There is a real problem lurking behind the social justice/wokeness movement. The problem can be traced back in time and thousands of miles across the Atlantic. It is the problem of idolatry within the African mindset. It is a specific kind of idolatry. It is the idolatry of ethnic identity at its most shallow and superficial level: melanin. I started to notice this among black Christians in evangelical churches who seemed to more readily identify with black thugs than they do brothers and sisters in Christ who do not share their genetic level of melanin. To be honest, I have a very difficult time understanding the mindset. You can see this thinking in a recent tweet by Jemar Tisby.
I believe this tweet is located somewhere on this Beth Moore twitter thread:
There is obviously a fascination with people who identify themselves through the grid of that which is only skin deep. It is bizarre to say the very least. Our identity as Christians should be Christ, not that which is only skin deep. Melanin has become a god-like component to many if not most of those in the black community to include black churches. This is not less idolatry than white men who think that there is something ultimately superior about being white. Both mindsets are idolatrous at their core. The difference is that political correctness accommodates the melanin mindset but not the white one. Christianity cannot tolerate either.
Men like Jemar Tisby are trying to bully the church into making melanin a criterion by which credibility is instantly granted to pastors and theologians. Tisby is racist and an idolater to obviously elevates melanin to a place that Jesus never did. Notice how the bullying and the manipulation work. Unless you value the theological insights of black people, you are acting like Jesus was white. Any thinking person would see right through this. It’s trash. It’s ironic that Tisby would demand that we value the insights of black people when black people like him are putting forth such worthless insights. How can any serious thinker value what Tisby has just tweeted? It is absurd on its face. It Tisby wonders why we don’t value such insights, he should look no further than his own tweet.
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Tisby says we place a wedge between Jesus’ gospel and public justice. No one put a wedge between the gospel and secular justice or between Jesus and Caesar. The wedge that exists between the pastor, the church, and the magistrate and the government is a natural wedge. No one put it there any more than someone placed a wedge between humans and beasts of the field. There is a difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and the exercise of justice in a fallen society. Again, is it any wonder why Tisby’s insights aren’t valued? And if Tisby’s insights reflect the sort of insights that most black people offer, is it any wonder why they wouldn’t be valued or considered? But it’s not because he is or they are black. It is the insights themselves in light of Scripture that is the problem, not the thin layer of skin that accidentally covers the brain or the mind behind the insight.
Tisby argues that we still think Jesus is white because we vote for white supremacists who oppose racial justice policies. Well, since Tisby would include such things as reparations in his “social justice policies,” then yes, any thinking person would oppose such policies and would also see the Bible as opposed to this kind of reparation. It comes down to taking property from someone who worked for it and giving it to someone else who didn’t work for it. That is stealing. It seems to me to be perfectly understandable why such insights would be dismissed by any good thinker regardless of the outer layer of skin and it’s tone.
I wonder why Tisby doesn’t criticize Africans. Why don’t Tisby and his kind demand reparations from their African counterparts? Sure, Americans bought slaves from their African masters. If you think that was evil, then surely you must think the Africans receiving compensation were just as evil if not more evil because they were, after all, selling their own people. What a betrayal! Why not demand that Africans pay reparations? Why just white Americans? Why not call Africans evil for selling other African slaves to Americans and others? Why is it just one side of the transaction that finds itself the object of such hostility and vitriol? Aren’t both sides equally culpable? I wonder if Tisby ancestors were the sellers or the sold. And to think that he wonders why people don’t value his insight? There is nothing there to value. That’s why. And it’s not because he is black. It’s because Tisby’s insights are only skin deep.