Do I Feel Better? No. How Could I?

Ashwin, commenting in disgust about what he sees as my obsession with Wilson’s “Southern Slavery As It Was,” asks if I “feel better” now that I’ve gotten my hatred of the Bishop of Moscow’s defense of slavery out of my system.

In the purgative sense, I suppose I do — it’s extraordinarily hard to live silently among people who boast of their understanding of Scripture but use it to justify the unjust and unjustifiable. Silence from the Church in the face of such abuse and ignorance, and the puffery and vapidity behind it, could certainly be construed as assent. I don’t ever want to stand in front of my Savior and Lord trying to explain why I chose to not contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints — a faith that surely would consider manstealing, race-based enslavement, violence, and bigotry, as well as insipid attempts to justify them by God’s Word, antithetical to the Gospel promise of Galatians 3:28 and, indeed, the entirety of the New Testament. I truly believe Wilson’s take on slavery, race relations, and the “godliness” of the Confederacy to be toxic, and I wish that preaching against it removed it not only from my heart, but from ever finding rest in the heart of any disciple of Jesus anywhere in the world.

But while condemning the defense of that which is clearly condemned in Scripture — that is, manstealing, slave trading, and racial enslavement, as well as continued division and hierarchy along racial, cultural, gender, and economic lines — does satisfy the calling of God on my heart and soul, the ugliness of such vile lunacy never leaves me, and never leaves me feeling relieved, refreshed, or restored. Nor should it. I pray, and pray in earnest, that the Lord would take me the day before I ever become comfortable with sin and accommodate that which should never gain entrance into a Spirit-filled Church or a Spirit-filled woman. Surely a largely plagiarized attempt to placate racial supremacists, historical revisionists, and white “Sothren” patriarchs with the use of a few Bible verses ripped wholly out of context and used to excuse that which offends a just and holy God would qualify.

So no, Ashwin, I don’t “feel better.” I feel obedient. And I feel curious — I truly want to know what it is about the twisting of Scripture and the defense of Antebellum slavery that you find morally neutral, perhaps even acceptable? As a man of God, wouldn’t you want to condemn kidnapping, violence, rape, the destruction of family, and the manifold injustice of an entire economy built on the backs of men and women and children stolen, bought, and sold by “Christian” men? And wouldn’t you, unlike Wilson and his fellow Sothrens, neo- and paleo-Confederates, want to distance yourself, for the sake of the Gospel, from those who would use the Bible to defend these things?

I believe truth matters to you. Why, brother, do you fail to embrace it here? Are you so afraid to condemn another Christian that you willingly remain silent in the face of evil and its defense, using your voice not to condemn the practice or those who defend it, but to rail against a sister in Christ who, like many others, is sickened by the proliferation of that which is untrue and that which panders to sin in the name of devout exegesis of Scripture?

“And I confronted Peter to his face, because he was wrong . . . ” The Apostle Paul

One Response to “Do I Feel Better? No. How Could I?”

  1. Ashwin says:

    Paul confronted Peter to his face because Peter considered Paul a brother. Peter humbly accepted Paul’s rebuke and changed his ways.

    What sort of relationship have you with Mr. Wilson? You don’t have him over for tea. You don’t visit his house. You probably cross to the other side of the street when you see him coming. You rebuking him means very little.

    Now I do not think that chattel slavery was at all a good thing. BUT NEITHER DOES MR WILSON. However he does express a fondness for a way of life that the old “slave states” represented. It was built on the back of slaves – true. But I defy you to show me ONE pre-industrial society that was NOT based on the backs of forced labour. If it was slaves in the South, it was convict labour in the North, Chinese labour in the West, serfdom in Russia, peasant labour in China, Zamindari and the caste system in India and the awful Janissary system in the Ottoman Empire.

    What ended the slave system was coal fuelled steam power. If we happen to run out of coal and oil probably the world will revert to some sort of slave system.

    We are no better than the Confederates. Mr Wilson’s point is the the Confederates were perhaps the best of a bad lot.

    I see nothing at all repulsive in that.

    Merry Christmas. God bless!

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