It is a common misconception among many to assume that Christianity is against all forms of racialism, especially that of White identity or White racial advocacy. The Christian Faith, it is argued, stands opposed to “racism” and ethnic tribalism. Believers in Jesus throughout Europe and America are urged to be “non-racist.” They are to stand against any stripe of nationalism that favors one ethnic group or nationality above another. Along with everyone else in a deracinated society as ours, White Christians too believe that “race doesn’t matter.”
Yet, are such notions supported by the New Testament itself (hereafter, NT)? Has today’s “anti-racism” been the prevailing viewpoint throughout the history of the Christian Church?
I intend to demonstrate in this article that the NT does not deny racial differences among human groups, nor does it foster a multiracial and multicultural framework for the nations. I also want to show that popular prooftexts from the Old Testament (hereafter, OT) and NT cited in defense of open borders and receiving all foreign immigrants as “the Christian thing to do” is horribly misguided and serves to work against the testimony of Christians in their respective countries.
I write as a Christian in the Reformed Baptist tradition.
Are Racial and Cultural Differences Denied in the New Testament?
Reading through the Gospels and Epistles, one discovers that they are not particularly concerned with the subject of race in the way Westerners are today. The NT doesn’t address contemporary racial questions in ways we might prefer. There is nothing about how a society should implement “equitable racial policies” for its citizens. There is not a word about national immigration policies. Absolutely nothing that would provide a framework or some direction on how racial matters should be solved.
Yes, there is the rule that we should “do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves,” but other than some general notions, there is nothing specific, concrete, and detailed in how Christians should deal with immigration, race-mixing, and other related matters.
The NT assumes the reality of race (in contrast to the idea that “race is just a social construct”), including that of racial and ethnic differences. But it doesn’t dwell on it. Race is not the paramount focus of the Bible’s message. It’s not even a minor concern of it. This is because Christianity is fundamentally a religious category, not a racial one.
Jesus, for example, was aware of the ethnic and geographical differences between Jews and other groups living in Palestine at the time. This is evident when he addressed the Syro-Phoenician woman in Mark 7:26–30. But He had no specific mission to solve “systemic racism.” He did address how people were to treat others when He spoke of “loving one’s neighbor” and “turning the other cheek.” Yet these exhortations were in the context of normal, everyday relations and not intended to serve as public social policies.
The apostle Paul was aware of the same sort of cultural and ethnic differences between Jews and Greeks. Yet at no point did Jesus and Paul attempt to erase or delegitimize genuine racial, cultural and ethnic differences among the groups they encountered.
Paul did not urge Jewish believers to abandon their Jewish culture or certain ethnic traditions that were unique to them as a people. In fact, Paul himself was quite proud of his ethnic pedigree as seen in Philippians 3:4-6 even though he thought that paled in comparison with “the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (v.8).
When Paul was maligned by false teachers who accused him of teaching other Jews who are among the Gentiles to “forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs” in Acts 21:17, he was urged by James and the elders to ritually “purify” himself and the others with him so that “all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law” (v.24).
It is important to recognize that there is a historical transition occurring during this period from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, and so naturally there is going to be some overlap between the two covenants. The Christian elders in Acts 21 did not want Paul’s message to be misunderstood, and they did not want people to reject it based on lies. As a form of concession, Paul subjects himself to a Jewish ritual cleansing to show he has not abandoned his people and culture.
This demonstrates that Paul was not against maintaining certain ethnic customs and traditions unique to Jews. He clearly maintained his Jewish identity. Likewise, he did not require that Gentile believers lose their unique ethnic and cultural identity either, except in those realms that conflicted with the Gospel message. Gentile believers were forbidden from idolatry, fornication, including eating meats that have been ceremoniously offered to idols (Acts 15:19–20).
These types of prohibitions are religious in nature, and not intended as a prohibition of all things ethnic or cultural. The natural deduction from it was that everything distinctive to them as a people was permissible. Greeks did not have to stop being Greeks, and Jews did not have to stop being Jewish. Paul had no interest in erasing ‘Whiteness,’ or ‘Jewishness,’ or ‘Greekness.’
In the same way, Whites do not have to cease being White and everything that goes along with their unique cultures and nationalities. Well-meaning but misguided Christians who urge Whites to jettison their Whiteness or “White privilege” are advocating things contrary to the NT. Interestingly, these same Christians never urge Blacks or Hispanics to do the same. Since Whites are a unique and distinct race from other groups, we can also advocate on behalf of our racial and cultural interests in the same way Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and Asians advocate on behalf of themselves.
When Paul gave his speech to the Athenians in Acts 17:26 (“He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation”), he clearly assumes that while we have all descended from Adam, there are legitimate boundaries of habitation (national borders) that separates us from each other. At no point does Paul argue that such boundaries should be torn down, nor that each nation should pursue a racial “melting pot” model for its citizens.
One could argue that it wasn’t Paul’s purpose in his speech to address immigration issues and racial diversity as it pertains to nations. True, but it’s interesting to observe that in the many public addresses Paul gives, including the various people he encountered during his missionary travels, there is not even one recorded occasion where he spoke of the need for miscegenation, racial and cultural diversity, or the blending of all people into some grand Utopian society. I think if it were so important for the nations of the world and vital to the Christian message, he would have said so. The fact that he never once did this sort of thing tells me that it’s not an essential of Christian belief.
The great fourth-century theologian, St. Augustine, did not have a particularly high view of Africans and he rightly recognized that they were very much different in terms of race. In his Exposition on Psalm 72, he states: “[T]he Catholic Church has been foretold, not as to be in any particular quarter of the world, as certain schisms are, but in the whole universe by bearing fruit and growing so as to attain even unto the very Ethiopians, to wit, the remotest and foulest of mankind.” So it would seem that Augustine wanted to convert everyone to Christianity while retaining the belief that some groups are decidedly inferior.
R.L. Dabney, an esteemed Southern Presbyterian theologian in the 1860s, wrote the following of Africans and of his concerns over miscegenation:
[T]his miserable career must result in one of two things, either a war of races, in which the whites or the blacks would be, one or the other, exterminated; or amalgamation. But while we believe that ‘God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,’ we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated; from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus. Hence the offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race, stamped with all the feebleness of the hybrid, and incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. (Discussions, Vol. III Philosophical, p.871)
The observations of St. Augustine, Dabney, and so many other Christians over the centuries were not “racist” and “hateful” tirades. Rather, their conclusions about Blacks were the result of serious contemplation and protracted observations of these people that has been similarly acknowledged by a host of intellectuals and philosophers throughout history.
Christians in prior centuries never thought their religion required them to abandon their race or that which was distinctive of them culturally and ethnically. They didn’t even think in such terms, and the very notion of race not being important would have sounded strange to their ears—its importance was taken for granted. The obsession of far too many Christians in our day with diversity being good and Whiteness being bad is a contemporary phenomenon. It’s just one more example proving that Christians have capitulated to the spirit of the age. It’s not proof of Christians thinking carefully and biblically about issues of race, but of being influenced by those who wish to culturally subvert the West—namely, Jews and their Gentile enablers.
Both Jesus (Matthew 23:37) and Paul (Romans 9:1-5) expressed a deep love for their own people. There is nothing to suggest that it was morally wrong either. Jesus even gave historical priority to His fellow tribesmen (Matthew 10:5-6; 15:24). Nothing about it was “racist” or “hateful,” at least not in the way most Americans seem to think. Yet, we must ask, if it was not wrong for Jesus and Paul, why would it be wrong for Whites to do the same?
When White racialists oppose Christianity on the grounds of what they see on the contemporary Christian scene, I can’t really disagree with them. It’s embarrassing to say the least. Yet, at the same time, I recognize that what they are rejecting is not authentic, NT Christianity, but in large measure a counterfeit version.
Today’s Charismatic movement with its “miracles, signs and wonders,” along with the Christian Zionism popular among evangelicals, are all false belief systems grounded on pretexts and misunderstandings of the Bible. Few churchgoers are even aware of how relatively new these movements are, and how the majority of Christians throughout the centuries did not believe any of these strange doctrines. That alone should make it automatically suspect by anyone sensitive to the Bible’s message.
White racialists who are anti-Christian wrongly assume that all Christians believe such things. They seem to have little awareness that most Protestant Reformed and Reformed Baptist churches have rejected such doctrines. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church have rejected them as well. The sort of nonsense that passes for Christianity today is laughable if it were not so tragic.
Many pastors have rightly lambasted Christian Zionism, and there are a plethora of books written by Christian scholars refuting it as well. This lack of awareness among White racialists is due to their ignorance of Christian theology in general. They don’t understand the Bible’s redemptive history, and they possess even less knowledge of how to properly interpret such ancient texts (i.e., basic rules of biblical interpretation known as ‘hermeneutics’). Like so many of the Christians they condemn, they too are ill informed of the Christian Faith, its history, and its doctrines. Thus, they are largely rejecting a gross caricature of Christianity and not the real thing.
Biblical Texts Allegedly Supporting Mass Immigration to the West
The “Great Commission” of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel is sometimes cited as support for allowing migrants and Third-World peoples into Europe and America. There is no doubt that Jesus’s words have an international scope and urgency to them. Christians are commanded reach out to all the nations of the world with Christ’s message of salvation. Salvation is not limited to White people alone, and in this sense the Gospel is universal or international in nature (Revelation 5:9-10; Acts 8:27-39).
Yet there is no imperative or hint that we should bring back any Third-World converts to our White nations! The apostolic custom was not to spread Christianity to far away countries and then assist them in immigrating to Jerusalem “for a better life,” but for missionaries to plant churches among the indigenous people in distant lands, appoint elders, and then move on to other regions where the same process is repeated. The indigenous Christians remained in their respective countries where they could minister to their own people in their own language. This was the role of Timothy in the NT who was not a “pastor” per se, but an apostolic assistant who planted churches under Paul’s mentorship.
One must also wonder how Christians can think they are “loving their neighbor” by encouraging hordes of low-intelligence, low-skilled, and non-assimilating Africans and Third-World peoples into their White communities. Blacks, especially, have strong natural proclivities toward violent crime. They are impulsive and they are not known to consider the consequences of their actions before doing them. Is it any wonder why America’s prisons are filled to the brim with young Black males?
How can any of this be good for Christians and their unbelieving neighbors? How can it be good for a nation to take in so many Africans and Muslims as does the U.S. and Europe? What kind of testimony are Christians providing to others when they encourage a host of social problems and skyrocketing levels of crime by their insistence that the West must allow migrants from all over the planet to immigrate? When Christians harbor illegal aliens from Mexico, as does the Catholic Church (Lutheran churches too), how does any of it comport with Paul’s words in Romans 13:1-7 for Christians to submit to the governing authorities? Why would American Christians encourage illegal aliens from Mexico and El Salvador to violate the sovereignty of our nation’s immigration laws? How “Christian” is it to justify such law-breaking?
In their “love” for their fellow man, these same Christians have tossed out their brains.
Some Christians argue that since “God is not partial nor a respecter of persons” based loosely on Paul’s words in Romans 2:11, therefore one’s race is inconsequential. Race doesn’t matter and shouldn’t matter to a Christian, so it is argued. We are all of the human race! But this completely misunderstands Paul’s argument in Romans Chapter 2. His point is that God’s judgment will not pass over those who condemn others for their behavior all the while doing the same (vv.1-3). God will not judge people based on arbitrariness or human partiality. He is fair in all He does.
Thus, Jews will be judged by the very Law they possess and claim to obey, while Gentiles who may not necessarily possess the Law in any codified form, will be judged “by the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness” (vv.14–15). In the end, God will judge “the secrets of men” because it’s “not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law” (v.13). These texts nullify the boasting of Jews who think that because they have the Mosaic Law, they are superior to the Gentiles.
Paul’s words in their context have nothing to do with race or racial diversity. It has nothing to do with national immigration policies.
Christians who promote multiracialism in America don’t seem to understand the concept of a nation. Contrary to what Democrats and even what many conservatives argue, America is not a “proposition nation,” at least not in the sense that merely having a set of propositional beliefs written on some document that we all give assent to makes us a nation.
Rather, a nation consists of blood and soil, a shared race or ethnicity, a common culture, a set of cherished traditions, often a shared religion, a common ancestry or lineage, a common history, and shared values. This was certainly how the American statesman and Founder, John Jay, viewed the newly formed republic: “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country, to one united people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manner and customs” (Federalist No.2, 1787).
Likewise, Thomas Jefferson in 1801 looked forward to the day “when our rapid multiplication will expand itself . . . over the whole northern, if not the southern continent, with a people speaking the same language, governed in similar forms, and by similar laws; nor can we contemplate with satisfaction either blot or mixture on that surface.”
These citations hardly support the racial “melting pot” model that America would later morph into with its multiple languages, cultures, and ethnic groups all competing for dominance. Indeed, Christians who promote the diversity cult are contributing to the endless racial conflicts that plague America.
Yes, propositional beliefs are part of the mix, but it’s not the only factor nor even the most important one. One’s race always takes priority. If Christians don’t think so, they ought to inquire among the Israeli people on just how important a shared ethnicity and culture is. They might learn a thing or two.
One of the strongest proof-texts among Christians in support of mass immigration is found in the OT and how Jews were commanded to treat “strangers” (Leviticus 19:33-36). These people were basically foreigners, sojourners, or people traveling through or staying temporarily in the land of Israel. While they are permitted to live among the Israelites, they must also obey the laws of the land (Leviticus 18:26; 20:2). Are the millions of foreigners who have invaded the U.S. similarly required to obey the laws of our land?
Thus, God wanted the Israelites to be considerate and hospitable to foreigners who entered their land because “you were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:34).
Moreover, the way in which the subject of “strangers” is treated in the Mosaic Law strongly infers that it is a periodic and sporadic thing, something that happens every so often but is not normative. In America and most of Europe, unfortunately, mass non-White immigration is normative. They are flooding our once great nations, and they are producing more children than the indigenous Whites by far. It is projected that by the year 2030, Whites in the U.S. will be a demographic minority in the very country their ancestors founded.
OT passages that speak of “the stranger among you” cannot be twisted to support mass immigration no matter how hard one may try. Jews in ancient Israel knew back then as well as Jews in modern Israel know today that allowing any foreign group into one’s country in large enough numbers is a recipe for national suicide. The arrival of foreigners, then, ought to be restricted to a manageable number. These kinds of common-sense immigration policies are no longer followed in the U.S.
Any discussion of race and Christianity would not be sufficient without at least some reference to the Tower of Babel recorded in Genesis 11:1–9. This incident shows clearly God’s design for the nations, and there is no indication that it has been nullified under the New Covenant.
When American Christians promote non-White immigration to their country, they are not thinking about the social consequences of it in terms of crime and what kinds of repercussions it will have on the nation’s economy. They are not only uninformed about genuine racial differences, but they don’t bother to think how this might impact future generations of their own countrymen nor even the perpetuity of the Christian Faith in North America.
In the U.S. a growing number of the immigrants turn out to be Muslim which has a long historical record of hostility toward Christianity. This is especially the case in Europe where almost all of the migrants adhere to the Islamic religion. These sorts of practical considerations never seem to enter the thinking of Christians who advocate for more non-White immigration.
Paul’s words in Galatians 3:28 (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”) is another passage grossly misunderstood by Christian zealots eager to erase all racial differences. Their use of it reminds me of the old adage that states: “a text without a context is a pre-text.”
The words of the apostle in Galatians 3 denote the essential oneness of believers regardless of their class or economic status, including their ethnic makeup: “for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (v.28). Gentile believers should not fear that they possess a lower status in God’s eyes because they are not Jewish for “if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (v.29).
Besides, had Paul really believed that all racial and gender differences were mere “social constructs” and done away with in Christ, it seems strange that he would command the women to be “silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves just as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). In his letter to Timothy, Paul also declares “Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). Evidently, not all ethnic and gender distinctions were erased in the way race-denying Christians imagine.
The Founders of the U.S. saw no contradiction between Christianity and the recognition of differences between the races. They did not view it as either “hateful” or “bigoted” to speak openly of such differences because it was common knowledge and readily apparent when one encountered those of other racial groups.
More than that, our Founders and some of the most respected Americans knew that Blacks and Whites were much too different in terms of intelligence and temperament. Any notion that the two races could exist peacefully together as equals in the same society was viewed as overly charitable and idealistic.
On the wall of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., there is a quotation from him that reads: “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate that these people [Blacks] are to be free.” That’s where the quotation stops. But in the full quotation we are further told: “Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government.” Truth is, Thomas Jefferson wanted Blacks deported and separated from Whites so they would be “beyond the reach of mixture.”
Many Christians would see Jefferson’s views as reprehensible and antiquated, but I think he foresaw many of the problems that would arise as a result of miscegenation and the kind of society it would produce.
Jefferson was not alone. Abraham Lincoln had very similar views: “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality . . . I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men.”
Before Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, he was still seeking to colonize freed Blacks in America to Liberia (Haiti today) though the funds needed for his colonization project had run out by that time.
American Christians who refuse to acknowledge real and abiding differences between the races reveal that they are woefully uninformed of both their own Bibles, and that of their own history.
Racially naive Christians make the same mistake that Utopian liberals make. They want to create a nation that bypasses the realities of life and the natural order of things. Christians, like liberals, want a perfect world now—and doggone it, they’re going make it happen come hell or high water! They then create a mindset for themselves and implement social policies that intentionally place blinders over their eyes. Everything they see and hear is filtered through a false worldview that instantly jettisons any inconvenient truths about race.
In the case of Christians, it’s their failure to recognize the “already-not yet” teaching of the NT. Without going into complex detail, the NT teaches that while the kingdom has arrived, it has not yet reached its full expression. That will come in the future when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord. Thus, while we see the kingdom now, we do not yet see it in its full glory. This is also known as the “inaugurated eschatology” of Geerhardus Vos who was Professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Seminary from 1893–1932.
The point is that there is a day coming when all racial differences and conflicts will be set aside. Society’s greatest and most complex problems will one day be solved. They will no longer exist when we reach the eternal state. But that day has not yet arrived. Every attempt to go ahead of Christ and His timetable will prove to be futile.
In the meantime, Christians must face the harsh realities of racial differences, including the lies we’ve been fed about racial equality. This does not mean that we should enslave Blacks or anyone for that matter, nor parade around wearing white sheets with pointed hoods. Instead, it means we stop lying to ourselves. We recognize that there exists an on-going soft genocide waged against Whites throughout the West. Whites are obligated to resist it both for themselves and for their posterity. And if Christians really do love the Truth, they are obligated to resist such lies too.