Monday, July 18, 2016

THE GOSPEL COALITION AND SBC’S INTENSE PUSH FOR THE NEW DOCTRINE OF RACIAL RECONCILIATION: HOW THIS NEW DOCTRINE AROSE AND WHY THE SCRIPTURES REJECT ITS ASSERTION


*For those of you who protest this five-part essay and refuse to read it because of its title, please do not buckle to such shortsightedness. It is not what you might assume and is far more than you may realize. Thus, I ask you, along with everyone else, to take time to read this and consider its weight. As well, if there was ever a series I have hoped to be read widely and shared vigorously, it is this one. The threat to the body of Christ with this new doctrine is momentous and extensive.

Introduction

On any given day either online at Christian websites or in Christian bookstores, you will find the doctrine of human multiism, abounding from the lips and pages of Bible teachers, Pastors and theologians of various stripes, not to mention among non-Christian media sources. While it is not a universal Christian doctrine and certainly not an orthodox doctrine with any historic pedigree, it is fast becoming established Christian orthodoxy by way of its embrace among both liberal and conservative Protestants and Evangelicals and even some Fundamentalists.

Generally, you will find the terms diversity, racial reconciliation, racial justice, social justice, multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural used synonymously or in conjunction with one another because of their very close relationship in meaning and application. Supposedly, they are self-evident in their definition but if you are not aware of the basic concept of human multiism or diversity, being forwarded, it may be defined, very generally, as - the existence of more than one race, ethnicity and/or culture in a singular construct with a cooperative existence in which all contributors are permitted expression either individually or in the form of a new product via the conglomeration of all contributors. 

Think Diversity- Generally, the mind of the proponents of human multiism is one of racial, ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as other forms of human expression such as human sexual identity and even transhuman identities in the case of someone identifying as an animal such as a cat or dog. While this may seem pretty far removed from typical diversity discussions, there are many who include transhumanism in their discussions of diversity and human multiism though no Evangelicals have taken it that far and to be fair, I doubt they will, at least for some time.

As I have observed, it is without doubt that in today’s world, diversity has become a sacrosanct humanist doctrine which has risen to the level of a moral value. That is, to be against human diversity, whether it be racial, ethnic or cultural and beyond, is not simply to disagree with a social philosophy but to be guilty of committing some sort of moral sin in opposition to a new social morality.

Whatever the construct, social engineers working from a humanistic viewpoint (the brotherhood of mankind), while using whatever philosophical resources available, which includes Scripture, have developed and instituted a rather complex human multiism value system which has been imposed onto society by successfully raising it to a moral imperative. Thus, to fail to construct a humanly diverse environment or at least pursue this, is to act immorally or to sin. In some countries it is a violation of a civil or criminal code which can bring severe penalties. This is the modern enlightenment of world which now includes many formerly historically orthodox Christian groups as those who embrace this value on some level. 

What does the Bible have to Say about Human Multiism?

Today, with the accelerated advancement of the doctrine of human multiism in society and the so-called historically conservative Evangelical/Protestant church affirming this at various levels, we must stop and ask ourselves what the Bible has to say about this whole philosophical framework. After all, if Bible teachers, Pastors and theologians are promoting it, surely it must exist in some form in the Bible.

Two examples come to mind regarding the purported conservative Evangelical church espousing a form of this modern doctrine of human diversity as a moral code, they are The Gospel Coalition and Russell Moore the President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. I will get to those in a bit. 

The Non-Transcendence of Human Multiism as a Biblical Value 

Interestingly, the Bible has a number of different things to say at different points about whether or not human multiism is a moral value which can be derived from Scripture. And whatever it says at different points, they are never contradictory things. That is to say, for example, within the Theocracy of Israel, God’s Hebrew people were quite restricted with respect to marriage, family and culture. Repeatedly, God chided them and disciplined them for human multiism which many of their leaders and citizens considered reasonable and enlightening.

One of the many examples of God’s rejection of human multiism in the Theocratic state of Israel is from Deuteronomy 23:3-5:

23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation none of their descendants shall ever do so, 4 for they did not meet you with food and water on the way as you came from Egypt, and furthermore, they hired Balaam son of Beor of Pethor in Aram Naharaim to curse you. 5 But the Lord your God refused to listen to Balaam and changed the curse to a blessing, for the Lord your God loves you.


Obviously, the context is limited but what we do see is that this idea of human multiism is, at best, a relative value and not a transcendent moral value issued by God for mankind and I believe the evidence only begins to mount against the concept or value of human multiism as any kind of eclipsing Biblical value which should be taught as imperative and forced upon upon God’s people as a holy or righteous ecclesiastical doctrine and practice or upon nations as a Biblical civil moral edict.

Boundaries are Divine 

At a separate point, the Scriptures give the account of the Tower of Babel where God scattered men through the introduction of many languages which caused confusion and assigned to mankind, by this instrument, a world in which shared language was a major source of not only individual but collective identification for the establishment of tribes, states or nations. While it does not affirm that men could only exist in such a posture, it certainly acted, and still does, as a barrier to human unification on a global scale. And to the point of all of this, it was a deliberate division by God of humanity. Thus, it stands, not as an affirmation of human multiism but in this case, at least, against it as any form of absolute and transformative value.

Augmenting this clear division of humanity by God, we go to the book of Acts for more evidence. It reveals in Acts17:26 (NASB):
and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
Some would, as would I, consider this prima facie evidence, that in so far as The Humanist Manifesto is concerned and its promotion of world oneness and the brotherhood of man, where nations and peoples do not compete against one another and where national and state borders are anecdotal, they err, greatly. as does any Christian who would ignore the explicit and implicit properties of this revelation of God’s mind toward our world and his intent for mankind,

But What about Galatians? 

I’m glad you asked. Many Christian proponents of human multiism or human racial diversity in an ecclesiastical setting, like to cite Galatians 3:28, which states: (NASB):
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

If one were to be lazy, they might imagine that because of Christ, all men may be reconciled racially, ethnically and culturally. This could not be further from the text. Removing that gross error, there is the Christian error which believes that this speaks of racial, ethnic and cultural reconciliation among believers. Again, this is a fundamental error of hermeneutics.

The context has nothing to do with all of humanity having the potential to be personally reconciled or even all Christians having the potential, because of Christ's work, of being racially, ethnically and culturally reconciled with one another rather, it informs us that all those who have believed the gospel are reconciled to Christ through the forgiveness of sins and the new birth. Therefore, and from this, all Christians are spiritually – or in Christ - reconciled to one another and become one, in Christ (notice, it says “one”, not much diversity there). It is a spiritual construct, far removed from the anthropological context suggested by those who would misuse this text.

When one demands personal reconciliation (racial, ethnic or cultural) for spiritual fellowship, they are actually working to disrupt and thwart genuine spiritual reconciliation and fellowship which we are given as believers, in Christ. 

What You Must Acknowledge, If Nothing Else 

As we can see, in one place men are instrumentally and deliberately divided by God whereas, in another place and in another context – our reconciliation with Christ thus, our spiritual unity with one another - he removes such barriers. 

And still in another place, we can observe our Lord in the context of the culture in which he lived and ministered. Though a Jewish rabbi, he regularly found himself at odds with religious leaders. Christ ate with social outcasts such as Samaritans and tax-collectors and taught that anyone, no matter their primogenitor, if genuinely repentant toward God and seeking justification through the righteousness offered by God and not through attempts to merit it, was more righteous than any Pharisee who thought to base their righteousness before God in obeying the law. 

The Key 

While I could go on and on with Biblical references, none of that does any good if we do not understand their context, which is fundamental to applying the Scriptures in the formulation of doctrinal prescriptions.

An example of the contextual ignorance to which I refer is when one might look at the life of Christ and observe the constant conflict between his ministry and that of the Pharisees (especially the turning over of the tables) and conclude that Christians are to be disruptors and protestors of things they believe are unrighteous. But that would be a gross misunderstanding and unreliable use of that event.

Unfortunately, similar squandering of Biblical texts with Evangelical proponents of human multiism in the form of the new racial reconciliation doctrine or more broadly, social justice theology, who seek to moralize their crusades, are not only plenty but have crept so far into the church that the presence of such destructive hermeneutics has become normalized and employed as the assumptive or even presumptive starting point for many unwitting and novice Evangelicals in their theology.

I am not writing, however, to deal with the context of each and every one of the wayward propositions of those pushing human multiism in the church, rather, to present to you why human multiism or what I sometimes relate as Race Based Special Interest Theology is not only theologically or Biblically impermissible but not even spiritually and ecclesiastically possible.

My assertion is that if we follow a sound interpretation of Scripture, it isn’t even theologically/ecclesiastically feasible to build a racially, ethnically or culturally diverse local assembly. This is not because we will not have or do not have anthropological diversity (racial, ethnic and cultural) in our local assembles but because of the unique spiritual paradigm of the body of Christ which does not originate from human properties, is not constructed on the basis of human properties and does not function in the power or essence of human properties such as race, ethnicity and culture.

By the time you get to the end of this, my hope is that you will be convinced not only of the unsoundness and potential injury of this new wayward doctrine which is bringing a great weight of disunity and antagonism in the church but of the Biblical framework which actually protects the church from such anthropological assaults and in being convinced, you will be willing to share this series of posts with as many as possible and even help in refining its arguments.

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