After reading Voddie Baucham's blog post here, I read his post on Facebook, the one that linked here, to James MacDonald's blog with an interview of three pastors. The interview was done after the Elephant Room 2 and its blow back (see previous post). Naturally, I clicked the video to listen to what these pastors had to say. These three pastors happen to be black. A point I shouldn't have to make at all, by the way, but sadly find that I must.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am not black- though my coloring is a bit more swarthy than my befreckled sister's. I was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in the East Bay during the 60s and 70s. I am not unfamiliar with history having majored in it in college. I do have black friends and am aware that there are cultural differences. You want culture clash? Try having the Sicilian matriarch on your father's side hate your mother and her Irish heritage. Look, let me speak plainly. Ethnicity brings different cultures to the community. So does our tendencies toward shifting our geographical locations. The culture I found in the East Bay was not the same as what I found in far northern California and certainly not what I found in rural Kentucky. It's a good thing. It's the reason I can eat lasagna and drink sweet tea during the same meal and why I know a gnocchi from a hush puppy.
So there I am, fat, dumb and happy to watch the video to see what these men had to say about Elephant Room 2 when I start hearing terms like "Black Theology" and ask myself, what the heck is that? Really, what is it? You study theology and you learn all sorts of things but in studying theology, even at a master's level, no one ever taught me "black" theology. Arianism, Arminianism, Calvinism, Pelagianism, Gnosticism, Docetism, orthodoxy and heresy... those got covered... but somehow the all my professors, including the black ones, neglected my education and skipped right past "Black Theology." OK, I am being a bit tongue in cheek here... but I think you get my point.
Then it happened. I heard something from Bryan Loritts that pushed me right over the edge. I couldn't believe my ears. I actually listened to this section several times and still cannot want to believe it. In discussing ER2 and some criticisms he said this:
"Some of the strongest reactions from people were from African Americans in the blogosphere and umm.... I am just going to say it... who strike me as wanting so bad to be in the white theological world. To take a little bit of a tangent here and I'll get back... The loudest conservative voices in the Evangelical world, in my estimation right now, are your older, white, reformed voices. And so that implicitly sends the message that mature Christianity, in the conservative Evangelical world, is older white. And you've got some African Americans who so idolize that, what some people would call white idolization, that they then feel as if they've got to be the voice for black culture to speak against people like T.D. Jakes." He goes on to talk about the reality of black being a complex thing.
What in the world??
Lord, will there ever be a time a black man can be criticized for the content of his character and the words he speaks without that criticism being rejected because it was delivered by someone of a different color? Heck, a black man can't criticize a black man's words without being accused of doing it because he wants to fit in with a bunch of old white guys. Brother Loritts, you should be ashamed for playing the race card. Jakes is being taken to task for his doctrinal position, not his skin color. James MacDonald et al are being taken to task for not calling a modalist a modalist. Shame on you men of God for stooping so low.
While man's search for truth in the judicial system purports being blind and isn't, God is not a man that He should lie. God's truth is true no matter the color of the skin of the person speaking it. The gospel does not mean one thing to the 'white' person and another to the 'non-white' person. It is not changed for one person over another. The gospel saves to the uttermost the soul that trusts in Jesus. Period. Untruths about God are detestable no matter who may utter them and should be confronted.
Mature Christians know bad theology when they hear it and must speak against it when they do. Christian maturity is not limited to color or age.
Thank you God for directing me to listen to an internet radio program. Just when I was percolating and festering about the shameful comments by a man of God... I got to hear some real men of God deal with the race card Elephant in the Room. My bible prof once taught me that flattery was the most hurtful of evils to perpetrate against another. How hateful do you have to be to tickle a person's ears and shake their hand as they are on the pathway to destruction? So good to hear men of God standing up for truth; calling a wolf a wolf. Saiko Woods your ministry saved my sanity tonight, I was sincerely encouraged. Ya'll can have a listen here.