(BY KEN HAM, DR. CARL WIELAND & DR. DON BATTEN)
In the 1800s, before Darwinian evolution was popularized, most people, when talking about "races," were referring to such groups as the "English race," "Irish race," and so on. However, this all changed when Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
Darwinian evolution was (and still is) inherently a racist philosophy, teaching that different groups or "races" of people evolved at different times and rates, so some groups are more like their ape-like ancestors than others. The Australian Aborigines, for instance, were considered the missing links between an ape-like ancestor and the rest of mankind.1 This resulted in terrible prejudices and injustices towards the Australian Aborigines.2 A leading evolutionary spokesperson, Stephen Jay Gould, stated that "Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory."3
Racist attitudes fuelled by evolutionary thinking were largely responsible for an African pygmy actually being displayed, along with an orangutan, in a cage in the Bronx Zoo.4
As a result of Darwinian evolution, many people started thinking in terms of the different people groups around the world representing different "races," but within the context of evolutionary philosophy. This has resulted in many people today, consciously or unconsciously, having ingrained prejudices against certain other groups of people.
However, all human beings in the world today are classified as Homo sapiens sapiens. Scientists today admit that, biologically, there really is only one race of humans. For instance, a scientist at the Advancement of Science Convention in Atlanta stated, "Race is a social construct derived mainly from perceptions conditioned by events of recorded history, and it has no basic biological reality."5 This person went on to say, "Curiously enough, the idea comes very close to being of American manufacture."5
Reporting on research conducted on the concept of race, the American ABC News science page stated, "More and more scientists find that the differences that set us apart are cultural, not racial. Some even say that the word "race" should be abandoned because it's meaningless."6 The article went on to say that "we accept the idea of race because it's a convenient way of putting people into broad categories, frequently to suppress them. . .The most hideous example was provided by Hitler's Germany. And racial prejudice remains common throughout the world."7
In a 1998 article in the Journal of Counseling and Development,8 researchers argued that the term "race" is basically so meaningless that it should be discarded.
Because of the influences of Darwinian evolution and the resulting prejudices, we believe everyone (and especially Christians) should abandon the term "race(s)." We could refer instead to the different "people groups" around the world.
The Bible does not even use the word "race" in reference to people,9 but does describe all human beings as being of "one blood" (Acts 17:26). This of course emphasizes that we are all related, for all humans are descendants of the first man Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).10 Because Jesus Christ also became a descendant of Adam, being called the "last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45), this is why the gospel should be preached to all tribes and nations. Any descendant of Adam can be saved, because our mutual relative by blood (Jesus Christ) died and rose again.11
But some people think there must be different "races" of people because there appear to be major differences between various groups, such as skin color and eye shape.
The truth, though, is that these so-called "racial characteristics" are only minor variations among the people groups. Scientists have found that if one were to take any two people from anywhere in the world, the basic genetic differences between these two people would typically be around 0.2% - even if they came from the same people group.12 But, these socalled "racial" characteristics that many think are major differences (skin color, eye shape, etc.) account for only 6% of this 0.2% variation, which amounts to a mere 0.012% difference genetically.13
In other words, the so-called "racial" differences are absolutely trivial. Overall, there is more variation within any group than there is between one group and another. If a white person is looking for a tissue match for an organ transplant, for instance, the best match may come from a black person, and vice versa. The ABC (USA) news science page stated, "What the facts show is that there are differences among us, but they stem from culture, not race."14
The only reason many people think these differences are major is because they've been brought up in a culture that has taught them to see the differences this way.
According to the Bible, all people on Earth today descended from Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives, and before that from Adam and Eve (Gen. 1-11). The Bible tells us how the population that descended from Noah's family had one language and were living together and disobeying God's command to "fill the earth" (Gen. 9:1; 11:4).15 God confused their language, causing a break-up of the population into smaller groups which scattered over the Earth (Gen. 11:8-9). Using modern genetics, we will show how, following such a break-up of a population, variations in skin color, for example, can develop in only a few generations. And there is good evidence to show that the various groups of people we have today have not been separated for huge periods of time.16
There is really only one race-the human race. Scripture distinguishes people by tribal or national groupings, not by skin color or physical appearances. Clearly, though, there are groups of people who have certain features (e.g., skin "color") in common, which distinguish them from other groups. As stated earlier, we prefer to call these "people groups" rather than "races."
All peoples can freely interbreed and produce fertile offspring. This shows that the biological differences between the "races" are not very great at all. In fact, the DNA differences are trivial, as already pointed out.
Anthropologists generally classify people into a fairly small number of main racial groups, such as the Caucasoid (European or "white"17), the Mongoloid (which includes the Chinese and the American Indians), the Negroid ("black" Africans), and the Australoid (the Australian Aborigines). Within each classification, there may be many different subgroups.
Virtually all evolutionists would now agree that the various people groups did not have separate origins; that is, in the evolutionary belief system, the different people groups did not each evolve from a different group of animals. So they would agree with Biblical creationists that all people groups have come from the same original population. Of course, they believe that such groups as the Aborigines and the Chinese have had many tens of thousands of years of separation. Most people believe that there are such vast differences between groups that there had to be many years for these differences to somehow develop.
One reason for this is that many people believe that the observable differences come from some people having unique features in their hereditary make-up which others lack. This is an understandable but incorrect idea. Let's look at skin color, for instance. It is easy to think that since different groups of people have yellow skin, red skin, black skin, white skin, and brown skin, there must be many different skin pigments or colorings. And since different chemicals for coloring would mean a different genetic recipe or code in the hereditary blueprint in each people group, it appears to be a real problem. How could all those differences develop within a short time?
Here's how. We all have the same coloring pigment in our skin: melanin. This is a dark brownish pigment that we all have in special cells in our skin. If we have none (as do people called albinos, who suffer from an inherited mutation-caused defect, so they lack the ability to produce melanin), then we will have a very white or pink skin coloring. If we produce a little melanin, it means that we will be European white. If our skin produces a great deal of melanin, we will be a very deep black. And in between, of course, are all shades of brown. There are no other significant skin pigments.18
Generally, whatever feature we may look at, no people group has anything that is, in its essence, uniquely different from that possessed by another. For example, the Asian, or almond, eye gets its appearance simply by having an extra fold of fat (see Figure 1). Both Asian and Caucasian eyes have fat†ó†the latter simply have less of it.
What does melanin do? It protects the skin against damage by ultraviolet light from the Sun. If you have too little in a very sunny environment, you will more easily suffer from sunburn and skin cancer. If you have a great deal of melanin, and you live in a country where there is little sunshine, it is much harder for your body to get adequate amounts of vitamin D (which needs sunshine for its production in your body). You may then suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which could cause a bone disorder such as rickets.
We also need to be aware that one is not born with a genetically fixed amount of melanin, but rather with a genetically fixed potential to produce a certain amount, increasing in response to sunlight. For example, if you are in a Caucasian community, you may have noticed that when your friends headed for the beach at the very beginning of summer, they may, if they spent their time indoors during winter, have all been more or less the same pale white. As the summer went on, however, some became much darker than others.
But how do we explain the formation of many different skin colors arising in such a short Biblical time scale (few thousand years)? Let's look at a few observations that can help us to explain this. From here on, whenever we use such words as different colors, we are, strictly speaking, referring to different shades of the one color, melanin.
If a person from a very black people group marries someone from a very white group, their offspring (called "mulattos") are mid-brown. It has long been known that when mulattos marry each other, their offspring may be virtually any "color," ranging from very black to very white. Understanding this gives us the clues we need for our overall question, so we must first look, in a simple way, at some of the basic facts of heredity.
Each of us carries information in our body that describes us a bit like the way a blueprint describes a finished building. It determines not only that we will be human beings, rather than cabbages or crocodiles, but also whether we will have blue eyes, short nose, long legs, etc. When a sperm fertilizes an egg, all the information that specifies how the person will be built (ignoring such superimposed factors as exercise and diet) is already present. This information is in coded form in our DNA.19 To illustrate coding, a piece of rope with beads on it can carry a message in Morse code.
Can you see how the piece of rope, by using a simple sequence of short beads, long beads, and spaces (to represent the dots and dashes of Morse code) can carry the same information as the English word "help" typed on a sheet of paper? The entire Bible could be written thus in Morse code on a long enough piece of rope.
In a similar way, the human blueprint is written in a code (or language convention), which is carried on very long chemical strings called DNA. This is by far the most efficient information storage system known, surpassing any foreseeable computer technology.20 This information is copied (and reshuffled) from generation to generation as people reproduce.
The word "gene" refers to a small part of that information which carries the instructions for manufacturing only one enzyme, for example.21 A small portion of the "message string," with only one specification on it, would be a simple way of understanding this gene concept.
So, going back to that cell, and that egg which has just been fertilized -where does all of its information, its genes, come from? One half has come from the father (carried by the sperm), and the other half from the mother (carried in the egg).
We know that skin "color" is governed by more than one gene. For simplicity, let's assume there are only two,22A and B, with the correspondingly "more silent" genes a and b. In a similar way to the eye example, the small letters in this case will code for a small amount of melanin in the skin. So, a very dark people which, on inter-marriage, kept producing only very dark offspring, would be AABB; the same situation for a very fair-skinned people would be aabb. Let's look at what combinations would result in a mulatto (the offspring of an AABB and aabb union). (See Figure 2)
What would happen, by using a punnett square, if two such mid-brown mulatto people were to marry (the shading of the squares roughly indicates the resultant skin color)? (Figure 3)
Surprisingly, we find that an entire range of "colors," from very white to very black, can result in only one generation, beginning with this particular type of midbrown parents.
Those children born with AABB, who are pure black (in the sense of consistently having no other types of offspring), have no genes for lightness at all. If they were to marry and migrate to a place where their offspring could not intermarry with people of lighter color, all their children will be black-a pure "black line" will result.
Those with aabb are white. If they marry other whites and migrate to a place where their offspring cannot marry darker people, a pure (in the same sense) "white line" will result-they have lost genes that give them the ability to be black, that is, to produce a large amount of melanin.
So you can see how it is easily possible, beginning with two middlebrown parents, to get not only all the "colors," but also people groups with stable coloring. But what about people groups that are permanently middle-brown, such as we have today? Again, this is easily explained.
Those of aaBB or AAbb, if they no longer interact with others, will be able to produce only mid-brown colored offspring. (You may want to work this out with your own punnett square.)
If these lines were to interbreed again with other such lines, the process would be reversed. In a short time, their descendants would show a whole range of "colors," often in the same family. The photo above shows what were called Britain's "most amazing twins." One is obviously light, the other obviously darker-skinned.
Of course, this is not amazing at all when you do the exercise on paper, based on what we have discussed. (A clue if you want to do it yourself: mother cannot be AABB.) Also, the twins are obviously not identical twins, which are derived from the same egg.23
If all the humans on Earth were to intermarry freely, and then break into random groups that kept to themselves, a whole new set of combinations could emerge. It may be possible to have almond eyes with black skin, blue eyes with black frizzy short hair, etc. We need to remember, of course, that the way in which genes express themselves is turning out to be much more complex than this simplified picture. Sometimes certain genes are linked together. However, the basic point is unaffected.
Even today, close observation shows that within a particular people group you will often see a feature normally associated with another group. For instance, you will occasionally see a European with a broad flat nose, or a Chinese person with very pale skin, or Caucasian eyes. As pointed out previously, most biologists now agree that among modern humans, "race" has little or no biological meaning. This also argues strongly against the idea that the people groups have been evolving separately for long periods.
We can now reconstruct the true history of the "people groups," using:
- The information given by the Creator Himself in the book of Genesis.
- The background information given above.
- Some consideration of the effect of the environment.
From Genesis 11, we understand that up to this time there was only one language. God judged the people's disobedience by imposing different languages on man, so that they could not work together against God, and so that they were forced to scatter over the Earth as God intended.
So all the "people groups" - "black" Africans, Indo-Europeans, Mongols, and others - have come into existence since that time.
Noah and his family were probably mid-brown, with genes for both dark and light skin, because a medium skin "color" would seem to be the most generally suitable (dark enough to protect against skin cancer, yet light enough to allow vitamin D production). As all the factors for skin "color" were present in Adam and Eve, they would most likely have been mid-brown as well. In fact, most of the world's population today is still mid-brown.
After the Flood, for the few centuries until Babel, there was only one language and one culture group. Thus, there were no barriers to marriage within this group. This would tend to keep the skin "color" of the population away from the extremes. Very dark and very light skin would appear, of course, but people tending in either direction would be free to marry someone less dark or less light than themselves, ensuring that the average "color" stayed roughly the same.
The same would be true of other characteristics, not just skin "color." Under these sorts of circumstances, distinct differences in appearance will never emerge. This is true for animals as well as human populations, as every biologist knows. To obtain such separate lines, you would need to break a large breeding group into smaller groups and keep them separate, that is, not interbreeding any more.
This is exactly what happened at Babel. Once separate languages were imposed, there were instantaneous barriers. Not only would people tend not to marry someone they couldn't understand, but entire groups which spoke the same language would have difficulty relating to and trusting those which did not. They would tend to move away or be forced away from each other, into different environments. This, of course, is what God intended.
It is unlikely that each small group would carry the same broad range of skin "colors" as the original, larger group. So one group might have more dark genes, on average, while another might have more light genes. The same thing would happen to other characteristics: nose shape, eye shape, etc. And since they would interbreed only within their own language group, this tendency would no longer be averaged out as before.
As these groups migrated away from Babel, they encountered new and different climate zones. This would also have affected the balance of inherited factors in the population, although the effects of the environment are nowhere near as important as the genetic mix with which each group began. As an example, let us look at people who moved to cold areas with little sunlight. In those areas, the dark-skinned members of any group would not be able to produce enough vitamin D, and thus would be less healthy and have fewer children.
So, in time, the light-skinned members would predominate. If several different groups went to such an area, and if one group happened to be carrying few genes for lightness, this particular group could in time die out. This natural selection acts on the characteristics already present, and does not evolve new ones.
It is interesting to note that in the Neanderthals of Europe, an extinct variety of man now recognized as fully human,24 many showed evidence of vitamin D deficiency in their bones. In fact, it was this, plus a large dose of evolutionary prejudice, which helped cause them to be classified as "ape-men" for a long time. It is thus quite plausible to suggest that they were a dark-skinned people group who were unfit for the environment into which they moved because of the skin-color genes they began with. Notice that this natural selection, as it is called, does not produce skin "colors," but only acts on the created "colors" that are already there.
Conversely, fair-skinned people in very sunny regions could easily be affected by skin cancer, in which case dark-skinned people would more readily survive.
So we see that the pressure of the environment can (a) affect the balance of genes within a group, and (b) even eliminate entire groups. This is why we see, to a large extent, a fit of characters to their environment (e.g., Nordic people with pale skin, equatorial people with dark skin, etc.).
But this is not always so. An Inuit (Eskimo) has brown skin, yet lives where there is not much sun. Presumably they have a genetic makeup such as AAbb which would not be able to produce lighter skin. On the other hand, native South Americans living on the equator do not have black skin. These examples show that natural selection does not create new information - if the genetic makeup of a group of people does not allow variation in "color" toward the desirable, natural selection cannot create such variation.
African pygmies live in a hot area, but rarely experience strong sunshine in their dense jungle environment, yet they have dark skin. Pygmies may be a good example of another factor that has affected the racial history of man: discrimination. If a variation from the normal occurs (e.g., a very light person among a dark people), then historically it has been usual for that person to be regarded as abnormal and unacceptable. Thus, such a person would find it hard to get a marriage partner. People could also recognize the poor fitness of certain characteristics in their environment and so these become incorporated into the selection criteria for marriage partners. This would further tend to eliminate light genes from a dark people near the equator, and dark genes from light people at high latitudes. In this way, groups have tended to "purify" themselves.
Also, in some instances, inbreeding in a small group can highlight any commonly occurring unusual features that would previously have been swamped by continual intermarriage. There is a tribe in Africa whose members all have grossly deformed feet as a result of this inbreeding.
To return to pygmies, if people possessing genes for short stature were discriminated against, and a small group of them sought refuge in the deepest forest, their marrying only each other would ensure a pygmy "race" from then on. The fact that pygmy tribes have never been observed to have their own languages, but instead speak dialects of neighboring non-pygmy languages, is good evidence in support of this.
People groups that were already equipped with certain characteristics may have made deliberate (or semi-deliberate) choices concerning the environments to which they migrated. For instance, people with genes for a thicker, more insulating layer of fat under their skin would tend to leave areas that were uncomfortably hot.
The evidence for the Bible's account of human origins is more than just biological and genetic. Since all peoples descended from Noah's family after the Flood a relatively short time ago, we would be surprised if, in the stories and legends of many of the groups, there was not some memory, albeit distorted by time and retelling, of such a catastrophic event. In fact, an overwhelming number of cultures do have such an account of a world-destroying Flood. Often these have startling parallels to the true, original account (eight people saved in a boat, a rainbow, the sending of the birds, and more).
In summary, the dispersion at Babel, breaking a large interbreeding group into small, inbreeding groups, ensured that the resultant groups would have different mixes of genes for various physical features. By itself, this would ensure, in a short time, that there would be certain fixed differences in some of these groups, commonly called "races." In addition, the selection pressure of the environment would modify the existing combinations of genes, causing a tendency for characteristics to suit their environment.
There has been no simple-to-complex evolution of any genes, for the genes were present already. The dominant features of the various people groups result from different combinations of previously existing created genes, plus some minor changes in the direction of degeneration, resulting from mutations (accidental changes which can be inherited). The originally created (genetic) information has been either reshuffled or has degenerated, not been added to.
Consequences of false beliefs about the origin of "races":
- Rejection of the gospel. The accuracy of the historical details of Genesis is crucial to the trustworthiness of the Bible and to the whole gospel message.25 So the popular belief that people groups evolved their different features, and could not all have come from Noah's family (contrary to the Bible), has eroded belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Racism. One of the biggest justifications for racial discrimination in modern times is the belief that, because people groups have allegedly evolved separately, they are at different stages of evolution, and some people groups are more backward. Thus, the other person may not be as fully human as you. This sort of thinking inspired Hitler in his quest to eliminate Jews and Gypsies and to establish the "master race." Sadly, some Christians have been infected with racist thinking through the effects on our culture of evolutionary indoctrination, that people of a different "color" are inferior because they are supposedly closer to the animals.26
- Influence on missionary outreach. Historically, the spread of evolutionary belief was associated with a slackening of fervor by Christians to reach the lost in far-away countries. The idea of savage, half-evolved inferior peoples somehow does not give rise to the same missionary urgency as the notion that our "cousins," closely linked to us in time and heredity, have yet to hear the gospel. Even many of the finest of today's missionary organizations have been influenced, often unconsciously, by this deeply ingrained belief in the evolutionary view of how other peoples and their religions came about.
Now that we understand that the so-called "races" in reality constitute just one race with different people groups, what about the issue of so-called "inter-racial marriage?"
If a Chinese person were to marry a Polynesian, or an African with dark skin were to marry a Japanese, or a person from India were to marry a person from America with light skin, would these marriages be in accord with Biblical principles?
There are a significant number of Christians (particularly in America) who would claim that such "inter-racial" marriages violate God's principles in the Bible, and should not be allowed.
But does the Word of God really condemn such mixes as those above? Is there ultimately any such thing as "inter-racial marriage?"
True science in the present fits with the Biblical view that all people are rather closely related - there is only one "race" biologically. Therefore, there is in essence no such thing as "inter-racial marriage" So we are left with this - is there anything in the Bible that speaks clearly against men and women from different people groups marrying?
In Genesis 11, we read of the rebellion at the tower of Babel that resulted in people being scattered over the Earth. Because of this dispersion, and the resulting splitting of the gene pool, different cultures formed, with certain features becoming predominant within each group. Some of these (skin "color," eye shape, and so on) became general characteristics of each particular people group.27
Note that the context of Genesis 11 makes it clear that the reason for God's scattering the people over the Earth was that they had united in rebellion against God. Some Christians point to this event in an attempt to provide a basis for their arguments against so-called "inter-racial" marriage. They believe that it is implied here that to keep the nations apart, God is declaring that people from different people groups can't marry. However, there is no such indication in this passage that what is called "inter-racial marriage" is condemned. Besides, there has been so much mixing of people groups over the years that it would be impossible for every human being today to trace their lineage to know for certain which group(s) they are descended from.
We need to understand that the sovereign Creator God is in charge of the nations of this world. Paul makes this very clear in Acts 17:26. Some people erroneously claim this verse to mean that people from different nations shouldn't marry. But this passage has nothing to do with marriage. As John Gill makes clear in his classic commentary, the context is that God is in charge of all things - where, how, and for how long any person, tribe or nation will live, prosper, and perish.28
In all of this, God is working to redeem for Himself a people who are one in Christ. The Bible makes it clear in Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11, and Romans 10:12-13 that in regard to salvation, there is no distinction between male or female or Jew or Greek or bond or free. In Christ, any separation between people is broken down. As Christians, we are one in Christ and thus have a common purpose - to live for Him who made us. This oneness in Christ is vital to understanding marriage.
Malachi 2:15 declares that an important purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring - progeny that are trained in the ways of the Lord. Jesus in Matthew 19 and Paul in Ephesians 5 make it clear that when a man and woman marry, they become one flesh (because they were one flesh historically - Eve was made from Adam). Also, the man and woman must be one spiritually so they can fulfill the command to produce godly offspring. This is why Paul states in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
According to the Bible then, which of these impending marriages to the right does God counsel against entering into?
The answer is obvious -the third one. According to the Bible, the priority in marriage is that a Christian should marry only a Christian.
Sadly, there are some Christian homes where the parents are more concerned about their children not marrying someone from another "race" than whether or not they are marrying a Christian. When Christians marry non-Christians, it negates the spiritual (not the physical) oneness in marriage, resulting in negative consequences for the couple and their children.29
The examples of Rahab and Ruth help us understand how God views the issue of marriage between those who are from different people groups but trust in the true God.
Rahab was a Canaanite. She came from an ungodly culture - descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham. Remember that Canaan was cursed because of his obvious rebellious nature. Unfortunately, many Christians state that Ham was cursed - but this is not true.30 Some have even said that this non-existent curse of Ham resulted in the black "races." This is absurd and is the type of false teaching that has reinforced and justified prejudices against people with dark skin.
In the genealogy in Matthew 1, it is traditionally understood that the same Rahab is listed here as being in the line leading to Christ. Thus Rahab, a descendant of Ham, must have married an Israelite (descended from Shem). Since this was clearly a union approved by God, it underlines the fact that the particular "people group" she came from was irrelevant - what mattered was that she trusted in the true God of the Israelites.31
The same can be said of Ruth, who, as a Moabitess, also married an Israelite, and is also listed in the genealogy in Matthew 1 that leads to Christ. Prior to her marriage, she had expressed faith in the true God (Ruth 1:16).
When Rahab and Ruth became children of God, there was no longer any barrier to Israelites marrying them, even though they were from different "people groups."
If one wants to use the term "interracial," then the real "inter-racial" marriage that God says we should not enter into is when a child of the Last Adam (one who is a new creation in Christ - a Christian) marries one who is an unconverted child of the First Adam (one who is dead in trespasses and sin - a non-Christian).32
Some Christian leaders claim that allowing so-called "inter-racial marriage" would bring the nations together again that were split up at the Tower of Babel, thus helping to bring in a one-world government. If this were true, then Christians should not be learning other languages, which would negate the Great Commission to preach to all tribes and nations (Matthew 28). Rules regarding whom one could marry were not a part of the event of the Tower of Babel.
Because many people groups have been separated since the Tower of Babel, they have developed many cultural differences. If two people from very different cultures marry, they can have a number of communication problems, even if both are Christians. Expectations regarding relationships with members of the extended family, for example, can also differ. Even people from different English-speaking countries can have communication problems because words may have different meanings. Counselors should go through this in detail, anticipating the problems and giving specific examples. Some marriages have failed because of such cultural differences. However, such problems have nothing to do with genetics or "race."
In summary then:
- There is no Biblical justification for claiming that people from different so-called "races" (best described as "people groups") should not marry.
- The Biblical basis for marriage makes it clear that a Christian should only marry a Christian.
The Christian church could greatly relieve the tensions over racism if only the leaders would teach that all people are descended from one man and woman and all people are equal before God. Furthermore, all are sinners in need of salvation; all need to build their thinking on God's Word and judge all their cultural aspects accordingly; all need to be one in Christ and put an end to their rebellion against their Creator.
(Taken from: http://www.worldviewtraining.com/book/chapters/wdtrcf.html)