Is White Supremacy Anti-Christian? I am sure some of you will say, sure, that’s obvious! In fact, I hope so. But if that is the case, if white supremacy is so anti-Christian, why is so-called Christian white supremacy teaching never condemned as heresy? Why is it that, even when church authorities distance themselves from white supremacy, is it rarely called sin?
White supremacy is the belief that “Whites” are better than “Blacks” and “Jews” and others. It’s an ethno-centric ideology that has sometimes been linked with Christianity and justified by distorted readings of the Bible. That’s a situation that I find very odd given the multi-ethnic history of Christianity. That’s a situation I find odder still when we consider that Jesus was a Jew, and that one of the earliest Christian converts was an Ethiopian, a black.
When we are called to conversion, when we are called to renounce sin and embrace grace, should not white supremacy be one of the sins seekers are called to renounce? Should conversion be considered valid if it is not renounced? Can there be conversion without repentance? After all, if the good news is about reconciliation, how is this reconciling? This is a serious question. And here is a more serious one, what would you say to Christians who refused to renounce white supremacist views? And what do you say to white supremacists claiming Christian faith? How core an issue is reconciliation? What witness do you leave the world?
18 thoughts on “Is White Supremacy Anti-Christian?”
One reason that it’s not generally considered heresy, I think, is because almost all heresies, as such, are Christological, related to the person and nature of Christ. We can, I suppose, find some heresies related to God in general, such as varying doctrines of the Trinity. But, then that’s an issue of the inner reality of God.
What we don’t have in the church is a developed understanding of heresies that are, I think, primarily pneumatological heresies.
In essence, a white supremacist is saying that God, through the Holy Spirit, has created one type of human better than another. That God primarily works through one type of people. It’s pretty clear that’s out of tune with the New Testament. God works through who God works through, and to say that the Spirit cannot work as well, cannot give radical gifts to a person but only to another, is in effect limiting God’s work. It’s saying God won’t do something God clearly says he can and does do–work through all people. It’s becoming the god of God, the manager of the Spirit, and that’s pretty much denying the work of the Spirit.
Great! Am glad so glad you blogged on this Matt… Well then, lstly let me say from within a white skin ahaha the scientific racism created an entrenched in society belief there is such a thing as race. All constructs from social to legal are based on this… Even more enraging we are co-erced to use words such as ‘racism’, ‘racial tensions’ ‘race issues’ These in themselves are white supremacist terminologies.
what do you mean matt how core an issue is reconciliation? There can be no reconciliation with pointyheads banging on about a big white Jesus and ‘racial superiority’. They have centuries of blood on their hands and are serving satan…
There is NO SUCH THING AS RACE. There are only DIVERSE CULTURES. When we use IDing of humans beings as black or white or other culture yet again we are buying into the whole, dammed race construct.
The race construct ensures there is a pecking order of humanity… A quick glance at incarceration stats and social justice issues reveals this to be so.
SO how many Christians ministers (white) do you hear condemming this whole construct and exposing the whole evil madness of it. It’s origins, it’s intent and it’s pusridden distorted evilness? I can answer that! Sweet f all address it. The damage from the race myth and the big white Jesus with blue eyes is horrendous. We are coding kids from non-white skin culture to somehow absorb a sense of inferiority. We are coding white skinned kids to believe somehow they are innately better. This stuff is TOXIC and this stuff is happening right now 24/7 as I write, all over the world.
RE: ‘What would you say to Christians who refused to renounce white supremacist views?’
My answer: Get outta my face and stay out. You are the vomit of satan and want to continue to serve a delusion so you can massage your grandiose notions. Begone!
RE: ‘what do you say to white supremacists claiming Christian faith?’
My answer: same as above but I would explain perhaps (if i could stuff down my rage and disgust enough)that they are decieved and refer them to educate themselves more on the origins of race. My parting shot would be “get outta my face pointyhead”
I remember hearing this song when i was young… it made me cry because i caught the meaning before i was even educated… This is what white supremacy looks like…
And one last mention Here is a video i made in 2007 pertinent to Australia and ‘racism’ for anyone interested.
Unfortunately the concept of God choosing a particular group of people is a theme which runs through the Bible.
No, I don’t agree with white (or black or any other colour) supremacy. But neither do I agree with male (or female) supremacy – if you want to get rid of all the male supremacists as heretics, the church will be very empty….
And I also don’t agree with the concept of a country being under God’s special protection – a kind of nationalist supremacy, but alot of Americans seem to
Where do you plan drawing the line?
Marys comment particularly made me think. After all religion is founded by man, just as race, law, philosophy and all classifications. We devide things up into groups based on criteria we identify.
Well, we know that God set out laws and he ‘chose’ the Jews. But we also know that the laws God gave were for a sinful people and that the Jews were ‘chosen’ to be an *example* to all the other nations, not to sit above them.
To a white supremacist who has become born again, I would imagine they had already come to terms with race before conversion, since exclusivity and Christ are incompatible – like trying to ride a bicycle in the sea.
However if it was possible that a white supremacist could become a Christian, then I’d simply instruct them to start reading the New Testament, for it is clear they would not have done so before now.
Patrick, when the Jewishness of Jesus is denied is that not skirting at the edges of Christological error? What of the incarnation?
Mary, I understand your objections to the term “race” but in the process of articulating this you seem to be conflating cultural diversity and ethnic diversity in a way I find problematic. While cultural diversity and ethnic diversity often run in parallel it is not uncommon for them also to run at right angles to one another. It is possible to have blacks and whites who are culturally indistinguishable. It is also possible to find two whites with considerable cultural distance between them. I think it is fair to say genes are more than memes. The question is whether genes determine the value of a person. Most people understand the New Testament to be answering that with a definitive no. That leaves me curious as to how some claim white supremacy and Christianity is compatible. There would seem to be some fairly faulty exegesis going on at some level. I suspect it is being driven by emotion, not thinking. Anger and fear would seem to be the most likely suspects. If racists are redeemable, which the New Testament leads me to suspect, then I think its important to discern why they are angry and fearful, and how the gospel might speak into that.
Pastasmissus, I think it is important to recognize that the identity of the chosen ones shifts as the Bible moves from the Old Testament to the New Testament. For in the New Testament we find Jesus asking, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” He deconstructs ethnic and family kinship as a basis for covenant identity. As for where we draw the line, I think its worth noting that even the most patriarchal of Christians never question the humanity of women. White supremacists seem to have no such scruples where blacks and jews are concerned. That would seem to place some outer limits on the discussion.
Lex, as I indicated to Mary, my concern is where racists claiming Christian faith HAVE read the Bible and, rather than taking it on board, have reinterpreted it to avoid the implications. I think in such cases it has nothing to do with clear thinking and everything to do with dark emotions.
Even its much milder forms have been condemned as a heresy, and worse than a heresy: a pseudogospel.
See the Message to the People of South Africa and the Belhar Confession for a start. And the Orthodox condemnation of “phyletism” covers it was well.
Anything that proclaims salvation by race rather than grace has got to be heretical.
This is touched on at the start of reJesus ( http://www.theforgottenways.org/wp-content/uploads/rejesus-intro1.pdf might do it).
I haven’t seen much strong white supremacy in the Church. There are varying beliefs in the superiority of ‘white’ ways of doing things.
There are lots of things where some people say “how can you be a Christian and “. (drink, smoke, eat meat, sex outside marriage, vote for anyone pro-abortion, vote for anyone favouring rich over poor, live in expensive north shore house, shop on Sunday, believe evolution, swear, be Managing Director of Coopers Brewery). I don’t know the best way to counter in this case. Are there any prominent white supremacy spokespeople? Engaging one of them in public is the way.
Renouncing white supremacy as a heresy? I’m all for it. I think it’s a good and necessary thing.
Questioning the conversion of someone is a white supremacist? Not so much. For starters, it strikes me as saying, “You have to do X in order to qualify for grace,” which is a concept that I personally think is antithetical to the very idea of grace.
Furthermore, it ignores the fact that conversion and spiritual transformation is a process rather than an event. It seems to me that a more appropriate response to such a person is to consider their transformation a clear “work in progress” and to encourage that process to continue rather than trying to determine if or when that process has reached the point where it can be safely considered a “valid” conversion.
Steve, a very sobering post, but good to see the Orthodox have seen this as sufficiently heretical to name it.
Eric, I have not seen any strong white supremacy out our way, but what disturbs me is the way some Christians soft pedal around the issue of racism, so as not to cause offence. Well, I’m offended by that.
Jarred, we have to consider faith as well as grace. The reformers affirmed we are saved by grace through faith. If faith is not present … well I think it’s valid to question.
Matt, certainly that’s hitting on Christological error, more specifically it’s Docetism, something which I think a great deal of churches reflect. It allows people to make their own Christ, in a way, and in doing that pluck out what they like and leave out what they don’t.
Getting Jesus wrong is a sure way of getting the Spirit wrong, but it is, I think, the Spirit that is at the front in terms of our call to be in a certain kind of community with each other. Jesus was a Jewish man of the 1st century who ministered to the chosen people of Israel. A Jewish supremacy is all through the OT. But it’s the Spirit who, outside any human choice, began to work in Jewish and Gentile men and women. The church was not given a choice whether to allow the Spirit in previously “unacceptable” people. The Spirit worked, and the church had to go with the Spirit’s work. It’s in Acts that we are told quite explicitly that there is no more racial or national boundaries in God’s people.
I must disagree with your diagnosis of anger and fear at the root of the problem. Whilst I agree anger and fear may be a symptom of the culture of white supremacy.
I have met many white people who tell the odd racist joke, and whilst they work and live amongst different races, they do not fear or complain (anger) about them – this however does not make the racist joke more acceptable.
Removing the fear and anger of other races does not deal with the issue of incorrect belief that some races are inferior. Just as removing a fear of drowning, flying or lions would not make drowning, flying or lions less dangerous or more acceptible.
Other races are not a hinderence or challenge to overcome, they are a people to understand. Understanding and acceptance – the reality that Jesus was a Jew and came to save every race, will conquer the white supremacist belief system.
Jesus was not white. Also whites used to be pagans–I think they forget this. The very things they upbraid non-Christianized cultures for are things that their ancestors practiced. White supremacy has led to antiChrist lifestyles for 500 years. If many white people’s ancestors were to be judged based on works they would probably be numbered among the goats and fall lower into hell than heathens.