“…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
All truth comes from God. This directive and skill is not a call to correct local rhetoric. The Godhead is bi-lingual and likes all truth. This is not a call to shun thinking that does not have the approval of a denomination, politic, theory or geography. It is not a call to refrain from wide-ranged thinking. The words from 2 Corinthians 10:5 are instruction to think thoroughly and measure every thought according to Jesus’ thinking.
The book and attached courses—White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo—are the current holy scriptures of the political Left. It is being called one of the most influential books in the nation. Major corporations and businesses are requiring all employees to read it and attend classes. I heard one lady who works for a company with 40,000 employees say it is mandatory. I want to know what business people and leaders in the 7 Mountains are thinking and who is mentoring them, so I’m reading White Fragility with subtitle: “Why it’s so hard for White People to talk about racism.” (Beacon Press, ©2018. Beacon Press books are published under the auspices of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.)
Since this is intended by the Left to be the guiding principles of the world they are building, I want to know their intensions.
According to Ms. DiAngelo, the basis of whiteness is “…two key Western ideologies: individuality and objectivity.”
“…individualism holds that we are each unique and stand apart from others, even those within our social groups. Objectivity tells us that it is possible to be free of all bias.”
Ms. DiAngelo says, therefore, we must abandon and move away from thinking and embracing individualism and objectivity.
Two words that capture Marxism rhetoric: Individuality and Objectivity. That social, economic and political theory seeks in every encounter to transfer the “collective” for the individual.
Sanctification as a work of grace and subject has been stirring my thoughts. I wonder if the work of the Holy Spirit in us known as sanctification (among other things) is a sharpened awareness of our bias.
‘White’ as the Default
“If white Christians want to understand their privilege, they’re going to have to stop seeing ‘white’ as “the norm” and everything else as ‘diverse.’”
My first impression of that headline: Most of us, regardless of skin color think of ourselves as the norm and the center. Since I cannot imagine me as black, I must find the “center of gravity” with who I am and what I’ve experienced. Even the wounded and abused find solace in “Doesn’t everyone feel this way?”
The response to Jesus’ call to “Follow” is to put Him at the center of my universe and my ultimate “norm.” Genuine repentance and conversion is so radical that we intentionally trade self-centeredness and self-preoccupation for Him. That is what we mean when we say from an individualist place, “Jesus is Lord!” The cliché, “You cannot legislate morality,” is not exactly true. Socially and healthy culture does that exactly with traffic laws and ways to act in public that affect others. It is a strong statement—“Take up your cross and follow me.” What legislation cannot do is change a person’s heart or mind. The boy sentenced to sit on a chair in the corner refused to sit on the chair until he was physically forced. He said, “I may be sitting outside, but on the inside—in my heart—I’m standing up!”
If white is all you know, white is your default. I don’t know how it can be any other way until we choose a more healthy way by asking Jesus to become our norm. If black is all you know, black is your default. Sanctification may bring to life in each person’s spirit our awareness we are not the center of the universe—we have bias—we have preferences. That is not bad. What happens in the grace act is that we now are empowered to decide that what I prefer damages or limits someone else, therefore, I will forego my comfort or pleasure—(The principle is ‘I will no longer eat meat offered to idols if it causes someone to stumble)—so my brother or sister can move forward. When individuals no longer have that option, but are forced to give up what they value, something precious to freedom has been lost.
Dr. Shelby Steel was impacted by the thinking and teachings of comedian/social activist/Marxist Dick Gregory. Steel says about his moving into that mindset,
“I learned to remake the world around the central truth of global racism. To do this I took on the notion…that man, loosely speaking, was a cipher, a non-individual creature, who was pushed and abutted by forces much larger than himself. I did not altogether deny free will, but intellectually I took on the sophistication that it was largely a delusion of the common man, a kitschy individualism that Americans like to flatter themselves with.
“I learned” (he’s talking about his change in the 1960s) “that my group identity as a black was more important than my individuality.” (White Guilt, ©2006, Harper Perennial)
Somewhere in his writing or interviews, Mr. Steel says it was his loss as an individual that affected him.
DiAngelo, if I understand what she is saying, contends that no one is unique. We are but the product of our culture. Nothing unique. As a Jesus Follower, I wonder if I have my basic belief about me from Campus Crusade’s Four Spiritual Laws—“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”—Law One and Law Four: “Individually we must receive Jesus….” Or from Jeremiah 1:4:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”
Then I’m forced to decide if that revelation is specific to Jeremiah or true for all.
To use Steel’s word—in Marxism and the new culture that is being demanded in USA—each of us are but ciphers in the collective. We will have no value beyond that—we must abandon our self to support the “common good.” So says the proposed new normal.
I ran onto an answer to my question: For what wickedness shall I turn from if I desire God to hear, forgive and heal? Micah 6 raises its own question in verse 8, “What does the Lord require of you?”
- Act justly
- Love mercy
- Walk humbly with your God.
What do you mean, justly, mercy, humbly? The Message translation lays it out pretty clearly:
“But he’s (God) already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.
“Attention! God calls out to the city! ‘If you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen. So listen, all of you! This is serious business.” (Micah)
The rest of chapter six is fodder for contemplating wickedness—the kind of behavior that breaks people into many pieces. It also defines “worldliness.”
Having defined wickedness, we come to the ultimate question: How does God see individuals? How does God see you? Jesus seems to like the concept of whosoever for example, “…whosoever believes in me shall have everlasting life.”
I keep getting White Fragility confused with White Frigidity. Ms. DiAngelo says in White Fragility,
“We must be willing to consider that unless we have devoted intentional and ongoing study, our opinions are necessarily uninformed, even ignorant.” (page 8)
“Interrupting the forces of racism is ongoing, lifelong work because the forces conditioning us into racist frameworks are always at play; our learning will never be finished” (Page 9).
“Many white people simply do not understand the process of socialization, and this is our next challenge,” DiAngelo says.
This sounds to me, and I will be glad to be wrong, a call to Marxism with the elites as our teachers in re-education classes. I’m wondering if that is what’s going on already.
“White” is not about your skin, but your individual pattern inside: how you think, what you are, why you do what you do and what dominates your soul. When you say that you know you better than anyone else and you are not “white” as defined, but you are told that your very denial is proof positive that you are! DiAngelo says, “These ideologies (Individualism and Objectivity) make it very difficult for white people to explore the collective aspects of the white experience.” So, we cannot know our white-ness or even see our bias—we are blind to it. And this white-ness is not removable—cannot be forgiven or cleansed. White characteristics are unique only to one race. (Note link below.)
Shelby Steel sees a changed interpretation of whites in the 1960s that dominates.
“…a new moral/racial iconography in which whiteness became more an icon of racial evil than of racial supremacy.” (106)
Imperative that we bring this, what is becoming primary thought in America, to compare with Jesus. “Bring it to obedience to Christ.” Message Bible:”
“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there!…The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tear down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
Dr. Ed Stetzer is Chair of Billy Graham at Wheaton. I’ve been listening and reading his books for several years. As a “Wheat Tender” he commissioned a group of academics to respond to White Fragility. The book outline and the responding essays are available at:
https://t.co/JmwkJVNU2G?amp=1 You will see on the left side of the linked page other responses to the doctrines of what is called a “Secular Religion.” The articles help me understand what is going on.
©2020 D. Dean Benton –writer, wonderer, wheat-tender
https://www.artofmanliness.com/category/podcast/ #528 “The Rise of Secular Religion & New Puritanism.” Not a religious message, rather a discussion of philosophies that bear upon us.
Aspects and Assumptions of White Culture from Smithsonian.