McAtee Contra Lusk’s Gnosticism

I am examing this article. I want people to be able to access it so they don’t have to take my word for what the article says. Secondly, I will not be looking at the entire article and so people can access this link to make sure I’m not taking matters out of context.

The author of this piece is Rev. Rich Lusk. Lusk was a significant player in the Federal Vision imbroglio. Federal Vision was rife with contradictions. I mention that because I believe there is a consistency in the embrace of contradiction in what we see below.

Rev. Lusk (hereafter RL) begins,

I think you’d be hard-pressed to discover the fact of varying levels of melanin just from the Scriptures.


Lusk presupposes here that race is merely a matter of skin color as if race can be reduced to melanin levels. Of course, race is never less than melanin levels but it is always more than melanin levels. If race were only about melanin levels then people of different races could provide bone marrow transplants for one another. If race were only about melanin levels then forensic scientists would not be able to determine race based on skeletal evidence. If race were only about melanin levels violent crime rates would be universally the same across varying races. If race were only about melanin levels that Pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t develop drugs that are race-specific in their effect.

Second, right out of the gate RL is reducing knowledge to whatever is explicitly said in Scripture. This is an extreme form of Biblicism that even Gordon Clark would condemn. I am convinced that is a nonstarter. One could just as easily say I think you’d be hard-pressed to discover how babies were made just from consulting the Scripture, therefore it is not important to know how babies are made.

RL writes

Yes, Scripture acknowledges different ethnicities, tribes, languages, etc., but it is (oddly, to modern sensibilities) totally silent about the relation of ethnicity to skin color. In fact, it is almost totally silent on skin color altogether. This is really astounding when you think about how much we focus on skin color in the modern world.  Jeremiah 13:23 mentions the Ethiopian’s skin, but only in passing.


Actually, Jeremiah 13:23 unsays everything that Lusk says in the above paragraph.

23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Here we learn that an ethnic people (Ethiopians) are black. We also learn therefore that Scripture most certainly is NOT totally silent on the relation of ethnicity to race. Jeremiah obviously notices the difference or else he would not have used this illustration. Note something else here that will apply to what RL says elsewhere and that is that obviously non-black people could not be part of the ethnic Ethiopians or else Jeremiah’s illustration would not work. If ethnic Ethiopians included 20% white people those whom Jeremiah was addressing might have said … “Umm, wait a minute.”

The fact that this is mentioned  “in passing” is just RL’s opinion. Probably an opinion born of the necessity to wave away this passage as significant.

RL writes,

If we are biblical, shouldn’t we imitate this total lack of emphasis? The Scripture acknowledges the existence of different people groups and nations (more on this below), but never ties this to skin color, so why should we? Biblically, language, culture, and ultimately faith determine the identity of a people, not melanin.  Biblically, a person’s identity is never defined by his melanin any more than it is defined by other incidental physical features.


Hmmm … what of

“Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:”

Lamentations 4:7

Clearly, the Scripture is emphasizing race here.

As noted above with ethnic Ethiopians as married to their blackness Scripture does tie ethnicity to race.

I think RL is hanging on a weak branch to say the ancients were unfamiliar or uninterested with race — and that as something more than melanin.


“Biblically, language, culture, and ultimately faith determine the identity of a people, not melanin.”


And of course, culture has nothing to do with genes does it Rich? It is these kinds of statements that lead people like me to conclude that people who make these statements are functional Gnostics. Culture is defined as the outward manifestations of a people’s inward belief. However, there is no inward belief without a people, and those people while more than their genetic heritage are never less than their genetic heritage. To reduce people to language, culture, and faith is to deny the corporeal that comes with the handing down of our genetic inheritance from our ancestors. Does not that have no impact on who we are as a people? How can such thinking not be Gnostic?


Perhaps there is one exception in Numbers 12 when Moses marries a Cushite (Ethiopian) woman….


Both Calvin and Matthew Henry as well as many other reputed scholars do not believe that the woman in relation to Moses in the passage cited above is anybody but Mirriam.  In other words, Moses did not marry a black woman.


But the Scriptures are full of marriages between people of different ethnic groups (e.g., Ruth and Boaz), different melanin levels, etc. Scripture does not require us to marry people of the same skin color any more than it requires us to marry people of the same eye or hair color. The only real issue in Scripture is faithfulness to the Lord. What modern people call race is a non-factor in marriage.


First, Scripture is NOT full of marriage between people of different ethnic groups. There may be some but to say it is full of such examples is a complete exaggeration. Even Ruth is disputed as to whether she was a Moabitess or an Israelite who lived in the former territory of Moab and so a Moabitess. Much the same way one might refer to a Puerto Rican living in New York City as a “New Yorker.”

Scripture may not explicitly forbid us from inter-racial marriages but neither does it explicitly forbid us from doing any number of unwise things.

Next, sans Lusk, race should be a factor in marriage. If RL took the time to look at the stats he would see that divorce levels for inter-racial marriages are higher than divorce rates for intra-racial marriages.  In 2002, the Center for Disease Control published statistics about divorce rates that showed interracial marriages were more likely to end in divorce than same-ethnic marriages — 41 percent versus 31 percent. So, we see that RL is just in error when he says that “race is a non-factor in marriage.”


All that to say: our modern obsession with race is just that – a distinctly modern obsession. It has nothing to do with the Bible or godliness at all, and therefore cannot serve a biblical agenda for missions, ministry, etc.


Modern obsession? I’m not sure what RL is calling modern but I suspect he is wrong even here. As far back as the 185o’s Americans were what Lusk calls obsessed with race as evidence by the Lincoln Douglas debate,

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”

Abraham Lincoln

But maybe Lusk lump’s Lincoln’s obsession as a modern obsession with our putative modern obsession. Then there are Rudyard Kipling’s various poems on this theme. The point is, I hardly think this is a modern obsession.

All of Lusk’s opining is based on the assumption that all peoples are the same and since they are all the same (a Gnostic assumption if there ever was one) then mixing and matching is not a problem. Jesus did not assume what Lusk assumes as seen in his dealing with the Syro-Phoenician woman. Neither the Holy Spirit nor St. Paul shared Lusk’s assumption. If they had they would not have written what they had written about Cretans.

This is not to deny that all men can come to Christ. The ground at the cross is level for all peoples. All are commanded to repent. All those repentant will be received by Christ. This is to affirm that grace does not destroy nature and conversion does not make different people groups all the same. As such, strong Christian marriages ought to seek out not only the harmony of faith but also the harmony of backgrounds in totality.

RL writes,

Indeed, if our mission and ministry work are concerned about melanin, it’s a sign we are being shaped by some agenda other than the Bible’s. (Perhaps this agenda comes from Charles Darwin? The full title of his most famous work is The Origin of the Species By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The modern obsession with race is as much a legacy of the racist implications of Darwin’s theory of evolution as any other factor.)


Lusk writes a diatribe against those he ends up accusing as being Darwinists (it’s OK… I think him Gnostic) while going on and on about “melanin” and yet suggests that his imagined opponents are the ones obsessed by race. Irony much Rich?

Let us say again… Rich has reduced the issue of race to melanin. Those of us who think Rich is nuts believe that race is about much much more than melanin.


I am not claiming the Bible requires us to be “color blind” in every sense. In some ways, it is appropriate to be “color blind” while in other ways it is appropriate to be “color conscious.”


Now, Lusk goes all contradiction on us, trying to have it both ways.


We do not need to blind ourselves to the fact that the human race is a veritable kaleidoscope. We do not have to ignore biological and cultural differences between us in our relationships.


Earlier, it’s just about melanin levels. Now the human race is a veritable kaleidoscope with biological differences. Does Rich only mean here we do not have to ignore the different melanin levels that biology creates? Why should melanin alone create cultural differences Rich? Maybe the cultural differences have something to do with race that goes deeper than just the melanin differences?

End Part I

Three More Facts Regarding the Noble Savage

Fact — Indians were not egalitarian. Indian females were routinely bought and sold as “wives.” Indian females performed all physical labor. including wood gathering, slaughtering of animals, packing up the Teepees for migration, primitive gardening, and food storage. Indian females were packhorses when needed carrying huge loads. In this context, Female Indians became mothers as young as 13 and were responsible for child-rearing. Rarely did Indian females live past 35 years of age.

Fact — American Indians were members of a stone-age culture with no written languages, no written law, no use of the wheel, and no domesticated animals until the Spanish introduced to them horses and sheep. They practiced agriculture w/o the use of a simple wooden plow and until the Spanish introduced wool and the loom in the American Southwest no Indian tribes produced cloth, not even the Navaho and Hopi.
Fact — Most American Indian tribes were exceedingly immoral, buying and swapping wives like so many beads at the slightest whim. Venereal disease was rampant.

A Small Glossary — CRT, White Fragility, Equity, White Privilege, Systemic Racism

Britannica: “Critical race theory (CRT) , is an intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color. Critical race theorists hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially Africa Americans.”

This statement makes the White race guilty for the black race’s general failures as to academic excellence, standard of living equality, job equality, salary equality, and social acceptance as equals in majority White societies. It views all these failures as being the result of the socially constructed White man oppressing and keeping the socially constructed black man down.

Equity teaches the only way to right this historic wrong is for the socially constructed white man to give up this previous sinful privilege and accept a current matching discrimination against him from the socially constructed black man to make up for the putative historic discrimination that the socially constructed black man faced in previous years. Equity holds that the socially constructed white man must be kept down until the socially constructed man can catch up. Equity needs to be distinguished from the idea of equality. Equity does not believe in equality except as equality is defined in light of equity. Equality, politically speaking, means everyone gets a seat at the table. Equity teaches that whites should not get a seat at the table since they putatively have had so many seats at the table in the past. Political equality itself, with all its set-asides, quotas, and score enhancements was always a mistake. Equity, however, is a bridge beyond equality. If you are a white person and you vote for someone touting equity you are either a moron or a self-hater because equity explicitly teaches that you, as a socially constructed white man, will never be given the opportunities to advance because your ancestors had the good life and now it is a person of colors turn. So, even if they are less qualified than you are, they will be given the job, the placement, the position until at some unspecific time in the future all peoples are at the same level of accomplishment.

White fragility happens when biological white men and women say this whole scam is monkey fecal matter. The disagreement by White people is listed by those who champion CRT  as White Fragility. White people are “fragile” because they can’t handle the truth and so object. The scam here is clear. If you agree with CRT then that proves CRT is right. If you disagree with CRT then your white fragility proves CRT is right. Heads I win. Tails you lose. It’s a gamed theory.


White privilege in this worldview is the systemic advantage that has accrued to white people simply because they are white. The theory goes that because you were born socially constructed white you automatically had advantages that were not fair because other non-white people didn’t have those advantages and so were disadvantaged. For example, a white person may have grown up in a family that loved and nurtured them. Whereas a black person may have grown up in a family that treated him badly. That White person because of that has white privilege that isn’t fair to the black person. Plus, keep in mind in that example, that it was because of systemic racism that the socially constructed black person’s family was less than what it might have otherwise been.

Systemic racism posits that a social order can be racist even if no individual in that social order is racist. As such the socially constructed white people groups can be racist even if no socially constructed white individual is. This means that the whole social order of countries predominantly built by whites works so as to disadvantage and discriminate against people of color. Critical Race theory works to expose that advantage and offers solutions such as societal-wide “Equity” in order to offset that prior advantage.

Notice in all of this that equality/equity is arrived at, at the price of Liberty. Liberty and equality/equity can never exist together. One always cancels out the other. If there is a regime of equity people will not be free to pursue what they want and become what they want. This is because equality/equity will limit and circumscribe that ability. Similarly, liberty means that people will not be equal or have equity because liberty presupposes that people are not equal and will advance or not upon the basis of merit and drive. Two realities not allowed in an equality/equity social order.

A Few Facts About The Sainted Noble Savage

Fact — As a general rule, all captive males captured during internecine tribal warfare among American Indians were tortured for days until they died. Celebrations were planned around such events with entire villages gathered to watch and possibly participate in the ritual torture of captives.

Fact — The Aztecs practiced human sacrifice on a vast scale. Tens of thousands of people among their tribal enemies were ritually killed and turned into dinner. Solid evidence exists that this same etiquette was practiced by the Carib Indians, the Maya Indians, and the Inca Indians.

Fact — Land was “owned” collectively by a given tribe, but only as long as they controlled it through the killing of the other aboriginals who wandered onto their territory. Possession of land was 10/10ths of the law. Ownership thus was constantly in flux as one tribe drove out another.

Fact — The Sioux (or Lakota) claim that the Black Hills was stolen from them by the White man in the 1870’s. What the ignorant liberals don’t tell you is that the Sioux stole that land from the Blackfeet and the Arapahoe in the 1770s when they (Sioux) left Minnesota. In the same way, the Shawnee claim White people took Ohio and Indiana from them in the first decades of the 1800s. What you don’t know is that the Shawnee took it first from the Fox and the Sauk tribes. Just so the Comanche dispossessed the Apache from West Texas while the Apache chased away the Ute and Navaho in Southern New Mexico and Arizona. Just so the Assiniboine and the Nez Perce slaughtered the Shoshone in Montana and Idaho. Ownership of the land was a literal bloody mess.

Fact — When the first white men showed up in N. America in the 17th century there were at that time approximately 1 million Indians in America which averages out to 1 human being for every 3 square miles. Even the number of 1 million is disputed, some scholars arguing for a much lower number.

Fact — American Indians never owned the N. American land. They merely occupied it being largely a wandering nomadic people.

Fact — American Indians were what Thomas Jefferson referred to them as in the Declaration of Independence, to wit, “savages.” Most if not all the tribes of North America lived in a constant state of intermittent warfare among their neighboring Indian tribal “Brothers.” Starvation, raids for scarce food, and large-scale conflicts for revenge were commonplace.

Fact — American Indians glorified the values of violence and cruel warfare. Scalping and torture were a routine part of North American Indian culture as were burning their captives alive, slow disembowelment, and impalement through the anus. There was nothing noble about these savages.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends – One Non-Caucasian’s View On Race

The article below was sent to me by one of my non-caucasian friends who lives in another country who is a kinist. (Yes, I have many kinist friends who are not white. That’s a secret we racists try not to let others know.) [That’s a joke for the humor impaired]. 

In this article, Perry Koshy looks at what the Image of God means in its fullest ramifications. Now, remember this man would be considered “black” were he to move to America. So, don’t get mad at white people for what my “black” friend and brother has to say.


The Image of God does not exist in a vacuum but within the context of the social order created by the Lord, as expressed in the family, church, and nation.

As seen continually throughout Scripture, God’s covenant with individual men is never contracted in the isolation of their personal relationship but rather in terms of their family and nation.

How God covenants with man reveals the essential nature of the Imago Dei. And what we see is that the Image of God in man does not exist without both immediate and extended kindred and blood-tie ramifications.

The current evangelical focus on the individual aspect of the Image of God above all else and without reference to the familial and ethnic links intrinsic to God’s Image is ultimately to dehumanize all men.
The evangelical church’s break with the numerous Divine laws governing man’s relationship and responsibilities with his kindred, both immediately familial and ethnically, is to declare a fundamental change in the once-for-all-created Image of God in mankind. A change in God’s law, as opposed to the fulfillment of foreshadowing ceremonies in Christ, is to suggest an essential shift not only in God’s character but in man himself as a reflection of God. But Scripture declares the very opposite. God’s Law is unchanging and therefore the structure of Christian social order remains the same.
A man’s personal relationship with God is predicated upon and subsists only within his relationship with his kindred and nation.

The example of Achan in the book of Joshua aptly drives home this point. Achan’s personal sin, with his family’s complicity, had national consequences.

The commonality amongst all three abstract institutions was the grounding in a shared blood and kinship.
Apostatized Western Christianity seeks to divorce individual men from the institutional continuum of God’s Image as expressed in their particular families and nations (i.e. ethnicity) and make them interchangeable among families and nations by insisting that race is merely an artificial construct.
This is a rebellion against the specificity and distinction of the Imago Dei as expressed amongst the diverse kindreds and races of mankind. If God is displeased at hybrids among animals, how much more is He displeased at the casual dismissal and uncoupling from the distinctions among races He sovereignly ordained?
To insist that the elect are redeemed in such a way as to remove all boundaries of race and kindred in terms of marital union and migration patterns is to remove them from the responsibility of operating in terms of their own family and race. And as we have seen, the only covenant God enacts with men is one in which their own family and nation are included in their responsibility.  This renders men impotent in their service to the Lord because they have thrown off the yoke of the only social structure in which it is ordained to serve Him! Having erased the continuum of identity from man to nation, individuals are left meaningless. To transcend ethnic and familial identity is to transcend the specificity of being human but such a thing is impossible. The life of men is not lived in the absolutized abstraction of generalities but in the clear delineation of blood ties.
Moreover, and this is amply proven in the terrifying dysfunction of both Western families and nations, to misunderstand the identity-defining nature of family and nation is to misunderstand the nature of the individual – for all three form an unbreakable circle of God-ordained existence.
And if the Church does not properly understand mankind and the Biblical social order that defines God’s Image, the Church is incapable of preaching an effectual salvation.
What the Church fails to grasp is that salvation to an individual is the budding establishment of God’s covenant with that person’s specific family and people group. This is the model set forth by Adamic, Noahic, and Abrahamic covenants and is reaffirmed continuously throughout Scripture.
To allow intermarriage amongst distinct races or ethnic groups is to disrupt the blood ties that form the basis for God’s covenant and social order in which an individual operates. It is the denial and rejection of the Lord’s sovereign bonds of kindred identity and creates confusion between the different races covenantal relationships artificially joined together.
Interracial marriage is guilty of the sin of presumption. It presumes that individuals, coming from distinct nations differing greatly in the specifics of God’s unique relationship with each people, will receive God’s blessing as they draw together two separate histories and identities, families, and nations into a union of unlike realities.
As a closing note, to address those who would point to exceptions:
The success of some mixed-race marriages and individuals no more proves the general wisdom of such exceptions anymore than surviving cancer proves the goodness of having it in the first place.
Men and women may very well find happiness in new partners after divorce but that hardly makes divorce something to be sought out as a normal practice. Even when there is legitimate cause and the innocent spouse is able to restore a godly order in his or her life, there are still real consequences attendant to the sin/crime that caused it.
Interracial marriages are much the same. Success is possible but there are still inescapable realities to the loss of kindred and racial identity that the offspring will suffer, not to mention a host of other variables.