Stuff Evangelical Christians Like: Concern Trolling For Black Souls On #MLKDay

“***Rather than debating whether MLK was an evangelical or even a Christian, Russell Moore asks a better question for this day:***

While I appreciate Dr. Moore’s article. I don’t think it is a “better question for today.” As you might expect on a site called “The Gospel Coalition” that we take the gospel very seriously. Whatever good MLK did in his life—and God used him in powerful ways!—does not offset the impact of his false teachings. We should be concerned if even one soul was led to hell because of his rejection of Biblical truths.”- Joe Carter

For more of this legalistic filth, See the comment section of the The Gossip Kkkoalition’s post for MLK Day.

A brief commentary on the above quote.

1st, Yes the TGC has admitted Jonathan Edwards was a slave-owner. Bravo! But really, how about 9 Things You Didn’t Know about the Confederate States of America? That these folk were evangelical, biblical Christians who considered themselves orthodox? Or what about, “9 Things You Didn’t know About Christians Before the Civil Rights Movement?” You know things like how they used (and continue to use)the Bible to promote racial segregation, including A. W. Tozer. The TGKkk gives a half-hearted attempt to want the presence of black men, with speculative posts on Holy Hip Hop and “growing” movement of Calvinism among African American community. But they are unwilling to even listen to the rational voices from Reformed black men in blog posts, who just went ignored.

Comment from Trillian Newbell:

“There has to be a better way. There just has to be. Is it possible to ask questions like: “Joe why did you think it was important to point out the ONE fact about his theology?” Rather than going to task to dissect his heart and motives. It seemed to me that he shared wonderful facts beyond that one fact about his theology. And, honestly, those who have studied MLK already knew this. So Joe, thank you for pointing out that only two other men have a holiday–what an honor to get to celebrate the life and legacy of MLK today knowing that it’s so rare. I’m so thankful that Sharpiro asked Dr. King to write the letter from the jail. God is sovereign and good and new it would be used regardless of being printed. King’s non-violent movement remains to me one of the most compelling acts of Christian responses to persecution. Dr. King endured great suffering (even that stabbing) which only leads me to be that much more grateful. Thanks for pointing that out. And though I wouldn’t follow his theology I am more aware that God will use who He chooses, how He chooses, when He chooses. God is a good and sovereign God and today I rejoice in His goodness and providence and in the legacy of MLK.”

Response from Carter? *crickets*

Comment from Thabiti Anyabwile:

“One of the earliest biographies of King’s thinking and theological formation, Smith and Zepp’s Search for the Beloved Community: The Thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr., uses the label “evangelical liberal.” Zepp and Smith define an “evangelical liberal” as someone who is a “serious Christian” looking for a theology that can be believed by “intelligent moderns.” They define liberalism (of which they’re a part) as “intelligent moderns” looking for a way to be “serious Christians.”

In our day that sounds like a contradiction. But we have to keep in mind that (a) liberalism is not one thing, (b) many African American thinkers are not easily classified using the dominant theological language, and (c) it’s King’s experience as an African American that shapes his thinking as much as anything. Greater influences on King would be his teachers at Morehouse (George Kelsey and Benjamin E. Mays) and Crozer (George W. Davis). It’s the Christian tradition that has the largest formative influence, not Gandhi.

I agree with Joe that King would not regard himself an evangelical, what was called “fundamentalists” in his day. He’s educated in the heyday of liberalism at a liberal divinity school. “Fundamentalists” were the enemy and the modernist-fundamentalist controversy was getting into swing. But he gives hint of traditional evangelical thinking because his language is richly biblical and because he at least takes seriously the ethics of the Bible. No one can impeach his living exposition of love for neighbor and enemy, which was the sine qua non of his view of the kingdom or “beloved community.” “

Any response from Carter? *crickets again*

Any argument based on reason, history, and critical thinking will not get a response because this was meant to be a cheap shot, especially these are facts we already knew about MLK Jr. And really, what does an assassination attempt on his life have anything to do with celebrating his legacy or how God used him?

2nd, The Gossip Kkkoalition does not quote any of MLK’s sermons to prove that he is a heretic; they only quote his scholarship while he was in seminary. Then they go on to mourn the idea that BLACK MEN have not attended conservative evangelical seminaries like they have hoped. No, MLK’s seminary papers do not provide helpful clues into what he preached. Critical Scholarship is separate from doctrinal confession, well for most people. We are not saved by the dogma that we mentally assent to; salvation only comes by way of the Resurrection of Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less.

3rd, On the racial innocence of evangelical Christianity, I say this. The act of posting this gossip column on MLK Day is not inherently racist. What was racist was the reasons given for it, concern trolling for the souls of Christian black Americans who were under the pastoral leadership of MLK Jr. It reeks of theological imperialism in the worst of ways. It also exposes the disembodied theology that the Gossip Kkkoalition is promoting. Preaching the Gospel is not the same as denying our bodily existences. It can’t be; Christianity is not a deism or humanism. Christianity affirms the God of Israel who sent the Logos in the person of Christ Jesus, Jewish blood and flesh. The Jewish flesh and blood of the Messiah was raised from the dead by this same God.

4th, and lastly, on nonviolence,

“Well, I wish liberal thinkers like Tolstoy would take the entire Sermon seriously, instead of taking bits out of context to justify pacifism.”-Joe Carter

I have read the entire Sermon on the Mount. Where does it say anything about Just War Theory? Or can you admit that you got that from Augustine, bad biblical interpretation and all? For more on this, seee #3. It’s about a theology of disembodiment, an imperialist religion more than it is about the Good News.

h00die_R (Rod)

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7 thoughts on “Stuff Evangelical Christians Like: Concern Trolling For Black Souls On #MLKDay

  1. Excellent points. One small theological quibble seems like a great way to dismiss well every bit of theology and every Christian writer ever. Why not instead of straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel engage the fullness and richness of MLK, jr.’s thought? Also why haven’t we seen more white people going to HBC/U’s and churches?

  2. LOVED this Rod! You killed it! To me, MLK’s theology was more “gospel of the kingdom” (which is more biblical, IMO) than the soteriological “gospel of transcendentalism” – I’m glad you made the point about Christianity not being deism or some disembodied theology- also, when you say “for more on this see #3″ in your last paragraph, what are you referring to, I’d like to read about those topics!

  3. Pingback: Durden, Deaton, and Driscoll (and toxic theologies) | A Real Rattlesnake Meets His Maker

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