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Brad Mason @AlsoACarpenter
, 24 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Many appear quite disturbed by my use of the phrase “white gospel,” which I suppose I can understand. It reflects a long history in this country.

A thread: What is meant by "the white gospel"? 1/
In the 17th c, when African slavery began in America, the gospel was literally only for whites. Conversion of slaves was discouraged since under English law, baptism could grant freedom. 2/
Soon, new arguments were made for conversion, including the creation of more obedient and docile slaves and laws were changed to allow conversion without manumission. 3/
The gospel was taught to slaves to include that they not seek temporal change of status, that the Bible warrants their lot, and that they must simply submit to their masters as Paul had suggested. 4/
But as Christianity grew in the slave camps, slaves began to see the gospel as a source of not only personal redemption, but corporate redemption, whether in this life or the next. 5/
The master’s gospel somehow allowed for enslaving humans, treating them like cattle, destroying families, breeding them, beating them, and the brutalities of the trade. The masters taught the slaves that the gospel meant submission, obedience, docility, and hard work. 6/
The slaves embraced the gospel as personal redemption with real world implications of freedom, mutual care in hardships, and comfort and endurance through grave suffering. Both Exodus themes and persecution themes were thread through all that Jesus had taught. 7/
The white man’s gospel also came to include every possible justification for the mistreatment of the black man, including the so-called curse of Ham. In fact, a society supposedly framed by the gospel became part of the justification for secession to maintain ... 8/
... the practice of slavery in the South. Frederick Douglas would write, “Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference.” 9/
There was the gospel and its implications for the white man and a gospel and its implications for the black man. 10/
Also in this period, black men and women were forced to create their own black churches and denominations—out of necessity, in order to have full access to the benefits of the church and full participation in the means of grace. And, just as pressing, safety. 11/
Many were beaten and wounded greatly for this cause. These denominations exist to this day. This is why the Black Church and this is what shapes the perspective of the white church and the "white gospel." 12/
After emancipation, this dichotomy did not disappear. The South responded in an uproar. Whites now enforced detailed systems of segregation and new methods of race based exploitation. 13/
When thousands of blacks fled to the North, they met much the same. The Christianity of the whites still allowed for oppression, misuse, exploitation, and separation of church and society from blacks. The KKK believed themselves to be doing the will of Jesus Christ. 14/
(Of course, the will of the "white Jesus" of the Gospel Tract Society.) When the Civil Rights movement began, white Christians en mass somehow believed their gospel allowed them to either put it down by violence, or at least show complete indifference. 15/
To this day the gospel of many whites does not suggest that the movement was even justified. This was only 50 yrs ago. In our day, the churches are still by and large segregated in America. 16/
The disparities between blacks and whites are vast and painful to even consider, yet the majority of white gospel adherents still feel there is little need for work except to attack those who speak out against racial disparities in church and society ...
... as Marxists, SJW’s, and gospel compromisers. Remember it is John MacArthur that is calling this movement the greatest threat to the gospel. What gospel is this that racial reconciliation advocacy and the “SJW’s” is threatening? 18/
There has always been a gospel and Christianity in this country that allows for the greatest of evils and indifference for our fellow Christians. This is why Anthony Bradley wrote the following:
And we certainly have reason to believe this is in fact the Black Church perspective. Why wouldn’t it be? What are we doing to prove that its not the “white gospel” we feel is threatened? 20/
The gospel that has justified all that has gone before and fears for its current continuation? Maybe that gospel wielded by white men for centuries was and is indeed deficient in enough ways to account for what has occurred? 21/
I’d argue, there is clearly a Gospel and a “white gospel.” The latter is not a statement about white skin, but about a gospel that does not mean what the Gospel had meant to 400 years of African Americans in this country—a gospel of individual salvation in Jesus Christ, ... 22/
... but also a gospel freedom of the oppressed, of action, of reforming injustices, of social work, of caring for the body and this life consistently with the hope of the life to come. 23/
Should this not be a cause for reflection, rather than a cause for angry reaction and accusation? If you don't get the terms, shouldn't you do some work to understand them? Or do we just write off PoC who don't just repeat what we already believe? END
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