Readers of this blog should remember that postings under “Apologetics in the Void” are publications from a couple years ago, and there is a tag line at the bottom explaining in detail. This one contains a response to an article in our newspaper, an article that helped kick off the slavery fracas.
Below please find a response to this morning’s article on slavery.
Your “Slavery Revisted” article in this last weekend edition unfortunately requires some response. First, the commendation: the article was objective in that it contained statements (from me, at any rate) that accurately stated my position, and that denied the ludicrous charges of racism against me. As a “did too/did not” article, the thing was fair enough.
But at the same time, the impression left by the mere fact of the article is still troubling. Your average reader could be left thinking that whether Wilson is a racist or not is a matter of legitimately disputed opinion. He somehow thinks he is not, but the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) takes a different view. By the way, I prefer to call that organization MDPB (Morris Dees’ Piggy Bank). But let’s take this out of the “did too/did not” realm. I would like to mention a few things that show this is not a matter of opinion at all. The question before us is actually a matter of fact, which can be readily determined by a number of items, many of which were supplied to this newspaper before the article ran.
The article did not mention the booklet we published alongside Southern Slavery: As It Was, a booklet entitled The Biblical Offense of Racism. The article did not mention that Christ Church is a multi-racial congregation. The article did not mention that we have multi-racial families in our congregation. The article did not mention that Steve Wilkin’s congregation is integrated. The article did not mention the public printed debate that I had with a white separatist, in which I argued that Moses married a black woman (Num. 12:1), and that the church in Antioch had a mixed race leadership (Acts 13:1). The article did not mention our published attacks on racism in our magazine Credenda Agenda. The article did not mention that one of our elders (part of our governing board) lives in the Ivory Coast, and that our church funded and built a community center for the Bakwe people there. The article did not mention that our elders have determined that 10 percent of all the money raised for our church’s building fund is committed to capital expenditures overseas, most likely among the Bakwe. The community center there was funded by this means. The article did not mention that our church has a ministerial training hall, and that one of my ministerial students is a black man who came here to train for the ministry.
I grew up in a segregated town in the South, and when the Supreme Court struck down the separate but equal nonsense, I attended school in a racially charged situation, and my sister was one of one or two other white children in her entire elementary school. This was because we refused to participate in the “white flight” to private education. There are many good arguments for private education, but racism is not one of them. It is a point of honor that our household had nothing to do with such racism when it would have been easy to give way to it. I honor my father (Jim Wilson) particularly for how he taught us as children during that time.
So, for the record (again!), racism is a sin. Because I am not an ethical relativist, it is not an “it all depends” kind of sin. God hates it, and will judge it along with all other sins on the last day. Because God hates it, so do I. Racial animosity and the more (superficially) benign racial vainglory are both loathsome. God created from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26). This means that we are all cousins, all of us created in the image of God. I say “created” as a convinced creationist, and as one who wants nothing to do with the racialist implications of the theory of evolution. If evolution is true (which it isn’t), and if evolutionary progress is a coherent concept (which it isn’t either), then how is it possible to escape the implication that one race of men can progress faster (depending on environment) than another race? That is what Darwin taught, but if you are looking for an institution that teaches both premise one and premise two, you will have to look at places like the University of Idaho, and not at any educational institution that I have anything to do with.
In short, I am willing to place our record on race relations (and our lived-out racial mix) against any local so-called progressive group. If you really want an example of Little Norway you will not be able to come to Christ Church for it. Why not look instead at the candidates for city council endorsed by the Moscow Civic Association? I am afraid that there are many who would be cheered up considerably if I were a racist, and they would really, really, really like it to be true. But alas, it is not. And so my counsel to them is to go yell up a different rain spout.
Anyone who is interested is certainly welcome to register for this year’s history conference, and registration forms are available from Christ Church. As you are filling it out, you may notice that there is no little box to check for your racial or ethnic background. You see, we don’t care. Can the same be said by those registering for classes at the UI?
Oh, and by the way, in response to a column of a few weeks back, we are not interested in burning people at the stake in Friendship Square. Sheesh.
Apologetics in the Void” are repostings from an on-going electronic discussion and debate I had some time ago with members of our local community, whose names I have changed. The list serve is called Vision 20/20, and hence the name “visionaries.” Reading just these posts probably feels like listening to one half of a phone conversation, but I don’t feel at liberty to publish what others have written. But I have been editing these posts (lightly) with intelligibility in mind.