Introducing White Evangelicalism: The New Racial Enemy
In an article titled, ‘Open Letter to John Piper on White Evangelicalism and Multiethnic Relations,’ the author, Raymond Chang, uses a term I’d not heard before. ‘White evangelicalism.’ According to Chang, white evangelicalism is “a segment of modern evangelicalism that is led and shaped by a cultural agenda defined by whiteness.”
I have to wonder if the author is reflecting a reality in predomininatly white churches, or, by planting inflamatory terms in our subconscious wants us to start looking askance at such churches with newer and darker questions.
The piece goes on to discuss issues around Lecrae and John Piper.
The reason I’m motivated by Chang’s piece is because I see evangelicals of all backgrounds moving away from the Bible on the topic of race relations. That is one reason I wrote an article titled, “7 Reasons Secular Answers Fail to Address Racism.” That piece was noticed and, as a result, I was invited to appear on a radio program based out of Charlottesville, Virginia, a site of great racial conflict around Civil War monuments.
What truly concerns me is that this subject has great potential to divide people, especially when pastors and academics like Chang, seek to combat racial divisions using divisive language. It reminds me of the day I heard former President Obama say, “We’re not going to embrace the politics of division” as he sought to divide the nation.
This, however, is the refractory position of non-biblical thought relative to all issues. Cut loose from the foundation of God’s Word, we always become the very thing we say we hate. The result has been an erosion of biblical values in the churches. As a friend intuitively noted, “Identity politcs has morphed into identity salvation.”
I don’t have all the answers. But I know this. The Bible and the gospel do.
Finally, Chang contends in his open letter to John Piper that divisions between multiethnic groups within the Church are not theological at their core, but are cultural. Really? No, the fact is that divisions of any kind within the Body of Christ are intensely biblical and theological. The problem is that some people don’t know their theology.
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