Theologians decry White supremacy, racism
"It needs to be called out for what it is — bigotry, hatred, racism, and you cannot attach the name of Jesus Christ to it"
Photos: Dr. Mark Labberton courtesy Fuller Seminary, Rev. Matt Chandler courtesy The Village Church
Fuller Seminary president calls out White Christians to repent of racism ‘Tragically Intertwined with American Church History’; Chandler slams White supremacy as ‘incompatible with the gospel’
COMPTON (MNS) — Amid the cacophony of resurging racism in America with the voices of White nationalism, one voice of dissent within the Christian church is challenging White Christians to acknowledge and repent of the racism that is “tragically intertwined with American church history.”
Dr. Mark Labberton, president of Pasadena-based Fuller Theological Seminary, was moved to speak out about the current racial climate in America in the wake of widespread violence at a White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
Compton Herald was able to access statements made by Labberton denouncing the “violent racism in Charlottesville.”
“The evil of racism so vividly unveiled in Charlottesville last weekend is tragically intertwined with American church history,” he said. “But it needs to be said that nothing about White nationalism flows from the heart of God. May White-and all-followers of Jesus say and live a resounding ‘No’ to any form of White nationalism.”
A former pastor ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Labberton, who earned a MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, before going on to earn a Ph.D in theology from the University of Cambridge in England, said, it is “urgent and necessary for White Christians [to] grasp, to repent of, and to turn from the long history by which our Christian faith has been used to accrue to us personal and systemic power and privilege simply because we are White.”
Labberton continued, [the events of Charlottesville] “cry out for the need of White Christians to look at this pervasive and insidious evil that subverts the Jesus we claim and profess. By our racial sin, the name of Jesus is scandalized,” he said.
Fuller Seminary’s Labberton is not the only White voice crying in the wilderness.
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said the “official position” of his church is that “White supremacy and the alt right is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“It’s evil and it’s from the pit of hell,” Chandler said. “That’s not a political statement — you cannot, you simply cannot, call Jesus ‘King’ and believe that nonsense. I just want to go on record saying that this is so despicable and disgusting and evil, that it needs to be called out for what it is — bigotry, hatred, racism, and you cannot attach the name of Jesus Christ to it. In fact, even doing so reveals just how ignorant and foolish you are. Jesus would look far more brown than he does white.”
Chandler said he’s not “politicizing” anything: “I’m clearly calling this what it is: despicable, deplorable, and in no way can you tie this to Biblical Christianity.”
The pastor said what is going with respect to the nation’s racial woes is “deeply demonic” that cannot be solved by conventional means.
“It’s not laws alone, it’s not technology alone, it’s not education alone,” he said. “Without a heart transformed, you’ll get the same behaviors you’ve ever gotten. It’s why, without the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you are never progressing, you’re always regressing. It’s only in the transformation of the human heart that the walls of hostility are broken down.”