Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Guilt by Association" or "Behavior Unbecoming a Teacher of the Gospel"?

Kinism, an ideology associated with “neo-Confederate, Christian Reconstructionist Nationalists,” defines most simply as a love for one’s own race and ethnicity. The / Occidental Christianity website displays this title banner across every page: “Nurturing families and nourishing ethnic identity and biblical liberty. fosters cultural antithesis for White Christians.” In their online article entitled “What is Kinism and Why Does it Matter?”, the author makes the following statements:

In the attempt to create a one world, neo-Babylonian government, a loosely organized but relentless campaign is now underway throughout the world to eradicate racial and ethnic distinctions. White Christians are the foremost targets of this campaign….

We at believe that our White peoples have an inalienable, that is, God-given right and duty to seek their own prosperity and existence as distinct nations, apart from all other genetic and ethnic families….

Nevertheless, we stand or fall with no other but the White peoples of Europe, and their standards of beauty, their cultural achievements, the achievements of their civilization, established through the confluence of pagan and Christian traditions, are both irreplaceable and vital to our survival as a people.

Many people from various Christian and secular groups find the neo-tribal and ethnocentric movement of kinism quite disturbing because it intermingles both desirable (and Christian) concepts with very problematic ones. The powerful significance of the Biblical associations mitigates and obscures the inherent dangers of the negative and potentially dangerous aspects of the racialist leanings of the syncretic system. Stereotyping (narrow, judgmental representation in fixed terms) leads to objectification of groups of people, and many theorists believe that the dehumanization which tends to follow from these logical fallacies gives rise to objectification, totalitarianism and fascism.

Prior to its disappearance, the webpage on Kinism stated that the ideology primarily represented those of Anglo-Saxon ethnicity who also confess Reformed Theology, and Theonomy (often criticized for an unbalanced focus on Old Testament legalism). Many who wholeheartedly embrace Reformed Theology reject that the Old Testament advocated racial purity as a foundational concept but rather for the purpose of maintaining Israel’s religious holiness which was threatened by other cultures. With the advent of the New Covenant in Christ, because salvation by grace through faith in Christ was made available to all races and ethnicities, the concerns of racial purity as advocated in the Old Testament no longer served a vital spiritual purpose. Faith in Christ transcends all concern over race and ethnicity. Thus, concerns with racial and ethnic purity could actually be considered an affront to the Gospel message.
This past week, an evangelist for the doctrine of so-called “Biblical patriarchy” displayed a photo of the congregation that he pastors on his website. Many people identified the person standing to the left of the pastor as a well-known, self-declared kinist along with other members of the kinist’s family. (In fact, this kinist in the photo is noted to be one of four nationally known leaders and developers of the kinist movement.) People who know the man personally and those who recognize both the kinist and his family from photos of them all that are available online soon noted his identity. Many others pointed out that this pastor and the kinist enjoy a very friendly online relationship that spans a few years. I deny that this association identifies this pastor as a kinist, but considering the nature of other pro-slavery and neo-Confederate groups affiliated with “Biblical patriarchy,” this is a matter of great concern for all Christians who deny kinism and those who purchase written materials produced by that pastor’s family.

Could this be perceived as “guilt by association”? In the absence of documentation that establishes that this pastor denies kinism or any other implication that may disturb him, I would say that this is a major cause for concern. Does the pastor’s denomination make a definitive statement about kinism, especially considering that this pastor is a co-founder of his own denomination? If the denomination does not have a statement, it would behoove the pastor to develop one in a timely manner to assuage the concerns of both this his own family’s following and the following of the other organizations with whom he is affiliated. I am reminded of the saying “You only intimidate the weak.” If this area concerning a doctrinal position on race indicates a point of weakness (especially considering that patriarchy attracts “racialists”), then this occurrence presents and excellent opportunity for the denomination to strengthen, clarify and delineate its doctrinal position.

The attention drawn to this loose, kinist connection presents another matter of concern regarding proper Christian conduct. If the pastor does not share common kinist ideals, we may not be privy to any counseling or disciplinary action that the pastor has undertaken with the kinist. However, given the seriousness of the matter of racial impropriety, if the pastor either does not recognize the significance of the matter or actually shares those ideals, one must consider the Proverb that states “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray" (12:26). This becomes a matter of informed consent for those who follow the teachings of this pastor’s family, as they may not wish to hold a person with such controversial beliefs in high esteem. Consider this excerpt from “Modesty: A Vanishing Virtue” by David Treybig:

The Effect on ChristianityDoug Phillips, in his introduction to "Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America" by Jeff Pollard, explains that with "the rise of antinomianism (the rejection of God as lawgiver), the resurgence of Gnosticism (the belief that God is not concerned with physical things) and the widespread acceptance of the neutrality postulate (the notion that the Lordship of Christ over human action only extends to spiritual matters), many 20th-century Christians have simply allowed themselves to be swept away by cultural trends, rather than following the biblical admonition to take every thought and action captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ" (page 12)....

Within the Church of God
If righteous Lot was affected by the society around him, are we not also affected by the trends of the society in which we live? What we see and hear does have an impact. As 1 Corinthians 15:33 puts it: "Do not be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits.'"

The Bible reveals the principle of cause and effect. As Proverbs 6:27 explains, "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" Since the world does have an effect upon us, let's consider how it is displayed.

I believe that these matters not necessarily need be issues of “guilt by association” in the weight of evidence that counters such concerns. If the prevailing evidence and apologetic offered by the party in question demonstrates otherwise, this should be no concern at all.

But given the “mixed bag” of beliefs associated with those who embrace patriarchy,

I believe that these are matters of serious and legitimate concern to a great many devoted, earnest Christians.

simplegifts3 said...
I was able to read some kinist quotes that some sites had clipped from now defunct links. I was appalled. The church of Jesus Christ has no business making and enforcing separations like this, and I immediately thought of Paul rebuking Peter for refusing to associate with Gentiles to the point Barnabus was led astray.It IS a serious issue. It seems clear from the picture that McDonald does not make race a litmus test for being in his congregation, and I hope that he will have a positive impact in this situation in order to change a heart.
December 23, 2007 10:34 AM

Cindy said...
I agree with you about the nature of this movement.Because this is such a sensitive issue, people should be given clear, concise, and direct information about where minsters and ministries stand on this issue.If certain groups of Christians believe that the OT Scriptures do apply as to support kinism, then they need to be forthcoming and transparent about it.I also find it disturbing that, concerning the matter that stimulated all of this discussion, the "kinist" in question is not just a follower or someone who believes this stuff. He is a founder and leader of the modern movement. In addition, the pastor involved is an advocate for Vision Forum, homeschooling, homeschooling related publications, and his wife is an agent for Vision Forum, having recently written a widely marketed book on the virtues of their lifestyles.
December 23, 2007 12:24 PM

simplegifts3 said...
That last paragraph says what I'm thinking. If we had found out this was a person who merely gave assent to the ideas of the leaders in the movement, that would be one thing, and not something worthy of discussion (at least, I would avoid such a discussion). It is because both parties have put themselves out there in different venues in order to lead and persuade others to their teachings, that it warrants discussion.
December 23, 2007 2:35 PM