Dr. Voddie Baucham, who currently serves as the Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, addressed the current issue of social justice on Glenn Beck’s program on Thursday.
Faithwire reports that Baucham’s coined phrase “Ethnic Gnosticism” is similar to Gnosticism which is derived from the Greek, “gnosis” or “having secret knowledge.
He explained to Beck that “Ethnic Gnosticism” is defined as the “idea that black people (and other ethnicities including white people as well) have the ability to possess secret knowledge of motive, intent, and goals in specific situations such as the recent cases involving police officers and black men.”
For Baucham, he believes that the term contradicts The Gospel as “our knowledge comes from God,” who is the source of all knowledge.
Baucham also noted that Scripture must be the source we use “to understand truth” and how “we look at the world.”
“So as Christians, these are the ways that we seek for truth. Not through special individuals, who have special knowledge,” he asserted.
Baucham also noted that the Black Lives Matter movement has been likened to a religion.
“Jim Wallace wrote a book, and the title of his book was, ‘America’s Original Sin.’ So, again, there are religious connotations there.” Baucham said.
While Baucham doesn’t deny the evils of racism in the world, he pointed out that people, namely Christians, aren’t pointing others to Christ as the only message of salvation.
“Now the message is — the answer is something other than the forgiveness that we find, through God in Christ. Now the answer is, somehow you have to do enough penance.” he said.
And it’s been interesting to watch scenes of white people, literally kneeling and bowing and genuflecting, in repentance, you know, over their sin of — of white privilege. Or, you know, bias. Or conscious bias. Or unconscious bias. Or whatever else,” he added.
Ultimately, “this religion is promising salvation, somewhere other than God,” Baucham cautioned. “And unfortunately, there are many Christians, who are sounding like they’re satisfied with this.”
Baucham also drew a fine line between what Christians think of social justice and Biblical justice.
“Social justice is about redistributing resources and opportunities,” Baucham explained. “Social justice is not the same as the biblical idea and the biblical concept of justice. You also need to understand that social justice is built on the back of critical theory. Which is all about the idea of, you know, hegemony and power structures.”
He also made a distinction between individual racism and institutional racism, calling them “two competing worldviews” citing the different responses to George Floyd’s death.
“One worldview that says racism is individual. It’s an individual heart issue. And that’s the world where we deal with the individual heart issue, with the message of the gospel,” Baucham asserted. “But then there’s another worldview that says, no, no, no, no. Regardless of individual heart issue, this is a structural and institutional issue.”
Baucham pointed out the confusion it has caused because people automatically conclude that the case is evidence “of structural and institutional racism,” at the expense of what “the facts of the case are.”
“And what that’s doing is it’s driving people a part.” he said. “Because we’re having two different conversations, that doesn’t make sense to each other.”
While people have criticized Baucham’s views as not having empathy or compassion, Baucham brought up his tumultuous upbringing in California, including his run-in with the cops.
“Me. Who grew up in drug-infested, gang-infested, Los Angeles, born in 1969. Grew up during the crack era. Grew up during the drug wars with a Buddhist mother. I wasn’t raised in Christianity. Never heard the gospel, until I got to university,” Baucham noted.
“And so for people to try to marginalize me, because I don’t understand — I’ve been pulled over by the cops. I’ve been down on the sidewalk. Because I was sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know these kinds of things happen. And yet, I still say, that these ideologies are poisonous.” he asserted.
“I’m concerned about people,” he continued. “I’m concerned about justice. I’m concerned about souls. And I am not willing to lay down my Bible and have anyone force me to agree with certain things, simply because, if I don’t, they will — you know, they will somehow label me and call me names.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.