A few months ago, my dad banned the word "exactly" in our house. Everyone was saying it - someone would comment about something, and the other person would reply in agreement using the form of a rather overused word: exactly! Dad grew tired of hearing the word thrown around every day, so he banned it. Now if Mom and I accidentally say "exactly", the other one stares and says, "YOU SAID THE WORD!"
The word "exactly" used to flow of our tongues without a thought. But now because of my awareness of the word, I notice whenever anyone says it. The word doesn't disappear into conversation anymore, it sticks out like - well, pardon the pun, but like a SORE THUMB! Those aren't cool, are they!?
I personally think there is one other word that need to be BANNED. Well, bad words of course! But there is one more that I could think of... and it is.... *drumroll*
"Races", in reference to groups of people.
I actually want to cringe every time I hear this word. Why?
Let's go back to Genesis.
God created man in Hies likeness and image - this is what gives humans their intrinsic worth, this is why the sanctity of life exists. God created us in His image to praise, serve and glorify Him. God continued to love humankind, even after Adam and Eve sinned and had to be cast out of the Garden of Eden. Note: so far, we haven't come upon the word "races". Continuing on, let's skip to the Tower of Babel. People had disobeyed God by not spreading out over the earth, and wanted to make a name for themselves instead. But God mercifully confused their language causing them to move away and inhabit different areas. Then, there are genealogies, lots and lots of genealogies. But God never announces that different "races" popped up. There are only humans, aka people, aka God's creations.
So, uhhh, why groups of people look similar then? Like, why do most Asians have darker skin, black hair and almond-shaped eyes? Why do...? etc. Well, God separated the people at the Tower of Babel by family groups. As they spread out to different parts of the earth, some genetic traits became more dominate. For example, a dark-skinned person might survive in Africa because his skin color protected him from the sun, whereas a lighter-skinned person might not survive. That is why there are groups of people who look similar and all live in the same country. Go figure. There is no reason to assume that different people groups are different "races".
The phrase "people groups" is a better alternative for "races" because the idea of "races" actually comes from evolution, which actually claims that dark-skinned people are less-human than fair-skinned Europeans, because they were further down on the evolutionary chain, closer to the apes. Whaaaaa....? No way! If we're going to judge people on amount of melanin in their skin, then we might as well decide blondes, brunettes and redheads are all separate races!
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:35, "The first Adam became a living being" and the "Last Adam became a life-giving spirit." All humans, no matter what they look like, came from the first Adam, the first human being God created. The "last Adam" is Jesus, who died in our place so we would not have to be separated from God forever. Jesus died for all humankind, not a bunch of different "races".
No matter if someone looks different we should always try and reach them with the gospel. The insecure girl who wears odd clothing in hopes to be attractive to others...she needs Jesus. The guy trying to be like everyone else - guess what, he needs Jesus too! The people in China need Jesus. The people in Africa need Jesus. So do the men and women in Europe, America and everywhere else. We all need Jesus. Differences shouldn't stand in our way when we are spreading the good news. Jesus loves all people and Jesus certainly wasn't prejudiced (check out John 4:1-42).
For more information, check out Answers in Genesis' podcast "Races - The Term Should Be Abandoned!" or the article "Are There Really Different Races?" for a longer and better explanation. :)
Don't forget to pray for the victims and people involved in the Colorado shooting (see last post). Also if you haven't entered my giveaway you have until July 31st!