• Chris Steele

Prejudice

Chris' Corner - June 14, 2020


Years ago, in the mission field of West Africa, I was taken aback by the lack of a racial divide like I had known in the States. With our country's history, black and white tensions have been common and sometimes in waves of prominence, like we're experiencing in our country today.

In our home growing up, we were not taught or influenced to be prejudice against black people or any other ethnicity. It always puzzled and disturbed me when I heard how my cousins would speak about black people at their school.

Fresh out of high school and halfway around the world, I encountered different kinds of prejudices. The black/white divide was not very common where we were. Economic tensions were one of the main sources of problems between folks. The issue was between the haves and the have nots.

There were also tribal prejudices. Tribal ties are very strong. Just the mention of your tribe could put you at odds with other people. It could mean the difference between getting a job or not, or where you live or cannot live.

We need to go back in time to find where these divisions of race first occurred. Genesis 1 1 tells us about the Tower of Babel. At that time the human race was united. However, they used their solidarity to rebel against God. "Now the whole earth had one language and one speech...And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth" (Genesis 11: 1, 4).

God was not going to allow this futile and misunderstood attempt to reach heaven and not replenish the earth. "And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city" (Genesis 11:6-8).

The confusing of languages and dispersing these people of one race into all areas of the world, forced them to develop cultures independent of one another. Over time dominate physical traits developed from intermarrying and environment which we now call racial differences.

However, underneath the physical characteristics of skin color, etc., we are still but one race—the human race. On Mars Hill Paul spoke the words of the Holy Spirit when He said, "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:26-27).

No one is better than anyone else. We all have the same physical and spiritual needs. We all need God and the salvation only Jesus Christ can provide.

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