Have you ever heard that saying?
It comes from the standard that is often set by society on those who have parents in the pulpit. They are expected to act “better than”, because their are expected to be model examples of the ideals spread by their father from the pulpit.
If you are the sibling who does not get into trouble in the family, your face likely blushes every time someone says, “You know what they say, you PK kids are the worst…your brother/sister should know better since your dad is a pastor.”
Well, that’s how I sometimes feel with my brothers and sisters in Christ when they speak on issues related to so-called race. I blush, because my Black friends who are enemies of Christ say exactly the same thing, “You know, you Christians are the biggest racist as (insert comment about KKK, support for racist politicians and usage of the bible during slavery among many other examples), and you think that “white jesus” they gave you is going to save you.” I then have to sift through fact vs. fiction and point out what the bible really says, that some are not Christians at all, and those that are, often embrace their earthly ethnicity over their heavenly heritage.
I’m now blushing over what I heard about someone in the ministry I respected named James White.
The original post has been removed and since I’m playing catch up, I’m going to refer readers over to the spectacular job done by Jemar Tisby and Beau York over at RAAN. Please check out this episode titled, Pass The Mic: Processing James White With Jemar Tisby.
I’m bring this up to reinforce that this is why I speak about race so much on this blog about fatherhood. First, the comments appeared to involve yet another Black young man and is draped in coded racist language. Inside the church and out, people who hold these views are teaching in the pulpits, our bible classes, Christian/government schools, work on the police force, work as managers, etc.. As long as Black folks act “better than” and “are different”, they are accepted by the “moral majority”. But if taken outside of the church doors (or even inside under the right circumstances like with the issue of so-called interracial dating), that is when the true feelings of the heart begin to come out.
Secondly, I want all Christians to understand that this collective sin needs to be dealt with and that the Body of Christ is suffering whether it wants to admit it or not.
The ramifications for not doing so means that Black Christians are again separating from our own family members. Of course, history has shown us that this separation (e.g. segregation) has always been desired collectively by Christians in the United States. I have wrote about my own experience a bit here and just earlier today (before hearing about the James White post), I brought up the idea of framing, and the impact it has on how people view others in this country. Statements by Mr. White ensure that I will continue to speak out and quite honestly, why I even keep my so-called Black children out of the Christian schools.
Sadly, statements made here by Mr. White seem to indicate that he is holding on to his views, which is unfortunate. Jonathan Edwards certainly held a worldly and not a biblical view of slavery. I certainly hope Black ministers in his circle have a chance to have an open dialogue with him and point out why many are disappointed in his assumptions and the implicit bias in his statements. Sadly, Voddie Baucham, another brother I greatly respect and who has obviously influenced our home, is being used as “that Black guy”. You know…the one who “can say the same thing but if he were white, he could not”. I do not have the time nor space right now to pick this argument apart, but it is as much of a straw-man argument as the “well what about black-on-black crime” statement. I will say, I have always felt that some of his comments were more in-house discussions, because those on the outside will not put them into the proper perspective and once again (as this isn’t the first time), he’s being used to defend the statements by James White.
Let me add one final thing.
When me and my boy Rob were attending a church that was heavily focused on Christian apologetics, Rob made a great point that, “When you teach people how to think critically about things, they will also think critically about you as well.” We later would leave the church, as they were not very cool with the idea of people in the congregation looking critically at some of their behind-the-scene financial practices.
Ironically, this is the church that I learned and listened to James White quite a bit, but it is with this apologetic critical eye that I will now turn towards Mr. White. I will also be praying for him as well.
Our Father told the story of the Good Samaritan and once again the reaction of a fellow Christian to seeing someone who fit a certain stereotype in their mind, resembles the behavior of the priest and the Levite.
The preacher’s kids are the worst. They are the worst that is in all of us. But sometimes we need to look at them and know that they need the same grace we all need and are under the same conviction of the Holy Spirit. So if they are the worst, we all need to remember,”Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”–Romans 5:20. So while we should not ignore the public comments/position by James White, we should ask why he feels so comfortable taking such a stance. Do you agree with Mr. White and how do you defend your position biblically?