Have you ever tried to write out your family tree? It is a noble exercise to learn the roots of your family’s history. Over the years, we have received many phone calls in the church office from people asking if we have records of their family members in our church records, as they seek to accurately recount their family tree. One person shared that she had traced her family tree all the way back to the 1600s!
There is a key truth found in the Bible that involves every human being’s family tree. This truth is vitally important today, as our country wrestles with racism. No matter the color of your skin (mine tends to be a shade of brown); no matter the color of your eyes (mine are blue); no matter the color or amount of your hair (mine is dirty-blond and receding); we, as human beings, all have the same starting point for our family tree. This truth declares, therefore, that all human beings are really one race. So what is this truth? Genesis 3:20 states, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” In other words, if every human being was able to trace their family tree back not just to the 1600s, but all the way to their original parents, every human being would have Adam and Eve at the start of their family tree. We all have the same original parents: Adam and Eve!
If Adam and Eve were the original parents and every human being descended from them, then where did Adam and Eve come from? The Bible declares that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. But when He created Adam and Eve, we read that they were not only created by God but they also were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, since Eve is the mother of all living, all human beings are created in the image of God! Being created in the image of God is the distinguishing characteristic of mankind. All mankind was created in the image of God. The gene pool which determines our skin color, eye color, and hair color all come from Adam and Eve! It is, at best, arbitrary to classify people by skin color. One could classify people by eye color or hair color, but again that would be at best arbitrary. God’s Word classifies one race that was created in the image of God.
Sadly, the Biblical view of mankind is often rejected and our true family tree is replaced with what is called an evolutionary tree. Charles Darwin wrote a book that popularized the evolutionary model of the origins of mankind. The book is commonly called, “On the Origins of Species.” This book has been a major influence on our education system in America. Public schools and colleges now proclaim that mankind has evolved by time and chance over billions of years from lesser life forms. They say that mankind is not made in the image of God, but rather man is an ever evolving being that has been fit enough to survive. Sadly, beliefs affect behavior. And this false view of the origin of man, which does not recognize that all humans are created equal and in the holy image of God, has led to all forms of racism and the devaluing of human life. Charles Darwin did have something right about his evolutionary view: he correctly observed the consequences of adopting an evolutionary tree of mankind! The full title of his book is “On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” The family tree rooted in God’s Word doesn’t allow for “favored races,” rather for one race created in the holy image of God!