Dr. Eric Mason, pastor of Epiphany Fellowship Church in Philadelphia and author of ‘Woke Church‘ joined fellow travellers such as Thabiti Anyabwile and most folks from the Witness Black Christian Collective when he called for reparations to be paid by white folk to black folk, including centuries’ worth of college tuition, during his Sunday morning service.
In a sermon titled “A Biblical Case for Reparations,” Mason went all out and offered a series of comprehensive and far-reaching policies, not content with the status quo of programs like Social Security, describing it as having been “created for white people.”
One area that Mason keys in on in his sermon is the area of education, proposing that the government should fund historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) fully for 200 years, pay the tuition costs for all black students in the country for the next two centuries so that they have access to whatever education or programs they wish, and forgive all student loan debt for black graduates, proposing that if any black graduate has already paid off their student loans debts associated with their education, that they would be compensated and reimbursed. Mason says:
“HBCUs funded for the next 200 years. Next 200 years. And right after that? You ain’t get this, did you? Descendants of slaves not paying for college for 200 years…Nobody. And canceling every black person’s student loan debt. And repaying blacks who paid for student loans.”
Not content with mere educational preparations, Mason argues that by necessity, reparations must be ‘comprehensive’ because being descendants of slavery has necessarily touched all aspects of the black life and experience. As such, Mason also advocates for “psychological reparations” such as paying for 200 years of counseling and “telling the history properly.”
It’s not just access to education, free sessions with mental health counselors, and the promotion of the true black history (in the form of Nikole Hannah-Jone’s 1619 project?) that they want, but also straight-up cash. While Mason did not put a number on it, the amount that is frequently bandied about by other pro-reparation preachers is 12 trillion dollars.
“Now, I’m not saying that reparations is gonna bring peace on earth. Jesus will bring peace on earth. However, while we’re on earth, we gotta make the most of our time, make the most of our minas… ‘To whom was given more, more will be given to him,’”
After his sermon was preached, which inevitably resulted in many questions, Mason followed up with a live Facebook video from his front porch, making a few comments about the hullabaloo. Here are a few comments he made, in no particular order, cribbed from @wokepreacherclips.
MacArthur said in his sermon, three months ago, what he said was black people–slaves should have never sought to free themselves from slavery. They should have seen themselves under the providence of God… That’s spoken like a slavemaster.”
There are principles in Exodus, I heard black Christians say that certain things aren’t in the bible. I’m like, this doesn’t make sense, and so when John MacArthur says there’s no protests in the bible, I said he hasn’t even thought..he hasn’t thought biblically..he doesn’t know what a protest is. And he hasn’t even biblically even allowed…his exegetical grid that they use applicationally for so many other things to come out. And so these guys, I guess some guys have written something or, I don’t even read that stuff, but I did need to respond to it because I want to begin to explain to people how to do hermeneutics.
I don’t know if white evangelicalism… can handle minorities being the primary commentary writers… Running the seminaries… I don’t know if there is the emotional, psychological, and spiritual maturity, because whiteness has learned and taught itself that normal is us.”
“I think evangelicalism is anti-black… They believe in total depravity… noetic effects of sin… they only believe it only applies to other people… when you say… there’s no systemic racism, you’re basically denying the doctrine of hamartia (sin)… that’s why I’m done.”
One interesting “life comes at you fast” moment is, Mason complains that people respond to his viewpoints and oppose his book without actually having read it, describing it as hypocritical, and then later says that he doesn’t read what other people have written, but responds to it anyway. That inconsistency and double standard is not a good look.