Two Well Known Methods of Classifying People
Grouping God’s People – Part 3
The purpose of identifying the groupings for people from God’s point of view is because when people do, we mess it up. In a moment I will expose two ways in which we (humans) group people that have in many ways created problems. The problems stem from our motives. Any time we go into a task, an action, a mission, or a cause with the wrong motive, we often leave damages, both intended and unintended. If we’re going to solve world hunger, but eliminate part of the world that we chose to serve for whatever reason, we have just damaged the cause. We might be doing good in a number of places, but our mismanaged motives may negatively impact the good we’ve done and continue to do. When we apply this to people, there have surfaced two ways we classify people that have caused damages that undermined our intentions. Let’s discuss these two well known methods of classifying people.
Method 1 – Race
When you look up the word itself you find that “race” is an attempt to divide people into groups based upon physical characteristics for the purpose of understanding the social behaviors of those groups. This however can be very difficult. For example, a person of Asian descent might have the appearance of being Asian, but the social behaviors of another race. This happens on every continent of the world. Then there’s the obvious challenges of those who are a product (born) of parents of two diverse races. Where does this place the child? Needless to say, we’ve seen the impacts of this from every angle. Thusly, we have unintended and some intended damage that occurs. Therefore, I wonder what God thinks about race? I would imagine that because He created a diverse world where people have a number of varying physical characteristics, He is okay with that. One of the most popular Bible verses on the planet says that God loves the world.  If this is true that would mean that He loves Asians, Europeans, Africans, and those of Indigenous American descent. With that in mind, we might also conclude that He sees each people-group not from a negative point of view, but from a positive. Our Bibles tell us that every person has been fearfully (thoughtfully) and wonderfully made by God, Himself.  With intentionality and His best craftsmanship God made His people, placed them in their unique places, and has given each what’s needed to succeed in life. 
Method 2 – Ethnicity
The second method is one that I assumed was the same as the first, ethnicity. However, when we study this word out, we find that it means we categorize people by their culture based on their geography which includes, language, religion, heritage, and customs. The main difference here is that this grouping does not first, nor make it a priority, to examine the physical attributes of a person. That means when defining people, their physical characteristics might be different while their ethnicity could be the same. Pamela and I experienced this with one of our friends who doesn’t look like us, but her ethnicity is of South Africa. Our friends are more African based on ethnicity, but we are more African based on race. While this is just one example, as people we find many cases, examples, biases, and such all the time that have created numerous issues throughout time.
Let me provide a more common or more inclusive example. Question: what ethnicity is a person from the Middle East? According to many sources on the internet this grouping would be classified as “non-White” in many Western countries, but counted as White in the United States. Now do you see why this might be damaging. It says a lot, but as to not be negative or biased, I’d like to say that God never intended this to be the case. We are His people and there is one thing I know for sure, He loves His people. Therefore He loves you as you are regardless of ethnicity.
As you can see, there are holes and gaps in the two main ways human-kind has attempted to classify human-kind into groups. My words were kind when I said it causes damage. To be truthful, it’s caused wars and countless loss of life. This is why Pamela and I decided to provide a new view of Grouping God’s People. We use this term “God’s people” so that we don’t make the mistake of thinking of people in a general sense, but placing them in a different category, people that belong to God.
You’ve heard it said that The Lord’s final words or instructions that He gave to His disciples before He was taken to Heaven was this. “Go and tell people about Me from here to the ends of the earth.”  What He was saying was take this good news from one people-group and give it to all people-groups. From Asia to Europe to Africa to the Americas, to the ends of the earth. Regardless of how we try to dice up the human race, God doesn’t exclude any of His people and if we want to see the world in all of its beauty and splendor then neither should we.
Question: what method have you been using to classify God’s people?
 John 3:16 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/JHN.3.16.NKJV
 Psalms 139:14 NIV, Bible.com, accessed February 25, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/PSA.139.14.NIV
 Acts 17:26-27 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed February 25, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/ACT.17.26-27.NKJV
 Acts 1:8 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed February 25, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/ACT.1.8.NKJV
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.