Peter was a racist because he was a coward….
So and so what do you think finally and ultimately defines a man; his race or his religion?
The Battle for the Gospel
Just today someone pointed me to this excerpt from Dr. Morecraft’s most recent Sunday morning sermon. I am going to interact with it a bit below but first some prologue,
1.) I think that Dr. Morecraft has done some fine work over the years. Overall, he has been on the side of the angels. I’ve listened to much of his work and have read some of his material. The Reformed Church is all the richer for Dr. Morecraft’s work over the years.
2.) I am not a Kinist and the reason I disavow Kinism is sermons like this. If this is what Dr. Morecraft honestly thinks that all Kinists believe there is no use trying to rescue the word or identify with the label. This is why I have chosen my own word. I am a “familialist.” By choosing my own word I get to define it and I don’t have to keep correcting over and over again the relentless and constant freaking out over the word “kinist.”
Now on to the matter at hand.
1.) In this sermon on Galatians 2 Dr. Morecraft calls Peter a “racist.” This charge is pretty standard fare in the pc post-modern Reformed Church today and Galatians 2 is often brought forward as an example of racism.
However, I am convinced that Dr. Morecraft is not exegeting the passage properly. Peter’s sin in Galatians is not that he was a racist. Peter’s sin in Galatians is that he was an Alienist. This is seen in the fact that he gave into the Judaizing demand that the Gentile Christians Peter had been having table fellowship with had to become culturally Jewish before they could be considered Christian. The Gentiles had to eat like Jews, and be circumcised like Jews in order to be considered Christian. The desires of the Judaizers in Galatians 2 was that all would be put into the Judaizer blender to become culturally one. Peter’s sin was Alienism… not racism. If the Gentiles had agreed to all the Jewish stipulations to lose their Gentile culture and identity than the Judaizers would have had no problem with Peter having table fellowship with those Gentiles. It wasn’t the fact that Peter was having table fellowship with Gentiles that bothered the Judaizers. (If that had been the problem then perhaps the accusations against Peter that Peter was a racist might be sustained.) No, the problem with Peter was that the Gentiles were not culturally Jews. It wasn’t their ethnicity of the Gentiles that bothered the Judaizers. It was their culture. Peter fell into their trap and was guilty of Alienism … of refusing to insist that the Gentiles had to be just like the Jews culturally before they could be considered Christian.
2.)Dr. Morecraft asked his friend,
“For what finally and ultimately defines a man; His race or his religion?”
To be honest this is a bit reductionistic. Dr. Morecraft knows that man is a being that is composed of body and soul. A man is not ultimately defined by either his soul (religion) or his body (race). A man is finally and ultimately defined by both. Would Dr. Morecraft seriously ask, “what ultimately and finally defines an airplane, the wings or the engine?” He wouldn’t ask this because of how obvious such absurd reductionism is in error.
Dr. Morecraft knows we can’t divide a man in two and say only one part ultimately defines him any more than we could do the same type of thing in regards to the person of Christ without falling into major heresy. The similar error here would be asking, “What finally defines the person of Christ, his God nature or his man nature?”
Obviously to answer that question is to fall into heresy. In the same way, it is to fall into heresy which ever way Dr. Morecraft’s question is answered. To answer Dr. Morecraft’s question by saying, “his race” would have the respondent fall into the heresy of materialism. To answer Dr. Morecraft’s question by giving the answer “his religion” would find the respondent falling into the heresy of Gnosticism.
Dr. Morecraft hasn’t thought this through as well as he usually thinks matters through.
But if we were forced to answer this question there are several alternatives we might offer up,
a.) “The answer is obviously religion Dr. Morecraft, but if you’re going to suggest now that such an answer means that the way God created men… the way God enfleshed men isn’t worthy of paying attention to or honoring, why then Dr. Morecraft, I can’t help but wonder how you escape the Gnostic briar patch.
b.) “Well, Dr. Morecraft, for the black man what finally and ultimately defines him is his religion and for the White man what finally and ultimately defines him is his religion. Every man regardless of what people group that man belongs to is finally and ultimately defined by his religion. You ask about a man in the abstract but man doesn’t come in the abstract. A man comes in the concrete and it is the concrete man that we must deal with.”
Now let me ask you a question, Dr. Morecraft,
Isn’t it Gnostic of you to suggest that the way our Creator God created a man is unimportant and that all created differences can be whisked away by appealing to the “spiritual?”
c.) “Dr. Morecraft, I’ll answer that question if you will answer this question; What finally and ultimately defines a person? Their gender or their religion?”
“Now, be careful Dr. Morecraft, because if you answer religion I am going to take that as meaning that you’re contending that just as race doesn’t make any difference between people neither does gender make any difference between people. After all if skin color doesn’t make any difference why should plumbing?
d.) Dr. Morecraft, God created man with both a spiritual and physical nature and while we are spiritually united with all the Elect in Christ, we retain our unique, diverse identities in our physical attributes: gender, ethnicity, disposition, etc so that both man’s race and his religion finally and ultimately define man.
Obviously, the import in all this is that Dr. Morecraft is practicing a danger anthropological reductionism here that isn’t consistent with our Christian theology.
Dr. Morecraft ties his answer of “religion” to knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ but I can’t help but wonder how his answer doesn’t tie him to some kind of creeping Gnosticism; that first great heresy that the Church had to contend with. Man remains a modified unichotomy (the integrative reality of body and soul) and to suggest that his soul is finally and ultimately more important than his creaturely fixity is a curious position for such an esteemed Pastor as Dr. Morecraft.
Now to end just an observation. Much of what Dr. Morecraft says about Kinism just isn’t universally true. As one example, most kinists I know insist that all the diverse races have both superiorities about them and inferiorities about them. Kinists are not White Supremacist. This is just one example of why I no longer claim the kinist label. When esteemed men like Dr. Morecraft spread this kind of libel and slander it is just not possible to rescue the term.
Another observation to end that is only related to Dr. Morecraft’s comments in a tertiary fashion. Those One Worlders out there are the hardest on those who still insist that ethnicity and race matters. Yet at the end of the day, One Worldism is its own kind of KINISM. Their allegiance is to their tribe of an ethnically coffee cream colored people who have the racial distinction of not being racially distinct. This One Worlder Kinism will support a universal non-descript dishwater nondistinct culture which will find it’s distinction in its being universal. Likewise, the One Worlders have the religion of no religion which is unique to their tribe. One Worlders are, without a doubt KINIST, in every way. So the One Worlders attack a form of Kinism they don’t like while at the same time advancing a form of Kinism they do like.
Kinism or something akin to it thus is an inescapable category.
I’m not advocating for it. Remember … I’ve disavowed the label. I’m merely saying that something like it is impossible to escape.