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A Biblical Understanding of the Ethnic and Cultural

Diversity of the World

God loves every human being.[1]  While we may look different, think differently, or live in different cultures, every person is a special creation and image bearer of God.  Jesus was clear that our love for him is measured by our love for people.[2]  God’s command is to love people in the same way He loves people.  We are to love, show kindness, and give respect to all people regardless of the religion they follow, the shade of skin they have, how rich or poor they are, how young or old they are, what country they live in, or if they have a disability.[3]

Human beings are members of the same family.  Every human being is descended from Adam and Eve and created in the image of God.[4]  We are of one blood and one race – the human race.[5]  From the moment of creation, Adam and Eve carried the complete human genetic information – including the potential for every possible genetic variation[6] – and all of humanity carries different combinations of that original genetic information.[7]  Although mankind displays great diversity in physical characteristics, these differences only reflect the possibilities that God placed in the genome of humanity at creation.

Every human being is also descended from Noah and his three sons.[8]  Years after the world-wide flood,[9] God confused the language of all mankind at the tower of Babel, causing mankind to disperse across the earth.  Because of this, cultural differences developed as people groups became more distinct.  Groups of people with a common language migrated to different areas of the world and adapted their ways of life to new environments.  The differences we see today in the people groups of the world – different languages, cultures, physical and ethnic characteristics – originated with the dispersion at Babel.[10]

When we are prejudiced against another person because they are from another culture, or they are deceived into believing a false religion, or they have a different skin tone, that is bigotry and racism, both of which are sins.[11]  Further, to criticize or forbid the marriage of a Christian man and a Christian woman because they come from different ethnic backgrounds or have different shades of skin color is to practice the same sinful discrimination and prejudice.  Even worse is when bigotry and racism are seen in the church.  Whether through segregated Christian worship or fellowship that is limited to one’s own ethnicity or skin color, such attitudes and practices dishonor Christ and hinder Christian witness.

“The main calling of the church . . . includes the centrality of the cross and the glory of Jesus, bearing credible fruit in the works of love.  And that love includes the humble pursuit of racial diversity and harmony;”[12] a truth which eternity will forever confirm.  “Heaven will be a diverse community.  Citizens of heaven will include representatives of different ethnic, gender, cultural, economic, educational, social, geographic, and national backgrounds.[13]  Heaven will be a diverse but peaceful society with loving relationships created through Christ . . . The Cross reminds us that such unity did not come easily or cheaply.  The church needs to live up to the symbols and words of grace.  God has called individuals to lead His Church to pursue the heavenly reality of a diverse grace community on earth . . .”[14]


[1]John 3:16 CSB – For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

[2]John 13:34-35 ESV – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

[3] THE INCREDIBLE RACE, Teen/Adult Teacher Guide.  Hebron, KY: Answers in Genesis, 2018, p. 36.

[4]Genesis 1:26-27 CSB – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.  They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So, God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.

[5]Title of the book by Ken Ham and Charles Ware – ONE RACE ONE BLOOD: A Biblical Answer to Racism.  Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, 2007.


[7]Genesis 1:28 CSB – God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.

[8]Acts 17:26 CSB – From one man [God] has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.

[9]The account of the world-wide flood recorded in Genesis chapters 6 through 8.

[10]Genesis 11:9 CSB – Therefore it is called Babylon, for there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the LORD scattered them throughout the earth.

[11] Ken Ham, ONE BLOOD FOR KIDS: What the Bible Says About Race. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2018, p. 4.

[12] John Piper, BLOODLINES: Race, Cross, and the Christian. © 2011 by Desiring God Foundation. Published by Crossway, Wheaton, IL. Kindle Edition location 565.

[13]Revelation 5:9, 7:9 ESV – And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” . . . 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.

[14]Charles Ware, “Grace Relations.” ONE RACE, ONE BLOOD: A Biblical Answer to Racism.  Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, 2007, p. 139.

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