Real Racism and Phony Outrage


Wait!  Hold on! What’s happening here?  Until a week ago, the most frequently quoted Bible verse in these United States was “Judge not that you be not judged.”  It was the logical destination of every conversation about bad behavior and moral living.

Suddenly everybody’s racing to judge the racists who carried Tiki torches through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. The President of the United States quickly condemned the evil and bigotry that unraveled into fighting and thuggery, but he was universally assailed for not specifically denouncing the white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s, and the Alt-Right.  The hue and cry became such an avalanche that even Wal-Mart issued a statement demanding more passionate condemnation. Bloggers and columnists and celebrities are stumbling over one another to judge bigots and Klansmen in the most absolute terms possible! We keep hearing the same talking points: there must be no place in America for people like this!

Whatever happened to tolerance?

A poll conducted by the Barna Organization last year found 74% of Millennials agree with the statement, “Whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know.”  Overall, 57% of American adults agree that determining right and wrong is a matter of personal experience.”  The bottom line is that there are no moral absolutes: what’s right is what’s right for you.

This prevailing ethos practiced by most Americans leaves no room for being honestly intolerant of racists, much less judging them in public.  You don’t know their experiences. You have no idea what kind of bigotry they’ve suffered.  You don’t even know if they’re secretly overcompensating for secret shame over gender issues or sexual addiction. Maybe their hatred for racial minorities because of self-loathing that’s been building up for years.  What if all they need is understanding?  Haven’t we told that love is the answer for Jihadi’s who stock up bombs and weapons to kill civilians?  Surely there’s enough love to go around for a few neo-Nazi’s, too.

The universal spiritual mantra of 2017 America demands tolerance.  Judge not that you be not judged.

If there is no universal evil that’s always wrong, are we denouncing racism because it’s unfashionable?  And if we do agree that racism is an absolute, moral evil, that raises a logical question.  What else?  Once you acknowledge one sin that is always worthy of condemnation, might there be others?  And what if you never act out your racism, but only harbor that resentment in your heart? Isn’t it still a sin?  God says it is.

In case you’re wondering, I denounce racism, white supremacy, neo-Nazism in the strongest terms possible, and call upon hateful people to repent of their evil. That’s a consistent position for me because Christ has taught me there are moral absolutes. Like others who follow Him, I recognize that racism, hatred, greed, and lust are all tragic symptoms of a more fundamental problem: sin.  Sin destroys lives; not only the lives of those who practice iniquity but innocent bystanders around them as well.  We have been taught to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  We believe that the grace of God can transform the most twisted and evil life.  We encourage all sinners to confess their sins and turn to the One and Only Son of God.

I am proud to stand in unity with my black fellow Americans when they suffer bigotry or fear for the safety of their sons and daughters.  I have marched in Martin Luther King Day parades, and have demonstrated against the KKK in their hometown, Pulaski, Tennessee. I have ministered in Soweto, South Africa when it was an unelectrified ghetto crammed with disenfranchised black South Africans.  My church partners with a school in one of the toughest districts in Washington, DC. Sometimes speaking up is not enough. You have to show up.

But I am not willing to stand with all the trendy, hypocrites posturing to look relevant, gain social currency, or make a profit by jumping on the Outrage Train that’s racing around the cultural universe today. When condemnation feels this good, it’s usually a bad thing. Are we doing this because it makes us feel superior?  If we don’t believe there are moral absolutes, it’s sheer hypocrisy to condemn the behavior of others we don’t understand. And if I’m convinced there are God-given standards of right and wrong, why do I only speak out when the popular media grant me permission?  The voices against injustice that count most are those that dare to cry out in the wilderness when others cower in silence.

I hope you’ll join me in praying for the family of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was tragically run down near the rally in Virginia.  Please also pray for the families of two Virginia state police officers who died in a helicopter crash monitoring the violence that followed.  Today’s news is all outrage, all the time! There’s seldom been a world more desperate for Good News?  For such a time as this, you and I were brought into the Kingdom.

Lift up the Cross!


13 thoughts on “Real Racism and Phony Outrage

  1. While I don’t disagree with your post as a whole, I think something is missing: Matthew 7:1 and John7:24 finish the thought. It doesn’t just say judge not, it indicates that any judgement should be the same as God/Jesus will use. We do not have the right to condemn, but throughout the Bible, New Testament included, we are told to examine both ourselves and others who call themselves believers. We are to do as Jesus did, and be truthful. Remember, He called some vipers and others whited sepulchers.

      1. It is sad that we cannot go as deep in our thoughts when writing. I do the same thing because if we go too long and deep most sheeple will never read and get any edification from it.

  2. Wow! Talk about getting hit between the eyes with a two x four! You have made an excellent point I wasn’t close to being aware of. Thank you for making me see the plank in my own eye in that I was only looking at what I was told to look at by the media etc. I have only read your blog for a short time but am learning much from it. Thank you for writing a great blog!

    1. Thanks, Mark. Please pray for the folks at the end of the blog. I don’t want to diminish the severity of what happened there. I just can’t believe the sudden frenzy for bogus outrage.

  3. I still can’t believe that evangelical Christians even make an attempt to support Trump …. such hypocrisy …. but then again “all the authorities have been established by God” Roman 13:1 …. hey wait wouldn’t that have applied to Obama too … or how about Kim Jun In … good pick there God.

    1. Thanks, Uzzah. I don”t defend the President. It’s his job to speak about national tragedies. And if it’s important to name the enemy when Jihadis kill Americans, it’s also important to name the racist groups that caused the deaths in Charlottesville. My point was that the gleeful hysteria that everyone else should be denouncing evil reveals something important. The people who have been telling us for years not to judge, are now saying we must judge because there are moral absolutes after all. Now that they have conceded that point, they should wonder what else is always wrong. Thanks for your feedback.

  4. I enjoy your blog as I always do and take the time to meditate and reflect on them. I’m troubled by what’s going on I’m a Christian and don’t stand for racism of any kind It’s sad to see so many people only seeing one side and that’s the side of the media and what they want to inform us on. I think Trump sees that it’s more than one group to blame and he’s not going to condemn only one group and let the others be made victims It seems that a majority of America is blinded by many things. They hate the cops the military and etc. because of the media and what they are promoting. Thank you for your thoughts and your blogs and I hope that I did not go too far with this comment

    1. Thanks, John. One of my favorite Proverbs (25:11) teaches that a word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. You’re may be right about the President, but he often fails the test of “aptly spoken” and only escalates the tension. Once in a while, a bit of measured silence can be helpful, too. I appreciate your feedback.

  5. Good commentary. We need to be consistent in our message as Christians. It’s easy to just identify with one party or the other, but like you said, neither side has the absolute truth, only God has that and we can find it in his word and through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

  6. Read your “Impeaching Dead Presidents” piece, which now I can’t find here to “like” and comment on. But anyway, just wanted to say it was a fantastic article! Very thought-provoking,mformboth sides of this issue to read. Well-said.
    Appreciate you,

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