Category: Justice

The Problem Is Enmity, Not Ethnicity


Enmity.

It is a word that has all but disappeared from our contemporary vernacular. Think about it for a moment. When was the last time you used the word enmity in a sentence or heard someone else use it? Exactly. And yet, despite the rarity of its application in today’s common discourse, enmity carries with it significant weight and substance in both cultural and theological contexts.

What Is Enmity?

The Oxford Dictionary defines enmity as “a state or feeling of active opposition or hostility.” Etymologically, the word enmity has origins in the Old French noun enemistie and the Latin noun inimicus, from which the English word ‘enemy(ies)’ is derived.

In its singular form (because a plural form of the noun appears in Gal. 5:20), the word enmity (אָיַבἔχθρα) appears only eight times in Scripture across only five of the Bible’s sixty-six books: Gen. 3:15; Num. 35:21-22; Deut. 4:42; Eze. 25:15, 35:5; and Eph. 2:15-16. In each instance, in both the Old and New Testament, the word denotes an intense and deep hatred and hostility between parties who are enemies of one another.

It is in that same sense that the apostle Paul, in Rom. 5:10, uses what is the Greek word for enmity to unambiguously declare that those who have been reconciled to God, through the atoning work of Christ, were beforehand His “enemies”, “For if while we were enemies [of God] we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

In commenting on Romans 5:10, the 18th-century Bible expositor, Matthew Henry, noted that: “If God justified and reconciled us when we were enemies, much more will he then save us when we are justified and reconciled. The One who has done the greater, which is to change us from enemies to friends, will certainly do the less, which is to treat us in a kind and friendly way when we are friends. The dying Jesus laid the foundation by making atonement for sin and bringing the enmity to an end.”

In his book Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, theologian and author, John Piper, echoes Henry’s sentiments in that, “The gospel of Christ conquers our hearts and brings us to repentance and faith in Christ. Christ enters our lives and dwells within us. All authority in heaven and on earth belongs to him. He commands the unclean spirits, and they obey him (Mk. 1:27). Therefore, into the racial situation the gospel brings the only power that can set people free from the bondage of the Devil. The Devil gives way to no other power than the power of Christ. And the power of Christ moves in the world through those who have believed the gospel and are indwelt by the Spirit of Christ.”

A Man Named Jupiter

Because our affinity with the biblical doctrine of enmity is so languid, both within and without the church, its weightiness, particularly regarding the vertical dissonance that exists between inherently sinful human beings and an innately holy God and, conversely, our consequent horizontal disharmony with one another, has been completely lost. But one person on whom this concept was not lost was a man by the name of Jupiter Hammon.

Hammon was born a slave in October 1711 and died a slave sometime around the year 1806. In February 1787, Hammon, who was a poet and the first black person in America to have their literary work published, gave a speech to the African Society of New York entitled An Address to the Negroes of the State of New York (also known as the Hammon Address). In this address, Hammon cautioned his ethnic brethren, “Now you may think you are not enemies to God and do not hate him. But if your heart has not been changed, and you have not become true Christians, you certainly are enemies to God, and have been opposed to him ever since you were born.”

Let me remind you that Jupiter Hammon was a man who literally took every breath of his existence in this world as someone else’s property. Nevertheless, he was not an uneducated or unlearned man. Hammon attended the same school as the children of his owners, Henry and Rebecca Lloyd. Hammon was a devout follower of Christ and an ardent believer that God was sovereign in all the activities of the world, including his enslavement. “We live so little time in this world”, Hammon wrote in the aforementioned address, “that it is no matter how wretched and miserable we are if it prepares us for heaven. What is forty, fifty, or sixty years, when compared to eternity?”

Sadly, Jupiter Hammon would be openly criticized, if not altogether ostracized, by many today within the Christian social justice community for making such a statement. At a minimum, he would be labeled a traitor to his race, or worse, accused of “cooning“, or of not being enlightened or “woke” enough about the “struggle” for justice. But it should stand to reason, should it not, that a God who was sovereign in creating the universe should be no less sovereign over what occurs in it (Ps. 103:19)?

As John Piper exclaims in his book Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, “We can…be sure that, whatever God is accomplishing as he actively carries along all things, it is just and right. As the Scriptures emphatically declare, God is indeed the Rock on which we, in even life’s most evil moments, can rest, the One whose works are perfect and all of whose ways are just. In ordaining the evil works of others, he himself does no wrong, “upright and just is he.”

Sin By Proxy

Hammon recognized what many professing Christians today do not – that sin is the begetter of the enmity that originally separated mankind from God and, likewise, is the source from which every conceivable form of disharmony originates in our relationships with each other. In other words, Hammon would clearly understand that what many today refer to as ‘racism’ is not the genesis of such human animus, but is merely a by-product of it. Our failure to recognize this is what has given rise to a worldview being propagated by many professing Christians that I’ve termed ‘sin by proxy’.

Sin by proxy is the unbiblical idea that current members of one particular ethnic group, in this case, white people, should be deemed collectively guilty, based solely on their ethnicity, of offenses (allegedly) committed decades and even centuries ago by their ancestors against those who are of a different ethnic population, namely, black Americans, and, as such, must collectively repent of and make restitution for those offenses.

In reflecting on certain of my brothers and sisters in Christ who happen to subscribe to a social gospel of sin by proxy, I’m reminded of the French theologian and reformer John Calvin who, in his classic work, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, quotes the renown philosopher Aristotle, who declared, “Where incontinence prevails, man loses the specific knowledge of good and evil through his unruly appetites, because he cannot see in his own sin the evil which he commonly condemns in others.”

In considering that enmity and enemies are the same word in the New Testament, it should be noted that the prefix ‘en’ denotes that which is within or innate to something. Words like energy (inner vigor) and enjoy (inner pleasure) come to mind. The same is the case for you and me. The hostility, acrimony, malice, and hatred we harbor toward one another is a direct and tangible result of the enmity that resides in our hearts toward God. This reality is affirmed by the apostle Paul in Rom. 8:7, where he asserts that, “…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God; for it is not even able to do so.”

The God Who Sees

Notwithstanding the fact that there is no such thing as ‘race’, neither biblically nor scientifically, the notion of “racial reconciliation” is both nonsensical and irrational. The truth is ‘race’ cannot reconcile anyone because it has no heart so as to desire to do so nor a will so as to commit to doing so. Sin has so thoroughly corrupted our nature that only the heart-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ can remedy the deep-seated enmity that separates us first and foremost from God and, consequently, from one another (Gen. 4:7, 6:5, 8:21b; Jer. 17:9).

The fact that what we see with our eyes (skin color), can be transferred to our mind and subsequently formed in our heart as a sinful bias toward one of God’s fellow image-bearers is a spiritual issue, not a social or cultural one (Mk. 7:14-23). As such, we cannot hope to rectify a spiritual problem with a temporal solution. The justice of God is inseparable from the righteousness of God; and the righteousness of God is exemplified in society only as hearts are transformed by the power of the gospel (Rom. 12:1-2).

I believe pastor and author Dr. John MacArthur put it very well when he remarked that, “As Christians, we ought to have a moral and social influence in our communities. We ought to use the rights granted to us to promote morality and decency in the public arena. But that’s not the sum total of our responsibility to this world. We can’t settle for mere social change and behavior modification. We must bring the light of the truth to bear in a world blinded by sin. And we must do what we can to halt society’s decay—not through protests and political action, but through the bold proclamation of the gospel.”

A ‘Free’ Slave

‘Jupiter Hammon, who lived his entire life as a slave, is now free. But the truth is Hammon was already free even while he was enslaved. How could I possibly say that, you ask? I’ll tell you how. Because that’s what the gospel of Jesus Christ does (Gal. 5:1a).

The gospel of Christ frees us to rest in the reality that the sovereign God who created the world is sovereign over everything that goes on within it (Ps. 103:19; Prov. 15:3). Or, as theologian and apologist Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987) wrote in his book Christian Apologetics, “I feel that the whole of history and civilization would be unintelligible to me if it were not for my belief in God. So true is this, that I propose to argue that unless God is back of everything, you cannot find meaning in anything.” Conversely, theologian Dr. John Frame, in The Doctrine of God: A Theology of Lordship, affirms that, “People freely choose to do evil, but for that they are no less under God’s control.”

What Christians who are demanding justice must understand – and accept – is that the gospel doesn’t promise relief from the injustices and inequities of this world. In fact, it promises just the opposite (Jn. 16:33). The world in which you and I live still lies in the power of the evil one (1 Jn. 5:19). Only in the new heaven and earth that are yet to come will unadulterated justice, righteousness, and ethnic harmony be a reality for God’s people (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 7:9).

Christ came into the world to save sinners, not society (Matt. 1:21; 1 Tim. 1:15). The problem of racial reconciliation is rooted in our inherent enmity with God, not our inherent ethnicity. In other words, it is what is on the inside of us that is the issue, not what is on the outside of us.

Humbly in Christ,

Darrell

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Related:
Jupiter Hammon’s first published poem, An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, With Penitential Cries, which was composed on Christmas Day in 1760.

Hijacking ‘Evangelicalism’


As increasing numbers of professing Christians subscribe to a gospel of social justice – a fundamental tenet of which is the resurrection and prosecution of past sins committed primarily by white evangelical Christians against black people whether by commission or omission – the term ‘evangelical Christian(ity)’ has become synonymous with historical and present-day attitudes of white oppression and white supremacy in America, whether perceived or real.

But a fundamental problem with this perspective is that it paints an entire ecclesiastical population, namely, white evangelical Christians, with a very broad and subjective brush, having judged them collectively guilty of harboring such sinful attitudes solely on the basis that they are white and evangelical.

Ironically, seldom, if ever, is the term ‘evangelical’ used in that same context when referring to Christians who are black. Unlike white evangelical Christians, black Christians are considered just, well, Christians, and under that generic descriptor are generally not held to the same standard of attitudinal or ideological scrutiny as their white evangelical brethren.

Yes, they are brethren (Gal. 3:26-28).

As is often the case when engaging in discourse on such topics as white evangelicalism and, specifically, the influence white evangelicals are having in shaping the current socio-political vista in America – a reality many social justice advocates, especially though not exclusively, find concerning – objective terms and definitions have proven difficult to come by.

But if this matter of white evangelicalism is to be discussed in a spirit of intellectual honesty, it must first be objectively defined so as to be understood in context as opposed to a subjective and nebulous idea that is open to interpretation. In other words, the question must be asked: what exactly is ‘white evangelicalism’ anyway?

There are myriad grievances being lodged under the guise of white evangelicalism, but I have yet to find an objective definition of what white evangelicalism is.

And if there is such a thing as white evangelicalism – as there surely must be given how incessantly the term is used within social justice circles – the logical deduction must be that there also exists such a thing as black evangelicalism, and Asian evangelicalism, and Hispanic evangelicalism, and Latino evangelism, and so on, until every conceivable ethnic association with the term evangelicalism has been identified (if such a thing were even possible). 

Though not openly acknowledged by many who are considered to be among the social justice elite, the truth is that much of the acrimony being aimed at white evangelical Christians is rooted in a deep-seated anger over the level of support Donald Trump received from them as a voting bloc and, likewise, for conservative Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for United States Senate from Alabama.

But I find this indignation, such as it is, to be somewhat hypocritical, as the support received by Barack Obama from black voters in both 2008 and 2012, many of whom were professing evangelical Christians, far exceeded what both Trump and Moore received from white evangelical voters in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

So why, then, is it so problematic to some that white evangelical voters cast their vote for the candidate(s) of their choice, when black evangelicals did the exact same thing – and to an even greater degree?

“I voted for Barack [Obama] because he was black. ‘Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them.” – Samuel Jackson, actor, as quoted in the Daily Mail, February 13, 2012

It is disingenuous, in my humble opinion, to accuse white evangelicals, en masse, of political, racial, or ideological idolatry with regard to Donald Trump and his agenda, when the same can be said of black evangelicals concerning Barack Obama and the role melanin unarguably played in their decision to twice support him to the tune of 90-plus percent.

It is this kind of selective partitioning of the term evangelicalism that prompted me to title this blog post as I did.

To assert, imply, or infer that all white evangelical Christian supporters of Donald Trump and Roy Moore are racists and white supremacists, while excusing black evangelical Christians who supported Barack Obama, a man who openly advocated for such unbiblical policies as homosexual marriage and partial-birth abortion, is tantamount to hijacking what evangelicalism truly is by uprooting it from its theological foundations and relegating it to merely a political philosophy.

In the book, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, British theologian J.I. Packer defines evangelism as: “a work of communication in which Christians make themselves mouthpieces for God’s message of mercy to sinners.” Packer goes on to assert that, “Anyone who faithfully delivers that message, under whatever circumstances, in a large meeting, in a small meeting, from a pulpit, or in private conversation, is evangelizing.”

By citing these words of Packer, I am simply pointing out that in discussing the topic of evangelicalism, particularly in light of today’s socio-cultural milieu, it is helpful to consider that words have meaning and meaning requires context, assuming, that is, that getting to the truth about a matter is ultimately the goal of discussing a matter in the first place.

In biblical terms, evangelicalism is fundamentally rooted in Jesus’ command to His followers to “…make disciples of all the nations (Matt. 28:19).” It is a universal edict that is applicable to every believer in Christ, regardless of any other spiritual or temporal distinction or qualifier (Lk. 6:46).

Interestingly, the Greek noun nation in Matt. 28:19 also appears in Acts 17:26, a text that unambiguously exclaims the sovereignty of God in creating each of us with the unique characteristics we possess and is the word from which the English word ethnicity is derived.

But leave it to sinful humanity to take an attribute that openly testifies to the creative genius of almighty God, namely our ethnicity, and use it to divide the very people whose mission it is to proclaim to the world the mercies of a God who, in His providential wisdom, uniquely created each of us in His image (Gen. 1:27).

Notwithstanding the extent to which the term evangelical is being co-opted today by many Christian social justice advocates in calling for generations of white evangelical Christians to repent of centuries of racial injustices against black people, the idea of resurrecting and prosecuting past sins is wholly antithetical to biblical Christianity (Eph. 4:32).

Admittedly, it is when we are sinned against that being Christlike can be most challenging for us. But, as theologian Dr. R. Kent Hughes reminds us:

“Jesus changes our lives! We are no longer consider it our duty to get even. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is fine for the court, but not for our relation to others – even our enemies. Thanks to Jesus, we have let go of our legalistic obsession with fairness. We are glad that Jesus was not fair with us, for if we were to have gotten what was coming to us, it would not have been good. As Jesus’ followers, we give ourselves to the highest welfare of others, even our enemies. We put up with the sins and insults of others for Christ’s sake and theirs. Though hurt many times before, we refuse to withdraw into the shell of self. We do not run from hurt. We appear weak, but we are strong, for only the most powerful can live a life like this. But the power is not ours, but Christ’s.” The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom, p. 141

Shortly before He was put on trial and, subsequently, sentenced to death on a cross, Jesus Christ, who is Lord of the church (Eph. 5:23), prayed that those who believe in Him would be one, even as He and His Father are one (Jn. 17:20-21).

The oneness of which Jesus spoke had nothing to do with the pursuit of political consensus across ethnic or cultural boundaries and experiences, but a unity that transcends all earthly understanding and comprehension, being rooted in a universal love for Jesus Christ and those who comprise His church (Jn. 13:34-35; Heb. 13:1; 1 Pet. 3:15-18).

As the Presbyterian theologian, J. Gresham Machen, wrote in his classic work Christianity & Liberalism,

“An evangelical church is composed of a number of persons who have come to agreement in a certain message about Christ and who desire to unite in the propagaton of that message, as it is set forth in their creed on the basis of the Bible. “

I can remember, as a child, hearing the words of an old “negro spiritual” my mother would often sing on Sunday mornings around the small two-bedroom public housing unit in which we lived on Harwell Street, the same dead-end street on which I was born, on the west side of Atlanta. The song was ‘We Are Soldiers In The Army’, the chorus of which is:

We are soldiers in the army.
We have to fight although we have to cry.
We’ve got to hold up the blood-stained banner.
We’ve got to hold it up until we die!

There is a sense today in which the word evangelical has become something of an ethnic pejorative within the church in America. Needless to say, this ought not to be the case among those who confess the name of Christ (1 Thess. 4:9).

As sinful as it is to discriminate against one of God’s image bearers on the basis of his or her ethnicity, it is no less sinful to misconstrue or misapply an aspect of one’s identity as a Christian to advance or promote a particular ideological narrative or agenda.

After all, we are soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ, my friends, and soldiers fight with each other not against each other.

“…and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you.”
1 Thessalonians 3:12 (NASB)

Humbly in Christ,

Darrell

Related:
Defining Evangelicalism – Ariel Bovat, Kaleoscope Biblical Christians of Color
Can Evangelicalism Survive Donald Trump and Roy Moore – Timothy Keller, New Yorker

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thegrio.com
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‘Big Bang’ Racism


Ex nihilo, nihil fit
(Out of nothing, nothing comes)


According to the website space.com, in science, the Big Bang Theory is, “the leading explanation about how the universe began. At its simplest, it says the universe as we know it started with a small singularity, then inflated over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know today.”

Similar to the scientific view of the origins of the universe, there are those today who have a ‘Big Bang’ view of racism.

Like the reality of the universe itself, they acknowledge the existence of racism – though the definition of ‘racism’ varies greatly – but that its existence is purely the result of uncaused “singularities” that are external to the individuals who would exhibit such a sinfully prejudiced disposition. Consequently, racism, with its myriad definitions and interpretations, is spoken of primarily, though not exclusively, as systemic or global with regard to its origins as opposed to being intrinsic or congenital in nature.

This is important to note as, over the past several decades, the strategies and tactics employed to ‘fight’ racism have largely been directed at the structures which many perceive to be representative of a culture of systemic racism rather than the attitudes that gave rise to those structures to begin with.

But structures are not formed from nothing. Discriminatory policies and practices, whether systemic or otherwise, do not come into existence by virtue of a series of serendipitous or autonomous convergences of ideological and philosophical singularities.

Like many who subscribe to the notion that the universe – with all its intricate and recondite complexities – was formed ex nihilo, adherents of “Big Bang Racism” believe racism to be the result of forces and influences that are external to human nature. In other words, it is the systems and structures themselves that result in people’s racist attitudes and behaviors as opposed to the other way around. Which is why many today place a higher value on transferring monuments than transforming hearts (Rom. 12:2).

The argument I am positing here is often a point of consternation for Christian social justice advocates, many of whom deem it of more missional benefit to protest what is wrong with “the system” than to preach what is wrong with us (Rom. 3:23). But such was also the case during Jesus’ earthly ministry.

There were people then who, convinced that Jesus was the agent of socio-political change for whom they had been waiting – and praying – made the eternal mistake of seeing Him as their king and not their Messiah, never realizing that to whatever extent “the system” under which they lived was corrupt or unjust, it was merely a reflection of the innately sinful individuals who comprised “the system” (Eccl. 5:8-9).

As the 19th-century theologian J.C. Ryle wrote in his classic work Holiness, “If a man does not realize the dangerous nature of his soul’s disease, you cannot wonder if he is content with false and imperfect remedies.”

Ryle wrote those words in 1879. Yet I believe they are just as relevant today, as social justice advocates continue to pursue “false and imperfect remedies” for a spiritual malady whose genesis is quite definitive yet is being treated as an ex nihilo or Big Bang-type of reality. But as pastor and theologian John MacArthur exclaims,

“Nothing we can do for ourselves will free us from the bondage of sin. Adam’s transgression had a catastrophic effect, not only on him and his environment, but also on his progeny, including you and me. And we cannot make sense of our moral plight until we come to grips with where it all began.”Think Biblically: Recovering a Christian Worldview, p. 87

Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume stated, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.” This applies to racism as well. Racism is not an ex nihilo proposition borne out of theoretical Big Bang reasoning. It is the product of a spiritually depraved heart that is innately darkened by the deceitfulness of sin.

In other words, racism is always individual before it is ever institutional.

As Jesus declares in Mk. 7:21-23,

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

At the heart of the social justice movement, and its constant calls for putting an ‘end’ to racism, is the misguided idea that humanity can fix itself by simply deconstructing old systems and structures and replacing them with new ones.

But the antecedent question many social justice advocates are failing to consider is: how did humanity become broken in the first place? The answer intrinsically conveys why such logic is misguided to begin with, for everything that exists has both an origin and a cause (Gen. 1:1), including the brokenness of humanity (Gen. 3). Conversely, the answer further communicates that remedying humanity’s brokenness is extrinsic to our nature as human beings.

In biblical terms, there is only justice and injustice.

Scripture never uses qualifiers like ‘social’ as if to suggest there are various ‘kinds’ of justice. To apply God’s precepts equitably to each of His image-bearers is justice; to fail to do so is injustice (Ps. 106:3; Pr. 28:5Isa. 1:17; Mic. 6:8; 1 Jn. 3:4).

Christ understood what many of us do not – that our fundamental problem isn’t the systems or structures under which we live as a society. They are merely symptoms of the problem. Our problem is our soul. Which is why the gospel is so necessary in the first place (Rom. 1:16Eph. 2:1-9).

When all has been said and done, unless and until you and I, as individuals, begin to recognize not only that racism exists but why it exists, we will continue to regard it as an ex nihilo phenomenon produced ‘out there somewhere’, when the problem lies much closer – within us.

Humbly in Christ,

DBH

Image credit: egymbb.sk

A Christianity So ‘Cool’, It’s To Die For

“For to you it has been granted, for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
– Philippians 1:29a (NASB)


You will forgive my tardiness, but only a few days ago did I come across an article published earlier this month on the website Vice.com entitled: Meet the Woke Young People Trying to Make Christianity Cool Again. It profiles four ‘woke’ young people and their efforts to, as the article states, get Christianity “back in step” on issues such as the environment, racial inequality, and LGBTQ rights.

Notwithstanding the content of the article itself, the title alone seems sufficient to give any true Christian pause. I say true Christian because any person who professes to have been born again, and has lived for any length of time the kind of sacrificial life to which followers of Jesus Christ are called, knows from personal experience, as well as from what the Bible itself teaches, that the last thing Christianity is, is “cool” (Jn. 1:12-13Lk. 6:27-38; 9:23; Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Tim. 4:8-10; 1 Pet. 2:11; 1 Jn. 2:15-17).

But not only are these four individuals so woke as to want to make Christianity cool, they want to make Christianity cool again.

Again?

Since when has Christianity ever been cool, let alone cool again?

In contemplating such a misguided notion, I was reminded of some of the early church fathers; men like Ignatius of Antioch who, having been charged with the crime of atheism (denial of the Roman gods), said these words shortly before being martyred for being so “cool”:

“May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me. I pray that they would be found eager to rush at me, and I will also entice them to devour me speedily and not deal with me as some, whom out of fear they have not touched. If they are unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me; I know what is to my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciple. Let no one, of things visible or invisible, prevent me from attaining to Jesus Christ. Let fire and the cross; let wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocation of bones; let cutting off of limbs; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the evil torments of the devil come upon me; only let me attain to Jesus Christ.”

There is also Justin Martyr who, like Ignatius, was so “cool” that in the year 165 A.D., he was beheaded for it (hence his surname). Before his death, Martyr penned these words:

“And when you hear that we look for a kingdom, you suppose, without making any inquiry, that we speak of a human kingdom. Instead, we speak of that which is with God, as can be shown from the confession of their faith made by those who are charged with being Christians, even though they know that death is the punishment awarded to those who so confess. For if we looked for a human kingdom, we would deny our Christ, so that we might not be killed. We would try to escape detection, so that we might obtain what we hope for. But since our thoughts are not fixed on the present, we are not concerned when men cut us off; since death is a debt which must at all events be paid.”

And then there is Tertullian, a controversial figure to some, but who, in speaking against the Roman authorities who were regularly putting Christians to death for being “cool”, boldly commented:

“When Christians are brought before you simply because of their name, is there ever found a criminal of any sort? It is always with your people that the prisons are streaming, the mines are sighing, and the wild beasts are fed. It is from you that the exhibitors of gladiator shows always get their herds of criminals to feed up for the occasion. You will find no Christian there except for simply being one. Or, if one is there as something else, he is a Christian no longer.”

I’ve written previously of my concern that ‘woke theology’ is detrimental to the evangelical church.

This erosion of biblical orthodoxy is, in my opinion, most evident in the casual indifference being displayed by many professing Christians today – millennial Christians in particular – to what orthodox Christianity, that is, the biblical gospel, is and its purpose in our lives, particularly when held against other worldviews. It is a concern that is echoed in the words of the late author and Bible expositor Jerry Bridges who, in his book The Gospel For Real Life, lamented that:

“Most people, even people who have already become believers, have never given much thought to how desperate our condition is outside of Christ. Few people ever think about the dreadful implications of being under the wrath of God. And most of all, none of us even begins to realize how truly sinful we are.”

Sadly, Bridges’ estimation is an accurate one.

But what makes Bridges right is not merely what he said, but that what he said is what the Word of God teaches.

At the heart of the Christian message is that humanity is innately sinful and in desperate need of spiritual redemption. It is a universal condition that is remedied only through faith in Jesus Christ, whose sacrificial death on a cross satisfied the wrath of a righteous God against unrighteous sinners like you and me (Jn. 3:16; Acts 4:121 Jn. 2:2).

But that message is being lost under the allurement of another “gospel”, one that preaches that humanity is inherently capable of redeeming itself through socio-political activism – climate change, racial reconciliation, LGBTQ rights – apart from the atonement of Christ which, alone, is sufficient to address mankind’s most fundamental need: to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18-21).

To suggest, as the headline of the Vice.com article does, that Christianity must somehow be made palatable as to be acceptable (cool) to the masses, is to completely misunderstand Christianity. It is with that thought in mind that the words of pastor and theologian John MacArthur prove helpful:

“The gospel is good news for fallen humanity regarding how sins are atone for, how sinners are forgiven, and how believers are made right with God. That may not sound very elegant or fashionable. It is certainly not a message suited to appeal to the frivolous fads or cultural concerns of the present age. But our Lord did not commission His disciples to proclaim a pliable message that would need to be overhauled every generation. And the mission of the church is not to win the world’s admiration.”The Gospel According to Paul, Hardcover version, p. 76

Christianity is not about being cool. It is about bearing a cross (Matt. 16:24; Mk. 8:34; Lk. 9:23). As noted author and intellectual C.S. Lewis expressed in his classic work Mere Christianity:

“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

‘Woke Christianity’ is not biblical Christianity. It is an ideology that promotes the mirage of social, political, and cultural egalitarianism under the premise that the purpose of the gospel is to bring mankind into a kind of nirvanic state of oneness with the earth and with each other. It is, as the Reformer Martin Luther described as a “theology of glory” as opposed to a “theology of the cross”. The Rev. Dr. Carl R. Trueman, professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, expands on this thought from Luther, explaining that:

“[The] theologians of glory,”…are those who build their theology in the light of what they expect God to be like—and, surprise, surprise, they make God to look something like themselves. The “theologians of the cross,” however, are those who build their theology in the light of God’s own revelation of himself in Christ hanging on the cross.”

The image above is one with which you may or may not be familiar.

It shows a group of Middle Eastern Christians being escorted along a tranquil and picturesque shoreline on their way to be beheaded for being “cool”. It is a stark and humbling reminder of what still can happen to individuals who, even at the threat of death, would dare to confess the One who died His own “cool” death on a cross more than 2,000 years ago.

Christianity does not exist to push any socio-political agenda (Jn. 18:36; 2 Pet. 3:13). When the Bible speaks about what woke Christians refer to as “social justice”, it doesn’t use adjectives like ‘social’ as qualifiers. In biblical terms, there is only justice and injustice. Period. To apply God’s standard of righteousness equitably to all who bear His image is justice. To not do so is injustice.

It is that simple, really.

The way of Christ is the way of the cross, not the way of the cool (Mk. 15:19-20).

The Middle-Eastern brothers pictured above weren’t beheaded because of their position on climate change or LGBTQ rights or racial injustice. Their lives were brought to a brutally murderous end because of their belief in the only begotten Son of God, who willingly condescended to a world that is innately opposed to His standard of righteousness.

To you who may consider yourselves among the generation of ‘woke’ young Christians who desire to make Christianity cool again, as if following Jesus were a fad that comes and goes as the culture shifts, I challenge you to look beyond the comfort zone of your peer group and remember that Christ did not die for your social justice agenda. He died so that sinners like you and I would not have to spend an eternity in hell for the damnable offenses we’ve committed against Him (1 Tim. 1:15a).

Because, trust me, my brothers and sisters, there is nothing ‘cool’ about hell (Jn. 3:36; 2 Thess. 1:8-9).

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” – Matt. 1:21 (NASB)

In Christ,

Darrell

Related:
You Can Keep Your Cool Church, Give Me Jesus – Peter Heck, The Resurgent
Jesus Did Not Die So You Could Be Cool – Owen Strachan, For the Church

Why ‘Racism’ Isn’t Wrong


In surveying the current socio-cultural landscape in America, it seems increasing numbers of individuals are either identifying as social justice activists or aspire to be one.

What began with the protestations of one individual over perceived systemic “racial” injustices being perpetrated against black people, primarily by those who occupy certain positions of authority (e.g. police officers), has morphed into a global movement with other notable athletes and celebrities remonstrating in solidarity.

Now, before I go on, I want to confess that the reason I placed the word racial in quotations above is that, unlike most social justice activists, I happen to not subscribe to the idea of “race” as an aspect of human identity. In fact, my personal perspective on the subject is more closely aligned with that of the late anthropologist Dr. Robert Wald Sussman, author of The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea who, in a 2014 Newsweek article, declared:

“What many people do not realize is that racial structure is not based on reality. Anthropologists have shown for many years now that there is no biological reality to human race. There are no major complex behaviors that directly correlate with what might be considered human “racial” characteristics. There is no inherent relationship between intelligence, law- abidingness, or economic practices and race, just as there is no relationship between nose size, height, blood group, or skin color and any set of complex human behaviors. However, over the past 500 years, we have been taught by an informal, mutually reinforcing consortium of intellectuals, politicians, statesmen, business and economic leaders and their books that human racial biology is real and that certain races are biologically better than others. These teachings have led to major injustices to Jews and non-Christians during the Spanish Inquisition; to blacks, Native Americans, and others during colonial times; to African Americans during slavery and reconstruction; to Jews and other Europeans during the reign of the Nazis in Germany; and to groups from Latin America and the Middle East, among others, during modern political times.”

Dr. Sussman is right.

And though science continues to provide the world with objective evidence to support his conclusions, it is not necessarily my intent that this blog post serve as an apologetic for Sussman’s, or anyone else’s, epistemology of race.

That said, I find it interesting, if not ironic, that many who do subscribe to the concept of race as a scientific reality, choose to engage in discourse about those who exhibit “racist” attitudes, either overtly or covertly, not from the standpoint of biology but morality.

This, in my mind, raises several questions:

Firstly, how can something whose ontological premise (race) is based solely on skin color become a matter of morality (racism)? After all, if such an attitude (racism) is simply a biological response to what is merely a product of biology (race), should not the remedy for such an attitude also be biological as opposed to moral?

Secondly, and, conversely, if, in fact, racism is merely a biological response to a biologically-produced attribute of humankind, then, why is racism ever “wrong” to begin with?

In other words, at what point does morality begin to supersede science?

And, lastly, by whose or what standard of morality would it be determined that racism is “wrong” and by whom?

In answering these (and other) questions, I find especially helpful the words of theologian and author, Dr. John MacArthur who, in his book Think Biblically: Recovering a Biblical Worldview, states that:

“…the doctrine of evolution (if followed consistently) ends with a denial of the reality of evil. If naturalistic evolution is correct and there is no God, neither can there be any inviolable principles that govern the universe. And therefore there is no moral accountability of any kind. In fact, if evolution is true, things are the way they are by sheer chance, for no transcendent reason. Nothing under such a system could ever have any real moral significance. The very notions of good and evil would be meaningless concepts. There would be no reason to condemn a Hitler or applaud a Good Samaritan.”

The book of Genesis records the first murder committed in human history – the premeditated taking of the life of Abel by his brother Cain. We know Cain’s actions were premeditated because prior to carrying out the actual act, God spoke directly – and specifically – to him about the attitude he was harboring in his heart toward Abel:

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it. Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against his brother and killed him.”Gen. 4:6-8 (NASB)

Notice in the aforementioned text that Abel is twice referred to as the “brother” of Cain.

But notice also that it wasn’t for familial, relational, or genealogical reasons that God admonished him. God did not say to Cain, “It is wrong for you to murder Abel because he is your brother.” Nor did He say, “It is wrong to murder your brother because you both bleed the same color.” or “It is wrong to murder your brother because he is a man just like you.”

This is important to note because when it comes to matters of race, and race relations, the ethnocentric ethos to which many people subscribe today is predicated on our horizontal relationship to one another as opposed to our vertical relationship to God.

In other words, the assertion that racism is “wrong” is based primarily on the egalitarian proposition that we are created in the image of each other (imago homo) rather than in the image of God (imago Dei).

As the renown and highly-esteemed American poet, Maya Angelou, wrote:

“We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.
We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

The problem with the kind ethno-moralistic relativism being espoused today by many social justice activists, is it preaches the delusive message of cura te ipsum (“physician heal thyself.”)

This mindset is why countless social justice activists are demanding a so-called “end” to racism because they believe sincerely, albeit naively, that the genesis of racism is biological (melanin) not spiritual (mindset) and, as such, that human beings inherently possess the capacity to “stop” being racist.

Which, again, begs the question: how is it that such a stabile, invariable, and constant characteristic as skin color can so affect the human heart as to result in the egregious maltreatment of others who don’t look like us?

“…and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth…”Acts 17:26 (NASB)

The God of all the universe, in His infinite and unfathomable wisdom, created and fashioned you and me with the specific ethnic qualities we each possess.

Yes, racism is wrong, but it isn’t wrong for the reasons you think.

Racism isn’t wrong because we all bleed red.

Racism isn’t wrong because we all belong to a collective “brotherhood of man.”

Racism isn’t wrong because we all breathe the same air.

Racism isn’t wrong because of our sociological, anthropological, or biological similarities.

Racism – a word I personally loathe but will use for the sake of this commentary – is “wrong” not because you or I declare it to be so, but because it reflects a sinful heart-attitude that disavows the glory of God by deliberately harboring hateful biases toward those who, like you and I, have been created by God to reflect His image to a sin-sick world that does not know Him as Savior and Lord (Gen. 1:27; Matt. 5:13-16).

It is the objective, never-changing truth of the gospel that makes racism wrong, not the subjective, malleable ethics of mankind. So, to those who are calling for an “end” to racism, I applaud you, and I have the utmost respect for you. Nevertheless, I often wonder, do you truly understand what you’re saying when you say that? Do you have any idea what you’re really asking (Matt. 7:2)?

What you are actually demanding, whether you realize it or not, is attitudinal and behavioral perfection from every sinner who resides on this planet (yourself being one of them.) Now, consider, please, my brother and sister, how do you propose to achieve this level of collective holiness? Through more protests? More laws? More social media hashtags? More race-based or socio-economic class-based government programs that will help “level the playing field”?

You know, don’t you, that none of those is really the solution to the concerns you have? Of course, you do. And the reason you know it is because you understand fully that the real problem is not the darkness of a person’s skin, but the darkness of their heart (Mk. 7:17-23).

You don’t end racism.

You repent of it.

Like any other sin.

Humbly in Christ,

Darrell

Image credit: galleryhip.com

On Social Justice Protests and Our Misguided Quest for ‘Unity’

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Notwithstanding the myriad reasons professional athletes in America are protesting the national anthem, President Donald Trump, law enforcement officers, the military, or other social, civil, or political issue, entity, or individual, there appears to be a certain degree of naivety connected with the stated goals and objectives of these demonstrations.

Many of these athletes have stated that the protestations in which they are involved are meant to show ‘unity.’ But my question is, unity by whose or what standard of measure?

In Amos 3:3, the question is asked, rhetorically, “How can two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”

The question is deserving of thoughtful and contemplative consideration because unity, however one chooses to define the term, is not an abstract concept. It is not an idea that is devoid of contextual boundaries or parameters. If there is to be unity between individuals, whether three or three hundred million, it is established and maintained on the basis of objective principles that are fixed and immutable, not on precepts or propositions that are subjective and changeable.

I, personally, deem it inexcusable and irresponsible that the President of the United States, regardless of political party or ideology, would refer to any individual, let alone any American citizen, as a “son of a bitch” (as has been reported in the media.) It is with that thought in mind that I believe President Trump should publicly apologize to the individual(s) to whom his derogatory remarks were targeted.

The President of the United States, irrespective of ideological or political differences between himself and those whom he is charged with governing (Rom. 13:4), is nonetheless the representative of all of this nation’s citizens, not merely those who elected him to office. As such, he must endeavor to consistently exhibit a level of personal integrity, maturity, and, as situations warrant, restraint, as is befitting the office which he happens to hold not by his own volition but by the will of the American people.

That said, however, I find the protests being engaged in by these athletes to be somewhat short-sighted, particularly with regard to their stated purpose and intent which, to me anyway, seems rather ambiguous.

You will get no argument from me that the pursuit of unity is an admirable undertaking. But what makes it an admirable endeavor, for the Christian especially, is that the Lord commands and expects it of us.

In 1 Cor. 1:10, the apostle Paul writes to the church at Corinth, “Now I exhort you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Conversely, in Rom. 12:18, Paul urges, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

Understanding that the admonitions in the aforementioned texts are directed toward believers and not unbelievers, the point is no less germane to those who are outside the church in that unity, as a pursuit, requires context. In the case of these professional athletes, one cannot say that their protests are designed to ‘show unity’ if there is no objective definition of what ‘unity’ is.

You see, it is one thing to appear unified but another thing altogether to be unified.

This point is underscored in 1 Jn. 2:19 where the apostle John, in addressing believers about imposters within the church, declares, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.”

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As I observe the current wave of civil disobedience in America, I am reminded that such protestations are nothing new.

The act of taking a knee or raising a clenched fist, among other such gestures, has for decades (if not longer) been embraced by countless individuals as symbols of ideological, political, and religious disagreement and dissent.

As a veteran of the United States military (Army), I consider it both an honor and privilege to have spent six years of my life defending the Constitutional right not only of professional athletes, but of all Americans, to peacefully express such opposition as that of many professional athletes today without regard to ethnicity, sex, socio-economic station, or political ideology or party affiliation.

I took an oath to defend these rights because they are grounded not in subjective propositions but in the objective truth of imago Dei (Gen. 1:27). That is, the biblical precept that human beings are created in the image God and that, as His image-bearers, they inherently possess certain unalienable rights, privileges, and protections under the God-ordained mandate that governments – all of which are established by God – are responsible for ensuring those rights are protected and applied equally and indiscriminately (Rom. 13:1-7.)

As theologian Dr. William Edgar writes:

“Humanity clearly shares certain attributes with God. What is certain is that there is a tacit connection between the image of God and the honor due the human being.”Created & Creating: A Biblical Theology of Culture, p. 164

All this to say that, like the idea of ‘rights’, the idea of ‘unity’ must be objectively conceptualized in order to be considered a universally valid argument. It is not enough merely to profess to be “against” injustice apart from an objective definition of what justice is, and it is God, through His Word, who provides that definition.

“Blessed are those who keep justice, who practice righteousness at all times.” – Psalm 106:3 (NASB)

In our efforts to navigate the current milieu on matters of social justice, what we often fail to realize is that at its most fundamental level, the call for justice is essentially a call for human beings to practice God’s standard of righteousness “at all times.”

It is our failure to uphold this standard that has given rise not only to the contemporary protests of today, but also those of the past.

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But the reason you and I don’t practice God’s righteousness at all times is we’re innately incapable of doing so.

As much as we’d like to believe that, as human beings, we innately possess the moral and ethical capacity and ability to change ourselves for the better, the truth is we do not. As God declared to Noah, “…for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth (Gen. 8:21b).”

To subscribe to a paradigm of injustice that is measured against anything other than God’s standard of righteousness is an exercise in futility. Because, ultimately, human-centered solutions will prove insufficient, to say the least, to address what is fundamentally a spiritual problem.

And unless our innate sinfulness becomes central to the ongoing conversation on matters of unity and justice, we will find ourselves right back here again, incessantly engaged in circular tit-for-tat arguments which, ultimately, will prove to be of no real temporal or, more importantly, eternal benefit.

In Christ,

Darrell

Related:
NFL Protests are the Dead End of ‘Resistance’ Culture – The Federalist
An Open Letter to Colin Kaepernick From a Black Pro-Lifer With a Surprising Message – Ryan Bomberger
The Rusher Who Wouldn’t Take a Knee – American Greatness

Image credits:
nbcnews.com
wbur.org
postmoderngentleman.com

Races Don’t Reconcile, Hearts Do


The matters of social justice and racial reconciliation continue to be topics of discussion among evangelical Christians regardless of ethnicity. Few discourses today have so intensely ignited people’s emotions and passions as those that dare to broach these hot-button issues.

And why are they such sensitive topics? In my opinion, it’s because we think much too highly of ourselves (1 Cor. 4:7).

For what it’s worth, I do not count myself among the ranks of those who feel racial reconciliation is a particular mandate for the evangelical church, at least not in the same sense as many social activist Christians might define the term. To be honest, I’ve never been particularly fond of the term racial reconciliation to begin with as I consider the term to be inherently misleading.

“The first thing that has to be said about the biblical gospel of reconciliation…is that it begins with reconciliation to God and continues with a reconciled community in Christ. ‘Reconciliation’ is not a term the Bible uses to describe “coming to terms with oneself”, although it does insist that it is only through losing ourselves in love for God and neighbor that we truly find ourselves.” – John R.W. Stott, The Cross of Christ, p. 190

Reconciliation begins with a genuine desire on the part of one person to be conciliated to another; to actually want to exist in a state and condition of unity with someone else between whom there exists some degree of discord. That said, however, desire is only one component of reconciliation. There is also the matter of the impetus and motive of that desire because, for better or worse, desire is a matter of the will and will always originates in the heart (Mk. 7:20-23).

With this in mind, a reconciliation that is predicated or dependent upon anything other than genuine heart transformation is superficial at best and will never stand the test of time over the long haul, because regardless one’s ethnicity we are all – and will continue to be in this life – sinners by nature (Rom. 3:23).

Like it or not, it’s simply who we are.

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – Gen. 6:5

That sin is at the root of all injustice is what social justice advocates, such as those who would identify ideologically with the Black Lives Matter agenda, do not appear to comprehend or accept. Individuals who may occupy certain positions of power and authority in our society, particularly those who serve in the capacity of police officers or elected officials, remain polluted by a sin nature that is inherent to each of us by virtue of the fall of Adam and Eve thousands of years ago.

That these men and women happen to wear a badge or have recited an oath of office to equitably uphold and apply the law to all, makes them no less susceptible to the effects of sin on the human heart; which is why it is so vital that our sociology (how we understand and relate to one other) be inextricably linked to our theology (how we understand and relate to God), because “injustice”, by definition, is any violation of God’s standard, not ours, of how we are to treat one another (Lev. 19:15).

“It is not just that some parts of us are sinful and others are pure. Rather, every part of our being is affected by sin – our intellect, our emotions and desires, our heart (the center of our desires and decision-making processes), our goals and motives, and even our physical bodies. Apart from the work of Christ in our lives, we are like all other unbelievers who are “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, The Doctrine of Sin, Chapter 24, p. 494

To pursue racial reconciliation apart from the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ is futile, because it is the Word of God that objectively establishes for us the paradigm of what true reconciliation is and how, ideally, it should manifest itself outwardly within the society in which we live (Eze. 18:4-32).

When we consider some of the events that are headlining the news today, particularly those involving members of the law enforcement community, we must understand that the goal of racial reconciliation is not only a matter of behavior but attitude. Sure, you can use threats of protests and litigation to compel or coerce someone into obeisance or compliance with your demands. But, in the end, only the gospel can change a person’s heart-attitude (Eze. 11:19; 1 Thess. 2:13).

Speaking of attitude, I’m reminded of the story of a rebellious 4-year-old girl who repeatedly refused to obey her father’s directive to sit down and stop standing in her chair at the dinner table. Time and time again the father commanded her to “Sit down!” and each time his directive was met with a defiant “No! I don’t wanna sit down!”

As a last resort, completely exasperated by now from his daughter’s dogged stubbornness, the father threatened to take from his darling little girl one of her favorite toys if she insisted on continuing in her recalcitrant attitude. Reluctantly, the little girl complied but in doing so, she left her father with these parting words to chew on: “I may be sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside!”

“Some people justify their anger as righteous anger. They feel they have a right to be angry given a certain situation. How, then, can I know if my anger is righteous anger? First, righteous anger arises from an accurate perception of true evil – that is, as a violation of God’s moral law. It focuses on God and His will, not on me and my will. Second, righteous anger is always self-controlled. It never causes one to lose his or her temper or retaliate in some vengeful way.” – Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate

Regardless what label we choose to give it, the truth is there is no form of reconciliation or rapprochement – be it racial, marital, or otherwise – that is of any lasting value or significance apart from our first being reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20). Those who would advocate for racial reconciliation, and who view it as some unique aspect of biblical Christianity, must realize that it is God Himself who created each of us with the unique physiological and biological attributes we possess:

“…and He [Christ] made from one blood every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation. – Acts 17:26

It is important to note in the text in Acts 17:26, that the word nation is the Greek word ethnos, which refers directly to the characteristics of race and ethnicity. It is God who created you and me the way we are. We did not create ourselves (Ps. 100:3). There is nothing about my existence in this world for which I am personally responsible. Were it not for the sovereign will of God, not only would I not exist physically, but the specific characteristics of my physical existence would not be what they are.

I mention this only because I am continually amazed that anyone could be so arrogant as to boast in or rely upon their ethnicity, in any capacity, when they themselves had absolutely nothing to do with the ethnic characteristics they happen to possess.

Nothing whatsoever.

So, for anyone, regardless his or her ethnicity, to boast that “black lives matter” is utterly meaningless apart from the realization that there would be no “black” life – or any other type of ethnic “life” for that matter – were it not for the One who Himself is the creator of all life (1 Tim. 6:13).

On the surface, racial reconciliation seems an admirable pursuit in and of itself. But apart from our being reconciled to God, such pursuits are meaningless and empty. To believe that our man-centered efforts at reconciliation would achieve any lasting societal change is shortsighted and naive. The reason reconciliation is necessary in the first place is that our relationship to God and, consequently, to one another, has been fractured because of our sin (Rom. 3:23). The good news, however, is that God has provided a Way for us to be eternally reconciled to Him, so the damage is not irreparable.

“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NASB)

Race doesn’t reconcile because it cannot reconcile.

Race possesses no inherent desire or motive or will or conscience. It does not hate or love. It does not possess the ability to discern between good and evil. All those things are influenced by our heart not by our melanin.

The goal of racial reconciliation must not be only to change laws and policy but to change hearts.

That’s not a social gospel.

It’s simply the gospel.

Humbly in Christ,

Darrell

Image credits:

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