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Why All Christians Should Steer Far Away From Race-Identity Issues

A photograph of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer is seen amongst flowers left at the scene of the car attack on a group of counter-protesters that took her life during the "Unite the Right" rally as people continue to react to the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 14, 2017. (Justin Ide / Reuters )

Here's the deal, short and straight to the point, in light of the events in Charlottesville this past weekend: Christians should not be within ten miles of this race-identity stuff.

Something like "white nationalism" cannot be reconciled with the gospel's leap across racial and national barriers. I've always told students that you can be in favor of your country enforcing its borders, but that you should never be one of those folks yelling to keep the Mexicans out or something along those lines. It just doesn't fit with what it means to be a Christian.

It's the brotherhood and sisterhood of men and women under the fatherhood of God. Neither nations nor races are superior to that.

And for goodness' sake, if you believe in the primordial pair of Adam and Eve, then you've got no basis for racism at all because of the one-blood nature of humanity. If you want to be a racial Darwinist or something like that, go ahead, but don't pretend it reconciles nicely with the Christian faith.

We need some awareness of cultural dynamics. There is a cult in culture, and the national tribes typically want to have a religion to bind them together and affirm them in their greatness and superiority.

But Christianity isn't that and can't be that and still be faithful to Christ. He is not the leader of a race. He is the only true king of us all.

Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. is an associate professor of political science at Union University and an Affiliate Scholar in Religion & Politics at the Acton Institute. He is the author of The End of Secularism and Political Thought: A Student's Guide.

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