An earlier form of this essay appears as a Chapter in Heal Us, Emmanuel: A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church. I am grateful to the editor Doug Serven, Ed. and White Blackbird Books for permission to use the chapter here.

Guest Author: Rev. Gregory A. Ward
Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Austin TX

 

One week ago a group calling themselves “Concerned Presbyterians” began to distribute flyers without permission in the parking lots of PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) churches in various cities in North Carolina and Texas. The flyers’ agenda was to speak out against Overture 43 regarding racial reconciliation recently passed by the 44th General Assembly of the PCA. In addition the flyer speaks to defend both Kinism and Racism. The contents of the flyer, as well as other views they maintain, can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ConcernedPresbyterians/. Please be forewarned about visiting their Facebook page to see for yourself. There are personal attacks and rude comments to go along with their vile theology.

Whether or not this group is actually Presbyterian or not is hard to determine. Most of the members hide behind pseudonyms and pen-names, and those that do not hide, do not appear to be members of any PCA church. The group identifies themselves as “a group of Presbyterian and Reformed laymen.”

More disconcerting than their cowardly anonymity is the fact that they appeal to scripture to defend their Kinist and Racist positions. As a part of their defense, they like other Kinists, reference Dr. Morton Smith and his writings on these matters. The following essay will make it explicitly clear that there is no way to defend Kinism, or Racism for that matter, from the Bible. I will do this by way of interaction with an essay by Dr. Smith entitled “The Problem Facing America” published in the now defunct journal, The Presbyterian Guardian.1

Since many of us are more familiar with the term Racism than Kinism, perhaps it would be helpful to offer a definition before we move on. “Kinism is the belief, or promotion of the belief, that the social order for humanity is tribal and ethnic, and focuses on a duty to love one’s own people. Kinists advocate the idea that extended families should live together in large groups segregated by race or ethnicity. They believe the ideal and normative social order for families – and by extension communities, states and nations – is an exclusionary one defined by race and blood, not propositions or borders, and that this natural order forms the proper and lasting bonds of affection and loyalty for society.”2

Although Dr. Smith does not call the views he defends Kinist per se, the Concerned Presbyterians are not the first Kinists to reference him in defense of Kinism. For example the Kinist blog Tribal Theocrat, describes his writing on the matter as an “excellent exposition of Kinist principles”.3

The goal of Smith’s article

Smith’s intent4 in his article is to show that the Bible teaches that “ethnic pluriformity is the revealed will of God for the human race”5 and that a “principle of segregation as such is not necessarily sinful in and of itself.”6 He goes on to suggest that such segregation should continue and that integration is unbiblical. In other words, Smith’s goal is to demonstrate that racial segregation and purity is normative in the Bible and should be preserved in the church and society. Smith says:

The mass mixing of the races with the intent to erase racial boundaries he (Smith) does consider to be wrong, and on the basis of this, he would oppose the mixing of the two races in this way. Let it be acknowledged that a sin in this area against the Negro race has been perpetrated by godless White men, both past and present, but this does not justify the adoption of a policy of mass mixing of the races. Rather, the Bible seems to teach that God has established and thus revealed his will for the human race now to be that of ethnic pluriformity, and thus any scheme of mass integration leading to mass mixing of the races is decidedly unscriptural.7

His use of the term “pluriformity” is peculiar and deserves some attention. “Pluriformity” simply means having multiple forms, and it should be a synonym for diversity. However, Smith seems to use the term with some distinction. Smith’s use of “pluriformity” appears to be related to his desire to argue that God intends for certain forms, or races, to remain distinct from one another through his principle of separation.

The reason this particular use of pluriformity is important is that although integration and intermarriage would blur the lines between certain races and reduce the particular pluriformity Smith argues we should maintain, they would not necessarily reduce diversity in mankind. On the contrary, intermarriage and integration multiplies diversity. For the sake of clarity, I do not see a problem with ethnic and racial pluriformity in mankind because God intended it to be that way. Rather, Smith argues that some sort of status quo of pluriformity8 by means of the separation of races should be maintained through segregation.

As we work our way through Smith’s use of Scripture, we will see three problems that lead him to his incorrect conclusions about segregation. First, he is often imprecise and vague. He makes generalizations without careful consideration of the passage at hand, and he uses terminology carelessly. Second, he exercises poor exegesis in handling passages, missing the point, and reading in his own presuppositions. Third, he uses poor hermeneutics. He fails to take into consideration broader scriptural and historical context. All of this either comes from, or leads to, poor theology.

The Bible and ethnic diversity

Smith begins his discussion of the matter with an observation of the unity of mankind having descended from Adam first and later from Noah. This is all well and good, but he then moves to consider a few verses from Paul’s speech to the Athenians, a passage to which both integrationists and segregationists were appealing in his time. In this passage, Paul seeks to connect the Athenians of the Areopagus to the God of the Bible. In Acts 17:26 we read, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Smith concludes that God is sovereign over all national distinctions, and by logical extension over all racial distinctions. But saying that God in his providence is sovereign over all the variations and distinctions of mankind is unhelpful and a bit misleading.

There are several problems. First, it is not Paul’s point to demonstrate that God has deemed all of these divisions good. He is merely describing the world as it is and connecting it to God, so that he can connect his hearers to God. Smith tacitly acknowledges this reality in his own terminology. He observes that the verse “teaches the basic unity of the human race, but it also speaks of the diversity of mankind…. ”9 The difference between what Scripture teaches and what it speaks to is no small thing, but Smith is focused on the latter. Worse still, he neglects to mention that the purpose of all this is so that “they should seek God” and that “he is actually not far from each of us” in Acts 17:27. Paul is speaking to pagans from whom he is traditionally distanced, both spiritually and physically, in an effort to establish connection to them. But Smith is focusing on ways to better find separation in the Bible. In sum, Smith misinterprets the verse, because he fails to read it in context and understand the intent.

Further, this is an example of where he is theologically careless. When Smith takes his point from an issue the verse speaks to but does not teach, he subtly attributes to God an intention in his sovereign providence over the nations. In other words, if God is sovereign over the nations and their seasons and boundaries, then he also approves of all divisions regardless of their potential connection to, and involvement with, sin.

This goes completely against the judgments that God pronounces on the nations repeatedly in the Old Testament prophets. If the distinctions were good, why judge the nations? God “determined allotted periods” and “boundaries” for all nations to accomplish his purposes of calling mankind back to himself. However, it does not follow that the nations, their boundaries, and their ethnic distinctions are necessarily good. Yet that is what Smith implies and argues. Smith is confusing the decretive will of God with the preceptive will of God. Paul is describing the former, while Smith is suggesting the latter is in play.

Smith acknowledges that the Acts 17 passage is focused more on national than ethnic distinctions, so he seeks to establish a principle of ethnic pluriformity in other passages. For instance, he observes that the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) and the genealogy of Noah’s descendants (Genesis 10) are possible biblical explanations for the origins of races and nations. While Smith uses terms like “seems” and “may,” he assumes the connections are valid without exploring the difficulties. The reality is that the genealogy is essentially useless for establishing any sort of endorsement by God of different ethnicities. Certainly there are names of tribes, nations, and people groups in the list, but this is at most etiologically descriptive. There is no reason to think this explanation of the origins of these groups is by God’s special prescription or positive endorsement.

Smith’s treatment of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 is more disconcerting. He gives a brief summary of the passage and then focuses on God’s action to disperse mankind from Babel. He rightly describes God’s action both as divine judgment and as a form of common grace, “Thus God, by his common grace intervened, and by his act of judgment intensified the diversity or pluriformity that was inherent in his creation.”10 There are several problems here.

First, God did not intensify ethnic or racial pluriformity. He intensified linguistic diversity. One may argue that this then resulted in ethnic, or racial, diversity, but the two are not the same thing and should not be assumed to coincide. We have numerous examples in the modern world of different races that speak the same language and conversely of people of the same race who speak different languages. It does not follow that just because God intensified linguistic diversity that he necessarily caused an increase in ethnic or racial pluriformity.

Second, Smith assumes that just because God has acted in a gracious way to restrain sin, the result of this is ideal, or at least worth preserving. He says:

If from this we may conclude that ethnic pluriformity is the revealed will of God for the human race in its present situation, it is highly questionable whether the Christian can have part in any program that would seek to erase all ethnic distinctions.11

However, God’s acts to restrain sin are often in degrees. While they may prevent a situation from being as bad as it could be, his actions do not necessarily make the situation as good as he desires it to be. For example, consider the provision for divorce in the Mosaic law in Deuteronomy 24:1. Jesus makes it explicitly clear in Mark 10:2-12 that we may not conclude from this that divorce is a good, or ideal, state we should preserve simply because there is provision for it in God’s law. In the same sense, just because God pronounced a judgment on the sin at Babel, it does not follow that the results of that sin and judgment should not be overcome by the Gospel.

One might wish to object since Jesus explicitly clarifies the issue with respect to divorce, so where would such a clarification come from for the Tower of Babel? The confusion of tongues at Babel is addressed at Pentecost in Acts 2, where the Gospel transcends ethnic and linguistic divisions, which Smith acknowledges. However, he does not see that this reversal nullifies the necessity of ethnic pluriformity he concludes is implied by God’s judgment. Smith fails to grasp the significance of the Gospel with respect to race because he reduces the impact of the universality of the offer of the Gospel to the spiritual realm. I will deal with this problem later. For now, suffice it to say that Smith has not proved his premise that “ethnic pluriformity is the revealed will of God for the human race in its present situation.”12

The Old Testament, segregation, and intermarriage

From there, Smith turns to demonstrating a principle of ethnic, or racial, segregation in the Old Testament. Again, as has been his habit thus far, Smith describes the situation in the Old Testament as he sees it rather than engaging in detailed exegesis of the passages in view. This time his broad brush strokes are a bit more problematic, as he seems to misunderstand the Scriptures. In his defense, racial purity has been a focus of Judaism at different times, but in reality a close examination of the Old Testament reveals that race has never been a biblical criteria for participation in Judaism.

Smith begins his demonstration of a principle of segregation with the general observation of the intent of God to “create and preserve a peculiar people unto himself.”13 Indeed God does this, and he does it by separation or segregation. This Smith rightly observes happening in the patriarchal narratives in Genesis, where Isaac and Jacob each take wives from Abraham’s people rather than intermarrying with the Canaanites. In this much, we agree. However, the problem comes when Smith confuses this religious segregation with ethnic or racial segregation. To be fair, Smith acknowledges that God’s purposes are religious when he says:

It should be noted that this segregation of Abraham’s seed was done by God ultimately for the purpose of preserving their religious purity, yet it was accomplished by means of a racial or ethnic segregation.14

However, we need to make a careful distinction here. The race of people that is Israel is more the result of this segregation rather than the means to accomplish it, as Smith maintains. More importantly, this result is mainly incidental to God’s intent to have a special people rather than the goal of the segregation. The question is how can we demonstrate that this is the case and show Smith’s error? The answer actually lies in Smith’s treatment of the next parts of Israel’s history.

Smith moves from Abraham to consider the sojourn of the people of Israel in Egypt. Curiously, he suggests that God moves Jacob and his sons from Canaan to Egypt because of their failure to remain separate in Canaan.

His descendants failed to keep themselves separate from the people of Canaan, and God in his all wise providence brought them down into Egypt, where they were set apart by the Egyptians in a segregated area.15

However, separation is not at all the purpose given in the text. Rather Joseph is sent ahead to prepare the way to preserve the sons of Jacob (Gen. 44:5, 7), and the LORD clearly assures Jacob that he will make him a great nation in Egypt (Gen. 46:3-4). There is no indication that this sojourn in Egypt is for the purpose of ethnic, or even religious, purity.

What sort of segregation do we observe the children of Israel experiencing in Egypt? As Smith rightly observes, they are given a specific area in which to live, the land of Goshen. However, does this mean Israel was really isolated ethnically? They were separated from the Egyptians, or at least those of higher standing, but they were really being relegated to an area with all the other slaves in Egypt, some of whom were ironically probably Canaanites.16 The great multitude that left Egypt was certainly not all descendants of Jacob, but before we consider the people that lived in Goshen and left in the Exodus, we should discuss Joseph.

Smith conveniently omits the fact that Joseph took an Egyptian wife, Asenath, who was given to him by Pharaoh. He leaves out that Joseph’s two sons Manasseh and Ephraim, the fathers of two of twelve tribes of Israel, were of mixed blood. They were half Israelite and half Egyptian. Clearly ethnic segregation was not what God had in mind in this case.

But perhaps Joseph is an exception? Perhaps the rest of Israel maintained their ethnic purity in Egypt and during the Exodus? Not much is preserved of the four hundred years Israel spent in Egypt, except that what began as a great thing turned sour. They certainly managed to maintain a national identity, but did it come with ethnic purity and segregation? The latter seems unlikely because of some of the problems noted in the Exodus itself. Again, as with Joseph’s wife, we are in territory that is largely uncharted by Smith right now.

After the tenth plague when the Israelites finally leave Egypt, their numbers are counted, and a curious group of people join them (Exod. 12:38). They are referred to by a particular Hebrew word, ʿēreḇ, which occurs in an expression usually translated something like “mixed multitude.” The term occurs rarely (Exod. 12:38; Jer. 25:20; Jer. 50:37; Ezek. 30:5; Neh. 13:3), but it is clear from these other occurrences that it refers to “other people” or “foreigners.” Presumably, these foreigners are the other slaves that lived in the same area as the Israelites and benefited from their association with them.

These people come up again later in the wilderness wanderings in Numbers 11:4. Here they are referred to by an even rarer term, ʾsap̱sup̱, which is usually translated “rabble.” In this case the rabble that is with, but distinct from, the Israelites is complaining about the manna God had provided and not having meat to eat like they did in Egypt. Again it is not clear exactly who these people are, but it is clear that they are part of the Exodus. God not only delivered his covenant people from slavery, but also others who joined them.

If this is not proof enough that there were foreigners among the Israelites during the Exodus, consider that the Passover meal was explicitly restricted to those who had been circumcised (Exod. 12:43-49). But further, it seems likely that these foreigners integrated into the tribes of Israel because Joshua had to circumcise a number of the second generation of Israelites, which had not been circumcised during the wanderings, in order to make sure all the people were circumcised (Josh. 5:2-7). The passage mentions explicitly that this effort to circumcise all the people is occurring a second time. In other words, there was both need and opportunity to circumcise the foreigners that originally joined Israel in the Exodus, and further at least some of them were not diligent to circumcise their children, which required the second round of circumcision.

The bottom line in all of this is that neither ethnicity nor race was key for defining who was a part of the tribes of Israel or who participated in their defining communal ritual, the Passover. Rather, circumcision was the key for defining who was a part of Israel during the Exodus, the wanderings, and the settlement of the Promised Land.

Smith’s next interaction with the Scripture is with the Mosaic law, where he maintains that segregation was the intent of Deuteronomy 7:3. “The people were commanded not to intermarry with other peoples. This was to preserve their racial integrity, and especially their religious integrity.”17 However, the prohibition of intermarriage with the peoples of Canaan has nothing to do with racial integrity. The reason for the prohibition is given explicitly in the very next verse, and it is only about religious purity. Smith goes on in the same paragraph to reference Genesis 6 and Second Corinthians 6:15 as reasons for prohibiting the people of God to intermarry with unbelievers, but this rationale has nothing to do with racial intermarriage at all.

Finally, Smith references Ezra 9 and 10 and Malachi 2:10-16 as further proof that the people of Israel are to remain racially pure and not intermarry with the peoples of the land. But again the problem is that neither of these passages are about racial purity. In both cases the issue is that they are intermarrying with people that worship other gods (Ezra 9:1; Malachi 2:11). Intermarrying with these people that are not faithful to God has made them unfaithful to God. If they had taken wives from the neighboring peoples that had converted to Judaism and united themselves to God, this would not have been a problem. In neither case was this about racial purity, but rather about religious fidelity.

How can we be sure that this last assertion is true? These passages are pretty strong in their condemnation of intermarriage with the other peoples of Canaan. Is it possible that the Old Testament is concerned with more than just religious purity? In order to falsify this, we need to demonstrate positively, that people of foreign blood were welcome to join Israel.

First, we will consider Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho, that helped the spies. In Joshua 6:22-25, Joshua famously spares Rahab and her family while destroying the rest of the city and everyone in it. But Rahab is not just spared and sent on her way, she actually “lived in Israel to this day” as stated in verse 25. Further, not only does Rahab live with Israel, but she intermarries and becomes part of the most prestigious bloodline in the entire Bible. She is the wife of Salmon and the mother of Boaz, which means she is an ancestor of both David and Jesus (see Matt. 1:5). She even makes the faith hit parade in Hebrews 11:31. All this can be said of a woman of the blood of the peoples of the land that Israel was prohibited from intermarrying with in Deuteronomy 7:3. The issue was not her bloodlines. It was her faithfulness to God. She was faithful; the others were not.

Second, consider Ruth the Moabitess. The point of the book of Ruth, the reason for its preservation and entrance into the canon, is to argue for the legitimacy of David’s bloodlines and right to the throne. In Deuteronomy 23:3-6 Moses explicitly prohibits Moabites to “enter the assembly of the LORD forever,” because of the treacherous ways in which they dealt with Israel during the wandering in the wilderness. This would surely ban intermarriage and the offspring of any such marriage. Yet Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi and to the Lord (Ruth 1:16-17) gain her entrance into Israel by marriage to Boaz. And she, like Rahab before her, bears a child in the royal bloodline, Obed, the grandfather of David (Ruth 4:21-22), which in turn also places her in the line of Jesus (Matt. 1:5).

But perhaps these two are exceptions that prove the rule? Do we find a principle elsewhere in the Old Testament that would lead us to expect people of foreign bloodlines might become part of the people of God? Indeed we do. Isaiah 56:3-6 speaks of the “foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord” and how he should not fear that the LORD will separate him from the people of God. Isaiah goes on to prophesy about these foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, so long as they keep the covenant and the Sabbath, “these I will bring to my holy mountain.” So again we see that entrance into the community of God is a function of covenant and religious fidelity, not bloodlines. The only segregation that the LORD instituted in the Old Testament was for purity of religion, not purity of race or blood. Smith’s assertions and insinuations are scripturally invalid.

The New Testament, segregation, and intermarriage

Next, Smith turns his attention to the New Testament and wisely acknowledges that it seems to overturn the principles he believes he has found in the Old Testament. Smith says:

The question may be asked as to whether or not the New Testament sets aside this principle of separation. With the coming of Jesus Christ and the completion of his work on earth, we have the close of the period of particularity, in which God openly revealed himself to only one nation. With the giving of the Great Commission, we have the opening of a new period, namely, a period of universality. This is a time in which God offers his grace and mercy to the whole world. Ultimately, the death of Judaism came with the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross.18

Smith mentions a number of passages, including the aforementioned Pentecost event of Acts 2, several Pauline passages about the ingrafting of the Gentiles into the Jews, and even a few interactions between Jesus and Gentiles. He also considers a number of passages that focus on distinctions and differences between Jewish and Gentile Christians and men and women. It is these differences and distinctions he wishes to emphasize in order to focus on diversity. His argument is essentially that since there is diversity in the church, there should also be a continuation of the principle of segregation he errantly found in the Old Testament.

The key to his argument is his treatment of Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” His comment on this verse is as follows:

Paul is speaking of the essential spiritual unity that we all have in Christ Jesus, and yet it can hardly be maintained that he meant to imply that there were no longer any distinctions or differences within the church. The Christian faith does not demand the erasure of all diversity between men. Rather, it teaches a unity in diversity and a diversity in unity.

In other words, Smith appears to be taking Paul’s language here as hyperbolic, or perhaps eschatological. Both are common ways to understand this passage. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine there should be no differences or distinctions at all between individuals this side of heaven. However, just because we acknowledge unity in diversity or the fact that neither we nor Paul can or should dissolve all differences and distinctions, it will not do to simply reduce Paul’s point here to apply only to spiritual unity.19 To do so is to ignore Paul’s historical context and rob this verse of its spiritual conviction and practical impact.

Paul is countering creedal sayings of both Greeks and Jews. The historian Diogenes Laertius attributes to both Socrates and Thales the saying that he is thankful “that I was born a human being and not a beast, a man and not a woman, a Greek and not a barbarian.”20 The Talmud is even closer to Paul’s language. It says:

R. Judah says, A person must recite three blessings every day: “Praised are you, O Lord, who has not made me a Gentile,” “Praised are you, O Lord, who did not make me a boor,” and “Praised are you, O Lord, who did not make me a woman.” (T. Ber. 6:18)

Another rabbi substitutes “slave” for “boor” in this prayer in B. Men. 43b–44a.

When this historical context is taken into consideration, it becomes clear that Paul is not seeking to erase distinctions, but to unite the church, and not just spiritually. He is counteracting bigoted notions that would cause divisions between Jewish Christians and Greek Christians. This verse is polemical, and it would have daily, practical impact on their social interactions. It simply cannot be reduced to spiritual unity.

The same is true of all of Paul’s teachings on the unity of Jews and Gentiles. He is in the trenches with real-life scenarios. He is uniting disparate people in one faith. This has implications for all of their lives. Segregation would be antithetical to all that he was trying to accomplish. Diversity does not limit or restrict the extent of the impact of the Gospel, but rather it is the context in which the Gospel shines and brings practical social and physical unity, not just spiritual unity.

And what of intermarriage? Was Paul concerned with maintaining separation between Jews and Greeks in marriage? To be united religiously in the Greco-Roman world was to be united socially and culturally and even professionally.21 Under those circumstances, it is hard to imagine that intermarriage would not occur in the early church, particularly given that historically when Gentiles entered the Jewish faith, they intermarried. So, if Paul wanted to prevent the dissolution of this particular racial distinction, one would expect him to prohibit it. However, when Paul addresses the issue of whom a Christian should marry, race seems to be the furthest thing from his mind. In an extensive discussion of marriage in First Corinthians 7, the issue of racial intermarriage never comes up, and again in First Timothy 5, when discussing the issue of the remarriage of younger widows, concern for racial intermarriage is lacking. Further, in Second Corinthians 6:14, when Paul says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers,” the concern is about faith, not race.22 This really should not be surprising given that the Old Testament concerns over intermarriage were the same.

Conclusions

First, while the Bible does describe an ethnically and racially pluriform world, it does not prescribe a particular pluriformity. God does not endorse a particular set of ethnic and racial divisions, nor is there any indication he wishes us to preserve what divisions are there.

Second, it is clear in the Bible that God is constantly at work in history setting apart a people of his own. In the Old Testament, this is the nation of Israel, which is intended to be separate geographically and religiously. The intent of this separation was to maintain religious purity or fidelity to the Lord and had nothing to do with race, ethnicity, or blood. The proscriptions of intermarriage with the nations around Israel were also about religious fidelity, and intermarriage was allowed once a person of foreign descent pledged fidelity to the Lord. The Jewish nation has never been a nation of truly pure blood, and blood was never a barrier to joining Israel.

Third, the ethnic and racial diversity of the world is seen in the New Testament as an opportunity for the Gospel to bring unity amongst diversity. While there is indeed great diversity manifested in the New Testament church, the goal of Jesus23 and Paul is to bring unity of a social and physical nature, and not just a spiritual unity to the diverse members of the church.

Further there are no proscriptions of interracial marriage in the New Testament or suggestions that ethnicity or race should be a consideration for Christians in marriage. Rather, just as in the Old Testament, the emphasis is on not marrying outside of the faith.

In sum, we should say that any suggestion that the Bible offers principles of separation or segregation based on ethnic or racial lines is false and a misrepresentation of Scripture. Further, any teaching that Christians should be about the business of promoting or supporting such segregation is antithetical to the Gospel of Christ.

Finally, Kinists, including the “Concerned Presbyterians” often suggest that their views on race are simply realistic and in the mutual best interests of all concerned. They espouse a sort of racial pragmatism that is contra to the Gospel’s efforts to dismantle all lines that divide people in the name of peace and harmony. In their minds, this is a “loving” position to take. However, such a view, when it is clearly contrary to scripture, is anything but loving.

To intentionally continue to divide people by race and ethnicity in a culture that has oppressed minorities for as long as the USA has is a means, whether intentional or not, to continue to oppress those people. Black people and other minorities have been economically oppressed in this country for years, and even since the Civil Rights Movement, by redlining, racial profiling, and other methods. Any principle of segregation is not loving, but hateful. Further, to attempt to reinforce segregation by means of an appeal to an authority like Scripture is among the worst forms of racism, because it is systemic in nature. Kinism is a sin. This is why Overture 43 was passed to begin with.


1Morton H. Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” The Presbyterian Guardian 33 (1964) pp. 125-128. http://opc.org/cfh/guardian/Volume_33/1964-10.pdf

2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinism

3http://tribaltheocrat.com/2014/03/dr-morton-h-smith-the-racial-problem-facing-america/

4Smith’s states his preliminary goals as to “set forth what I understand the Bible has to say about the unity and diversity of the human race” and “examine the question of whether segregation per se is necessarily sinful.” Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 125. However, he clearly goes beyond these simple objectives as he makes his case.

5Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

6Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

7Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 127-28.

8It is worth noting that nowhere does Smith define which races, ethnicities, or nations (except Israel) God endorses as necessary forms within the ordained pluriformity and therefor should be maintained through his “principle of separation” which we will discuss later. However, it seems clear from his discussion of racial issues in the South later in the article, that he at least believes there should be a principle of separation between White people and Black people. See above quote.

9Smith, “The Problem Facing America”, 125.

10Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

11Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

12Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

13Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

14Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

15Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

16See James K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 54-68.

17Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

18Smith, “The Problem Facing America,” 126.

19Paul was not interested in doing so either, at least in the case of male & female. Compare his teaching on husbands and wives: 1 Cor. 11.3; 14.34–35; Eph. 5.22–24; Col. 3.18; 1 Tim. 2.12; Titus 2.4–5.

20Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers, 1.33. This saying is also attributed to Plato by Plutarch in Marius 46.1 and Lactantius in Divine Institutes 3.19.17. With such a diversity of attributions this was obviously a wide spread quotation. See Richard N. Longenecker, Galatians, Vol. 41, Word Biblical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990) 157.

21This was in large part due the guild systems in place. See for example Ben Witherington III, Revelation, The New Cambridge Bible Commentary (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003) 98.

22In fairness it should be noted that Smith observes the same. However he connects this “religious integrity” inappropriately with “racial integrity,” because he brings this verse up in the context of his misguided discussion of Deuteronomy. 7:3. See above.

23I have not taken the time to pursue Jesus’s teaching on this, but cursory consideration of his teaching on the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, or the implications of the command to “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35) in the midst of an Israel dominated by foreign reign, or his willingness to enter the home of the Centurion in Luke 7, clearly indicates that the Gospel is intended to transcend racial and ethnic divisions.