Doctrine Article
Expanded Internet Edition - July 19, 1997 

The Key to Racial Harmony

by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1997

The creator of all the races on earth is Jesus Christ according to the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:15. It is he who has made the various ethnic groups to be the way they are in outward color and with their inward psychological mannerisms. And what a variety of people Christ has created! He has done it for a purpose, a very good and honorable purpose. Remarkably, when the first writing of the creation narrative was given in Genesis One, we find that the outcome of God's creation (accomplished by Christ himself) was the fact that His creation was good, indeed, it was very good (Genesis 1:31). None of us has the power or authority to question the creative purposes of God, nor are we given the position of criticizing the creation that Christ has made. What we should do is to ask the question: Why did the Creator do the things that He did and for what purpose? It will be found that Christ created all things to work in harmony with one another, and this includes all the races of people that He created. What all of us need to apply in life is the Key to Racial Harmony.

We read in the Gospel of John that Christ Jesus said that all people on earth today, or who have ever lived on earth, are looked on by God the Father as being His very children of God the Father (John 10:34, 35; see Psalm 82:6). This is the precise reason why mankind was created in the first place. All of us are made in the image of God for the purpose of being members of His very Family. God does not look and act like a horse, a bull, an eagle or a dove. But He does have shape (John 5:37). He is found today as being in the express image of Jesus Christ (or, rather, that Christ is in the express image of the Father) (Hebrews 1:3). This means that God looks and acts like man (or to be accurate), mankind looks and acts like God, the Creator of all things in the universe. Indeed, even Christ Jesus being in the express image of God. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death FOR EVERY MAN [all people universally]. For it became him [his responsibility], FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS [all things in the universe were made for and on behalf of Jesus Christ], and BY WHOM [Jesus Christ] ARE ALL THINGS [all the universe was made by Jesus Christ], in bringing MANY SONS unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified ARE ALL OF ONE [we are all ONE in Christ and the Father (no matter who we are on earth)]: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them BRETHREN, saying, I will declare thy name unto MY BRETHREN [we are all reckoned as Christs intimate BRETHREN], in the midst of the church [the totality of God's group of people] will I sing praise unto thee [the Father]. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I [Jesus Christ] AND THE CHILDREN WHICH GOD HATH GIVEN ME [hath given to Christ for God]. Forasmuch then as the children ARE PARTAKERS OF FLESH AND BLOOD, he [Jesus Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same (Hebrews 2:9-14)."

The prime and key text to this long discourse by the apostle Paul is the central verse which describes the cardinal position that all of us now have in Christ because of Christ's life, death and resurrection from the dead which He performed on our behalf. That central verse is this: "They who are sanctified ARE ALL OF ONE" (Hebrews 2;11). We are all ONE in Christ. We are all ONE in the Father. And we are all ONE in each other. This is the real teaching of the Bible, and most Christians until the fourth century believed it to be the simple teaching of what salvation was all about.

The apostle Paul was speaking to people who once lived in the Mediterranean world in the first century. He was not talking only to Hebrews alone (as the title of this epistle might suggest), because there was no title to this exposition called Hebrews until the second century. The fact is, this work of Paul was not intended to go to the Jews alone. It was an epistle that was designed to explain in a universal sense what God had done to fulfill the rituals and ceremonies associated with the Temple and the Jewish people. The audience that Paul was intending to reach were those who wanted and needed a full explanation of what the early teachings given to Moses were meant to convey to Israel which would reach out eventually to embrace all the people on earth. The central theme was the essential and absolute truth that God the Father through Christ was intending to show a sanctification of all in the earth [for every man, verse 9], and to show that (as a result) he [Christ] that sanctifieth and they [all of us] who are sanctified ARE ALL OF ONE (verse 11). We are destined (and are already) ONE with Christ and the Father, and ONE in ourselves with each other.

The scripture shows that Christ is simply our Elder Brother and we are all together sons and daughters of the very Family of the living God, the ONE who is supreme and infinite in the entirely of this universe. In a word, Christ Jesus came into this earth to make each one of us a very member (a SON and a DAUGHTER) of the God and Father of all creation. Christ Jesus came to make us capable of sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven (where we are now sitting in a legal sense, Ephesians 2:6). This is because each of us is now found in Christ who is now (in an actual sense) in that very position. This is a glorious future indeed that we all have in Christ.

This ONENESS that we have in the Father and Christ transcends our various racial characteristics that we now possess. Paul said that we are a new man [a new creation] now in the image of God: We have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge AFTER THE IMAGE OF HIM [God] that created him [the new man]: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all (Colossians 3:9,10). We are no longer (in the eyes of the Father) citizens of any of the countries of this world. We are now reckoned by God as citizens of the heavenly abode of God the Father. For our citizenship is in heaven [KJV: conversation]; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body (Philippians 3:20, 21). We are all to have a body just like God the Father's and that of Christ Jesus, and sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven.

Even now, however, we are acknowledged by the Father as being His divine children even while we are in this flesh and living our daily lives. The apostle John said: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that that we should be called the sons [children] of God.... Beloved, NOW are we the sons [children] of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is [we will be in the same body form and composition as Christ will be at his Second Advent]" (I John 3:1,2).

What is wonderful is the fact that this destiny is one that is afforded to all people on earth, no matter what race or social standing people have at the present time. We are all (no matter if we are brown, red, yellow, black, white, green, blue, or polka-dot), we humans are all destined to be SONS and DAUGHTERS of the very God and Father of the entirety of the universe. We all have a grand and glorious destiny, no matter what race and ethnic group we now are a part of. And, it is with this knowledge that we should begin our quest to have racial harmony among the various peoples whom God has created on earth. We ALL need to know WHO WE ARE.

Where to Start Once We Know Who We Are

Each one of you reading this Doctrinal Report needs to go to a full-length mirror in the bathroom (if you have one) and look at yourself. It would make the point clearer if you were "au natural" when you did it (though I would not be so bold as to demand such a thing). There is a reason for this. As for me, I can see at least a score of things about my physical structure that I will certainly want improved when God resurrects me from the dead. In a word, I can think of several ways to make me a better-looking man than I am the way God made me. I am not the only one who has said this. I have heard some women say (for example): Why has God given me such strait and thin hair? In the resurrection, I want thicker and curlier hair. Then I have also heard other women say: Why has God given me such curly and thick hair? I want it to be thin and strait in the resurrection. Now none of us should go to the extreme of complaining to God for making us the way we are (or allowing things to happen to us that make us the way we are at the present), but there is not one of us who cannot find several ways to improve that physical form of ours standing in front of that mirror. This is the point I wish to make.

But it does not stop there. There are also many psychological differences in humans, and even within the same families. Some of us might say: I wish I were not so shy. If I could just be an extrovert I would be much happier. Others could say: I wish I had more confidence and faith like Bill or Mary. I could increase these examples ten-fold, but instead of doing that, you no doubt are getting my point about the things about ourselves that we do not like about ourselves. What I am trying to show, however, is this: We ought to learn to get along and be in harmony WITH OURSELVES FIRST before we start to be in harmony with others around us. I will show you the essential thing you and I must do to accomplish this in a moment, but for now, I think you can see that this is an important factor in being happy in the world that God has made for us to be in and to be a part of.

In Getting Along With Others

No one likes to be around someone just like ourselves in every detail all the time. That would be a boring existence. We all want and need variety. So does God. Variety is the spice of life if it is controlled in the proper way and in accordance with the principles and laws that govern good behavior among people. One of the greatest diversities that makes life wonderful and harmonious is the differences between a man and a woman (both physically and psychologically). If a husband and wife come from the same general background and have essentially the same value systems which dominate their lives (both culturally, politically and religiously), the differences between the two in a gender way can add to the enjoyment and harmony that the two can have if they work at the differences in a proper way.

Even in the Family of God there are males and females. If you want a full explanation of the masculine and feminine aspects of the God Family, send for my book of 180 pages titled "The Biblical Manual" which shows this principle in detail. And, in this Doctrinal Report, I will show you the essential thing that you and I must do to accomplish this harmony in marriage. But for now, I think you can see that this is an important factor in being happy in the world that God has made for us to be a part of.

Some Obvious Difficulties in Relationships

We are aware that in a single family here on earth (especially if there are many members in it), there are human beings who are of the same father and mother, with the exact racial characteristics as the others (though the genes may bring out excesses in physical and psychological aspects in some that are different from others). We know what a struggle it often is for even members of the same family to get along with one another all the time. And pity the poor married couple who find themselves so different from one another that their dating period that most people before marriage did not disclose. A husband may be very shy, and the wife an extrovert. Or, the man may be flippant in attitude, while the wife is very serious. Or, the man may have one religious belief, and his wife accepts another that is antagonistic to his. We are all aware that all these things are seeds for disharmony and hostility, and this is the fact even with people who are of the same race and cultural background.

Many Problems Arise With Race Differences

As I have been showing in the first part of this Report, there are troubles enough in trying to have harmony when humans are of the same race, religion and culture, imagine what happens when we introduce the normal and certain differences of race into the issue. What humans must accept is the fact that God made all races to be equally beautiful in form and in psychological mannerisms, but the beauty and the acceptability is usually appreciated by members of each racial group for one another, and this attitude does not extend to the different racial characteristics of other races. This is a simple fact of life that no one can avoid, nor should anyone. Indeed, every single factor that makes one race appear in a relationship of beauty and acceptability is a factor based upon relativity. In a Chinese culture, the most handsome and acceptable are those who appear to be more like the standard Chinese person. But what is a standard Chinese person? The phrase is one that is relative to the core. There could never be a consensus of people who could unequivocally assert what represents the standard Chinese person. And that is the same with any other race of people on earth.

Everyone one of us, in one way or another, is different (often, very different among members of one's own race and cultural and religion). Is it not a fact that we even have problems in getting along with ourselves because we are sometimes very critical of God for making us in the way that we are. God certainly made us in a way that pleased him, but often His way does not please us. Many of us could be constantly complaining to God for creating us the way we are if we would let things get out of hand and begin to murmur against God. God made us the way we are for a purpose (a grand purpose of His) and we should learn to be content with His creation (Jude 16).

The Main Problem in Racial Disharmony

The problems that afflict us in our own family relationships, in our own marriages between sons and daughters of God, are problems that seem to be universal in scope. If we humans (even of the same race, or even of the same family) have difficulties in getting along with one another, do we suppose that such things would be different between the divine members of the Godhead? Recall that Jesus Christ is still called an "anthropos" (Greek for man or mankind) (I Timothy 2:5). Both the Father and Christ are one and we humans are one with them. Christ said: "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me [all of us], that they may be ONE, as we are [ONE]" (John 17:11). "That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:21). Our destiny as humans is to be ONE with the Father and with Christ Jesus in the very Family of God that rules the universe. Look what this means.

God the Father gave to Jesus Christ the authority and the ability to create the universe as we now see it (Colossians 1:15). And what was the reason for the creation itself and for Jesus Christ to come to earth almost 2000 years ago to redeem mankind to the Father? The reason was stated very succinctly and poignantly by the apostle Paul in the Book of Hebrews.He said: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." This is true, but in spite of the divine honor and glory that Jesus Christ now has, he is still denominated an "anthropos" (a man) (I Timothy 2:4-6). And let's face it. We humans have difficulty in getting along with one another in complete harmony even when we are members of the same race or family which have similar cultures, religions and societies. But when people of different races are placed in the intimate associate of others of a different race, the natural differences among those in the same race and family are multiplied ten-fold when we come into close and intimate associates with those of another race. This is especially so if the differences are physically and psychologically very great.

Even when people are of the same race, IF a man and woman's value systems are very diverse from one another, an intimate relationship with utter harmony is bound to fail from the start. Two people (a man and woman) must have a value and cultural system that are basically the same. And if their value system is virtually identical in culture, politics, religion and race, their chance of having a harmonious relationship will be much more sure.

The VALUE SYSTEM is Most Important

We who are Christians and have the same basic understanding of the teachings of the Holy Scripture have the best value system that there is for any type of human relationships, and that includes having a harmony among the races. When all of us agree on the teachings of God's Holy Word AS THE STANDARD for all conduct and social and religious principles that govern our lives, then we have a STANDARD that can bring about all types of harmony in every situation of life. We must teach all races to accept this STANDARD for their lives (in all phases of life) as being the guiding force that gives each of us our value system. Once we realize that each of us in the world is destined to be a very child of God and an intimate member of the Family of God that rules the universe, we will all be better off. God wants variety in His Family. All races (indeed, all individuals) must understand WHO THEY ARE. They are all the very Children of God (though different from one another). Once this is understood, there will be no room for feelings of inferiority or superiority. After all, "we are all ONE in the Father and Christ Jesus."

Ernest L. Martin

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