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Are Reparations for Slavery Consistent with Repentance and Restitution? Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2019 7:00 pm

Are Reparations for Slavery Consistent with Repentance and Restitution? Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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January 25, 2019 7:00 pm

Last week on the program, Darrell Harrison, former fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary, joined us to discuss race (which he says is a misnomer for ethnicity), racism (or “ethnicism” as he calls it) within society and the church, the “white privilege” pejorative, and how Christians should view Martin Luther King Jr.

There was a lot to think about! And there’s much more to come this weekend with Darrell Harrison in Part 2 of the interview, as we discuss the controversial issue of slavery reparations (payment of money or granting of benefits to blacks today as restitution for wrongs committed against their ancestors)...

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Are reparations for slavery consistent with repentance and restitution? Part two of that topic we'll discuss today here on the Christian Worldview Radio Program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news that all people can be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host, and our website, as always, is thechristianworldview.org. Well, thank you for joining us today in the program as we continue this discussion of race and racism, and today we'll get into the reparations aspect of it. Now, last week, Darrell Harrison, he's a former fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary, joined us to discuss race, which he says is a misnomer for a better term called ethnicity.

He talked about racism or, quote, ethnicism as he calls it within society in the church, the white, quote, unquote, white privilege pejorative that's used so often today, and how Christians should view Martin Luther King Jr. in light of the holiday that this country just celebrated, remembering him. There was a lot to think about in that program, and there's much more to come today with Darrell Harrison in part two of the interview as we discuss the very controversial issue of slavery reparations, payment, which is payment of money or granting of benefits to blacks today as restitution for wrongs committed against blacks generations ago, and whether that's consistent with biblical repentance and restitution. For example, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently issued a report on slavery and racism in the history of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which was quite rife if you read the report, reaffirming an apology they made in 1995 for the seminary's, quote, participation in individual and systemic racism in past eras. And as a result of that report, it's generated further calls for reparations. We'll discuss that, but we'll also discuss how Christians should view the group Black Lives Matter and also the social justice movement in the church. Let's get to the second part of the interview with Darrell Harrison.

Let's get into this issue of reparations now for slavery. I mentioned in the intro to the program that the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had issued a report on slavery and racism in the history of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. That was the title of the report. And they reaffirmed a formal apology they had made back in 1995 for the seminary's, quote, participation in individual and systemic racism, unquote, during past eras, you know, going back into the 1800s with the Southern Baptist Seminary. And you had talked about some of these things, how there's white evangelicals who were just blatantly racist or ethnicist, as you would like to term, which I think is a good term.

And so they they came out with this report, I think it was in December. And one aspect, one segment of response is, OK, we get it. We see that.

We understand that. So therefore, the next step is not just to apologize, but make payment, make restitution for the, quote, unquote, injustices against our forebears. And so when Wendell Griffin, we're going to read a quote from him, he's a Baptist pastor and Arkansas judge, he wrote in the Baptist News Global, he said this in response to this report, We should also not ignore or excuse the seminary's refusal to commit to engage in reparations and restitution for more than 150 years of systemic racial injustice practiced, preached and taught under the guise of preparing people for careers in pastoral ministry, religious education, missions and theological studies as followers of Jesus. Rather than commend Albert Mulder, the president of the seminary and the authors of the study, we should remind them what John the Baptist said about the need to, quote, bear fruits worthy of repentance, unquote, from Luke chapter three, last paragraph. Repentance of this issue of past injustices in the slave era in the civil rights area will require the seminary's leaders and other stakeholders to do much more than admit a history of racism, white supremacy and white religious nationalism. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary must, in obedience to what John the Baptist said, as well as the example of the tax collector from Jericho named Zacchaeus, who Jesus confronted, he must pledge to give up the ill gotten wealth it gained and now enjoys in part because of that wicked history.

It is telling that Mulder hasn't shown any sign that he even considered doing that, let alone that he urged the seminary's trustees to do it. That was Wendell Griffin, a Baptist pastor in Arkansas judge. And then just want to read a couple tweets from someone else, a female ministry graduate from the Westminster Philadelphia named, you maybe even know this woman, probably pronouncing your name wrong here, but Ikimini Uwan. And me with her. Yep.

Okay. Well, she said this and some tweets. She said, When I call for reparations, y'all hear a call for retribution. Instead of hearing and receiving what it is, a gracious invitation to repair sinful acts from the past that impact the lives of black people in the present. Ask yourselves why you're mad when people talk about reparations.

Grace is scandalous. And then she went on to say in another tweet, good first step in regard to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's report on racism in the past. Good first step. Now reparations are due, not only symbolically, but financially. This can take various forms, but nothing short of free tuition and student loan debt cancellation for black Americans who attended and will attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the future. Reparations must follow repentance.

Okay, that was a lot. Sorry for the long setup there to that, this question of reparations, but just think we want to have some context to what the call is for. The case is being made by some evangelicals for reparations. In other words, payment of money or the offering of benefits to blacks due to past slavery and segregation and other things that went on in the past against the forebears, the past generations of blacks. Is that idea of reparations, is that consistent with what the case being made here is of biblical repentance and restitution?

Yeah, my answer to that, David, would be absolutely not. I mean, look, to a great extent, the case being argued by many evangelical social justice is based on a desire that the evangelical church, particularly those predominantly white churches that are and have been in the past associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the SBC, a desire that they make atonement for their role in facilitating the practice of institutional discrimination against blacks through past slavery and other means. The bigger problem, however, and this is what no one wants to talk about, is that owning slaves was not exclusive to white people or white evangelical Christians. The fact is that thousands of free black men and women owned slaves in the 1850s and 1860s, and that includes in the South.

So if we are to be intellectually honest about slavery and who owes reparations to whom, we need to discuss slavery holistically, not selectively. That said, now, to hold any person responsible for another person's sin, what I call sin by proxy, to hold any person responsible for another person's sin is wholly inconsistent with the teachings of Scripture. I mean, consider what Scripture says in Ezekiel chapter 18 verse 20. Quote, the person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment of the son's iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

Now, let me pause there and say this. I appreciate what Dr. Albert Mohler and Southern Seminary have attempted to do in releasing their statement on race and slavery several weeks ago. However, the first millisecond that I became aware that that statement had been released, and it was one day I was on Twitter, and I saw that that statement had been released under Dr. Mohler's signature, the first thing I said to myself was, uh-oh, here it comes. Because I really don't think that Dr. Mohler nor Southern Seminary were prepared for the blowback that they have received subsequent to the release of that statement. You see, the problem with statements like that is that your best intentions are never enough. You can never satisfy the social, evangelical movement. They will never be satisfied, because regardless of what you intend to do in sort of bridging that gap of reconciliation, it will never be enough.

They always move the bar. And scripturally speaking, what many evangelical social justicians have attempted to do in making me a biblical apologetic for reparations, especially monetary reparations, and if you notice, all their demands for reparations are always monetary in one form or another. It is always monetary. But what many of them are doing now within the evangelical social justice movement is they'll attempt to appropriate the account of Zacchaeus in Luke chapter 19 verse 8 as an apologetic for reparations. But that would be a misinterpretation of that text, because this is the text where Zacchaeus responds and says, well, half my belongings I will give to the poor, and if I've defrauded anyone, I will repay them, I will restore to them four times as much.

But here's the thing. First of all, Zacchaeus' offer was volitional. It was not coerced. Second, those whom Zacchaeus would have defrauded would have still been alive so that he could carry out the promised restitution.

Third, it was Zacchaeus who determined the value of the restitution and the amount that was appropriate in light of his offense. So no, sin by proxy, as I call it, the holding accountable of a current generation of people for sins that may or may not have been committed three or four or five generations ago is not consistent with the biblical principle of repentance and restitution. Coors repentance is not repentance. That's acquiescence. I can give in to your demands and I can pay you the reparations that you're demanding, but that doesn't mean there's been a change of heart within me.

I can still think of you in the same simple terms as I've always thought about you. So for anyone to think that monetary reparations, either cash payouts, student debt forgiveness, free tuition, if anyone is naive as to think that any of that will result in heart change, they're naive because it's the heart that is the root and ground of that divide in the first place. And how money is supposed to solve that, I don't know. Darryl Harrison with us today on The Christian Real View. He blogs at JustThinking.me, former fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary. One quick follow-up question as you talked about reparations and slavery, Darryl, is, you know, Jesus lived during a time of prevalent slavery throughout the Roman world. What did Jesus say or what did he do about the slavery of his age?

How did he view it? Okay, Darryl Harrison, our guest today on The Christian Real View radio program, will answer that question after this first break of the day in the program. I thought he'd give a very compelling and insightful answer to the issue of reparations, one that we're bound to hear more about going forward. And so if you missed any of that, be sure to go back and hear the podcast of the program.

We also have much more coming up today with regard to Black Lives Matter and other issues of race and racism that takes place in our society and really what the church, how the church and individual Christians should respond to it. So, Darryl, I want to thank you for being here. I can't wait to respond to it. So stay tuned. Much more coming up on The Christian Real View.

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And anyway, a lot to do there, so we encourage you to do that. Today, we're talking about issues of race and racism and reparations with our guest, Daryl Harrison, a former fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary. Let's get back to the interview with Daryl. You know, Jesus lived during a time of prevalent slavery throughout the Roman world. What did Jesus say or what did he do about the slavery of his age?

How did he view it? That's an interesting question because when you look at what Jesus did with regard to slavery and other institutional practices that were sinful, that were going on in his day during his ministry on the earth, he did nothing. He did nothing to change that. Jesus preached the gospel. He preached the gospel of changed hearts.

He did not preach the gospel of politics, of achieving improvements in society through legislation, through replacing leadership, through electing different people to office. One of my favorite texts in scripture as it relates to what Jesus did and didn't do to address the social ills of his time is his response to John the Baptist while John the Baptist was in prison. John, while he was in prison, waiting to be beheaded, sent two of his followers to Jesus to ask, are you the one who was promised or should we wait for someone else? And in Jesus's response to John the Baptist, no, Jesus did not have John the Baptist released from prison.

He did not have or work to have his death sentence commuted. Jesus did none of that. But in his response to John the Baptist, one of the things that Jesus pointed out, in addition to reminding John, reflect back on what you have seen and heard. The blind now see, the deaf hear, the hungry are fed.

And you know what? He saved for last the mention that the poor had the gospel preached to them. Jesus didn't say that the poor were given jobs, that the poor were given homes, that the poor were given new clothes. No, he pointed out to John the Baptist in saving the best for last, to coin a phrase. No, that the poor has a gospel preached to them. Now, if there was any time in Jesus's ministry that he was going to exert his authority and his power, it would have been in that instance where John the Baptist was on the precipice of literally losing his head. But Jesus did nothing. He emphasized that the poor had the gospel preached.

And what Jesus understood that many social justice evangelicals don't, is that above all else, above having our physical material and other needs met, what each of us needs above anything else is the gospel. It's far more important. It's nice to have clothes. It's nice to have food. It's great to have money. It's great to have shelter and a home and all that.

You can have all those things, but if you haven't entered into a right relationship with God through Christ, then you have nothing really, even though you think you have something in this world. Daryl Harrison with us today on the Christian Real View. Just a couple more questions for you, Daryl. I wanna read just another couple paragraphs from a column you wrote on your website, justthinking.me. You titled it, The Minds of Black Folk. And you say, why is it that so many black people continue to propagate the notion that merely because they are black, they are somehow obligated to support only political candidates who are either black and or Democrat? It is this kind of ethno tribalist mindset that serves to perpetuate the stereotypical narrative that blacks are politically monolithic, that their votes are cast primarily in terms of what is best for their quote race as a collective group, as opposed to what is in their best interest as individuals.

While at the same time decrying anyone who would dare accuse them of being so politically tunnel visioned. And they find out through, you say, through historical exit polling data proves that this is exactly the case, how blacks vote. Last paragraph, speaking only for myself, I have never understood why blacks like Williams and Grahams, and I think you referred them earlier in the article, with all due respect, see it as virtuous that black voters devote themselves so unquestioningly to one political party. To advocate for such blind loyalty used to suggest black Americans set aside their responsibility as individuals to be ideologically discerning about how their votes are cast, and instead support candidates solely on the basis of socio-cultural tradition. Black voters are the only people, politically speaking, who apply this kind of ideological collectivism to themselves and who openly castigate each other for refusing to embrace it. And that was your recent column, The Minds of Black Folk on your website at justthinking.me. Now, it's not just black people who are sort of being pushed or have been pushed into voting for the Democrat Party and Democrats, but it's now you see it as millennial evangelicals are being not so subtly told to do the same thing, move to the Democrat Party, because there are other issues that are just as important as abortion, like issues of race, as we've been discussing today, issues of justice and immigration, poverty.

These are equally important as abortion. And so therefore, you don't need to be locked into the Republican or voting on the conservative side, because there's just as many relevant and important issues on the Democrat side. What are your thoughts on why blacks are so uniformly voting Democrat in the push to make millennial evangelicals, typically white, probably, to do the same thing? You know, as it relates to black voters, I think it goes back to the 1960s and the civil rights era when you had the passing of the Civil Rights Act and then the Voting Rights Act. And it just so happened that in God's providence, there was a, you know, as I'm following up on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, then Vice President Lyndon Johnson took over as president. So Lyndon Johnson was a Democrat. He was a segregationist, but being a Democrat and being president by virtue of the death of John F. Kennedy, he just happened to be, to quote another phrase, at the right place at the right time.

Johnson was in the White House, he was in the Oval Office, when those two pieces of legislation were passed. So by virtue of that, the Democrat Party got the credit for coming to the rescue of black Americans, when the truth is, prior to that, prior to Lyndon Johnson taking a seat in the White House, Democrats wanted nothing to do with blacks having the right to vote, with blacks having civil rights, such as being free to eat in the restaurant or food establishment of their choice, being free to attend the school of their choice, being free to purchase a home in the zip code of their choice. Democrats wanted nothing at all to do with that, but since a Democrat president signed his name to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act for what, almost 60 years now, black voters have felt an allegiance to the Democrat Party because for some reason or another, they feel obligated to be loyal to the Democrat Party, even though the Democrat Party and its liberal policies have done more to destroy, absolutely decimate black families and communities based on the empty promises that they continue to propagate and offer and profit of black voters, that the government is here to save you, time and time and time again. If you look at data prior to the 1960s, prior to the mid 1960s, divorce rates within black families were single digits.

Out of wedlock births were single digits. Graduation rates were significantly lower than they were after the passage of all this welfare state legislation, but there's a sense in which black voters just continue to absorb the narrative that is being pushed at them through the media, that Republicans are racist, that they're evil, that they couldn't care less about black people, even though the policies that are more conservative benefit black Americans better than the liberal punitive policies of liberalism. And this is a battle that I, as a black conservative, continue to fight every single year. If black people can just get past, black voters can just get past the noise that's being pushed at them by the liberal media and understand that it's better for you that your taxes are lower. It's better for you that you have the right to select what school your children go to. It's better for you to not have the government dictate for you and apply to your life all these various restrictions and limits on how you can live your life.

That's better for you in the end, but for some reason, 60 years of history is hard to let go of. Okay, you're listening to an interview with Darrell Harrison today, former fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary. Just started working now as the Dean of Social Media at Grace to You.

Very compelling comments on all these different hot button issues of race, racism, and reparations. We're gonna have time to take phone calls in the next couple segments. We have a few minutes left with Darrell, so stay tuned, much more coming up after this next break. Here on the Christian Real View, I'm David Wheaton.

I'm Al Corrado. I'll see you in the next one. I'll see you next week. I'll see you next time. I'll see you two next time.

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Thank you for your support. Social justice is a gospel issue. This has become the mantra of many evangelicals. Rectifying perceived inequities of race, gender, sexuality, poverty, immigration, amongst others, is considered a top priority. But what exactly is social justice? Is working for social justice a biblical mandate, an application of the gospel? Kel Biesner has written an insightful booklet entitled Social Justice, How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel. Also included in this revised 44-page booklet is a copy of the just released statement on social justice and the gospel. You can order the social justice booklet for a donation of any amount to the Christian worldview. Go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks again for joining us today on the Christian worldview radio program. I'm the host David Wheaton and our website is thechristianworldview.org. Go there to connect with the ministry for a free weekly email.

You can even support us. We really appreciate all those who are monthly partners to this ministry and who support us on a regular basis. That's how we're able to air this program every single week.

So we thank you so much for that. We talked about a lot of issues this week and last week in this two-part series. We titled the program Our Reparations for Slavery Consistent with Repentance and Restitution. That was sort of the core topic we've been talking about. More broadly, it's really been about race and racism as society defines those terms. And reparations, of course, but also about Martin Luther King last week and what's the church to do.

And Daryl's going to talk about Black Lives Matter coming up in this kind of final half segment with him. But I want to open up the phone lines now to ask listeners, what has struck you the most? What have you learned the most, perhaps, about this conversation on race and racism, reparations, all these different issues we've been talking about the last two weeks? And just one caveat, if you just tuned in, you just heard three minutes of the last answer or something, it'd be better if you didn't call just because we want people to have, who have heard, got the context for where Daryl is coming from. So if you heard most of last week and most of this week and you have some thoughts, we'd love to hear those. What struck you the most about this conversation? Not just if you just heard a minute or two of the program today and just have a point to make about race.

Also, a second part of the question could be maybe want to answer the question, what's the better way, what's the way forward to better unity between ethnic groups in the church? Daryl really got into that deeply last week on the program. And of course, you can hear the programs online if you missed one at our website, thechristianworldview.org. So our toll-free number, if you'd like to be a part of the conversation today, is 1-877-655-6755. We have about five or six minutes left with Daryl.

And then during that time, you can call in and Bobby will get you up on the call screening board and we'll start taking some phone calls toward the end of this segment and into the last segment of the day. So what struck you? What have you learned about this conversation on race, racism, reparations, all the other things we've been discussing the last two weeks? And what is the way forward to better unity within the church? Okay, let's get to the last part of the interview with Daryl Harrison.

Final question for you. I was at a local evangelical college here in the Twin Cities recently. And I remember it struck me as I drove out that in one of the dorm rooms or apartments just off campus, I think it was clearly a student's dorm room or maybe it was a professor, I'm not sure who lived there. But there was a big placard of Black Lives Matter on this evangelical campus. And there even has been support of Black Lives Matter by those who are well-known pastors or musicians and so forth. What does Black Lives Matter stand for? And is their worldview something that Christians should support?

I know I've been saying no a lot during this interview, but I have to say it one more time. Black Lives Matter, according to their own website, if you go out to blacklivesmatter.com, you will see on their own website that it's an organization that is founded on 13 what they refer to as guiding principles. 13 guiding principles on which Black Lives Matter as an organization finds its purpose. As an organization, Black Lives Matter in its own words is, quote, unapologetically black. Now, that is a position that is inherently unbiblical as it advocates partiality based on ethnicity. Now, when viewed through the objective lens of scripture, as we should view everything through what scripture teaches, Black Lives Matter and its worldview, which is spelled out again as guiding principles, two of which are, quote, unquote, transgender affirming and, quote, unquote, queer affirming behaviors, which God's word clearly deems as sinful, is something I would argue Christians should not support.

So to answer your question, no. Based on Black Lives Matter's own 13 guiding principles, no. It is not an organization that Christians should support. Black Lives Matter seeks to create a world that, apart from genuine heart change, is a mirage. It is a world which they believe can be achieved through protest and demonstration and antagonizing people by inconveniencing them by infringing on their right to privacy. I think we've all seen on various news outlets where Black Lives Matter's members will just barge into a restaurant and just make all kind of noise and just interrupt couples trying to have dinner.

They crowd the freeways and the interstates blocking traffic so people can't get home from work. This is not the way to bring about the kind of change that they are seeking. But having said that, the kind of change that they are seeking is not the kind of change that Scripture teaches. It is not the kind of change that Christians are commanded to pursue. And that is the change that begins from within in our heart. And that's exactly the kind of gospel that Jesus himself taught, which is why Jesus never wasted time trying to change governments, trying to change the political systems.

He spent zero time trying to change that. He preached the gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sin. He preached the gospel of the new birth in the heart, which results in works in keeping with repentance. Only believers repent. Unbelievers don't.

And that's what people who advocate such things as Black Lives Matter need to remind themselves. Thank you for that reminder about what Jesus and his apostles were about, not trying to change culture or change politics, thinking that's going to change people's hearts, but focusing on the only thing that changes people's hearts and where they're going to spend eternity. And that's coming to true repentance of sin and putting faith in Christ as Savior and following him as Lord. Daryl, we just so appreciate your coming on the Christian Real View these last two weeks. It has been very helpful. You have a God-given, important voice, and we just wish all of God's best and grace to you and your family to continue to serve Christ and write about him and speak about a biblical worldview and how it applies to so many issues of our day.

Thank you again. Thanks a lot, David. All right, that was an interview with Daryl Harrison.

I hope you really gained and benefited. It is certainly thought-provoking to hear from him on the program the last two weeks. And again, as always, if you missed any of the interview, just go to our website, thechristianrealview.org. You can just click and play it. You can download it. You can get the free podcast.

You can get the short takes. It's all there for you for free at our website. All right, we're going to take some phone calls during the end of this segment and into the next segment with some concluding thoughts and so forth. If you want to be part of that conversation, what struck you about this conversation on race, racism, reparations, Martin Luther King, the church, Black Lives Matter, lots of different topics we discussed the last two weeks. Our studio number is 1-877-655-6755. That's 1-877-655-6755.

Let's go first down to Texas. And David, welcome to The Christian Rule View. What struck you about the conversation with Daryl Harrison? Thank you, David. This was a very good interview over the past two weeks. And Daryl was an excellent spokesman, and I appreciate your interview. The thing that struck me is he said that nowhere in the New Testament did the church emphasize diversity among congregations. And the other thing that strikes me, David, is that evangelicals and millennials are being shamed into taking liberal positions that are non-biblical. And I think that the church needs to be aware through voices like yours and Daryl's that there is no shame involved, and we don't need to react to the liberal mindset by moving toward them except to speak the truth in love. So I appreciate your interview, David.

Thank you. David, thank you so much for your encouragement and call today. Yes, I just thought Daryl did a fantastic job addressing all of these various topics, not just purely from a conservative political standpoint, although he said he is conservative politically, but more importantly from a really strongly biblical standpoint.

So we did very much appreciate him. I would love to get him back on the program sometime to talk more about these issues and also social justice. He has a very good handle on these things. And remember, he blogs at JustThinking.me, and I've read several of his columns over the last year or so and have always benefited by reading him.

Okay, let's go next to Mississippi and Grady. Welcome to The Christian Real View. What is your takeaways from this conversation with Daryl Harrison over the last two weeks?

Yes, I'm very appreciative of his opinions. But my thing about the reparations is it's not an attempt to change someone's heart, but it's just showing that they're making an effort to show that we're apologetic for what has happened. It's just like a murder when they go to court and then they're convicted. It doesn't change the fact that that person is not going to bring that person back. But there is some type of closure. So I see nothing wrong with the reparations. Will it change anything?

No. But it is showing that you're apologetic for what has happened in the past. Okay, Grady, I appreciate your call. We're coming up against a break here. I think the only difficult part about that is that you're asking those in the present who didn't commit a crime or didn't commit an injustice to pay for or do something for those generations ago that aren't even alive still. And you're paying something to people who are currently living who weren't offended. So I think that's where the rub comes in.

I think if it had happened in the same generation as it did with Zacchaeus, that would definitely be a case. We'll talk more about this after this break here in the Christian worldview. Thank you. 646-2233 or go to theChristianworldview.org.

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That's 1-888-646-2233 or visit theChristianworldview.org. Today has been part two of a two-part series on race and racism and reparations and lots of different topics, issues regarding those topics. I hope you've gained from these conversations the last two weeks.

I've had some good callers already today. And I was thinking about the idea of reparations. Reparations, of course, is really like restitution. It's paying back and typically financially those who were directly offended or harmed and often the example of Zacchaeus in the New Testament, the tax collector that Jesus encountered. I believe it was near Jericho. And Jesus said to him, you know, I must have a meal in your home today, Zacchaeus.

So Zacchaeus really wanted to see Jesus and went back to the home. And he was, of course, vilified and hated for being a tax collector. They took more than that was theirs. They cheated people. The Jews hated them.

They worked for the Roman government. And Zacchaeus says in Luke 19, verse 8, he stopped and said to the Lord, Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much. And Jesus said to him, Today, salvation has come to this house because he too, Zacchaeus, is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. It's a very interesting passage that the works of restitution isn't what saved Zacchaeus. He wasn't saved by performing restitution. Jesus says salvation has come to this house because he too is the son of Abraham, who is the father of faith.

Abraham believed God and was credited to him as righteousness. So the act, the work of restitution was a fruit of his salvation, and it was directed toward those he directly had defrauded. And that was absolutely, reparations for what he had done were absolutely called for. But again, it wasn't coerced. It wasn't even forced by Jesus. It was voluntary by Zacchaeus. He had a heart change, and immediately when that heart change took place, he realized he had sinned. And he wanted to make it right with those he had defrauded in the past. Now compare that to the call for slavery reparations, things that happened literally well over a hundred years ago to generations that are long gone.

You're asking, you're forcing those, you're compelling those who didn't commit a crime, and how do you even identify those to pay those who weren't offended or harmed? See, that's not grace. Grace is unmerited favor.

I was reading that tweet by that Ekimini Uwan again. She talked about the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary report on racism. And she says, when I call for reparations, you all hear retribution.

And she says, the last thing is, in that tweet, she says, ask yourself why you're mad. Grace is scandalous. Grace is scandalous.

The next tweet is, good first step, now repentance are due. And then she goes on to say, reparations must follow repentance. Grace is scandalous. Grace has nothing to do with what is due, has nothing to do with what is must. Grace is always unmerited favor from, let's say, God not giving us what we do and not must doing it.

He does it because he loves us and wants to do it. And so it's just, it's contradictory to even say, call grace scandalous and then say, are due. And this is what you must do. So it's not reparations forcing those who didn't commit a crime to pay those who weren't offended or harmed. It's certainly not grace and it's not justice, because really, how are you going to prove who is at fault and how much past harm impacted some present person who wasn't even offended? So what that does is it actually fosters more of an entitlement attitude. I deserve this, as that tweet looks like, as it implies.

I deserve this. It fosters bitterness, a lack of unforgiveness if I don't get it. And really, it fosters a greater division. And so that's why I think reparations, unless someone's directly offended, and that's provable and quantifiable even, as it was with Zacchaeus, I think it's an ill-advised plan that actually leads to more division. Let's get back to the phone lines.

Walter in Oklahoma. Thank you for calling The Christian Real View. What are your thoughts, or what's your big takeaway, what you're struck by in the conversations the last two weeks?

Okay, thank you. I listened to the gentleman talking about Martin Luther King, one of the speeches where he denied Jesus Christ as being part of the triune, where he was being the Son of God. And he said that, but then he didn't say much about the good that Martin Luther King had done.

And I would wait for him to say that despite that, and where we talk about our founding fathers having slaves, and that we have to overlook that the good that they did at first reparations, was the Democrats being held portrayed as in favor of black people. I remember there were a lot of Democrats who went down to Mississippi doing the voting rights. And also I remember President Ronald Reagan, one time he was asked, he said, I didn't know that there was a race problem. And then reparation, I don't know if you ever heard of Greenwood in Tufts, Oklahoma, where it was bombed and where the millionaires lived, black millionaires lived, and it was totally bombed because someone had said that someone had touched a white woman in an elevator. Now the people, the heirs to that are dying out now. They say that they couldn't see anything wrong. And other towns in Florida where blacks were running, and we always talk about the Americans being green.

Walter, just in the interest of time, we're just going to let you go. But I think you make a good point just first about Martin Luther King. I think Daryl did mention the positive impact he did actually have on the civil rights movement in this country. I think there's no question about that, that his efforts led to change, necessary change in this country where blacks weren't seen as equal and they were segregated and so forth.

There's no question about that. Of course, he did comment on the theology of Martin Luther King, that he was a liberal theologian. I haven't studied him, but not believing in the divinity of Christ from his writings. I don't have the quote right in front of me.

You can go and hear it from last week in the program for those of you who didn't hear that. But he definitely had more liberal theological stances. As regard to the reparations issue you just talked about, certainly, again, if there's direct and recent offense, crimes, injustices against someone who can be seen. This person did that to that person. They're both living and it's directly attributable and quantifiable. Yeah, I mean, reparations is called for.

And that really is another word for restitution for a crime. So anyway, we only have about a minute left today in the program. I thank for all the callers. Very good. Very insightful.

Appreciate your taking part in the program today. Just in summary here, I think we need to, with these issues of race and racism, is not let those with a non-biblical worldview redefine the way we speak about these things. And so when it comes to race, yeah, we can talk about race, but realize there's only one race, the human race. We are all image bearers and equally valuable in God's eyes. And when we're believers, we have a complete unity in Christ for all backgrounds.

Read Galatians 3.27. We are all one in Christ Jesus. But we do have different ethnicities, for sure.

There's various ethnicities with some changeable and some non-changeable traits. And so as we see each other as image bearers, we start to treat people the way God treats all of this, desiring us to be saved and loving us and desiring us to be in a right relationship with Him. So we appreciate your joining us these last two weeks on the Christian Rule View. We have more topics coming up. We have actually, next week, we're going to talk about abortion, the greatest social injustice. Hope you can join us for that.

Have a good weekend, everyone. The Christian World View is a weekly one hour radio program that is furnished by the Overcomer Foundation and is supported by listeners and sponsors. Request one of our current resources with your donation of any amount. Go to theChristianworldview.org or call us toll free at 1-888-646-2233 or write to us at Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian World View. Until next time, think biblically and live accordingly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-10 23:49:00 / 2023-11-11 00:10:05 / 21

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