Student Question: Why did God Create Different Kinds of People?
Student question: Why did God make different kinds of people? (Race, size, color, etc.)
Answer: There are two things to point out with regards to this question.
First, while there is obvious diversity among the human race, there is incredible unity as well. Humans share 99.9% of our DNA, which means we are all closely related and more alike than different. This is good evidence that humans share common ancestry with Adam and Eve, the first man and woman who were created by God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1-2). It's important for us to seek to find similarities and common ground among our differences because we are all cut from the same cloth so to speak.
Second, over time humans spread across the earth and took on various cultures, ethnicities, colors, sizes, traits, etc. So while we have a lot in common, there is widespread diversity across the earth. Diversity is incredibly important to God. God is multi-faceted and multi-layered, so no one people group best represents God. Rather, the diversity within humanity shows off different aspects of God's character.
Here are the implications. There is no single race, culture, nation, or people group that has the full grasp of what God is like. We need to be willing to look outside of ourselves and learn from those who are different than us. We cannot be afraid of other cultures or judge them, but must appreciate them in order to learn more about God. Furthermore, we must strive to know how we are limited in our knowledge and worldview because of our culture, race, and experience. We are prone to think from one perspective, which sometimes clouds our way of thinking.
For example, consider the book of Jonah. Typically in white, western churches, this story is taught as a lesson on obedience. The prophet Jonah is afraid to deliver God's message of repentance and judgement to Ninevah because the Ninevites are a violent people who will likely kill him. He feels similar to how an American might feel about walking down the streets of Baghdad alone. So, Jonah disobeys God and sails to Tarshish instead of trusting him, only to be realigned by God along the way. However, Jonah's primary motivation in his disobedience isn't fear for his life, it's nationalism. Jonah isn't afraid the Ninevites will reject God's message, he's afraid they will accept it. Jonah doesn't want an immoral anad pagan nation to be a receipient of God's grace. Only Jonah's nation, Israel, should receive God's grace. This is why he runs. Now, we know that one of the primary blindspots of the white American church is nationalism, so it makes sense that these churches don't often teach Jonah in this way or even know to teach it like this.
Jonah is one example of how our limited perspective prevents us from knowing God, his Word, and what he asks of his people. Which then provides good motivation to be in relationship with people from different backgrounds and show curiosity about their worldview and perspectives. It helps us learn more about our God, who is not defined by one culture but is infinitely diverse in his character!
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March 5, 2019Student Question: Why does God let bad things happen?
March 5, 2019Student Question: Why did God Create Different Kinds of People?