Thabiti Anyabwile is the pastor of Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. and a council member for The Gospel Coalition. He is a leading voice in an aberrant movement in the visible Church that is calling for Christians to take up the cause of social justice, primarily through this outlet. The movement, as predicted by discerning Christians, has taken a stark turn toward a highly anti-gospel end and Thabiti is now calling not just for monetary reparations, but reparations as atonement for generational sins.
Thabiti is a spiritually dangerous man, yet he’s lauded as a prominent voice in conservative evangelical circles. He’s a regular speaker at The Gospel Coalition conferences, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and various other Evangelical and Southern Baptist events. Conservative churches promote his books and as a former associate of Mark Dever, esteem him as a credible voice on the spiritual health of churches and their members.
The reality is, Thabiti has introduced and continues to push one of the most sinister of spiritual poisons — not only that Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient to atone for sins, but that people of a certain skin color are guilty by that very virtue of generational sins.
In a series of tweets, Thabiti calls on the country to pay monetary reparations to blacks and connects reparations to personal atonement and essentially says that opposition to this line of thinking comes from the devil. He tweets,
So, for people who believe that it’s the mission of the church not to seek economic equality for one ethnic group at the expense of another, but to preach the gospel to to the lost, Thabiti says is idolatry. There was an entire statement written up — one that transcends ethnic divides, mind you — that opposes this line of thinking. The drafters of this statement are some of the most faithful expositors of the Word of God alive today, men like John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Voddie Baucham, and others. But to Thabiti, these men are idolaters of mammon.
Nobody has argued that there was never any wrongdoing. Thabiti is making a false argument here — one that has absolutely no grounding in reality. What we deny is Thabiti’s notion of guilt by proxy — that white people today are guilty of racism and wrongdoing because of the past. This is not biblical and is a spiritually dangerous assertion.
Now here, he poses three loaded questions, “was a wrong committed?” “is it right to right the wrong?” and “what does God in His Word require of me to right the wrong?”
The book of Galatians teaches teaches that trying to “right your own wrongs” brings a curse upon you. “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
Here’s what’s really shocking though. He says wants more than just your tax dollars, he wants your “freedom from guilt.” Look here, he says that if the country will pay reparations to blacks, we can be “freed from our guilt.” In other words, in a statement that sounds a lot more like Roman Catholic indulgences than any doctrine derived from Scripture, he says you can atone for your sins with money.
First, to imply that anyone is guilty of sin that he did not commit is ungodly dangerous. Isaiah 5:20 says “woe to those” who would ascribe evil to good and vice versa. It’s sad that we give man of such prominence such a loud voice and pedestal to continue to push this profane reasoning. But he didn’t stop there. He actually implies that those of us who oppose this movement are of Satan.
Another leading voice in the reparations camp is Jemar Tisby who also teaches the efficacy of reparations as self-atonement. Why we continue to associate with these types is astounding. What they teach is foreign to historical, biblical orthodox Christianity and and certainly found nowhere in Scripture.