What I am about to say in this treatment and what you are about to read may be difficult for you to initially absorb. It is likely that you have been trained or conditioned to think of racial issues with a certain set of assumptions and definitions which preclude or exclude certain other definitions and/or realities. It is further likely that you have been trained or conditioned to meet these “other” observations, conclusions, facts and definitions as stemming from suspicious sources because they do not reflect what you have been conditioned should be reflected per social/racial political correctness. Therefore, you are taught (by way of your conditioning) to react with fear, strong objection, distaste, and ultimately are unable to bear these realities, preferring instead a humanistically affirmed and politically correct narrative about race and social matters. This is particularly true for Christians because they have the added burden of a corrupt theology in some places (many place I believe) which asserts either explicitly or implicitly many humanistic principles under the guise of Biblicism which includes teaching Christians to react to anything not reflecting racial or social matters in a favorable humanistic light.
Claims or charges of racism are key for certain groups in responding to unflattering data. And the Christian, in many or most places, is trained to do this as well. They simply cannot endure unflattering data regarding one racial group over another unless it is a white group being cast in a lesser light. And it appears to be a common assumption by Christians and non-Christians alike over the world that this is not only acceptable but deservedly so.
In Part 1, I introduced you to what I believe is a major dysfunctional element of Evangelicalism today, namely the combination of black racial narcissism synthesized with false white racial guilt and pseudo-integration stemming from theological and factual error/ignorance leading to conscious or unconscious racial pandering or race based theology and practice. I now will examine these three components which comprise a wicked trifecta and force being used today to intimidate and coerce many believers and worse, Theologians, Pastors and Bible Teachers, into accepting both errant theology (actually heresy) and practice regarding race, the church and society or the world at large.
Before being concerned with black racial narcissism we must first understand narcissism itself. I found a good working definition at healthyplace.com. In general it a condition in which a person or a collective has “an all pervasive pattern of grandiosity” and a “need for admiration or adulation” and a “lack of empathy” for others who are not part of their personal concern or identity.
The symptoms of narcissism are not a mystery. For the sake of link friendly sources I have chosen two which list characteristics of the narcissist. The first is from Narcissisticabuse.com where I chose a handful of their almost fifty (50):
· Projects faults on to others. High blaming behavior
· Conversational controller
· Hangs on to resentment
· Secret life
· Always feels misunderstood
My second source, an even more peer reviewed one, is Mayo Clinic’s online page. It gives a great bullet-point list of the “dramatic, emotional…and antisocial” characteristics of this condition. Some of these are:
· Believing that you’re better than others
· Exaggerating your achievements or talents
· Expecting constant praise and admiration
· Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
· Trouble keeping healthy relationships
· Being easily hurt and rejected
· Having fragile self-esteem
Surmising this they state about the narcissist:
You often monopolize conversations…You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don't receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry…But underneath all this behavior often lies a fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.
The Cause of Narcissism
The cause of personal or collective narcissistic personality disorder does not have a singular or specific contributor but it does have two main primary contributors. At times it may stem from a high degree of indulgence during childhood by authority figures or from the exact opposite, real or perceived abuse and/or neglect of some sort. Cleveland Clinic surmises this quite well:
The exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder is not known. However, many mental health professionals believe it results from extremes in child rearing. For example, the disorder might develop as the result of excessive pampering, or when a child’s parents have a need for their children to be talented or special in order to maintain their own self-esteem. On the other end of the spectrum, narcissistic personality disorder might develop as the result of neglect or abuse and trauma inflicted by parents or other authority figures during childhood. The disorder usually is evident by early adulthood.
One kind of narcissist gains their view of personal or collective magnificence by being told of their magnificence by others and treated this way during their formative years. And it does not have occur only during formative years but normally this is the most common time.
The other party of narcissists become so in the opposite manner, having to adjust to constant deficits and various forms of social poverty and disadvantage as well as a lack of affirmation. In addressing these deficits they invent virtues, special properties and entitlements and attempt to hoist them upon the society around them as a way to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and inadequacy.
Because of their real or imagined deprivation in the past (and likely in their mind, still lacking) they now demand to be the center of concern. Their sensitivities must be elevated, their needs enlarge and their ideas preferred both as a mechanism of coping due to a likely fragile self-esteem and because of their need to compensate for what might be a real condition, namely that the person or the collective really do not possess equal strength to the society around them. But because the society around them has made them aware of this by forms of social disadvantage in the past, they now push forward with exaggerated gifts, virtues, entitlements and overall contributions in that society which they claim warrant them extra-curricular deeds on their behalf by society.
And understanding this is key to understanding black racial narcissism. While it is evident that the latter condition is primary, do not be mistaken that the former cause, one of indulgence, is also a factor in the development of black racial narcissism.
Black Racial Narcissism
As noted above, personal or collective narcissism has primary but not exclusive causes. Having examined its properties and principles and that of the movement and behavior of the black segment of American society I have formulated a postulate on the matter which I believe can be prescribed to the many actions and behaviors of the black collective in America, if not to many blacks in the world as it pertains to their interaction with whites.
But before I do this I want to be clear about something. In means testing or the use of averages and distribution, there are always others, outside of the means. That is to say, the main distribution of a population and its properties is not true of everyone. Thus, when I speak of the black collective I am speaking of what is comprised of an average (as I read and measure) and not every single black person. Thus, this does not mean there are not any who are outside of this collective profile who may entirely reject or function quite differently than the collective profile of thinking and moving. There are numerous examples. I am not speaking of them.
However, in society we deal most often with collectives and their collective personality which has, as its result, certain forms of behavior. Thus, here I am dealing with that with regard to black racial narcissism and its collective personality.
From my series An Examination of Protestant/Evangelical Race Based Special Interest Theology, I provided a blueprint for understanding racial narcissism which should be applied here to black racial narcissism.
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 (which end up with claims that “you don’t understand what it is like to be Filipino because you are Japanese). 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, their genes and collective context 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.
And this difference is held in view as a special difference, too unique a difference which warrants special treatment by others. 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 and not because of virtues of accomplishment, which, on the other hand, warrant special attention.
Historical Slavery and Social Segregation the Major Contributor. I doubt I need to spend a great deal of time discussing the impact of slavery on a people, particularly a people who are racially unlike their masters or owners and who are at the same time significantly less socially and technologically advanced as well as having, on average, lower IQ.’s of about 15 points. I believe this collective experience set the stage for the formation of a permanent feature in the collective personality of blacks in America (not in the sense that it cannot change but that it likely would or will not for many or a majority).
Thus, I have composed what I believe is an excellent summation of how and why black racial narcissism almost had to develop as a result of their collective experience in America. I am not interested in time lines, per se, rather simply acknowledging that there was, for quite some time, an elevated disadvantaged experience by the black in the United States, in part by public or governmental policy/design. I do not believe this exists now, as asserted, though it might in isolated places. However today, unfortunately, we have the remainder of something built into the psyche of the black collective from this. Hence, many black individuals, though not causative from any real systemic modern disadvantage, nonetheless, have developed this deep within their collective, hence personal, psyche.
Proposition - My proposition is that because of the social disadvantage due in significant part to slavery and segregation (I am not arguing or implying the merits, morally/theologically or legally one way or the other of racial segregation of slavery, just its likely psychological impact on a specific collective) along with natural disadvantages, blacks were forced to create a narrative of themselves which rose above reality and into myth. This is not to say that the collective narrative of blacks by blacks did not and does not contain reality, but as a compensating mechanism to combat what they experienced as negative messaging, they included (and do as a practice to this day seeing this template was formulate and now socially accepted by way of humanistic political correctness) embellishment, romanticizing, and fabrications, both personal and collective, about themselves. This also includes an exaggeration of personal virtues, special racial properties as well as historically fictitious or embellished achievements along with whatever elements mixed with what can be discovered to be accurate. This detrimental collective response has then resulted in a misunderstanding of the black about himself as it relates to both his interactions among other blacks and in white society in general which further results in unrealistic expectations of achievement and reward and ultimately overall dissatisfaction and discontentment. And all of this, I believe, can account for a sizable portion of today’s modern black antagonism toward whites in America.
Metaphor of the Cat. Much like the cat that is being threatened, it turns itself sideways in an attempt to enlarge itself in order to survive. It hopes to give the impression of a more significant challenge to its competition. It is a survival technique. And ultimately, this is what I believe black racial narcissism was and is, wrong though it may be and injurious both personally and collectively to the black. It is a survival mechanism and I do understand that. But understanding the how and the why neither legitimizes it nor resolves the issue of what or whom it damages.
The question today is whether or not its existence is genuinely a survival mechanism or a very destructive and deliberately offensive way of life. There is no mistake, black racial narcissism is a very strong and pronounced property of the black collective and is a major feature of black social operation.
At one time it may have genuinely guarded them from social erasure but as I and many believe, the statistics and data strongly point otherwise. To complete my limited treatment of this topic I am going to look at three components which are main subsets of the problem of racial issues between blacks and white in America, which includes the church.
Racism, False White Guilt and Racial Pandering and Errant Theological Conditioning, a Modern Significant Contributor
One of the major cultural and political memes that has life breathed into on a daily basis is the claim of “systemic racism” in the United States. This leads us to consider racism itself, an overused and vaguely defined word.
Racism - Quantitative and Qualitative Differences. Racism, in its true meaning, is the view that one racial group is quantitatively a superior human and another group or groups is de facto inferior. In the most simple of terms one is more human than the other, thus superior, without reference to any qualitative evaluation.
Thus, no matter how qualitative an individual from the “other” or inferior group(s) may be, they can never be equal to the superior, more human, other. While this was something that could be argued during an age of imprecise science, today we know this is not true and its view is defeated by genetic realities. Quantitative human differences between the races is not true. That was what racism was, historically and should be understood to be today, but it is not and you are about to discover why.
Expanding Its Definition as a Weapon of Control. The result of this is that people came to understand that to hold to a racist view of things (per the above and true definition) was to be both unscientific and uninformed, ignorant in others words, and subject to social and scientific scorn and dismissal. But what people also learned from this negative frame of reference was that if they assigned racism to any kind of racial prejudice, preference or segregation and permitted the word racism to grow in its definition to include any and all forms of real or perceived racial/ethnic qualitative differences which might be uttered by anyone, those people speaking (or worse, practicing) such things (though they may be legitimate at times) could be lumped together with real racists and treated as uninformed and ignorant, thus wrong by default and subject to social ostracism.
This is part of the overreaching and overreacting compensatory moves on the part of many whites and certainly many blacks, in attempting to gain either equal or greater social positioning. And to some degree it is not surprising. Guilt is met with over-compensation, at times. But over-compensation is a distortion of the truth and damages reality.
Thus, what we have today is a context in which anytime a racial reference is made which appears to be insensitive, it is labeled as racism. Almost any racial speech is doomed to be referred to as racism. The “dumbing down”, if you will, of the word racism or racist and its distortion by way of hyper-inclusiveness, does so much damage that the word that it has lost its real or significant meaning. But more importantly, its use has wrongfully damaged many good people who have been accused of racism when no such thing has occurred. Again, it may be that someone has been racially prejudice, racially bigoted or racially factual about qualitative differences between the races but such speech is now classified as racism when it, very often, is not, though it may be distasteful to some.
Redefining Words Changes How We Look At Others. If you do not understand, yet, my point, I will use an illustration. Suppose we changed the meaning of the word rapist to include anyone who has ever, in any way, had a sexually unfaithful thought. By unfaithful I mean unfaithful to God and anyone to whom they are pledged fidelity.
Not only would that be an offense against the truth but it would also damage many people who do not warrant damage. It would reclassify them as guilty of a grievance far greater than actuality. This is the same as the word racist or racism. Its use should be along with its true definition, not the expanded and “weaponized” one of the post-voting rights and modern race-hustling and race-pandering era.
Back to the Issue, Is There Genuine Systemic Racism or Even Racial Preference? We no longer have public policies which are based in either a racist view that whites are superior humans simply by default than blacks. As well, even non-racist but racially ceded or racially based prejudicial/preferential public policy has been gone for 50 plus years at both a federal and state level.
And from this we have enabled to rise to equal or greater stature, multiple multi-millionaire and some billionaire blacks, Mayors, Governors, Congressmen, Senators and a President. And this is to mention nothing of city councils and metropolitan areas along with police forces headed and strongly guided by many black leaders along with the broad representation of colors within public entertainment and various media organizations which present news, drama and comedic entertainment.
The claim of systemic racism or systemic racial preference is not only untrue but a factually dishonest in light of the prima facie evidence of our social structure. It is utterly irresponsible for any Minister of the Gospel to embrace such a meme in the name of having honest dialog about such matters.
The Claim of Passive Racism or Passive Racial Preference. One sub-point in this matter is the claim of passive systemic racism or racial preference. This evolves from the rationalization that because a state or nation is predominantly a certain racial group, it, by default, will instinctively cater to its own, thus it is passively racist (again, the use of the word racist here, is only able to be used by those making this claim because they hold to an altered or expanded definition of racism which enables such an argument).
From this you really have one or two choices here. Either first demand that no one ever does this (care for their own) beginning with their family, that is their genetic immediates or lawful immediates (children and spouse) which is the fundamental building block of society or you accept the principle that while like will be attracted to like and will normally build around such similarities, a state of being, such a state, while beneficial to those who are most like the others, is not by default antagonistic toward others who may share less similarities but desire to embrace and integrate into that way of life and system. The key, here, is integration, a point that cannot be addressed enough.
In other words, those who claim culturalyl passive racism or passive cultural racial prejudice have to face the fact that they practice it within their own family and either they are going to be hypocrites which should be ignored while they complain or they must come to grips that their assertion is flawed and self-interest is legitimate, either personally or collectively. Thus, the flawed view that a common culture and peoples are inherently antagonistic to others outside merely by their formation and existence is unproven assumption no one gets to make and expect to be taken seriously.
While it may have been true at one time in America that there was a system of racism or later, racial preference/prejudice, it has been gone for quite some time. Now, while there may be personal prejudices or personal racism in individuals but that is not systemic. But as a side note, differing racial views and likes or dislikes will never end in the world anywhere both because freedom of thought exists and because you simply cannot control every one’s opinion. However, none of that speaks to evidence of a systemic problem, particularly and again, where the evidence speaks otherwise.
False White Guilt and its Pandering Cousin. Because the meme of systemic racism hasn’t rightfully been given its burial by the world (many in other countries have a vested interest in this false narrative about the United States as a propaganda tool) and particularly Americans, it lives on in the hearts and minds of many. Unfortunately the average citizen, and this includes the average Christian, is not extremely thoughtful or considerate regarding the facts of this claim, rather they tend to prefer sentiment, emotions and forms of self-righteous idealism and crusading in general. Thus, not only do they allow a dead man (the meme of systemic racism) to live but they eagerly embrace it. And what better way for a white man to crusade than to rescue the black man or woman from his or her allegedly oppressive white brothers and sisters. Thus, they swallow the narrative of abounding social and systemic racism and take up the cause of confronting and combating racial demons everywhere. Sadly, as I said, in the church it isn’t much better.
From this we have racial pandering in many places. Special appeals for black this and black that are pronounced. Our sensitivities must be adjusted for all things black and their specialness recognized. We are guilty of not understanding the struggle of the black thus we can only be dictated to by the black as to how we should respond. They give to the white, marching orders, seeing the while simply does not understand them, the blacks.
One might wonder if this is all a skit in which our legs are being pulled. No, unfortunately it is not. But added to this is the narrative of past offenses, thus more guilt for the white man. This is termed “the cut that never heals” because if it ever heals many blacks would be in bad shape, having to take responsibility for the condition of their own lives and their collective.
Much of this has spilled over into God’s body with the specialness of black-centeredness being hoisted upon the church as a pandering and compensating mechanism to the humanistic chant by many blacks and sympathizing whites and other non-blacks of systemic racism and all of its by-products. And what a vile thing for the church of God to have invading its body.
God’s church is Christ centered, not man centered. Our human racial properties are not an issue, Christ is the issue. In fact, in the church we are a spiritual species which has no anthropological concern or appeal. But because the church has men and women who allow the voices of the world and their emotionally/sentimentally founded way of approaching issues to invade their theology, we have its end, humanism in place of sound theology which is a very ugly Race Based Special Interest Theology injuring our church at large.
The Theological Plague of Failing to understand that God’s Church is Christocentric and we are a Spiritual Species. Human crusades feel good to the human flesh and carnal mind. It is a supreme dish of self-righteousness. And when it comes to racial issues there are few, if any, that give rise to human righteousness and a sense of “look what I have done for others” than race. And in this world, which is outside of the church, it is understandable that such issues arise.
The world’s divine plan has with it families, tribes and nations. Self-interest is paramount to survival, perpetuity and eventually a standard of living which is compatible with the gifts, temperament and limits of certain individuals and/or groups of like-people. Thus, it is expected that people will divide over and make concerted efforts through their family, or more broadly, racial/ethnic lines.
However, in the church of God no such humanism is permitted. God’s people, the church, is a phenomenal body and is the exception, the historical exception, to the rule of the operation of humanity. Humanity and all of its constructs, whether divine institutions such as the individual, marriage, family or government or human institutions such as sporting clubs, science societies and so on, are anthropologically based and are supposed to be by design and intent but God’s church is not. It is the exception to the rule.
A New Spiritual Species. There is no anthropological reference point for God’s people. Paul makes this clear, that in the church, with respect to our spiritual identities, there is “no longer Jew or Greek, male or female” (Galatians 3:28). Further he adds that we are “a new creation” and that the “old has gone” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The word in 2 Corinthians for creation is ktisis (κτίσις). It is a feminine noun (with reference to our being the bride of Christ) which means, most literally, a new thing and in our case, a new species and most specifically a new spiritual species. That is what it means to be made alive with Christ. The spiritual man is “regenerated” (Titus 3:5).
The word Paul uses in Titus is paliggenisia (παλιγγενεσία) which means, literally, again-birth or anew-birth. It means something has been made alive in us which was not, before. That is not merely an awakening but the birth of a new person. We are no longer carnal, we are spiritual. Thus, in the body of Christ, the protocols of Christ reign which are raceless and genderless as regards our spiritual person with its operation and lifelong transformation through the raceless and genderless spiritual truths given to us in his Word.
All of who and what we are in our spiritual identity is just that, spiritual in nature with no reference to our anthropological (racial) orientation. In other words, there are no racial, ethnic or even gender special interests or point of revolution in the church of God as we exercise and express ourselves spiritually. All of us are to identify with one another as Christians, related through Christ with the same Savior.
This is not to say legitimate anthropological structures and particularly divine institutions which are anthropologically based, have been obliterated or rendered nonplussed. They still have their place. Self, marriage, family and government are still operative but on different principles and protocols. Thus, while spiritually operating in genderless status as a spiritual species in and through Christ, one does not quit operating in the context of their marriage as a man/husband or woman/wife and so on as goes other contexts.
Thus, all of the doctrine we learn is to be Christocentric. All of the efforts for spiritual exercise are to be Christocentric. The church and its people are Christocentric. Unfortunately, I am about to demonstrate some very bad trends in the church and among God’s people in Evangelicalism today which are promoting anthropocentric theology which imports human interests and humanistic values that run counter to Christocentric theology and practice and its rightful preeminence in the church.
The following are links to materials which either promote or assume anthropocentrism also knows as Special Interest Theology and in the case of race, Race Based Special Interest Theology:
Why Multiculturalism is a Must for the Church
The Joyful Pursuit of Multi-Ethnic Churches
Pursing Multi-Ethnic Congregations: A Conversation with Derwin Gray and Juan Sanchez
Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership is overlooked in the White Christian Churches and Institutions
And this is but a smattering of the effort to create, in God’s church, an elevated status of anthropological identity and concern. It is sinful and heretical, to say the least. Understand, the people writing these things are sincere and have a good degree or sufficient degree of intelligence to formulate arguments which are above average with respect to how most people argue, but theologically speaking they are failures from the start. They are blind to their own imported interests and seek to turn the spiritual body of Christ and his spiritual species into another human or anthropologically based body for human events and concerns.
The church, God’s body, was not established for such efforts and is not part of his protocol plan. We love one another because Christ first loved us. Our fellowship with one another is in, through and around Christ alone. All of the above articles and any like them are judging the church based on humanistic standards and then attempting to alter and re-issue protocols foreign to the plan of God for the church.
When it is said that minority voices (Bradley) are not given due attention in the church, the Word of God immediately retorts, "there is but one voice Mr. Bradley, that of the spiritual person speaking spiritual truths and which do not regard human properties as contributors to its content". Thus, this new remedy which is not only forwarded by Bradley but embraced by many others, namely pursing multi-racial or multi-ethnic bodies, is precisely against the Word of God.
Whatever anthropological demographic results when men and women are born again and brought into the body is God’s concern. This is not our church and we are not to build it. We are to see people either as saved or unsaved without respect to race and after they are saved we are to view them as our brothers and sisters in Christ who need to mature in the Word of God with one truth, not a black theology or white theology, or not with Hispanic touches on sound teaching because there is no such thing, but one truth, the Word of God, not the Word of God and man.
However, where humanism has crept in and racial concerns invaded the church, it has become something real in the minds of many. They believe race is a moral issue and one that is central to much of theology.
Why is this? Possibly, as I addressed earlier, racial narcissism which leads to a disregard for sound thinking and certainly sound theology, can and does produce this. It is a growing source of self-righteous satisfaction within Evangelicalism which is accelerating a willing and eager environment of pandering participants because many of the false assumptions and assertions of Race Based Special Interest Theology are being swallowed without criticism due to the guilt ridden over-reaction by those who once would have easily identified this trend as heterodoxy and heresy.
Remember what I said, earlier, about the expanded definition of racism? Now you are beginning to understand its potency. Those in the world of theology, particularly institutional theology, dare not speak as I do because they know what will happen, they are likely to have the label of racist attached to fair criticisms.
Friends this is not the work of God but the intimidation of the Evil One.
The Sin of Pursuing Multiculturalism and Pseudo-Integration in the Church
Above, I have made clear that this preoccupation with pursing multiculturalism/racialism/ethnicism in the body of Christ is anti-Biblical and theological heterodoxy. However, it being the newest form of self-righteousness makes is very attractive, particularly because it comes with the applause and approval of the world! Unfortunately it is also a façade.
The truth is, integration and multiculturalism/racialism/ethnicism are not the same thing. And that is one of the fundamental problems, both in the church and outside the church, which confronts those who wish to have both. You cannot both and for very basic reasons.
To integrate means to be absorbed. It requires substantial loss of one thing and substantial gain of another. What is being proposed and demanded today is, instead, multiculturalism but a multiculturalism with the benefits of integration. And if you are not sure of what I mean, I will be very clear.
True Integration. True integration requires two or more elements to combine to form something new. In some cases, if the elements are equal, they generally have equal loss and gain in the formation of that new thing. In the case of there being a significant more of one thing than the other, the lesser of the two, in order to integrate, will yield to the predominance of the other. The result will be greater change in the lesser but still, some change in the greater, although less notable.
Colors are this way. If we integrate a pint of yellow into a gallon of blue we still preserve a blue identity to the color though it does change to a different kind of blue, it still remains in the blue family. However, if we had equal blue and yellow, we end up with green.
Multiculturalism/racism/ethnicity, on the other hand, is like oil and water. It is brought together without ever truly integration and instead both insist on preserving all of their unique properties. Thus, there is always tension and the end is not a new thing but two unintegrated substances which are always in competition for the same space.
In human culture it is this way and in America, especially. While at one time blacks sought to integrate into predominantly white culture which including the naming of their children, forms of education, forms of entertainment, social manners and customs and a general way of life and so on, ironically, as public policy began to change which reflected a willing governmental and broad acquiescence to integration, an anti-integration movement arose in black America which rejected integration wishing instead, to preserves as much as possible the black distinction from white society.
The problem is that the product of integration, which is social harmony and like-mindedness, is not also produced in multiculturalism/racialism/ethnicism. It has as its product a constant opposition and fundamentally different social construct in the midst of a majority thereby creating perpetual tension and conflict.
Pseudo-Integration. As a result no one speaks honestly and we go about pretending. Thus, we have what I term pseudo-integration. That is, multiculturalism/racialism/ethnicism can only work (if this is really what you want) in a society if those separate groups operate within a greater group, independent of that greater group without expecting or demanding the benefits of what would come if they integrated into that greater group. They live in, but apart, from the others. (*If this can be done without the demands that they share in the products of the others with which the refuse full integration but with appreciation and respect for their rights to a culture and its benefits, multiculturalism is possible but highly unlikely seeing that one of the groups will have something the others will not and the inevitable human elements of envy and covetousness will be in operation.)
Instead however, we force together groups and people, like oil and water, without demanding any real integration. And through social browbeating, social intimidation, and a myriad of other fruitless efforts, we have settled on this idea that we can all preserve to the greatest maximum all of our special properties yet demand the benefits of integration.
Real integration means something predominates all. Whether the new thing is still strongly one of the bodies which integrated or whether they experience equal loss and gain is irrelevant with regard to real integration. Ultimately it will be unilateral, thus harmonious by and large. We do not have that in the United States and generally throughout the world.
The Church and Integration. As I said earlier, God’s church is not based on anthropological properties, we are a new spiritual species. Our theology is not ceded in racial interests but spiritual interests.
Now it is true that each one of us has special contexts in which our faith applies the truths of God’s Word per its unique set of circumstances. All of your problems are unique to you, though they may be similar to others at times. However, simply because you have unique problems or share similar problems with a certain group, you are not licensed to create a new theology which revolves around those circumstances or your group.
Suppose you are obese. Should you then develop Obese Theology because of your unique experiences and social suffering from being obese? How about being paralyzed. Should you now have a Paralyzed Theology? And what about Obese and Paralyzed voices, Mr. Bradley, who will stand up for those along with the Redheads, Nearsighted and Little People? Who Mr. Bradley, who?
Do you see the problem when we start talking about Black Theology, White Theology, and Asian Theology and so on? The problem is that they are based on what I just wrote about, self-interests or human interests. Thus, if it is acceptable to acknowledge the legitimacy of Race Based Special Interest Theology, where does it end? The answer is quite arbitrary and takes us through the looking glass to a land of incoherent and unsustainable theology and ecclesiology.
The fact is our integration in the church is based in Christ. Our theology is Christ. Our ecclesiology is Christ. Human elements are not to be given elevation but subordination in the enlarging of Christ. What is spiritually true for the white is spiritually truth for the black and vice versa because the saved white and the saved black or any other racially identifiable individual is not operating based on his or her race when it comes to spiritual truths and their spiritual person, rather his or her being a “new creation”, their spiritual man, which is not humanly based. Thus, there is no such thing as Black, White, Brown or Red Theology. It is God’s Word and his Word alone.
Our unique life-context, whether it be racial, vocational, or recreational is where we take the Word of God to be applied by faith, not the context in which we build its tenets.
Charles Stanley and First Baptist Church of Atlanta
Whether you are a Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran or some other denomination or non-denominational Christian, a ministry and church that examples many things right about a congregation which has a racially and ethnically mixed demographic is that of First Baptist Church of Atlanta under the Pastoral leadership of Dr. Charles Stanley. It takes but one viewing event of one of his televised or online sermons to observe that his congregation is quite demographically diverse.
The difference, however, between Charles Stanley’s efforts and those of the multiculturalists is that Dr. Stanley has never purposed, nor has First Baptist Church of Atlanta, to be a racially or ethnically diverse church. That is, where they were situated is where they ministered. Whoever believed and was baptized became a member.
Stanley’s objective was and is, as I understand it and is reflected in his published works, to both personally and corporately lead FBCA to serve to whomever was his spiritual brother or sister may be, the truth of the Word of God. As well, Stanley's biblical objective is to serve to whomever is not, the gospel that will save him or her. He does not see color because he sees brothers and sisters in the Lord. He is not ignorant of their human estate but Charles Stanley understands part of what I have been saying, that biblical truth is not ceded in the human estate, (anthropological estate), but in Christ. It is the Word of God as God’s truth, it is illuminated by the power of God’s Spirit and only those who are of the spiritual species of Christ are given this privilege.
At FBCA you will find many racially and ethnically different people growing and maturing in their walk. But what you will not find are special formations of theology to attend to such things. That is a human division in which spiritual matters have no place.
Charles Stanley nor FBCA sought to pursue anything but the unsaved with the gospel and the saved with sound doctrine. God built the church.
And that is what you are to be doing, Christian Minister. The Church of God is not your playground for self-aggrandizing racial pandering and crusading. There is but one crusade and that is for lost souls to be saved and the saved to be discipled. But then again, maybe all of those racially and ethnically different people at FBCA simply are all too ignorant to realize they are hapless fools in a white church, at least that what it seems Anthony Bradley would like to suggest.
Race and Reality
The realities of racial difference is one which is too painful for many to bear. Most reasonable conversations are destroyed, almost instantly, either within the participant and their attitude or as a result of the introduction of facts which do not reflect the idealism of the participant.
One of the most glaring facts that seem few can tolerate for even a few moments is the reality that fundamentally, the black race and the white race are not only measurably different with regard to biology but as well, intellectually and socially. And this difference makes national perpetuity very difficult (I am only focusing on the black/white issue here, while acknowledging other groups) though I will say that the great experiment called America is far and away greater in its success than many countries which face diverse populations.
Now, it is true that we are all equally human. The idea that one group is less human than the other has been disproved. Quantitative human difference does not exist.
On the other hand, qualitative difference do exist. The serial murderer and the virtuous mother are not qualitatively the same human. One is a better or greater human than the other, qualitatively speaking. That simple fact is something we all embrace.
However, collectively or with groups and with racial groups especially, this principle becomes very difficult for many to navigate. Some cannot bring themselves to admit or concede that groups of people, collectively, have a more virtuous profile than another, especially with regard to crime, education, or development into an advanced civilization. It is painful, very painful for some and not always for the same reason. Sometimes that pain is very unnecessary due to having rushed to accept and embrace ideas and assertions that have a poor foundation and sometimes, it is, because it is part of growth into enlightenment.
And while those difference make us humanly and qualitatively apart in many respects, Christ makes any and all humans equal without qualitative distinction, in the body of Christ and with respect to our spiritual DNA. Thus, in eternity, we will have these imperfect bodies translated to a glorified and eternal state where the spiritual reigns.
But for now, we are not in heaven nor in possession of that glorified state. We are on earth where the realities of earth and human existence are inescapable.
Our life on earth requires orientation to the truth, not what we wish were true. To love yourself, your family, community/nation and church is to want the truth which brings about what is truly righteous.