How many races are there?
For clarification I’m not referring to the Tour De France, a marathon or an ironman competition. I’m talking about humanity. When it comes to human beings, how many races can they be divided into?
Ready for the answer?
One. That’s right: one race.
Sources outside of the church have affirmed this in recent years, but the Bible has made it clear from the beginning.
Acts 17:26 says, “And he [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth….”
The New King James version phrases the same verse this way: “He [God] has made from one blood every nation…”
One man. One blood.
That’s what the Human Genome Project can corroborate even if it can’t fully explain. All human DNA points back to a shared ancestry. While secular theorists claim it results from eons of evolutionary pairing down of the species, Bible believers know human ancestry began with one man, one blood. We all come from Adam and are descendants of one of the sons of Noah.
So if we are all one race, what then is racism?
Racism, as I understand the term, is the perpetuated lie that there are different races of people, some more important or valuable than others. This is an evil thought (Mark 7:21), sinful partiality (James 2:1-13) and hate (1 John 2:9-11; 1 John 3:15).
God created us all as humans, male and female, into His image. The color of our skin was never intended by God to be our defining mark or classification. Skin color was always meant by God to display His own unity in beautiful diversity. Sin marred that image in many ways, including the sin of classifying people into different “races.” There’s just no such thing, and the separating of people by distinct races perpetuates the sin against the image of God.
When referring to the sin of racism, remember that it is a sin of cutting up the image of God. It’s classifying some of worthy of inclusion and others as not. None of us are worthy of inclusion in the image of God, but that’s the honor He has nonetheless entrusted into every human being. We all have worth and value and should be treated with dignity, respect and honor.
One of the greatest images of the Civil Rights Movement, in my opinion, is the parade of black men wearing sandwich boards with the message, “I am a Man.” That’s spot on true to God’s Word. The truth has not changed. May God help us to honor the men and women in front of us with the dignity, respect and honor they are due as image bearers of God.