ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRUTH ABOUT NATIONS by J. Parnell McCarter
Although it is regarded as politically incorrect and unacceptable in our day, the following is a truth evident from scripture and by natural observation:
“It is admitted that nations as well as tribes and families, have their distinctive characteristics, and that these characteristics are not only physical and mental, but also social and moral. Some tribes are treacherous and cruel. Some are mild and confiding. Some are addicted to gain, others to war. Some are sensual, some intellectual. We instinctively judge of each according to its character; … admitting that these dispositions are innate and hereditary, and that they are not self-acquired by the individual whose character they constitute, we nevertheless, and none the less, approve or condemn them according to their nature. This is the instinctive and necessary, and therefore the correct, judgment of the mind.” - Charles Hodge Systematic Theology, Vol. 2.5.6
This truth is not contrary to the other truths which must be taken into account with it when considering the topic:
· The general characteristic of a certain nation or people does not imply that there are not individual exceptions, as indeed there invariably are.
· Those who are exceptions among their own nation or people have a more likely tendency to seek to join and assimilate into another nation or people with general characteristics more like their own individual characteristics. Often such exceptions who have assimilated into another people are the most ardent advocates of whatever they have embraced, because they were not born into it, but had to move into it (which can come at a cost).
· All peoples and nations since the Fall are wicked and depraved by nature, so any especially wicked characteristics are only relative levels of wickedness, and that in peculiar areas.
· Some general characteristics of a nation or people are not of the nature of being morally good or bad, such as special prowess in certain areas.
· Since each people have certain general characteristics, there will inevitably be a tendency for the world to be organized according to and congregate by ethnic people. Hence, empires tend over time to break up into ethnic nations, where each people can express their peculiar characteristics in their governance and social life. Indeed, such ethnic nations are our eschatological destiny, according to scripture.
· Certain generally wicked characteristics of a nation or people may be reformed by the working of the Holy Spirit with the word of God on that people, by divine grace. Just as individuals can be transformed by God’s grace, so can the generality of a people or nation.
· There will come a day when all of the nations of the earth will be covenanted to Jesus Christ. In these “better days”, even before Christ returns, the generality of people from each nation will be more conformed to Biblical moral standards. We therefore ought not to lose hope with any nation, no matter how wicked such people might generally be now, just like we ought not with individuals, because God is a merciful God mighty to save by His Spirit.