“Though all have turned away from God and are by nature on the road that leads to destruction, not all have progressed equally far down that wrong road that leads to destruction, not all have progressed equally far down that wrong road and not all are equally far removed from the Kingdom of heaven. There is endless diversity and degrees of difference in the sinful life between the start of it and the highest levels of its development. Individuals, families, generations, classes, peoples are utterly divergent also in sin. There are those who are not far from the kingdom of God; there exist people who drink sin like water, who lives totally given over to wickedness, who are utterly hardened and impervious to any good impression.
This difference, however, does not originate among people as a result of their personal deeds but is congenital. The original sin that comes to us from Adam is indeed the universal presupposition and source of all actual sins of individuals, but these sinful deeds also impact, reinforce, develop, and direct that innate moral depravity. Just as a sinful deed when repeated over and over, forsters a sinful habitual propensity, say to drink, sensuality, and lust, so sinful mores, and habits can also reinforce an innate depravity in a family, among relatives in a family line, or among a people and develop in a certain direction. Also, that special modification of innate depravity often passes from parents to children, from one generation to the next. Human beings are not individuals in an absolute sense. ‘The individual, like the atom, is a fiction.’ A human being is born from the matrix of a community and from that very first moment lives in a certain situation and period. the immediate and larger family, society, nation, climate, lifestyle, culture, the spirit of the age and so on — all of them together impact the individual person and modify his or her innate moral depravity. Sin, therefore, though it is indeed always essentially the same, manifests itself in different ways and forms in different persons, classes, and nations and in different states and times. Also, as a sinner, each person has his or her own physiognomy. Sins in the East differ from Sins in the West, in tropical zones from temperate zones, in rural areas from cities, in civilized states, from uncivilized ones, in the twentieth century from earlier centuries. There are family sins, societal sins, national sins. Statistics show that in certain situations, periods, and circles, there is a horrifying regularity in the incidence of certain moral offenses such as homicide, suicide, illegitimate births, and so on. In every area of life, we are all subject to bad habits and sinful examples, of the zeitgeist and public opinion. Aside from what we call ‘original sin’ there is also ‘corporate guilt’ and the ‘corporate action of sin.’ As people are interconnected, so also are their sinful inclinations and deeds. Penetrating the infinite riches of all creation, sin also forms a realm of that, animated by a single life principle, organizes itself in multiple forms and appearances.”
Reformed Dogmatics; Sin and Salvation in Christ Vol., III — p. 175-17
This quote provides for us why the Holy Spirit could confirm the poet’s maxim that “all Cretans are liars.” Lying would have been what Bavinck refers to as an innate depravity that was characteristic of the Cretan people as a people group.
If all this is so, then one can easily understand why, as armed with crime statistics as chronicled over years one might say that it is not a good idea for one people group who are, as Bavinck says, farther down the road of destruction not to have intermarried with another people group who are not equally far removed from the Kingdom of God. This is one of the reiterated points of kinism and the Bavinck quote reveals there is nothing unreasonable in that thinking in the least. There is nothing unreasonable in taking into consideration an ethnic people group or race’s corporate predilection to a particular set of sins. What parent would desire their child, who was not a Cretan to marry a Cretan who is given to the congenital of lying as being inherited by their people group?
This quote also provides strong support that people from distinct particular ethnic people groups and races should marry within their particular ethnic people groups and races. Different particular ethnic people groups and races are going to have in marriage an automatically better understanding of their mate as both are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses that they both are coming from. Shouldn’t marriage be characterized as man and a wife who are the mirror of one another in terms of their belongingness to the same particular ethnic people group or race? If Bavinck is correct then the marriage of people from decidedly different particular people groups or races is the equivalent of seeking to marry oil and water.
Now people may subjectively choose to find this kind of thinking offensive but objectively that doesn’t mean that it is offensive. For centuries the Biblical Christian, for the kind of reasons articulated by Bavinck above, did not find miscegenation to be a wise course of action and so actively discouraged it. I agree with Bavinck and those people, which means that historically speaking I am in the majority.