June 3, 2015

Baucham on Race Issues; With Some Comments

By In Blogs, Mitchell Thompson

Voddie Baucham is an inspiration to me, to use a word I don’t use too often.  These days, as I have talked about often on this blog, the “racism” meme is at full throttle; which means that if you suspect that the race wars are largely manufactured and media-driven, you are to be dismissed as a race-denier (that’s probably what they’d call it, in the same noble tradition of phrases like “climate-denialism” –allegedly we deny that the climate exists) and, inevitably, a racist.

Let me be frank: I appreciate Baucham because he is both aware, and suspicious of this very “racism” meme… while, most especially, he, like myself, is a black man. Yes, I didn’t use the politically correct “African American” — I am not from Africa.  I praised Baucham’s comments on race last year, and here I aim to do it again.

In a recent interview with World News Service (WNS) republished at The Aquila Report (H/T C.Jay), Voddie Baucham (VB) was asked two race-related questions.  He answered them with profound insight, which I hope does not go unnoticed, because underlying these answers, I am convinced is the proper and objective check on a western world obsessed with the so-called race war.

WNS: I remember Martin Luther King Jr. saying the most segregated hour in America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning. From where you sit as a black pastor, are things getting better or worse?

VB: Things are incredibly better. They’re not turning dogs on black people and fire hoses on black people. Things are better, for sure, but I think there are people who have a vested interest in things not being better, or at least a vested interest in not allowing people to acknowledge the fact that things are getting better. The racial-grievance industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Well, that precisely what your not supposed to say on the race war. As he noted, the “racial-grievance industry” is quite lucrative and to challenge the race-relations establishment is to attract unwanted attention. Unfortunately for the Establishment, Baucham is a black man and therefore it would be difficult to scream bloody murder toward his direction without undermining their own stance that any dissent from the “black voice” is inherently racist. They probably, as Tom Woods as pointed out of Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell, don’t know what to do with him.

WNS: Are you talking about people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? 

VB: Absolutely. Not just them, but also other organizations like the NAACP and others that raise millions upon millions of dollars based on the idea that things are bad and they’re going to get worse unless we have these organizations leading the way. When you have a multi-billion-dollar industry committed to communicating to people that no matter what you see, things are bad, they’re worse than they’ve ever been, people are going to believe that to a large degree, but yeah, things are better.

As I wrote in my review of Paul Gottfried’s Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt book:

The title [of Gottfried’s book] itself is well chosen.  It really reflects and summarizes the theme of the book as revealing the near-religious nature of the manufactured social narrative.  The guilt complex, which is a carefully selected tool, is utilized for political means and it has proven to be successful since its inauguration.  The subtitle too speaks volumes as it describes what quickly becomes apparent throughout the book as a whole: “Toward a Secular Theocracy.”  The PC trend has an eerie similarity to the Christian doctrines of sin, repentance, salvation, and all the rest.

Everything for the therapeutic state (TS) boils down to what social class to which you belong.  You are seen not as an individual with rights and the opportunity to make yourself successful (this is dismissed by the TS as the “heresy of meritocracy”). You are seen as a member of either a minority and oppressed class, or a member of the oppressing class based on things which are beyond your control.  In this way, one can’t help it if they were born in oppression and only the state can save them from the evil environment which surrounds.

As Baucham said: “a multi-billion-dollar industry committed to communicating to people that no matter what you see, things are bad, they’re worse than they’ve ever been….”

The interview continues.

WNS: What about in the church? Whenever I go to meetings like this, for example, they’re still overwhelmingly white. There seems to be a lot of angst about needing to reach out to African-Americans and other minorities. Is that misplaced? 

VB: You see an event like this, and white people come in, and there are just a few black people, and there is that angst. There’s that sense of, what do we have to do? But you go to an event that’s predominantly black, and my experience has been that angst is not there. The black people are not sitting around going, “What do we have to do in order to change this?”

Perfect!  In predominantly white areas, there will be more whites at an event. In a predominantly black area, there will be more blacks. This is logical, not racist.  Preach the gospel to all men! On the Mexican missional front, there will be many more Mexicans than Caucasians. Is this something to be remedied? It seems to me that this is a major distraction from the real issues; namely, the presentation of the gospel.  Why is there such large amounts of “angst” among white folks in our culture? Perhaps the “politics of guilt” has not been adequately resisted.

Final excerpt:

WNS: So we should just not worry about it? 

VB: I’ve had conversations with pastors in the middle of places like Nebraska and Wyoming, where there just aren’t very many ethnicities. They bemoan the fact that their churches don’t look very diverse, but their churches are healthy. They’re welcoming to all people. They’re not being openly negative, offensive, or unwelcoming. They’re not rejecting people. It’s not a sin problem where they’re saying, “You’re not welcome here,” but still there’s that angst. I don’t think that’s healthy at all. I think what we need to do is we need to make sure that we search ourselves and know that we’re committed to doing and being everything that we can do and everything that we can be within the community that God has given us, to reach all of the people that God would send us and not sit there and say, “Oh, I’m sad because the soul of this person that was saved was this color on the outside versus that color on the outside.”

Now, if we have a problem of not being welcoming, if we have a problem of racism within our churches, then that’s sin, and it needs to be dealt with, and it needs to be repented of, but if you’re talking about diversity for diversity’s sake, that’s not healthy.

“[I]f you’re talking about diversity for diversity’s sake, that’s not healthy.” A million yeses! Diversity is not an end!  Diversity is not the goal toward which we strive, as it is for the advocates of the so-called social gospel (which isn’t the Gospel)!  “Diversity” is an aspect of some geographical locations, but not others.  If it exists, fine. If it doesn’t, fine.

Consider the implications of Baucham’s words. Read them again. The best way to support your black brothers and sisters in Christ is to help them understand that they ought not think of themselves as “victims of the white man.”  That is feeding into the narrative. God has made us with individuals, with individual responsibility, individual talents, individual life-contexts, and so forth.  He does not deal with us, as the PC-Establishment does, as groups of racial and sociological categories.  We must move beyond guilt manipulation, social marxism, and devastating collectivism. To my white brothers: don’t give in to the guilt-drive. To my black brothers: don’t give into the propaganda. To my brothers of other differing races: stay objective, preach the gospel, and beware the state-media relationship, which is heavily invested in promoting turmoil and strife at the national level.

Love your neighbor as yourself and thereby serve our wonderful Creator.

Written by Mitchell Thompson

I was born and raised in Northern California where I was homeschooled. I became a Protestant (Calvinistic) seven years ago. I was also, starting in 2006, a Buchananite conservative until I met Ron Paul during the 2008 elections. From then on I read everything I could from the Mises Institute and am now satisfied as a Rothbardian libertarian. I am slowly becoming a more confessional Reformed Baptist. Hoping to get more and more involved on this site. My Twitter handle is @MitchRThompson. Cheers.
  • Terrence Daugherty

    Unfortunately, with me being white, this post will go unread by many of my black friends once I share it. How do we break away from the ideas of “ethnic gnosticism” (as Voddie would put it); where it’s assumed that a white person has no say in this matter because “he doesn’t know the struggle?” I absolutely appreciated your commentary on this interview. I’ve met Voddie and spoke with him on some occasions. He’s genuine and has a heart for the lost, no matter their skin color.

  • Hugh McCann

    Should Voddie debate Thabiti over at TGC.

  • ManfredtheWonderDog

    I served with Voddie for several years and traveled with for one. He is a dear brother who is loved by many folks who hate his theology. It was a joy seeing him preach on election from Genesis to a free-will Baptist church full of white southerners. They LOVE him! When he was in Zambia, the locals listened to him, asked him a few questions, then a lady told him to his face – “You are no African American! You are an America! No Africa in you!”

    We had a white man from South Africa in our church. Voddie would point to him as our token African American.

    He loves black folk just as Paul loved his kinsmen of the flesh, and wants them to come to the saving knowledge of Christ. But as he is quoted above, it is the Spirit’s job to save and our job as men is to be faithful with His Word and humble before all.