Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Rancorous use of the Word: “Racist”

The historic reality of racism is a very serious and grave matter. Throughout my years in the ministry, I have had to confront this issue many times when sharing the Gospel with others. The Apostle Paul himself had to address this same abhorrence when preaching the Gospel to the Athenians (Acts 17: 16-34). Genuine racism reveals mankind’s hatred for God via a hatred of men who merely appear to be different by  various means: physical features, various ethnic distinctions, and/or skin color. It is God who has made all the nations of men through one man (Acts 17:26) – and this He did for His manifold glory. Men who hate God’s manifold glory, frequently disdain the manifold beauty of all that He made.

This is a grave issue - it is no laughing matter.

Sadly, within this modern culture of ours, the term “racism” is often thrown around with very little thought about its meaning and history. Thus, it is not uncommon to find public debates degrading into ad hominem contests via the invective: “racist.” Such a term as this incorporates dark images of hooded KKK members, skinheads, and Nazism. Those who champion this form of argumentation (without a solid basis in the charge) reveal a certain bankruptcy and desperation in their position. We see this most often in the heated political debates of the modern day. Whenever such debates reach a certain boiling point, the charges of racism begin to fly like a churlish food-fight among children. Such is the bad inheritance of ad hominem argumentation. When we vilify our opponents with extreme labels, we essentially eliminate the need for debate. After all, who wants to waste their time talking to someone whose views are supposedly so extreme and vile. Such vilification is another way of saying “talk to the hand," as they say. But such a procedure does more than merely shut down dialogue. It renders a kind of personal attack through a vilification of the thoughts, intentions, and attitude of the opponent – because real racism is a very grave issue of the heart. It is quite unfortunate when people use unwholesome expressions for their own gain. Whenever individuals employ such expressions in a superficial and meaningless way, they provide a kind of false cover to real thing. In the end, we degrade word meanings, and even history itself, when we employ terms in a reckless manner.

In conclusion, our political discourse in this nation needs to improve, and we as Christians, amidst this dark world, should be the most guarded in such matters.

The above video is part of the ten video series entitled: Where Do You Stand?: (www.wheredoyoustand.us, & Facebook).