Racism: Utterly Sinful

“The Lord God looks at His creatures, created in His image, and does not judge us on the basis of our ethnicity or sex, or on our social standing. Therefore for anybody claiming the name of Christ—or really anybody at all—to treat one another differently on any of those bases is repugnant to Scripture and the Gospel.” 

 

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Jay's picture

More power to PCC for doing so.  I am thrilled they threw the student out.  We have no place for that craziness.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Lee's picture

I think we need to pause and compare that which scripture condemns and that which we label as racism.  

Scripture condemns being a "respecter of persons" on many different levels--ethnicity; gender; socio-economic status; relationship; etc.  From the Law to the end of Scripture it is repeatedly and consistently condemned as being in conflict with the nature of God ("For there is no respect of persons with God [Rom. 2:11]"). Being a respecter of persons plays out in how we react to that which we like or dislike about another not according to their activity nor character. IOW, our actions/attitudes toward an individual stem from the fact that we like their ethnicity, dislike their gender, can be advantaged by their social status, etc. To borrow from the Book of James, "...these things ought not so to be."

On the flip side, the common perception of racism--making character assessment on an individual based exclusively on their ethnicity (skin color being a big part)--is not as condemned as we might like to think.  In Paul's instruction to his protegee' Titus he made a significant "racist" point when he said "For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers, especially those with Jewish connections, who must be silenced because they mislead whole families by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught.  A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.' Such testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply that they may be healthy in the faith ....[Titus 1:10-13 NET] " 

As one of my gentle mentors would so often say, "Go as far as Scripture goes, but stop where Scripture stops!"  I think we do a disservice to Scripture and the cause of the Gospel when we too glibly take up the anti-racism mantra of the current set of social engineers as the de facto stipulations of Christ and His Gospel.

Lee

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Stopping where Scripture stops has never meant "don't apply it to the present day situation." Besides, there is so much more in Scripture on this point than many may realize.

  • We are commanded not to hate.  Matt. 5:43-47, Matt. 24:10, 1John 4:20, Eph. 4:31 ("malice")
  • We are commanded to view believers who are different from us as one with us in Christ (Gal. 3:28)
  • We are commanded to regard every man as made in the image of God. Gen 1:26, Gen. 9:6.
  • We are encouraged by example to welcome those unlike ourselves, especially ethnically unlike ourselves: Acts 6:1-3, Acts 10:28-29
  • We are encouraged to see our differences in the body of Christ as God's wise design. Rom. 12:4-6, 1 Cor. 12:15-19.
  • We are discouraged from being intellectually lazy, especially in our thinking about people (lumping people together into stereotypes is lazy). 2 Cor. 5:16, Rom. 12:3, Luke 7:39-49, John 1:46, Matt. 10:16, Josh. 9:3-6, Prov. 18:17.
  • We commanded to treat others as we would want to be treated. Matt. 7:12, Matt. 22:37-40.

There's more, no doubt, but this makes a nice "Seven reasons..." outline.

(As for Paul's remark in Titus, note that he quotes a writer from their own culture making observations about the habits of the inhabitants of a small island. It might look like he's endorsing an ethnic stereotype, but clearly he believes the habits of the Cretans are only habits and entirely changeable, otherwise he wouldn't be instructing Titus to straighten them out. This is really not what an ethnic/racial stereotype is.)

As for the "mantra" of "social" engineers, etc... .I'll be the first to say that there are advocacy groups that are really not helping the race relations situation in the US one bit. They have a vested interest in seeming to help it while actually keeping it unwell. That said, the social movemet to welcome all racial and ethnic backgrounds as fully equal is not a concoction of social engineers or a mere cultural fad. It's ultimately an effort to right genuine wrongs--and an effort Bible believers should have been leading all these years, not in any way holding out against then or now. 

Steve Davis's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

...........

As for the "mantra" of "social" engineers, etc... .I'll be the first to say that there are advocacy groups that are really not helping the race relations situation in the US one bit. They have a vested interest in seeming to help it while actually keeping it unwell. That said, the social movemet to welcome all racial and ethnic backgrounds as fully equal is not a concoction of social engineers or a mere cultural fad. It's ultimately an effort to right genuine wrongs--and an effort Bible believers should have been leading all these years, not in any way holding out against then or now. 

There are several ways to "welcome all racial and ethnic backgrounds." One is churches that reflect as much as possible their demographics. Another is personal relationships with others. I happen to live on a mixed block in Philly. This morning I pulled weeds for an elderly African-American widow neighbor who lives with her 95-year old mother and was joined by two other African-American neighbors.

Little is more powerful than relationships. When I hear pontificating about race relations I've asked, "When was the last time you had an African-American or someone from another ethnic group in your home?" I'm thankful God has given me good relationships. I remember taking a photo at one of our home Bible studies where we had individulas from Kenya, Iraq, India, Brazil, and two mixed Caucasian/African American couples. We know we're different in some ways. We also know that we are in Christ. It really is the gospel that brings us together and that remains the ultimate answer. 

I don't think marching in the streets accomplishes much good. I had a relative who for a time was part of a white supremacist group. They love to dress up in camouflage, bear arms, and (bare arms in muscle shirts for those who have muscles), and be noticed. They want attention. It feeds their ego and sense of self-importance. It gives them a cause. I wonder if counter-protestors and the media actually encourage supremacists. The spotlight helps radicalize them. Ignore them. Let them march with a police presence and if they break the law arrest them. The more they are opposed the more confident and self-righteous they are in their cause.

 

 

Jay's picture

As one of my gentle mentors would so often say, "Go as far as Scripture goes, but stop where Scripture stops!"  I think we do a disservice to Scripture and the cause of the Gospel when we too glibly take up the anti-racism mantra of the current set of social engineers as the de facto stipulations of Christ and His Gospel.

And my mentors had something to say about this as well:

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them...And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-31)

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:11-22)

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Revelation 5:11-14)

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen." (Revelation 7:9-12)

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

WallyMorris's picture

Growing up in the deep South during desegregation, I have seen racism from all types of people. The dominant races in our part of southeast Georgia were manly white and black, with a few Asian and almost no Hispanic. Yet I was good friends with many people of other racial backgrounds. My parents had black and white pictures of KKK rallies and cross burnings that occurred in our area. So the fact of racial problems is not new to me.

But I am puzzled as to why Christians seem to be trying to outdo each other to let the world know that we are not racist. How many times and how long do we have to say it? As long as the world keeps telling us we have to? Every time a racially motivated attack occurs, Christians feel like we have to remind the world that we are not racist. It seems that we are letting others set the “agenda” and we simply respond.

In one of his recent columns, Albert Mohler stated “America has yet to deal with the lessons of our own history. We have never been utterly conquered so that we had to. The lessons of slavery and Jim Crow segregation–all predicated on claims of white supremacy–have yet to be fully learned or even fully acknowledged.” I emailed him asking him to explain what seems to be a very general statement. He hasn't responded.

In the process, sometimes Christians misuse verses. Galatians 3:28 is about oneness in Christ, not oneness in this world. When someone trusts Christ as Savior, external differences are irrelevant in the worship and service of God. The early church included slaves, government officials, wealthy, not-so-wealthy, and those who had never been slaves. The early believers gave the gospel to everyone and included all types of people in worship and leadership. But Gal 3:28 is about “one in Christ Jesus”, not “one in the world”.

In our rush to convince the world of our “non-racism”, let's be careful that we don't trample Scripture to do so.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Joeb's picture

Yes we all are one in Christ but don't you think we should be rebuking our brothers who have adopted TWISTED thinking.  This  means any IFB church Bible Camp Bible College or parachurch organization that allows the Dr wearing the confederate boxing gloves and tie to take their pulpit should be sternly rebuked very publically by Bob Jones Pensacola College by prominent IFB Pastors.  Yet I hear nothing.  

So any claims hating racism is like a bell ringing in a thunder storm.  So the non believers see this as complicity and rightly so.  Can't say you hate racism and tolerate this kind of blatant support of racism in ones ranks.  

Time and time again the non believers see us making the same mistakes.  Recently a Christian College 2015/16 repeated the same mistakes BJU did.  In my mind without excuse.  So where does the buck stop when racism is involved.  

Wally that good Dr who wears the confederate boxing gloves and tie toured IFB churches in Indiana.  My question to you Wally would you rebuke any Pastors you know who allowed this NUT to take their pulpit and would you practice SEPARATION you cling to in these matters.  

Bert Perry's picture

It's nice that we're realizing, as a culture, that hating someone because of his race or ethnicity is wrong.  That noted, an entire major political party has as a central tenet of their policies that it's OK to hate people because of their social class.  We ought to remember Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi MInh, and other Communist leaders (and their atrocities) well enough to realize that the latter, per James, is wrong, too.   Marching with either a swastika or a hammer and sickle ought to get people on our "bad" list, or our "pray for" list.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

Bert your right. Both sides have their extremists.  One thing that is dangerous is the left seems as a whole to associate closer to its extremists.  The Right may have individuals leaving and associating with Extreme Right elements but the old Weathermen and the Black Liberation Party days seem to be living again.  

I remember the days in NJ with  Chesimore and the NJ State Troopers in running gun fights with black liberation members in NJ.  

I went to a seminar on these groups in the early eighties.  The NJ State Police wanted the Black Liberation Army Members heads for Chesimore killing one of their own.  A Bomb guy from the NJ State Police related how they went through a black liberation bomb factory that blew up.  Not to be crude here but this guy said he was never more happy to find the bomb makers chiclets in the depress. 

At the same time they found caches of dynamite in South Jersey belonging to the weatherman.  A whole storage locker full in Cherry Hill NJ and a cache stored at the bottom of a lake of in Medford NJ after they drained the lake to repair the dam.  They arrested a white Dentist for being involved with these explosives. 

Just because they have not been around for a while does not mean these leftist nuts can't raise their ugly heads.  

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong wasn't Obama criticized for a associating with a Weathermen Leader in Chicago. 

Bert Perry's picture

Is the Weather Underground member who describes himself as "Guilty as H***" who has some association with Obama.  Exactly what degree of influence, interaction, and agreement exists between the two is disputed.  Obama would have you believe it's just an acquaintance a while back, others would say that Ayers pretty much ghost-wrote his autobiographies.  I would guess the truth is somewhere in between.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

Wally google his name if he has spoken or going to speak at any churches where you know the Pastor.  The Pastor deserves a good rebuking.  

There is no way any Christian should associate with this guy unless he becomes very publically repentant.  This guy has a reputation which only stokes hate toward our African American Brothers and sisters in Christ and our Arab brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Rob Fall's picture

what is this Dr.'s name? Remember, many of us live far outside your area of operations. Confederate boxing gloves would go over like a lead balloon out here. Then, here at HSBC pancit, pork adobo, and lumpia are considered standard fare at our church dinners.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Lee's picture

Joeb wrote:

Wally google his name if he has spoken or going to speak at any churches where you know the Pastor.  The Pastor deserves a good rebuking.  

There is no way any Christian should associate with this guy unless he becomes very publically repentant.  This guy has a reputation which only stokes hate toward our African American Brothers and sisters in Christ and our Arab brothers and sisters in Christ.  

You're willing to assign the racial ills of fundamentalism/conservative evangelicalism to the likes of Phil Kidd?  You've got to be kidding me!  Combine his sphere of influence with Phelps (Westbrook), the nut job out west with the youtube vids all over, and a handful of others and you still wouldn't have enough people to swing a local election in Mayberry.  They are a pimple on the face of fundamentalism--highly visible and locally infected, but hardly indicative of the overall health of the body--nothing more.

Lee

Bert Perry's picture

Granted that Westboro and Kidd are outliers, but you'd be surprised where you'll find ideas like theirs.  We need to work to make sure that those who hold these kind of ideas either repent of them, or cease fellowship with us.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

Editor

The kind of fundamentalism I grew up in was a few degrees to the center of Phil Kidd, but not much more. We associated with churches where Pastors were just as stupid, idiotic and redneck foolish as "Dr. Kidd." There are more of these people than you realize. I've spoken to some fundamentalists from the saner branches of the movement (e.g. GARBC) who have never met a KJVO-inspired guy, or heard about Psalm 12, or seen anything like this. They didn't know this world existed, and they were astonished when I tried to tell them about it. They assumed it was some freak show, something from a bygone era, something only a few fringe weirdos believed in. If that is you, then you have no idea! There are a lot of fundammerntalist churches where "Dr. Kidd" would be welcomed, and others a shade or two less caustic, but still cut from the same cloth. There are a lot of people like this out there.

Be very grateful if you've never seen stuff like this.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?