Most of us have heard of Charles Darwin’s landmark work, The Origin of Species. But its full title exposes the dark philosophy and motivation behind Darwin’s theories: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.
Darwin believed that every ethnic group descended from different primates—and that some of these groups were more “favored” than others. The idea that mankind should be divided into various “races” only took root with the advent of Darwin’s evolutionary theory in the mid-nineteenth century.
That divisive worldview has no place among God’s people. Neither does the current sanctimonious quest for racial diversity within the church which ignores the reality of mankind’s common parentage—that God “made from one man every nation [ethnicity] of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26, emphasis added). In other words, we are all Adam’s children.
There is only one race. One. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is not speaking biblically.
The byproduct of our shared heritage is that every member of the human race has the same problem: “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Man’s depravity levels the playing field. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Although we’re not all as evil as we could be, there’s no part of our being that hasn’t been corrupted by sin, and we all stand equally guilty before our righteous and holy Judge.
Moreover, the truth of our corruption highlights the one dividing line that matters—the wall of enmity and separation between holy God and sinful men. From heaven’s perspective, humanity’s fundamental identity is not that of victims, but of perpetrators. In light of that reality, any form of prejudicial favoritism is an obscenity and an absurdity. Even the most legitimate claims to victimhood evaporate in light of to our offenses against God. The prophet Jeremiah raised an important question: “Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?” (Lamentations 3:39). And yet depraved humanity is still looking for an excuse to plead its case.
The church should not encourage such cosmic myopia. We are called to indict sinners and invite them to repentance and faith—not to arm them with excuses that will fail to convince the Judge.
This current fixation on tabulating perceived temporal unfairness and injustice only blinds us to the fact that we’re all in the same boat—and it’s sinking fast.
R. C. Sproul was once asked why bad things happen to good people. Sproul responded, “That only happened once, and He volunteered.”
God sees one race of humanity with one universal problem: sin. And in the person of Christ, God provides the only acceptable payment for our sins. As the apostle Paul explains, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
In his commentary on 2 Corinthians, John MacArthur explains the profundity of that verse.
Christ was not made a sinner, nor was He punished for any sin of His own. Instead, the Father treated Him as if He were a sinner by charging to His account the sins of everyone who would ever believe. All those sins were charged against Him as if He had personally committed them, and He was punished with the penalty for them on the cross, experiencing the full fury of God’s wrath unleashed against them all. . . . Our iniquitous life was legally charged to Him on the cross, as if He had lived it, so that His righteous life could be credited to us, as if we lived it.
Thankfully, at the cross of Christ, God didn’t give His people justice. He turned justice in our favor, using an act of human injustice, punishing the righteous One in place of the wicked. Now He is faithful and just to forgive our sins rather than damning us.
Having been regenerated and redeemed, we now belong to the Body of Christ. Paul writes, “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” (Galatians 3:28). Our new life in Christ erases the dividing lines that the sinful world loves to draw. And Paul charges us not to redraw them: “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
In fact, the unity of the church ought to defy such selfish social distinctions. In Christ we have been set free from viewing each other through lenses that accentuate ethnic strife, economic inequality, and other perceived social disparities that occupy the world’s attention. We don’t need to cater to the institutionalized partiality of this wretched world. We don’t need to think in terms of oppressed and oppressors, disadvantaged and privileged, black and white. We don’t need to subscribe to the value the world places on victim status. And we must not follow the world’s lead in the futile attempt to combat partiality with more partiality.
That’s not to say believers should turn a blind eye to real instances of injustice—Scripture doesn’t excuse willful ignorance and inaction (cf. Deuteronomy 10:18; Leviticus 19:15; Psalm 82:2–4). Instead, it means we must not mistake temporal injustice for God’s primary concern. We need to cultivate heaven’s perspective on the world’s maladies, understanding that instances of injustice are not necessarily ills to be cured but symptoms of the comprehensive corruption of sin’s spiritual cancer. The church needs to get out of the business of putting Band-Aids on severed limbs and chest wounds.
As believers, we know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only cure for what ails this world. We have firsthand knowledge of its regenerating power, and we ought to be putting all our efforts into delivering the truth of the gospel to those who are lost and dying without it.
Because of Christ’s redemptive work, there is only one distinction now worth making: those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ (Romans 5:12-21). And those who are in Adam are not our enemies—they’re our mission field. Our job is not to stroke their perceived hurts. It’s to faithfully preach the gospel to them and call them to repentance, faith, and oneness with the rest of God’s redeemed.