Is there racism in the Bible?

Is God Racist? Is the Bible full of racism? Do we find racism in the Old Testament or New Testament? Join us as we look into the issue of racism and the Bible.

Is God and the Bible racist?

Racism is a huge social and political topic today. Thus, it is not difficult to see why some people turn to the Bible to find answers to questions they have about racism.

The problem is that, sometimes, a lot of people have studied the Bible not to learn how good it is for our society, but to deliberately twist the scripture to accommodate their own propaganda and fit their narrative.

Sadly, a lot of the passages and verses in the Bible have been wrongly used to justify and rationalize racism. However, a deeper understanding of some fundamental truths could easily dispel the notion that the bible supports racism.

Undeniable truths in the Bible

When you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you get a common theme of God’s love shown throughout all generations.

We have read that God plays no favoritism. In Acts 10:34, it says:

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth, I perceive that God shows no partiality.”

That’s the truth. God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t favor anyone based on their skin color, race, ethnic origin, and nationality. If there’s one being who knows the dangers of playing favoritism, it is God and thus, He rejects it in all forms.

God has consistently shown that He based his judgment on the behavior and actions of people. 

That’s why in verse 35 of Acts 10, we also read:

“But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”

There’s no denying, God loves everyone. He doesn’t direct His love, grace, and mercy to only a few people.

John 3:16, a popular verse, tells us:

“For God so loved the world.”

It didn’t say, God so loved the Jews or the Christians.

But it says, THE WORLD!

He loves everyone and He wants to develop a close and intimate relationship with every single person on this earth.

So, how much does God love us?

Well, we read:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

God so loved us so much that He gave us His SON!

Now, how can people say that a God who is willing to sacrifice everything is a racist God?

That’s totally absurd.

Notice, that the gift of everlasting life is available to anyone who believes in God and His Son, Yahshua (Jesus Christ). This means that whoever you are, no matter what race you are from, you have the opportunity to become part of God’s family!

In II Peter 3:9 we read that the Almighty is longsuffering toward us, NOT willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God the Father does not take any pleasure to see His children suffer. It’s not what He wants. Instead, it is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32)!

If we take an honest look into the Bible, you will undeniably conclude that there’s no racism in the Bible and that all races, ethnicities, and nationalities have an equal opportunity to come close to God and develop a relationship with Him.

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A false sense of superiority

In ancient times, God started working with a few people. He made a covenant with Abraham and eventually, this covenant was renewed with His descendants until the formation of the nation of Israel.

Because of this, a lot of Jews in Christ’s time felt that they are the superior race — that they are more favored and loved by God than other nations in the world. They thought of themselves as the chosen people of God who will be redeemed by a conquering King.

That false notion of superiority was dramatically disproved by John the Baptizer (Baptist). We read a portion of his confrontation with the religious leaders of his day in Matthew 3:7-9:

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and DO NOT THINK to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father.For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

John was basically telling these gravely mistaken Pharisees and Sadducees that their lineage and ancestry are nothing if they don’t bear fruits worthy of repentance.

In short, it is not who you are that matters to God, but it is your character and obedience to Him.

The Apostle Paul made it clear in Galatian 3:26-29:

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; FOR YOU ARE ALL ONE  in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

You might also be interested in reading, “What does the Bible say about Racism?”

Is God being racist when He chose the Israelites?

Today, some Jews still believe that they are special because of their rich cultural history and ancestry. No doubt: God has chosen their ancestors and has worked with them in a way that God has not worked with other nationalities before.

However, does this make Israel superior to other nations? Does this mean that God is racist for choosing Israel?

We need to realize that God made a covenant with Israel. In this covenant, both God and the Israelites have certain responsibilities and duties to perform. Simply put, if Israel would follow God, they would be blessed. If not, then they will be cursed.

As you can see, God chose Israel NOT because they are special or righteous. In fact, Israel has rebelled against God over and over again. If it weren’t because of God’s mercy, Israel has long been obliterated right after they have been freed from the Egyptians.

As you read the accounts of Israel’s behavior and continual breaking of God’s commandments, we see that they are no different from other nationalities around them.

And you know the exact reason why God has to choose a certain group of people, right? It is because God’s plan of salvation is done in stages. It is not done all at once.

God promised that the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. So, in effect, when God chose Israel, He isn’t doing it for the sake of Israel, but He is doing it for the entire HUMANITY!

God’s plan involves in choosing Israel first. He is working first with a smaller group of people so that He can work with more people in the future!

God’s masterplan of salvation is perfect, systematic, and effective. When God chose Israel, it isn’t based on their race. God didn’t establish His covenant with Abraham simply because He likes to, but because Abraham has proved himself through obedience that he is capable of keeping his covenant with the Most High!

Is God racist when He cursed Ham?

Another alleged racism in the Bible is when God cursed Ham and his descendants. The curse include being “the lowest of servants to his relatives” (Genesis 9:25).

According to scholars, the generations of Ham include the Africans, which in turn, made them slaves throughout many generations.

However, we shouldn’t jump into any conclusion without really examining what the scripture said.

First of all, please note that it wasn’t God who curse Ham. It was Noah!

Not only that, but it is not Ham who was cursed, but Canaan.

We read in Genesis 9:24-25:

So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said:

“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.”

Notice as well that the curse happened not because of who Ham is or how he looks or how he appears, but what they did!

Again, every action comes with consequences, and sadly, these consequences have more far-reaching effects and could even affect future generations.

Moreover, please note that not all of the descendants of Ham settled in Africa. While Cush and Mizraim did (Genesis 10:6-20), Canaan’s descendants lived in the east of Mediterranean Sea in the region we now know as Israel (Genesis 10:15-19).

So, it is not accurate to say that all of Canaan’s descendants became slaves. Moreover, please note that slavery isn’t simply limited to one race, but slavery has its grip on almost all races in the world.

Does the Bible promote racism?

After reading the scripture and explanation of alleged racism in the Bible, we can now conclude that NO, the Bible does not promote racism. God is not racist and He loves everyone.

In the Bible, we read that man has been created in the image of God. We came from the same parents. We are made from the same blood. God is not only the God of the Jews, Christians, Americans, Filipinos, but He is the God of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

The good news is that the Almighty is inviting us to start a relationship with Him and He wants everyone to come to repentance and be partakers of the Holy Spirit.

So, if ever someone tells you that God and the Bible are racist, you now know how to answer them. Most importantly, you can have a stronger confidence that we are serving a living, loving, and merciful God who extends salvation to all of mankind!

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