Scripture and the Church

ACCC 2018 Resolution: 'Multiculturalism'

This resolution explains that, "as with many unbiblical philosophies, there is a grain of truth in multiculturalism, but its errors are dangerous."

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part five of a series. Read part four.

Editor's Note: The 77th Annual Convention of the American Council of Christian Churches met in Collingswood, New Jersey from October 23-25, 2018. The convention approved several resolutions on critical issues confronting Christians and the church in our time. In this series we present those resolutions for the edification and encouragement of God's people. 

This resolution explains that, "as with many unbiblical philosophies, there is a grain of truth in multiculturalism, but its errors are dangerous." - Dr. Paul Elliott [12]


Resolution on Multiculturalism

In the attempt to combat racism, many people have swung the philosophical pendulum and embraced multiculturalism. According to the syllogism of this ideology, all ethnicities are equally good, and culture is inherently connected to ethnicity. All cultures are then deduced to be equally good. multiculturalism imageSince all cultures are equally good, multiculturalists claim that all cultures must be tolerated and/or affirmed. Anyone therefore who criticizes a culture not his own must be labeled as an elitist, racist, ethnocentrist, paternalist, or microaggressor, and anyone who claims to depart from the intrinsic culture of his ethnicity must be treated as an inauthentic traitor.

As with many unbiblical philosophies, there is a grain of truth in multiculturalism, but its errors are dangerous.[1] Many of these errors can be traced to multiculturalism's faulty minor premise, which it shares oddly with racist ideology.[2] Semantically, ethnicity and culture are not synonymous.[3] Ethnicity is simply a group of people who have a common ancestor. This ancestor could be traced as far back as one of Noah's three sons (Gen. 10), or he could be one of their descendants. Culture, on the other hand, is a group's way of life stemming from their shared beliefs and values. The term could be used to describe the basic way of life of humanity in general, or the particular way of life of any smaller group.

Even though the two terms are not synonymous, multiculturalists still insist that they are inextricably linked. Yet, there is no scientific evidence for unique ethnic, cultural genes regulating people's beliefs and values. There is no scriptural support for such a thing either.[4] Therefore, instead of combating racial division, multiculturalists actually foster it by (1) requiring people to rigidly adhere to ethnic biological proclivities which do not exist and (2) prohibiting people from legitimately appreciating, appropriating, and/or condemning different cultures.

The Bible furthermore states that because all men ultimately descend from Adam (Acts 17:26), they are "made after the similitude of God" (James 3:9b) and inherit a sin nature.[5] No man is created more in God's image than another, and no man inherits a more depraved sin nature than another. In that sense, all men are equal.

Left to this universal depravity, every imagination of the thoughts of men's hearts would be only evil continually, and the earth would be filled with violence (Gen. 6:5, 11). However, God at various times has granted common and saving grace unto men to restrain them from being as wicked as they could be.[6] It is of God's sovereign good pleasure when, where, and in what proportion those unmerited gifts will be given.[7] Some multiculturalists might claim that God always distributes those gifts equally, but Scripture and history have proven otherwise. While no person or society this side of eternity entirely escapes the corruption of sin (2 Chron. 6:36a), some have been "more righteous" than others,[8] and to contradict such a truth as multiculturalists do is prideful and unbiblical.[9]

Therefore, the American Council of Christian Churches at its 77th annual convention, October 23-25, 2018, at the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, NJ, resolves to denounce the philosophy of multiculturalism while maintaining a biblical position against racism.[10] We encourage believers not to marvel at the illegitimate name-calling which the world heaps upon them when taking such a stand, for so it did before to the prophets and our Lord.[11] Rather, "rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven" (Matt. 5:12). Furthermore, we admonish all Christians to "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matt. 5:44). By an unflinching, loving witness, men "may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16b).


1. Multiculturalists, whether secular or evangelical, often do not see or admit that their beliefs are built on a mixture of other faulty philosophies: postmodernism, Marxism, Darwinism, humanism, Rousseau's noble savage idea, aesthetic relativism, critical race theory, intersectionality, liberation theology, ethnic Gnosticism, nuda Scriptura, Pelagianism, antinomianism, unbiblical ecumenism, and/or neo-Kuyperian postmillennialism.

2. Racism's syllogism is as follows: some cultures are inferior to others, culture is inherently linked to ethnicity, therefore, some ethnicities are inferior to others.

3. Multiculturalists often leave culture and ethnicity un- or ill-defined in order to quickly proceed to race-carding and other forms of name-calling.

4. There is no biblical or scientific evidence for unique generational, cultural genes either.

5. Ps. 51:5, Eph. 2:3b, Rom. 3:10-11, Rom. 5:19, Rom. 7:18a.

6. Luke 6:31-34, Acts 14:16-17, Rom. 2:14-15, Eph. 2:8-10.

7. Jer. 3:14, Matt. 5:45, Matt. 24:40-41, John 3:8, 1 Cor. 1:26, Heb. 1:1.

8. Gen. 38:26, 1 Sam. 24:17, 1 Kings 2:32, Ez. 16:49-52, Hab. 1:13. While some cultures are overall better or worse than others, there is at various times and places a diversity of good/indifferent cultural expressions which can and should be utilized wisely (Romans 14, 1 Cor. 9:19-23). But until the New Creation, there is and will be a greater prevalence of bad cultural expressions on this earth (Matt. 7:13-14), and these expressions must be condemned whenever and wherever they are found (Ex. 20:1-17, Deut. 12:30, Jer. 10:2-5, Rom. 1:21-32, 2 Cor. 4:2, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 2:1-3, 2 Thess. 5:22, 1 John 2:15-17). Professing believers who ignore this often do so at the peril of syncretizing Christianity with paganism (Ex. 32, 1 Kings 12:26-33, 2 Kings 17:24-41), as can be seen today in the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) industry, the theistic evolution movement, the "LGBT Christian" movement, and some missions efforts. See also these resources: John Makujina, Measuring the Music: Another Look at the Contemporary Christian Music Debate, 3rd ed. (Religious Affections Ministries, 2016); Ken Myers, All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1989); T. David Gordon, Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing Co., 2010); David de Bruyn, "Jesus So Totally Rocks," Towards Conservative Christianity Blog (March 2, 2010):; the 2014 ACCC "Resolution on Young Earth Creationism," the 2014 ACCC "Resolution Concerning Marriage and Sexual Morality," the 2017 ACCC "Resolution on Same-Sex Attraction"; Scott Aniol, et. al., "Missions and Music" 17-part series, Religious Affections Ministries Blog (December 29, 2010 ?? January 28, 2011):; and Seth Meyers, "When Hurting Helps" 5-part series, Son of Carey Blog (October 16 ?? November 3, 2014):

9. By calling all cultures equally good, multiculturalists essentially are saying that evil does not exist, or that "everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them" (Mal. 2:17, cf. Prov. 17:15).

10, See the 2017 ACCC "Resolution on Racism."

11. Matt. 5:11-12, Luke 6:22-23, John 15:18-21, 2 Tim. 3:12, 1 John 3:13.

12. Dr. Elliott is a member of the ACCC's Executive Committee.



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