In New Testament times the scribes and Pharisees had considerable influence upon the way people in Israel thought and behaved. These two groups laid great emphasis on the need for adherence to their man-made additions to the law of Moses, and they were proud of their own rigour in this respect. Pharisaic religion tended to focus upon external observance rather than love for God and men from the heart. The scribes and Pharisees were quick to condemn those who did not conform to their political correctness. They loved to be seen to be fasting or donating their money. In other words, they were skilled in the art of virtue-signalling.
Anti-racism as practiced by the culturally Marxist liberal establishment in the 21st century is very akin to the religion of the scribes and Pharisees. Just as long as you outwardly conform to the creed, it does not matter how much hatred you harbour in your heart towards anyone who disagrees with you. In modern Britain the most effective way of demonstrating what a good person you are is to make some self-righteous statement concerning your shock at the perceived racism of others, and to make it known how utterly devoid of such racism you yourself are.
As a Christian pastor, this writer, along with some colleagues, was recently preaching the gospel in the high street of a local town, which happens also to be one of the most multicultural towns in the country. A group of young people, mainly teenage girls, were staging a ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) protest with banners and chanting. Their theme was the horrors of colonialism, the evil of slavery and the plight of black people in modern Britain. They were displaying a list of the names of black people abused by the allegedly racist UK Police.
The preachers decided politely to challenge them. It was explained that divisions in society are due to the problem of sin, which is inherent in all men, and not to the issue of race. They were also gently advised that, as sinners, they themselves needed to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for personal salvation.
It is suspected that these teenagers have never been exposed to, either via their formal education or through the media, any other worldview than the Marxist propaganda that western society is riddled with ‘white privilege’.
We Christian ministers endeavoured to tell the protestors that the world’s problems cannot be solved by presuming a uniform victimhood in one racial segment of humanity at the hands of a uniformly wicked different racial segment. Instead, it is necessary to deal with the root cause of hatred and divisions, and that is sin, a problem which is endemic in all races and cultures, and the only solution to which is repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Also, the Marxist solution of ‘it is all the fault of the white man’ has no way of explaining the very common phenomenon of hatred and division amongst people who belong belong to the same ethnic group.
We could cite the very contemporary example of the appalling terrorist activity being directed against Christians in certain parts of Nigeria right now (1). This terrorism is being conducted by people of the same skin colour as their victims. We might legitimately ask in the context of ‘black lives matter’, why is there comparatively less media coverage and outrage concerning the atrocities being endured by Nigerian Christians?
Regarding this country, what exactly is the protestors’ evidence for the existence of systemic racism amongst the British Police and in British society generally? It certainly cannot be the fact that so many people from other lands and cultures continually want to come and settle here, even at this very moment being prepared to gain access illegally.
With regards to the Police, the hard evidence is that, far from being racist, they are so imbued with the notions of cultural Marxism (i.e. political correctness) that they have actually been reluctant to pursue genuine criminals, precisely because they are non-white and from a different culture.
This has been seen in the Police response to the grooming gang scandals taking place in many English towns (2). There is indisputably a real element of racial aggravation in these scandals in that the criminals are nearly all men of a certain non-white racial background, whilst their victims are uniformly young white girls.
One of the centres of this abuse has been Rotherham in Yorkshire. The Jay Report into the Rotherham grooming gangs in August 2014 referred to “senior people in the Council and the Police want(ing) to downplay the ethnic dimension … because it might damage community cohesion” (3). So this is the situation which cultural Marxism has created. Not upsetting certain ethnic communities has become more important than upholding the law of the land and stamping out vile criminality.
In the same vein, the Casey Report on the years of ongoing sexual abuse in Rotherham stated in February 2015 concerning the racial factor that “people were unable to tackle race issues because they were too worried about being called racist” (4). In other words the Police, far from being motivated by white privilege and racism, were in effect hopelessly biassed in the opposite direction, failing to act against appalling sexual because precisely because the criminals involved were non-white (5).
Returning to the conversation with BLM supporters in the local town centre, when it was pointed out to them that it was white evangelical Christians who had worked tirelessly to bring about the abolition of slavery in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, they sadly appeared unmoved and carried on with their thesis that British history, along with British contemporary life, is just one endless chapter of evil white privilege.
The mainstream churches in the UK have now generally abandoned the Biblical gospel of salvation, and have sold out completely to the ‘woke’ and secularist ‘social justice’ agendas. So they too are embracing the fashionable Marxist notion of white privilege being endemic in British society. This is nothing but craven conformity to man-made philosophy and the spirit of the age. Such conformity is explicitly forbidden in Scripture in Romans 12:2 and Colossians 2:8.
Nevertheless, in the wake of worldwide protests in support of the BLM movement, the Church of England – with a tragic predictability – has added its voice to the politically correct chorus denouncing the ongoing evil of white privilege in the UK. However, we might ask, Has the C of E been making known to the world its horror at racism in the light of the undeniably racial aspect to the grooming gangs scandal in many English towns?
It goes without saying that as Bible-believing Christians we love our neighbour whatever his race or skin colour, but the Bible’s teaching on the equality of all men does not require the abandonment of national identity, the abolition of national borders, the refusal to exercise sensible immigration controls, nor the despising of one’s own culture and history. A wholesale contempt for British history and identity, however, is precisely what the cultural Marxists are demanding. Of course, our history is far from perfect, but we might ask, Which of the tribes of the earth can claim to be without sin in respect of their national stories?
It is also a plain fact that there is much to be legitimately proud of in British history. Indeed, this writer would submit that everything that is good about this nation, even on the basic level of the establishment of schools and hospitals and the development of a parliamentary democracy, can be clearly traced to the influence of the Bible and the Christian gospel.
Finally, with regards to Sir Winston Churchill, who has also been a target of the ire of the Black Lives Matter protestors, along with the myriads of their white liberal supporters, let it be remembered what he said when addressing the House of Commons on June 18, 1940 : “The Battle of France is over; I suspect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation”.
We cannot of course read into Mr Churchill’s heart, nor would we for one moment defend all that he ever said and did. What we do know, however, is that he understood the value of the influence of the Christian gospel upon Britain over many centuries, in contrast with the dark and anti-Christian creed of Nazism. He saw the need for the nation to fight to preserve its Bible-based civilisation. For his insight and resolve in this regard he deserves the nation’s deep and ongoing gratitude.