Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An Examination of Protestant/Evangelical Race Based Special Interest Theology (Part 5 of 5)

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I suspected you didn't need the outline one more time :) 

(Edited and Revised Nov 2012)

Part 5

X. Racial Narcissism, Racism, and Anthropologicalism

Racial narcissism - this is an over-estimation, over-valuing and over-application of one’s genetic properties and/or expressions. Racial narcissism can result in “racism” but not necessarily so, though it is still dysfunctional with regard to reality. Racial narcissism views racial properties as being so special and proprietary that one believes their race to have distinctive experiences which others racial groups cannot. Unlike racism where inherent superiority is being argued, racial narcissism is a bit more subdued and does not view one’s race as inherently superior, rather that their genes produce a class of human who has so distinguished a personal constitution that it results in proprietary experiences which others simply cannot have or understand. As a result they accept the false and narcissistic premise  about their race which is that their racial reference, in and of itself, must be given special attention and deference.

This is not racism, rather it is racial narcissism. And because of this, racism itself must be understood. There are many bad definitions of racism which indiscriminately and wrongly include any form of racial prejudice.

Racism – fundamentally it is the elevated practice of racial narcissism which forwards the view that your race possesses superior genetic properties which produces an inherently superior class of human being. Others are looked and acted upon, not merely in a prejudicial or narcissistic way while acknowledging their equality as humans, rather as inferior human beings. This is the distinction between racial prejudice which is much more common and acknowledges the equality of humans as humans (though the prejudice itself is based on appearance and culture) as opposed to racism, which is motivated not by appearance but by the view that one group is inherently or genetically a superior human than the other. This is racism.

Your human genetics are important. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being interested and proud of your unique genetics, their properties and whatever perceived or real advantages and gifts they may give you in comparison to the next person. But they are not superior properties which establish you as inherently a superior human being. *(This not to say you cannot become a superior person in your character or that you will not possess superior traits in respect to comparison with other individuals or groups, but none of this makes you more human, that is a higher order of human being, though you may have a higher order of principles to which you conduct yourself or your mental functions operate at a higher level, all humans are equally humans regardless of such differences).

Anthropologicalism – this simply accepts the realities of one’s genetics as they are without denying them, either in advantage or disadvantage. This is unlike racial narcissism which expresses itself in overestimating one’s self, racially or like racism which rejects the legitimacy of others as being as equally human.

Anthropologicalism is the basis for human relationships and human constructs, from marriage to government. Some of it involves human properties of a physical nature and some of an ideological nature, but still they are human properties upon which the relationships are built.

Marriage requires a man and woman, these are physical properties. Friendships require like-mindedness, these are human properties. Anthropologicalism simply is living life by the realities of your human properties and their legitimate strengths and weaknesses and interacting with others based on these realities, either individually or collectively.

Sometimes people wish to label anthropologicalism as bigotry because it excludes others who do not possess certain human properties. And often these claims are simply tools to intimidate others and deny them valid and divinely sanctioned freedoms without condemnation.

Ex: Mensa is a human organization based in high IQ. categorization. If a person does not fall within the top 2% of IQ.’s they are excluded from membership. This club is anthropologically based. So should we conclude that since they exclude others who are not like them that Mensa is an intellectually bigoted organization? Clearly, no. But this is the doctrine much of the world uses for many valid anthropologically based organizations, from marriage to government.

Marriage and Race – there is a myth which abounds in the naïve minds of too many people (never mind Christians who ought to know better) which is that because you are attracted to only those of your racial likeness as potential mates you are a default bigot, but more so, to be attracted to those of different races is a virtue, superior to that of the person only maritally/romantically attracted only to those of his or her race. This is utter foolishness.

People grow up in homes where a certain developed view of life is implemented (even if it is dysfunctional, it will have its own means and ways, i.e. doctrine) and when they go looking for a mate they will look for someone who shares their view of life and other familiar traits. Well, there is nothing more clearly and repetitively familiar and certain to a person than their appearance so it is quite normal to gravitate to those who represent your human identity. Obviously some people have less investment in the value of human physical identification than others hence, we have marriages of different races but one is no more noble than the other and the belittlement of sameness as a preference or castigating it as some kind of bigotry is simply small-mindedness which refuses to accept the realities of anthropologicalism’s divine design.

The Christian and Anthropological Realities

You, even as a Christian, still must function in the anthropological world. This reality does not melt away so you must do so based on anthropological realities (which, by the way and in spite of what many say, are not condemned by God though many alleged Bible Teachers wish to impose on anthropological structures that of the protocol for spiritual contexts and condemn believers who would do otherwise and I will expand this point in a moment). These anthropological realities are not just inescapable, they are necessary.

But as well, in understanding your human properties (anthropological realities) you need to grasp their advantages and disadvantages. As history unfolds the collective practices of various groups formed anthropologically, brought both the good and the bad and much of it is due merely to the collective expression of genetic traits, though certainly not all. I am quite aware of my genetic traits and their manifestations. I have some advantages and some disadvantages. Humility enables me to accept these realities. I understand that as an individual I possess both strengths and weakness. But if a person does not accept such realities of their person or their genetic trends they will compensate for this with racial narcissism or even racism.

For the Christian you do not deny your real, physical properties. You are taught by the Scriptures such realities are to be bounded by humility and humility neither exaggerates nor denies the truth.

Identifying Racial Narcissism

Racial narcissism manifests itself in many ways. It imposes upon conflicts which arise (both individually and collectively between groups)  racial motives where there are none. As well, it demands from one group the special treatment of its group while the accommodating group receives no such preference. Instead of simply taking care of its group, racial narcissists insist others embrace their ideology about themselves and adjust their lives for the racial narcissists instead of the racial narcissists adjusting their lives to reality. They demand others agree with them instead of accepting the fact that others have the right to their own views. And when others do not agree, they engage in campaigns of libel and slander with the objective of eventually demonizing the person or group, their motives and their views. And ultimately, if racial narcissism is being practiced by someone who is asserting themselves to be a Christian, they will come around to finding some passage in the Bible to support their ill-conceived and racially narcissistic view so that they may create the illusion that this is a Biblical morality which is mandated.

Racial narcissism eventually affects weak-minded Christians because it is based in false guilt. And unfortunately the Bible does not lie when it says:

Luke 16:8b - For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

Racial Narcissism in the Body of Christ

When Christians succumb to racial narcissism they accept the doctrine that goes with it which explicates there are “special properties” of one race against others and these “special properties” must be preserved and promoted within a spiritual construct. This is because, in order to have maximum spiritual benefit, the doctrine of racial narcissism says these special experiences, stemming from their racial class, are essential.

Of course this is utter heresy but it is promoted within the body of Christ, day in and day out. Have you ever heard the erroneous claim that “the black worship experience is emotional and the white worship experience is more intellectual or non-emotional”? This is racial narcissism in its premium form within the body of Christ. How whites or blacks might collectively operate has nothing to do with spirituality or its essential operation. More so such axioms must be proven and to date no such data exists to prove the above assertion.

The Bible makes it explicitly clear that the way we worship God and become spiritually enlightened, as well as empowered, is through spiritual property, namely by being born again (spiritually resurrected) which is via the work of the Word and the Spirit. This has nothing to do with being black, white, emotional or non-emotional:

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

John 4:24
For God is spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.

You will find racially narcissistic based schisms in the body of Christ when racial properties are considered essential parts of spiritual realities and where the race of one person is considered special and necessary for the spiritual exercise. This is sinful and shameful at best.

Whether one racial group experiences strong emotionalism more than another might be an anthropological reality but it does not translate into a spiritual reality or necessity as we see from the above passages but more importantly, to impose possible anthropological differences between humans as spiritual necessities or pit one against the other in the body of Christ is to practice racial narcissism. To this we must say, no. The Spirit of God enlightens our minds and Christians all have the Spirit of God, we are all born again. Our emotions have nothing to do with the enlightenment and empowerment of God whether we experience strong emotions or little. That is what the Bible teaches. Sadly this is just the tip of the ice-berg with regard to the practice of racial narcissism within the body of Christ today which is doing great damage to God’s church.

XI. Black Trophyism/Chasing Down Black People

Bloodlines

John Piper, in his book, Bloodlines, talks about racial issues and what he considers to be racism in his past with particular reference to growing up in a church were the practice of social racial segregation was wrongly permitted to infiltrate the church. Now, whatever ideas that came along with social segregation at the time, it seems that Piper was only influenced by the worst of these ideas (not all policies of segregation were based in views of superiority but apparently that is all Piper recalls) in what he considers his early life racism. In his book Piper recalls:
I was, in those years, manifestly racist. As a child and a teenager my attitude and actions assumed the superiority of my race in almost every way without knowing or wanting to know anyone who was black…
And throughout the book Piper laments this part of his life which he considers condemnable.  Piper (during his theological training) came to understand his anthropological error (believing his race to be superior). This was good. However and unfortunately, it seems that he equated racial social segregation and racial ecclesiastical segregation as approachable and remedied with the same protocols. He failed to understand they are two separate constructs, one anthropological and the other spiritual.

So as a conflicted and inflicted Christian, Piper, in attempting to address his past sins and remedy social segregation (which he believed to be based exclusively on racism) as well as anthropological segregation in ecclesiastical settings, he took his lack of understanding of the distinctions between that the body of Christ and anthropological constructs and came to some ill-founded conclusions as well as damaging doctrines offered as remedies.

This fundamental misunderstanding resulted in a life-long prescription where Piper regularly tries to take passages meant for the spiritual body of Christ and its spiritual camaraderie and impose them upon other divine institutions which are anthropological constructs and abide by separate protocols and doctrines.

Piper proclaims:
The Bible does not oppose or forbid interracial marriages but, as I will argue in chapter 15, sees them as a positive good for the glory of Christ.
Let me go further and demonstrate precisely what I have been talking about and how Teachers like John Piper are heaping terrible spiritual and theological injury upon the body of Christ. Piper’s argument in Chapter 15 of his book to which he referred is fourfold but this particular erring point underlies his position as whole as he refers to Colossians 3:11:
In Christ ethnic and social difference cease to be obstacles to deep, personal, intimate fellowship, including marriage.
Piper got the very first part right but did you notice what he got wrong? He shifted from the context of the body of Christ (a spiritual one) to that of an anthropological context, namely the divine institution of marriage. You cannot theologically, in any sound manner, impose upon the divine institution of marriage the protocols and doctrine of the divine institution of the church, even if everyone involved is Christian.

The ceasing of ethnic and social differences in the body of Christ refers to our spiritual construct and is only operable in a spiritual construct. This is why the issue of divine institutions was covered so rigorously. Marriage still retains its anthropological construct, in fact it has to in order for a man and woman to marry and form this institution. It is based on their anthropological features. Piper is utterly confused and I am not sure if it is his lack of theological training or simply a refusal to understand but he is in grave error here.

Let’s look at Colossians:
Colossians 3:11
11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Paul is talking about those in Christ and the spiritual construct of the body of Christ. Marriage is not a spiritual construct, though believers who are married do participate in the body of Christ and do have extraordinary protocols outside of the fundamental ones of marriage for all humans, still the divine institution of marriage is an anthropologically based construct and not a spiritual construct. But because Piper has accepted, in some form, the hermeneutic which gives us Race Based Special Interest Theology, he is just as guilty as anyone else practicing it, though he wouldn’t be able to recognize it unless you pointed it to him. But what does astonish me are the numbers of conservative Protestant/Evangelical Teachers who don’t recognize this and practice it themselves or do recognize it and do not call attention to it seeing the seriousness of its error.

Marriage is not a Spiritual Construct, it is an Anthropological One

This reality, that marriage is a human or anthropological construct and not a spiritual one, is very difficult for some Christians. Much of this is because believers are given supplementary instructions regarding marriage and its execution such as is found in Ephesians.
Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Simply because we have ancillary instructions of a superior kind as believers does not suddenly move the divine institution of marriage from an anthropological construct to a spiritual one. If merely by receiving proprietary instruction on how to conduct a marriage as Christians makes marriage, on the whole, a spiritual construct, well then this means all divine institutions are a spiritual construct and should be classified as a spiritual constructs since we (Christians) receive additional instructions for all of them. But that is not true and impossible.

Take government for example. We, as Christians, are given some extra-explicit instructions as to how to function in government. That does not make government a spiritual body now does it? It might mean you, as a person, will be spirit-filled in obeying God’s commands while participating in government but that does not make government, itself, a spiritual body.

Take parenthood. Christians are given additional directives on parenting. Does that make parenting a spiritual construct? No, it is a human one. I do realize there is a great deal of literature which speaks about marriage being “spiritual” but such literature does not concern me, what should concern me and everyone else is how does the Bible present marriage?

Marriage is a divine institution for all people with a construct intended to enable the perpetuity of humanity. The Bible says explicitly:
Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Cain, the Spiritually Dead Non-Believer Who Was Married

Now, in Genesis we find Cain (the murderer of Abel and the one that rejected God's plan and protocol and brought his own offering) seeking a wife. And the Bible records Cain found a wife. Surely you don’t think this was a spiritual context yet, he found a wife. Why? Because marriage is not a spiritual construct, it is not a spiritual body, it is a human or anthropological one designed by God with certain purposes.

But let’s not only deal with Cain but the rest of Scripture. How do you imagine it is possible for the Word of God to treat so many unbelievers as being married if marriage is a spiritual construct? If one is not born again, that is a believer, they are spiritually dead and it is impossible to form a spiritual construct with spiritually dead persons. And if marriage is allegedly a spiritual construct then why does the Bible treat spiritually dead people forming this divine construct? I will tell you why, because it isn't a spiritual construct, it is a human or anthropologically based divine institution, that is why. And it is critical for you to remember this when people start trying to impose on anthropologically based divine institutions the protocols meant for the one and only spiritually based divine institution, i.e., the body of Christ, the church.

Christians are to be spirit-filled in all they do but simply being spirit-filled does not re-arranged the divine design of an institutional construct. And this is just where Piper and many others make their greatest error. They place upon anthropological constructs the protocols intended only for a spiritual construct, the body of Christ.

Objectifying Blacks -Trophyism

While the Special Interest theological practitioners might make it very hard for others ministering where there is a significant black demographic I would, even more so, hate to be a Christian Teacher who is black and who is Teaching and ministering among Protestant/Evangelicals where the demographic was largely white and where they believed and practiced this. I really don’t know if you fully understand just how condescendingly and patronizingly so that blacks are treated in such situations, but it is so indeed. They are, very often, the black trophy  (you know, like using black children as adoption trophies) instead of simply a Teacher of God's Word to all men and for all men.

And I will speak directly to you, my brothers in Christ who happen to be black. To many men (and I mean co-Ministers in the Word, Teachers) you know you are trophies; evidence that they aren’t racist, evidence that they have seen the light and have come to embrace you, fully. But you know better, in the back of your mind, don’t you?

Why?

Because to them, in the body of Christ, you are still black and they refer to you in this manner often and surprisingly with a great deal of pride and glee. And they want to help you in your achievements so you can succeed as a “black Christian leader”. Frankly, you know and I know that often you simply have been chased down because you are black and to hide their “trophyism” they use many facades but in the end, your main function is to be a trophy. No I am no cynic, I know of enough places where faithful ministry occurs and race is irrelevant, either for or against, but Christ and Christ alone is the DNA of God's children. However, what I say few dare to speak it as it is, and as I am saying, so let me bear this burden of being the "bad guy".

I know you have experienced this and thought about this and it ought not to be so. You are not to be trophies of any evidence other than God’s grace and you ought not to be assigned racial considerations because God knows of none of that in his spiritual body. But it happens.

You get special mention for your blackness and it sickens you, at least it should if you hold to the criteria and protocol God has set for the body of Christ. And no one is saying your genetics should never be mentioned, not at all but it is how they are being mentioned, as an object of other men to show you off  but worse, to prescribe you to others as a “black Christian”.

No, you are not a “black Christian”. You are a Christian, you are a Bible Teacher, you’re are a Christian leader and that is all as it concerns your spiritual ministry. Your race is, at best, a necessary description of your physical person when all else fails but it should never, ever, ever be practiced as it is, today, calling you a “black anything” in the body of Christ. This is not to remove or lessen your racial value in other constructs where its relevance exists to varying degrees but not in the body of Christ.

By doing this, you, my friend, are being segregated and spiritually diminished. But maybe you like this special status, shame on you.  However, if you reject it then my commendations are to you, my dear brother, because you bring health to the body of our Lord.

In this despicable segregation you are now denied, via this special classification, an audience of believers who might otherwise consider you in a purely spiritual light. If you are offering spiritual illumination, spiritual insight, spiritual doctrine and guidance then we all need it and you should not tolerate, even for a second, your own acquiescence to Race Based Special Interest Theology or its practices but especially do not tolerate it from others if you reject it so wisely as you should.

The Error of Pursuing Diversity, More Trophyism

And this brings us to the catch phrase in Protestant/Evangelical theology which is “pursing diversity”. It is based in large part upon what we have just reviewed, the misunderstanding of the spiritual body of Christ and its unique protocol and the various anthropologically based bodies and their protocols.

We, as Christians, are a new nation, a new people, a spiritual body. And when we meet it is not for the affirmation of our human properties. Those things may be affirmed which is why God has given us the divine institutions of the self, marriage, family and government. In these constructs those things are audited and affirmed.

In the body of Christ we no longer count heads based on human properties. Counting white heads, black heads, and brown heads is not God’s protocol that is the interest of the world. We count lost and found, spiritually needy and spiritually able.

If you are functioning as a local expression of the body of Christ without regard to human properties determining membership or participation, that is all God requires. That means your pulpit will speak and teach spiritual truths with spiritual interests in view, not human special interests. However, too many who have succumbed to false notions of what spiritual camaraderie looks like wish to compel you to go on a trophy hunt and look for other racial, ethnic and cultural groups to fill your church so you can prove you aren’t bigoted. They believe the lie of the Devil with his premise that you are a bigot unless you can prove otherwise.

The truth is such proposals, themselves, are the epitome of bigotry. It is a form of the most condescending treatment of other people in light of the Word of God and their spiritual needs one can imagine. Just think, you are to purposely pick out people or target people for participation in your local body of Christ based on race, ethnicity or culture, is this what you want?

My Lord may it not be! You are to seek the lost, regardless of these things. But no, to others what is more important is presenting “multi-ethnic” trophies to demonstrate just how spiritual they are.  

Whoever will come, come and whoever that is, you are to see them as trophies of God’s grace and evidence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

XII. Hoisting “Whiteness” Upon Orthodoxy

Theology is the study of God or literally, God logic. Simply, it is the study of the Bible in which topics and texts are compared to each other in order to discover explicit and implicit truths which God has communicated to us through the Bible. Over time believers have developed theological expressions.

But it has become fashionable to accuse the formatters of various theological systems of hoisting upon their theology, that of their race and particularly, “whiteness”. In fact, it has become an assumption

Special Interest Theology Assumes Everyone Else is Guilty by Design

This predilection for accusing historical theology of having “white” or “Anglo-Saxon” underpinning is two-fold.

1. Primarily it is due to the intrinsic properties and process of Race Based-Special Interest Theology. That is, Special Interest Theology, itself, begins with the premise that the Word of God may be developed in its theological form, with special human interests in mind, whether it is to serve a race, gender, ethnicity or specific culture. And from this underlying premise RBSI Theology assumes this is present in other, non-RBSI theologies though its codification is not so obvious. How could it not be? Of course this is an argument from silence and assumption but in order to combat this problem of arguing from silence they have taken segments of historical orthodox theology and attempted to read into it, RBSI theological elements where none exist.

2. Secondarily it is due to the fact that at times, this indeed has been a practice by some. That is, there has been some RBSI Theology which as been expressed throughout history and of course, it too is wrong. And this Special Interest Theology was not with reference to the interests of blacks, but with interests to either political groups or white, racial groups. Again, wrong but since these did and still do exist, the modern Special Interest Theology proponents attempt to use these deformations as arguments that these are only excesses of what is still, mildly present, in all historical Christian orthodoxy.

And to this I respond to anyone and everyone who would hoist upon orthodox Christian theology accusations of “whiteness”, how dare you! How dare you make such accusations simply to serve as excuses for Race Based-Special Interest Theology! But more so to those who would call themselves Bible believing conservative Protestants or Evangelicals, you better make your case or be shamed.

This is a narrative which has been addressed and proven to be a lie, over and over and over again. Sound theology is sound theology. The Word of God constructed in the form of good theology is good theology, it has no special human interests, and it only has divine interests.


XIII. Conclusion


Minister Where You Find Yourself, Let God Take Care of the Statistics and Diversity

Socially you might find yourself among more of one people than another. There is no sin in this nor is your willingness to place yourself among different anthropological groups proof of some form of super or special spirituality. Quit using people and social constructs to prove your spirituality, it is a sin, stop it.

What you are to do is study the Word of God and proclaim it soundly, from the gospel that saves to the most advanced and sophisticated doctrines in the Word of God. And wherever you are, this is where you are to do this, regardless of the race, ethnicity or culture around you. God’s Spirit is not hindered by your human properties but you can use your human properties to hinder God’s Spirit.

The LCMS had, at one time, this wonderful articulation regarding the church Race Based Special Interest Theology which should rule our theology on this matter (modification mine):
The church must develop and maintain its own cultural language that reflects the values and structures of the Scriptures and not of the current culture. This church language can only be shaped by a biblical theology which affirms the real presence of Jesus Christ in worship and our belief that this presence binds the culture together as a community. The context that shapes our distinct Lutheran Protestant/Evangelical ethos is Scripture, theology, and history. Local circumstance is secondary.

10 comments:

Jon Gleason said...

Hi, Alex. Unfortunately, I haven't yet had time to really read all of this series yet. I'll get to it.

In the meantime, I thought I'd mention this by Thabiti Anyabwile. Note #10 on his list, I think you'll find it interesting.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2012/02/06/11-things-im-thinking-in-the-wake-of-recent-events/

Alex Guggenheim said...

Jon,

Thanks so much for the link, it was encouraging to read Anyabwile's development on this issue. He posted another article recently as well where I commented in which he made the following statement, a marvelous one echoing God's protocol for the church:

“His freedom in Christ is so radical–so down to the root of his being–that he becomes a member of a third “race.” He’s no longer Jew. He’s not a Gentile. He’s a Christian, a member of a new spiritual ethnicity.”

Khanh said...

Hi Alex
Are you a pastor anywhere with online sermons? I'd love to hear you preach!
At first some of your comments & ideas on other blogs/articles were disturbing to me, but as I read on I actually enjoyed hearing you debate people.
Even tho' I might still disagree with some things you say - I still enjoy a good debate and can learn a thing or two.

Alex Guggenheim said...

Khanh

Thanks for the participation. I am not a Pastor though I am a Teacher. However, I restrict my public/online teaching to my blog writing though I have considered more. I appreciate your patience in considering my thoughts and refusing to be led about by any initial disturbamces. Feel free to offer any critique, always.

Alex

khanh said...

Alex,
my brain is about dead after putting the kids to bed, so could you please explain to me this sentence.

"You cannot theologically, in any sound manner, impose upon the divine institution of marriage the protocols and doctrine of the divine institution of marriage, even if everyone involved is Christians."

huh? is there a typo somewhere? Please keep your answer simple :)

Khanh said...

I really enjoyed Anyabwile's article esp #10 as well.

First half of #10 was really enlightening. But I also resonated with the 2nd half. I'm really disturbed by those who think the racism problem will be solved by "color blindness" and the dissolution of our ethnicities.

Sometimes I think you lean towards that - altho' I'm sure you will argue otherwise :)

I think culture/ethnicity should not be ignored, but neither should it be idolized.

Alex Guggenheim said...

Alex,
my brain is about dead after putting the kids to bed, so could you please explain to me this sentence.

"You cannot theologically, in any sound manner, impose upon the divine institution of marriage the protocols and doctrine of the divine institution of marriage, even if everyone involved is Christians."


Let me give you the best example which my article gave. What protocol does the Bible require to be followed to become a member of the family of God?

Belief in Christ as Savior.

What protocol does the Bible demonstrate to become the member of a human family?

Genetic or legally decreed relationship.

The body of Christ has a distinct protocol for membership and operation or function. Family has another. The two may not be administered by the other. They may possess similar or even same rules at times but they are separate contexts and the protocol for one does not transfer to the protocol for the other simply because it seems like a good idea. This is where Piper utter fails in his elementary understanding of Divine Institutions.

terriergal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terriergal said...

terriergal said...
I really do NOT get this from Thabiti's article:

" Some people think that saying “‘race’ does not exist” provides a warrant for saying all that’s happened in the name of “race” did not happen or does not matter. They seem to think that saying “‘race’ does not exist” means there is no sense or aspect of “otherness” that matters. ”Race does not exist” becomes a magical mantra that wipes the slate clean and absolves us of any responsibility for pursuing reconciliation and justice. ”Forget about culture. Forget about ethnicity. Let all that stuff go,” they tell us. But, friend, doing that to someone is no less an act of power than defining them in a “racial” category of your choosing. It’s simply a box marked “nothing,” which can be as debilitating as one of the many boxes marked “race.” And it trades in the same power differential and dynamic."

That doesn't sound right to me. Race is pretty much irrelevant to me. Does that mean I don't care that some people are treated differently based on such unbiblical divisions? Does that mean I'm exerting "power" over those who are different than me? This simply makes no sense. It just seems to me that when people do this they want to hold on to those artificial differences. It seems like the very embodiment of what you call "Racial Narcissism."

And then as you quoted, he said this later:
"“His freedom in Christ is so radical–so down to the root of his being–that he becomes a member of a third “race.” He’s no longer Jew. He’s not a Gentile. He’s a Christian, a member of a new spiritual ethnicity.”"

He seems to be doing exactly what he condemned in the first section I quoted. I don't see how the two assertions can be held as true in the same human brain.

I'm not so sure I follow you though, re Marriage. I'm pretty sure there were some interracial marriages in Scripture. Can it be that Marriage is actually both anthropological and spiritual? I guess I'm not clear what you are saying here.

Are you saying we should not marry outside of our race or that it is irrelevant? If it is irrelevant then you are saying it is a spiritual institution aren't you? (based on how you have defined the church and family as spiritual institution and anthropological institution, respectively.)

Or, are you taking issue only with the fact that Piper goes too far and proclaims interracial marriage "a positive good for the glory of Christ"? If so, then i would agree, Piper is in error, though I'm not sure I'd consider it 'grave.'

An interracial marriage in the church is just a Christian marriage. Because society may have some inherent stigma attached to the interracial marriage I suppose it may serve to highlight for the world the lack of such a boundary within the spiritual institution of the church. Maybe. But not any more than raising good Christian children who serve their neighbors will work to highlight a proper Christian work ethic.

In any case I wasn't quite sure what in particular you were taking issue with there. I will go back and read more carefully too, and see if it is just my foggy brain getting to me.

All in all many excellent observations you have made in this series. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Alex Guggenheim said...

TG,

Since posting this series I have been absorbed in some other demands but by this wknd I will be cleared and will respond as well as add a new post (or two).

Alex