A “Shades of Brown” Family

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Did you know there’s no such thing as a truly “white” or “black” person? To emphasize this point during my talks against racism, I hold up a white sheet of paper next to my face—I certainly don’t look white. (If I did, you’d be calling an ambulance!) We’re all basically brown, due to a pigment called melanin (there are other pigments, but that’s the main one), just different shades of brown depending on how much melanin you have. This is something that is mostly controlled by your genes—and, for some of us, by how long we’ve been out in the sun!

When I was a child in Sunday school, I learned a short chorus that most kids know:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white
All are precious in his sight.

But this chorus actually teaches children the wrong way of looking at people groups—because people aren’t really red, yellow, black, and white.

At a conference where I was speaking on this topic of people groups and skin shades, a young lady came up to me and said,

Mr. Ham, I have some new words for you:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Shades of brown from dark to light,
All are precious in his sight.

And I told her I really liked that revision because it teaches kids truth—and it’s better than the version I’d come up with:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Brown, and brown, and brown, and light brown,
and dark brown, and all shades of brown,
All are precious in his sight.

I’ve shared her version of this song with many people during my presentations because I believe it’s important for us as Christians to change our terminology about this topic. By changing the way we say things to reflect truth, we can raise up a generation of people who think biblically on this issue as they need to do.

I recently heard from parents in Arizona who loved these alternate lyrics and have taught them to their “shades of brown” family. The mother writes,

Thank you so very much for all the work you do at the Creation Museum! . . . We have two biological children, 25 and 22, but have adopted two little girls, ages 6 and 8, last year as well as fostering others including two, ages 3 and 10 now.

Thank you so much for changing the words to “Jesus Loves the Little Children”! We are Caucasian, our girls are African American, and foster girls are Hispanic and Native American. Our 8-year-old has always insisted she is not black but brown! It’s so true—we are all shades of brown! The girls love the song and sing it often. . . .

Again, thank you. Our “shades of brown” family is very grateful.

—C. P. and T. P. from Arizona

In a culture that is increasingly at a loss for how to deal with racist attitudes and horrible acts of racist violence, we need the biblical teaching that there’s just one race—the human race. You see, we all have one common problem—sin! We’re all descended from Adam and Eve so we’re all sinners, deserving the penalty of death for our sin. But the good news is that Jesus Christ, a descendant of Adam, stepped into history and took the penalty of death that we deserve because of our sin for us. And he offers the free gift of salvation to all who will put their faith and trust in him.

So we all have the same problem—sin—and we all have same solution: Jesus Christ. The gospel is the only answer to racism.

If you want to learn more about the Bible’s answer to racism and the scientific evidence (e.g., the Human Genome Project) that confirms what the Bible teaches about people groups, I encourage you to read One Race One Blood, my book coauthored with Dr. Charles Ware, available to read online or from our online store.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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