A Hopeful Theory About Race Which Might Make Sense

Arguing and even rioting over racial controversies are among the most obsessive activities in our modern society.  Where does it all end?

A couple of years ago I came across an essay which explained racial differences in terms I’d never encountered before.  The author’s basic message was that white Europeans were at one point about as savage and culturally undeveloped as Africans or so-called native Americans, but that they later achieved highly advanced civilization not through some kind of rapid evolution or manifesting some latent, inherent superiority — it was the advent and spread of Christianity throughout Europe, exponentially more than anywhere else, which helped inspire and result in drastic advancements there in language, writing, art, social mores, jurisprudence, economic and political systems of cooperation, and breakthroughs in technology, medicine, and so on.

Meanwhile, the populations of Africa and other continents remained mostly in a state of relative barbarism because of primitive spiritual darkness, the Gospel having not been spread nor taken hold to anywhere near the degree it had under the commands of certain European leaders who were powerful evangelists for Christianity.  Sure, there had been and were empires and comparatively (in ancient context) somewhat advanced culture in various parts of the world prior to, during, and after the birth and widening worship of Christ, however white Europeans were the ones who had the Holy Spirit basically injected into their midst through dedicated, aggressive religious and political agencies, and through the game-changing phenomenon of Gutenberg’s movable-type press, making possible an untold number of Bibles to be distributed, mainly throughout Europe.

Accordingly, the theory (as I expand on it) goes, the transcendent truth and will of God of the Christian faith, above and in lieu of primitive pagan religions and secular systems, gave Europeans a new consciousness, and a special role in the world and its frontiers.

The mysticisms and social influences of Confucius, Buddha, Brahman, and whatnot also fostered notable developments in civilization and culture in the East, however no other religion has ever been so bold as to proclaim the singular trump card in the Son of God Himself here on Earth, laying it down as supreme and quite beyond any other teaching anywhere, commanding the consciences of men like William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I needn’t even discuss Mohammed.  Let’s just not go there right now.

If Jesus Christ really is the only true way, as New Testament scripture says, then it would appear that whichever race or races happened to have carried the Gospel the most would largely wind up with a special responsibility and position, wouldn’t it?  That responsibility would chiefly include the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) — making “disciples of all nations.”

A few people reading this are, I’m sure, recoiling in shock at the suggestion that blacks lag behind whites in various ways primarily (among other less important factors) because collectively, historically, they lag behind in being converted into Christianity and bathed in the Holy Spirit over the centuries.  That is exactly how I interpreted the theory, for what it is worth.  It’s actually much less politically incorrect than the usual theories on race differences.

Reading that essay turned most of what I’d previously focused on regarding race differences on its side.  At the time I stumbled into it, I considered it, then promptly lost it in the shuffling frenzy of worldly controversies and the usual race theories.  I cannot recall the essay’s title/author, just the basic ideas in it.  From time to time I remember it, though, and I’m glad that it sort of stuck in my cognitive craw.

I’m glad because I figure that if the author is right, then all of the negativity and strife around race issues in this country may be resolved after all, if indeed Jesus Christ is the antidote to worldly (and in that case, false) assessments about racial matters.  Spirituality, not biology, nor secular social science, would be the real determinant of general conditions for races relative to each other, for race relations, and for humans being able to actually transcend race.

It’s a thought worth thinking, given the situation in which we find ourselves.

About the author: Donald Joy

Following his service in the United State Air Force, Donald Joy earned a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY while serving in the army national guard. As a special deputy U.S. marshal, Don was on the protection detail for Attorney General John Ashcroft following the attacks of 9/11. He lives in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia with his wife and son.

View all articles by Donald Joy

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