What is a biblical view of prejudice, discrimination, and racism?
Scientifically, humanity is comprised of exactly one race. Although the world has different ethnicities, geographies, citizenships, and cultures, all human beings are nearly identical genetically. The genetic differences that reflect variation in physical appearance across all mankind involve 0.01% of our genes. And all humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), brought to life by His breath (Genesis 2:7), and imbued with an immaterial and immortal soul. Despite the genetic and spiritual unity of the human race, racism still exists, as people choose to treat others poorly because they look different or are from a different culture.
Subscribe to our Compelling Mail Newsletter:
God was clear in His rules to the Israelites regarding those from different nations. In Deuteronomy 10:17-18, Moses asserts God's love of the foreigner and then exhorts the Israelites to love them as well (verse 19). God did make a distinction between foreigners who desired to follow Him and/or blessed His people and those who didn't. In 1 Kings 8:41-43, Solomon acknowledges that foreigners will pray to God, and God will hear them. Nations that respected God's will were to be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3). However, nations that practiced widespread child sacrifice and temple prostitution were to be destroyed (Deuteronomy 20:17-18). This was not a racial issue. It was God protecting His people from sinful influences.
Jesus exemplified God's grace. In John 4, He had a long conversation with a Samaritan woman, although the Samaritans were an ethnic group the Jews despised. As a result, many from her village followed Him. He was quick to heal Gentiles and praise their faith (Matthew 8:5-13; 15:22-28). And He taught His church to do the same (Acts 10-11). The Apostle Paul's ministry was to the Gentiles. The inclusiveness of Jesus' message is summarized in Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Unfortunately, humanity has twisted the Bible to try to justify human fears and prejudices. Some consider the "curse of Ham" to be an excuse to hate those of African descent. Others insist that the Jews were responsible for Jesus' death and deserve our derision. Both views are patently false. The Bible tells us that God's judgment is not based on appearances but what is on the inside (1 Samuel 16:7), and those who do judge according to appearances do so with evil intent (James 2:4). Instead, we are to treat one another with love (James 2:8), regardless of ethnicity (Acts 10:34-35) and social standing (James 2:1-5). Christian love negates all prejudice, and the Bible condemns racism.
What is the origin of the races of humanity?
Where did Cain's wife come from? Who was she?
Does the Bible say anything about interracial marriage?
Who are we in Christ?
What does the Bible say about edification? Why is it so important for Christians?
Truth about Humanity