Someone needs to “speak the truth in love” to John MacArthur: It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be assumed a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.
The pastor who claimed that evangelicals are trying to hard to please the culture (instead of constantly acting as roadblocks) and called social justice “spiritually disastrous” now says that he doesn’t know any “authentic” evangelical church where racism is a problem.
Who knew?! (Not black Christians, I promise you.)
Just when I thought I had lost my ability to be shocked…
“Four years ago, I would not have thought it possible for Bible-believing evangelicals to be divided over the issue of racism. As Christians we stand together in our affirmation of the second great commandment (‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ — Leviticus 19:18). We therefore stand together against every hint of racial animus,” wrote MacArthur who leads Grace Community Church in California, as well as The Master’s College and Seminary, on Monday.
He says while he can understand why those in secular culture will seek to fight racism under the banner of social justice, he sees no reason for evangelicals to take up that cause because he has never seen racism as a problem in any authentic evangelical church.
“I understand when fallen, worldly people filled with resentment lash out at others that way. I don’t understand why Bible-believing Christians would take up that cause. I thought the evangelical church was living out true unity in Christ without regard for race,” MacArthur said.
Evangelical churches, like the old Stephen Colbert character, are perfectly colorblind. And if racism exists in those churches… well, then they’re not true evangelical churches, are they? It’s very convenient to No-True-Scotsman your way out of this than to accept that racism is still an ongoing problem.
MacArthur doesn’t have to understand it, but to suggest the problem is non-existent is just plain ignorant. Yet that’s what he does by pointing to diversity in his own church:
“Just last Sunday night — as we do every month — we received about a hundred new members into Grace Church. It was another testimony to God’s love crossing all ethnic lines, as the group was composed of Hispanics, Filipinos, Chinese, Ugandans, Nigerians, Mongolians, Koreans, Ukrainians, Armenians, Lithuanians, Russians, Austrians, people of Arabic descent, as well as black and white Americans,” he said.
Oh. They have some black people at their church. Racism solved!
A church can welcome people of different backgrounds and colors and still be racist, because racism isn’t just about actions; it’s about your attitudes and biases. You can treat black people kindly but still clutch your purse a little tighter when a black man walks by you on the street. You can “not see color” and still be surprised that a black person speaks so “well.” You can have black friends and still think that a black woman’s natural hair is unprofessional for the office.
If nothing else, we know that many evangelical Christians — certainly many white evangelicals — voted for and continue to support Donald Trump. And they’ve continued to support him even after his slur against African countries, his blaming “both sides” for what happened in Charlottesville, his constant denigration of Hispanic people, his support of candidates and individuals who endorse white nationalism, the way he specifically insults black people on Twitter with a variation on “low IQ,” etc.
These churches implicitly endorse all this because their members still support Trump. They might say these comments are troubling, but they’re clearly not troubling enough to get them to stop supporting Trump. (Anything goes to get those judicial nominees.)
Yet MacArthur maintains racism doesn’t exist in churches like his.
Racism takes many forms. Like many white people, MacArthur seems to have the mistaken impression that you must set crosses on fire and wear a white hood in order to be racist. It’s all or nothing in his mind. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
And when he gets something this important this wrong, what does it say about everything else he’s preaching?
(Screenshot via YouTube)