Saturday, December 15, 2018

Albert Mohler is wrong

Not that there weren't slave owners who founded Southern Seminary, or that the Southern Baptist Convention was founded in the institution of slavery in America.  He's wrong to bother going back and beating that dead horse.  It's only purpose now is to tear down the US, the Western Tradition and the Christian Faith.  One need only read the comments in Rod Dreher's piece praising Dr. Mohler to see that any hope that modern populations of leftists, non-Christians, non-Americans and non-Europeans are going to throw their hands up and convert to Christ because of the humble repentance of our forefathers' sins should by now be dashed on the rocks of reality.

Forgiveness, humility, reconciliation, praying for the persecutor and loving the enemy are distinctions of Christianity.  Others see those qualities with various degrees of value.   Some do value them, when qualified.  Others scoff.  Many want their pound of flesh.  Read Marx and try to find much emphasis on forgiveness and you'll have your work cut out for you.  Given that Marx is wildly influential today. it shouldn't shock us that forgiveness is not high on the priority list.  In fact, it's antithetical to that phenomenon known as identity politics.

Yes, people say we should repent because of the Old Testament, when generations rose up and bemoaned the sins of their fathers.  First, we've done that in spades.  If we're waiting until every American has dug up every person who harbored any type of racist or bigoted attitudes and calls them out, we'll have plenty of time to wait.  Second, it's not really morally courageous to drag the sins of the past out before us.  Third, as I said above, it is not based on any notions of forgiveness or reconciliation through Jesus.  To tack those goals onto a tirade against our racist past might just as well be tacking the stats card for a Pokemon game onto such a tirade.  Those outside of the Faith see no value in it, don't believe in it, and see us as chumps doing their dirty work.  Finally, it's far more courageous to call out our own personal sins, rather than the sins of those long deceased.

Yes, slavery existed here, as it did throughout most of human history around the world, and does today in numbers that make many slave owning societies of the past seem trivial by comparison.  It's euphemistically called Human Trafficking, but it's merely one more manifestation of the old slave sin.  Many of us benefit quite well from the modern slave trade.  Racism?  Sure it existed.  It was the excuse, not the basis, for slavery aimed at American Indians or Africans.  They weren't racists that decided to own slaves to slake their racist lust.  They developed their racist attitudes to justify the unjustifiable.  Just as we're developing the most heinous and idiotic ideals to justify the inexcusable today.

Do I mean we shouldn't study the past, learn from the failings and sins of the past, and even admit to the shortcomings or outright moral affronts of our own heritage?  No. I'm not a millennial.  Even if other cultures don't make a habit of it, I think, like confession is good for the individual soul, so this is a healthy practice for a society.  But only if the purpose is to learn in order not to repeat those sins today.  Given that we are elevating new forms of racism, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, censorship, and basic witch hunt and lynch mob mentalities fully endorsed by our media, pop culture, political leaders, and even religious leaders, I don't think the lessons are being learned. At best, I don't think the thrice-daily emphasis on the sins of our past are being dredged up to learn anything at all.  At worst, it's being done to deflect from the clear and obvious sins and evils being endorsed now.

This is why I realize that the Church is heading into a long, dark tunnel of its history. I think the Church - Protestant, Catholic and even Orthodox - is on the cusp of being about as wrong as it ever has in its love, illustrious life.  Just this rush out to declare the history of our church as racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted, evil and wrong as if it will do anything but ensure a continued vocation of suffering for Jesus on six figures is laughably naive at best.  It certainly isn't swelling the numbers, or, for that matter, stemming the growing tide against the Gospel.  How long must we fail before we learn?  That, my friends, remains to be seen.

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