Tag Archives: forgiveness

Do You Hate Your Enemies Enough To Love Them?

A VERY QUICK THOUGHT EXPERIMENT USING RIGHT WING CONTRARIANISM

In the latest edition of What Nonsense Is NeoCalvinism Preaching today, an employee for John Piper’s Desiring God, referring to Piper’s works, Do You Love Your Enemies Enough to Hate Them?| Desiring God, wants Christians to believe Jesus told us to hate our enemies. A hate, which in turn, will enable Christians to adopt a Crusader theocratic mentality to enact violence upon those we disagree. HATE IN THE NAME OF LOVE YALL. Enter Mr. Parnell:

“And when Jesus said “love,” we should be clear that he didn’t mean hollow good will, or some bland benevolence, or a flakey niceness that hopes our enemies stop being so cruel. Jesus never talks about love that way.”

Good will? Benevolence? Flakey niceness? “Surely now goodness and mercy will FOLLOW me all the days of my life” or “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you”; the concept of forgiveness means nothing but fire insurance? Oh Parnell probably just means any worldview that endorses nonviolence over bloodshed, and any man (literally) who isn’t a Just War Crusader is probably lacking in the area of masculinity. Did I get that right? Wanna know how many times Mr. Parnell quotes Jesus in his post? ABSOLUTELY ZERO! That’s right! Let’s talk about how Jesus discussed love without actually referring to the Gospels. Makes sense to me.

The one passage from John 5 that the author refers to is concerning the resurrection of the dead, and was completely irrelevant to the subject of Jesus “teaching hate.”

Parnell continues:

“Evil belittles God’s holiness and evidences that his name is not hallowed. We hate evil because it is wrong. But on the other hand, if this hatred is part of loving our enemies, we must hate the evil of our enemies because of what the evil means for them.”

If evil “belittles” God’s holiness, what an absolute puny god you must believe in.

HULK smash PUNY DETERMINIST GOD-LOKI!!

HULK smash PUNY DETERMINIST GOD-LOKI!!

Parnell’s theology (NeoCalvinism) is a god that remains distant, aloof, far above us, with a holiness that stresses separation rather than acts of goodness and redemption. What Piper and other NeoCalvinists are trying to do is to co-opt a set of harmful words usually geared toward the LGBTQIA community, and also apply them to radical Muslims. In both instances, they fail and will continue to fail. Love the sinner but hate the sinner is not only an unbiblical concept, but within the context of NeoCalvinist theology and its view of Total Depravity, it is incredibly harmful. Total Depravity is the extreme version of Augustine’s concept of Original Sin. If we are born inherently sinful, and that sinfulness is (as Original Sin argues) is passed down BIOLOGICALLY, then there is no separation between the sin and the sinner. Since then human fallenness is a natural phenomenon, a person who hates the sin also hates the sinner in Original Sin logic.

Now, not only does Jesus actually talk about what enemy-love looks like, the earliest followers of Christ like the apostle Paul did too. Let’s take a glance, shall we!

Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48 NIV)

I know Calvinists love Romans a lot, except for that 12th chapter thing. Ethics just gets in the way of everything. Here’s the apostle Paul, as recorded by his secretary, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] says the Lord” (verse 19). Say it isn’t so! Pauline Christianity also means really trusting in YHWH’s justice rather than our own. Looks like Paul takes his cues from Judaism rather than pagan practices. The living, sacrificial love that Piper and NeoCalvinists completely get wrong is not about calling evil good, (warmongering, violence versus Muslims as a necessary evil to bring about “the Gory Glory of God,” but it is overcoming evil with good. It is engaging the defeated powers of death with the awesome, life-giving peacemaking of Christ Jesus. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head”

Well, now, that’s awkward. Seems like the apostle Paul is saying we are hoping for our enemies’ wellbeing.

Lastly, let us never forget that God does not die for His enemies (the ungodly as Romans 5:6 says) in Calvinism; since the Elect are predestined, they were chosen to be God’s friends since the beginning of time. So God in Christ cannot exhibit love for his enemies in the least, especially since the reprobate have not a chance in hell of getting into heaven (it’s been foreordained, folks!). Enemy-love as defined by Christ and the Good News gets redefined as worldly acts of needless retributive violence in PiperCalvinism.

God loves the righteous and the unrighteous. I mean, if Romans 3 is understood to be saying that we are all sinners, the logic of “love the sinner, hate the sin” turns on itself. I love myself but I also hate myself, and yet there is not one Bible passage that tells us that we lose the Image of God in us during or after “the Fall”? Even in the context of Matthew 5 (verse 22), Jesus condemns his followers if they rely on namecalling (distorting the Image of God in others)to the pit of Hell. Jesus seems pretty intent on us loving others, yes in a BENEVOLENT, HOPEFUL manner. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that NeoCalvinists would prefer to affirm a god as hateful rather than any form of divine benevolence. They’ve held that error for well over five centuries, and they can keep it!

Booker T Washington as the Negro Christ

As my concluding post on Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery, I thought I would share thoughts from the political elite from his day on Washington’s importance.

BTW’s one goal in life was to run a school for Negro woman and men that was worthy enough for the President of the United States to visit. That day came one December day in 1898 when President McKinley and members of his staff stopped by in order to ask questions about the race problem in the South (that’s code for there had been a number of race riots in the South that year, and a political opportunity appeared to match up with Booker’s ambition).  McKinley’s Secretary of the Navy had this to say about Washington’s labor, and it was quite messianic:

“God bless the orator, philanthropist, and disciple of the Great Master–who if he were here on earth, would be doing the same work –Booker T. Washington.”

John Long had basically compared Washington to Jesus, and in a way, Washington was seen as a Savior of the White and Black race. Christologically, this brings to my mind the theology of the Church Mothers and Fathers, that of the image of Jesus as God’s Logos teaching us throughout the cosmos in the here and now. Like Jesus, Booker is viewed as a great teacher.  Not only that, Washington’s racial politics offers forgiveness and grace, never directly confronting Whites for the injustices done to the Negro race. Booker approves of poll taxes and literacy tests as barriers to uneducated masses who desired to vote, whether they were white or black.

The question is: Would Jesus, the Jew who died for the salvation of the Gentiles, to create a new race we call the New Humanity, ever endorse such discrimination? Or silence against lynch mobs?  I think its suffice to say that he would not, given Christian tradition and my Christian experience.

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Booker T Washington as the Negro Moses

Just How Do Southern Whites Look at Black Conservatives? Or How Do White Audiences look at Black Male Leaders?

I find it interesting that as I finished Booker T Washington, not looking for theology or the Bible, I kept stumbling upon it. He, like other narratives written in his time, allows for scriptural imagery to interact with his real world experiences.

From the New York World, September 18th, 1895:

“a Negro Moses stood before an audience of white people and delivered an oration that marks a new epoch in the history of the South; and a body of Negro troops marched in a procession with the citizen soldiery of Georgia and Louisiana.”

The article goes on to say that Washington “electrified the audience,” “his face lit with the fire of prophecy,” as the Atlanta Exposition Address was deemed as “the beginning of a moral revolution in America.”

It is quite interesting to think about and compare Washington with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., and even today, President Barack Obama and Herman Cain, a candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination and business man. What is the compliment given to all of these gentlemen of African descent? That they are good speakers. They can electrify white crowds, tell them what they want to hear, yes?

But when they say something, ya know, a little controversial, they can be demonized. Take MLK Jr and his stance against the Vietnam War, or Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments that we have been “cowards” when it comes to racial issues.

Representation in the public square is nice; now, the question I seem to ask myself nowadays, just what type of representation do I recognize? Do I appreciate progressive black anti-racist thinkers over black conservatives? Or do I hold them equally? I would say I have always sought the latter right position.