What are the consequences of false beliefs about the origin of ethnicities?
False beliefs about the origin of ethnicities have led to widespread problems worldwide. The effects are far-reaching and include some of the following results:
One of the biggest justifications for racial discrimination in modern times is the belief that people groups have evolved separately. Thus, different groups are at allegedly different stages of evolution, and so some people groups are more backward than others. Therefore, the other person may not be as fully human as you. This sort of thinking inspired Hitler in his quest to eliminate Jews and Gypsies and to establish the “master race.” 2
Sadly, some Christians have been infected with racist thinking through evolutionary indoctrination that people of a different “color” are inferior because they are supposedly closer to the animals. Such attitudes are completely unbiblical (e.g., Acts 17:26, Colossians 3:11), although out-of-context Bible verses are often conscripted in attempts to justify racist views.
Rejection of the Gospel
The accuracy of the historical details of Genesis is crucial to the trustworthiness of the Bible and to the whole gospel message. 1 So the popular belief that people groups evolved their different features and could not all have come from Noah's family (contrary to the Bible) has eroded belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Bad influence on missionary outreach
Historically, the spread of evolutionary belief was associated with a slackening of fervor to reach the lost in faraway countries. The idea of savage, half-evolved inferior peoples somehow does not evoke the same missionary urgency as the notion that our “cousins,” closely linked to us in time and heredity, have yet to hear the gospel.3 Even many of the finest of today's missionary organizations have been influenced, often unconsciously, by this deeply ingrained evolutionary belief of how other people and their religions came about.
All Tribes and Nations Are Descendants of Noah’s Family!
The Bible makes it clear that any newly “discovered” tribe ultimately goes back to Noah. They are not a group of people who have never had superior technology or knowledge of God in their culture. Rather, their culture (going back to Noah) began with (a) a knowledge of God, and (b) technology at least sufficient to build a boat of ocean-liner size. Romans chapter 1 suggests the major reason for this technological loss and cultural degeneration. It is linked to the deliberate rejection by their ancestors of the worship of the living God.
Therefore, the first priority in helping a “backward” people group should not be secular education and technical aid, but first and foremost the gospel.
In fact, most “primitive” tribes still have a memory, in their folklore and religion, of the fact that their ancestors turned away from the living God, the Creator. Don Richardson, missionary of Peace Child fame, has shown that a missionary approach, unblinded by evolutionary bias, and thus looking for this link and utilizing it, has borne a bountiful and blessed harvest on many occasions. 4
Jesus Christ, God's reconciliation in the face of man's rejection of the Creator, is the only truth that can set men and women of every culture, technology, people group, or color truly free (John 8:32; 14:6). [Learn more about the Gospel - Go]
Learn more about these and related issues…
ORIGIN OF ETHNIC PEOPLE GROUPS—Where did different ethnicities come from? Answer (including: Discussion of skin colors, What does melanin do?, and false racial ideas, discussion of heredity)
How did different skin colors come about? Answer
Are black people the result of a curse on Ham? Answer
What about the “Stone Age” people? Answer
Is inter-ethnic marriage biblical? Answer
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- Ken Ham, The Lie: Evolution (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1987).
- J. Bergman, “Darwinism and the Nazi Race Holocaust,” CEN Technical Journal, 1999, 13(2):101-111.
- For example, R. Grigg, “Darwin's Quisling,” Creation, 1999, 22(1):50-51.
- D. Richardson, Eternity in Their Hearts, (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, Division of Gospel Light, 1986).
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