musings from a heart and mind transformed by the Gospel

Race - a word to kill




Can I just say.....for the most part....I am not a fan of country music.
If I am perfectly honest, I can't stand it.

But.....

My husband loves it. What can I say....he's Canadian.

Anyway.....Not only does my hub's love country music, my kiddos do too. It's funny to see reactions of others when they ride in our vehicle. They get a bit confused because my kiddos play lists include the likes of Andy Mineo, and Tim McGraw, Trip Lee, and Dean Brody,  Lecrae and Johnny Cash.

And because I love my family.....I often find myself sitting in short and long car rides listening to....rather being tortured to listen to a style of music that I would never ever, ever, EVER volunteer to listen to on my own. It's just too different from the style of music I prefer.

However......

There is this one song.

My family plays it often.  It's a song about killing words that are mean, negative or hateful.

The opening lyrics are:

"If I could kill a word and watch it die"

The artist, Eric Church, then proceeds to sing about the very many words in the English vocabulary that he wishes he could kill.

It got me thinking about the words I wish I could get rid of.

Easily I came up with that ONE word I wish I could kill and watch die. It is........

RACE.....or.....Racism......or any combination of words with it being the focus.....like "racial reconciliation"

It's an interesting thing....this word "race".....simply for the fact that it's a word that came about to divide.

Why do Christian's use it? Christians are the last people that should be using this word, especially since it validates and supports evolution, in essence, the rejection of a creating God.

And for those that die on the hill of evolution, why in the world are they acting like the premise behind this word is such a horrible thing? Evolution and race are science terms. Along with phenotype, homo sapiens, ethnology, polygenesis. I thought they loved science. 

The science behind the word of race was used to perpetuate superiority....survival of the fittest.....a "useful concept in understanding human evolution and variation" according to one anthropologist who is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist, academic, and whose alma mater is Harvard and Columbia.

In the age of antiquity and then again during the scientific revolution, which started around the 16th century, the word "race" became ingrained in the first science fields, which erupted into a plethora of all the science disciplines, like physics, astronomy, human anatomy, biology, chemistry, taxonomy, anthropology, medicine, zoology, etc.

Using the word race into these fields further perpetuated and actually scientifically legitimized that differences should be used to divide people into categories. These first science fields fed into a new science modern period (17th - 18th century), which completely transformed the ways in which life, nature and people were viewed.

Away went the long standing, long believed, orthodox Biblical interpretation of the origin of mankind. No longer did they want to believe in something they thought was a backward and unhelpful way of explaining life.

It was "enlightening" for them to create something they can actually study with their eyes and hands, hence ushering in the Period of Enlightenment that questioned and ultimately rejected God with a scientific vengeance. Not only did science make it ok to reject God with their minds, they rejected God with their hearts as well by writing about it through their stories, poems and plays, art and music.

Once the concept of race became normalized, our 19th and 20th century contemporary SOCIAL sciences got involved and began making efforts to erase what science backed up. With studies of "variations" and systems of biological classifications of not only animals, algae, and organisms....but also people, it was going to take some serious work to undo or REDO what those early science fathers did. 

The social disciplines began to see the problems over the status quo "race" conversation.

"ooooohhhhh....look how science explains things that God and the Bible could not", man declared with excitement.

"ooops.....we didn't know science was going to cause people to hate each other more than they already do", man said with caution and confusion.

"let's fix this", man exclaimed with determination and hope. 

They retracted scientific conclusions a bit while concluding that race must be a social construct, not a biological or scientific one. They decided that it was:

"a concept that was believed to correspond to an objective reality but which was believed in because of its social functions".

These social functions, in the sinful hearts of man, were and are discrimination, apartheid, slavery, genocide, greed, oppression. The belief in the word race exposed the effects and curse of Genesis 3. Without the lens of Genesis 3, we are left scratching our heads, wondering why people are so evil to each other.

The idea and framework behind the word "race" declared that unequal, separate, distinct, and exclusive groups of people existed.

1) If they were unequal, not all made in God's image as previously thought, then one "race" must be better than another "race".
2) If that is true then one must rule over the other.
3) If the other does not want to submit to being ruled over, then the one that feels superior give themselves permission to subdue whomever they deem inferior, through force, most often for territory, profit and/or death, thus creating another damaging system of "class".

"have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?" (James 2:4)

In essence, WE let the word race tell us how to act. WE let it dictate how we perceive ourselves. WE let it tell us how to see others. Then.......we create another word, racism, to explain WHAT it is we are doing to each other, based on the word we created to explain who we think we are based on a scientific and now social theory.

It's quite ridiculous really. But sadly, ridiculous turns into hate and death. Instead of letting a word hate and kill each other, how about we just kill this word from our vocabulary?

Have we not figured out that the more we use it, the more fuel we give to it?

Throughout history, people in general have never liked differences.  Differences make people uncomfortable. (You should see my eyes roll whenever I hear a country music song, or worse....whenever a church doesn't play the kind of worship style that I prefer)

These uncomfortable differences make it so easy to categorize people based on these differences.

But......it wasn't always like this.

Once upon a time, we didn’t always separate into likeness and homogeneity. We all knew we were made in God’s image and came from a single source and origin, first Adam and then Noah (Genesis 10). That’s why we tried to erect a monument to let God know we were just like him through the power of working together for what seemed like a greater good --> teamwork and achievement (Genesis 11).

In essence, we were collectively saying that we didn’t need God because we could function on our own. Working side by side, all the different tribes and people groups came together for one unifying function - to tell God he was irrelevant through the sweat of our brow, the work of our hands, and our ability to manipulate the resources of the earth for towers of pride.

God looked down on man and was not pleased.  He was not necessarily angry at our innovation….but rather at our arrogance. We were behaving like our mother Eve who believed that she could be like Him.

“Look at them", God said.

Let US disrupt their plans before they get more prideful in their achievements, he declared to the Godhead.

God knew the sin that we inherited from our first parents would deceive us. He knew that personal achievements and technological advancements would lead us further and further away from him.

However, God was not yet ready for his creation to go down THAT road because the fullness of our sin (Genesis 15:16) was not yet mature enough for the Sacrificial Lamb.

So God separated us through language. Language is a powerful tool and gift from a good and loving Creator. Along with language comes culture, patterns of behavior, norms, music, literature, art, food. All distinct from one another. Even though it seemed like a punishment to be divided, it was actually loving. Separating the nations was a sweet and gentle rebuke - gentle when compared to the Great Flood.

God disciplines those he loves. (Hebrews 12:5-11). God allowed and ordained separation knowing that His Son would eventually be the Great Unifier....the solution to our sin, pride, arrogance. Christ not only reconciles people to each other, he reconciles us to the Father.

For in Christ, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself ALL things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him. Colossians 1:19-21.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both ONE and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. And Christ came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:13-22

In Christ Jesus you are ALL sons of God, through faith. 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 no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 2:26-29.

When we reject original sin and the origin of people that comes from the Bible accounts in Genesis 1-3, and 10, we are rejecting God. If we reject God, then we also reject Genesis 11 that explains the separation of every tongue, tribe and nation. This rejection forced us to come up with other theories for the differences and separation of humanity. Instead of seeing the beauty of differences, we wrongfully sought out illegitimate explanations, categorizations, and systems of variations. The word "race" became the junk drawer of bad theology. 

 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.

So again......if it were possible....I'd kill the word "race" from our language. Without this word, we would not have racism. Then we would not need to figure out what racial reconciliation looks like.

Without the word race to categorize what we do to each other we would be forced to deal with the motives behind the word - which is a rejection of God and His Word, the Bible. We would realize that without Him as our source of truth, the sin of our first parents overruns our God image bearing sensibilities.

Jealousy, hate, evil of every kind, oppression, superiority, inferiority, greed, and oppression runs amuck in our minds and hearts and is evident in our actions.

Instead of seeing differences in our flesh as a reason to divide, we discover that our problem is not necessarily due to our dislike of differences, but rather because we are wretched souls in need of a Savior.

Instead of looking at others to blame for the ingrained hate and discontenet that lives in all of us, we need to look at ourselves. Blame shifting goes way back (Genesis 3).

With the word race in our vocabulary, it's easy to put the blame of hate onto the word "race" without giving much thought into WHY we dislike differences.

So.....let's just kill that word.

Let's not allow it to fuel the sin in our hearts.

Using the word race and especially racism, we are giving our sin a soft place to land, in order to discuss, without end, possible solutions to end racism.

Racism will never end until we permanently erase the concept of biological and social constructs AND usages of the word race.

Scientists wont allow that to happen.
Those in the social disciplines wont allow it to happen either.
All of their hard earned theories, speculations, and life long work will go down the drain.

So the people of the Book must.

Tweaking the first several lines of that Eric Church song, here is MY version.

If I could kill a word and watch it die
I'd poison "RACE", shoot it goodbye
Beat "OPPRESS" when I felt I had the nerve
Yeah, I'd pound "EVIL" to a pile of sand
Choke "HATRED" out with my bare hands
I'd hang "RACISM" so that it can't be heard
If I could only kill a word


Here is the original song on killing words - the song that inspired this blog post.