White Christians


Apr 13, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall

Do White Christians Need To Apologize For Their Ancestors' Actions For Racial Unity In The Church?

After the MLK50 conference earlier this month commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and sought Christians to address the "gospel issue" of racial unity in the Church, several prominent voices within the community sounded off on the issue of racialism (not racism, per se) and what the key to true unity among brothers and sisters in Christ of all ethnic backgrounds really is. One such voice is Dr. James White, a notable apologist and the director of Alpha And Omega Ministries, who declares that "the racialist lens disrupts true Christian unity."

In a lengthy post on the ministry's blog, Dr. White rebutted a controversial article from The Gospel Coalition's Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile calling for "white neighbors and Christian brethren [to] start by at least saying their parents and grandparents and this country are complicit in murdering a man who only preached love and justice."

"When you say someone was complicit in murder, you should have a very clear and identifiable mechanism of establishing said guilt," Dr. White responds, noting the utter lack of any such mechanism in Pastor Anyabwile's article, which has been discounted and considered a bit of gospel-ish yellow journalism thanks to that inflammatory statement.

While race and ethnicity are definitely not topics on which Scripture is silent, Dr. White points out some apparent confusion as to what the conclusion of Scripture really is on how to achieve unity across race or any other demographic.

In a tweet, Dr. White points onlookers to Colossians 3:10-11 which says "we as believers experience a renewal 'in which there is no Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman'…. Instead, 'Christ is all, and in all.' (10-11)."

"I believe racism exists.  It is part of the sinful heart of man," Dr. White explains. "There is racism amongst Arabs.  Racism amongst Asians.  Racism exists inside bodies covered in every shade of skin.  There is racism in the hearts of light colored men, and racism in the hearts of very dark colored men.  Racism ignores that God has made us all in His image."

"Thankfully," he concludes, "in the body of Christ, we are reconciled to God, and to each other, and our primary orientation is no longer ethnic but eschatological.  That new man looks forward to the consummation of all things, not backwards to sources of hurt and animus between ethnic groups.  This is why, again, the Christian church can bring peace in the most horrific of human conflicts.  But that all ends when we import the lens of 'race' into the body."

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