Ron Burns is a Black Nationalist, which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. In 1988, Burns was drawn to Islam because of its identification with the Black Nationalist Movement. Burn’s family, especially his brother, had a history of violence against police and racism against white people. After supposedly converting to Christianity, Burns decided to keep his Black Nationalist name, Thabiti Anyabwile, which he is commonly known by today.
Anyabwile is a council member of the political organization known as The Gospel Coalition (TGC), which spent years propagating orthodox Christian theology only to recently take a hard-left turn to advance a progressive political agenda. He is also heavily promoted by 9Marx, the organization founded by beltway D.C. pastor, Mark Dever.
Burns was accused of “mission drift” by Phil Johnson in 2015 when Burns decided to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, and then Hillary Clinton from his sub-blog at TGC. In recent years, Burns has grown increasingly anti-white, even blaming all white people for being complicit in the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Today, Burns lauded the benefits of reparations.
Burns’ argument seems clear. If the government demands its Citizens pay restitution for slavery from its tax base to the descendants of slaves, then it is “just” to redistribute wealth. And finally, Burns is arguing that this is a purely governmental argument and not an ecclesiastical one.
Of course, the problems of reparations are too multitudinous to list. First, “Caesar” (the government) consists of a tax base that consists of many ethnicities, black and white included. This means that without targeted taxation (which is illegal under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the same amendment that outlaws slavery), it would be impossible not to tax slave descendents to pay for their own reparations.
Second, it would be extraordinarily difficult to tax only Caucasian tax-payers who were related to slave-holders. Slaves are free because white people fought to free them in the Civil War. This means, in order to be fair, only ancestors of slaveholders could be taxed, and whether or not their ancestors fought for the North or South would have to be taken into consideration (as well as whether or not Confederate soldiers owned slaves, most of whom did not).
Third, reparations would have to be paid only to descendants of slaves. Therefore, people of color who came post-slave trade (or at the very least post-civil rights movement) would not be entitled to reparations. Likewise, those of mixed ethnicity, like Kyle J. Howard (who is half white) would not be eligible to receive reparations because they would, in theory, be responsible for slavery on account of their white ancestry (assuming that’s how it works).
Fourth, in order for reparations to be paid, Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution would have to be overturned. This edict of the U.S. Constitution forbids ex post facto laws that penalize people for actions that were not yet criminalized at the time of their action.
Aside from the legal absurdity of reparations, there is the moral absurdity.
It is a morally repugnant notion to make people who did not personally own slaves to pay reparations to those who were not personally enslaved. If we are held accountable for the actions of our family members, Thabiti Anyabwile should be in jail because his brother assaulted a police officer.
Furthermore, the notion of generational reparations is logically incoherent. The only harm committed upon fellow man does not pertain only to the American slave trade. At some point, everyone’s ancestor had wronged someone else’s ancestors. Are they due reparations as well? How far into a 21st Century version of the Hatfields and McCoys do we want to get? Do we also demand reparations from the West Africans who kidnapped their kinsmen and sold their fellow Africans to the Dutch? Do we demand reparations from the Dutch? Are Americans of Union descent entitled to reparations from descendants of slaves who they died to liberate?
Ultimately, however racial reparations are anti-Gospel.
The New Covenant is given in Jeremiah 31.
29 In those days they shall no longer say:‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
The New Covenant, the Covenant of Grace, expiates the sins of the fathers from their children. Christ Jesus paid the ultimate reparations for all sins by the price of his own shed blood.
Those who demand reparations, whether leftist evangelicals or leftist politicians, do not care about legitimate right and wrong. They are money hungry and greedy people who want to line their own pockets, even if it means impoverishing others.
Those who, like Thabiti Anyabwile, are focused on reparations have denied the effectual power of Christ’s blood and denied the Master who bought them.
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