We have yet another Evangelical statement on “Gospel and Racism.”
Personally, I’m waiting for just one statement from Evangelicals on “Gospel and Marxism,” but until such a statement arises I will have to satisfy myself from dissecting these bouquet of statements on “Gospel and Racism.”
First, an important point should be noted. “Evangelical” no longer has any substantive meaning and as such giving us an Evangelical statement on Gospel and Racism gives me very little indication of what and who I am dealing with? If it is not possible to know what these people mean by Evangelical then it is not possible to know if I should care what they think.
Now a question before we query the text proper. Why is it that the word “Gospel” is always used for these statements and not the word “Christianity?” I am more interested on a Statement on anything that is being made that is based on what Christianity as a whole teaches than the narrow category of “Gospel.” I suppose it is possible that “Gospel,” is to be considered synonymous with “Christianity.”
Now to the text of this Gospel & Racism statement,
“We condemn racism as contrary to Scripture and to the evangelical gospel.”
Iron Ink responds (IIR)
The first problem here is there is no definition of racism given. As such the whole statement is useless because I don’t know what they mean by “racism.”
We have to keep in mind that the very word “racism” has been co-opted and so owned by the Marxists from almost its very inception. Almost from its coinage the word has been weaponized against Christianity. With the continual use of the word over the last 80 years or so as existing in a Marxist worldview I need to know what the word precisely and particularly means. I need a very exact definition. Many if not most of the definitions of racism I have come across are ridiculous and can be demonstrated as such in a few seconds. I honestly don’t know what the word means and so if yet another group of Evangelical gurus is going to condemn it, is it too much to ask for a concrete definition before I sign on?
I know that there are some definitions of “racism” floating around that I could easily demonstrate are found spoken of approvingly in Scripture. So, let’s have a definition please.
You will notice that William Wilberforce is mentioned in the text. Wilberforce is seen as arch-angel when it comes to the issue of race but not all thought so highly of Wilberforce. For example,
“(Wilberforce) preaches vital Christianity to untutored savages, and tolerates the worst abuses of slavery in civilized states” (as existing among the native population). — William Hazlitt
In this gospel, everyone must come to God on the same terms (Rom 1:16; 3:22-24; 10:12-13; Gal 3:28; Rev 5:9; 7:9), and become one body in Christ (Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12-13; Eph 4:4; Col 3:15).
It is true that all Christians are “one body in Christ.” However, being “one body in Christ,” does not translate into all the creational categories God created Christians with disappears. Paul was in the one body of Christ but still identified as “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil. 3:5). Paul, as being one in Christ with all believers, still identifies himself as having a deep and abiding love for his people (Romans 9:1-4). So, by all means we become one body in Christ but being one body in Christ doesn’t mean creational distinctions disappear.
The reason I bring this up here is because being “one body in Christ” is being increasingly interpreted as meaning that if we are not worshiping with people of varied hues and ethnicities then there is something wrong with our Christianity. This is not true.
As many scholars in history have demonstrated the unity of the body of Christ is not a uniformity but rather is a unity that includes national diversity. Just as there are many members but one body (I Cor. 12) so there are many nationalities but one body (Rev. 22:2).
In reconciling Jew and Gentile in Christ (Eph 2:16), surmounting a barrier that God himself once established, God in Christ summons us to surmount every barrier erected merely by human sinfulness.
Again, we agree, as long as we understand that surmounting every barrier erected merely by human sinfulness doesn’t mean that the Gospel requires us to sink our creational identities into the abyss of the multiculturalism ocean.
and to love all our neighbors as ourselves
Again, we are left to reading into the exact intent of this statement. If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves who could disagree? However, if this means we aren’t to prioritize our affections (do good to all men but especially to the household of faith) then we pause before agreeing. The Scripture teaches us to prioritize our affections,
8If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
So, loving all neighbors means loving the household of faith and our own family first. As a Christian I do not love the neighbor alien and stranger at the cost of loving my family and the household of faith.
and to join them in acting for justice on their behalf
As long as justice is defined by God’s Law-Word and not on modern notions of “justice.”