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Book Review: Wallis “Racism: America’s Original Sin”

August 28, 2016

America’s Original Sin (Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America)
Jim Wallis, Brazos Press, division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, 2016

Here’s one I find about just a few months after publication, rather than missing it for a year or more, as has been happening recently.
It’s a powerful title, aiming to answer the point I have noted ever since I first took notice of conservative Christian politics and preaching over three decades ago; that they focus on a lot of “sin”, but racism was always excluded (except to oppose liberal programs aimed at ameliorating the problem, as much as possible). And not that it’s just any other sin, but in fact our “original” sin, starting from the much heralded age many Christians believe was especially “Christian” or “godly”, and the “par” that all the sin of today is judged by.

It begins (The Preface) on the gruesome Charleston killings, which occurred right as he had just finished writing the book, which then became the perfect illustration of the problem being addressed.

He discusses how the title, “America’s original sin” was a term coined in a 1987 Sojourner’s magazine article. The language “helped me understand that the historical racism against America’s indigenous people and enslaved Africans was indeed a sin, and one upon which this country was founded. This helps to explain a lot, because if we are able to recognize that the sin still lingers, we can better understand issues before us today and deal with them more deeply, honestly and even spiritually—which is essential if we are to make progress toward real solutions.”
He wrote the book because “I believe truth-telling about America’s original sin of racism must not be left to people of color alone. Crossing the bridge to a new America will be a multiracial task and vocation”. When talking with black friends about the book, even their reaction to the statement “If white Christians acted more Christian than white, black parents would have less to fear for their children” were “Are you really going to say that”, “Oh my, what are white Christians going to say about that?”, “that’s going to stir things up”, and that he would need us to “have your back on this one”.

Chapter 1, gives his story about being a teenage in Detroit in the 60’s, and visiting the home of a black janitor on the job, and how they told their children that if they were lost and see a policeman, to duck and hide.
Gives a bit of history, like with ML King and the black church.

Next goes into “The Talk”. (That black parents have to give their children, about the danger of being confronted by the police. This is basically what the white NYC Mayor DeBlasio angered the police department by feeling the need to do with his own black (biracial) son. On one hand, they complain our “problem” is parents not teaching our kids anything, but when we show that we do, it apparently stirs up guilt, and they yet again claim to have some “race card” being played on them.”Damned if we do, damned if we don’t”. I think I’ve said, for me, this “talk” was not so much about the police directly, but rather some old white lady falsely accusing me of a crime).
He suggests the best way to change that old talk is to start a new talk, between white and black parents.

He discusses “Racism as a Faith Issue”, with 1 Cor. 12’s discussion of “parts of the Body”.
Next, in “The American Pilgrimage”, points out how colonialism and slavery became America’s greatest economic resource. “Therefore,our original racial diversity was a product of appalling human oppression based on greed” [emph. added]; a point that should never be forgotten, especially when tracing this to modern economic beliefs; i.e. why racially coded “dog whistling” and defense of capitalism always go hand in hand.

Chapter 2 deals with the “parables” of Ferguson and Baltimore. “It really said it all when the defense put up as a witness a white woman who had been robbed by a black man as an ‘explanation’ for why Zimmerman picked out Martin to follow and stalk”. You would think this would right away rule the person out as an “objective, unbiased” juror!

He also points out, from a report

Instead of focusing on protecting the public, the Ferguson Police Department’s mission was revenue generation—extracting money from the black residents of the town, using methods that were often legally questionable, sometimes outright unlawful, and certainly morally reprehensible. The report painstakingly reveals unconstitutional and consistently abusive policing aimed at balancing the city budget on the backs of its poorest citizens. The Ferguson police went beyond even racial profiling to direct racist targeting and exploitation for a profit, with city and police leadership apparently more concerned about “fill[ing] the revenue pipeline” than protecting public safety. The use of traffic stops, citations, court appearances, fines, and even arrests that overwhelmingly affected black residents revealed a profound contempt for black people, with repeated racial slurs and verbal abuse also reported by residents. Disgusting racist “jokes” even aimed at the president and first lady, circulated in the e-mails of police supervisors and court officials. One joked about a black mother getting a crime prevention award for having an abortion.

He concludes “when you get beyond the specific circumstances of the Brown shooting and look at the larger context of law enforcement in Ferguson, it’s impossible to disagree with Holder’s statement that ‘some of the protesters were right'”. This is the point missed by the “fact” crowd.

“The Ferguson parable also teaches us that racially biased criminal justice systems and practices don’t need ‘perfect victims’ to be wrong. Even if criminal suspects are guilty of crimes or are running away from the scene of a crime, this doesn’t excuse police officers for using lethal force when other methods might be used to deescalate conflict and still protect public safety. Even when force must be used, it does not always need to be deadly force, and seldom should be”.
(He mentions being in Ferguson when the Staten Island jury announced it would not bring criminal charges in the Eric Garner case, and cites Irving Kristol that the greatest problem is not with flat-out white racists, but with the far higher number who believe intellectually in racial equality but are oblivious to injustice around them and unquestioningly accept a system that disproportionately punishes blacks.

Next, chapter 3 “The Original Sin and Its Legacy”
White responses to the book he mentions are that standard “I/my family/ancestors never owned slaves”, or simply (the most common) “I am not a racist”, and asking what do “they” (black and brown people) want. Blacks would then give their experiences. “In my experience the motivation of black friends and colleagues isn’t to make white people feel guilty, to beat us up over our racial history, or to just complain about it. What I hear is deep concern for their children and for their future, and the reasonable expectation that white people not defend themselves from the past but join efforts to build a better multiracial future.” [emphasis added].

So he says “we” (he and white brothers and sisters) should look deeply into their inner selves, “which is a practice people of faith and moral conscience are rightly expected to do”. And to go deeper than individually overt forms to covert forms, especially in institutions and culture. This then gets into “white privilege”. “To benefit from oppression is to be responsible for changing it”. Issues of radicalized policing and the unjust criminal justice system as addressed by his black friends “matches their experience—experiences white people don’t have”. Yet,”When people of color speak the truth about the realities of race in our culture and politics, they are often accused of ‘playing the race card’. White racists accuse other white people of doing the same”.

“Many older, white conservative voters are acutely aware of being in a country that is becoming less white with each passing year. For some, a black president has become the symbol of the demographic changes they fear”. This leads to the gerrymandering of congressional districts along racial lines to protect majorities, and shutting down the government they believe to be too generous to minorities through Obamacare and food stamps.

He then mentions what he calls “the true meaning of sin and repentance”.
Now here’s what we’re waiting for, but doesn’t start on this right away, aside from a brief reference to the universality of sin in Romans 3. Sojourners actually hosted a premiere for the faith community of the film 12 Years a Slave, which he then discusses reaction to.

“Historically Systemic Racism”, discussing the reality beginning with the Native Americans, and continuing even with Asian Americans. A book published by Zondervan played upon a Kung Fu theme and was criticized as insensitive and had to be repackaged, and the company appointed a new editor in chief. “This was a genuine act of repentance on Zondervan’s part and a great example of how truly listening to people with different cultural and racial backgrounds can lead to changes in perspectives and actions”.

Regarding blacks, he goes into the economic “underclass”, and mentions how inequality is both caused by and can be measured by factors beyond mere dollars and cents, such as home-ownership, unemployment and education, and the criminal justice system. (He then mentions the LA Clippers owner incident).

Prejudice may indeed be a universal human sin that all races can exhibit, but racism is more than an inevitable consequence of human nature or social accident. Rather, racism is a system of oppression for social and economic purposes. As many analysts have suggested, racism is prejudice plus power.
In the United States, the original purpose of racism was to justify slavery and its enormous economic benefit. This particular form of racism, inherited from the English to justify their own slave trade, was especially venal, for it defined the slave not merely as an unfortunate victim of bad circumstances, war, or social dislocation, but rather as less human, as a thing, an animal, a piece of “chattel” property yo be bought, sold, used and abused.

(This is a point that needs to be reminded to those who insist “Africans enslaved and sold each other to the West”).
“The professed high ideals of AngloWestern society could be allowed to exist side by side with the profitable institution of slavery only if the humanity of the slave was denied and disregarded”. That’s what it was all about. (And in today’s criminal justice system, many still feel like “three-fifths of a person”, as he points out).

What follows is more examples of systemic injustice,  especially economic.

Then, he addresses “The First Black President”, which of course leads people to ask “what racism?” and feel American has finally reached the amazing milestone of the end of racism. Yet “the far-right wing in America never supported racial equality”, voting against the Civil Rights and Voting acts, “and most have never repented of it”, with the loudest voices of right-wing talk radio and cable television appealing to the core, with subtle and not-so subtle racial appeals (i.e. “dog whistling”).

We see so many racial subtexts in the intensity of the attacks on Obama—not in the disagreements per se but in the viciousness of the rhetoric. Racism shows itself in disrespect, and many African American  citizens feel that the first black president has been widely disrespected. They see it in the disrespect shown a black president by white members of Congress, many from the South. They see it in the “birthers” movement, who try to stir up doubts about Obama’s citizenship. Questioning Barack Obama’s birthplace and parentage, calling him a Muslim and naming him as a “foreigner” and not a “real  American” are all ways to define this president as “the other” and not one of “us”. The hatred goes far beyond his policies and extends to his very person as the wrong kind of American. Obama shows them that they are losing national elections, and they fear that means losing “their” country. [emphasis added]

This is the subtle dynamic that the people are not even aware of in themselves. The aim, to make him other“; “not us (recall “He’s not MY president!“; the focus on “MY”), but since “racism” has been publicly condemned, they have to put it on his “policies” instead. But they never did this with any other president whose policies they merely didn’t like.

He next discusses challenging Franklin Graham for lecturing on how police shootings can be avoided, by simple “respect for authority and obedience”. Just do what they tell you. This of course ignores all the times the person wasn’t resisting, and still got shot. (And again, negates the existence of “The Talk”). An open letter written by black evangelical leaders offered “forgiveness” for his “sin” of “insensitivity”. “Your instructions oversimplified a complex and critical problem facing the nation and minimized the testimonies and wisdom of people of color and experts of every hue, including six police commissioners that served on the president’s task force of policing reforms”. (IIRC, it doesn’t even say he ever responded or acknowledged it).

Getting Serious: Calling out the “sin” (idolatry) and the call for Repentance

This now leads finally to the subject of “repentance”.”In spiritual and biblical terms, racism must be named as a perverse sin that cuts to the core of the gospel message. Put simply, racism negates the reason for which Christ died—the reconciling work of the cross, first to God, then to one another. It denies the purpose of the church: to bring together, in Christ, those who have been divided from one another—particularly, in the early church’s case, Jew and Gentile—a division based on racial ethnicity, culture and religion.
There is only one remedy for such a sin, and that is repentance. If genuine, it will always bear fruit in concrete forms of conversion and changed behavior, with both rejections and reversals of racism”, which “white America has yet to recognize the extent of, especially institutionally…and have yet to fully repent of our racial sins” (which are tied to the “economic, social and political purposes still served by the oppression of black and brown people”, and thus responsible for the fact that “systemic racism continues to shadow American life”.

This now leads to chapter 4, “Repentance Means More Than Just Saying You’re Sorry”. He now gives out biblical examples of repentance, starting with Ezekiel 14:6, 18:30, 33:11 and references to other prophets Isaiah 45:22, 1:16-17 and Joel 2:12-13.

He points out how in many churches, especially evangelical ones “repentance was more related to an acceptance of doctrine than to a change of behavior. Often only internal sins—mostly private and sexual sins—were involved. I gained little knowledge from my home church in Detroit about how my Christian faith leads me to behave in the world (other than to abstain from sex). Repentance would never have been applied to the racism and racial conflicts going on in Detroit that the whole world would learn about in the Detroit ‘riots’ of 1967. To that monumental social uprising, my church was clueless about our response as Christians, so it just reacted in the ways most white Detroiters did—with fear, condemnation, and a complete lack of empathy”. He then cites N.T. Wright on “the tendency to focus on personal sins”, where the phrase “repent and believe the gospel” to Josephus meant “give up your agendas and trust me for mine”.

Next is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and that if the sins we repent of are just “general” and not “concrete”, then the Church will “have no credibility when it talks about its faith, forgiveness and salvation”. The failure to see the “stern reality” of racism in the US, indeed, is when white churches in America lost their credence. (And Wallis wonders if this was what was on Bonhoeffer’s mind as an example of what he was trying to say).

He next mentions James Cone’s God of the Oppressed (and who had also done Malcolm and Martin in America, which is one of my all time favorite books), and mentions the need to “die to whiteness”, which is to “be reborn”, which is “the biblical language of repentance and conversion.

This is all true in a large sense, but is an area that raises questions for me. He also says speaks of  repentance, in light of the race issue, as “a transformation so fundamental that Jesus would later refer to it as a ‘new birth’ (John 3:3-8)”

He cites Wright on “the real meaning of repentance”, a turning away from patterns of life which “deface and distort our genuine humanness”. “Sin” is then defined “not as breaking the rules”, but as “missing the mark”, which is “failing to hit the target of complete, genuine, glorious humanness”.

Soon is the section on “The Hard Work of Repentance”, which features Karl Barth, and Reinhold Niebuhr, who wrote “it is suggested that repentance is the beginning of redemption, even that it is synonymous with redemption”.  So “all this suggests that repentance isn’t possible until we name the sin to be repented of. Admitting, naming and confessing sin is the first step in repentance. The sin of white racism must be named, directly and publicly, especially by white people, for the process of genuine repentance to begin. Just saying sorry won’t be enough.”

Again, “From a religious perspective, racism is also a sin against God, who requires fairness for all God’s children, and even against oneself, as it is contrary to the image of God in which we are created and hinders us from becoming fully human, conformed to the fullness of Christ (Eph.4:13). Quite simply, this American sin must be repented of and turned from; and the American faith community cannot rest until that repentance is done”. [emphasis added]

Next is chapter 5 “Dying to Whiteness”, which touches upon some of what Lopez and Wise touched upon, regarding “ethnicity”. They started out as their different national ethnicities (English, Italian, etc.), but became “white” when they arrived in America, “which in reality was merely a social and political construction, created to supply the ideology and justification for slavery and racial oppression. Because if you were ‘white’ in America, it meant you were not ‘black’ or ‘brown’ or ‘yellow’.” He reiterates “To put it bluntly, racial ideologies had to be created to cover up greed”, by denying the people’s humanity. Prior to English slavery, categories of “white” versus “colored” did not exist. (I can hear someone out there pointing to the Bible’s mention of “the Ethiopian’s skin” ⦅Jeremiah 13:23⦆, but all this shows was that the Ethiopian’s skin was notably different, in being particularly dark [of course]. It does not establish any “white vs colored” dichotomy, nor suggest that the Israelites the OT was written by and to, were on the “white” side, let alone, any supposed “curse” or “inferiority” of anyone).

Next, we continue with history, “after Slavery”, and come back to the present, with figures like Limbaugh and others, who “regularly say or write things that suggest they truly believe whites are superior to other races”. Examples are Limbaugh’s “they are angry. And they want to use their power as a means of retribution”, and a Florida State professor who claimed Obama has single-handedly turned America into a “Ghetto Culture”. He then acknowledges that “The approach that ‘we are all racists and need to repent’ is neither good theology nor honest history” (being that “racism” is “prejudice plus power”. I myself believe the term can hold for any individual who is “prejudiced”. Still, some blacks I’ve seen go too far, with the “all whites are guilty, just for being white”, which is the same generalization that drives racism against us. They may benefit from the “privilege”, but the whole concept of “racism/istsuggests a more active prejudice that not all are guilty of).

He then discusses that it’s “idolatry”. “It give us an identity that is false, one filled with wrongful pride, one that perpetuates both injustice and oppression. Whiteness is an idol of lies, arrogance, and violence.” The idol blinds us to out true identity as God’s children, which are of every color, and to believe otherwise is to “separate ourselves from God and the majority of God’s children on this planet who are people of color” (then quoting Gen.1:27-28. On the flipside, it’s also a sort of negative “worship” of blacks, in the form of an inordinate obsession with them, where they’re attributed almost divine power, though negative; and so all of the nation and world’s hope is in corralling them, rather than in God. Columnist Gary Wills once pointed out: “Obviously, blacks occupy a large amount of psychic space, no matter what their numbers are. All in all, if blacks could really do what people are claiming, they would be superhuman, and we should yield to them as our natural leaders”). Also mentioned is that “all humans being are to have dominion over the earth and all its other creatures. But they are not to have dominion over one another” [emph. added] (which is “against the very meaning of creation”, and “dominion” really means “not to dominate”, but to “serve and be good stewards of” the earth. So “Any notion of white supremacy and domination of other people is nothing less than a denial of God’s creation and its stated purpose”. Quoted is a Washington Post article talking about the “spiritual “lie” that blacks and other people of color are less human, and, as a result, “have less character, capacity, and calling to steward and lead” (which we hear more and more these days, especially with the ascendancy of the “alt-right”), and that whites are “more like God than others—uniquely equipped and called to exercise dominion on American soil” (which is the virtual insinuation of much conservative rhetoric).

He next addressed “I’m Not A Racist”, Am I”, which is “the wrong question”, as it’s not an individual matter, but rather a social and structural one. After that, is “Implicit Bias”, with its well known visual tests. He says along the way, “We must get to the place where racism and our response to it are not identified as liberal or conservative issues”.
Next is “I Am a Beneficiary of Affirmative Action”, where he discusses how his family and many others benefited from :The US government’s biggest affirmative program so far, the GI Bill, which were often written under Southern auspices and local white officials, deliberately designed to accommodate Jim Crow. Also mentioned is discriminatory housing practices and policies. “To refuse to admit that the white families of my generation were beneficiaries of affirmative action—and then for these same white people to complain about the affirmative action blacks would later receive—is nothing but complete and utter hypocrisy“.

He quoted Robert Jensen on “rugged individualism”, that people have complete control over their fate (which you would think conservative Christians would reject as denying Christ and encouraging “human pride”, but when it comes to economics, they have bought into it completely and become one of its main foot-soldiers!)
In “White Fragility”, we get an interesting point that “White people tend to see racism as an individual issue, about good and bad behavior by moral or immoral people. And because most white people don’t think we are ‘bad’ or ‘immoral’, and certainly not deliberately ‘racist’, racism can’t be applied to us”. (emphasis added; see also Citing someone else “And the thing is, it feels good. Even though it contradicts our most basic principles and values. So we know it, but we can never admit it. It creates this kind of dangerous internal stew that gets enacted externally in our interactions with people of color…”. (I have been pointing this out, or at least mean to, more).

In “What Color are the Children of God”, he mentions “color-blindness”, which is not the answer “as many suggest”. God created the diversity, so it is important.

In Chapter 6 “A Segregated Church or a Beloved Community”, he discussed “the Most Segregated Hour of the Week” (11:00 Sunday morning, from ML King):
“The Biblical Narrative: From Genesis to Revelation” discusses “the movement toward inclusion” that started “at the beginning of biblical history”, with man being created “in the image of God”, and mentions the secular theory of human civilization beginning in Africa and the skin color developing in different climates. He says “sin” entered [“in what Christian tradition calls ‘the fall'”] “When humans sought to have dominion—or domination—over one another, even over creation itself. Choosing not to trust God, we decided to trust ourselves instead”. I would say choosing to trust ourselves came first (manifest in their trying to hide), and the “dominion” emanated from that. It was basically “conquer and rule them before they conquer and rule (and perhaps destroy) you”. “Nature” now took over, and man lost his “integrity”.

This then leads into a treatment of the Bible and its diversity, including treatment of “strangers”. The Church’s mission of erasing the line between “Jew and Gentile” is considered “racial integration” as “an original mission of the first disciples of Jesus”. (Xenophobes might appeal to God’s frequent condemnation of mixing with “heathens”, but have ignored that if they converted, they would be allowed into the nation with full privileges; so the issue was obviously not “racial”. It’s amazing that you had fundamentalist schools, who (as late as 2000!) in the name of “Biblical separation” [2 Cor.6:4] practice racial segregation. But if everyone in the school was [presumably, or at least as far as anyone knew] Christian, then that scripture didn’t apply to them. Of course, they get angry at the rest of evangelicalism for not listening to them on the issue of ecclesiastical “separation”, which they may have had more of a biblical justification for).

He along the way mentions how:
•”whites often believe they are cultureless”
•”there is no otherworldly heavenly culture and certainly no superior human cultural identity in God’s reign”
•”the sociology of many white communities shapes the theology of their churches, making them ‘conformed to the world’ and disobedient to the gospel”.

He then discusses King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, and how there was no clergy response until the 50th anniversary of the letter.

In “A Future Multiracial Church”, he makes the great statement

For a very long time, white evangelicalism has been simply wrong on the issue of race. Indeed, conservative white Christians have served as a bastion of racial segregation and a bulwark against racial justice efforts for decades, in the South and throughout the country. During the Civil Rights struggle, the vast majority of white evangelicals and their churches were on the wrong side—the wrong side of the truth, the Bible and the gospel.
Ever since, when evangelical Christians gathered to draw up their theological concerns, the sin of white racism was nowhere to be found. In recent years, when conservative white Christians began to construct their political agendas, a recognition of racism’s reality was absent from the issues list of abortion, homosexuality, tax cuts for the middle class, and yes, opposition to affirmative action.

(Emphasis added. He then acknowledges that some of this seems to be changing, like in the NAE’s confession of the sin of racism. There was also, notably the SBC, years ago. And as was pointed out by Horton Beyond Culture Wars, which before this, contained the strongest rebuke of racism in the Church I had seen; that “We have never repented of that silence [regarding racism] as a body”, pointing to how the church in South Africa finally came around and named apartheid “sin”, as “only the Church could”, and that we should not have expected the world to take us seriously in moral matters, when we were “proven bigots even when morality was not the issue”).

This is basically the central issue. I have said, that all the political dispute we see today, with the dog-whistle racism is a matter of repentance. What they’re holding onto is the “exceptionality” of “their” nation, “culture” or “civilization”. So they can’t admit that the stuff done in the past (and the remnants of it that linger today) were wrong, because that calls into question the exceptionality stance. So they must justify everything that happened, including demonizing the descendants of oppression today, by proving that the nation is so good that even they could lift themselves out of the negative cycles if they wanted to, but the problem is that they don’t want to, which of course, is some moral or “character” deficiency in them. To maintain the “colorblind” deflection (that they are the true “anti-racists”, while their opponents, including the blacks themselves, are the true racists), they wrap all of this up in a partisan criticism of other whites (“liberals” or “Democrats”), deemed exploiting the situation for their own gain.
The theme of Makers-Takers ( was how racism is more “The desire…to elevate themselves rather than put down others”. This makes it all clear. The “exalting of one’s self” is the sin that needs to be repented of, and conservatives are always the first to point this out —when it’s some other group of men exalting themselves! A critique of this issue is not complete without going after the self-glorifying and anti-scriptural notion of “exceptionality” driving all the animosity toward others they feel are eroding it.

A Problem I See (Liberal vs Conservative handling of scripture)

All of this is what I’ve wanted to see from the Church for 30 years. It’s the first time I’ve seen a really strong message of “repentance” from the “religious left”. When you think of that term, you think of the opposite movement, fiery conservatives, especially the perennial “fire and brimstone preaching, Bible-thumping fundamentalists”. Or at least the Grahams, who are the more popularly familiar representatives of “fundamentalism”, though seen as already having softened and “compromised” from the old ways, even decried as “no longer preaching Hell”, by the more “old-line” fundamentalists Graham senior began drifting away from in the 50’s, when what became more properly, “new evangelicalism” began splitting off into its own category.

These more conservative types then also respond in an actual reversal, accusing this message of being “legalistic”. You would think the more “liberal” or “moderate” would be the ones putting down “works” in going against conservative “moralism” or “pietism”. The tables have completely turned!
But they actually do have a point. Especially what I’ve displayed in blue, above: “Dying to whiteness” being connected to being “reborn” and the “new birth”. Somewhat related, is “the Fall” in which “sin entered” being defined by “dominion”, and defining Christ’s death itself, and the purpose of the Church, purely by racial “reconciliation”.

I had for the whole 30+ years been aware of conservative ideology (even before becoming a Christian), because it is what gets preached the loudest. This included hearing their frequent criticisms of “liberal” (whether political or religious) belief. And now I can see some of what they were talking about. To them, it all gets lumped in with a generalization that the liberals “reject the Bible”. So of course, “the gospel”, and its theme of “sin and salvation”, get “redefined” into some “liberal agenda”, such as a “social gospel”.
Whatever the liberals say about race, using these principles, then gets readily, “safely” dismissed as “anti-scriptural”, and they go on with their beliefs, feeling completely unchallenged and unrefuted.

Also, skewing the purpose of creation or the Cross only adds to the conservative deflection. This criticism of racism starts with “All men are in God’s image”, but racism didn’t start and become entrenched in the Church because people simply forgot that point in scripture. They had OTHER scriptures, which they believed qualified “God’s image”. Man was created in God’s image, but didn’t remain “good” like that, but rather FELL into sin. That “image” was then “marred” into “evil”! (This is what conservatives will then use to claim liberals and “modernists” reject scripture, believing all men are “good”, or at least not “taking seriously” the universal nature of sin). God then “chose” certain peoples out of this, for His Plan.

This is where they themselves then begin going off track, and essentially overriding the universal Fall they so loudly preached at others. They surmise that the “chosen” make a good “race” (in practice embodied in a group of [“converted”] nations via “culture” or regional “civilization”); where the effects of the Fall are essentially, or at least, ideally reversed (through the reverencing of God and teaching and “following” His “principles” leading to outward “morality”). Ps.33:12 seems to be a big inspiration for this, not realizing this was another parcel of the Law that nations of men would never be able to live up to. Many then go on to insist some other groups or nations of people (in contrast) are even further “cursed”.
So you end up with “good” people vs “bad” people every bit as much as what a liberal or non-Christian who doesn’t believe in the Fall might believe in; only the conservative gets to pose with the Bible, which they hold up as making them “right” and having God’s “Truth”

I now have gone in a totally different way, of the “Fulfilled view”, which may on the surface seem like “universalism”, and thus another kind of “liberalism”. But the difference, is as writer Tim King pointed out, is maintaining “the covenantal framework of biblical eschatology”, with “the concept of salvation[‘s] Hebraic roots, the victory of God…and Christ as the central figure in the victory of God”. (Rather than “The victory of God reinterpreted through the lens of human worth and Christ removed as the central figure in the victory of God”)
Even here in Wallis, we can see, subtly, man, or human endeavors such as [racial] “reconciliation” being made the central focus of both “creation” itself, as well as the Cross; precisely as conservatives charge.

However, to conservatives, in practice, the focus is “moral” reformation, which is really just a different aspect of the same thing the liberals are focusing on. In fact, both positions deal with “morals”, (and both thus become “man-centered”); the difference is in which commandments they focus on in defining them. To conservatives, the Fall generally was all about an “act” of “disobedience” from basically, an apparently random command, perhaps just a “test”; to which God then retaliated by cutting man off, and cursing the formerly “good” world into a corrupt universe of pain and violence, followed by an even worse “Hell” when we die. The Gospel, to many, would be the means where our slate could be cleaned by “believing in Christ”, but this becomes in practice something we must “give back” to God, in order to have the debt forgiven (give up this world to gain entrance to the new one), or at least “show” (prove) we were “really” converted. “New birth” ends up meaning new behavior, which of course, becomes their focus on the “personal” sins (rather than collective ones like racism). So now here is a liberal also making it about behavior; only a different set of behaviors, which the conservatives dismiss as unimportant, and thus “legalistic”. But conservatives should realize, if they want to criticize liberals on this, they essentially got it from the same earlier (and more conservative) expression of the faith that conservatives got it from!

So, as I pointed out in the followup to the Sword of the Lord review ( both racism (as well as economic injustice) are dismissed with “well, there’s sin in the world, and as long as you have sinful men, you will have these problems”, while “saving souls” became a totally separate issue, that is much more important. However, when it comes to sexual sin (and opposing religious/scientific/political beliefs), this and only this, they believe, can be preached away! Then, souls —and “the nation”— will be saved!

Yet neither approach is right. Both racism, as well as sexual sin and the rest of the so-called “sins of the flesh” that one segment or another of the church focuses on, violate the [divine] Law, which defines and condemns “transgressions” of it, which are “sin”. Between “Right” and “Left”, each side just chooses its most important issues, and then makes them issues of “conversion”.

But it’s still lopsided so that we’re probably also not accustomed to seeing racism as an issue of “repentance”, like the familiar “personal” sins. (But for one thing, racism is “personal”, for it is something you can adopt and have in your heart, and no one can make you adopt it, or repent of it for you). James 2 addresses precisely this mindset. That if you refrain from sexual immorality yet commit murder, you have still broken God’s Law! (Racial ideology and the resulting tensions have certainly become murderous, both spiritually, as well as often literally!) Now “the world” believes the opposite— that murder is wrong but fornication is OK. Yet James is addressing the “religious” (those who uphold “God and His Law”), who have tended to think sexual sin is what (almost by itself) defines “morality”!

Typical example of the selectivity of sin in “traditional conservative Christian” preaching

So to address this, the Fall resulted from man taking upon himself something specific: knowledge of good and evil. (Gen.3:4-22). This then led men to establish a sense of “give and take”, and then often cheat and violate it, for the sake of raw “survival”. So they would feel the need, as stated, to rise up and conquer each other. (It must be kept clear that this is the effect, not the cause!)

“Sin” is “breaking the rules” (1 John 3:4), which is what defines “missing the mark”. (Rom. 3:20, 7:7). Both are true, and there is no conflict. Christ is the one who imputes His righteousness to us, so that we don’t “miss the mark”, even in spite of our inability to hit it on our own. (This explains many passages that speak of “not sinning” or that those charged with sins “will not enter the Kingdom”. Either one was “covered” or they weren’t).
To make “complete, genuine, glorious humanness” into “the target” is to make man the measure. If this is from defining this human ideal by God’s desire for us, then it’s better to just put it that way, where it’s clear that He is the standard.

From here, it should also be pointed out, that the reason the Gospel is grace and not works is because so many things we do violate the Law, and would amount to lack of “conversion” and “new birth” if consistent.
So the reason to not be racist is love, which fulfills the Law; not to fulfill “conversion” (as if for its own sake), or just some human standard.

The “Reconciliation” Christ came to establish is between man and God. (Romans 5:10-1, 1 Cor. 5:18, Col.1:21-2, Eph.2:16). He does say “first to God, then to each other”, but the reason why there was a distinction between “Jew and Gentile” in the first place (which is the only ethnic separation between people the Bible addressed), is because God, in working out the Plan leading up to Christ, chose one group of people to spread His Word through. That of course, didn’t really work, but rather “wrote the lesson” in how more Law (more “knowledge of good and evil”, actually) was not the solution to man’s problem (as we often assume; Prov.14:12). Of course, this was to be eliminated by the “reconciliation” Christ brought (which would also eliminate any separation between all races and thus support racial reconciliation), but unfortunately, what happened, is that the Church (after the apostolic age) ended up “spiritualizing” this distinction into “the Church vs the World”, with “Church” as the “New Israel” (the “true Jews”, according to Rom.2:29), and the “world” as the new “heathens” (which it had already defaulted to anyway). That appeared to conform to the Gospel, in eliminating a hard ethnic division. Jews would now be revealed as alienated from God if they rejected Christ (and they could remain that way), while gentiles could accept the Gospel and be reconciled.

This was taught by the New Testament, but to make a long discussion short, was to be temporary, but has created all the problems we see in the religious world, by being extended over the centuries, with the Church (now beyond the period of supernatural apostolic guidance) reshaping itself, either “still waiting” for the Kingdom, or at times, teaching that the Church itself was the Kingdom.
So from there, the “spiritual” categories actually ended up becoming ethnic all over again, as Western [i.e. European and American] nations, which “accepted” the “Gospel” (as taught by the large institutional Church), were assumed to be the “New Israel”, with everyone automatically born into “the faith” (precisely what Paul taught so much against, and that’s even assuming the parents and the rest of the environment taught it to them properly to begin with), and also, whose mission was again, like Israel under Joshua, to “conquer” the “heathens” in order to “spread the Gospel” (and also, the spoils of conquest being the “reward” for “the elect”).
And so that brings us back to what was mentioned earlier, the “black vs white” distinction created, to justify this, or basically back it up. (To be brutally honest, this was necessary in case people’s underlying conscience was correct, and it proved not to be so “biblical” after all. I’ve even elsewhere cited a quote of a colonial era French political theorist expressing the rationale that they had to dehumanize black slaves, else people would suggest they were not Christians).

It is true, however, that if conservatives were consistent with their “dying to the old man” emphasis, then according to scripture, this would be “dying to whiteness”. That would actually be “the flesh“, that has been taken overly literally as the physical body and its “desires” (especially sexual, but also including the other commonly mentioned ones, such as what leads to gluttony, sloth, anger, etc.) But “flesh” in Paul’s usage meant physical inheritance, assumed to be what made one a “child of God”, and which of course, would include physical “skin color”.
But none of them ever seemed to see it that way. (They do have black preachers telling people of an Afro-centric mindset that they must “choose Christ over [their] culture”, and of course this is also behind the condemnation of various music styles by the old-line fundamentalists, in favor of traditional hymns only. [Another area the more moderate I feel should have been more strong in responding to]. In each case, “traditional Western/white Christian culture” is always the “sacred culture” [proven by its “exceptionality”] that one must adopt as the “new life”, while everything else is assumed to be the the “old life” people need to give up. So the “colorblind” will say it’s not the physical “skin”, but rather the “culture” itself, but they still miss the point that human culture in itself, even if it could convey the whole truth of the Gospel, cannot justify anyone, and this they should know, as every evangelical tract and sermon points out that you cannot be saved by the righteousness of your family or background).

So again, when it comes to the “active” aspect of “repentance”, we see this liberal position equal, or even possibly topping the conservative one!
I’ve elsewhere been discussing a lot “behavior change” as a mandate that often, at least in practice, is used to determine “true conversion” or basically, “salvation”. And coming from conservative teachers, it usually is the “personal” sins, often greatly focused in the sexual area. Even down to our “thought life”, based on the Sermon on the Mount.
But if it’s wrong to stake one’s “walk” on “personal” sins, then it’s also wrong to do the same for racism, and focusing on all the “works” repentance requires. It leads to them dismissing this message as “just more liberal agenda”, contrary to the Gospel by virtue of denying “Grace”. (Of course, they don’t see the strict sexual and other rules that way. They are more likely to see them as “God’s work”, now telling us at that point about how it all depends on our “dying to self daily”, which they then admit is “hard”, to the point of being “The Cross”. They never make the extension of this to racism. It just doesn’t figure).

But it is just about as strict as any generations ago conservative message of personal “morality” (and “personal sins”-based political public morality).

Also, while it’s nice to see the use of scripture in opposition to the “conservative” assumptions, I believe that being scriptural includes “tearing down” (2 Cor.10:5) the wrong use of scripture, not just ignoring it and assuming that pitting new proof-texts against this automatically refutes them. (Often, when this is done in debates, the other side is accused of simply “making scripture contradict scripture”. You have to show how one set of texts works with the first set, in harmony. But liberals and moderates are trying not to be too confrontational. From what I see, both in religion and politics, this is what allows the stronger arguers to sway the most minds to their view. Then, we wake up to this monster before us, such as all the racial issues, and now, even the political candidate, and those following him, coming out of the woodwork all boldly).

So to really address racism, we must start at its theological source. For that is what the conservative drives his beliefs on (even if erroneously). Gen.9 I’ve never seen addressed by anyone. Even the author of Sword of the Lord, chronicling the racism of the IFB “fundamentalist” movement he saw growing up, granted the proper reading of this scripture as “God cursed Canaan” (which then was assumed to spread to the entire black race). As I pointed out in the review of that book (, the issue was made that you either accept the “divine curse” on “the [uncle of, essentially] the black race” as “the literal reading of the Bible”, or you accept “modernism” so that all men can be “equal” (And thus can be dismissed as “rejecting the Bible”). This passage [to them] effectively overrode “all men” being in “God’s image”, so that you could reject that with “scriptural” sanction. Either it was true or it should be able to be shown from scripture that they were reading it wrong.

To address this “curse”; if you actually read the account; God never said “cursed be Canaan”! None of verses 25-27 are God’s words! V.24 says “and Noah awoke from his wine; and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he [NOAH!] said “cursed be Cannan. A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren…And God shall enlarge [margin “persuade“] Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant”. Not only is this not some universal curse that God had placed; still, there is nothing to even suggest that this has anything to do with descendants (even such as being the cause of their later sins and judgment), and that this goes anywhere beyond just the literal brothers! (And that assuming that God even honored it; which is not mentioned! God certainly would not be “honoring” it millennia later on distant descendants who moved to other continents; with perhaps all races having some Cannanite blood in them by then! And even if He did; why would this even get past the Cross; which ended such things?

Yet for centuries now, the actions of “Christian” civilizations and racist laws have been justified by these things; thus bringing a mountain of disrepute onto the Bible and God! All based on a complete failure to even read the simple context of the passage and its pronouns right! And they got mad at the modern society or church’s “biblical illiteracy”! “Search the Scriptures, for in THEM you think you have eternal life”, Christ warned in John 5:39. Even Satan quoted scripture, at Christ! Their real significance: “they are they which testify of ME“. All the proof-texting in the world doesn’t do any good, when you interpret it in self-glorifying ways, and lose sight of what or WHO the revelation is all about!)

The current leaders of that movement have all shied away from that interpretation of Genesis, now following the rest of conservativism in denouncing “the race card”, yet still holding “dog-whistle” beliefs that something is just wrong with black people er, “culture”. (And still deflecting or “isolating and splitting” the charges of racism. Many years ago, I saw in one of leading creationist Henry Morris’ books the blaming of racism on his particular foe, evolutionism. Recently seeing an online copy of the February Sword of the Lord magazine, I see an ad for a book [Lawwell] saying the same thing [in addition to euthanasia, genocide and abortion].
So this is probably now the official narrative of fundamentalism on the problem of racism. Evolutionists created it in teaching blacks hadn’t evolved as much as whites and perhaps others. Conservative Christians taught “the truth” of Genesis, that all men were created in God’s image, and are fighting racism simply by fighting evolution!
While it’s true many people did believe that, you cannot erase the religious origins of the doctrine, from that “godly” past “Christian” civilization, long before Darwin, and from the same Bible book [Genesis] Creationism fights evolutionism over).

So now, in “colorblind” fashion, they substitute “culture”, as if it is incidental and not inbred. But the original basis is still Gen.9, which they have probably never heard refuted, and rather than focus on the “curse” on the blacks, they instead look the opposite way, focusing on the “exceptionality” of the traditional white Western “Christian” cultures (the “enlarged Japheth” basically?), particularly America (which we have of course “turned away from” in adopting multiculturalism and different “moral” standards).

In a similar issue, apparently [I had not heard this yet] “several universities and science institutes suggested earlier in August that billions of years ago Venus might have once supported life”

So I recently read that today’s leading “Creationist”, Ken Ham’s response to this is “Since Earth, not Venus (or any other planet), was designed to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18), our presupposition implies that we wouldn’t expect to find life on Venus in the past or the present,” Ham argued in a blog post on Answers in Genesis.

Isaiah 45:18 God “fashioned and made the earth…he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited”
This says nothing about ONLY earth is to be inhabited. But this is the way they read scripture, completely sure it is an absolute statement of their belief, and others are “willfully ignorant” of it.

The other argument is that there can’t be any other life, because “death” then would be unrelated to Adam, and they wouldn’t have a savior. Clearly, the plan of salvation, from Adam to Jesus is clearly for God’s creation on earth, and to say He couldn’t have created anything anywhere else with a separate divine Plan is to limit Him to us. It makes us the center of His existence, which they would criticize otherwise (like in modern worship).

But the liberals who don’t accept young earth literal creation don’t seem to ever point out how these proof texts don’t actually prove what they’re claiming they do.

The rest of the book: calls to action

Chapter 7, “From Warriors to Guardians” he starts off with Plato’s Republic, which is basically the source of the David Keirsey “temperaments” in the popular MBTI “16 types” theory. The four types of people essential to the ideal state were the “Artisan”, “Idealist”, “Rational” [not mentioned] and finally, the “Guardian“. In Keirsey’s mapping to type, this correlates into the “_S_J” types, which in translation back to the Jungian functions (which Keirsey rejected, but most of us use both theories together), represents the “introverted Sensing” types (or the classic “Melancholic” temperament, in the area of leadership, responsibilities, and by extension, action). This is those who focus on the tangible world more than the world of abstract ideas, but draw upon individual reflection more than emergent sensations, and thus like familiarity and “guard” what is “tried and true”, and authorized.
Of course, this archetype is not just a [presumably inborn] temperament, but also a classic “role” anyone can play (which is basically what makes an “archetype”). Another archetype and classic role is the “Warrior“. This one did not become a temperament in the 16 types, but does likely correspond to what Jungian type theorist John Beebe calls the “Opposing Personality Complex”. It basically shadows the “dominant” ego state, and becomes associated with the dominant function (sensing, intuition, thinking or feeling), but in the opposite orientation (introverted or extraverted. The female counterpart of the Warrior is generally the “Amazon”. Also, having finished Wallis, I got Beebe’s new book, and reading that now!) This will then be what the ego uses to fight off obstructions to its agenda.

The point of Wallis’ chapter is how police end up becoming “warriors” instead of “guardians”, which causes a lot of the problems we have in racially driven policing. One section is “Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter”. (Many people find it insensitive to respond to “Black Lives Matter” with some other category of “lives” that “matter”. Which has usually been “All”, but then police and their supporters came up with the concept of “Blue Lives”. Which is not even really accurate, because that’s a job, with a uniform color, that you take off when your shift is over, not a skin color that you are born—and die—in. So the point of BLM is that yes, all lives matter; black, white, and blue, but black lives are the ones that have in practice not mattered).
He also goes into the actual points of discrimination, “The Clear Data on Racialized Stops, Arrests, Sentences, Incarcerations, and Recidivism” and quotes someone making the much needed point that there is no evidence that young men of color drive faster, so why should they be pulled over more? It’s obviously “profiling”. He concludes that section on “a broken justice and mass incarceration system that is not ‘reforming’ or ‘correcting’ those whom it imprisons, much less empowering them with the basic life skills they need to succeed when they return to society” .
Remaining sections are “Establishing Trust”, “Community Policing” and “School to Prison Pipeline” and concludes the chapter on 14 points in “Lessons and Solutions”.

Chapter 8 is “The New Jim Crow and Restorative Justice, which of course mentions Michelle Alexander, author of the book The New Jim Crow (see He says “Alexander’s historic work has caused many of us to wake up to this twenty-first century caste system”.
In “restorative justice”, he cites Howard Zehr, “the grandfather of restorative justice”, and contrasts the different understandings of wrongdoing and our reaction to it. Basically, instead of just creating “guilt” for “violation of the law and the state”, and focusing on giving offenders “what they deserve”, restorative justice is focused on violations of “people and obligations”. So the “focus” is victim needs and offender responsibility for repairing harm. This should be familiar from the Old Testament commandments for the punishment of many violations of other people. Of course, that’s “the Law” (the same one that “Grace” counters), and yet, even the OT Law had more restorative “grace” than the cold system of today’s punitive justice, which I’ve long though is just “disposing” of criminals (and often those who so much as cannot afford bail). Just this morning, I run across this on Facebook. All that goes on in prisons among inmates is the same crime of the streets [and worse, like the same sex rape] that put them there in the first place. That’s not “reform”; it’s actually perpetuating criminal atmosphere. So of course they’re going to do the same if or when they get out, and it just feeds into the conservative dog whistle of “pathological black culture”.

Chapter 9 goes more into “Welcoming the Stranger”, regarding the immigration debate. It’s pointed out that immigrants are the ones who are “growing the churches”. This then leads to the subject of chapter 10 “crossing the bridge to a New America”. This is what conservatives are afraid of, and the crossing of the bridge at Selma is used as the precedent for this.

Another thing I would still like to see, is someone drive the point home on how fearing a demographic change totally contradicts the standard conservative Christian teaching that this world ultimately doesn’t matter; only Heaven ultimately does. This has been used to pacify others, including blacks, and even other sufferers of things in life. But if “God’s peace” can make us “content” in suffering oppression or financial or even physical ailments, then why is whites becoming a minority in 50 years when you likely won’t even still be here something that needs to be worried about and fought against? And that’s not even taking into account the whole “futurist” eschatology that says Christ is coming back “soon” (with all the decay of morality in this country, as well as the election of people like Obama or the Clintons as proof that this time, it really is before us). So if we’re all “falling away” just as the prophecy said (which would include the admission of so many “heathens” into the nation, including the Muslims supposedly intent on destroying us), and this is the prerequisite to Christ returning, then why are you fighting it, and not as Christ’s soldiers following His direct orders, but rather as scared humans fighting for identity, which is what everyone else is told they need to “give up for Christ”? This is really what needs to be highlighted, else, all of this will just pass right over them.

“The New Talk” of this “New America” is to take place in “schools”, “sports” and “congregations”. Along the way, a point is mentioned “Often, in the liberal white world, comments like this are made: ‘My son’s teacher is African American, and she is really good!’ The ‘and’ is often a code word for ‘but’, and implies levels of expectation. Recall how many times you have heard admired blacks talked about as ‘articulate’, implying that most blacks aren’t, or as ‘clean’ and ‘smart’, as Barack Obama was described by some when he was first running for president.”

The book closes on “Walking While We Talk”, meaning “doing and not just talking” in crossing the bridge into a new America.
(Here, we can see how the more liberal or moderate viewpoint, which can be embodied in an “Idealist” role, represented by _NF_ types, and particularly NFP, which is defined by “introverted Feeling with extraverted iNtuition”, has another side to it, which can be seen as its “shadow”, which resembles the conservatives they are arguing against. Introverted Feeling is an internal assessment of “good” or human want or need by “empathy”, or putting yourself in another person’s shoes, and then responding to them accordingly. It yields the most “responsive” or “people-focused” types or classic temperament combinations. It’s coupled with the taking in of more “conceptual” data from the environment, which leads to envisioning possibilities of what the Feeling judgment can be applied to. However, introverted Feeling is reflected by the diametric opposite extraverted Thinking which drives the purely “directive” or “task focused” temperaments or viewpoints preferring it, in which we often see the cold conservative rhetoric of “facts”, “objectivity”, “instilling the fear of God in society”, and “rugged individualism” and its “bootstraps” claims, and the charge for the sufferers to “stop whining”, and that the rich and powerful are more “deserving”, and should rule, however unequally over others they possibly can.
So in this liberal manifestation, where Thinking backs up the preferred Feeling judgment, we see it nevertheless come out as strong commands for action, and even defining “conversion” by it, much like the opposite side. It then explains why liberalism often becomes “authoritarian” when implementing their otherwise good-intentioned ideals).

So even though I believe it could be stronger in a couple of areas, this is a good and much needed read for the Church, and a perfect companion for all the other books on race coming out in the secular arena.

  1. Not about Wallis’ book, but touching upon the notion of racism as “our original sin”; it’s finally starting to be addressed by many less-conservative Christians, resulting in push-back from the more-conservative.

    Someone on Facebook posts an article from Christianity Today: “Open Letter to John Piper on White Evangelicalism and Multiethnic Relations:

    In the comments, I see several people, and especially one in particular, using the same old defenses from the Civil Rights era, of how the “Gospel” is not about racial reconciliation, and even calling the article “self-serving and self-centered”. So I commented:

    The problem with race was an issue of ʀᴇᴘᴇɴᴛᴀɴᴄᴇ, but the problem is, it wasn’t seen as such, because the Church focused only on what they considered “moral” issues, which was especially sex-related stuff. (Like I noticed how Piper and others were sure to get their names in on that anti-LGBT Statement released recently. 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 is what an otherwise fractured Church comes together to address now!)

    It basically started when people proclaimed themselves superior or “exceptional”; and while some will now ‘split’ them off (“they said they were Christians, but that doesn’t mean they were”), they are the same people commonly lauded as our spiritual forbears; the ones who created this great nation “under God”. They used scripture to justify their actions, such as “we’re the new ‘chosen ones’, and the people we’re capturing are ‘accursed'”.
    But the repercussions of this is what we are facing now, only blaming it on “liberals” or others seeking to change things.

    What needed to be repented of is the whole notion of “exceptionalism” that led people to oppress others (which is human self-exaltation every bit as much as when others do it), and especially, twisting scripture to justify it. (That makes the sin worse, not better!) Even if people today didn’t do it themselves; they need to still be aware that it was a sin that caused a lot of problems, and (being that they so identify with the people in the past) not pretend it was only some “lost heathens” somewhere “over there” who always caused all the problems. Then, people wouldn’t feel so put-upon by others’ complaints in the issue, and those others wouldn’t be making the complaints that it’s being ignored.

    So while people say “Jesus did not come to end racism” or “unfair wages”, etc. He IS seen as coming to end all sexual sin or deviation (and of course enforce correct doctrine, public reverence for God, etc), for only that is important to God, and THAT’s what constitutes “quickening dead hearts”.
    So He “didn’t come to cause the ‘dead’ to play nice” [he actually said this!] in racial matters (or financial, etc); He DID come to get them to play ‘nice’ in sexually morality. And that in fact would constitute ‘bringing them [i.e. “society” at least] to life through the Gospel’, right?

    What we’re doing is taking what WE think is important (only a hand-selected range of “sins”), and identifying that with the “Gospel”, and then dismissing everything else. But this is just as much a political pet-issue as what the “bleeding heart” liberals are accused of. (Michael Horton is a good writer who treats these double standards).

    That’s the problem. But scripture is clear that one set of works do not make up for the lack of another set. (I don’t see how even some Calvinists can get that point wrong). James treats this HEAD ON, as if he was looking forward to our issue today (but it’s really the same age old fallen human tendency to obsess over sexual matters and maintaining Church control over society while justifying mistreatment of others even up to murder):

    ❞𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝❟ 𝐃𝐨 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐲❟ 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨❟ 𝐃𝐨 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥. 𝐍𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐧𝐨 𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐲❟ 𝐲𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥❟ 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐰.❞ (𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝟐:𝟏𝟏, and remember, “killing”, spiritually, is not just literal murder, and the race issue has certainly included both literal and spiritual murder!)

    Another person had aptly pointed out:
    “You cannot say that conversion is the solution to racism when countless christian leaders throughout the history of the American church have been complicit in it, including many pastors and preachers today.”

  2. Christian Nationalism and Other Heresies

    The way they rationalize it, is to take Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD”, and presume America is the one that fits this the most. All the blessings promised the ‘righteous’ nation then fall to us (including the spoils of conquest and slavery), and also the curses, which are then blamed on others; the “ungodly” within the nation, or foreign influence (brought in by the ‘ungodly’).
    This is how they have been able to turn the Gospel into a self-involved political philosophy, even while criticizing the “self-involvement” of other belief systems.


    Linked to this excellent article from 3 years ago:

    Christian Soldiers:
    The lynching and torture of blacks in the Jim Crow South weren’t just acts of racism. They were religious rituals.

    This one spells out the whole Romans 13 debate that has surfaced:

    Let’s not forget that the conservatives are the ones always preaching against “government control”. It’s only when they feel out of power that government is bad. When they have control, then it is good, showing that they are the true “authoritarians”.

  4. Some good articles on Christians and race and politics:

    It is wholly unsurprising that if Evangelicals can claim to be persecuted even as 83 percent of Americans identify as Christian, they will almost certainly interpret the suggestion that their whiteness has negative meaning as an attack on the very core of who they are.

    Faith is a central part of any Christian belief system. Certainty is often revered as better than doubt or questioning, and thus Christians are compelled to create, in the context of their faith, defensive postures against anything that dares to challenge what they know to be true. Any counterpoint, any varying belief, is seen as an attack on Christian values as a whole. Christians are taught that what they perceive of what is inside of them is the most important factor in any scenario ― race not excluded.

    At a base level for Christians, challenges to racial understanding feel much like challenges to faith. That it is to say that when the “truth” that you know is under attack, you feel it viscerally and thus seek to defend your current position. If a white Christian believes that they are a good person, redeemed and saved in the eyes of God through the sacrifice of Jesus, any suggestion that they may not be perfect in the eyes of the world because of their whiteness is a challenge to that faith. And all challenges to faith ― the root of Christianity ― should be argued, defended or silenced.

    This posture of Christian white fragility produces communities that are so defensive that any questioning about race is seen as dividing the body of Christ along racial lines, instead of what it is: creating a space for everyone (people of color) in the church to feel seen and heard.

    Black people who fight for their right to live without police persecution are deemed terrorist because they challenge the status quo and threaten the prolonged existence of white privilege.

    The perceived victimization of white people creates victimizing experiences for people of color. Even though calling out white racism is not persecution, nor an attack on individual whites, without the coping mechanism that people of color are forced to have, white people frequently take on the role of the victim through outrage, tears or other derailing tactics that in effect only seek to reinforce white supremacy ― the normalization of and catering to white people at all costs.

    In any type of race conversation it is more likely than not that when a person of color identifies the culpability of white people at large in perpetuating racism and upholding white supremacy, white people begin to conversationally implode like dying stars. Often times, the mere suggestion that whiteness has negative societal implications at all is enough to create emotional backlash. White people, being protected from the most direct and violent impacts of racism and white supremacy, are never required to develop the emotional skills required to navigate scenarios where their experiences are not the priority or when the perception about them isn’t neutral or assumed good.

    This fragility is a choice. Instead of feeling attacked or excluded, white people and white Christians who are privileged enough to engage in race conversations should practice empathy with the experiences of people of color.

  5. Conservative denial of the effects of the racial sins of the past (and economic sins of the present) they refuse to acknowledge:

    The “godless” (removing God from public consciousness)
    The “big government”
    °for “pushing too hard” for change, and now, giving the people “free stuff”
    °This “made” corporations mix with government and buy out the politicians
    The minorities only want “free stuff”; playing “victimhood” just to get it
    Everyone’s a “snowflake” now

    Malcolm X and others had acknowledged that liberals also could do detrimental things to blacks, or just be using them for their own agendas.
    Conservatives would later begin to seize upon this and turn it into yet another dog whistle; one so insidious that it pretends to be the true concern for our plight, while lobbing more of the old negative stereotypes at the whole “community”. This is the biggest and starting premise of all their black minions; that the Democrats are “keeping us on the plantation” (and that these enlightened black conservatives have “left the plantation”, and are “free” and have “power”, and we see right here where it ties into self-promotion and being “better” than the rest of the group).
    But the conclusion, as always, is the blacks wanting “free stuff” the liberals are offering them. The “colorblind” whites and blacks don’t realize that the root of the ultimate ideology they are supporting is that blacks as a whole are inherently inferior, and that the goal is to eliminate as many of them as possible, in one way or another.

    Conservative Professor Explains Why Trump Supporters Are Beyond Logic

    Also, on argument tactics, including “bias”

    5 Common Argument Tactics That Need to Die

    (I may use the “context” one a lot, but I at least then show the true context).

  6. In the aftermath of a synagogue shooting, occurring as part of a spate of white supremacist violence across the nation, that also included the killing of blacks, and bombs mailed to several liberal figures —which the conservatives only tried to blame on liberals as a pre-Election Day ploy; CBN citing Franklin Graham chimes in, only to spite Obama saying “only voters can stop the hate in America”, by uttering the standard cliché platitude: “Jesus Christ is the only one who can heal the hate in a human heart” (“Franklin Graham turned to prayer as the key to halting the hate, saying Jesus is the ‘only’ ultimate solution”).

    Not sure if this excellent speech is what he was referring to or not

    But what does this mean? It seems to assume all these “haters” simply don’t “have Jesus”, apparently. But it’s the conservative Christians who favor Trump and look the other way at his various moral lapses (including the rhetoric), and many white supremacists claim to follow Jesus and pray. While they might on the fly say “well those people aren’t really Christians” (Yet have still been rather weak in condemning the ideologies; at least as strongly as they do the more liberal belief systems they have always focused on), it just gets into the whole “no true Scotsman” argument, and the implication is that all this “hate” is really the fault of “non-Christians”, meaning “those liberals over there!” (even if indirectly, like “they took God out of the country, and that’s why the far right is acting up now”).

  7. Bryan Stevenson says ‘slavery didn’t end in 1865, it just evolved’

    Around 13:00 kills the argument of conservatives, that colonialization was no different from what Indian or other indigenous tribes did to each other! The biggest evil of slavery and conquest was not really the slavery or taking land itself, but the NARRATIVE of SUPREMACY behind it. So yea, Indian and black tribes fought and took each other’s land, but they did not create a narrative of superiority to JUSTIFY it and try to PERPETUATE it for centuries to come.

  8. “All Have Not Sinned in Every Way: Racism and Original Sin”
    by Matthew M. Kennedy

    Plays upon the term “America’s Original Sin” to claim it is denying biblical sin and replacing it with “whiteness”, which then is a “counterfeit way of salvation”, (and one that replaces the Cross with “race” as the basis of unity).
    This is equivocating the term, as “original sin” has become a general term for a person or group’s primal evil, rather than referring literally to the Bibilcal “Fall”, which most people outside of “high” churches (especially Catholic) no longer refer to as such.
    (I just read somewhere that “America’s Original Sin” was in fact originally coined by Sojourner’s; in addition to being the title of Wallis more recent book, so they’re basically accusing Wallis/Sojourner’s of a false Gospel or Way of salvation!)

    It takes the typical conservative Christian approach of NOW acknowledging that “race” is not biblical; we’re all from one blood, believers are all one in Christ, etc. and criticizes the modern Church in addition to “culture”, as if only they have ever skewed the Gospel, but totally ignores what they are reacting against to begin with: earlier generations of a conservative “Christian” church, and the “cultures” it controlled, which are generally seen as “godly” and not suffering the moral/spiritual/theological/scriptural problems they are denouncing the modern Church and culture for. How this institution took scriptures like “the curse of Canaan”, “slaves obey your masters”, etc. to justify the very “race” concept they are scolding modern Christians over.
    That just didn’t exist, or doesn’t matter. It’s likely seen as just a “mistake”, but NEVER called a “departure from the biblical Gospel” (which would naturally challenge the longstanding narrative that this “departure” occurred in the last century or so). In fact, Hanegraaf takes the familiar position that “It was Christians who opposed slavery”; which apparently wipes out all the Christians who supported it, again, using the Bible. He mentions the Quakers, which everyone acknowledges (no one denies) as being anti-slavery, along with a few others, and acts as if they defined the bulk of “Christianity” in the nation. But they were really the small group going against the majority! If the abolitionist Christians were a majority, then who were all those slaveowners and segregationists who violently fought for “the preservation of their nation”, “under God”? They couldn’t have been the “atheists”, and certainly didn’t talk like the Left! (who they likewise associate all opposition with).

    But now, you’re going to essentially credit that majority with the good acts of the few, which they violently opposed! The blatant scripture-twisting used to justify slavery and later oppression is never considered; and only now, when the evils of those institutions are finally acknowledged, they are just isolated and split off from “the Christians” onto some invisible “others” (yet it was still an overall “godly nation”. And then, these “others” are probably just the “ungodly” nonChristians, like someone such as Henry Morris might argue, blaming racism on evolution, or those who would blame the “Democratic Party”, ignoring that back then, it was the party of Christian conservative southern “values”, much like the Republicans today. And the old deflectionary scapegoat of “Marxism” is naturally brought in. That’s apparently the cause of all of our problems, and “Christians” of old times never did anything wrong).

    This is why we have belief in stuff like QAnon, and Trumpism in the Church today, on top of so many who do still believe in “race” in the old “supremacist” way (though often couching it in moral/social/economic terms. People who still believe blacks are problematic freeloaders destroying the culture, via the hand of the “Marxist”, socialist liberals!) No one has ever told the people holding those old practices, and BELIEFS (whether acted upon or not) of the need to REPENT. It at most was John Rice’s “let good men work it out” (meaning do as they please) while only badgering “modern” Christians for departing from “the old paths” or “historic” Christianity (which would right away imply it must have been right in everything). The title seems to be suggesting a distinction of different ‘sins’, and clearly conservative Christianity has decided which ones are worth addressing (which means preaching loudly and incessantly on, to motivate people to change), and which are completely unimportant, if sin at all, or really the fault of someone else.

    These modern Christians are the only ones telling the older ones to repent, and “conservatives” correct only them, and transfer blame for the whole problem onto them. There’s no acknowledgment of a real problem being reacted to; it just lends to the typical lopsided narrative of liberal and modern society and Church just up and out of nowhere trying to destroy “the truth” embodied in “the historic Church” and its “godly [Western] culture”. This is the very premise of those who tried to overthrow the US government, and it is going completely unchallenged, if not supported by the supposedly “biblically conservative”. That makes this rhetoric political, and not really theological (which used to be CRI’s whole focus, but has now changed, as it’s become yet another “Western Civilization” advocate, like recently going on a crusade against Howard Zinn for casting Columbus in a negative light, as if the whitewashed history he was reacting to was 100% right).

    (Also in this video, a claim that a “boxy” autiitorium somehow “points people to the self”, as opposed to a cathedral, which points to God. This now sounds like the sort of claims meade by “independent fundamentalist” types against contemporary music based on style and the “accent” of the rhythm. The heavy appeals to the Old Testament are made in the video, but it was in CRI’s Kingdom of the Cults where I first saw the rebuttal to sabbatarianism [Armstrongism, and SDA], who are more consistent with Old Testament worship, that the OT has been “abrogated”. Yet we still appeal to certain parts of it, and judge others by it as suits our “traditions”.

    It even criticises the notion that “your body doesn’t matter the flesh is wicked and evil in fact so it’s just this inner light this inner self that’s the thing that matters”. Yet, CRI did a review of a book entitled The Theology of Illness, Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet [see here:, that claimed: “The health of our soul is more important than the health of our body”. It then claims “the illness of the body becomes, by divine Providence, a remedy which promotes healing of the soul.” This is the dualism that has actually historically been more characteristic of “catholic” forms of Christianity” that regards only the “soul” or “spiritual” as really important, and the body [physical] as less so. From that, pain is basically good, and “used” by God for some purpose. Yet now, they’re actually tagging this too on the “narcissism” of the modern Church!)

    Meanwhile, they have nothing to say about this:

    Evangelical Leaders Condemn ‘Radicalized Christian Nationalism
    but, again, would only probably criticize the leaders standing up against it.

    • I decide to contact CRI, via Messenger, with these concerns (the race/politics slant), and how CRI had focused on cults and religions, rather than politics, and how now, it seems as the world continues to move away from ‘traditional’ Christian values (and particularly the gains of the LGBT community in recent years), the church has entered an ‘alarmed’ state again, and is in desperation turning back to politics, and the conspiratorial statements about Zinn “sounding just like those 80’s televangelists” who I thought we had risen above. I also addressed the claim about auditoriums vs cathedrals, and the topic of their treatment of BCM (see

      A representative responded, addressing only the racism issue, and first sent links to articles trying to back up the claim of Marxism” and “revisionism”
      and two more on Marx
      For discussion of the one on homosexuality, see

      The articles on Identity and Patriotism are good, but still seems to be trying to associate it more with “paganism”, or that they “defected from mainstream Christian denominations…[and] adopted additional beliefs built around prejudice and hate.”
      I still think we’re ignoring how supposedly “biblical”, “mainstream” orthodox or “fundamentalist” Christians often used Genesis as the basis of their belief in racism (this is only mentioned regarding Cain and the Jews, but not Ham/Canaan and the blacks, which was more widely held in the “mainstream” than the Cain theory). The Puritans, evoking “God’s sovereignty over the nations”, and the “curse” that “heathen” tribal civilizations were under were one source of ideas such as “manifest destiny”. The “religious racism” didn’t just come up out of nowhere, or from some outside influence.

      Realizing this will help us understand the next issue, this focus on “relativism”. Many people calling themselves Christians taught so much as “biblical truth” that we are now shyly admitting wasn’t, but the world doesn’t realize what is really biblical, and what isn’t. So this is what actually further makes everything look “relative”, and so they take what seems to be the safest route, of abolishing all claims to absolute truth; and it’s true that this itself often becomes an “absolute truth” they censure others on.

      But I have seen too many Christians just complaining of this, claiming “everyone is out to get us”, ABC/AJC, etc. while ignoring the things their tradition or heritage has done, that have given the opposing views credence. Inasmuch as Marxists may have gotten involved with the different movements (and that the left in general may have skewed things), it was them seeing and taking the opportunity by filling in the void left by the Christians, who largely opposed such causes.

      I also noticed the article on slavery ignored that much of the issues we are facing now are not just from slavery, but rather from its aftermath; AFTER the Civil War and its abolition. So yes, those Christian leaders mentioned may have opposed slavery; and some progress was made.
      But it was the BACKLASH against this, that went into the 20th century that’s the bigger problem. This was when most of the Confederate monuments were erected (decades after the war), and the KKK resurfaced, and began influencing people nationwide, and we eventually got Jim Crow. By the middle of the century, most conservative Christians were notably silent on the issue of race, at best (while only focusing on morality and Communism). At worst, they were rabidly against integration (and the ones who were silent held the same sentments when you looked under the surface, but were trying to hide them).

      So we can’t call modern criticisms of Christians on race as “revisionist” based on those who opposed slavery almost 200 years ago (or earlier) now. It’s the 20th century, which is closer to us today, and has led to the modern issue.

      This led to the standard denial, of where had Hank or CRI ever minimized the problems of the KKK and the 20th century, and how could evangelicals be complicit to racism, when he (the respondant), as an Asian can attend an Evangelical Free church that is predominantly white, in the American South (NC) of all places, and can go to the movies at any theater down there, use public restrooms, and the barber of his choice. He’s had lunch with white ministers from his church, and no one has gotten lynched. He was “skeptical” that whatever racism is there, is “worse than the Antebellum South”. (Which is not anything I ever said or implied. The most I was arguing was that it has ERUPTED from a state of being hidden).

      He asks, rhetorically, whether “The professing Christians who were supporting Jim Crow laws, KKK and other White supremacist groups, are they not pseudo-Christian cultists?” and “When has authentic Christianity very supported such kinds of hate as the White supremacist?”
      I would say the people supporting those things should have been considered “pseudo-Christian cultists”, but when I came into the faith about 35 years ago, that was unheard of! They weren’t included as such in Kingdom of the Cults or any other conservative apologetics, or preaching, etc. and I thought something was severely wrong with that! Evangelicals at the time focused only on the same things: preaching against other religious belief systems, and liberal and “modern” views on morality and politics, and the direction of “culture” in general. It had me thinking “So the Communists, liberals, entertainers, educators, other religions, etc. are doing so much evil in this nation, but the Klan is/was OK? Or not as much of a problem of ‘deception’ that people get lured into?” That made it look like it was acceptable in “authentic Christianity”. And one time, when I complained of this Right wing slant in the Church, I was pointed to Sojourners, which I had never heard of, and wouldn’t run across that magazine, or Sider and others like them, for years, when they happened to be mentioned in Christianity Today. But CRI is now saying they are wrong. Many of the Christians and others who did make this progress may be what we would consider not totally “authentic” if judging the rest of their beliefs, like the way ML King was seen in his own day, but is ignored by conservatives claiming to respect him now.

      Yes, we all can enjoy integration today, but it basically had to be FORCED, back in the Civil War, and then the Civil Rights era 100 year later. And it was in these periods that conservatives (those trying to “conserve” the old “values”) came to greatly RESENT the forces of change, in addition to the beneficiaries of the changes, and created the narrative that the nation was “taken” from them by the “godless”, and they wanted to “take it back”. As proof, the freedom, and later integration of blacks was then said to be having a detrimental effect on the culture. (Through stuff like crime/violence/sensuality, etc., and later, “taxes” going to “welfare”).

      So, more moderate Christians became silent on it, because they were in a tricky position, as racism became such a hotbed issue, they realized they would be totally ostracized if they openly spouted it. Like one milestone was the trouble BJU faced in the 70’s, over its racial policies. Some also perhaps began realizing it was wrong, but still, they didn’t want to go against their whole “heritage”. (Imagine if your beloved father or grandfather said that anyone who favors integration was an infidel, to be disowned, and you’re now forced to rethink it).
      So now, they toned down the race rhetoric, but continued resenting the agents of change, and turned the crime and welfare issues into a code language to refer indirectly to blacks, whom they still looked down upon premised on those two issues. This is best illustrated in the now infamous quote from Lee Atwater.

      So all the old feelings were there, only buried, never really repented of. They just became ingrained and festered, and while we can enjoy integration, the issues will erupt when they think it’s safe, like when they find a leader who seems to speak for them. We saw this a bit with Reagan, and now, even moreso with Trump. They then become emboldened, and this leads to the events of the past few years, culminating with an actual violent coup attempt against the US Capitol.
      These people may have been “pseudo-Christians”, but many probably think they are real Christians, as their beliefs blended right in with many considered “orthodox” Christians, including “MAGA” [which was a common term in the Christian Right long before Trump co-opted it] and even “bringing God back” into the nation.

      (I don’t think I said, in any general fashion that Hank or CRI minimized the problems of racism; but it’s the general associations such as Zinn, BLM, etc. with “Marxism” that I felt did potentially imply a “guilt-by-association” sort of dismissal of their cause, and the overall “default” position does seem to be Columbus and anyone else criticized in early America weren’t so bad; or the overall culture wasn’t so bad because there were some who opposed slavery. I’m associating this with others I’ve heard it from, and so not singling out CRI, though I was just surprised to see the ministry so vigorously advocating this book on that issue. My original point; that given the sinfulness of all men and nations, the criticisms sound about right and typical of humanity, rather than this one nation or civilization being “exceptional”, as many claim).

      He repeated the same claims regarding racial progress and the notion of “all evangelicals did nothing for civil rights or were complicit to perpetuating racism”. I then concluded that a big part of the problem is that we’re dealing with broad categories such as “Christian” and labels such as “Marxist” (notice; one presumably “good”, and the other, “bad”), and in light of the actions of actual PEOPLE, who consist of INDIVIDUALS. This makes up the group or larger category, and different percentages of them can behave one way or another, coloring the overall perception of the category.
      Just from the reviews of the book, and the description on the podcast, the theme seems to be all the good that “Christianity” has done, and then you have stuff like “political correctness in universities today and the danger of losing freedom thought” [sic].
      It’s these broad terms (and the others such as “Marxist” and “revisionist”) I’m focusing on. What I’ve been trying to covey is that I believe the answer shouldn’t be on the good of one group, and the problems presented by some other group. Both sides are a mix of truth and error.

      Funny, as right after this discussion, this video is posted
      (I had to at first wonder if it was sparked off by my discussion with the representative!)

      So now, the whole “cursed Hamites” issue is finally addressed! But Hank basically skirts the issue, and spends most of the time blaming racism on evolution (like the similarly initialed ICR of Morris). When he finally does get to the subject of Ham, he sort of skims it, pointing out how the passage was “twisted” by racists, (and even, the Canaanites were caucasian), but you never have the “Christian worldview” talking about race, (except for “running the race”), but it’s really the “evolutionary worldview” being “communicated in the starkest of racist terms”.

      All of this is just more of the same “no true Scotsman” argument. Evolutionism as we know it today, is not even 200 years old (though Morris took the tack of connecting it in the typical conspiratorial fashion, to ancient times). Evolutionists were racist, because they arose in a “Western” civilization that was racist, and was shaped almost completely by the influence of the “historic Christian Church”, which widely held to the “curse” on conquered people (whether based on “Ham”, or just their “tribal demonism”). So those people abandoning Christianity still held onto those racial assumptions. But it was science that later came aound and tried to clean up its old assumptions about racial genetics, and many “Bible believing Christians” who opposed them for denying what they asserted the Bible taught on race, in addition to creationism!

  9. Defending “critical race theory”:

    Mentioned is Bob Jones Sr. who responded indirectly to a statement by Billy Graham that “The white race cannot possibly claim to be the chosen race nor can the white race take for themselves promises that were applied to ancient Israel”, by speaking of “religious liberals” who “do not believe the Bible any longer; so it does not do any good to quote it to them”. Of course, this skirts the whole issue that what they’re calling “the Bible” is really totally unbiblcal assumptions loosely read into it, such as equating the white race to Israel.
    The source is this address: where we see him pretend to acknowledge the races as equal, and irrelevant “in Christ”, but “not in the world”. Yet still, he maintained racial segregation among Christians in his college. It was 3 years after his death that the first black students were allowed.

    And we see that the whole argument is built up from a single scripture: Acts 27:16, saying that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. . . .” But do not stop there, “. . . and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Which then becomes “God Fixed the Bounds of the Races’ Inhabitations”. (It seems this strain of fundamentalism gave up on Genesis and the Curse of Canaan by this time). But what about colonialism, then? Why it is God deciding to reset those bounds only when their forefathers decided to take over others? Plus, the fact, that “nations” is bring interpreted as “races”. “Nations” would include the groups within the “race”. Like many of these people’s backgrounds were “Scots-Irish”. Those were two different white nations that mixed. But this was not forbidden. The division of “race” along skin color lines is not even really acknowledged in scripture (other than one verse implying in a passing reference that there was something unique about the “Ethiopians” skin; but never was there any discrimination based on it). Plus, the assumption that the modern “races” match neatly Noah’s sons.

    Moderates really needed to call the bluff directly with these proof-texts and not allow them to get away with thinking they could use sripture like this, while aggressively maintaining they are the ones “believing” the Bible and pointing to others as not. CRI is saying beliefs like this were “pseudo-Christian cultists” [see above comment], but then they should have been included in Kingdom of the Cults then; Baptist or not. But the moderates were basically two steps behind, beginning to respond to arguments the fundamentalists had learned to slide past. That way, BJ and others could claim they are teaching scripture, and anyone who opposes them is rejecting it, in addition to falsely accusing them. The article even has to warn “if you said that Bob Jones claimed that whites are superior to blacks, or that whites and blacks should not fellowship together, or that slavery was biblically permissible—then he would rightly complain that you have misrepresented his words.”

    He actually did say slavery was not right, and “the Africans should have been left in Africa, and the Gospel should have been taken to them as God commanded His people to do”. “the Southern people should have been Christian enough to have said, ‘We will not have any slaves. We are not going ahead.'”, but they did, because “the commercial element was dominant”. (Some of this paralleling what some modern “alt-righters” will even say). Take note, even then, he’s still blaming the northerners more, for being the ones to bring the slaves over and selling them to the Southerners. But yet still, while acknowleding this ‘mistake’; he’s still not condemining the colonists, like he was contemporary integrationists, who were doing the work of “the devil”

    God put the Africans over there. They are fine people. They are intelligent people. Do not think they are inferior in every way. It is not so. But we should have sent missionaries over there, and Africa should have been a great nation of colored Christians. If we had done what God had told us to do and sent the Gospel to them and made a Christian nation out of them instead of bringing them over here and selling them into slavery, Africa could have been a great nation of colored Christians. What we did was wrong. It was not right. It cannot be justified. We should not try to justify it. But people went along. Some good people fell for it and went ahead with it; and God overruled it.

    (Note, again, the “good people” from someone whose doctrine believes “none” are good! And then he still concludes how blacks were better off because they “might be over there in the jungles of Africa today, unsaved”)

    He had also planned to build a black counterpart to BJU “where colored people could come and get all the culture that we offer here at Bob Jones University. We would not have face the problems that are faced where there is integration. We wanted to build a place where Christian colored people could get their education in an atmosphere where their talents in music and speech and art and all could be preserved and handed down.” (And of course, this plan was ended by all this “agitation” over race).

    Here’s another one on Christian reactions to CRT:
    Same Wolf, Different Clothes
    White Evangelicals and Critical Race Theory
    View at

    From the pulpit, pastors preach to their parishioners that CRT is completely unbiblical and incompatible with Christianity. However, they rarely describe CRT or intersectionality to their flocks, and when they do, they use rhetorical cudgels like “cultural Marxism,” relying on words and phrases that connotatively trigger fear and disgust within their audience. They mask the true aspects of CRT and its compatibility with the Bible underneath a guise of individualism, all of which works to maintain white supremacy.

    Another one answering “what about black on black crime”:

    Byron Williams: The distraction of ‘Black-on-Black’ crime

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