Grace and Race
The apparent lone gunman in the recent California synagogue shooting was a 19-year old member of a Reformed Presbyterian church. Assuming his on-line manifesto is a true statement of his views, he was motivated by a white nationalist, Jew-hating, conspiracy-obsessed worldview. One version of this social philosophy goes by the name of Kinism, which maintains that God intends for the various races to remain distinct. Its adherents blame a worldwide Jewish cabal for virtually every ill of our society, call interracial marriage between Christians intrinsically sinful, and believe that the European race and subgroups within it are intrinsically or at least historically superior to other races.
Were it not so divisive, dangerous, and detrimental to the gospel, this social theory would be laughable. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is one body made up of various tribes, tongues, nations, and races (Rev. 7:9). Since all “speak the language of Canaan,” whatever their particular language may be, inclusion based upon “one Lord, one faith, and one baptism” is the most fundamental bond of all who call Jesus Christ “our elder Brother.” When our earthly connections lead to hate and bloodshed, we have denied the gospel of grace. When race, rather than God’s marvelous grace, defines us, we have denied our essential and eternal brotherhood. Neither Christ nor his apostles ever called the church to remain “ethnically pure.” This is an impossible dream based upon fear and pride, not upon God’s word. Historically, the church has ever sought to bring in all within its pale, so that our fallen hatred of other races and tongues might be replaced by the communion of the saints. Some of our great theologians in the past and most faithful brothers in the present have been of non-European descent. I feel hardly any affinity with my white unbelieving neighbors, but much more with those who share “like precious faith,” whatever their nationality. It is God’s grace that makes one people to rise by faith and enjoy his earthly blessing (1 Cor. 4:7). Should that people reject his grace, like present-day Europeans and Americans, their race will not preserve them from sinking into blindness and barbarism.
There is much occurring in our particular nation that is stirring up hatred between whites and blacks. Some black leaders and revolutionaries advocate that in order to get their fair share and redress past grievances, cities must burn, policemen be killed, and society overturned. The ultra-radicalized academic community, which has given up education for indoctrination, throws much tinder upon the fires of our discontent and rebellion. These social crusaders define “whiteness” as a cultural sin and cancer, with some calling for its elimination from the cultural gene pool. Nor does it help that many borders in Europe and the southern United States appear to be thrown open intentionally to cause disruption and to accommodate those whose homelands have become largely unlivable due to local tyranny and economic oppression for generations. Feeding this poison mix is American foreign policy, infiltrated by British Zionism and supported by American Dispensational churches, which is committed to a pro-Israel policy at all costs. The Middle East is being destroyed by our foreign policy, and many ancient Christian communities no longer exist because of the fires we have kindled by our militarism. To some disturbed, frustrated, or marginalized individuals, violence appears the sole remedy to preserve American and specifically white, European, Christian culture.
Compounding these evils, a growing number of American Christians have embraced the lie that race, along with gender and sexual orientation, is an artificial construction. They wave the flag of grace and love, but the old evil of antinomianism is emblazoned on the reverse. Their version of grace denies the creation order God has established. When the apostle wrote that “in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female,” many interpret this to mean that race and gender no longer matter. This interpretation is especially tempting in denominations that spiritualize or poeticize the Genesis creation account, or deny its normativity altogether. If the Genesis creation account is non-historical, an allegory or a poetic device, then the creation order between man and woman must suffer the same denigration.
And what is the creation order? The same apostle who wrote “neither Jew nor Greek,” also set forth the creation order in 1 Corinthians 11:7-12. He assumes the historicity of the Genesis creation account of man and woman. God created the first man, Adam, in his image, not a humanoid but a fully functioning, mature man. He was not the culmination of various subspecies leading up to man, but an immediate, unique (non-animal), and intentional creation of God. He created woman second, also in his image. He created her from man, and she is specifically the glory of man (11:7). This does not entail her personal inferiority but her functional difference in the creation purposes of God. She is man’s helpmeet. As the man finds his life, happiness, and purpose under God’s authority, so the woman finds hers under man’s authority by helping him, usually her husband. This creation arrangement is God’s will for man and woman. For the woman to march against it in an anti-patriarchal parade is to fight against God’s will for her. It is God’s curse upon her come to bitter fruition (Gen. 3:16). For the man to use his created position to abuse, use, and trample upon woman is an outrage against God’s majesty. Each has his proper sphere and purpose in God’s creation. Neither the man nor the woman is independent from each other. Within God’s creation order and purposes, each has his (or her) sphere in which to function, thrive, and serve him.
God’s creation order is one of the foundations for the liberty and stability of men and nations that came under the regenerating and ameliorating influences of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His gospel of grace does not replace the creation order or give either man or woman the right to leave the place God created him or her to fulfill. Grace restores God’s creation purposes by redeeming man (man and woman) who left their first estate and fell from their original integrity. But to hear many speak of grace in the church, Paul practically means that our Lord has obliterated distinctions based upon gender and race. In its most egregious and logically consistent expression, Mr. Mom, queer preacherette, and marrying your pet possum are all permissible and laudable. Grace is really God’s big heart to let us live as we please without having to worry about his ugly law and the mean people in our lives who do not support our right to define ourselves and live according to the desires of our hearts.
Since God’s law and order increasingly steps upon our disjointed toes, then Scripture must be wrong, reinterpreted, or jettisoned altogether. But Scripture twisting to deny the fundamental, created differences between man and woman, and the creation order itself, is nothing but a rebel’s autobiography: “I did it my way.” It is demanded by those who will not teach their children to control sexual impulses and channel them into life-preparation, by women who chafe against the meek and quiet spirit that God so highly values, and by men who are either caddish brutes or passive to their own sins and the evils of their times. Our failures and sins are now all justified and turned into virtues by shouting grace, which in our context has become the best mantra Satan ever invented to enslave men to their lusts and destroy them through rebellion against God.
Despite these very real and dangerous social evils, our response to the California shooting must be abhorrence and condemnation. Murder is evil and Satanic, however the perpetrators may justify their actions. At the same time, the “grace environment” in many conservative churches will not adequately address creation issues, and this failure leaves us with a gospel lacking in authority for very real social crises. God has set boundaries for men and nations (Acts 17:26). Grace does not obliterate racial differences and national borders any more than gender distinctions. Grace is being so politicized and used to justify blatant disobedience to God’s word that it is rebuilding Nimrod’s Tower – universal rebellion against God, where all speak the same language not of redemption but of lawlessness and self-salvation. When God, the righteous Judge, visits this tower, it will not stand now any more than it did then. He will knock it down. He builds only one kingdom, that of his Son, into which all nations will come to be taught his law and to seek salvation in him (Isa. 2:2-4), not in the gospel of social justice, cheap grace, or moral anarchy.
With respect to the hordes of displaced people throughout the world, we must recognize that men and women will seek greater freedom and prosperity. War, disease, poverty, persecution, and tyranny have often resulted in mass migrations. Our forefathers came here for the same reason. Churches must minister the gospel and tangible love to the oppressed who come here seeking refuge. God has brought these strangers here, even as we once came as strangers and pilgrims. We must also recognize that this will create problems, for most races – ask anyone living in New York City – prefer to maintain their separate customs and connections. This is not racism. It is the way God made us. His grace in Christ as it subdues our hearts to teachableness will certainly help us live together peacefully, but his grace does not nullify our race, preferences, and laws. And where we do not all speak the language of Canaan, of God’s true grace in Christ, this places a tremendous discipleship responsibility and pressure upon us. We must love and minister while we maintain clear separation from evil, disciple the lost, and wait upon God to sort out the mess created by rebellion against him.
Citizens of this country are rightly alarmed by mass illegal immigration, for we have laws that allow for peaceful integration into our society. However, as we cannot pay our own national bills, how can we take multitudes under our roof when our house is falling down? If our concern is cultural preservation, the question must be asked, “What culture?” A Christian nation? Whiteness is not Christian. What is our national identity? Free bread and schools for everyone? Let us be very honest and clear. Neither whites nor blacks are indigenous to this land. The Europeans came here and claimed land that others occupied, perhaps haphazardly and not like we occupy our lands with clear title and fences, but they were here. We often went to war with them and met their self-defense efforts with bloody violence. Discipleship efforts were made by some, but the musket was the final solution.
One also thinks of the Southwestern United States and our infamous Mexican wars. Perhaps God is giving these lands back to their original inhabitants. We certainly have not shown ourselves to be faithful custodians of this land – and the land vomits out enemies of God (Lev. 18:25). Whatever cultural hegemony we had has been lost because we abandoned the faith of our fathers. And that nation that forgets God will be turned into hell (Prov. 14:34). Grace does not nullify our creation and national duties to yield ourselves to be governed by God’s law. Grace does not prevent God’s judgment against those who once professed his truth but have now abandoned it. Failing to preach our national duty to be governed by God’s word, which is an abandonment of our Reformation social heritage, is now bearing some very bitter fruit. Vigilantism will not atone for our sins, past or present, or clean up the mess created by our national rebellion against the Lord of glory. Shouting grace will not make it all go away and lead to group hugs. Embracing the rainbow coalitions will intensify God’s judgment. Nothing short of national repentance and faith in Jesus Christ will obtain and preserve national blessings. Whites, blacks, browns, yellows, all men and nations, do well to remember this.
If we want to remedy our present crisis, we first recognize that we cannot, at least not directly. Jesus Christ is the enthroned governor of the nations, and he is marching and making war (Rev. 19:11). He has enemies here that he intends to judge, and we shall feel the fallout. Frankly, those who are so anxious to defend their white heritage had better reckon with its very checkered past and apostate present. It is easy to blame “them,” but let us look in the mirror. Jews and immigrants are not to be blamed for our present ills. Blame professing Christians, if you want to blame anyone, for they had the keys to our national door. It was white Christians who lost mainline denominations to liberalism and venerable institutions to strident progressivism and radicals. It was white Christians who lost this nation to the forces of globalism, centralized banking, paper money, and political polytheism. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We did not listen to our Lord. “If you continue in my word, you shall be my true disciples.”
That you are listening to him is a good sign that better days are ahead – long term. There is no future in sin’s agitations and violence. Time and history are on the side of truth, for this is where God is. He has aligned and realigned men and nations many times before, and he is doing it again. It is an uncomfortable process, for it disturbs our sense that we are masters of our environment. If you want to identify a cultural cancer, begin with these: technology without a moral compass, science without reverence for the Creator, militarism to make rich men richer, and man liberated from God and revelation. These have destroyed the West. Most of our other ills are but symptoms of a deeper cultural disease: rebellion against God and refusal to confess that Christ, not man, is King.
Remember, finally, that we see only the shadow of his ways, as Job confessed. He is moving his church forward and building her. If we are grieving over the sins of our land, we are marked out as his children. If we humbly accept his chastening, then he deals with us as with his beloved children (Rev. 3:19). His main work is not to preserve a particular nation but his holy nation, his blood-washed church. She will survive and thrive if she builds upon him as her Rock and Redeemer. We shall face opposition for our allegiance to him, especially in these times. If you are going to die, however, or go to prison, let it not be because you fought as a foolish partisan for whiteness but as a faithful servant of the King of kings.