Why ‘Racial Justice’ is NOT a Gospel Demand
The proponents of racial reconciliation within the Church, especially the Southern Baptist Church, continue to propagate this idea that we need to set aside our differences and reconcile our racial divide. Racial tensions in the US are mostly a fabrication of mainstream media anyways, and aren’t nearly as bad as they would have you believe. However, it is unfortunate that many of our conservative, Bible-believing leaders in the Evangelical church have bought into this notion of white-privelege, and are using it as a means to further this “racial reconcilation” idea.
It all began with the Nov. 24 grand jury decision that police officer, Darren Wilson, would not be indicted on criminal charges for shooting a black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. And, in the footsteps of Rahm Emmanuel, and just like any neo-Marxist Democrat, “not letting a crisis go to waste,” Russell Moore jumped right in to begin his new order of business. It wasn’t long before the rest of the cohorts jumped on the bandwagon, and made this the topic of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission’s 2015 Leadership Summit. Some of the more well known proponents of this cause, and speakers at the event are, Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Pastor Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, pastor, author and hip-hop artist out of Washington, D.C., Trip Lee, and former SBC president, Pastor Fred Luter.
Who you won’t find speaking at this event are critics of this unbiblical cause, such as Dr. Randy White, Pastor, J.D. Hall, Pastor Ken Fryer, or even Pastor Voddie Baucham, who sees this issue completely differently than the mainstream leaders of Evangelicalism. While I don’t want to speak for any of these critics, I do want to point out that if you disagree with Russell Moore on this issue, chances are you will be repudiated for it. But is “racial reconcilation,” as presented by Moore and his companions actually Biblical?
First off, I want to make it absolutely clear that from a Biblical worldview, racism is absolutely unacceptable. The Bible is absolutely clear that holding hate in our hearts towards our brother is no different than murder (Matthew 5:21-26). That being said, hate is a sin, and confronting sin IS a Gospel demand. But this isn’t how Russell Moore and Co. are touting it. Moore’s solution to racial tensions in the US begin in the church—by integrating them racially. Then we also have Rev. Dwight McKissic, a black Southern Baptist pastor in Arlington, Texas saying, “The church lacks the moral authority to address the world about race before we set our own house in order.” Pastor Tony Evans says we need to grieve and repent over racism in America. And Danny Akin is making it his personal conviction to see to it that a more diverse group of pastors are recruited and educated within his seminary. Translation, we need to hire more black pastors so we can look better to the black community. But do we really have a problem in the Church? All this does is sugar coat the issue, and doesn’t get at the heart of it. It’s absolutely no different than the social programs our governments have put in place for blacks, such as affirmative action. It gives blacks a priority advantage simply because of the color of their skin, and not because of ability or commitment. It also makes blacks dependent on a system that doesn’t address the root cause of the problems—sin.
Recently I posted a tweet, in response to another article pushing reconciliation, posing the question, “Who are these ‘racist’ SBC churches that these people keep referring to? I’ve yet to see one.” Almost immediately I got a response from another tweeter saying that in Mississippi, he was aware of quite a few of them. My question back to him was, are they actually Christians in these churches. Agreeably with me, he said “probably not.” So I ask then, if they aren’t Christians, how are they a church. The point I was making is that we don’t have a racism problem within the church. If there are racists, sitting in the pews of a church building on Sunday mornings, and acting hateful or intolerant of other races, their problem is not with disunity, non-integration or any other Russell Moore concept. An unrepentant, self-serving, sin-rationalizing racist CANNOT be any more of a Christian than an unrepentant, self-serving, sin-rationalizing homosexual, drunkard, adulterer or anything else. Being a Christian requires repentance of sin (Luke 13:3-5).
Integrating blacks and whites together in our churches is not going to solve any problem (be it perceived or actual) of racial tension in our country. Making this a “Gospel Demand,” as presented by Moore and Co. is a fallacious implication that the Bible requires us to do this—it does not. What the Bible requires us to do is to take the Gospel to those who are unbelievers. Man cannot solve the problem of sin, it’s why Jesus came to die on the cross for us. The Gospel, by it’s very nature, is going to produce integration among those who believe. I am a member of a very well integrated Southern Baptist church in Charlotte, NC, and I really don’t know anyone, personally, who is racist. Are we sinners, yes, and do we need a savior, yes. But there is nobody, who is a professed, true, baptized believer that’s walking around in my church spouting any kind of racism.
So who are these “racist” churches that Russell Moore, Darryl Aaron, and Tony Lankford keep referring to? Are they referring to their own churches? Show us these churches that you’re referring to and I would wager that they aren’t true Christian churches. In other words, I would bet that the Gospel isn’t being presented regularly, and the Bible isn’t being exposited, and Jesus Christ isn’t the central focus of these “member’s” daily lives. Church integration isn’t a Gospel demand, the Gospel is a Gospel demand.