Then Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!"
And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness
pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the
Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I
will be gracious, and will show compassion on
whom I show compassion."....
The Lord descended in the cloud and stood there
with him as he called upon the name of the Lord.
Then the Lord passed by in front of him and
proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate
and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in
lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness
for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression,
and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty
unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the
children and on the grandchildren to the third and
fourth generations." Moses made haste to bow low
toward the earth and worship.
Exodus 33:18-19; 34:5-8
It is with trepidation that I write this post, knowing that some people will misread it, or read into it what they want. What I would ask all to do is to read through it a couple of times before you come to any conclusion as to where I am coming from and what I am actually saying.
When we as Christians talk about slavery, we need to be sure to understand that the slavery mentioned in the Scriptures, slavery that was the norm in the middle eastern culture during the Old and New Testament times, was not the same as the race based slavery that was perpetrated in England and America during the Colonial and post Colonial times. It is not the point of this post to explain that, but to simply say that it was not race based slavery.
With that out of the way, let me refer to the Exodus passages above. The race based slavery that was practiced by both England and the U S in the Colonial and post Colonial times was a sin, a national sin. A sin that was protected, explained away, ignored, and tolerated for decades even by those who were Christians. Is the Lord holding the current generation responsible for that sin? NO! Ezekiel 18:20 tells us this, "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself." But, as a nation, we are still suffering the consequences for that sin in the third generation since it ended, which is exactly what the italicized portion in the Exodus passage above tells us.
This brings us to the current situation going on in evangelical circles regarding the Siamese twin issues of racial reconciliation and social justice. It would be preposterous for anyone to claim that racism, in any of its manifestations, does not exist, inside or outside of the church. However, it is just as preposterous to claim that all white people are guilty of racism just because they are white. That is making an assumption about a person(s) just because of their skin color, which is just another facet of racism. Also, if the passage in Ezekiel is true, and it is; and clear, which it is; then any claim of guilt by proxy, any attempt by any color of Christian to hold the current generation of white people guilty for the sin of race based slavery that has not existed since April 9, 1865 is unbiblical and unjustified and is a sin. If all this is the case, then there cannot be white guilt as the term is currently used.
It is incendiary, counter productive, and biblically unwarranted for people such as David Platt and Matt Chandler to use the guilt whip to lay the guilt trip on those who are white. Should anyone regardless of skin color repent of racism if they are guilty of that sin? Yes, absolutely! But to say that all white Christians are guilty of racism and need to repent, especially with an air of spiritual superiority, is intellectually naive or dishonest, and I don't think either of them is naive and know for certain they are not omniscient. Therefore, when they chastise white Christians for their racism, it has the appearance of moral posing and playing to the PC and SJW crowds; and this serves to invalidate and undermine the very social justice cause they claim to support.
Again, are there white Christians who are guilty of racism? Yes, regrettably so. But here is part of the rub, the gorilla in the room of racial reconciliation discussions is the racism of black Christians. Racism is a knife that cuts in every direction, and each color of skin has those within it that are racists. If true reconciliation is to occur, then those Christians of each skin color, who are actually guilty of racism need to confess that sin, first to God, then to their fellow Christians, and then repent and ask for forgiveness. Those who hold to the guilt by proxy fallacy need to repent. Those who are using the issues of racial reconciliation and social justice to promote themselves, to feather their own nest, to promote their own agenda, or to make themselves feel better about themselves need to confess and repent. Those who falsely accuse other Christians of racism need to confess and repent. Those who have been wronged by the sin of racism need to forgive, and pray for those who have sinned against them. Is righteous anger against the sin of racism justifiable? Yes. But we are told to be angry, but do not sin, and let not the sun set on our anger.
Almost all of the tweets, accompanying comments, and blog posts I have seen since David Platt's message have been negative toward what Platt said and his manner in saying it. Is this because they are racist? No, it is because people do not like to be falsely and unjustly accused. We live in a country where people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, unless it is in the court of PC opinion.
My friend, who attended T4G with me, and I were having lunch the day after Platt's speech and were joined by three black brothers from Ohio. They were two deacons and the pastor from a black church. We had a good time of fellowship and talked much about their church, and they did not apologize for their church being so black, nor should they.
Reconciliation is a spiritual issue, and for true reconciliation to take place and true social justice to reign in our country, they must have their foundation in the church of the true and living God, who for His own glory created the different races, and for His own glory is saving those of each and every race. If the unbelieving culture that surrounds us does not see love exhibited in us, then our witness has no validity, and our attempts to spread the gospel will suffer. Making false accusations in an attempt to drum up false guilt will never accomplish cultural change. It is only when all Christians of all colors stand united together in the love of Christ, speak the truth in love, and in love give themselves up for each other, that the impetus for true racial reconciliation will begin.