All too often we focus on eradicating outward behaviors as proof of “solving the problem”, i.e. righting the wrongs. This is understandable given that the symptoms of sin (bigotry, adultery…) are horrible and painful. Yet a diagnosistic goal primarily focused on stopping outward symptoms often leads to an ends justifies the means prescription. Broad brushes in Law prescriptions lathered with explicit or implicit guilt-assigning offer possible remedies for shaping things up more quickly. Whereas sanctification as a grace of the Gospel seems relatively slow and weak.
Is racism a special category of sin to be dealt with by means other than those set forth in Scripture? I think not.
Understood - Reformational - Circles - God - Moral
As understood in Reformational circles, God’s Moral Law diagnoses sin (see WLC 93-98) as well as points believers to godly living. All deviation from the Moral Law is condemned as sin by God. This includes sins like adultery, theft, bearing false witness, etc…. or racism; which are a subset of violating the second table (i.e. not loving neighbor). And defined as sin, these acts are worthy of God’s wrath. The Gospel, on the other hand, is the onlyremedy for sin and disobedience given by God, as taught in Scripture (WLC 31-36, Romans 1:16). The Gospel promises and offers forgiveness of sin, salvation, and eternal life by God’s grace alone through Christ to all those who believe, including all saving graces unto a changed heart and a new obedience.
Yet when the Church diagnoses a sin problem (e.g. racism) in such a way that Christ (as he is offered in the Gospel) is Not the Answer or Remedy for sin, past and present, then she has not fully or Biblically diagnosed the problem. When this is the case, I would conjecture that the Church may be too...
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