Thirty years ago, I worked my way through a Christian university selling radio advertising. I spent the Christmas break and all vacation time on campus. I had a wife and four children to support, so when classes were not meeting, I worked longer hours selling advertising to make my family budget. As I came into the radio station from a long day on the road, I met one of our announcers. Chuck always had a big smile on his face. In his rich, baritone radio voice, he said, “Merry Christmas, Mac! I am really praising God today, because I have a double blessing. I am blessed once because I was born Jewish and blessed twice because I am born again. Isn’t that great!” I was disturbed at this, but didn’t know why. Chuck must have read my face, because he said, “What’s the matter, have a bad day?”
I mumbled, “No, Chuck, it just never occurred to me. I always thought [I paused searching for a reason] no blessing came to us by our racial heritage.”
“Ha! Ha! Get used to it. The Jews are God’s master race.” Chuck now burst into uproarious laughter. “Ha, ha! “Master race, get it?”
I smiled my best, phony salesman smile and retreated to my office. This incident came to my mind fresh and clear after thirty years when I read R. J. Rushdoony’s recently published Romans & Galatians. The index of the hook under the heading “natural privilege” cites many passages. For example, “Paul sees Israel as a chosen covenant people of God not as a blood line” (179). “Paul hates natural privilege and natural rights, because he sees it the deadly moral ailment of his own people whom he loves intensely. He sees it as a threat to the future of the church” (182).
The Apostle Paul warns the church to hate natural privilege and not repeat Israel’s mistake. Christians tend to claim the good life, health, and prosperity that we enjoy in the Christian nations as our natural right. This is the same deadly moral ailment that cut fleshly Israel from the blessings of God. Chuck was, I believe, just making a joke, hut behind the wisecrack of my Jewish Christian friend was the thought that he was entitled to natural rights and privileges because of his bloodline. This is an ancient deadly error, and the modern day churchman tends to practice the same sin. Therefore, we should heed the warning of God’s law-word.
A Chosen People, Not a Chosen Race
Racism is not the message of Christmas. Entitlement by blood is a great mistake, because a chosen people are not the same thing as a chosen race. One is by supernatural birth into a covenant of grace; the other is by natural birth into a bloodline. Bigots are wrong. The bloodline of the Savior is part of the Christmas story. On the mother of the Lord’s side are two Gentile women, Rahab and Ruth. You and I can’t choose our ancestors, but God the Father had the choice to bring his Son into the world as a pure blooded descendant of Abraham. God chose to break the bloodline. Why deliberately pollute the bloodline with Gentile blood? I believe it was important to rebuke racists who want to believe that blessings come by race, genes, or blood. The Bible teaches that blessings come exclusively by means of the covenant of grace. To the extent that we are tempted to credit our genes, we cut ourselves off from the fountain of life. Bigotry has terrible consequences (Rom. 11:19 & 21).
It is also dangerous for a church to teach foolish notions of an earthly “master race.” By our ignorance or silence, we allow believers to curse themselves. It is not just a salvation experience that is at stake, hut mortality (long life), morbidity (sickness), and wealth (both temporal and eternal riches). (See 1 Cor. 11:30, Ps. 1, and Ps. 75: 6.)
Vultures and Carrion
Just let a man rise to prominence in his field, and his former teachers will gather like vultures circling over carrion. They dangle honorary degrees before the eyes of the nouveau riche or famous. The college is interested in donations and a piece of their graduate’s estate, but also they want to tell the world, “Our most excellent liberal arts education wrought this great success and/or wealth. Send your child to us, and we will teach him the secrets of success.”
The newly rich and famous will outwardly say a few words at commencement such as, “I owe a great deal to this great institution. Blah, blah, blah!” It all seems innocent enough. Who could be offended or hurt? No one perhaps, except the Lord Jesus Christ. Inwardly, the newly rich or famous has other gods than the one true God to credit with his success. He privately thanks his great Anglo-Saxon forebears who carried the lamp of freedom by virtue of their superior genes. He dare not say it outwardly, because the politically correct thought police will scream, “Heretic!” If, however, the newly rich and famous are horn into a minority group, he is free to beam with pleasure and say, “I was the son of hated immigrants to this land, hut my parents blessed me with values such as hard work and respect for the equity of mankind.” Inwardly, the immigrant son thinks, “My race is just as good as or better than yours, you bigoted fat cats. I guess I showed you! You pompous white guys failed to hold me down.”
Celebrate the Chosen Man, Not the Chosen Race
If the newly rich commissions a ghost writer to write his biography, he will include much on his social and racial heritage and more about how hard he worked, but not a word about obedience to the law of God and the unmerited blessing that prospered his way. How can he? We can only know the source of our blessings by faith. The evidence of the eyes (scientific evidence) says that wealth comes by natural means. Science says it is superstition to credit supernatural forces for the success of our work. There is no parent or teacher to stand in the gap and teach the newly rich and famous the dangers of celebrating the blood of man instead of the blood of Christ. Failing to give God the glory for success curses our children and grandchildren.
Historians assure us that no family in American history has enjoyed a rising net worth beyond three generations. It was a Puritan proverb that a family went from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. Our blind children use our hard-won wealth and social advantages on a lifetime of dissipation and sin. As parents and teachers of the word of God, we should rededicate ourselves to teaching the whole Christmas story. The Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, was the chosen Person, and all of the promises of the Bible, particularly the promise, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee. . .” (Gen. 12:3), belongs exclusively to Christ (Gal. 3:16).
This Christmas, every parent who wants to strike a blow for racial harmony should teach this lesson to his children. If our children are blind to the Faith, they fall easy prey to every wolf in sheep’s clothing that will massage their egos with stories of racial glory. There is no natural privilege, and it is a ghastly sin to allow such error to be taught in the name of Christ.
- Ellsworth McIntyre