Why Racism is Material Heresy and Ought to be Formal Heresy : Outline 2, “Is Christ divided?”

Communion of Saints

[We have summarized Outline 1 in our last post as follows: Christ bore the whole of human nature by bearing the nature of a specific race. If races as such can differ by superiority and inferiority, then they, by the very meaning of race, must differ in nature (substance). So, Christ either only bore the substance of one race, or races as such cannot differ by superiority or inferiority. 

The focus of the first outline was quite narrow and restricted only to the claim of superiority or inferiority of races. Here we will expand out to include another form of racist belief and confession. For methodological concerns, including the elusive definition of “racism” and “race,” please see the beginning of “Outline 1” and “Responding to Questions/Objections.” As before, the target is clearly specified; if your particular brand of ideology does not fall under the stated target, then the critique does not apply.

And again, please remember this is just an outline. It is my prayer and hope that others will expand on these concepts, and that churches would consider how to implement with wisdom.]

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Why Racism is Material Heresy and Ought to be Formal Heresy : Outline 1

Cappadocians 1

[Many, upon reading this piece, have noted that there is no formal definition of “racism” or even “race” included. This is by design, though I see that it could be confusing. Defining “racism” as such is admittedly difficult and would alone constitute matter for an essay much longer than even what appears here; and even if that were accomplished, there would still remain much disagreement. Therefore, the approach of these outlines is to target and identify specific claims that most would acknowledge as “racist,” regardless of how fuzzy the edges of the set of ideas in question may be. For example, this outline deals only with claims of superiority or inferiority between races (as per Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “myth of inferior peoples”). If one’s specific brand of racist ideology does not include nor imply a claim of superiority or inferiority, then clearly this post does not capture that specific ideology. (Though arguments of implication may often be successfully employed to demonstrate that superiority/inferiority is in fact being claimed, though not directly. For some historical definitions of “racism,” see HERE.)

Further, the concept “race” itself is not defined, but for much the same reasons. The argument of this particular outline proceeds on the assumption that if one believes and confesses superiority or inferiority among races also is assuming that there is such a thing as “race”; this does not logically imply that there is in fact such a thing as “race” (though I think the concept is legitimate and useful if handled correctly as a social construction and as colloquially employed). The reader will see below that, working with the understanding of one who claims superiority/inferiority, race would minimally (not maximally!) include common progeneration. So, rather than defining the term, given abundant disagreement, I assume only what would be minimally included by one who would employ the term to claim superiority/inferiority. (For a helpful discussion of “race,” see HERE.)

And last, the reader should note that there is no specific race or ethnicity targeted in what follows; any claim by anyone that any race can be superior or inferior to any other falls within the scope of criticism below.]

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