Secular liberalism, supported by theological liberalism and its replacement of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the social gospel, not white racism, stands behind the bitter fruit of racial tension and minority poverty that our society must deal with today.
I wrote my book, Race in America: Liberalism’s Attack on Minorities and the Church, from a perspective built on 30 years of work in the public policy arena, having watched year after year modern liberalism’s assault on the church, culture, government, and markets—though I readily admit I didn’t have a biblical perspective on these, or anything else, 30 years ago.
This assault shouldn’t be surprising; we live in a world at war, a war that has been raging (Psalm 2) since Adam defied God and abandoned Eve to Satan’s deceit to get a taste of some forbidden fruit and rebel against God. I’ve also watched the church too often fall for Satan’s deceit and retreat from its duty of “declaring [to the culture] the whole counsel of God.” Instead, it often adapts Scripture to fit the world’s ideas because it is “deluded … with plausible arguments” and taken “captive by philosophy and empty deceit” while being “surprised … that the world hates” believers and forgetting that “friendship with the world is enmity with God.”
This retreat is particularly evident when it comes to race and culture. The world seeks to divide that which is whole and make whole that which is divided. Thus, the single race of mankind becomes hopelessly split into various “races” while the greatest of all divides, that between believers and unbelievers, is ignored. Racism, primarily white racism, is said to be at the heart of racial tension in America today and the primary cause of many of the problems that minorities face. Unfortunately, all too often the church today falls for this worldly counsel.
This perspective is seen even in conservative evangelical denominations like the Presbyterian Church in America.
For instance, PCA Pastor Timothy LeCroy recently explored his racist heritage:
You see, I didn’t hate Black people, but I was still a racist. I was a racist because I looked down on African Americans. I stereotyped them. I didn’t seek to know them or understand them. I may have never called them names or raised a Confederate flag or done anything overtly racist, but I was racist nonetheless—racist in ways that I am only now coming to understand.
Similarly, ruling elder and past PCA General Assembly Moderator Alexander Jun makes the same point by reciting a story about a giraffe’s blind bias against elephants. After seeing the elephant make shambles of his house which, after all, was built for giraffes, the giraffe proclaims:
I know the problem. You’re too fat. If you lost some weight, you’d fit in here just fine. Or maybe if you took ballet lessons you’d get light on your feet. I love having you here and I’d love for you to keep coming back but you kinda have to change if you are going to stay here.”
Though not everyone in the PCA thinks this way. Black PCA ruling elder Al Arnold embraces his great, great grandfather’s role in the civil war as a slave to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forest and an orderly to Robert E. Lee. He also writes of his time growing up:
To suggest that having a white prom and a black prom at one high school is racist doesn’t fully comprehend the important role of culture and the importance of race. That doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge that these practices may have derived from impure motives. … But to suggest that because these events were separate was inherently racist is wrong. As much as we loved our white classmates and were loved by them, we also loved our culture so much that we enjoyed our differences without allowing them to destroy our love for each other.
Similarly, in policy work, I’ve seen many people attempt to blame the continued existence of poverty, violence, and single mothers in black ghettos today on white racism, past and present. But Thomas Sowell says this explanation “will not stand up under a closer scrutiny of history.”