There is a lot of conversation going on during this election campaign and globalism, nationalism, immigration, racism, and just about every other ism that you can think of. What I find interesting is that there is also a battle going on for telling Christians what they should and should not believe in terms of what this nation should do and the opinions that they should have.
The Bible and Race
The Bible could be seen as a very racist book. Early on we see that God eliminated a whole bunch of people with a worldwide flood to start over. When they rebelled and did not go their separate ways, God came down and practically created the “races”1 , and then handpicked Abraham and then Isaac and the Jacob and singled them out for blessing:
- He blessed them in numbers of descendants
- He made specific promises to them about where they would live
- He promised to fight for them
- If they went away from Him, He promised to redeem them
- The Savior of the world would be born in them
- They would be the light to the world.
Even up to Jesus’ earthly ministry we have multiple instances where Gentiles would come to Jesus for miracles and it was a significant event. You can practically count on one hand the instances like the centurion and the woman that Jesus referred to as a dog. These are not the behaviors of a God that views all races the same– there was a preference and a difference, and many Jews to this day still consider themselves God’s chosen and above the others2.
So it should come as no surprise to the reader that in the book of Acts Peter needs a vision in order to confirm that the Gospel should be delivered to Cornelius the Gentile. At this point in the history of the Bible, God has stated his wholehearted preference for his wayward “wife”. There are very few references to God having anything to do with the rest of the world, from the Jewish perspective, even if the discerning reader can see what was not obvious to the Jewish one.
In very clear language, Paul and the Apostles lay out that the Gospel is for all– in the New Testament economy, there is no difference before God whether male or female, whether Jew or Gentile, Slave or Free. God invites all to repentance.
So God is Into Equality Now, Right?
This is where we get into problems. While the New Testament teaches that are all are equal before their creator in terms of being sinners in need of a Savior, it also lays out for us different roles and responsibilities that each group continues to have. It instructs believers to pray for their elected leaders. It gives out instruction and qualifications for teachers of the law and those that would do service in the church. It instructs on how a home is to be run, and what a slave owes his master.
All of these things are told to people that are equal before God.
The side of the argument that says that we should be open to everyone to the greatest limits as can be expected– that we should accept all refugees, all immigrants, etc.– takes this concept of equality to a far end, and misapplies it. There is no equality between a believer and an unbeliever. One is a child of God and the other is not, just as you were either a Jew or a Gentile.
Furthermore this is on a spiritual end. There is no Biblical command that any country accept people from any other country. While there is a command for all believers to spread the Gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, uttermost ends of the Earth, there’s no command for people to bring unbelievers (or anyone for that matter) to a specific country.3
As far as I can tell, there’s no analogous way to read into the Bible that immigration is a free gift or a right of anyone. To the contrary, the person in power, according to Romans 13, is someone who is tasked by God to keep the people safe, to be an arbiter of justice. This wouldn’t work if the person was bound by God to allow invaders into the city/state/country without being able to fight them.
So God Wants Us To Resist Globalism?
The origin of Globalism– or the first attempt to unite the world– was at the Tower of Babel. Obviously, God didn’t want the world to be unified at that point, and changed the languages to send people apart. Throughout all of recorded history, man has sought to do the opposite. Many a dictator has attempted to control all of the world– be it Napoleon, Hitler, and the like. From the book of The Revelations, we know that there will eventually be a world wide government, currency, and religion that will enslave the world against God.
We also know that when Jesus returns, He will create a one world government as well.
There is never a command in Scripture that I can find where Christians are commanded to resist a globalist society. No mention of Open Borders or anything like that, as Christianity is not of this world, and tangentially relates to this world only as much as the believer is “in the world, but not of it.”
All of this being the case, many believers were passionate nationalists. Even the puritans believed that they could reform England from the inside, with the separatist faction believing it’d be better to start over somewhere else.
God’s Commands to Israel
What we do know is that when it came to Israel, God was very nationalistic. It was very difficult to become a Jew, and Jews were commanded not to intermarry with those around them because it would dilute Judaism and cause the Israelites to worship other gods. In the book of Ezra, it was so bright a dividing line that the men that had married and had children with people of the land believed that divorcing their wives and abandoning their children would be better than transgressing this order. While the Bible is silent in the sense of a “word from the Lord via a prophet” the indication from the passage was that this was the correct course of action.
While Americans are not Israel, I find it interesting that when God came up with rules for a country He also described what it would take to keep the character of the country the same– that it would have to be homogeneous in such a way that there was a common foundation.
The lessons of history confirm this, heterogeneous people groups spawn homogeneous ones over and over. I think that’s part of the reason that the Millennial Kingdom will be amazing to behold– but then they will all share one common God.
So, are Christians racist? They shouldn’t be, as far as sharing the Gospel goes. All men and women need to hear of the saving grace made possible through Christ’s death on the cross. All sinners need repentance to work in their heart to salvation.
This doesn’t mean that Christians do not recognize that everyone is different– color, deportment, beliefs, likes, dislikes, etc.– is what makes us all unique. It is not wrong to want to fellowship and be friends with people with similar views, life stories, etc. and I believe therein lies the difference. Freedom of Association instead of forced association.
The Christianity of the Bible calls all to come, but accepts if you do not wish to and continues to move on its way. The culture of today tells all to accept that which it does not want, or face reprisal. One is constantly pleading for a person to choose, the other is forcing its choice on all. Which sounds more free?
- In quotes, because I agree with AiG’s comment that there really is only two races– a fallen one and a sanctified one, but for the purposes of discussion I’m using the more familiar definitions
- Keep in mind that in God’s way of thinking, they were probably the smallest so that they could show His glory the best!
- This seems to be tangentially related to our new Christian cultural idea that instead of going out to witness, we should bring them to the church to hear. Thereby absolving us of having to actually witness and get rejected– they just rejected the church.