Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Are Family: Racial Prejudice and the Superficial Division of Skin Color

Richardson Twins
"From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands." (Acts 17:26)

With racial prejudice and ethnic hostility on the rise in America, it is good to remember that every human being comes from one man. We human beings--black, white, beige, red, yellow--are all people of color; we just have varying amounts. Science has not been able to determine what causes human skin pigmentation, but within us all, there is the biological potential for every kind of skin color. Truth is, skin color is one of the most superficial division of humans there is. For example, the Richardson twins pictured above, Kaydon and Layton, share the same mother and father, and were born on the same day in July of 2006.  Modern geneticists are proving what the Bible has long declared: All male genetic markers can be traced back to a single male and mitochondrial DNA in human beings go back to a single female. To be prejudiced against someone else because of his or her color is to reject your own family.

The Hodgson Family
Another example is the Hodgson family (pictured to the left). Mrs. Hodgson gave birth to fraternal "black and white" twins, Remee and Kian, in April of 2005. Mom and dad have a darker color of skin pigmentation, but modern genetics have shown--and the Hodgson family proves--that skin color can vary within a generation. The idea that we are "different" from one another because of our "skin color" is foreign to logic, genetics and the Bible. We come from one man, and therefore, we are one family. Christianity has long advocated the belief that every human being is related to every other human being, but in a world dominated by the false teaching of human evolution, racial superiority becomes the norm. Now, science is catching up with the truth of Scripture.

The Durrant Twins
A stunning example of the ability for color in human beings to vary within a single generation--and an anecdote that reinforces the superficiality of  dividing over skin color--- is the Durrant twins. Dean and Alison Durrant, gave birth to TWO sets of fraternal twins. The first differing colored twin girls (pictured to the right), were born in 2001, and the second set of differing-colored twin girls (the two baby sisters held by their older sisters) were born in November 2008. The four cute Durrant girls share the same father and mother, but all four vary in their individual degree of skin color. The cultural biases of our youth may linger with us and make us uncomfortable around people from other cultures, but the next time you are tempted to think someone is different than you because of "skin color," you need to remember your Bible and this little post on genetics. We are all family. We share the same father.

The Bible describes a common ancestor for all the nations, and in Genesis 10 we have the Table of Nations which traces the spread and boundaries of the nations from the three sons of Noah--Shem, Ham and Japheth. The descendants of Shem are the Semitic peoples, the descendants of Ham are the African peoples (the original name for Egypt was Ham), and the descendants of Japheth are the Indo/European peoples (see map). God he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands, but we are one family who share a common ancestor.


Anonymous said...

This brings up a point in my mind as I return to serve God in the diverse culture of the US. I understand that statistics show that our Southern Baptist, perhaps protestant churches in general, are declining in numbers; slowly dying. Although there are some "Wal-Mart" size congregations which seem to flourish it seems the US church in general is on the decline.

When I see most Southern Baptist churches it seems they remain 99.9% white even though the communities around them have become a patch-work quilt of color and peoples from around the world. (Observe student color/nationalities at local schools.) Could it be that a key reason that US churches are on the decline is because they are not addressing the changing community surrounding them and are clinging nostalgically to the traditional church of old?

God's Spirit is not dormant. He's moving like wildfire in Africa, East Asia, South America and even Central and Southern Asia. What's with the US church??

If the problem is our sticking our head in the sand, what a shame; the world coming to our doorstep and we're oblivious to the potential God has put before us.

John Wylie said...

Great article Wade. What translation was your opening verse? I like the way it rendered that verse in Acts 17.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks, John!