Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Theological and Factual Wantonness of The Gospel Coalition and Thabiti Anyabwile on the Matter of Race, Ethnicity and Culture and How the Cravenness of the Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist Church is Failing to Address the Matter Forthrightly, Bravely, Factually and Biblically


It is not surprising to watch the paralysis in the Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist (PEF) church in America (and abroad for that matter) regarding the issues(s) of race, ethnicity and culture (REC). This ideological and social constituency, as a whole or its individual parts, has become a polarizing topic in society and as well, in the church. Unfortunately, the filter that the body of Christ is suppose to have which eliminates the damning philosophies of the world and instead corrects the errors of kosmos diabolicus and orients the believer to divine viewpoint when it does teach or comment on current (or even historical) events, is largely missing in the PEF body by and large. And this cannot be more aptly illustrated in the recent blog post by The Gospel Coalition’s Thabiti Anyabwile.

At his TGC blog, Pure Church, he recently posted an article entitled, “3 Reasons Why I Stand with the Protesters”. Now, it is not unforeseen to read this from Anyabwile. I have documented his grotesque descent into leftist/liberal Race Based Special Interest Theology, at least as I see it. But all of that aside and even if one knew nothing about Thabiti, his recent posting tells enough about both Thabiti and the PEF world to inform all of us of two main things. But before I go on allow me to link to the article, here, and quote the three salacious assertions Anyabwile makes.

Anyabwile’s Claims
I stand with the protesters because they better demonstrate what genuine faith looks like.

I stand with the marchers because they are the ones protecting the foundations.

I stand with the marchers because they are the ones pursuing a just goal with a just means.
Two Observations

First, Thabiti (and The Gospel Coalition seeing that they have given him this platform without censure) is willing to be either ignorant or dishonest regarding the facts of both recent events (Brown and Garner cases and the protesters' behavior) and overall crime statistics, morally irresponsible in characterizing legitimate authority as systemically villainous toward blacks in America as well as supporting what generally has been gross malevolence toward such authority by self-declared victims (and sympathizers) of this alleged systemic injustice and theologically promiscuous in attempting to justify his race based special interest theology and politics as moral and theological dogma.

Secondly, in light of what has been said by Thabiti Anyabwile (and beyond by those in the PEF body echoing such sentiments) we have an almost vacuous body of forthright, factual and Biblical response by the PEF community who know what Anyabwile asserts (again this includes those predicating similar views) is both wrong and further, scandalous. In other words there simply is little robust push-back to these outlandish philosophies and ideas coming from TGC and Anyabwile and company.

The Sounds of Silence Beckon Men of Conviction

Personally, I believe they (those trusted, recognized and/or commissioned as voices for the PEF church) lack the bravery to take on these race based campaigners of a moralized and dogmatized theological political correctness which they know to be untrue. I am convinced they lack the will because of the haunting fear they will be labeled that one word, the weapon of all social weapons, “racist”.

(Possibly worse, without the label "racist", they fear they will be talked about as simply incapable of understanding racial matters due to their whiteness and its inherent, "white or anglocentric bias" of which they are too stupid or arrogant to be aware. In other words, accept your white guilt and cognitive inadequacy which relegates you to not being permitted a view and voice on the matter unless you reflect it in an afrocentric construct and concede the points of afrocentrism otherwise you're all or part of the above and can only speak from your narrow, "white privilege" status- swallow that if you wish.)

However, this is a watershed moment in the PEF church and for its sound theology which includes its by-products of a vibrant orthodoxy on matters of ecclesiology and other divine institutions which involve society such as family, government and so on. At this moment they are giving way to race based special interest theologies and political correctness philosophies in what I believe has been Trojan Horse efforts on one end and a slow but deliberate endeavor on the other end, to massage the social gospel and humanistic ideology, which Tim Keller and TGC heavily sympathize with and promote, into the theological, ecclesiastical, and political consciousness of the PEF (Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist) body of Christ.

Those is the PEF body who know this race based political correctness ideology, which was largely extended into the PEF church through the civil rights movement where Martin Luther King Jr., co-opted the Old Testament Hebraic enslavement by Egypt and displacement in the wilderness and turned American civil rights arguments into Biblical rights through a corrupt hermeneutic, need to rise up and abate the theological and ecclesiastical undulation which threatens the spiritual construct and integrity of the church as well as that of an orthodox theology.

What Anyabwile has claimed in his trio of motivations is simply opprobrious. How can any notable Bible teacher of any integrity stay silent while this man and this organization (TGC) (who claim to be Bible teachers/theologians of orthodoxy and confessional orientation) promote, or in the least sympathize with, the heavily violent and property destructive activities of protesters? How can anyone permit such licentiousness in claiming the protesters, “demonstrate what genuine faith looks like” or that, “they are the ones protecting the foundations”? This is simply asinine.

The Inevitable End of Anti-Authoritarianism

I do not need to nor will I document how and why Anyabwile’s rationale fails because it is prima facie. But if need be I will rebut all three in another post, a task I suspect most have already done in their minds and one which likely can be assigned to a capable eighth grader. He is being given a platform by TGC for a most outrageously irresponsible posturing that will have its consequences in the PEF body (and outside as well).

And speaking of consequences, I am brought to a great realization, today, by the *news that two police officers in New York City were assassinated. That assassination is a product of the protesting community, the one that Anyabwile describes as those who are, “the ones pursuing a just goal with a just means”. The same ones that have repeatedly destroyed millions of dollars’ worth of property, have regularly assaulted non-blacks in the name of justified retribution for a systemic racism against all non-whites which Anyabwile has alluded to himself in his distorted and race based political correctness ideology he shamefully passes off as theology.

Yes, Thabiti, those protesters are the ones who in a great protest spent much of their time, without any push-back or reasonable disassociation, called for a “dead cop”. Well, Anyabwile, your protesters got what they wanted, and shame on you.

Conclusion

There is no other reasonable conclusion that I can make about Thabiti Anyabwile (and in greater respect, TGC) other than the view that he believes the lies of the world, that America is an evil nation and that we are systemically racist. He believes the worst of law enforcement when, in fact, the statistics show a very low and rare percentage of violent occurrences  by those in blue toward those in black when contact is made between the two (violent occurrences do not, in themselves, construe something wrong, in many cases force of some sort is necessitated by LE). You and your cohorts have willingly swallowed a damnable narrative and are unwilling to deal with the facts. You by-pass or dismiss the statistics and the realities and instead have exaggerated them and now use their unwarranted amplification in exacerbating what problems may exist with these exceptional cases.

You have become, in my view and I doubt I speak alone, a race based leftist theologian and are poisoning the church with your ideas. Further, you have made good to be bad and right to be wrong in the minds of many of God’s children and are encouraging the reprehensible view that public enemy #1 is law enforcement; the men and women in blue who daily save lives, daily risk their lives, weekly are given a paycheck that can barely support a family (if that) and are tasked with the impossible by those who play armchair Monday morning quarterback, judging their every motive and imperfect performance as ostensibly systemically corrupt and notorious when it comes to dealing with blacks (as well as other nonwhites) when the statistics, the hard and unassailable statistics, show otherwise.

But more so, shame on those who have not stood up to correct and rebuke Anyabwile and TGC for their recklessness – factually, organizationally, philosophically and theologically. Your silence will have its costs and to those who have spoken the truth, may God add great blessing to the words of truth.

*Thabiti Anyabwile has posted something at his blog regarding the murder of the two police officers and has no choice, of course, but to condemn these actions but much like Al Sharpton, after offering his patronizing condemnation, refuses to understand that he is part of the disgraceful and factually impoverished narrative about law enforcement which led to the emboldening of the perpetrator who based his actions, in part, on precisely the view of systemic and de facto racism by the men and women in blue which is dismantled and rebutted by crime and law enforcement statistics as well as their interpretation and various institutional studies on the matter.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Is Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Harmony Guaranteed or Necessitated in the New Birth?

 

Recently in the discussion both nationally (if not globally) and ecclesiastically (that is, in the church or the body of Christ) race/ethnicity/culture has been a hot topic for some obvious and immediate reasons but as well, for some long-standing reasons. With respect to the body of Christ and the ongoing discussion, much of the dialog can be monitored online and my observation has been with great pain, frequently.

It is as if, for many theologians and students of the Bible, the spiritual construct of the body of Christ and all of its implications simply either do not exist or are not grasped (for understandable to reproachable reasons), thus, are by-passed in how the issue is approached in the body of Christ. Unfortunately, this includes some rather astute men.

And so, in following this discussion, I was brought to a blog by a Reformed Bible teacher and theologian, Doug Wilson. The reason I am highlighting this is because of a statement he made which I believe captures precisely the fundamental misstep of the Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist world on the matter of race and the presumed racial/ethnic/cultural harmony that somehow must follow when one becomes a Christian and then begins interacting with Christians of differing races, ethnicities and cultures.

I posted a comment at Wilson's blog (as a side note, he holds do a grave error called Federal Vision, but I am not stopping to discuss that at the moment). Whether he permits it or not is not germane. I am only glad that the statement he made exists and I can provide a response, here. Thus, you can read his post here. Following is my response to that.

Wilson's Statement
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.
My Response
You are close but still off. There is no racially (sic) harmony in Christ. You are missing the properties of the construct of being in Christ. It is a spiritual construct. Christians of all races/ethnicities/cultures do not have, as a biblically stated objective, such anthropological properties harmonized or reconciled. In fact, they are actually reduced to anecdotal properties and are not necessitated. Rather, the harmony is Christ and his doctrine. Those who share the DNA of Christ and his doctrine are harmonized outside of their race/ethnicity/culture constructs and into Christ. Racial/ethnic/cultural differences are not remedied, rather they are removed.
Our racial properties, ethnic properties and cultural properties do not suddenly all get on the same page, instead there is a new page that does not have any of this in view. Yes, we are all on the same page but it is not because our race/ethnicity/cultures have been harmonized but because in the body of Christ there is a new DNA and doctrine which is followed.

Now, outside of the body of Christ in other anthropological constructs (such as race/ethnicity/cultural/nationalism, etc...), sure, you can seek some harmonization, if possible, but the Bible does not require that. However, mainly because of their distinctiveness and particularly ones that are very foreign to one another, rarely are they able to be brought into harmony. But in Christ, in the spiritual construct of Christ, our harmony is because we identify as Christian, as those born from above and share the same doctrine, i.e., Christ's.
Being in Christ does not assume a de facto racial/ethnic/cultural harmonization or a de facto by-product. The harmony is because we are in a new and phenomenal paradigm that does not consider anthropological properties. Our harmony is spiritually based.
Concluding Comments

Above I have two illustrations, one picturing human racial harmony and the other spiritual harmony of those from different races/ethnicities/cultures. Wilson's statement represents the critical but nuanced misunderstanding by much of the church.

We, Christians, are not harmonized racially, ethnically or culturally, when we are saved. We are harmonized because we fellowship on another plane, in another construct, or based on a different paradigm. I do not embrace you because of anything you possess anthropologically, rather, because of what you possess spiritually, both in the new man who has been resurrected and the doctrine to which he holds, that of Christ's.

Does it mean that I am free to be completely ignorant of your context in life? No, but nothing in Scripture requires me to reconcile or harmonize myself to it. Rather, that our harmony as brothers and sisters in the Lord are based in our identification as a new man or new creation which identifies his/her DNA as that of God's via the spiritual rebirth in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), our new Adam and fellowships based on his doctrine, i.e., the Word of God.