multiple races of people come from?
Interestingly enough, there is a premise in the question that is false. And here is the false premise. The false premise is that there are multiple races of people. There is only race. There has always been one race. There will always be one race. All descended from Noah who was descended from Adam. There is but one race.
Did you hear me? There is but one race.
Now as I say that I say it over and over again so that it will wash over us because if you will remember we always talk about Aristotle’s famous question: Does a fish know he is wet? The answer, of course, is no. A fish doesn’t know he is wet, not until you get him out of the water. And the fact of the matter is, we have been conditioned by our culture for a number of reasons to believe that there are multiple races of people.
I have people ask me all the time. Is your church interracial?
To which I always respond, oh, absolutely not. We only accept humans as members.
No, no, no. Wouldn’t dare, wouldn’t dare have anyone who was not human as a member of our church. We have got a little dog who hangs around up here in the parking log, you know. He is wanting membership. He is trying to get membership, but no, no, no. This is a humans only congregation.
I have people a lot asking me a lot how I feel about interracial marriage or interracial adoption. To which, again, I respond: No, I do not believe in interracial marriage. Absolutely, not. I am against interracial marriage. My children may only marry humans. Amen. That is all. Don’t you bring a non human into my house trying to get my blessing to go and get married. All right? There is but one race and one race only.
Listen to this from Webster’s 1828 dictionary. I am sorry some of this won’t be up for you, for some of it is quite visual. Webster defines race as this, “The lineage of a family or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called a stock.”
A race is the series of descendants indefinitely, thus all mankind are called the race of
Adam. By definition all mankind are called the race of Adam. Many races or one.
Listen to Paul in Acts 17:26. “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”8
He is hearkening back to Genesis chapter 10. God made from one man every nation of men. There are not multiple races of men. There is but one race of man. What we have in Genesis chapter 10 is not the table of races, but the table of nations. That is what we have in Genesis 10, single parentage, single lineages, not races.
By the way, listen to this. A geneticist and a computer scientist and a geologist all at Yale sort of got together to do some number crunching and some figuring based on what we know of genealogy. And here is what they discovered. You would have to go back in time only 2000 to 5000 years and probably on the low side of that range to find somebody who could count every person alive today as a descendant.
These are not Christians, by the way. These are evolutionary biologists. These are evolutionary scientists who by their computations have said you only have to go back between 2000 and 4000 years to find a person from whom all of us are commonly descended, 2000 to 5000 years. Well the flood happened about 4000 years ago, interestingly enough. It fits right in there.
But wait. There is more. Furthermore, if you go back a little bit further, about 5000 to 7000 years ago—by the way, I believe the earth is only about 6000 years old. I know that makes me a freak. Amen? But I believe Genesis. I do. I also believe science. And I believe the scientific evidence points to the earth being only around 6000 years old, not billions and billions of years old.
But these evolutionary scientists say, furthermore, if you go back a little further, about 5000 to 7000 years ago everybody living today has exactly the same set of ancestors.
I wonder who that might be? That would be Adam and Eve. One race or multiple races? Which is it?
Our culture says there are multiple races. The Bible says that there is but one. Which do we say? For most of my life I have believed that there were multiple races. For most of my life I believed that. Even as a new believer I believed that. I became a believer and it didn’t automatically change every aspect of my thinking over night. No. I was still swimming in the stream of this culture and believed with every fiber of my being that
8 Acts 17:26.
there were multiple races of people and that you could determine those multiple races of people by external characteristics like skin tone, like hair type, like shape of face and eyes and think of things of that nature, but that there were multiple races of people.
Why do we doubt the one race hypothesis? Two reasons mainly. One reason is evolution. We doubt the one race hypothesis because we are bathed in this theory of evolution. We believe this theory of evolution. Everywhere we go it is assumed that man evolved. And evolutionary thinking has thought for a long time that there are multiple races of people.
The second reason that we fail to believe this one race hypothesis is because of Racism. It is because of Racism. It is because of racial prejudice. And that category of race and that category of thinking about people as races of people is actually Racist in itself. That category that goes back to Genesis chapter 10 and somehow believes that there was a mutation that took place and that there were certain mutant races that came as a result of that, that is Racism. Or that idea that goes back even further to Adam and says that there was somehow a subadamic race, that there is Adam and the people who descended from Adam, but then there are other people who did not descend from Adam but they descended from some subadamic race, some race not identified with Adam. That is Racism.
As we look at Genesis 10 I want you to understand that this gets to the core of who we are as people. This gets to the core of how we relate to one another. This gets to the core of how we treat one another and this gets to the core of assumptions and prejudices with which all of us struggle, all of us.
Here is what I want to do in the rest of the time that we have together. I want to show
you how this struggle has come about. I want to show you the scars that this struggle has left and then we will look back at a better way to think about issues regarding so called race and how it is we must address this because I don’t think we understand how we have been affected.
First of all, evolution. Listen to this from Paula Weston. “The increase an spread of evolutionist doctrine has much to answer for in relation to the way people often treat each other. Sadly, people rarely recognize that the prejudices which have slowly become ingrained in their psyche have often been a result directly or indirectly of evolutionary thinking.”
We don’t know how much we have been messed up.
Listen to this from Stephen J. Gould in his book Ontogeny and Phylogeny. He was a Harvard professor, by the way. “Biological arguments for Racism may have been common before 1859.”
By the way, 1859 is when we got this earth shattering book here, The Origin of Species
by Charles Darwin, 1859, The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection.
There is an alternate title to this book, by the way. Most of people don’t put the whole title of the book on the cover of the book. The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or The preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. A foundational book for modern Racism right here. I recommend you read it and its companion, The Descent of Man. I recommend you read that because people who are basing their understanding of the world on Darwinian evolutionary concepts have no idea that at its core Darwinian thinking is Racist.
Listen to this. “The widely held view was that Blacks evolved from strong, but less intelligent gorillas. The Orientals evolved from the orangutan and Whites evolved from the most intelligent of all primates, the chimpanzees.”
That is Darwinian evolutionary thinking. We all came from apes. It is just some of us came from more intelligent apes than others.
Not Genesis chapter 10, the table of nations, no, no, no. Not that. Not all with one common ancestor. No, no, no. Not that. Some came from big strong gorillas, others came from orangutans and others came from the intelligent chimpanzee.
Here is one I wish you could see. But there is a popular evolutionary picture and you have seen it. You know, it starts with, you know, this knuckle dragging gorilla and then he begins to stand more upright and eventually at the end of it is man walking in his fully evolved form. Here is what a lot of people don’t know.
There are six drawings. And, by the way, it is a drawing. There are six drawings on that evolutionary picture and that evolutionary chart, this Darwinian evolutionary chart. The first two drawings are very apelike. The third drawing is supposed to be this kind of missing link kind of maybe Lucy or one of these fossils. The fourth drawing is a Black man. The fifth drawing is an Asian man and the final drawing is an Anglo Saxon man.
And so the teaching of Darwinian Evolution as depicted in this drawing is that as people became more evolved they became less dark. So the darker you are, the less human you are.
How many of us had that drawing in our science books? That drawing is often still in people’s science books. And it impacts us. That drawing is incompatible with the teaching of Genesis chapter 10. According to Genesis chapter 10 we all have common ancestry and there is but one race and one race only. According to Darwinian Evolution I am darker because I am less evolved than my lighter brethren.
Do you think that this has not affected us? Listen to this. One man’s journey.
David’s father, a geologist, tried to reconcile evolution with Christianity—his father was Methodist—by concluding that evolution was the means God used to create life. This background set the ground work for David’s later acceptance of Darwinism. As he read more and more on the scientific issue of race he became torn between his religion and science.
David was doing his research on Darwinism while he was attending a Church of Christ school in New Orleans. As a result of his study of Evolution, David openly challenged his teachers discussing his evolving ideas about the origin of humans and their implications for Racism.
When endeavoring to combine his Darwinist, Racist beliefs with Christianity, David used many of the same rationalizations used by theistic evolutionists to rationalize the plain statements in Genesis.
David eventually sided with Darwinism and rejected Creationism. He concluded that with each passing day more evidence emerges of the dynamic genetically born physical and physiological differences between the races.
So ended his fleeting commitment to orthodox Christianity even though he still peppers his writings with religious phrases such as, “If I can move our people one inch toward God my life will have been worthwhile.”
His life tells a very different story. In short, after his acceptance of Darwinism David Duke unabashedly classified both Europeans and Asian races as higher levels of human evolution than the African race.
Who is David Duke? You remember the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He ran for Congress. What were his ideals based on? A rejection of Genesis 10 in favor of Racist, Darwinian, Evolutionist ideas about who we are as people.
Do we look in Genesis 10 and see some of us? Or we do we look in Genesis 10 and see all of us?
What about this Racist idea?
Listen to this. A higher race subjects to itself a lower race. A right which we see in nature and which can be regarded as the sole conceivable right. It is the sole conceivable right of a more evolved race to subject a less evolved race.
Who said that? Adolf Hitler said that. That’s who. That is who said that and that is what he believed. But that was then. Right? I mean, come on. That was Darwin in the 1850s over in Europe.
Come on, that was Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Certainly that was other individuals in other cultures and not our own, really. Nobody here in America.
Oda Benga was an African Pygmy. He was captured and brought to the United States in the 20th century, not the 19th century, not the 18th century. Oda Benga was captured and brought to the United States in the 20th century. He eventually ended up in a zoo. Yes, in a zoo.
Listen to the heading of one paper when he first premiered in the zoo. “Bushmen shares cage with Bronx Park ape.”
Oh, did I tell you? This was New York, not Alabama and this was in 1906.
Listen to the statements. There was always a crowd before the cage most of the time roaring with laughter. And from almost every corner of the garden could be heard the question: Where is the Pygmy?
The answer was: In the monkey house. That was September of 1906.
How about this? We believe that the White Anglo Saxon Germanic kindred people to be God’s true literal children of Israel. Only this race fulfills every detail of biblical prophecy and world history concerning Israel and continues in these latter days to be heirs and possessors of the covenants, prophecies, promises and blessings Yahweh God made to Israel.
Where do you find that? Oh, the statement of faith of the Ku Klux Klan. That is how they interpret Genesis.
How about the Christian Identity movement? We believe that the man Adam is the father of the white race only.
How about Mormonism? We know the circumstances under which the posterity of Cain and later Ham were cursed with what we call Negroid racial characteristics.
Is it just the Mormons? How about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? In July 1929 in their magazine The Watchtower you find this statement. “The curse that Noah pronounced upon Cainan was the origin of the black race.”
Is it just the Darwinists? Is it just the cultists? No. It has also been prevalent in the Church among orthodox Christians. For example, in 1794 a denomination was born, the African Methodist Episcopal denomination. Where was the African Methodist Episcopal denomination born? Out of the Methodist Church. Why? Was the AME Church born out of the Methodist Church in 1794? Because of Racism within Methodism that did not allow certain races entry into their churches. So they formed the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
How about Southern Baptists? Certainly not us, right? The Southern Baptist Convention was established in 1845. Why? Because of a dispute. What was the dispute? Can a man who owns slaves be commissioned as a missionary? So at the triennial convention in 1845 some Baptists from the South sent a man up as a candidate to be a missionary sent out by the convention. They rejected him on the grounds that he was a slave holder. Because they did that in 1845 the Southern Baptist Convention split and was thereby born.
There was not a public acknowledgement or repentance from this until the 150th anniversary of the SBC in 1995. According to one survey as late as 1968 only 11% of Southern Baptist Churches allowed non Whites to be members, only 11%.
Listen to this. How about the Fundamentalists? What about them? Listen to this from John Rice who is the founder of the magazine The Sword of the Lord. “Socially it is better for both Negroes and Whites to run with their own kind and intermarry with their own kind. The mixing of races widely differing is almost never wise. Thus, if a girl would do wrong to marry a Negro boy, she would be wrong to keep company with him, mixing regularly with him in social life.”
Were those the only Fundamentalists who thought that way? Well, this one Fundamentalist university who banned interracial dating. They lifted the ban, however, in 2000, in 2000 they lifted the ban. Why? This Fundamentalist college, university lifted the ban on what they called interracial dating. By the way, how can you interracial dating if you believe, according to Genesis 10, that is but one race? You can’t.
So this Fundamentalist school lifted the ban in interracial dating in 2000. Why? Because George W. Bush was running for president and had a debate on their campus. The press was so upset with Mr. Bush for going to Bob Jones University that they raised a furor. And it was only then in an effort not to hurt Mr. Bush’s campaign that Bob Jones University changed their stance on interracial dating in 2000.
Is it just on the non dark skinned side? No. Listen to this from Elijah Mohammed, one of the founders of the Nation of Islam and his book Message to the Black Man in America, “The origin of all sin, the origin of murder, the origin of lying are deceptions originating with the creators of evil and injustice, the White race. Even today they like climbing and jumping. The monkeys are from them. Before their time there were no such things as monkeys, apes and swine.”
So the other side comes back and argues, “No, no, no. We are not the ones who were descended from the apes. In fact, the apes descended from you.” Dueling, Darwinian Racism. But Genesis chapter 10 says Noah had three sons. They were Shem. They were Ham. And they were Japheth. These three sons went to different regions of the world and eventually all people groups come from those three sons.
So what do we learn from Genesis chapter 10? What does the Bible teach us? Number one, the Bible teaches us that we are one in Adam. Amen. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. There is one race and Adam is the father of that race. Eve is the mother of that race.
Secondly, the Bible teaches us in Genesis chapter nine and Genesis chapter 10 that we are one in Noah. After the flood there was a preservation of the human race and it was through Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.
The Bible also teaches us that we are one in Christ. Galatians chapter three and verse 28. Turn there with me if you will. And it reads:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.9
We are one in Adam. We are one in Noah. We are one in Christ. And we will be one in glory.
Turn with me, if you will, to Revelation chapter seven.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”10
To whose God? Our God. Which nation’s God? Our God. Which people’s God? Our God. Which tone’s God? Our God.
That is whose God. One in Adam, one in Noah, one in Christ, one in glory. So what does this mean? Here is what I want you to understand. Make this observation and then we will close with a couple of applications. We all descended from common ancestors. We know this from the Scriptures. We also know this scientifically. There is one race, but there are many nations, ethnic groups. Where do we get that term from?
9 Galatians 3:28-29.
10 Revelation 7:9-10.
If you are a member of this church and you have been through new member’s orientation, you know the one Greek phrase that everyone is required to know if you are going to be a member of Grace Family Baptist Church. That one Greek phrase is what? panta ta eynh (pan-ta ta eth-nay). Where is that from? The Great Commission. Go and make disciples of panta ta eynh (pan-ta ta eth-nay), every ethnicity, every people group.
There is but one race. There are many different ethnicities.
Thirdly, understand this. There is less than a 0.2% genetic difference between any two people in this room. You pick any two people in this room at random and there is less than a 0.2% genetic difference between any two people in this room.
Which means, fourthly, we all share the same genes. Amen.
There used to be laws against intermarriage based on the fact that if people were to marry from differing—quote, unquote—races, that there would develop some mongrel race, that there would be some kind of freakish development as the result of the intermixing between those individuals. There is less than a zero point two percent genetic difference between any two people in this room and, news flash, whatever you think you are, you are that and a whole lot more. Amen?
Finally, here is what I also interesting. We are all the same color. We are all the same color.
Well, no we are not.
Well, yeah, actually we are. The color in your skin and the color in my skin all comes from the same chemical. It is called melanin. There aren’t different colors of melanin. There are just different degrees of melanin in the skin. People are darker or lighter because they have more or less melanin in their skin. That’s all. It is all the same color. Some people just have more of that color in their skin. And here is what is interesting about the whole deal.
If we had started with two individuals, Adam and Eve, who just completely lacked melanin and were what we call White, we would not have gotten all the different colors of people or shades shall I say of people. Or if we started with two people, Adam and Eve and they were individuals with as much melanin as me and they were all what we call Black, we would not have gotten all the different shades of people. However, if
Adam and Eve were what we call middle brown, then guess what? From a middle brown couple you could get every shade represented in this room and only from a middle brown couple.
So, news flash, Javier is the closest thing to what Adam looked like as it relates to melanin in his skin.
I was talking to Javier about this earlier. I didn’t just spring that on him, by the way. I told him I was going to do that. And when I told him I was going to do that, Javier just sort of smiled and he said, “You know what is interesting? In my country in Venezuela, we have people, we have couples, you know, and the couple will both be the sort of same complexion like my complexion and they will have kids and some of them will be real, real, real light and some of them will be real, real, real dark.
By the way, that is not new. That is what happened to Noah. He had some real light descendants, some middle brown descendants and some dark brown descendants and they are all over the globe.
And, by the way, anybody have a pure bred dog? Pure breds don’t live as long. They got more medical problems. My brother who are incredibly light they got issues. Sun just doesn’t… you know, they get melanomas and all this sort of stuff. Just not a good thing. My brethren who are really, really dark, we have a tendency to have vitamin D deficiencies. Why? Because we are blocking out more of the sun.
So now what?
If Genesis 10 teaches us that there is but one race but many ethnicities, what are the implications for you and me and the way we live our lives?
Number one, we need to celebrate our oneness in Adam and Noah and Christ and in glory. Amen? We need to celebrate our oneness.
Secondly, we need to recognize all racism as sin, even that in ourselves. All of it.
Are you worried or perhaps disinclined about your children coming home with someone of another skin color when it comes to marriage? Why? Why? Because a fish doesn’t know he is wet, that’s why. We all struggle with that.
Thirdly, stop using race as a category. If you believe Genesis 10, if you believe Genesis one, why would we ever use race as a category? This race, that race, the other race.
For those of you who know me I have just a few pet peeves, not a lot, but we have all got a few pet peeves. One of my pet peeves is I despise being called African American. I hate being called African American. I get angry at being called African American. Did I say I despise being called African American? I believe it is a racist term.
First of all, why do I have to be hyphenated at all? Amen. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Why are we hyphenating and dividing ourselves in the first place. But I mean, ok. I am African American. Ok, that’s fine. Let’s examine this to see if it is an appropriate term.
I am African American. Great. If someone is from Egypt do we call them an African American? No. Well, then the term is not appropriate. Egypt is in Africa. Libya is in Africa. So if we are going to call someone an African American because their skin looks like mine, why wouldn’t we call an Egyptian with lighter skin who is actually Arabic in his ethnicity an African American? Why? Because African American doesn’t mean what we like to say it means. It is a racist term.
Well, ok, fine. Then we won’t use African American. Well, yeah we will. We will use African American because are still talking about people from Africa. Ok, that’s fine, but we already established that the Egyptian, the Egyptian is from Africa as well. Well, we use Asian American. Is that appropriate? Well, let’s examine it. Asian American. When we use Asian American we usually talk about people who are from Korea or Japan or from, you know, China. But guess what else is Asian? India and Pakistan? And do we call Indians and Pakistanis Asian Americans? No we don’t. Why? Because the term is inappropriate. We don’t mean what we say.
Someone from Russia who is from the southern part of Russia are they are European American or are they an Asian American? By the way someone from the Middle East, what are they? Middle Eastern American? Well, no, they are Arab American. No, not necessarily because people from Iran are not Arabs. They are Persians. The terms don’t work. That is why I despise the terms. What do we call someone from Venezuela? A South American American? That would make some one from Mexico a North American American.
Do you see how ridiculous this terminology is? The terminology is born out of our racist preconditioning.
Who am I? I am what C.S. Lewis calls, “Son of Adam.” Amen? I love that term. That Chronicles of Narnia term, sons of Adam. That is what I am. I am a son of Adam. That’s what you are, sons and daughters of Adam.
Here is what I love. We have looked at a lot of documents and read a lot of statements that weren’t very attractive, but are there any that get it right?
Our confession of faith is the London Baptist Confession of 1689. Listen to the London Baptist Confession in the chapter on marriage. “It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry who are able with judgment to give their consent. Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord and therefore such as profess the true religion should not marry with infidels or idolaters, neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked by marrying with such as are wicked in their life or maintain damnable heresy.
1689. The understood what the Bible taught. What did the Bible teach? The Bible taught we are one in Adam, we are one in Noah, we are one in Christ.
When you are looking for somebody to marry, don’t be like man who looks on the outside. You be like God who judges the heart. [?] my son or daughter to come home with somebody who is deep, dark, chocolate brown, but doesn’t know Jesus from the man in the moon or somebody who hails from somewhere like Hong Kong or Singapore or Brazil or England who loves God and has a multi generational vision for seeing to it that my children’s children are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Which one is it? Christ came to redeem his people in Adam, in Noah and he has but one people. We are but one Church. We are but one race. There has always been but one race. All of us has been marred by the racism in our culture, every last one of us. Don’t think for a minute that you have gotten away from it unscathed. You haven’t. You have bathed in it for years and years and years. And when you look at people you make snap judgments. You do. You do.
Somebody walks in the door and immediately we look at that individual and if that individual has brown skin we find one of our brown skinned families in the church to introduce that individual to. Why? Because we think brown skinned people are going to have more in common with brown skinned people and we want that brown skin person to know, hey, we got brown skinned people in our church, too.
If you can’t say amen, you ought to say ouch. Because we do it all the time. Why? Because a fish doesn’t know he is wet, that’s why. That’s why. A fish doesn’t know he is wet.
And you and I have no idea that though we are followers of Christ and have been redeemed, that the area of racism and prejudice is something that needs to be scrubbed from our souls, from every last one of us.
My prayer is that this church would always be a church that holds up high the banner of Christ, period, end of discussion. And if you can unite around Christ you can unite with us. I don’t care if you are pink, green or purple. If you can unite around Christ you can unite with us. But if you have a problem with accepting other people as one race, you are not welcome here. Repent. Fall on your face before our Jewish, middle brown Savior and beg him to cleanse you with his blood that looks just like yours.