Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?

Is it wrong to crave and desire a piece of apple pie for the pleasure it brings our taste buds? The Bible tells us to “abstain from fleshly lusts” in I Peter 2:11.  In Colossians 3:2 we are told “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” So it would appear to some Christians that God commands Christians to stay away from and not seek after earthly pleasures including seeking after a piece of their favorite apple pie.

This is certainly not the first time I have written on the subject of Christians and earthly pleasures and it won’t be the last.  But in this instance I want to tackle this from a different point of view based on a conversation I had with a young woman who emailed me.   She wanted to share some of her personal insights from studying the book of Ecclesiastes and see what I thought of her interpretation of this great book of the Bible.

She asked to be called “Young and Restless” (and she is in her early 20s).

Below are some excerpts from what she originally sent me:

 “Some people think that the focus or emphasis of Ecclesiastes is to enjoy pleasure. They point to the verses about enjoying the fruit of their labour, as if that is what the central message of Ecclesiastes is:

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.  

(Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

However, this is only part of the story. The book of Ecclesiastes is a book which recounts all of Solomon’s earthly pursuits by which he seeks pleasure. If anyone had it all, it was Solomon. Yet, he calls it all vanity of vanities, all is vanities. Solomon speaks more about his grief and despair than his joy found in earthly pleasures. Yet, some try to emphase the earthly pleasures, which is because they find it hard to accept that all they have on earth is vanity. They are too focused and distracted by earthly pleasures, and that is a problem

All earthly pleasures, whether it be marriage, family, food or wine are fleeting. You better accept this or else you are a fool. The seeking of such pleasures itself will ultimately lead to a lack of fulfillment. When all such things are gone, one will despair. This explains why so many people in old age who cannot enjoy such things are in despair, because they pursued these things, as opposed to the fear of God”

My First response to Young and Restless’s interpretation of Ecclesiastes view of earthly pleasures

I have studied Ecclesiastes many times over the years.  Both from studying the book itself as well as the account of Solomon’s life in other books I would summarize it as this:

Solomon was a man who started off honoring God with his life but quickly was pulled into pursuing the pleasures of this world rather than serving God.  He allowed his heart to be lead astray by heathen wives.  He pursued every physical pleasure both sexual and non-sexual that a man could ever desire.  He had wealth beyond measure.

His discovery at the end of his life was how much his life was wasted and meaningless because he did not make obedience to God and fearing God the central focus of his life.  He made the pursuit of pleasure the central focus of his life – and this is the very definition of sensuality – when one makes the pursuit of physical pleasures the focus of their life.

He abused “the gift of God”.  The ability of a man to labor and enjoy the fruits of his labor with a wife and children by his side are indeed a gift of God as Solomon alludes to in this book.  But this gift can be abused when we make it the central focus of our life rather than serving God with our life.

This is why I always maintain on my site we must always maintain balance in this life.  The Scriptures tell us “Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:27).

On one side we have the Christian ascetics who taught (and some Christians today still teach) that all pleasures of this world are evil and to be avoided.  On the other side we have those engaged in materialism and sensuality that have made the entire focus of their life earthly pleasures.  The truth is that God gave us pleasures in this world as a gift – but not as something to be the central focus of our lives.  He wants us to serve him and fear him and in serving him and fearing him we may along the way experience some pleasures in this world – but we will also experience hurt and pain.  But we are to follow the Apostle Paul’s example in this regard:

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:10-13 (NASB)

Young and Restless’s first response to me

“Thanks for the feedback. I don’t know about you, but you seem to use a more academic approach to studying the Bible. I think that there is a such thing as spiritual revelation that is needed in reading the Bible, and that no matter how many times you study a book in the Bible, there is always more that you can learn.

So, I think there is so much to learn from it than a summary.

‘Balance’ can be a dangerous concept as it can often just another word for compromise on good but hard doctrine, with bad but easy-to-accept doctrine.

If you think I am trying to promote asceticism, no I am not.  I never said that they are to be avoided altogether. Saying that pursuing them for pleasure in themselves and finding contentment in them is not “asceticism”. It is truth.”

My second response to Young and Restless on the subject of earthly pleasures

First and foremost I agree with you that the Bible is a spiritually discerned book – but we must take it as a whole and we must let the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures.  In my life I have far too often seen people claim “spiritual revelation” with absolutely zero Scriptural backing or I have seen those who take one part of the Scriptures that fits their beliefs while leaving out others.  We must take all of it to learn the full truth of any matter.

I would agree with you that the primary emphasis of Ecclesiastes is not to teach us “to enjoy pleasure”.  But I would also humbly submit to you that the primary message of Ecclesiastes is not to tell us that seeking out or enjoying the pleasures of this world are sinful, vain and meaningless as your article states.

The primary focus of the book of Ecclesiastes is that the most important thing in our life – the thing that gives our life meaning when all other things fade away is to fear God and keep his commandments.  Our relationship with God is a never ending source of joy even in the darkest times of life.

Just because somethings last only a short time does not make them of no value

Yes earthly pleasures such as marriage, having children and family, food and wine are fleeting.  They are of this temporary world.  But guess what else is fleeting? Our lives.

 “15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.  16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”

Psalm 103:15-16 (KJV)

Does this mean our lives are meaningless just because they fleeting? Does this mean our marriages and our children are meaningless just because they are fleeting when compared to eternity? No that is not what these passages teach my friend.   They teach that all these things are meaningless when we make idols of them – when these things become the central focus of our lives and we forget God.  When we no longer remember our creator or fear him.

I can accept that my life and my children’s lives are fleeting like a flower on the ground that withers away and dies.  Amen and Amen.   But is a flower any less special even though it lives such a short time? Is it any less a beautiful and magnificent part of God’s creation? Was the birth of each of my children any less precious because I knew one day they would die? That their life is fleeing? Of course not! This is one of the reasons we as Christians oppose abortion for children who may not live long after birth.  Are the few days or weeks that a sick infant lives not precious because his life is fleeting?

Riches and wealth, and the power to eat of the fruits of our labor, the ability for us to even labor itself and of course marriage and children are the gift of God.  Yet you claim “The seeking of such pleasures itself will ultimately lead to a lack of fulfillment”.  If you had finished your statement with “if we make them the central focus of our lives as opposed to fearing and serving God.” I would agree.  Amen and Amen.

I agree that balance can be used to justify false doctrine – but sometimes it is used to help us from truly going off track as well.  I truly see in the Scriptures two ditches we can fall into.

On the left is slavery to materialism and sensuality where people put the pursuit of worldly pleasures at the center of their life and they forget God and do not serve and worship him.  On the right is asceticism – another ditch we can fall into where we believe we may not experience pleasure in this world or that we may only experience pleasure as a result of others actions toward us – but we may never seek to it out.

Young and Restless’s Summary Statements of her beliefs and our differences

I won’t bother with the entirety of our email chain as it is a bit long and sometimes goes off the topic at hand which is “Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?”  I will just give two statements from Young and Restless that I believe honestly sum up the differences we have on this issue of earthly pleasures.

“I am not saying that God has created bad gifts, or that they are meaningless and vain. Rather, I am saying that seeking such gifts in and of themselves are. How hard is that to understand? There is a difference between seeking these gifts, and simply humbly, and gratefully enjoying that as God has given to oneself, which you do not seem to understand.”

“I think the problem is that you seem to think that desire for earthly things is legitimate, as long as it is used rightly. However, the problem is the desire for earthly things in and of themselves, is not a desire to delight in God. Rather, it is a desire that is earthly itself. You seem to not even know the difference between desire for something in and of itself, and the desire for it as a means to do the will of God.”

These are the beliefs she has that we can draw from her statements:

  1. We are only to seek pleasure in God and contentment in God and never in any earthly things.
  2. We may not desire earthly things in and of themselves simply for the pleasure they bring us, but only as a means of doing the will of God.
  3. It is not wrong for us to experience the earthly gifts God gives to us such as marriage, sex, children, good food and other things but we cannot seek out these gifts – they must be given to us by God.

Let me practically apply her principles as stated to marriage as an example.

Based on her beliefs it is not wrong for a man to seek marriage to a woman if his only motivating factor is to obey God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and honor God by living out the role of a husband and father while he spiritually leads his wife and future children.   However if any part of his motivation for marriage is his desire to have this woman sexually pleasure him this by definition is sin because he is never to seek out any kind of earthly pleasure for himself. Now if his wife seeks to bless him by giving him sex then he may “simply humbly, and gratefully enjoying that as God has given”.

Now I know based on numerous emails with her that she is not against a man initiating sex with his wife.   But based on these principles she expounded – the only way he could righteously initiate sex with his wife was if his motive was for one of two reasons:

  1. His motivation is completely selfless in that he simply wants to give his wife pleasure. His own desire for physical pleasure with his wife plays no part in his initiating sex because to do so would be him seeking after earthly pleasures instead seeking to delight in God which should be the only thing he seeks after.
  2. His trying to follow God’s command to be fruitful and multiply – so he is initiating sex not out of a desire to for his own pleasure, but to do the will of God by making his wife pregnant.

 The Apple Pie Example

I gave her the following admonition because she often speaks in lofty terms which she does not define in practical ways and then she accuses me of simply not understanding the spiritual truths she is giving me.

I would like you (Young and Restless) to apply your principle here on a practical level.  This is something I try to do on my blog – I give what I believe to be a Biblical principle and then I illustrate it in practical everyday situations.

Let’s say I like apple pie.  And there is a restaurant down the street that makes the best apple pie I have ever had.  I am working late at night (as I often do for my job here at my home office) and I decide to run down the street late at night to get myself a piece of that wonderful apple pie.  I purchase it and savor each bite. I have now met my craving and I am content.  I go home, finish my work and go to bed.

How does my engaging in my craving for a piece of apple pie “serve God”? How does the exercise of me engaging in my craving for a piece of apple pie “worship God”?

I did this for my own enjoyment, for my own pleasure did I not? And why was this particular action of seeking to have a piece of apple pie that I enjoy wrong (if you view it as wrong)?

Young and Restless’s Answer to the Apple pie dilemma

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).

If your manner of spirit in eating a pie is with a mind set on gaining earthly treasure that is wrong.

However, if you do so remembering that it is from God and that is your manner of spirit in savoring it, it is good.

However, so often when people claim that they are delighting in some earthly things to delight in the Lord, they are really seeking to delight in such earthly things in that wrong manner of spirit.”

My response to the Apple pie dilemma

Young and Restless did not answer my questions directly – but simply responded again with lofty terms.  This helps no one. If I have a craving for my favorite apple pie and I go buy it – sit down by myself and eat a slice savoring each bite is that a sin for me? According to her own principles given earlier it is sin because I sought after “an earthly thing” or an “earthly pleasure”.  I sought after something simply to experience the pleasure of it and by her understanding of the Song of Solomon as well as Colossians 3:2 I have just sinned against God in acting in such a selfish manner.

Now if she wanted to say – I should receive the apple pie that I had a craving for and bought and am about to eat with thanksgiving to God I would say Amen!

This is what the Scriptures tell us:

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude”

I Timothy 4:4 (NASB)

Guess what that means? Did God create my taste buds? Did God create my ability to crave and savor the taste of apple pie by those taste buds? You bet he did.  And what God created is good.  Everything he created is good! It is absolutely ludicrous and unbiblical to say that God gave us taste buds but does not want us to seek to pleasure them by various foods.

In the same way it is absolutely ludicrous and unbiblical to say that God gave men strong sexual desires for women but they are forbidden from acting on them for their own pleasure.  Just think about it – by Young and Restless’s beliefs God placed a strong desire for sexual pleasure in a man but he is forbidden to seek it out.  He may only experience it as a byproduct of “doing the will of God” by either seeking to give his wife pleasure or impregnating her with a baby.

Young and Restless’s principles are not far from what some of the early church fathers taught about men seeking after sexual pleasure with their wives.  See my Article “How the Church made sex dirty” for more on that.

And even outside of food and sex, men have desires to work and sometimes build businesses and other great things to benefit themselves and their families.  But according to Young and Restless – this is seeking after “earthly treasures”, something that we are forbidden to do in her view.

Young and Restless is teaching a form of Asceticism

Young and Restless denies she is advocating for Asceticism because she does not believe it is wrong for us avoid all earthly pleasures.  She is just saying we are not to seek them out.  If they just so happen to land in our lap then it is ok.  So in my apple pie example – if my wife knows I enjoy apple pie and she goes to that restaurant and buys me my favorite pie and serves it to me at home then there is no sin in me enjoying the pleasure God has dropped in my lap via my wife’s kindness.

But I am forbidden from seeking the pleasure of that apple pie by myself – that is an earthly desire that is seeking after earthly things – that is not delighting in God in Young and Restless’s view.

But there are two parts of Asceticism.  The first is that we should not seek after any earthly pleasure and the second is that we should not allow ourselves to experience any earthly pleasures as either one could tempt us to sin and lead us away from God.  Just because she takes the first part and leaves off the second does not make it any less asceticism.  That is what it is.

Demolishing the two primary tenets of Asceticism with the Word of God

Ascetic Tenet #1 – We are to “abstain from fleshly lusts”

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”

I Peter 2:11

Most Ascetics will argue that his means “We should keep ourselves from experiencing early pleasures otherwise will be pulled away from God”.  Young and Restless would reject this principle of asceticism.  One of the things I love about God’s Word is that in many cases it actually defines what it means by certain words.   These are the lusts of the flesh according to the Bible:

“19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)

Now do you see the human craving for apple pie or just the general desire for sex (not illicit sex) in this list the Apostle Paul just gave? Nope and I don’t either. It really is hard today to find a good balanced church.

On the far left side we have those preachers who never say anything against any sin and they will have members in their church openly living together in fornication and they are ok with this.  Or they may even invite practicing homosexuals to join their church or head their church.

On the far right side we have those who try and teach us that all human desire for earthly pleasure or earthly things is sinful.  These are the extremes we must fight against as Bible believing Christians.

The truth is that in the Scriptures most often the term “the flesh” is being used to speak of the sin nature or corruption of the God given human nature he gave Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.   In no way does the Scripture teach that all human desires for earthly things or earthly pleasures are wrong.  Only when our desire is for things that violate God’s law or when we allow our desire for things that are not sin to replace our love and devotion to God then are our desire becomes sin.

Ascetic Argument #2 – We are not to think on earthly things or love things in this world

Now this is the part of asceticism that Young and Restless fully supports. She gives this well-known passage from Colossians in support of her belief:

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Colossians 3:2 (KJV)

Another passage she did not give but I have seen others her camp use to try and support their false ascetic teachings is this one:

“15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

1 John 2:15-16 (KJV)

The word “affection” in Colossians 2 is not talking about love.  The modern translation of the Greek word “Phroneo” behind that word is “mind” which is more accurate.  It is saying we are to set our minds, our thoughts on things above and not on things on the earth.  But in 1 John 2:15-16 the Greek word is “Agapao” for love.

First let’s look at Colossians 3:2. If we take this passage by itself and are not looking at its context or how it is used throughout the Bible this would mean that we cannot think about our marriage, our children, our jobs, our car, our dog, our cat, our mom, our dad…you get the point. Now even the ascetic would not like that explanation. They would instead say that “things that are on the earth” or “earthly things” refers to “seeking earthly pleasures or seeking to build up earthly treasures in any form”.  The problem is the text does not give us such a definition. Again as with “fleshly lusts” from I Peter 2:11 we need to let the Bible define itself.  In this same chapter of Colossians we see how the Bible defines “things that are on the earth”:

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”

Colossians 3:5-9 (KJV)

So what are the “things on the earth” or “upon the earth” or earthly things we should not set our minds on? It is sinful earthly things – not all earthly things.  Again just like “flesh” can be a Biblical euphemism for the sin nature so to can “things on earth” or “earthly”.   Do you see anywhere in this list of that we should not set our minds on marriage, having children or eating apple pie because they are earthly things? The answer is a resounding “No you do not”.

Now what about 1 John 2:15-16? That passage clearly tells us we are to “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”.  Again the word “world” can speak to the literal earth and all there is in it or to the evil sinful world system similar to how “flesh” and “earth” are used in different ways.  In the Gospel of John we are told:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16 (KJV)

The Greek words for “love” and “world” are identical here to 1 John 2:15-16.  So when we use discernment we know that God is commanding us not to love the sinful things of this world – not literally everything in their world including our spouses, children and apples.

But shouldn’t we only seek pleasure in God?

 “As Christians we should never desire earthly things in and of themselves but instead only desire earthly things as a means to do the will of God. We should only desire to delight in God, not in earthly things in and of themselves”

This is a minor rephrasing of Young and Restless’s statement but it still captures the heart of what she said.  And she is not alone.  You will find ascetic Christian teachers on the far right teaching exactly what she has said.  In fact I grew up hearing some preachers like this in Churches I attended.

Is sounds nice doesn’t? It sounds so lofty and so righteous doesn’t it? After all God is the only thing that lasts.  All the things of this world will eventually fade away so why should we have any desire for such temporal things in and of themselves?

It may sound nice but it nothing more than “the commandments and teachings of men” as opposed to the commandments of God.  Paul alludes to this in his attack on asceticism that was creeping into the church while the Apostles still lived:

“20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

Colossians 2:20-23 (NASB)

But how does seeking pleasure glorify God?

The question of this article and really a hugely important question in life for all Christians is “Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?”  Notice the way I framed that question.  I could have said “Is it unbiblical to seek earthly pleasure?” But when I ask is it Biblical – I am asking is right, holy and just for us to seek earthly things and earthly pleasures?

Is it righteous, holy and ultimately glorifying to God when I crave a piece of apple pie?  The answer is yes! And the reason is because I was designed to image God. God experiences pleasure and he design us to as well. When we live out our design we glorify God.  It is God who gave me taste buds and it God who gave me that craving for apple pie.  It is God who sends dopamine rushing through my brain as I eat that pie and God who causes my tastes buds to react in pleasure. All of this is by his hand and his design.  Therefore when I exercise my desire for the pleasure of apple pie and I do so within the bounds of his law and realizing everything comes from him I do in fact bring glory to my creator.

In other words – we actually bring glory to God by seeking out earthly things and earthly pleasures like marriage, sex in marriage and having children in marriage as well as building beautiful things and seeking out wonderful foods. When we do all this within the bounds of his law it honors and glorifies him.

But should we not find all our contentment in God?

Again it sounds nice, it sounds pious to say we should find all our contentment in God. But the truth is we can find contentment in earthly things and earthly pleasures as long as we realize that God is the only thing at will ultimately satisfy our spiritual thirst.   Christ alluded to this:

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

John 6:35 (KJV)

Water or tea or even a piece of apple pie might bring us temporary contentment in the moment.  It will content our physical desire for a time.  But these things will never bring contentment to our spiritual thirst.  This is how people abuse Gods gifts when they look to them as their ultimate source of contentment and fulfillment and not God.

But again there are two extremes we must avoid.  The one is to look for all our contentment in earthly things like food, wine or sex(even in marriage) and the other is to say that God did not give us any of these things even for temporary contentment as we look to him for our ultimate spiritual contentment.

The False Dichotomy of Asceticism

This is one of the favorite verses of Ascetics and it is actually one Young and Restless’s favorite verses as well:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Matthew 6:24 (KJV)

The Ascetic’s (and Young and Restless’s) second favorite verse is:

“19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”

Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV)

“Mammon” is an old word for “money”, “wealth” or “riches”.  So Christ was saying you can’t serve God and Money.  Many Ascetics will take it a step further and say it refers to “earthly things”.  So you can’t love God and love earthly things.  Well we defined “earthly things” from the Scriptures earlier and showed that the Bible condemns sinful earthly things or sinful desires of the flesh – not all human desires and not all earthly things.

In the Ascetic view – we cannot have treasures on earth and treasure in heaven.  We cannot serve God and also seek to make money or have possessions in this world.  We must choose between a simple and uncomfortable life and having God or having material comforts and not having God.

Was Christ saying it was wrong to for a man to earn money or have nice things for himself or his family? Absolutely not.  In fact God says this about riches, money and inheritances:

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

Proverbs 13:22 (KJV)

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 5:19(KJV)

So what is Christ saying when he says we cannot serve two masters – money (material things, earthly things, riches) and God?

He is talking about where our faith is.  We must trust in God – not in our riches or material possessions.   These passages of Scripture tell us this:

“Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.”

Psalm 52:7 (KJV)

“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”

Proverbs 11:28 (KJV)

“23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Mark 10:23-25 (KJV)

“17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”

1 Timothy 6:17-18 (KJV)

So what is the common theme in the Bible about those who have riches and material things? The theme is that we are not trust in riches, we are not trust in our material things but our trust is always to be in God.  We cannot trust in riches and trust God.  We must choose.

Now will there be some times when we have to give up some material comforts and temporal pleasures in the service of God? Absolutely.  Missionaries do this all the time.  Even for those of us who are not missionaries we may give up our material possessions and comforts to help others and that is to be commended. So while we should be willing to part with our material comforts if God calls us to in a certain situation it does not mean all Christians at all times not matter their situation may never seek after material comforts or temporal pleasures or should never have these things.  This is the false dichotomy that asceticism offers us.

You see in a way Satan can use both materialism and asceticism to keep people away from God.  We can be drawn away by our possessions and trust in them rather than trusting in God or we can allow asceticism to keep people away from the faith because they thing that salvation requires them to suppress the natural desires God gave to human beings.  Both keep people away from God and serve as stumbling blocks to a relationship with God.

Conclusion

Young Restless actually framed my belief in this area very accurately when she stated “you seem to think that desire for earthly things is legitimate, as long as it is used rightly”.  And this is the truth of the Scriptures as I have demonstrated throughout this article. This like marriage, having children, eating good food and other earthly things and earthly pleasures like these are God’s gift to us and they are meant to be received with thanksgiving.  God does not tell us we may not seek out these gifts and in fact if we don’t in some cases we would be violating God’s law.

For instance, unless God has convicted our hearts that he has called us to celibacy in service to him we are to pursue marriage in keeping with God’s first command to mankind to be fruitful and multiply.  God also commands men to “drink” (Proverbs 5:15) from sexual well that is their wife whenever they are thirsty and he tells men to satisfy themselves (or literally drink one’s fill) of their wife’s body and be intoxicated by her sexual love.

He tells us that earthly temporal things such as a woman’s breasts and her womb are blessings (Genesis 49:25) to men in this first world.  The Scriptures tell us that God gives us “wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart” (Psalm 104:15).

The problem with asceticism is that it does not distinguish from the world God loves and the world God hates.

God hates the sinful system of this world that came into being after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. But he still loves his creation including the birds of the air, animals, reptiles, the mountains, the rivers and chief among his creations mankind.  He still loves the things he created as gifts for man like marriage, sex, children, food and other beautiful things in this world.  When he calls on us to hate the world and the things in the world – he is calling on us to hate the sinful system in this world and not the beautiful things he created.

Can we love temporal earthly pleasures and earthly things and still love God? Can we seek the pleasure of having a spouse and children and a home together and still love God? Can a man “rejoice in his labour” (Ecclesiastes 5:19) or do something that brings him happiness and satisfaction and still love God?

Can a man store up an earthly treasure as an inheritance for his children and still love and serve God?  Can we love and savor the taste of apple pie and seek after it and still love God? The summary of all these questions would be the very question of this article:

Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding “YES!” Absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt we can love all these things and still love God because these earthly things and pleasures are his gift to us.

To say that we cannot is to present a false dichotomy the Scriptures never present.  To say otherwise is to teach asceticism which is not the commandment of God but rather the commandments and teachings of men.

We may absolutely love the things of this world that the Bible calls “the gift of God” to us as long as we are not “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4) and we do not “trust in uncertain riches” instead of “the living God” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Not only is it allowable and not sin for us to seek out “earthly pleasures, whether it be marriage, family, food or wine” as Young and Restless states but it actually glorifies God when we do because this is part of his design in us.

Is Ethno-Nationalism a Sin against God or by His design?

The sign above was posted in Detroit in 1942 to oppose a new federal housing project being built for African Americans.  Most Christian Americans will agree that slavery was an original sin of America’s founders. But what about the founder’s restriction limiting citizenship to “free white persons” via the Naturalization Act of 1790? Was this a second sin by America’s founders?

The founder’s restriction of American citizenship to “free white persons” is part an ideology called “Ethno-Nationalism”.  Ethno-Nationalists believe that nations are built on three things which are common language, common culture and common ethnicity.

When America was founded the vast majority of its citizens were of British decent (English, Welsh or Scottish) with a minority being from other mostly white northern European nations.  The new American British culture would come to set the tone for America.  Even when a large amount of German immigrants would arrive in the 19th century they quickly assimilated to the American British culture that had been established.

Victor Davis Hanson in his article for the National Review – “America: History’s Exception” writes:

“The history of nations is mostly characterized by ethnic and racial uniformity, not diversity. Most national boundaries reflected linguistic, religious, and ethnic homogeneity. Until the late 20th century, diversity was considered a liability, not a strength…

Countries, ancient and modern, that have tried to unite diverse tribes have usually fared poorly. The Italian Roman Republic lasted about 500 years. In contrast, the multiracial Roman Empire that after the Edict of Caracalla in AD 212 made all its diverse peoples equal citizens endured little more than two (often violent) centuries.” [1]

So ethno-nationalism has been what has knit nations together for the history of mankind.  America even started as an Ethno-nationalist nation.  It was not until after the Civil War that American let go of its ethno-nationalist heritage and began its journey into multiracialism and eventually multiculturalism.  America’s motto “e pluribus unum” or as it translates to English “out of many one” was also transformed.  The founders used this phrase to refer to the 13 colonies becoming one nation.  Multiracialists change it for their purposes to mean that America would be a nation that was centered on multiracialism and multiculturalism.

Most Americans feel America has lost its identity

On March 5th 2017, Matt Sedensky in an article for the Associated Press wrote:

“Add one more to the list of things dividing left and right in this country: We can’t even agree what it means to be an American.

A new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds Republicans are far more likely to cite a culture grounded in Christian beliefs and the traditions of early European immigrants as essential to U.S. identity.

Democrats are more apt to point to the country’s history of mixing of people from around the globe and a tradition of offering refuge to the persecuted.

While there’s disagreement on what makes up the American identity, 7 in 10 people – regardless of party – say the country is losing that identity…

Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas who studies partisanship and polling, said the results reflect long-standing differences in the U.S. between one camp’s desire for openness and diversity and another’s vision of the country grounded in the white, English-speaking, Protestant traditions of its early settlers.” [2]

Some Christians openly rejoice that America has transformed from its Ethno-nationalist roots into a multiracial multicultural country.  Many Christian’s believe the world needs to unite and leave old divisions of race, ethnic groups and even national boundaries to the dustbin of history.

But other Christians remain silently saddened as they see the America of George Washington slip away.

The Language of Race Discussions

We have gone from one extreme in our societies to another.  In times past, racial and ethnic hatred were common and generally accepted in day to day language.  In the days of America’s founding it was common for whites to degrade and insult Native Americans and Blacks.  In fact, to defend these groups in any way and condemn such hateful speech was rare.

But now over the past several decades in America a new hatred has arisen. The only acceptable discussion of race in America is that Whites should be ashamed of their past treatment of various races and that White privilege and prejudice is still holding back minorities like Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics. A new oppressed minority are Muslims.  If you were to talk about how Whites still oppress and hold back all these groups and all the evils those of European decent have brought on the world you will be praised.  You will be applauded.  You will be loved.

But any speech about race today that is NOT speaking about White oppression against various races is condemned as racist and evil.  For instance, even to ask the question I did in a previous post – “Is Self-Segregation a Sin in the Bible?” is called racist.  To question government forced integration is to be called evil and racist.  People lose jobs not just because of racial slurs – but even for questioning racial integration and affirmative action policies.

In fact, we are told that race does not really exist and even to consider the possibility that race actually exists is irrational and racist. The debate is closed and may not be discussed.

And finally on this topic of the language of race relations I am going to make something abundantly clear that I made in other previous posts on this discussion of race.

I do NOT support White hate groups like the KKK, Neo Nazis or other White supremacist groups.    In my previous article “We must denounce White, Black, Antifa and Muslim Terrorism” I denounced the actions of the KKK and Neo Nazis from a Christian perspective as not only hateful but actually as forms of domestic terrorism.  I showed in previous posts that there is no allowance in the Christian faith for hating someone because of their racial or ethnic origin.

I put the above statement in red so that no one can try and twist or malign the honest discussion I am about to have about race and ethno-nationalism from a Biblical perspective into saying I support White hate groups like the KKK, Neo-Nazis or other such groups.

Denying the reality of race will not end racial hatred or racial atrocities

Even a small child knows that race exists.  When an adopted Black child asks his White adoptive parents “Mommy and Daddy – why do I look so different from you?” he is recognizing what we all know to be true – race exists and it is about far more than skin color differences. The child recognizes the different facial features between himself and his parents.

The difference between races is even more than facial features, hair and skin colors – in other words it is more than skin deep.  While most of the scientific community is trying to erase the concept of races from modern science teachings there is one group of scientists who simply cannot ignore what they see under the skin and they are forensic anthropologists.

“Forensic anthropologists, experts in skeletons that do work for law enforcement agencies, say they are extremely accurate at deciphering the signs that identify a dead person’s bones as African, Caucasian, Asian or American Indian.

“We produce as much accuracy in race as we do with sex and age,” says George W. Gill, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Wyoming and one of the eight anthropologists who are suing the federal government in the Kennewick case.”

[3]

Think CSI, Bones and other crime shows on TV.  When they find a body in a burned out building and all they have to go on is the skeleton.  Forensic experts can ascertain with a great degree of certainty whether a person is of Caucasian, African or Asian descent.  And as far as Native Americans go – Native Americans really are just a particular Asian variant.

The fact is there are three major variations of human beings – Caucasians, Africans and Asians.  We can call them “people groups” instead of “race” as some forensic anthropologists want to do.  But the fact cannot be denied that there are three distinct and discernable major variations of human beings.

But the key word is “variation”.  Just because my major variation type, people group or race is Caucasian and yours is African or Asian does not make any of us less human.  It does not give any of us the right to rule over the other.

We don’t have to pretend or try to erase or minimize race from our vocabulary and thought processes to combat racial hatred.

One other word I will use often in this post is “ethnicity”.  Now today in order to go along with trying to wipe out racial distinctions from our vocabularies people are saying “ethnicity” has nothing to do with race but only groups of people with shared traditions and values or perhaps national origin.  The fact is for all of human history ethnicity has been associated with common heredity as well as common traditions and values and national origin.  You cannot erase heredity as a historical component of ethnicity even though we are trying to do that today in nations.

So, when I use the term “ethnicity” I am using it to refer to minor human variation groups.  Northern Europeans could be classified as a minor variation of the major Caucasian variation group.  Englishmen would be a further subset or minor variation group of the Northern European variant group.  Arabs are a West Asian and North African Caucasian variant group. Nigerians would be a minor variation of the major African variant group as compared to Kenyans being another.  Chinese would be a minor variation of the major Asian variant group compared to Filipinos.

So now you will understand what I mean when I say race or ethnicity.

The Christian case against Ethno-Nationalism

Most Christian Americans and for that matter most Christians today around the world believe that ethno-nationalism is the same as racial hatred and the Bible condemns all hatred except hatred of sin:

“Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”

Proverbs 10:12 (KJV)

So some Christians will stop right there and say the case is closed.  Ethno-nationalism is racial hatred and all hatred except for hatred of sin is condemned in the Bible therefore Ethno-nationalism is a sin against God and Christians should condemn it or so they say.

Some Christians will go a bit further in explaining why Ethno-nationalism is a sin against God and incompatible with the Christian way of life.  The following Bible passages are cited as proof that Christians should be opposed to ethno-nationalism:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”

Revelation 5:9 (KJV)

“13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

Ephesians 2:13-16 (KJV)

So the argument from Christians who believe these passages condemn the practice and ideology of ethno-nationalism goes somewhat like this:

Christ came to save all men regardless of their ethnic background.  But he came not only to save all races and ethnicities – but he came to knock down the boundaries or as Ephesians 2:14 says “the middle wall of partition” between them.  Since Christ made no distinction in his saving of all men from all races and ethnicities then so too we as Christians should erase all racial preferences or distinctions between races in our own personal lives – this is what we are told as Christians we must do.

Some Christians will even argue that the primary reason that Christ gave himself up on the cross was to promote racial diversity and harmony and John Piper is one of those Christians.  John Piper is a nationwide respected Evangelical Pastor and Christian author and I think he represents well the modern Christian arguments against ethno-nationalism.

You won’t find the term “ethno-nationalism” in his book but you will instead find the synonym “ethnocentrism” all over his book “Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian” like this example where he references it:

“This will mean a new global family made up of believers in Christ from every ethnic group on the planet. And it will mean that those who love that vision will work toward local manifestations of that ethnic diver­sity. Jesus is the end of ethnocentrism—globally and locally. Not color but faith in Christ is the mark of the kingdom.”

[4, p. 119]

In the following excerpt, instead of saying Christ came to end ethnocentrism, John Piper frames it differently by saying Christ came to bring ethnic diversity.  In fact, John Piper says Christ literally died on the cross for ethnic diversity when he writes:

“…this aim of ethnic diversity and harmony in the people of God (the one priesthood and kingdom) was pursued by God at infinite cost. The cost of diversity was the blood and life of the Son of God. This is not an overstatement. Consider the wording of Revelation 5:9 very closely: “You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” God paid the infinite price of his own Son’s life to obtain a priesthood of believers and a kingdom of fellow rulers from every race and every ethnic group on earth. Think on it. He paid this price particularly. It was for this particular people. He ransomed people “from the nations.” The issue of racial and ethnic diversity and harmony in the church is not small, because the price God paid precisely for it was not small. It was infinite.” [4, p. 141]

John Piper then concludes that it is part of our sacred duty as Christians to pursue racial diversity in all areas of our lives:

“And if it cost the Father and the Son such a price, should we expect that it will cost us nothing? That it will be easy? That the Devil, who hates the glory of God and despises the aims of the cross, will relent without a battle? No. To join God in pursuing racial diversity and racial harmony will be costly. So costly that many simply try for a while and then give up and walk away from the effort to easier things.

But if you love God—if you live to spread a passion for his suprem­acy in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ—you will trust him and seek his help and pursue with your life what cost Jesus his.” [4, p. 142]

As part of his belief that God has called Christians to pursue racial diversity John Piper and his wife adopted an African American girl knowing it would trouble some of his southern relatives.  He also has placed racial diversity as a hiring criterion for all ministries he oversees at his Church because he believes all local churches should do their best to reflect the racial diversity of the world-wide body of Christ.

So that is the total Christian case against Ethno-nationalism in a nutshell.  According to its opponents, Ethno-nationalism comes from a position of racial and ethnic hatred and part of the reason Christ came and died on the cross was to promote racial and ethnic harmony and remove the barriers between races and ethnicities.

In fact some Christians would even go as far as rejecting not only ethno-nationalism – but even nationalism itself. There are many Christians that would build on John Piper’s theology and state that Christ promoted multicultural globalism.   After all we are all “one in Christ” and if we are one there is no place for national boundaries anymore.

The Christian Case for Ethno-nationalism

We have just explored the reasoning by many Christians today for their belief that Ethno-nationalism is a sin against God and that God wants all Christians in every sphere of their life(which would include family, church and society) to promote and implement policies of racial and ethnic diversity.

But now I will present the case that Ethno-nationalism is not a sin against God.  In fact I will show from the Scriptures that God not only allows Ethno-nationalism but in fact he was the architect of it!

I know that may sound shocking to many Christians but that is because of the sad fact that as much as we push education in our modern society – most Christians have never read the entire Bible.  They just read a few portions here and there or they listen to their Pastor or read books by Christian men like John Piper.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think it is great for us to listen to preachers on the radio – I do from time to time.  It is great to go to church each week and here the Gospel and the doctrines of Scripture preached by a Pastor on Sundays.  I have also read many Christian books by many Christian authors. But each of us must study the Scriptures for ourselves as well and remember that no Pastor or teacher (and that includes me) perfectly understands or interprets the Bible.  We are all flawed men and affected by our culture and upbringing.

No culture is perfect. Sometimes cultures and governments actually get things right and enforce God’s laws and policies. Where governments do push godly polices we as Christians should support and promote such polices.

So the question is this – is John Piper and the host of Christians he represents in America and around the world right in siding with our current cultural emphasis on multiracialism and multiculturalism or are Christians like me who side with the ethno-nationalist policies of our founders as well as all nations before the modern times right?

In other words, have nations since the flood acted against God’s will in protecting their racial homogeneity?

With that said here is the case I make from the Scriptures in support of Ethno-nationalism.

The great omission of Christians who oppose ethno-nationalism

The first argument against John Pipers position is found his same book “Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian” where he writes:

“First, that God is the God of the nations means that God created all the nations. More specifically, he created all the people in those nations in his own image. This is not Paul’s explicit focus in Romans 3:29–30, but it is implied in what he says here.

He makes this focus explicit in Acts 17:26: “He made from one man every nation [Greek ethnos] of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” Notice two things from this text. First, God is the maker of ethnic groups. “God made from one man every nation.” Ethnic groups do not come about by meaningless, random genetic change. They come about by God’s design and purpose. The text says plainly, “God made every ethnos.”

Also, God made all the ethnic groups from one human ancestor. Paul says, “He made from one man every ethnos.” This has a special wallop when you ponder why he chose to say just this to these Athenians on the Areopagus. The Athenians were fond of boasting that they were autochthones, which means that they sprang from their native soil and were not immigrants from some other place or people group.

Paul chooses to confront this ethnic pride head-on. God made all the ethnic groups—Athenians and barbarians—and he made them out of one common stock. So you Athenians are cut from the same cloth as those despised barbarians.” [4, p. 153]

So, what is the argument within his own words against his larger position against ethno-nationalism and for the promotion of racial diversity in societies?

The key is in the passage he cites from Acts 17:26. John Piper makes the same omission that most anti-ethno-nationalist Christians make.  Let’s look at this passage he cites in its entirety:

“24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”

Acts 17:24-26 (KJV)

The critical phrase he left off (and those who support his position always leave off) is and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation”.

Yes, God made every “ethnos”- every human variation type from one man and that was Adam.  That is an absolute Biblical truth.  But the second Biblical truth found in this same verse is that God also determined the bounds of their habitation.  This is a reference back to a passage in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.

“7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (KJV)

In Deuteronomy 32 we read about “the days of old” when God “separated the sons of Adam”.   Now you will need to follow the bouncing ball just a couple more times to see the complete truth of the Scriptures.  The event where God “separated the sons of Adam” is a reference to what God did at the tower of Babel as recorded in the book of Genesis.

The Biblical Story of Babel

The Biblical account of the tower of Babel is given to us in the book of Genesis:

“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Genesis 11:1-9 (KJV)

Genesis 11 is not the only part of the Bible to speak of what God did at the Babel event.

The book of Deuteronomy gives us more detail on the Babel event:

“7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (KJV)

The phrase “the number of the children of Israel” found in Deuteronomy 32:8 refers to this passage of Scripture:

“And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.”

Exodus 1:5 (KJV)

So Deuteronomy chapter 32 tells us God did not just divide men by language but he also separated them into nations and sent them where the nations originally started across the world and Exodus 1:5 shows us he divided them into 70 groups and then in Genesis chapter 10 we read more detail on the nations and their ancestry.

When did the Babel dispersion event occur?

Bible scholars have debated this for centuries.  The debate centers around a man name Peleg and his life as a reference for when Babel occurred. The Scriptures say this about Peleg:

“And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.”

Genesis 10:25 (KJV)

Arch Bishop Ussher who made his famous chronology based on Biblical events and their given timings in relation to one another placed the Babel event just before Peleg was born because Peleg means “divided”. This would mean roughly only 105 years after the flood the tower of Babel was built and God divided the people.

But if we move closer to Peleg’s death which would still be in his lifetime that would add 235 years to the Babel period. Some scholars believe there would not have been a sufficient population to build the tower as well as fulfill later Biblical events if the division happen only a 100 years after the flood making it much more likely that the Babel event probably occurred around 300 years after the flood.

It is possible if the Babel event happened 300 years after the flood that there could have been anywhere from 500,000 to has high as one million people at Babel when God separated them into nations and sent them on their way to the ends of the earth.  So I would put my guess in the middle and say there might have been 700,000 people at Babel when God divided the nations.

How did God scatter the people at Babel?

Most people think God scattered the people in only one way and that was by language.  The Genesis 11 account does allude to God dividing the people by giving them different languages.  But as we previously have shown from Genesis 10, Deuteronomy 32:7-8 and Acts 17:24-26 not only did God divide the world by language – but he also divided the world into nations.  God is literally the creator of the concept of nations.

So God sent 70 groups of people out and then split them into the various nations inhabiting the world.  If he divided the people evenly we are talking about God sending out 70 groups of 10,000 people to start the first nations of the earth and then each of those groups would have divided once in their new homelands into various family and tribal groups which formed ancient cities and towns.

God divided the world by Ethnic Groups

But God did something even more interesting.  He divided men into major heredity groups (races) both by nations and continents.  Why don’t we find ancient nations in Africa with people who have Asian characteristics?   Why don’t we find people with African characteristics in the Americas before European slave traders brought them? Why don’t we find people with Caucasian characteristics in Asia before modern times?  It is because God “separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people” (Deuteronomy 32:8).

In fact the only area of the world we find any mixture of races at all in ancient times was in the Middle East because it was the cross roads of the known world.

Some Christians would try and argue that the 70 groups of humans that God sent out from Babel all looked the same and that only through isolated breeding over thousands of years did distinctive East Asian, Central Asian, African, European, Australian and Native American characteristics form.   That might sound fine to secularists and evolutionists but I do not buy that as a Bible believing Christian.

I do not buy into Darwin’s evolution of races.  I believe God put in Adam the DNA for every distinctive characteristic of every major and minor human variation type and the Bible tells us that Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters. I believe Adam carried the human DNA for every skin color variation and every hair, eye, nose and lip variation that would ever be.  And John Piper actually agrees with me on this point when he wrote in the excerpt I quoted above:

“Ethnic groups do not come about by meaningless, random genetic change. They come about by God’s design and purpose. The text says plainly, “God made every ethnos.”

I believe Adam and Eve gave birth to children that had Asian characteristics, Caucasian characteristics and African characteristics. These were the three major human variant types – they did not evolve over thousands of years – but were there from the first men.

God made sure in his divine sovereignty that Noah and his wife would carry the distinctive DNA for all human variation types which most likely means that Noah and his wife as well as their parents were biracial couples which would make his three sons biracial and perhaps their wives were biracial as well.

And no I don’t buy into the theory that Ham was the father of the black race and that God cursed the black race.  So if you think I am saying that please save your breath – I am not. I believe Ham, Shem and Japheth where biracial children who were the product of their biracial parents and grandparents.  Just as the Ark carried every type of animal, bird and reptile so too it carried every human variation type in Noah’s three sons and their wives DNA.

Also I don’t believe Adam was white but rather he was most likely a middle brown of sorts somewhat like a middle easterner.  But whatever he looked like it does not matter because he carried in him the DNA for every human variation that would ever exist.

Where is the proof that God separated nations by Race?

Some people might be screaming at this article right now saying “Ok you have proven that God separated the world by languages and nations but the Bible says nothing about race!”  Well actually it does and John Piper has actually helped me to prove this point with this statement from his excerpt I previously gave:

“He makes this focus explicit in Acts 17:26: “He made from one man every nation [Greek ethnos] of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” Notice two things from this text. First, God is the maker of ethnic groups.”

The Greek word for nation is ethnos from which we get our word ethnicity. It referred not only to a group of people with shared traditions and values but also with shared blood lines (common heredity). This is why I and others who are being faithful to understanding what nations were before our modern era maintain that one of the critical foundational pieces of nations that God created was common heredity or ethnos.

Acts 17:26 serves not as a defense of the concept of multicultural and multiracial nations, as John Piper and other modern Christians suggest, but rather it serves as a fatal blow to their position and a solid rock to support the idea that God not only approves of ethno-nationalism but he actually invented it!

So yes it is absolutely right to say as John Piper did that God created every human being from one man and he created every ethnicity of man.  Amen and Amen.  But it is also right to say that the same God who created all of us from one man and every ethnicity from one man also separated the sons of that one man by ethnicity into nations.  We cannot affirm the first truth while leaving the second truth out.

Not only does the Bible clearly state that God separated the world by ethnicity into nations but world history proves it.

Why don’t we find large mixtures of races in nations before modern times?   The answer is simple.  It is because as the Scriptures state God created the “ethnos” and “separated” and set “the bounds of their habitation”.

That means the original inhabitants of China were sent their by God. The original inhabitants of the Americas were sent there by God.   The original inhabitants of India were sent there by God. The same goes for Africa, and Europe and Australia.

So up to this point we have established from the Scriptures that it was God who separated the sons of Adam at Babel and determined where they were to go on earth.  He sent 70 different groups of people out from Babel – some not too far Babel and others he would send to the other side of the planet in what would later become known as the Americas.

While the Scriptures don’t specifically describe the racial characteristics of these groups that God scattered we know from history that the major racial types were primarily clustered by continental areas and since the Scriptures tell us God sent them there we can rightly say God divided the world not only by language and nations but also by major and minor racial categories.

But then the question becomes why? Why did God scatter the people at Babel? It appears that before the flood the concept of nations did not really exist.  The world was not divided by language, racial characteristics or national boundaries.  So why after the flood did God divide the world in the ways we have discussed?

Why did God scatter the people at Babel?

There are positive and negative reasons God scattered the people at Babel.  God loves variety.  He ordained that there would be 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples.  Each of the Tribes of Israel were unique as each of the 12 Apostles were unique.  He used 4 different men to write the Gospel from four different viewpoints.

Now God could have had every variety of man in one big worldwide order with all the major and minor variations of man that he knew he created all intermarrying and living in one interracial utopia with one culture.  But this was not what he wanted.  He wanted man to fill the earth and to spread across from one side of the planet to the other. He wanted a variety of different languages and ethnicities and nations to form.

But the people at Babel forgot God and forgot his command that he gave to Noah:

“And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Genesis 9:7 (KJV)

God wanted Noah’s decedents to not only have lots of children but he also wanted them to spread out across the earth and fill the earth. Instead the decedents of Noah turned against God’s command and purposefully sought to keep themselves together.

Often times one sin leads to an even greater sin and this is what happened at Babel.

There is a sinful ideology that absolutely grew like an infectious disease after Noah’s descendants decided to stay together at Babel over several centuries.  That sinful ideology was secular humanism.

Secular humanism is the Spirit of Babel and the Spirit of Babel is secular humanism – they are one and the same. 

And do you know what feeds the Spirit of Babel and causes it grow? When mankind unites in the name of mankind across racial, ethnic and national boundaries under anything except obedience to and the worship of God.

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11:4 (KJV)

The people did not want to make a name for God – they wanted to make a name for mankind.  Listen to this definition of Humanism from dictionary.com which so perfectly fits the people at Babel:

“a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.” [5]

In Genesis 11:6 God tells us there would be no limit to what mankind could do if they remained united:

“And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

So, God was saying there were no limits to the sin man could commit when the world unites and this is why he wanted men separated by language, culture and race in various places throughout the world.

America played with humanism and brought about the new Babel

The fact is that while many of the founding fathers were godly men they also dabbled in secular humanism as well.  They thought they could “Christianize” humanism.  Humanist philosophy began to grow in America and be influenced more by European thinkers.  Atheism, egalitarianism, multiracialism, feminism and eventually multiculturalism took over until the values of America barely resembled those of her founders.

America started off as a Christian ethno-nationalist nation of northern European decent and in just over century it transformed into a secular humanist multiracial multicultural “melting pot”.  America would go on to be instrumental in bringing the world together to form the new Babel “that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.”

Truly the new uniting of the world with America at its center has resulted in evils that would be unimaginable a century ago.  The most powerful human sphere of authority God ever established – that of the husband and father has been almost completely neutered as a result of efforts to appease feminists and meet the demand of a secular society for greater equality for all its members. Infanticide in the form of abortion is the law of the land resulting in the deaths of millions of children each year.

Divorce is rampant and cohabitation is fully accepted. Full acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism is mandated by law. God has been chased out of our schools and secularism is fully entrenched.  Laziness is subsidized through social programs.  Most of the Churches in the western world (including America) have bought into the social Gospel.

Integration schemes are continually tried to force different ethnicities to unite.  Governments seize money from the rich and middle classes in their futile attempt to end poverty in all nations as well as redistribute wealth between different ethnic groups.

The fatal mistake Christian Diversity Advocates make

I am going to quote you a few passages of Scripture that point out a critical truth of the Scriptures that Christian diversity advocates make.

“34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:”

Luke 20:34-35 (KJV)

You might be scratching your head now saying “what does marriage have to do with ethno-nationalism?” It is not marriage that I want you to notice but instead look at two key phrases Christ says here. Those phrases are “this world” and “that world”.

We live in “this world” not “that world”.  Even Christ said his kingdom was not yet of “this world”:

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

John 18:36 (KJV)

Now he did say that one day he would come to rule and establish his kingdom here on earth:

“26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”

Mark 13:26-27 (KJV)

And in the book of Revelation it says that Christ will rule over the nations with a rod of iron:

“13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.”

Revelation 19:13-16 (KJV)

What is my point? The fatal mistake diversity advocates like John Piper and other Christians who attack the concept of ethno-nationalism make is that they think they can bring about “that world” before Christ comes.

Only God himself can cancel his Babel policy that he made for mankind. Only when Christ returns to rule over this earth can the nations of the earth unite without returning to evil spirit of Babel.

Did Christ die to promote racial diversity?

My Bible does not tell me that Christ died to bring “racial diversity” in this world “globally and locally” but rather it tells me “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

Absolutely it makes no difference what our race, ethnicity, gender or social status is – Christ saves us all just the same.  And praise be to God he has saved and will continue to save men and women from “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Christ gave this great commission to his Church:

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Mark 16:15 (KJV)

Christ didn’t say “go promote racial diversity and get rid of ethno-nationalism” he said to go into the world and preach the Gospel. He did not call us to bring about his earthly kingdom – he will do that himself one day.  When I read John Piper’s statements about Christ dying for racial diversity it very much reminded me of when Christian feminists say Christ died to abolish the sin of patriarchy and bring about gender equality.

For now, we are to live in “this world” while looking forward to “that world”.  No Christian should actively seek to work against or cancel out God’s Babel policy in this time and this world.  Only Christ can do that one day when he returns to reign.

How should we as Christians respond to living in the new Babel?

First, we need to realize that we live in this sin cursed world and that ethno-nationalism can create an environment that when unchecked by Christian principles can lead to sinful racial pride, racial hate and bigotry. History shows this time and time again. But do we think God did not know that when he instituted ethno-nationalism at the tower of Babel? Of course, he did.  But he knew an even greater sin of humanism and secularism would occur if men stayed together.  Yes, nations would be sinful on their own – but if all the ethnos of the world united together under anything less that Jesus Christ himself as King it would spell complete rebellion against God. And that is what we see today.

This is another area where John Piper and others get it completely wrong.  Christ was condemning the sinful racial pride, hatred and bigotry of Israel but he was not condemning the policy of ethno-nationalism which he himself established in Israel as he had for all nations at Babel.

So, as we are forced to live in this new Babel we must always be personally checking ourselves against attitudes of sinful racial pride, racial hatred and racial bigotry.  We must also guard against sinful national pride, national hatred and national bigotry.

But I want you to notice a word I always put out in front of pride and that is “sinful”.  Pride is not always sinful in the same way that hate and anger are not always sinful.  Sometimes pride is actually holy and just in the same way that hate and anger can be holy and just.

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”

Proverbs 17:6 (KJV)

For parents to be proud of their children’s accomplishments if not sinful.  If that pride in their children’s accomplishments leads to them degrading other’s people’s children because they have not had the same accomplishments then it becomes sin.  In the same way, it is not wrong for anyone to glory in the accomplishments of their father or forefathers or even those of their same kindred or ethnicity.

When an American wins at the Olympics it is not wrong for us as Americans to be proud of our fellow American that won.

Some will point to this verse to say Christians should not regard themselves as citizens of any nation whether it be America or any other:

“20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

Philippians 3:20-21 (NASB)

But these Christians are making that same error I pointed out earlier of confusing “this world” with “that world”.  We eagerly await the transformation of our bodies into glorified bodies in heaven – but we are not there yet.  For now, we live in this world and we are in fact citizens of whatever nation God has placed us in.

What should our attitude as Christians be toward racial diversity?

There are two extremes on this issue of racial diversity.  One extreme of ages past taught that we as Christians are forbidden from any interaction with people of other races and ethnicities. The Bible does not support such a notion and this passage of Scripture directly contradicts that:

“11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.”

Galatians 2:11-13 (KJV)

We don’t have to be ashamed to associate with people of other ethnicities, especially brothers in Christ.  Churches should not forbid various ethnicities from coming to them. They should be open to all ethnicities because it is not the job of the church to protect its racial homogeneity.

But then we have the other extreme.  While it is not the job of the Church to protect its racial homogeneity, it is also NOT the job of the Church to vigorously promote and encourage racial diversity.

What about parents and their children? Is it a sin for a parent to prefer their child marry someone of their own ethnicity? The answer is no.  We see examples of parents being very protective of making sure their children married within their ethnicity:

“2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.”

Genesis 24:2-4 (KJV)

Again, as I said in the previous post – interracial marriage is not a sin in and of itself.  But it is also not a sin for parents to prefer their children marry within their own ethnicity.

And finally, on the subject of national policy.  We as American Christians live in a nation where we can vote and we have a say in government policies and since we as the people have say in the direction our nation goes we must oppose policies that continually run contrary to God’s Babel policy.

What that means is we as Christians should vote against any local, state or federal policies which seek to weaken the nation’s sovereignty and identity and give that sovereignty to the United Nations or other international groups.

We must vote against any local, state or federal policies which seek to strengthen the spirit of Babel in our society by forcing racial and ethnic integration such as bussing schemes and housing schemes.  We as Christians should vote against affirmative action schemes and any legislation which would impose racial diversity quotas on centers of education or businesses.  If we as Christians were ever presented with government proposals to limit immigration by ethnicity as we did before the 1960’s we should support such efforts.

Christians should absolutely support a ban on immigration from all Muslim nations not only to protect ourselves from terrorism but to protect our ethnic and cultural identity.  Christians should oppose building permits for new mosques in their neighborhoods.

It’s not about just about protecting Whites from the attacks of racial diversity pushers in America, it is about working to weaken or stop the spirit of Babel which is so prevalent throughout the world today and trying to return to God’s Babel’s policy where he “separated the sons of Adam”.

I hold no hatred for those who are not of my racial and ethnic kindred and I also hold no illusions about America remaining a majority white nation. I am not angry at Black, Hispanic or Asian Americans.

I am saddened at the behavior of my own kindred – those of British decent, those of northern European decent.  They embraced humanism, egalitarianism, multiracialism and feminism and in the process gave away the nation their ancestors fought and died for.  White men gave up their duty to protect the racial homogeneity of their nation both by engaging in slavery of the African people as well as allowing the slaves to stay after had they had been freed against the wishes of Abraham Lincoln who wanted to send them back to Africa.

White men in America gave up their leadership of their families and this nation when they allowed women to leave the home, pursue their own career interests and have less children.  They again failed to protect their racial homogeneity with the removal of all ethnic limits on immigration in the 1960s.

The spirit of Babel may not be stoppable and it may simply hearken the end of days.  But until Christ returns to establish his kingdom in this world we as Christians have no right to throw out God’s Babel policy nor should we embrace the evil spirit of Babel in our world.

References

[1] V. Davis, “America: History’s Exception,” National Review, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436347/america-melting-pot-immigrant-culture-made-country-great.
[2] M. Sedensky, “AP-NORC Poll: Political divide over American identity,” Associated Press, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.apnorc.org/news-media/Pages/AP-NORC-Poll-Divided-Americans-fret-country-losing-identity.aspx
[3] W. Lawson, “Anthropologists Disagree About Race and Bones,” ABC News, 2000. [Online]. Available: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98485&page=1.
[4] J. Piper, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, Crossway, 2011.
[5] “Humanism,” Dictionary.com, [Online]. Available: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/humanism.