How BLM’s Critics Are Stupidly Making It Stronger
Criticism is a legitimate business. In fact, criticism is the most important business Christians should be involved in. The Bible tells us that the spiritual man is one who judges all things (1 Cor. 2:15); and that the mature man is the one who discerns between good and evil (Heb. 5:14). That’s what covenantal thinking is: discerning between good and evil in all things, and pronouncing judgment. That’s the very meaning of the word “criticism,” from the Greek word krino, “judge.”
Criticism is the most important business a Christian should be involved in, but exactly because it is important, it carries great responsibility. For not every criticism is valid. Some criticism is not only invalid, it may be straight evil and wicked. The result, then, is judgment on the very critic himself. Or, at least, the result can be that the opponents of the critic grow stronger in the face of his criticism – which is again a form of judgment on the critic himself.
Rushdoony describes one such instance of invalid criticism in his Institutes of Biblical Law, Volume I, pp. 348-351. The issue is the women’s rights movement of the 19th and the early 20th century. This early feminism was perfectly legitimate and had a legitimate goal: to repeal the patriarchalism of the Enlightenment which – in a legal revolution in the West – has brought about a diminished status of women in the society. The goal was Biblically valid, but the church as a whole took the opposite position; as Rushdoony says, “the churches very commonly supported this legal revolution by a one-sided and twisted reading of Scripture.” The result was that despite the prominent place of the churches in the society at the time, they lost that battle. And not only did they lose the battle, they also lost the women’s rights movement to socialists, perverts, and neopagans. Thus, if you see modern pagan feminism triumphant in the society, keep in mind that the sole responsibility for its triumph lays on the schizophrenic, stupid, and un-Biblical criticism of the church against the earlier, legitimate version of feminism. That’s how God judges unlawful critics: their house is left desolate, and their enemies triumph. Yes, even if the critics are members of His covenant. God shows no favoritism.
A similar situation is developing in our days with the Black Lives Matter movement. Police brutality brought to light by the modern technologies and the increased awareness of black Americans that such brutality is explicitly directed towards their communities, led to the emergence of BLM. As is to be expected in every such situation, in some places protests were paralleled by riots. And as is to be expected, the opponents of BLM – those who refuse to accept that there is police brutality and bias in that brutality – rushed to ascribe the riots to BLM. To me, it’s a déjà-vu. I have seen it before, in another era, on another continent, with a different set of players. And this time I will refrain from making the obvious parallels with that era. One historical parallel per article is enough.
But I won’t refrain from being blunt with the critics of BLM. Especially with the Christian critics of BLM, because they are expected to know better. And I will say this: all current criticism of BLM only makes it stronger. And there is a good reason for it: All current criticism of BLM is schizophrenic, stupid, and un-Biblical. BLM deserves to be criticized, and it deserves a good criticism: consistent, intelligent, and Biblical. But no Christian offers such criticism. Thus, BLM is becoming stronger – just as neopagan feminism became stronger because of the schizophrenic, stupid, and un-Biblical criticism it got from Christians 100 years ago.
So here is my suggestion to all these critics: Before you criticize, please stop and consider the following: (1) Are you being schizophrenic? (2) Are you being stupid? And (3) are you being un-Biblical? If the answer to at least one of these is “yes,” you better shut up and find something else to do. If you continue criticizing, you are becoming a dishonor to the church, and you are making your enemies stronger.
1. Are You Being Schizophrenic?
This one should be easy for any clearly thinking person, but for some reason, we don’t seem to have an abundant supply of clearly thinking people in the churches.
The point is this:
If after watching a video that clearly shows an unarmed, non-belligerent man being murdered by police in cold blood, at a known time, with known names of the cops, you still need “all the facts” to decide if it was murder, . . .
. . . but after reading third-hand and third-rate news articles or watching undated, unclear, fragmented, anonymous videos about “riots” in North Carolina, you know perfectly well that these are “Black Lynch Mobs” and that BLM is responsible, . . .
. . . then you are being schizophrenic.
You are not just intellectually schizophrenic; you are also morally schizophrenic. Your schizophrenia is not just the schizophrenia of those who hold to a dualistic worldview. Your schizophrenia is the schizophrenia of double moral standard. You have one set of ethical and judicial rules for one group of people (the cops), and another set of ethical and judicial rules for another group of people (BLM).
And there’s more. For example:
If after seeing the video of that murder by cops, you still speak in politically-correct conditional mood (“Now let us say, for the sake of discussion, that the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte was simple murder by the cops.”), but you are unconditionally sure that there was “black lynch” somewhere without any clear proof, you are being schizophrenic.
If when a crime is committed by cops, your instinct is to first try to see if the crime was “Biblically justified,” but you are unwilling to extend the same grace to others who commit crimes, you are schizophrenic.
If you can excuse crimes by cops with legal technicalities like “police protocols” or that the cops “felt threatened,” but you automatically declare “murder” any killing of cop, whether the cop was acting lawfully or not, then you are being schizophrenic.
If you claim to be pro-Second Amendment but then justify the murder of non-criminal civilians by cops with the phrase “He had a gun,” then you are being schizophrenic.
If you celebrate the Fourth of July and beat yourself in the chest of what a great patriot and constitutionalist you are but then justify the murder of a non-criminal individual for “resisting arrest,” you are being schizophrenic.
If you read the Declaration of Independence to your kids as a great founding document but you support the existence of standing armies like police, you are being schizophrenic.
If you claim to be for limited government but then want to give police all power to “enforce laws,” you are being schizophrenic.
And so on.
And when you are being schizophrenic, no one will listen to you. May be your regular “followers” blinded by your celebrity status will ah and aw and wow at the literary skill which you use to cover your schizophrenia. But your opponents will laugh at you. And those who follow your opponents won’t be impressed. And if you are a Reformed church minister, you need to know that the reason the church in America has fallen to such low levels of significance – trampled under the feet of men – is church ministers exactly like you: intellectually and morally schizophrenic.
2. Are You Being Stupid?
Not only are you being schizophrenic, you are also being stupid. Because any person with at least three operational brain cells (one for breathing in, one for breathing out, and one for simple logic), before they use an argument against their opponents, will first stop and think, “Can this argument be successfully used against me?”
Let’s say, for the sake of the discussion, that there are indeed riots and looting and black lynch in Charlotte, NC, and they coincide in time with the protests of BLM. Before you automatically ascribe the violence to BLM because of some superficial connection, you need to stop and think: Are there groups who superficially are close to what I am, whose atrocities can be ascribed to me? Can the same argument be used against me? If you have not stopped to consider this, you are being stupid.
What would you reply to someone who says, “You white Christians like to bomb malls and murder children,” and then points to Timothy McVeigh? What would you reply to someone who says that white Christians like to raid prosperous black neighborhoods and murder innocent black men, women, and children, and then points to the Tulsa race riot of 1921? What would you reply to someone who says that all Christians are as hateful as Westboro Baptist Church? You may want to reply, of course, that these people don’t represent Christianity, and that you are not like them, but you won’t have the moral ground to say it. You have already stupidly committed the same fallacy with the rioters and BLM, and whatever you say to excuse yourself from other people’s crimes will sound moronic and unconvincing.
Even more moronic would be if you have not stopped to consider some curious facts. For example, that most of the information about those “riots” comes from police sources, and police is the institution mostly interested in blaming BLM for them. And where do these “rioters” come from? Isn’t it bizarrely weird that police is so quick to shoot at an unarmed, peaceful man, but then sits and watches (and makes videos) of men who openly loot and attack other people? No looters shot, no looters arrested, no names revealed by the police? Could it be because there is some connection between the looters and the police? For example, that the looters are undercover cops whose task is exactly to produce a situation most favorable to the police and unfavorable to BLM?
If you think such a scenario is impossible, that police will never do such a thing, then you are a special kind of stupid. Police does that all the time. We know for sure they did it at previous protests. They did it to liberty groups as well. If the cops can murder peaceful citizens in cold blood, and yet fail to do a single thing to contain the “rioters,” there can be only one possible explanation: the rioters are the police. And if your knee-jerk reaction is to follow the official narrative and blame it on BLM, instead of thinking logically, then you are incurably stupid.
In any case, stupidity never wins arguments. If your criticism of BLM is stupid, you are only making them stronger. Your opponents will laugh at you, they won’t take you seriously.
3. Are You Being Un-Biblical? Luke 12:48
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more,” says Jesus in Luke 12:48, stating one of the most prominent principles of social action and responsibility which separates a Christian culture from a pagan culture.
A pagan culture worships power. Thus, in any conflict in the culture, pagans by default blame those lower on the social ladder and excuse those in power. That religious commitment to worshiping power is also expressed in some cultures in excessive zeal to trample on one’s inferiors and be sycophantic to one’s superiors. Islam, as a power cult, produces such mentality, and it is common in the Middle East and the Balkans to see middle-level bureaucrats be unnecessary cruel to the weaker. It is under the same worship of power that in Shariah, victims of crime – especially of rape – get punished, while the criminals, if they are powerful men, get a free pass.
But don’t make the mistake to think that the West is free of that mentality. The celebrity culture in the American churches is the fruit of that same mentality: celebrities and men of power in the churches get free pass for almost anything, while regular church members can be taken to court for minor and most often imaginary infractions. (I have described the problem here.) Pastors and church ministers often side with the criminals against their victims. Even in clear cases of rape and abuse, whole communities – white, Christian, middle-class – side with the rapist and ostracize the victim, even where she is underage. It can be seen even in statements like that Sheriff David Clarke, who declared, “Stop trying to fix the police, fix the ghetto.” The reality is, the police is a ghetto, but it is a ghetto with government-issued military-grade weapons, and therefore must remain untouchable. Islam is not the only religion that worships power. Modern American conservatism is just as bad as Islam in this regard. The same pagan spirit could be seen in John 8:3-11, where the Pharisees wanted to stone for adultery a woman without the man, in violation of the law of God. (Was the man one of them, perhaps?)
In Luke 12:48 (and also in Matt. 20:26; 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:43-44; Luke 22:26) Jesus rejected such mentality. Under the Gospel, in a Christian culture, the chief responsibility always lies with those in power, with those higher on the social ladder. They must be beaten more, for they know more and they are given more. They must be held responsible, and they must be punished more severely. They must be told to shut up and fix their own stuff before they blame the ghetto, or the congregation, or the victims, or those who leave the institutional church. Authority must be divorced from power, and anyone who wants to exercise authority must learn to do it as a servant, not as a ruler and a “benefactor.” A Christian culture is a culture where power is despised, suppressed, and kept in check, and the powerful are under constant supervision and control. This is not to say that weaker people can’t be wicked or wrong. But the Bible clearly has priorities, and its priorities are fixing the powerful before fixing the weak, and judging the powerful more severely than the weak.
So if you are a critic of BLM or of the ghetto, and you like to moralize on the poorest and weakest members of our community, but you are silent about or soft on the responsibility of the rulers and the police, you are un-Biblical. In fact, you are a practical pagan, no different than any Shariah judge. If you are a Reformed church minister, you are a total dishonor to the name of Christ, and you should be deposed and perhaps even excommunicated for your practical paganism. If your church keeps you in power, it will be a clear sign that we live in demented times.
Either way, your criticism is not harming BLM, it is making it stronger. For people can see your claims that you are a Christian, and they can see that you are not Biblical, that you are simply a shill for the establishment and for the powerful of the day, in complete opposition to everything Jesus did and said. And when they see that discrepancy between your professed faith and your practical ethics, they will laugh you off, and they will support your opponents even more.
Like feminism, BLM is on its way to become the next movement started on a righteous premise but taken over by socialists, perverts, and neo-pagans. No, the fault for this hijacking of a good cause is not with the socialists, perverts, and the neo-pagans. They are only taking advantage of a social and ethical vacuum. And that vacuum exists only because the church has been schizophrenic, stupid, and un-Biblical. And by being so, has made its enemies stronger, and itself a laughing-stock for the world, and a salt that has lost its savor.
So, if you can’t offer a consistent, intelligent, and Biblical critique of BLM, please, shut up. And if you are a Reformed church minister, and you can’t offer anything else but schizophrenia, stupidity, and practical paganism, just step down. Go do something you are good at, like copying books or something.