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
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.