Seminaries and CRT

Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by Ananias, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Vosburg's bio: "PhD student in sociology at Ohio State University studying religion, capitalism, and race in the US. Cofounder, Evangelical Labor Institute."

    He also describes himself as a "Christian socialist" (though from what I can tell his religion is leftism with a thin coating of Jesus to make it more palatable to the rubes). A leftist college kid, in other words -- what a shock.

    Also, rather than refute the referenced piece, I'll just direct everybody to Voddie Baucham's recent book Fault Lines for an excellent primer on exactly how and why CRT is corrosive to Christian witness. CRT underpins a religious movement, sure enough; it's just not the Christian religion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that the acknowledgement of systemic or structural racism should turn innocents into racists. The response that sees it and turns away or says 'suck it up princess' and does nothing towards resolving the issue, is to want to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

    That does not make him right or wrong.

    I feel it is important that we not allow debates and discussions, here and in real life, to be determined simply by labelling and tribalism.

    In the United States African Americans comprise 13.4% of the general population and 34% of the prison population. Does the American Church understand why that is the case, and what light the gospel sheds on that. One view being expressed is that it is evidence of systemic or structural racism. No one is suggesting that it is the result of individual racism. Is there an alternate explanation that makes proper sense? I am not holding up Australia as a great example, because we have this problem as well.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Really, I think the question here is this: can't we (and shouldn't we) as a society address unfairnesses and injustices without resorting to divisive labeling of groups as "oppressed" versus "oppressors"? CRT and the social justice movement want us to believe this is the only way to correct injustices; I think Christians should be able to see the fallacies inherent in a methodology that sets people against one another by the color of their skin, their gender, etc. without consideration of individual merits.

    If the 'social justice' movement were not so rigid and divisive, then it would be fine. But that's not how it is being defined and advanced by the bulk of its advocates. We can't very well pretend that 'social justice' means just what we want it to mean, when most of the people clamoring for it have a different definition for it.
     
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  4. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    His argument is poor and founded on terrible theology; that's what makes him wrong. But his obvious callowness factors into it in the same way an apprentice plumber makes mistakes in a way that a master plumber never would. He has been erroneously taught, and has piled up his own errors on top of his faulty education. Some additional seasoning may help him, or may lead him further away -- time will tell.

    By the way, this is why Paul's instructions for the Church in 1 Timothy emphasize maturity, sobriety, and stability -- elders and overseers must be trained, live a Christian life, and exhibit a practical (as opposed to a purely theoretical) knowledge of church doctrine and church practice. Experience is as vital as education for a theologian; I don't readily trust any Christian scholar who doesn't come from a pastoral or ministerial background for just that reason. Pastors who are lauded and brought up too fast to positions of authority rarely do well over the long term; they tend to suffer badly from the "smartest guy in the room" problem.

    As to the incarceration of certain minorities.... The fact that a problem exists (pick whatever leftist shibboleth you want) does not necessarily point back to a social or cultural problem. As statisticians often point out, any fact in isolation is just a data point; it carries no larger meaning. Many, many (many many many) studies over the years have agonized over this particular issue without generating any kind of consensus. So it seems to be that the best course of action is simply to live by Biblical principles as best we can -- all of us -- and see how we do. Our job is not to "fix" the broken world; our job as Christians is to live as Jesus commands us, and to preach the Gospel. God will take care of the rest.

    I also have to ask: why is Biblical teaching insufficient as-is? Why layer CRT on top of it? What benefit does CRT (or Liberation Theology, or whatever other leftist religious gloss is in vogue in a given year) bring that the Bible alone does not? What good is it? We see the evil that it is doing, with more piling up every day; what good is there to offset the harm it is doing to the body of Christ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
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  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    “Laws should be just”: true or false?
    That principle is the core of what we’re talking about.
     
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  6. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What is "just"? Do we use the Bible as our basis for the definition of "just" or something else? If something else, what? Who gets to decide?

    When you say "should", what do you mean? Are you saying that laws ought to be derived from Biblical teaching, from cultural custom, or what? Why "should" laws be just? Why not make laws that are written specifically to, e.g., advance the interests of the ruling class (as they were quite often during Medieval times)?

    Are we talking about American laws here, or any laws anywhere in the world? Americans are notoriously parochial in both their passions and their hatreds; it's one of the worst of our exports to the wider world. Do you subscribe to the notion of inter arma enim silent leges? Are laws (optimally) temporal and subjective, or universal and objective? Should a King's whim override a law passed by citizens? If not, why not? (It is only in recent times that the "divine right of Kings" has been disputed, after all.)

    Define your terms. As it stands, I can only answer "false". Laws as a matter of historical fact are very often unjust. In the US, the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court is a particularly notorious example of such. Laws are made, I aver, to establish order and not "justice" in any real sense. I think the entire history of humankind bears out this interpretation.
     
  7. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    That’s not what I asked. Should laws be just? Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’.
     
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  8. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    "Should" according to whom? According to the Bible? According to Lord Blackstone? According to Invictus? You're asking for a clear answer to a question you have not bothered to ask very clearly.

    Human law is not, and cannot be, "just" because men are fallen and unjust by nature. Therefore, secular law -- at best -- can only ever be a mechanism for establishing order, not justice (as Christians understand justice). Paul advises us to submit to the authorities (Rom. 13), but it's also important to remember that Paul was a jailbird because he often went afoul of the local laws. Rulers "are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad", Paul says (Rom. 13:3). But we know for a fact that this is not the case; many governments actively abet evildoers (including, I'm sorry to say, my own). Paul spent time in jail in a seeming refutation of his own argument.

    What Paul is saying is that human government, properly constituted, provides an ordered environment where good can thrive and bad conduct will be punished. This situation allows people to live and work in relative peace and safety. However, governments often either start out bad or become bad, and therefore must be resisted (or at least worked around). God's law takes precedence over any law of men. On the Last Day, Jesus Christ will judge us on how we have followed God's commands, not how well we have followed the civil law of whatever jurisdiction we live in.

    I would not murder people even if the secular laws prohibiting murder were lifted. I do not murder because God forbids it, not because it is illegal in whatever locality I happen to inhabit. Likewise theft, rape, assault, and so on. As a Christian I am bound by Biblical principles, and as a Christian I am bound not to follow secular laws that come into conflict with Christian teaching.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
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  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I am asking you the question, so obviously I am asking if you think laws should be just. It’s a simple question, using ordinary, everyday terms. You either do, or you don’t. If you can’t answer a question that basic with a simple ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, then your moral philosophy, however and from wherever derived, isn’t worth very much.
     
  10. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You might find it worthwhile to read Cicero's take on natural law, and compare it to the writings of Paul (esp. in Romans). This will lead you on into a deeper take on Roman law, which is the foundation of much Western law even into the current day. You will find that this area is far more complicated and contentious than you think it is (particularly regarding, e.g., civil law vs international law, criminal law, tort law, contract law, tax law, and so on). If you think a question that complex can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no", I can only assume that you have little familiarity with the field.

    As to my opinion on it, you may take it or leave it as you please.
     
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I believe laws should not be unjust. And in a broad, general, theoretical sense, laws should be just.

    But there is a vast difference between having laws that are just, and having perfect justice in all aspects. The latter is unachievable absent God's omniscience. Laws rarely can cover every eventuality, and they are rarely flexible enough to provide for all exceptional/extenuating circumstances.

    Nor are imperfect humans capable of creating a system of perfectly just laws. A perusal of case law will demonstrate this clearly; courts are constantly looking at the rules set down by legislative law and previous case law, and then creating exceptions to those rules, followed later on by exceptions to the exceptions, and so on, ad infinitum.

    We also should keep in mind that one cannot legislate goodness or love into people's hearts. The only way to even approach toward an ideal society in which fairness abounds for all is if all people were spiritually reborn and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes law should be just (although it is often unjust, and therefore 'law' is not equivalent with 'justice' but rather sits beneath it).

    And it is possible to critique laws based on the higher principles of justice. No one is denying that.

    And therefore, if it were proven that 'systemic racism' or CRT generally, had validly demonstrated a lack of justice in the legal system, then I don't think any of us would object.

    The problem is that CRT in general, and 'systemic racism' in particular, does not validly demonstrate a lack of justice in the legal system. The way I can prove that is simple:

    The American, British, and generally Western tradition of law is centered around the concept of 'equality'.
    The CRT in general, and 'systemic racism' in particular, is centered around the concept of 'equity'.

    Equity is the problem concept here. That's where marxism comes to the surface. According to the CRT advocates, a legal system ought to advocate equity, and where it doesn't, that's evidence of 'injustice' or 'systemic racism'. However according to the Christian (and even preceding) Western understanding of law, its purpose is not to advocate equity, but to advocate equality. Therefore to us, a lack of equity is not a sign of injustice.
     
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  13. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    the fruits of critical race theory are here…
    5DD58257-D62E-472B-9FCB-089FA27A7CD8.jpeg
     
  14. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely accept that image is a little scary. I of course have little idea of the context or how it was used. It seems to me that racial categorising of children is counterproductive to resolving the racial divide. In my experience children don't normally care about race and skin colour unless they have been taught to do so by adults.

    My principal point in being in this discussion has been that I believe that if a group is saying something, and CRT certainly is the hook on which this has been hung for the moment, we should be looking at the claim, and seeking to establish what is true and what is not. Declaring it all left, liberal, Marxist, as as an exercise in label and discard, leaves us open to the distinct possibility of having missed something we should have been open to.

    You do not need to be a Marxist to have a social conscience, and indeed being Marxist does not guarantee that you have one.

    I am sorry if I am a little short at the moment, but a couple of months of lockdown can do that to you.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Putting those two sentences back-to-back somehow speaks volumes to me. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Does anyone else see a relationship between Marxist attitudes and enforced lockdowns? :tvhorror:
     
  16. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Look, I do get the purpose of the Lockdown. With any luck we will soon be seeing some benefits of it. To date the problem we seem to have is the number of people who see the need to grant themselves some sort of exemption. There do seem to be two things that aid and abet the spread of the Covid19 virus, on of which is the density of the population, and the other seems to be the density of the people.

    The one weapon we have today, that was not part of the arsenal in previous pandemics is vaccine. I have had both doses of the available vaccine largely because as a Christian I believe I should act for the welfare of my whole community, as well as act in ways consistent with preserving and protecting the gift of life that God has given me.

    I was disturbed recently when a Christian Minister (thankfully not an Anglican) decided to declare the lockdown ended, despite being in one of the hot spots, and so assembled sixty odd people without masks to a church service. Those in attendance were fined and the Church was fined, for breaches of the public health orders. Sadly it seems a good number of them have now contracted the virus.

    Of course there is an emotional response to lockdown, and we (and certainly I) don't especially enjoy the deprivation of liberty we normally enjoy. We are in the main fairly social creatures and our regular interactions with others is part of a complete life. One has to trust that is is short term pain for longer term gain. During the 2nd world war there were long periods where people lived with limited lighting so as not to give the enemy and advantage. I see lockdown in a similar way.

    And yet I still feel I am living in lockdown lululand!
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    You definitely have my sympathy brother. Australia in particular seems to have been hit particularly hard. Nobody likes lockdowns. (Of course, it’s also obvious that they have nothing to do with “Marxism”, and that opposition to them has no unique basis in Anglicanism, or Christianity more generally.) Hopefully we will start seeing more and more vaccine mandates so we can finally get this thing under manageable control and so life can go back to normal.
     
  18. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

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    From everything I have read on CRT, I cannot help but wonder how this is anything other than dressed-up Marxism? I would even goes as far to say that CRT and the saving gospel of Jesus Christ are incompatible. The fruit of CRT is division, hatred, and chaos...features inherent in Marxism.
     
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  19. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    They missed a few. The school supply section at Walmart had 12 packs of skin tone markers. I wouldn't say they've been selling them, since that is the last display of markers still remaining and it looks largely untouched.
     
  20. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why are people not rebelling against this filthy racism?... is it only because it's being sold under the label of "anti-racism?" Surely people aren't so gullible are they