On Getting Your Conscience Out of the Dumpster

At first I was tempted to call this post “A Little Race Rant,” but I don’t think I will do that. It will be more like a sermon than a rant. It will only seem like a rant to some because I am going to say a few things that it seems to me many people are simply refusing to hear.

“To write in plain, vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox” (George Orwell, “The Prevention of Literature,” All Art Is Propaganda, p. 263).

I want to go straight to the terms of my peroration first, so that there is no mistaking the direction. Outside of Jesus Christ, racial harmony is a pipe dream. Apart from Christ, racial reconciliation is not going to happen, but rather the opposite. In Christ, racial harmony is a theological necessity, a doctrinal requirement, and an eschatological hope.

Not only is the secular dream of “one humanity” far beyond the secularists’ grasp, it is also beyond the grasp of weak sister evangelicals who for some mysterious reason have adopted the secularist vision of racial harmony instead of the Christian one. This, despite the fact that the impotence of the secularist form of it grows more apparent by the minute, and despite the fact that the Scriptures are so plain on the basis for our reconciliation in Christ.

White and black cannot get along because their blood is red in common, but they can get along because Christ’s blood was red  and uncommon, and was shed for the express purpose of making one new man out of the two, and in addition to make one new man out of the seventy. God is building a new humanity in Christ, and there is no new humanity outside of Him.

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” (Rev. 5:9).

“Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” (Col. 3:11).

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28).

We serve and worship a cosmopolitan Christ, and there is no cosmopolis apart from Him.

But in order to come to Him, we must repent and believe. Repent of what? We must repent of the sinful things we were doing. Whites must repent of white sins, and blacks must repent of black sins. You can repent the other guy’s problems all day long and at the end of the day there is no forgiveness for you.

I am writing as a minister of Christ, so on one level my color is irrelevant. My commission to speak was not color coded. But it also happens that I am a white man, so let us begin with white sins.

Let us begin with the slave trade, which was obviously no bagatelle. Let us point to the willingness of the South to receive a particular kind of human soul as chattel, contrary to the Scriptures they appealed to, and we also point to the high hypocrisy of the North, which was willing to get rich off a trade that it simultaneously pretended to despise. In the aftermath of Reconstruction, a host of restrictive laws and customs enforced by bigots helped solidify and institutionalize the love/hate relationship of whites and blacks in America. Anybody who thinks it is all hate doesn’t get out much, and anybody who thinks it is all love lives under a rock.

With the rise of progressivism, Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood as a way of dealing with all these black “human weeds,” and co opted numerous race quislings to help her encourage black people line up quietly so that they would cooperate with this eugenics sanitation crew. The end result is that down to the present day a hugely disproportionate number of black children — let us call them “unarmed citizens” — are chopped up into bits in America’s abortion mills. These abortion mills were authorized by a predominantly white Supreme Court, and have been regularly funded by an overwhelmingly white Congress.

And then, if a black child successfully runs this gauntlet and makes it into America alive, a bunch of insufferable white people have conspired to subsidize a system whereby young black mothers are given strong financial incentives to not marry the father of their baby. And so we have gotten what we have paid for, which is a pandemic of fatherlessness in the black community. That pandemic is the bottom layer of our cycle of crime and lawless behavior

All this whiteness is hard to fathom. More help on the subject can be found here and here.

So then, black sins.  I am just going to mention three. When you have been terribly wronged, as blacks certainly have been, the temptation — and it is a pressing one — is to give way to bitterness. But God’s solution to these things is forgiveness, not settling scores. Bitterness offers no salvation whatever. And outside of Christ, there is no such thing as forgiveness. The problem with settling scores is that they never ever get settled. We have more than a few ethnic groups in the world still fighting over things that started many centuries ago. This goes back to the point I made at first, which is that Christ’s forgiveness is the only gospel that can enable anybody in this sorry world to start over. There is no other regeneration. Grace can get at things that law cannot.

Second, in grip of bitterness, it is easy to forget everybody has to operate in their own micro-corner of this great macro-story, and that, however objectionable the large narrative is, not every instance at street level is an instance of the same thing. What hard evidence is there that the attempted arrest of Eric Garner was racially motivated? Give me more than that it can be made to fit in a racialist narrative.

Let me give you a thought experiment. For some reason you are in a strange city, and you have to use the subway to get back to your residence, and it is late at night. You go down to the subway platform, which is completely deserted with the exception of three young black men in hoodies, leaning against the wall. They could be waiting for the subway, just like you, or maybe not. Note that I have not in any way indicated the race of the “you” in this thought experiment. Now if you quicken your pace, even if just mentally, or if you in any way brace yourself, if you make a mental note of possible escape routes — is all this coming from the wickedness of a prejudicial heart?

I don’t think so. Every human brain has a department of risk assessment, and the guys down in that department are running their calculations all the time. It is a simple fact that black males are disproportionately incarcerated for violent crime. Is this because discrimination disproportionately targets them? Or because they are disproportionately more like to be guilty of such crime? Or a combination? Whatever you personally believe the answer to those questions might be, you are still down in the subway at 1 am, and you still have to decide what to do.

Third, in addition to bitterness and resentment, there is another temptation to give way to opportunism. Too many blacks allow race-hustlers like Sharpton and Jackson to speak for them, and in their name. Those men are not pursuing justice, but rather the main chance. And whenever someone like Voddie Baucham speaks the truth about it, he the one who gets assaulted as a race traitor, with all the real collaborators left alone.

This opportunism is willing to have things given when what blacks really needed was to be given a true and honest opportunity to earn them. Affirmative action represents the triumph of the soft bigotry of low expectations — resulting in a cloud of suspicion cast over every genuine black accomplishment. Affirmative action — another grievous white sin, just us being our patronizing selves.

The end result of that blindness is that we have President Obama, wafted to the highest office in the land on the gusts of a group hug approach to racial reconciliation. Once he got there, two things became immediately apparent. One was his lack of any real competence, and the other was his ideological commitment to the agenda of the Left, up to and including the abortion industry’s contempt for black lives. So anybody who voted for Obama — whose legal vision on abortion is simply a more sanitary version of Kermit Gosnell — has absolutely no right to the phrase “black lives matter.” If you voted for Obama, then shut up, leave the protest, and go home. Throw your “black lives matter” sign in the nearest dumpster, and try to retrieve your conscience from that dumpster. If you think that partial birth abortion, performed on a black child, ought to be fully legal constitutional act — like your man in the White House does — then you need to come to grips with the fact that the race problem in America is not ultimately cops in NYC, the race problem in America is you. And if you are a white evangelical working on racial reconciliation, and you voted for Obama, especially the second time, then all this goes double.

When the apostle Paul was once guilty of an ethnically insensitive slur, he said, quoting a Cretan prophet, that Cretans were evil beasts, lazy gluttons, and liars. This testimony, he said, was true. Therefore, he said . . . rebuke them sharply so that they may be sound in the faith (Tit. 1:13).

So anyone who believes that any racial group cannot be sound in the faith — that’s a racist. And ayone who believes that any racial group gets a free pass and does not have to respond to the authoritative Word of the Lord Jesus Christ — calling every color of sinner to repent and believe — that’s a racist too.

I do not say any of this as a race pundit, but rather as a race prophet. Thus saith the Lord . . .

Thus saith the Lord. It is true that whites don’t understand the problems and temptations that blacks confront. It is equally true that blacks don’t understand the problems and temptations that whites do. The only one who perfectly understands our tangled lives down here is our great high priest. This high priest, who actually does understand “what it is like,” is our Lord, and He has told us how to live. The only one who understands has told us what to do. We are to repent our sins, believe in Him, follow Him, and love one another. If we don’t want to do any part of this, we do not get to say that it is because “He doesn’t understand.” Because He does.

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Matt
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Matt

It is equally true that blacks don’t understand the problems and temptations that whites do.

False. Black people couldn’t navigate daily life without some level of understanding of white people. White people, on the other hand, can be blissfully ignorant with no impact. That’s what it means to be a majority.

And just read this post, with all its standard social conservative rhetoric, and then reflect on the fact that the Democrats pull between 90 and 97 percent of the black vote in any given election. Something does not compute here.

Phil T.
Guest
Phil T.

Doug, having read your race commentary for quite some time, it’s clear at this point that you have great difficulty discussing any aspect of race relations without attempting to whip out this ridiculous, transparently insincere “black genocide via abortion” canard as some kind of trump card. As someone who appreciates your larger theological agenda, it’s always embarrassing to watch you saunter out into the arena of race equipped with your “creative” reframing of race relations, wherein you wave the flag of concern for black lives as a means of undermining any concrete attempt to rectify the ongoing legacy of black… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

Matt,

Wow.

you say: “Because intellectual understanding isn’t the same as experience…More benignly, you can read about all the indicators of what being cold is like, and still not understand what it is like to be cold, because you’ve never actually been cold.”

and then you say: “False. Black people couldn’t navigate daily life without some level of understanding of white people. “

Fake Herzog
Guest

This is the best thing I’ve read on Ferguson/New York in three weeks. And I’m someone who recently read Black and Tan with a bit of a critical eye, so I was floored with how good this piece captured the dilemma of race relations for Christians (black and white).

Keep it up Doug — you have all the right enemies.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

“a bunch of insufferable white people have conspired to subsidize a system whereby young black mothers are given strong financial incentives to not marry the father of their baby.”

We also subsidize a racial grievance system. That’s why as the years since slavery or Jim Crow pass, the demands only grow louder and more outlandish. That grievance system is generally supported by white Christians who will react against it now only in a few life and death instances.

RFB
Guest
RFB

“…rectify the ongoing legacy of black slavery…”

Merriam-Webster
leg·a·cy
noun \ˈle-gə-sē\
: something (such as property or money) that is received from someone who has died
: something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past

How about not holding on to the “something that is received from someone who has died” and forgiving, in Christ, “something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past”?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I carry a sin in my blood passed down from my racist ancestors because of slavery. It doesn’t matter whether my great, great grandfather owned slaves or not. It doesn’t even matter if my family (hypothetically) immigrated from Sweden in the 1960s, as a white person I still bear the full burden of the sin of slavery. If my father had been a rapist and a murderer no one would say that his sins were passed to me or that there was any claim on me based on his sins. If I commit a sin myself I may have to… Read more »

Paul Matosky
Guest
Paul Matosky

Absolutely brilliantly stated and presented.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Barnabas,

It (the proclaimed grievance) is both an industry (for the hucksters) and a set of fetters for those who invest credibility into the schema.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Matt, the fact that the Democratic Party pulls that level of black support while supporting Planned Parenthood is the result of somebody’s inconsistency.

Oh come on now. This is a classic “what’s the matter with Kansas” argument, and it wasn’t any good when it was made then. Believe it or not, black people aren’t idiots. They can recognize where their interests lie, and those interests ain’t with you.

JSO
Guest
JSO

Matt, so the black conservatives who agree with Pastor Wilson are the idiots?

timothy
Guest
timothy

matt

Its interesting that you do not address the matters of Spirit that Pastor Wilson wrote of and jump immediately into Critical Race Theory and partisan politics.

Telling, that.

Duells
Guest
Duells

Barnabas, where do you come to this idea of your inherited racial sin? It sounds a lot like a substitution for Original Sin. I think I’m older than you, having been born in the late 60’s. The only thing I can compare it with is a similar idea that crept into my family with the men. We were all guilty of sins against women. And this was just by virtue of our existence. What men had done to women we were guilty of. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t raped or assaulted anyone, we were all ‘pre-rapists’. Where did this… Read more »

scm
Guest
scm

I appreciate this post, but unfortunately some of the comments quickly show how people are ready to pounce when the race issue is raised. It never seems to end, on either side (white or black). Mr. Wilson is right: apart from Jesus, this issue is a lost cause. I’ve spent a lot of time personally trying to understand blacks and whites when stuff like this comes up. I usually see typical responses from both sides, and sadly it rarely matters if they are Christians or not. I see people refusing to get over their whiteness and others refusing to get… Read more »

Job
Guest
Job

As Matt so kindly pointed out, Democrats routinely get over 90% of the black vote. This suggests a level of homogeneity within the black community that whites simply cannot grasp. Likewise it supports Wilson’s point that blacks do not understand certain problems of whites, particularly that whites are divided into at least two camps that hate each other’s guts. The issue is not white versus black. It is white versus white – and each would use blacks as a cudgel.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I guess it is settled, white people simply cannot understand black people, just as Jesus and Paul really could not understand married people.

kentwarrenmcdonald
Member

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Every man does what is right in his own eyes. And there’s the rub.

timothy
Guest
timothy

It is wonderful and fearful to behold our Lord withdrawing His Spirit from our land (not His children) as He does what He must do.

Jane
Member

Duells, I think you missed Barnabas’ sarcasm.

Ben Bowman
Guest

Doug,

Perhaps if more abortions were videoed and uploaded to Youtube we could have some different protests.

-Ben

Matt
Guest
Matt

Matt, so the black conservatives who agree with Pastor Wilson are the idiots? A person can agree or disagree with whatever they want. The problem comes when a political faction starts thinking that some group of people ought to be voting for it, and when they don’t concocts some story about how they are deluded morons. In reality there is nothing wrong with Kansas; there’s something wrong with the Democrats in that they haven’t made their economic case well enough, or that case is being overruled due to other concerns (e.g. social issues). It’s the same with black people and… Read more »

Duells
Guest
Duells

Jane, Barnabas,

Looks like the jokes on me, shucks… I came from here:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/spiritual-shape-political-ideas_819707.html#

right before reading Doug’s post.

Hmm...
Guest
Hmm...

Are we not responsible for and capable of controlling our “department of risk assessment?” If you assume that someone is going to attack you because of their race then you are failing to see them first as a child of God.

Also, don’t accuse an entire race of people of being anything. Not all black people eat friend chicken either. The “Paul did it” argument is sketchy at best.

On the other hand, I’m genuinely excited to say that this was less racist than I thought it was going to be.

Phil T.
Guest
Phil T.

Thanks for the response, Doug, but I’m afraid you’re not hearing me at all. My point has nothing to do with the scale of this supposed self-inflicted abortion genocide, my point is about the dubious role this plays in to your proposed analysis of race in America. When a socially conservative urban pastor, whether black, latino or white, who has demonstrated, substantive commitment to advocating on behalf of an urban black population speaks against abortion in the black community, as often happens, it will be difficult for fair-minded observers to question his motives. However, when a white pastor out in… Read more »

Justice
Guest
Justice

This is hugely insulting to me. You use antiquated arguments about “race roles” to enforce your presupposed stance in favour of the Republican Party. You attack President Obama on absolutely no basis outside of his party affiliation and conveniently ignore any such abuses by your party. This piece is insulting, degrading, and not befitting anyone professing your stature.

timothy
Guest
timothy

matt wrote: What do you propose to do about “matters of Spirit” then? If your answer is convert to Christianity…they already did. Repent and pray. When Christians sin God does what is necessary to convict us of our sins until we do repent. From my observations, Christians are fervently doing just that. Black Americans are overwhelmingly Christian. White Americans and Hispanics self-identify as well–that does not mean the heart is in it or faith is present. I am curious from whence you got your numbers as Christian women do not have baby-daddies or abort their children in the numbers that… Read more »

Phil T.
Guest
Phil T.

So Doug, whose credibility are you willing to earn, exactly? Seems like the only people willing to take your analysis on race seriously are Idaho libertarians and Christian reconstructivists. I grant that you probably think of this narrow demographic as the only legitimate Christian audience anyway but again as someone who is sympathetic to other aspects of your approach, watching you preach at black people from this vantage point evokes genuine embarrassment. At the end of the day I just think you need to get out more. You should spend some time in cities alongside the Christians who are faithfully… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

8 baby-daddies timothy? “I don’t get it, why do they think we’re racist?” The Frankfurt school is a right-wing bogeyman. It plays the same role for the right as the Koch brothers do for the left. Though at least the Kochs are still alive. It doesn’t take any kind of race theory, critical or otherwise, to note that if this social conservative boilerplate was going to have some appeal among black people, it would have had it by now. I mean, what is that line about the definition of insanity? Maybe the Republicans can go for 2% black support next… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Phil T, you haven’t presented any plausible ideas for Christians to enact, only that we should check our potatoes at the door, sit down and be quiet. Should we give more money to the modern slavery system supported by Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and a host of others? Should we race to the ghettos in LA and street preach from a car? What work should we do there? Enquiring minds are anxious to know your answer. Since you don’t like Gary North, should we read the black economists Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams? Both of them are against the minimum… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

Dave, Correct. The key statements in Matt and Mr. T’s posts are “shut up”. They make no real arguments regarding the essence of the essay by Pastor Wilson, which is fundamentally about sin and repentance and salvation. Pastor Wilson says that the issues are sin, that they require repentance and then pointedly: “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Their response are “no, because you are not sympathetic to sentimentality, and to make matters worse, you are white, republican and from Idaho”. What I really hear from them is fear. They have no argument against the… Read more »

David Smith
Guest
David Smith

Dave:

I agree with you! I remember while sitting in my seminary’s chapel years ago listening to a Black pastor from the local inner city encouraging us to remain morally conservative but economically (?) more liberal. While I’m in no position to question his sincerity, the translation goes something like this:
You’re white with historic white privilege. On top of that, you’re a Christian and should feel yourself obligated to continue to support more governmental programs to confiscate your property and earnings for the sake of your Black brethren
.

Here’s my short answer to that: NO!!!

Arwen B
Guest
Arwen B

With all respect, Justice, no-one cares that you feel insulted.

No one forces you to read what Wilson writes. It will do you good to read it, in much the same way that a consistent dose of fiber does one’s digestion good. Your emotional reaction, however, just like the results of a consistent dose of fiber, is no-one’s business but your own.

Engage with the arguments and exercise your logical skills. Such transparent attempts at shaming and emotional manipulation are beneath you.

Arwen B
Guest
Arwen B

Hmm says… Are we not responsible for and capable of controlling our “department of risk assessment?” If you assume that someone is going to attack you because of their race then you are failing to see them first as a child of God. The thought experiment specified “young black men in hoodies, leaning against the wall.” Change that thought experiment to “young black men in business suits, carrying briefcases.” If one’s risk assessment does not change based on the young men’s attire, then one could credibly be accused of “assuming someone is going to attack you because of their race.”… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

matt wrote: 8 baby-daddies timothy? 3 baby daddies and 15 kids I really do not have patience for pampered white boys telling me about conditions in my former neighborhoods. How many crack-heads have you defended yourself from? How many crack-whores have tried to shake you down for a ten-spot? Not many is my guess. I will not address your views on the Frankfurt school as debating boilerplate progressives is an exercise in boredom. My initial address to you was to note that your responses are always in secular terms and never in terms that men of faith use. In doing… Read more »

Nil Desperandum
Guest

Pastor Wilson, Your analysis lacks a proper distinction between the unintended side effects and the intended effects of liberal white policies, i.e. the effects intended according to their publicly promulgated rationales (and thus not Sanger’s murderous reasoning). The fundamental sin of white liberals’ “antiracist” crusades has been overvaluing the well-being of blacks over their fellow whites; their various policies concerning affirmative action and welfare have emanated from an unchristian preference for the foreigner over the native. Your analysis neglects the sinful alienism (preference for the alien) in these antiracist policies, and thus neglects the more directly intended anti-white effects of… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

And right on cue, the “Office of It Is Whatever We Say It Is” shows up:

“When Department of Justice officials arrived in Ferguson, Mo., one day after the death of Michael Brown, it wasn’t just to conduct an investigation on potential civil-rights violations. In fact, officials from one Justice Department office were conducting meetings with Ferguson residents to educate them on subjects such as “white privilege.”

Matt
Guest
Matt

I really do not have patience for pampered white boys telling me about conditions in my former neighborhoods. That’s fantastic, but when did anyone ever do that? I just called out your attempt to insinuate that black Americans aren’t real Christians because of something about baby-daddies. This is how racism works man. No need for any authenticity brags (I have none). They make no real arguments regarding the essence of the essay by Pastor Wilson, which is fundamentally about sin and repentance and salvation. Pastor Wilson says that the issues are sin, that they require repentance and then pointedly: “We… Read more »

Jane
Member

Matt, I don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that slavery isn’t detailed in more words because it’s actually not necessary to explain the evils of slavery in many words to any decent literate adult? When someone says the word “slavery,” we automatically have before us hundreds of years of a constant, daily experience of lifelong oppression, abuse, and injustice. Maybe it’s just barely possible that the kinds of sins Doug is describing require more words because they’re a little less obvious and not as universally understood by all the readers before being described, as compared to slavery? then God decided… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Alas, the slaves and slave masters are long dead. You can’t ride with John Brown, all you can do is watch Twelve Years a Slave again and tell white people to “STFU” on the interwebs.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Barnabas, the slaves and slave masters are not dead. Look around and see the new slavery system set up because Christian leaders would not follow Biblical principles concerning the proper roles of church and government. The slave masters take from the working slaves and give to slaves who do not work at all. Instead, those slaves have multiple children by multiple sperm donors who are able to work but don’t because the current slavery system allows them to stay at home and receive rent, food, medical, cell phones and more from the working slaves. It is a perfect scam except… Read more »

Mattt
Guest
Mattt

Matt, I agree with everything you have said, I’d like to pick your brain some more, how might I do that?

timothy
Guest
timothy

I just called out your attempt to insinuate that black Americans aren’t real Christians because of something about baby-daddies.

This is funny.

I provide a link showing 3 baby-daddies and 16 kids. I have known promiscuous men and women where 8 is a low-ball number.

Yet, I am racist for pointing out objective reality.

fascinating.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Tell me Matt.

In what Christian denomination is rampant fornication to be approved of because of ‘white privilege’?

David Smith
Guest
David Smith

Matt, you, sir, are free to think and conclude anything you like about me, my people, or my ancestors. As long as you confine your views to your keyboard, damn us to hell a thousand times over! Knock yourself out! Just leave the rest of us here in the South (and I’ll wager other parts of this once-voluntary union as well) alone! My guess, however, is that folks like you either directly or indirectly support the empowerment of ever more government intervention in my life and others’. I’m generally real hesitant about pronouncing that God’s broad judgment has fallen on… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Chesterton seems prophetic regarding Eric Garner: “There may really be more mercy in the Prison, on condition that there is less justice in the Court. I should not be surprised if, before we are done with all this, a man was allowed to smoke in prison, on condition, of course, that he had been put in prison for smoking.” — Chesterton (The Evolution of the Prison) When Matt tries to put his words in Wilson’s mouth, that’s our cue that he’s out of arguments. Matt’s simplistic one-sided view the Civil War reads like a sound bite out of a government… Read more »

Matt Petersen
Guest
Matt Petersen

If you are correct regarding the injustices in white history (and you are), then aren’t black people right to ask that white people, you know, make restitution? Even if we call “restitution” or “settling scores”? Indeed, to plead their cause with the Lord, till we do?

Also, one might (pretty easily) be able to explain affirmative action as an attempt to make restitution.

And the one who lives off the profit of the theft has no real grounds to say “they need to learn to work, not to have restitution given.”