Profile picture
Timothy Isaiah Cho @tisaiahcho
, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
In a letter dated October 5, 1913 to his mother, J. Gresham Machen writes the following...
"...it always makes me intensely angry to hear people talking glibly about equal civil rights of negroes when in many parts of the South those equal rights would mean that every legislator and every judge would be a savage of a [] type and the white men would be more...
unsafe in parts of this country than in the most [] parts of the world where at least the protection of his home government is to some extent with him."

Mentioning a "colored man" who was soon to be integrated into the Princeton Seminary dormitories, Machen writes:
"...any time a room is vacant [the colored man] may move over here. If I am to make any objection, now is the time to make it. Of course if he came over here I could simply move out. It would be a big sacrifice to me."
Explaining why he "most emphatically objects" to the integration of people of color in the dorms, Machen states: "the intimacy of the relation of the men in the same dormitory where there is only one bath-room, exceeds, in some respects, at least, that of table-companionship."
Further:

Machen argues from a separate but equal principle: "The case is not as though this [Princeton Seminary] were the only place which they [Black people] could come if they are to be educated for the ministry."
Machen was not alone on the faculty with his views. This was, according to Machen, the prevailing view of Princeton Seminary, the representative seminary of the Reformed tradition:
"But this year, for the first time a colored man has been given a room [] of the Seminary dormitories, and to that I most emphatically object... The Seminary has paid for a room in turn for every colored student... I have talked to a number of members of the faculty...
They all sympathize fully with me, [] to Dr. Warfield himself, not a single member of the faculty agrees with him."

Machen calls faculty members who are advocating for civil rights for Blacks as "sticklers" and underlines the word "CIVIL" in the quote below.
Machen gets intensely angry because civil rights for Blacks would mean White lives in the South would be overturned from what they were used to:

"It is true some of them are 'sticklers' for the CIVIL rights of negroes - it always makes me intensely angry to hear people...
talking glibly about equal civil rights of negroes..."

Machen speaks poorly of B.B. Warfield in this letter and another letter to his mother. His biggest qualm with Warfield on this topic of integration is that Warfield does not appreciate "the facts of human nature."
"I had a two-hour argument with Warfield on Friday - about as poorly conducted an argument on his side as I ever listened to. My total impression was that, despite his remarkable gifts... he is bitterly lacking in appreciation of the facts of human nature."
For those who don't know, Machen is touted as a stalwart of Reformed theology and even conservative evangelicalism. He is known for taking a stand against perceived liberalism in the mainline presbyterian church in the US, which led to splits throughout denominations in the US.
Clearly, this is an example of a man who allowed his culturally captivity-namely, his socially inflated status as a White male-to redefine, reshape, and even undo tenets of the gospel at the core of the Christian faith. The Christian faith molded into his ideals, not vice versa.
Machen is only a small example of where White Christians allowed their Whiteness and the protection of that status taint and skew the gospel and remove the scandal from the cross. His whole faculty less one was purportedly on his side in this matter on segregation.
Therefore, when people begin to ask for examples of White theology, I and many people of color often wonder, "Just one? How can you read the history of the church in America and be entirely blind to the myriad of examples? Have you even tried the bare minimum to research this?"
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Timothy Isaiah Cho
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!