JP, a minister, has another Comment of the Day, this one inspired by his own recent experience and item #1 of the post, “Wednesday Ethics Jolts, 6/17/2020: I Think We Have Our Answer To Question 13…..” That note concerned the meltdown of the National Book Critics Circle over the refusal of one member to endorse the group’s proposed statement on the George Floyd Freakout. Unfortunately, JP encountered something similar…
You have spent some time on the first issue. Like with all the Covid-19 type pandering. I mostly just roll my eyes when I see it and move forward. After all, I don’t really put much stock in it. I am a firm believer that I be defined by my actions, not by my words. Words are cheap and can change at the drop of a hat. So when all these things started happening, I thought it was a good time to address it to my congregation. I’ll spare you the details, but it seemed to go over quite well. Then we get to Monday.
On Monday I get an email from a local group of ministers (from different denominations) in my town.Once a month we get together to talk about how we as a group can help the community. On their last meeting they wanted to put out some kind of public statement. This is what they decided:
“Micah 6:8 What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” God’s love embraces all and our Christian faith requires of us that same love for others. We confess our sin of racism that continues to plague our nation. May we be people of God’s justice and God’s peace!”
I think my nine year old could have easily picked this apart. But I wanted to help, so I wrote the following reply:
I have three problems with the statement as it is.
First: I have no clue why you’re writing this other than to…grandstand? Virtue signal? It is what is going on in the world? If you have a purpose what is it?
Second. You make racism sound like original sin. This actually creates the third problem.
Third: Not everyone is guilty of it. But even if we are or you are assuming you are, you take on no responsibility or accountability to change.
If I were to write one it would sound more like this:
“As Christians (MA) we daily see a broken and unjust world. It is tempting to look for a man-made solution to ongoing problems, but we know there is only one solution to worldly injustice: being in the mindset of Christ (Phil. 2:5-11). There is no imperfection, brokenness, racism and/or injustice in the mind of Christ and it is our only chance to truly overcome the pain and suffering in the world. However, we recognize that there are those who will claim to love God, but hate their brother (1 John 4:20). While these people wear Christianity like a white coat, they are liars and it is our duty as those in the mindset of Christ not to tolerate their behavior. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ against these so-called Christians and have a responsibility to call them out on their unchristian like behavior. We are not white Christians (though some white Christians have it easier because they are white) and we are not black Christians (though some black Christians have it harder because they are black). We are Christians united in the body (Gal. 3:28) and stand united against ideas contrary to the nature and body of Christ.”
Now, While I know many of you would disagree with the answer, it is very much in line with Christian thinking and the association.
Here is one of the replies I received: “WOW! JP (Minster of CHURCH), I would like to say I appreciate the Ministerial Alliance for taking the initiative to write a letter addressing racism. Racism is a problem in the world and also in our city. I believe Christ wanted us to confess our sins. Many people who call themselves Christians grandstand by not acknowledging their sins. I think it’s appalling to have members of the black community as members of your church and feel it is not necessary to address racism. It seems like you don’t care about the issue and just want to whitewash the matter. I hope we all take on the responsibility to change ourselves and our ways so that we please GOD. I also hope you are advocating for change in the world and in the community. You can call me anytime because I would love to sit and talk with you about the effects of racism and how it has impacted my life; “if you care to hear”.
I should point out this is a white women. My reply was… not as kind as I should have been. My wife said I should have waited to write back. But I’m more struck by the fact that I did nothing wrong, it was a group of peers who respect each other, NO ONE stood up for me, and I was being thrown to the wolves.
My whole point to all of this: I live in a town of 15,000 people. Don’t think you’re going to escape this. Don’t think people who you trust are going to give you the benefit of the doubt, however DO the right thing. It might be easy to just ignore it and pretend it is all going to go away and maybe it might for you, but people are losing their minds over this stuff and we have to hold them accountable as well.
9 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Wednesday Ethics Jolts, 6/17/2020: I Think We Have Our Answer To Question 13….””
Thanks Jack, I am grateful for the accolades. So I was wondering what becomes next? I wasn’t kidding about calling them out on their social grandstanding. I wrote the woman woman back a rather sharp reply.
Is this is some kind of backhanded comment based on what you think I wrote? SO there is no confusion, I will address each of your points individually.
JP (Minister of CHURCH), I would like to say I appreciate the Ministerial Alliance for taking the initiative to write a letter addressing racism.
(Agreed, and advice was solicited. That is why I wrote a response.)
Racism is a problem in the world and also in our city. I believe Christ wanted us to confess our sins. (Agreed, but under the current statement, that isn’t what is being said. That is why I said they are making it sound like original sin. Under the current definition it makes us seem guilty of it no matter who we are.)
It seems like you don’t care about the issue and just want to whitewash the matter. I hope we all take on the responsibility to change ourselves and our ways so that we please GOD.
(Again this is addressed in what I wrote. )
I think it’s appalling to have members of the black community as members of your church and feel it is not necessary to address racism.
(This is why I don’t think you read what I wrote. This is one of the things that gives Christians a bad name. To make an assumption about another person based on knowing absolutely nothing about them. I mean, its not like I personally preached about this issue last weekend. Its not like I personally got my church to get a black minister to come out and help us address our shortcomings as Christians in dealing with black Christians and racism in the church . Its not like I wrote the daily star this week on how Christians need to address racism and bigotry in the church…..oh wait, I did all of these things, and plan to do more. Thank you for making assumptions about me. How very “Christian” of you. )
I also hope you are advocating for change in the world and in the community.
(Again this is addressed in what I wrote. )
You can call me anytime because I would love to sit and talk with you about the effects of racism and how it has impacted my life; “if you care to hear”.
( I’m guessing at this point, this ship has sailed since you have tried to publically shame me. I think it would be wise to mediate on your words before writing them down. )
I waited a few days to see if any one would reply. No one did. Not even the woman. Was I being too harsh? Maybe, it wasn’t my proudest moment. I will admit I wrote a lot of it in anger. Yesterday I called the leader of the organization and resigned. I can not be part of a group that allows something like this to happen, especially in the name of Christ. But I guess if you look beyond the religious tones, it is almost a complete abandonment of principles.
I find myself seconded guessing a lot of decisions this week. I am kind of at a loss of where to go from here.
Sorry to hear that, JP. I am going to be fighting such a fight at my church and workplace soon. I don’t think I will have to leave my church, unlike the last church, but this virtue signaling to keep the noisy contingent quiet needs to stop. I know most people go along with this to try to keep the peace, but the corrosive spirit of niceness is what enables evil to thrive.
I’d have told her exactly where to go and what to do when she got there. “White privilege” is becoming the secular version of original sin, the same as “the right side of history” is the secular version of “God is with us.”
Nice set of analogies, I am so stealing this…
This is true. Recently I’ve noticed it and have doubled my efforts on building and tightening the social support network that I can rely on when SHTF. If that happens, it won’t be easy, I’ll probably have to move cities, and a good number of career options will be closed. On the other hand, I’ll be fully connected with a small group of like-minded people who will not bend the knee to crowd pressure and be able to continue enjoying my freedom.
I strongly encourage anyone sharing these values to do the same and build a support network. This is happening faster than anyone expected.
Perhaps this Shelby Steele interview would be helpful for many:
Its an interview with him via the Hoover Institution and its dated in 2018. He kicks a few “sacred cows” in offering his thoughts, but those cows are blocking the road to meaningful discussion and resolving issues. JP will find some solace here, just in case its needed.
Its 45 minutes, so pour a fresh cup of coffee.
I don’t know about solace, but the interview was quite good. I would recommended it to anyone.
How hard this must be for *Average Americans* to be confronted by such a powerful onslaught of attack!
There is nothing wrong with having racialist and, as the term stands today, racist feelings or ideas. And it is absolutely and completely possible to be completely committed to a Christian life and all that attaches with it, and choose to hold to these racialist notions. One can do that as a Christian.
One is not obligated as a Christian to absorb an ‘anti-racist’ ideology necessarily. One can make all sorts of value judgments based in culture, cultural philosophy, what I call *trajectory* (the line of culture which has made you you and us us), and one can refer to what a given group, as a group, can and will achieve or will not ever be able to achieve.
One can look at all of this, think about all of it, and have ideas and opinions that are contrary to the groupthink of many today (and apparently many Christians!) and be completely in-tune with Christian principle.
There is an entire movement within Protestant and Evangelical Christianity that has done all this work and sorted it out. It is also possible to be a Nationalist or an Ethnic-Nationalist and a Christian as well.
The Universalism of Christianity does not necessarily mean Multi-Culturalism nor race-blending nor any of what we take the Christian spirit to mean. I can be a Christian, desire to support Christians in other lands, but I do not have to invite them to my land and they have no particular right to insist that I do. But the solidarity between Christians: that should be a given. And if I respect them I will not seek to impose myself. In fact many of these trends have arisen out of other ‘philosophies’. And too Americanism is not necessarily Christian.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.