Which Came First — The Liberal Or The Law?

Ashwin objects, according to a comment he left on Prevailing Winds earlier today, to my statement “Has it occurred to you that some of us hate racism precisely because it offends the very Word of God?”

I’m highlighting once again a discussion with my favorite correspondent, who takes me to task for hating racism because of what he sees as my liberal inclinations, and not because the Bible demonstrates that racism is a sin. This is too important to be left in the “comments” section, and so I’ll answer his remarks here. Ashwin says, in response to my contention that racism is a sin because the Bible says it is:

“There might be some for whom the above statement actually holds true. However, I strongly suspect (and I have seen nothing to allay my suspicions) that the dislike for racism happened BEFORE the Word of the Lord was consulted. It is a great and wonderful thing when a poor backwoodsman reads the Bible and goes – “I have been wrong about those foreign types. It seems they are my brothers as well.”

It is a horrible and nasty thing when a well-heeled leftist reads the Bible and goes – “See! I have been telling you poor backwoodsmen all along. Look your own Bible agrees with me! You have been bad Christians. I hope you understand what a favour I am doing you. Now let me tell you how to think …”

There is the difference between Heaven and Hell right there.”

My response:

I’m dismayed that you have so little understanding of, and respect for, the witness our God has left all of humankind attesting to his very character. Call it conscience, prevenient grace, or “eternity in their hearts,” but God has graciously condescended to illumine in even the roughest, unplowed hearts a testimony of what’s right and what’s wrong — even before a person reads the Word of God. You suggest that I hated racism long before I ever came to Christ or read the Bible, because I am, in your mind, a liberal. I fail to see the error in correctly understanding, by the grace of the Spirit, that humankind has an innate understanding that some things are just wrong. How little you trust in God’s common grace, and how free you are to judge the intent of my heart!

Before I became a Christian, I knew that racism was wrong, and that conviction was only strengthened by my reading of the Word. Other beliefs of mine didn’t hold up to the testimony of God’s Word, and I rejected them. Prior to my conversion, I believed, for example, that capitalism was inherently evil. My study of the Scriptures convinced me — again by God’s grace — that I was wrong. And yet I knew, even before coming to Christ, that confiscating the property of a poor man was utterly wrong. When I was young, single, and unsaved, I thought marriage was just a a contract between two people, represented by what I described as “a simple piece of paper.” But God’s Word showed me that I was wrong and that marriage was a sacred covenant between two people and God Almighty — and my subsequent marriage illustrated that even more profoundly. Still, even when I denied the sacredness of marriage, I knew that cheating on one’s spouse was a sin. Do you honestly condemn me for holding to correct beliefs — beliefs wrought by God’s gracious illumination in my unsaved soul — simply because they made sense to me and then were confirmed by the Word?

The reality, Ashwin, is that there are many Christians who proudly — defiantly, it seems to me — embrace racism and justify it with a perverse exegesis of the Holy Scriptures, and who believe that the primary calling of a Christian man is to preserve the “purity” of the “white race.” These ideas deserve nothing less than sharp, public, specific rebuke; those who hold to them deserve nothing less than the same — not to score points, but to disciple them in the hope that they’ll repent. Some do, and God be praised. Most don’t, and their public, defiant preaching of racist doctrines must be confronted with truth and named for the ugly sin they are. I intend to condemn racism in every form, in every place, and under every guise. I wish you would join me.

Finally, I cannot share your apparent high esteem of liberalism, which you seem to view as the font from which all correct and just social policy flows — or so it seems, since you persist in calling opposition to racism and other forms of bigotry “leftwing” and “liberal.” I couldn’t possibly care less if what I believe is “liberal” or not; I care not one white if what I embrace is “conservative” or not. I only care if it’s Biblical. If much of what’s Biblical is represented by the left wing of the political spectrum, then God be praised — he truly has left eternity in the hearts of all people, even people who, to you, seem far less likely than others to get it right. Your judgments are harsh, and often incorrect; insofar as you judge the intent of my heart or anyone else’s, I’m afraid you sin. I trust you’ll take that to the Lord.

4 Responses to “Which Came First — The Liberal Or The Law?”

  1. Ashwin says:

    It is well that you take exception to being judged. Since you would so like your views to be interpreted charitably perhaps it is time you passed on the favour – especially to your neighbours.

    Both you and I know whom you mean when you talk about “racist Christians”. I have detected no racism in any of their writings. In fact I find the writing of the chief culprit quite stimulating.

    And about the idea that God has given us a conscience with which to find racism horrible, we have also seared that same conscience.

    You come from a leftist background. You have CONSISTENTLY made common cause with the left faction of the American political spectrum. Any opinion contrary to the views of THAT ideology invite your severe ire. So much so that you forget to be charitable. You breathe fire against your neighbours who don’t subscribe to that ideology. And then you claim that it is all in the name of Christ.

    What am I to make of that?

  2. What are you to make of it? Whatever you wish. As for me, I assure you that you are incorrect in assuming that Wilson is the target of everything I write regarding racism.

    What I make of your screed is simply that you will forever filter whatever I write through a lens of prejudicial presuppositions about me, and I could exhaust myself attempting to set you straight. So, thanks for reading, thanks for writing, and perhaps work on establishing the Golden Rule as a guide in correspondence with me, as I try with you.

    I wish you well,


  3. Anonymous says:

    I can say with complete honesty and sincerity that Keely is most interested in doing the right thing regardless of which side of the political fence it puts her on. I knew her before she was saved and she judged each and every cause she got behind on its own merits. She remained my friend when I married an Iranian during the infamous hostage crisis. Not an easy thing, I assure you. She is neither right or left wing but a citizen voicing her opinion.
    Rock on sister!

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for your kind comments. I think I know who you are, and I’d love it if you emailed me. Blessings to you,


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