Tabletalk is a monthly devotional magazine put out by R.C. Sproul, Sr.’s Ligonier Ministries. The title of the magazine is a nod back to a series of books by the same name (Tischreden in the original German) recounting the theological, practical, and even humorous sayings and conversations of Martin Luther with his friends around the dinner table. I had a subscription to this magazine during my college days. The publication’s format includes one half of daily Scripture and devotions and the other half of articles written by various pastors, elders, and ministers, all generally centered on a particular monthly theme.
One of this month’s (Dec. 2011) articles is an interview with Anthony Carter, a PCA pastor from Georgia and author of On Being White and Reformed. Carter is asked why he wrote the book, to which he replies that he wanted to “demonstrate that not only is Reformed theology biblically and historically consistent, but it is not antithetical to the [European] American Christian experience. In fact, Reformed theology makes the most sense of the world in general and the history of [European] Americans in particular.” Next, Carter is asked about the hardships of being a white man in a theological community which unfortunately seems committed to forcing his people into an ethnic minority in their own land and denouncing their group interests and identity as inherently sinful. He replies: “I can joyfully embrace it because I realize that I am embracing the theology of the Bible and not necessarily the frail, fallible men who teach it.” And lastly, Carter is asked about his thoughts on the efforts to forcibly integrate local churches and the explicit assumption that all-white churches are inherently morally deficient. His reply is, “Most of us like comfort. We like to be around people with whom we are comfortable and have much in common. This is particularly true when it comes to those places that mean the most to us — home and church. Thus, not only are our churches not integrated, but even more rarely are our families integrated.” This is a good and natural thing, how God designed us to function in societies. It is sad that the church is currently in rebellion against God’s created order.
Of course, that entire paragraph is satire, and the quotes are either taken out of context or tweaked slightly. The real Anthony Carter is a black PCA pastor, author of On Being Black and Reformed and a number of other afro-centric books. The real interview involves the white guilt-ladened questioner setting Carter up with loaded questions to give him opportunities to slander the PCA’s founders and attack white Reformed Christians for not getting enough of their daughters to marry black men. However, this does give us an opportunity to do a thought experiment about what would happen if a PCA pastor had written such a book for white people. Well, of course, there wouldn’t even have been an interview; they would have just excommunicated him. But since this is a thought experiment, we’ll pretend that a publication like Tabletalk would be willing to interact with the views of practically every orthodox Christian and member of their denomination before 1960.
First of all, the entire tone of the interview would have been different. In most Christian circles today, whites are not allowed to have any group identity or interests unless they are groveling to minorities or apologizing for their ancestors. So the interviewer would have been hostile rather than sympathetic. Thus, the interviewer, rather than asking meaningful questions allowing the author to positively lay out his beliefs, would have asked negative questions designed to misrepresent the author’s views. For example, the interviewer asked the black Anthony Carter the positive-toned question, “What is your opinion regarding the largely non-integrated state of local churches?” and not the much more accurate questions, “Why do you feel the need to force yourself into white congregations?” or “Why do you view all-white churches as morally deficient?” or “What is wrong with historically white churches remaining white?” However, in our thought experiment with the white author, the opposite would be true. The questions would be, “Why do you hate non-whites?” or “What makes you think minorities can’t be Christians?” and not the much better questions like, “What benefits do you see in ethnically homogeneous churches?” or “What are your thoughts on the attempts to forcibly integrate the modern church?” Additionally, the interviewer would have engaged in willful stupidity and denial of reality by claiming that there are no such categories, should the hypothetical white pastor mention race or ethnicity. The black Anthony Carter, on the other hand, can bring up race and ethnicity as much as he wants with no challenge in the actual interview. Further, both the interviewer and Anthony Carter have no issue with leaping to assign collective guilt to Southern whites for owning slaves and practicing “racism.” But if the interviewer had invoked the fact that 3% of the U.S. population, black males aged 13-35, commit more violent crime than all other groups combined, along with the collective implications of that fact, I would imagine that there would have been quite a different reaction.1
Unfortunately, these displays of ethno-masochism by white Christians are becoming increasingly more common and they need to be recognized as such. There is nothing positive or Christian about slandering our past or our ancestors. Embracing the destruction of our civilization and people, just to get a warm, fuzzy feeling of self-righteousness and a pat on the head from the SPLC and cultural Marxists, is thoroughly sinful.
A final point I want to make is concerned with Anthony Carter’s answer to the question, “What is your opinion regarding the largely non-integrated state of local churches?” Part of his answer is as follows: “Thus, not only are our churches not integrated, but even more rarely are our families integrated. Still, this lack of integration is not something with which we should be comfortable.” He then says that we are called to end this segregation and strive for integration. Based on Carter’s answers, I have little doubt that he supports the so-called Civil Rights laws with which the federal government forcibly stripped white Americans of their property rights, freedom of association, and freedom of speech. These two points, racially “integrating” the family and using force to achieve racial integration, together point to the frightening and completely plausible situation in which parents are excommunicated for forbidding their children to miscegenate, young adults are pushed into mixed marriages, and intra-racial marriages are discouraged or even banned. Afterall, if “the vision of the Scriptures is clear” that racial integration is of families is a must, then why shouldn’t the church take those steps? You may laugh and say that is absurd, but that is where this argument logically leads. If mono-racial families should make us uncomfortable because “the vision of the Scriptures” is clearly against them, then there is sin involved; and where there is sin involved, the church has a duty to step in and stop it.
- Edgar J. Steele, Defensive Racism, pp. 72-73 ↩