Romans 1:28-29a And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness…
How will the debased mind of Romans 1 be manifested in society?
Voddie Baucham – “Ethnic Gnosticism”
Voddie Baucham talks about “ethnic Gnosticism”, where a group of one skin color has special insight into racial issues that others don’t have and cannot have unless taught to them and they accept it without question.
- Gnostics: gnosis, knowledge; secret knowledge, insider knowledge, knowledge that makes it “us vs. them”.
- ETHNIC GNOSTICISM SUMMED UP: You are racist if you have certain skin color, and if you don’t know that you are racist you must be taught by me why you are a racist.. and by virtue of me having a certain skin color, I know instinctively what racism is, and what it looks like and no one must teach me to discern it.
- The ethnic Gnostics have special knowledge about race that cannot be questioned or DENIED… denial is just further proof of the ignorance of the non-Gnostic.
This Is Not Confined to Black Vs. White
Throughout all human history this mindset has been common and remains so today:
- Blacks vs. Whites
- Asians vs. Hispanics
- Spaniards vs. Mexicans
- Central American Hispanics vs. Indigenous Indians
- Muslims vs. Infidels
Ethnic Gnosticism is broken, wrong and unchristian whether by whites or blacks. It is unChristlike in every form.
Its not just a black/white skin color issue its any of the “victim” groups today:
- Women just “know” when males are being sexist (always); men can just shut up
- Homosexuals just “know” you are bigoted, and you must be taught to realize you are
- Transgenders just “know” you are oppressing them even if you claim you are not or you’ve not actual done anything oppressive
- Class warfare: the poor “know” the rich are oppressing them… the rich need to learn their lesson while the poor simply “know” by default instinct
Ethnic Gnosticism elevates a physical characteristic as a sign that one group of people is elevated above another in privilege, authority and knowledge and cannot be questioned or criticized.
Why not just ignore it (ie. “color blind”)?
- Because its not possible, nor reality
- We have skin color, we have heritage, we have culture
The beauty of Christianity is that it acknowledges humans of all ethnicities as equally LOST and salvation brings us all into God’s family as equals.
Paul recognized ethnicity:
- Romans 9:1-5 9 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
- Paul was passionate about “his people” … but that was not more important than their lost souls, nor did Paul elevate any ethnicity as superior to others
Christianity takes all ethnicities, all cultures and recognizes the only TWO REAL groups of people there are: saved and unsaved. There are only the two types of people according to the Bible:
From Matt 25… “Every person who has ever lived will be gathered before Jesus, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
And He will place those who are SAVED on His right, and those are LOST on the left. Then Jesus will say to those on His right, ‘Come, good and faithful servants, WELL DONE… you are blessed and now have eternal life.”
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘I don’t know you because you rejected Me…. depart from Me, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. And the lost will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Lost or saved… the only two groups of humanity when it really counts.
Approval of Evil
It’s not just the practice of evil, it goes further than that:
- Scripture says they “approve of those who do”. Do what? Evil.
- The equivalent today is “we elect those who approve of our wickedness, who will not prosecute evil and will criminalize anyone who does not actively approve as well”
The Truth is, man is evil at heart, apart from God.
- It is not social, it is systemic
- It is personal, and nobody is excluded
Man naturally is a sinful beast at heart who rejects God, rejects His law, rebels, does not fear God. We were all born with that internal wretchedness that corrupts and defiles.
- Jesus: Mark 7:20–23 (NKJV) 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries (moicheia sex of any kind that violates a marriage covenant), fornications (porneia pornography), murders, 22 thefts, covetousness Greediness, wickedness (ponēria malicious evil), deceit, lewdness (aselgeia lewdness of behavior and speech), an evil eye, blasphemy (blasphēmia, abusive, blasphemous speech), pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
This is a profound look at the condition of the human heart.
All People Are Sinners, Without Exception
Not all are equally sinful relative to each other, but all are bent in the same direction; and if you allow them to, they will run their wretchedness as far as you will let them.
Since humanity is so deceitful and so depraved and so degenerate and so dangerous, so destructive, so deadly, how did God ever expect us to survive?
Next time we will talk about what God has put in place to constrain the evil tendency of the human heart…
To be continued…