Friday, July 21, 2017

THE CONUNDRUM CHRONICLES: BLACK SBC ACADEMIAN, LAWRENCE WARE, "I LOVE THE CHURCH, BUT I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE MORE”, AND TODD PRUITT’S RELUCTANT BUT REWARDING RECOGNITION OF THE TRUTH


Recently, the afro-centric theology/ecclesiology being promoted by the Southern Baptist Convention came to an honest head where black academic Lawrence Ware, as reported by Rod Dreher, which you may read here, stated, with regard to his frustration that the SBC is still apparently either antagonistic or aloof to black social justice (parenthesis mine):
I want to be a member of a body of believers that is structured around my Christian beliefs of equity, not one that sees those issues as peripheral. The equality of all people (ahem, Mr. Ware, in Christ, believers are all equally spiritually alive and reconciled to one another, you do know that, right?) should be a fundamental principle that is a starting point of the convention’s existence, not a side issue to be debated.
I love the church, but I love black people more. Black lives matter to me. I am not confident that they matter to the Southern Baptist Convention.
This assertion by Ware is qualified with his embracing of the Black Lives Matter movement which is clearly at odds with the objective of the church where it states, again as Dreher reports:
We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, and especially “our” children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.
Unfortunately, Dreher concludes that this kind of statement vindicates the “alt-right” boogeyman which, apparently, he believes in and is a bad thing. So who is wrong, the scary ghoul called the alt-right or Ware? 

Which team is Dreher for, Team Truth or Team Narrative? Well, Dreher is somewhat of an approved Evangelical spokesperson hence, my referencing his coverage but it is a good question to ask yourself, are you for Team Truth or Team Narrative? Are you disappointed when your narrative isn't validated or are you informed when something is affirmed which wasn't anticipated?

From this, it appears that Todd Pruitt of Mortification of Spin (MOS) and Lead Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrison, VA, wrote an article using the same qualifying statement that Dreher used about the alt-right, The Unfortunate Vindication of the Alt Right.

At the end of his post, Pruitt writes:
I reject categorically the racial idolatry of the alt right. I reject with equal force the religion of race held by Lawrence Ware and Black Lives Matter. The religion of racial idolatry is a dead end for reconciliation and poisonous to the gospel. I pray it will be rejected in the PCA.
Added to this is his even more recent article, The Virus Attached to “Social Justice”, posted on Thursday, 20 July. In the post he references the rising buzz-word and academic golden calf called “Intersectionality” in which he recommends a thoughtful treatment of the issue by Elizabeth C. Corey, at First Things. You can read the article, here.

From all of this is the recognition of what I see formulated by Corey that I now call, Racial Fundamentalism. In other words, there exists, now, within the minds of certain so-called conservative Evangelical Christian teachers, Pastors, theologians and leaders, a kind of racial fundamentalism which is much like what Elizabeth Corey assembles in her article as she references the ideas in Eric Voegelins’s 1968 book, Science, Politics and Gnosticism.

Here, Corey soundly places her finger on the heartbeat of the issue. She cites Voegelin’s observation that, “modern ideologies are very much like ancient Gnostic movements. Certain fundamental assumptions, Voegelin wrote, characterize both ancient and modern Gnosticism.

Finally, and back to Pruitt’s newest post, he observes about the matter broadly and with respect to his denomination, the PCA:
Evangelicals are right to be concerned about intersectionality because it is something of a virus attached to much (not all) of the new social justice activism being imported into the church.

Intersectionality begins to manifest itself by lending justification to, for instance, a left-wing political action committee being run from the offices of a PCA church. It is also seen in various social media with calls – from professing Christians – for white evangelicals to quit trying to take the gospel to Africa because “we good.”

 Of course all of this has been warned against. Making something so impossibly vague as “social justice” the central concern of the church has only ever lead to apostasy. If legitimate calls for racial reconciliation are allowed to morph into racial politics the gospel itself will be distorted and the Great Commission will be recast as cultural imperialism.
With all this covered, I want to share some observations:

With respect to Lawrence Ware’s statement - he loves black people more than the church, I say hats off to his honesty and it is about time someone said what is clearly apparent in the affections of a number of so-called Gospel Coalition type black voices such as Jemar Tisby, Thabiti Anyabwile and Anthony Bradley of what I call, Liberation Light theology. As I have observed, they are afro-centrists, and what I term Racial Fundamentalists and in this case, Black Racial Fundamentalists. Now, I am not saying they have stated they agree with Ware but I am stating that it is my observation that the only thing left is for them to come out of the black racial fundamentalist closet.

Racial Fundamentalism – this term I will use to describe what Corey identified as Christians who have fundamental assumptions about their position on racial issues and the church and make a concentrated effort, not toward the Biblical spiritual reconciliation we have with one another as believers stemming from our new birth in Christ, but one toward a human or anthro-centric (in this case, afro-centric) reconciliation which they insist must be forced upon the church in the vein of some kind of social justice cause which, in fact, acts as an obstruction to true spiritual fellowship and unity of God's people.

Todd Pruitt – I do not know Todd but have read his articles at MOS and listened to some of the audio podcasts so I am familiar to that extent. In this, I have witnessed Todd sharing his accounts of being attacked on a couple of occasions, rather vehemently, and of course, I have also watched his coverage in retreat. What his attackers do not understand is that while Mr. Pruitt was temporarily forced back to his home base in order to recompose himself, such forced withdrawals always come with a price to the provocateurs and here is what I mean.

When Todd Pruitt drew back to sanctuary space, he did it not only licking his wounds but also knowing he was wronged and naïve. And when one realizes the sophisticated dishonesty of those who are the author of his or her injuries, they think, long and hard and they become motivated to be smarter and more precise with greater fire power on the next go ‘round and this is exactly what I am seeing in Reverend Pruitt; a growing muscularity and finesse in his approach toward what he knows is the intrusion of social justice campaigning and racial fundamentalism into the church.

Let me be clear, Todd Pruitt may not even know I exist, I do not presume such things. And even if he does know I am alive and has read my blog, he might not even prefer me or worse, oppose me for more than one reason. That is fine with me if that is the case. I am not here for a preferred narrative but simply to state what I see is happening, irrespective of personal likings or dislikings.

As to Todd Pruitt, he is waking up. Whether he likes it or not, the red pill is forcing its way down ironically, by its very adversaries. And if this is the case with Todd, it is the case for many, many more.

Alt-Right – What is the “alt-right”? The truth is, the word is a substitute for “racist” since no one takes being called a racist seriously much anymore. It is like using thug in place of nigger, which is sometimes the case. The word, racist, has lost its power in many quarter but alt-right? My, oh my, you’re nefarious because not only are you a racist but you are part of a white political cooperative seeking the continued oppression of people of color for time eternal and all kinds of other dreadful social violence. Jackboot thugs, they are. Wait, that's Antifa.

Now, we know that the characterization I just gave regarding the alt-right is fictional but in truth, the alt-right, itself, is fictional, at least for the most part. Whatever it was or is, by and large, western society conservatives are generally historically consistent. That is to say, they don’t depart from their basic values hence, alt-right, which is apparently not the traditional western conservative, is a fractional number, if it exists in any significant way. The only use for the label is as a pejorative toward those who hold to and argue for valid, social conservative views which gladly seek debate but find only racial fundamentalists with their sacrosanct assumptions who demand acquiescence merely because they hold to treasured ideas attached to persons of color (the Ace of Spades, so to speak) and not because they are able to win in the market place of ideas.

Why do I write so much about racial issues and the church?

I write so much about it because it is destroying the church. The day a Christian comes to understand that his or her reconciliation to their brothers and sisters in Christ is a spiritual reconciliation and not an anthropomorphic one, whether it be ethnocentric, Afrocentric, Anglocentric, or any other anthropologically based reconciliation, this is the day his/her misery and frustration ends and the blessing of genuine fellowship with other believers begins.

On this day, he or she will lay down the impediment of racial interests, ethnic interests and cultural interests (which are for the left kingdom, that of government/civic establishment) and interact with spiritual interests, toward those of the church. He or she will seek to be taught sound doctrine, to mature in the Lord, to discover and use whatever spiritual gifts(s) the Spirit of God endowed him or her with and understand that our fellowship in the church and as the people of God is one based in our shared spiritual DNA, shared doctrine and a shared culture of Christ.

God never says do not love your African, Black American, Asian, Hispanic, Anglo, or Islander genetic family. He never says the civil concerns of a people are not valid things for you, as a citizen of both this world and God’s Kingdom, to pursue. He does say, however, that civil issues and pursuits are just that civil, for the Kingdom on the Left.

The church, the Kingdom on the Right, established for gospel concerns, is not a social or civic body but a spiritual body commissioned to invest in the spiritual values and protocols of God. His body and his resources are not intended nor sanctioned for social campaigns.

May God bless all my readers.

2 comments:

Daniel G. said...

Yet another byproduct of Trump derangement has been the creation of what you describe as the " 'alt-right' bogeyman". Much like the Russian bogeyman, the alt-right bogeyman is simply a means to cover for shallow thinking and lack of awareness regarding the American political consciousness. In addition, it is used as a pawn to push any number of disingenuous arguments that lack any basic logic. The truth has been covered up, cast off instead as "Russian interference" or "Russian meddling". In the same way, traditional value apologies (secure borders, America-first focus, financial/military non-intervention in the rest of the world's affairs) and exposure of corrupt bureaucratic control can be dismissed motivated by the "alt-right" and their supposed conspiracy theories. Richard Spencer (who got no attention until the left gave it to him) and his infinitesimally small number of relevant followers somehow represent 90% of the people who elected a new president. Successfully boxing segments of people into some caricature is what fuels oppositional thinking these days. Actually making real arguments has become passe. The new normal is ranking positions on whether or not they are racist, sexist, or bigoted. Virtue-signaling along racial lines of "equality" is required to be heard.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Wow. Daniel, this could be a blog article unto itself. Well articulated. Maybe I'll get time for a post devoted to virtue signaling and the church.