Tuesday, February 21, 2017


We attended one this past Sunday. It is theologically conservative but politically progressive. Wanting to attend their group on racial reconciliation, I read their required reading. Alarmed by it, I sent a letter off to the organizer:

“Thanks so much for your warm greeting and invitation to join your group.

I quickly read the required reading by Tom Airey and was very troubled by it. First of all, he wrote:

·       Before good news is proclaimed, root causes must be named in the midst of this opportunity-for-some-and-devastation-for-many situation. http://www.anabaptistwitness.org/journal_entry/a-theology-of-mission-for-colonized-gentrifying-spaces/

This advice is not only non-scriptural, it is against the teachings of the NT. When Paul was surveying the gloomy prospects of the end times, he counseled Timothy to keep the Gospel central:

·       I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:1-3)

Airey then wrote:

·       Detroit was colonized and then abandoned by white, mostly “Christian,” settlers, backed by a church that has overwhelmingly justified the project.

I cannot agree at all with his assessment of the problems. Besides, he terms capitalism “history’s most destructive economy.” However, Detroit is a fairy tale compared to the experience of communism and the Leftist solutions he wants to implement, the very same solutions that had brought Detroit down after decades of Democrat rule.

Airey seems to merely be echoing the same failed racial reconciliation strategies that have resulted in increased racial polarization and antagonism:

·       To “save Detroit,” white Christians ought to set themselves to the task of saving themselves by listening to the plight of the poor, researching the political and economic roots of these devastating issues, and then creatively naming them.

How can we creatively name the problems when we disagree about them? Therefore, this becomes a formula for upheaval and not reconciliation.

Besides, his solution is not Biblical. A Biblical solution demands that we treat our brethren as equals. There are no good guys and bad guys, just sinners who have been saved by grace. No one should be required, especially by skin color, to take a subservient seat to be instructed by others. This is guilt-by-color, reverse racism. Instead, where criminal acts have occurred, the perpetrators should be brought to justice irrespective of color:

·       What Detroit desperately needs is what is needed all over the globe: a theology and practice of mission that organizes resistance and alternatives to, rather than reproducing, the crises of “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.”

We cannot combat racism with more racism or with the failed strategies of “resistance” and intimidation. Instead, we have to combat the divisions with love. We all must listen, learn, and devote ourselves to each other in love. If we really trust our Lord, we must clothe ourselves with His Gospel and not the ways of the world.

It sounds like these meetings involve teaching and not discussion. As you can see, even though we share the same goal of Christian oneness, we have different methods. I would still be willing to attend if I had an outlet to express my concerns, but not for the purpose of reeducation and radical intervention.

If this is the case, please count me out.


Your Brother in Christ, Daniel”

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