God slew His people, Israel, for a similar bastardization.
Israel worshipped Yahweh, God, but they likewise adopted the worship of the false gods Baal, Asherah, and others, blending them into a grotesque abomination. They employed temple prostitutes and instituted child sacrifice…on the altar of the LORD. For that, God raised up first Assyria and then Babylon as the rod of His judgment against His people.
For spiritual adultery, God slew His people by the tens of thousands.
A comparable betrayal exists today in the form of the White Empowerment Gospel.
A New/Old Fabrication
Similar to Black Liberation Theology and the Social Gospel (that really isn’t a Gospel at all), the White Empowerment Gospel focuses on the ancillary as an end, the incidental as an objective.
The Gospel should produce social change. Where Christ is preached, things should be better, men should cast off the yoke of oppression. Yet, we err in focusing on the ancillary. The Gospel and His Kingdom are distinctly spiritual, having redemption and eternity as their end. Social advancement, though a welcome collateral aspect of the Gospel, should never be mistaken for the Gospel itself.
As the white majority struggles to define its oppressor, it must necessarily invent one. Enter the White Empowerment Gospel (which really isn’t a Gospel at all).
Haters Gonna Hate
Popular author Ryan Holiday tweeted, “Those who have subdued their ego understand that it doesn’t degrade YOU when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.”
You’ve likewise heard it said,
Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.
There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers, and then there will be you, proving them wrong.
Haters only hate the people they can’t become.
White Empowerment Theology, as the white majority really maintains no physical oppressor, cultivates a distinct sense of me versus them. A mythical horde exists seeking to bring me down, seeking to rob me of my peace and my blessing, whatever that is. A sadistic group of my ‘haters’ will stop at nothing to undermine my progress.
White Empowerment Theology leverages a sense of comeuppance or even karma in exhorting a person to ‘rise above’ those who would otherwise ‘bring them down’.
This is not the Gospel.
Paul reminds us that “we do not wrestle against the flesh and blood.” (Ephesians 6:12) Our enemy is a spiritual enemy, Satan who leverages the flesh, i.e. our own vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The world will persecute the believer. Why wouldn’t it? They hated Christ so obviously they will hate His people. Yet, Jesus calls the believer to love his enemies, to bless his enemies, to pray for his enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48)
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (v.46)
Jesus’ words destroy the White Empowerment Gospel.
Power of Positive People
You’ve heard it said or perhaps said yourself,
Once you let go of negative people…positive ones appear.
Don’t expect to see positive changes in your life if you surround yourself with negative people.
Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.
Key to White Empowerment Theology is the removal of all negative aspects of life to allow one to focus exclusively on the positive. Negative or toxic people top the list. How could one succeed and achieve with negative people poisoning thoughts and actions?
This is not the Gospel.
The Gospel divides, but not into ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ people. The Gospel divides men as sheep and goats, those who know Christ and those who do not. (Matthew 25) Further, just as Jesus sought and saved the lost, He calls His people to join Him in the work, to make disciples of all the nations, starting with our own household. (Matthew 28) Nowhere does He distinguish between those having an appropriate attitude and those not.
The Gospel tells us that we are all equally unworthy of mercy and salvation and by His sheer love and grace, He pours out His mercy on those who would believe and be saved. The idea of removing so-called ‘negative’ people from your life in order to preserve your chi is foreign to the true Gospel.
The Devil whispers, “You can’t withstand the storm.” I whispered back, “I am the storm.”
White Empowerment Theology maintains as its end, self-empowerment, endowing one with the ability to rise above circumstances or ‘haters’ or negative people and obtain, achieve, or accomplish. Self-actualization, self-realization, and self-esteem are all fuzzy, related concepts that serve as compatible objectives to empowerment or beneficial side-effects of the same.
Coupled with an acknowledgement of utter helplessness, the Gospel demands the complete subordination of self to a higher Purpose, a grander call. The Gospel relegates self to a tertiary consideration. Scripture calls the believer to love God and love others, in that order. I’m not even sure self-esteem could be justified biblically.
From the Bible, I see in myself sin. I see the corruption of my flesh. I see rebellion against a holy and righteous God deserving of judgment. How could I ever esteem myself in any way? My only esteem comes when I am found in Christ, that’s it.
I find in White Empowerment Theology a fundamental narcissism. A man I know ranted on social media against all these people who were trying to bring him down. He wasn’t going to let them. He was going to rise above and not just survive, but prosper.
I wondered to myself how anyone could feel that other folks were so interested in them and what they were doing or so jealous of their success or so covetous of their position that they would become an official ‘hater’. Do haters know that they are haters.
A New Syncretism
If that was it, then okay. The issue is believers propagating this garbage, blending it with the Gospel to create a new/old abomination that is an affront against God.
At some point, the White Empowerment Gospel serves as a backdoor to the Prosperity Gospel (which is not really a Gospel at all) or even the all-inclusive and hard-to-define New Age theology. Joel Osteen finds himself a comfortable bedfellow with Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra.
The Power of Positive Thinking.
The Power of You.
The true Gospel destroys the White Empowerment Gospel. It pleased the Father to crush the Son on behalf of all of those who might believe, that sinners might be reconciled to God and adopted as sons. I possess no merit aside from that which is given to me. As such, I suffer the world on behalf of Christ, counting it all as loss for the mere sake of knowing Him.
God can…and God does.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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