Theology How to be an Ally 101

Where Are Our White Allies?

Ekemini Uwan

On Friday afternoon, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I stumbled upon a post shared by a friend who challenged the prejudiced rhetoric of Dr. James White’s post. Whenever there is a social media post, story, or an incident involving race, as a person of color, I must do a racial cost-benefit analysis.

On the cost side, I measure the psychological, emotional, and sometimes, physiological toll it would take on my well-being, depending on the magnitude of the racial event.

On the benefit side, I measure the possibility of a teachable moment, the chance to change false narratives, and show how the gospel bears practical implications for racism, always with the hope that much fruit would come as a result. After completing my analysis, I determined the benefit outweighed the cost.

White’s Comments
By now, you may have heard about the social media firestorm that ensued as a result of White’s racially charged Facebook post about a fifteen-year-old black boy exhibiting typical teenage behavior. According to White, the boy flipped off the police as he crossed the street and poured the contents of his bottled drink on the ground, and tossed the empty bottle into a nearby bush. Based on those anodyne, yet unwise acts, White speciously concludes this young boy most likely never met his father, wasn’t given guidance, nor was he taught about the merits of hard work and the value of a good education. Moreover, this young man would go on to father several children out of wedlock, some of which he would abort at Planned Parenthood clinics.

From two seemingly innocuous—yet juvenile acts—committed by this young boy, White prognosticated his fate and that of his community. He castigated and dehumanized black people by reducing them to statistics, which he admitted he exaggerated perpetuating myths about intractable fatherlessness, endemic laziness, entitlement, and sexual immorality. I am not going to critique the spurious claims made in White’s post because Jemar Tisby, along with others, did so in a thorough and gracious manner.

Seeking Allies
Before responding on Twitter, I waited momentarily to see if our white brothers and sisters would come to our defense by using their platforms to challenge Dr. White. A few of them did, and for that I am grateful; their allegiance revives those of us who are suffering from racial fatigue. Nevertheless, I am left to wonder, when will the few white allies we have become the majority. When will we, black people, get the opportunity to witness a multitude of white brothers and sisters bind themselves to us in this fight against racism, instead of exercising their privilege by observing from a safe distance or not engaging at all? Where are our white allies? Those are the intransigent questions nestled within my heart and mind as I have observed the initial event and subsequent defenses from White.

At this juncture, it must be said that I am thankful for our non-black minority allies who have locked arms with us, and are constantly fighting the good fight against racism inside and outside the church. Thank you! We know, that you too, are fighting racism against your people in the various ways that it manifests itself and impacts your respective communities.

These questions are exacting and pointed at our white brothers and sisters who have the white privilege other racial minorities lack. It is a well-known fact that despite the browning of America, white people still hold many of the positions of power in this country. The same is reflected within American Evangelicalism. In order to observe this, one needn’t look any further than the lily-white speaker line-up at popular conferences, faculty website pages at evangelical seminaries, and mainline Protestant denominations. Oftentimes, the only time people of color are centered at evangelical conferences is when the topic is on race, which is now on trend in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Rarely, if ever, are we called upon to speak on union with Christ, theology proper, justification, sanctification, and other theological topics—although many of us have the theological credentials and ability to do so.

Racial Oppression Toll
In the absence of a legion of white allies, we are left to defend ourselves and refute racially charged remarks like the ones embedded in White’s post. When we do, our experience and expertise is undervalued and undermined when our speech does not conform to the sensibilities of the majority.

Regardless of how gracious, patient, calm, humble, and measured our response is, we are called Marxists, liberals, race-baiters, agitators, and divisive, just to name a few of the labels ascribed to us (there are other unseemly names that ought not escape the mouths of the saints, but often do). We endure the constant verbal abuse that comes with speaking truth to power, and we pay the toll racial oppression levies on our mind, soul, and body. We can do no less if racial reconciliation is the goal.[1]

There is no reconciliation apart from the little ‘t’ truth, which is this country’s racial history and the ways the church has been complicit in this regrettable history and its present impact on black people, and big ‘T’ truth, Jesus Christ who is truth embodied. In the same way, there is no liberation without non-black allies.

We are not separatists. This is America, the country that is a proverbial melting pot. We cannot secure our liberation by ourselves. Dr. Evelyn Higginbotham says this: “There is injustice, but we have to fight it. I still believe the way to do it in a lasting way is with allies. That’s how movements are formed, you’ve got to have allies… The key thing is show me any moment in the history of our people in this nation where we did something completely black and we changed our situation. It just didn’t happen.”[2]

Burden Bearers
Dr. Higginbathom’s statement pertains to historical and sociological matters, which are important because we live in this world, but are not of it. What of Scripture? I recall the Prophet Jeremiah saying to the Israelites, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7).  The Israelites were exiled among people who were not like them, yet they were called to seek the benefit of the Babylonians. How about when Jesus shared the parable about helping the least of these saying, ‘”Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’’’? Apostle Paul also says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Cor. 12:26). We are called to bear one another’s burdens, and do good to everyone, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:2,10).

Bearing the burdens of another is the ultimate imitation of Jesus, our supreme burden bearer who carried our burdens until He breathed his last. Brothers and sisters, surely you can lay down your privilege in order to stand with and defend us when we are attacked by fellow Christians.

It may cost you some Twitter followers, speaking engagements, reputation, comfort, and friends. But the gospel calls us to stand up for what is right, true, and good. At times, the cost of answering that call requires our livelihood; other times it requires our lives. Take heart and remember “whoever loses his life for the sake of carrying his cross, will find it” (Matt. 16:25).


[1] Personally, I believe the term “racial reconciliation” is a misnomer because it connotes equal fault. Racial history in America shows that to be demonstrably false. “Racial forgiveness” is a term coined by sociologist Dr. Chinyere Osuji Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University (Camden), which is more precise. For the purposes of clarity and continuity, I employ “racial reconciliation” because that is the common term used in evangelicalism.

[2]  Kimberly Foster,  Wrestling With Respectability in The Age of #BlackLivesMatter: A Dialogue, October 2015, Accessed on March 21, 2016.


photograph by Matt Rourke / AP

59 thoughts on “Where Are Our White Allies?

  1. Anne

    Kelsey, Thank you for your post about the Samaritan woman. I want to be a Christian white woman who has a chance to stand up for and with her fellow brothers and sisters of color. I recently read about Frederick Douglas and kept wondering, “Where were all the true white-Christians, and why weren’t more of them doing something?” To be honest, after hearing White’s response to his offensive post, I was at a loss as to how to even engage with him. I see his arrogance, but I sorely feel my inadequacies in how to articulate that he’s missing the point of his black brothers’ and sisters’ point of view. But instead of ignoring the issue because it makes me feel helpless, I want to speak to those I can in my white community, teach my white Sunday School class of first through third grade children, and not be afraid to talk about these issues in my white ladies’ bible study. So thank you for giving me what I needed from God’s word to encourage me in the action I can take. You’ve also given me a desire to find out more about the black churches in my own area and make connections.

  2. Arlin H Edmondson

    He was called an uncle Tom, Rachael.

    He was brutally ridiculed.

    This was done for ‘good reason’?

  3. Arlin Edmondson

    Rachel, that is an outrageous and shameful accusation.

    Chris Arnzen pointed out that Dr. James White has actually attacked true racist teaching spread by a well respected (deceased) Reformed theologian.

    Your response is to accuse him of ‘idolizing’ James White?

    That is ludicrous in the extreme.

  4. Arlin Edmondson


  5. Arlin Edmondson

    “James has made being unlikeable a habit and uncouth a virtue, true.. ”

    Disliking the man is no justification for such an absurd and broad statement.

    “…and his laser-sharp focus on a black teen was imbecilic…”

    Those are broad and sharp words to use to criticize a 540~ word Facebook article.

    Laser focus? He saw something that disturbed him and posted a cultural commentary about it.

    Calling that imbecilic is a gross overstatement at best, and libel at worst.

  6. Christopher

    Kelsey, thank you for your comments. While I feel that my initial comments are very clear and provide answers to some of your questions posed, I did want to take a moment to respond to you directly.

    First, you have asked me, “why are you implying that our sister Ekemini does not give first priority to the Gospel?” You are likely asking this in direct response to my comment of “my hope is that Ms. Uwan, and others who see race before the Gospel…” and that would be a fair question to ask if that were the full context of my comment; however it was not. In paragraph above this comment, and the sentence directly preceding it, I had written “It is rather apparent that Ms. Uwan doesn’t place Christ first IN HER ARTICLE but rather sees her racial collective as her primary identifier” (emphasis added). You have actually done exactly what Ms. Uwan did in her article by ignoring the actual context provided and re-applied your own meaning to the words written, in an eisegetical manner, thus changing the context to fit what you want it to say.

    I did not accuse Ms. Uwan of any heresy nor did I challenge her commitment to the furtherance of the Gospel overall. I did, however, say that, in this article, as was clearly notated, she is placing race ahead of her commitment to the Gospel; this is a wholly correct and accurate statement. I made this point clear when addressing the arguments she makes and how she argues them, plus the fact that she is defending rebellious actions of a clearly defiant young man over and against a Christian minister. When applying the context of my words properly to what Ms. Uwan had written, in the same way that should have been done about Dr. White’s commentary of the video he posted on YouTube, then these misunderstandings can easily be avoided.

    Second, you wrote, “I’m curious, though, if you have any friends who do not share your same racial identity, and if you have ever listened—really sought to understand their perspective—on life in America (especially life in the American church) as a person of color”. I bring this up simply to point out the clear self-refutation that you offer us in your own comments, and to show that I ask this of you: Would you care to tell me which race I am? Being that I did not provide any allusion to my own race in my comments, I offer no photograph, and you likewise note in your comments “I don’t know you, and you don’t know me” then it is easy to show that you are guilty of the same error that you’re attempting to project onto me. You are operating under assumptions, figuring yourself to be correct without knowing the facts, yet you attempt to condemn others of this error.

    The problem is that people want to go so far out of their way to not offend people that they are willing to attack saints that don’t particularly fit the mold they have created for political correctness. By placing race, gender, ethnicity, or whatever other qualifier you want before a person, then we see a barrier before we see the image bearer of God. That is why the Apostle Paul wrote “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians‬ ‭3:28‬). I understand that people mean well when they take these differences into account, but the ground is flat at the foot of the cross and we will all answer to God for our sins regardless as to whether we are in rebellion in a black community, white community, asian community, hispanic community and so on. In the epistles the apostolic authors didn’t cater to these differences and we would do well to follow that lead. Sin was what they attacked because that is what keeps us apart from the Father; that, too, should be our focus.

    Lastly, you wrote, “how could we ever, in good, biblical conscience, call upon our ethnicity as justification to write off a teenage boy and his people as hopeless?” To this I must ask whether you have viewed Dr. White’s writings or his responses about this on his webcast, The Dividing Line. Not once did Dr. White, or did I, myself, write off this young man or use the term “hopeless”. It was only his rebellious actions that were mentioned and attributed to him personally. For as much as we know, this young man could be part of the elect and could grow up to spread the gospel himself. I would encourage you to get the full facts of this matter prior to making such inflammatory statements, because by neglecting to do so you’re only bearing a false witness against a Christian brother.

    Kelsey, it’s clear that you care and mean well. Inasmuch, I am very much thankful for your gift of kindheartedness. I must also urge you, however, to consider all angles of argumentation and examine the full facts prior to coming to your conclusions. Social justice is a noble goal, but when that goal begins to get in the way of allowing other Christians to expose the sin of our nation, then that goal social justice has become a snare for you and will detract from your witness of the Gospel.

  7. Robert Andrejczyk


    I appreciate your comment and there is some food for thought there. You wrote a lot so I am not going to engage everything. However, the following requires correction:

    “How in the world could I ever establish any kind of real relationship with them—or effectively communicate the Gospel to them—without constantly seeking to understand more and more thoroughly their history, which has so greatly been influenced by the family, country, and time period they were born into?”

    The gospel transcends every cultural and ethnic barrier. I need not know anything about a person to proclaim the simple gospel message. The gospel is good news, a message to be heralded. We don’t live the gospel. We don’t communicate the gospel non-verbally. We tell people — using words — to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

    This message can be preached to a stranger on the street or to someone I’ve know my entire life. Through that simple message, the Lord is pleased to save his elect from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.

    Christ’s interaction with the Samaritan woman does not teach us that we can only preach the gospel to those people whose experience we thoroughly understand. Nor does it teach us that we must see “the whole person” in the way that Jesus did. As God incarnate, he had some specific advantages over you and I in terms of “seeing” the whole person. After all, he created the Samaritan woman. The story is largely descriptive, telling us something about Jesus as well as about a critical point in redemptive history where the gospel begins to go forth to Samaritans. It is not prescriptive in the sense that it shows us how we are to evangelize everyone.

    As far as what you said about endeavoring to better understand the experience of others in the body of Christ, absolutely. That is part of growing in love and unity. I pray that is the goal for people on all sides of this discussion.

  8. Kelsey Vaughn

    Christopher, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. But I would ask you as a sister in Christ to please consider for a moment all the ways in which God could be glorified if His Church, His Bride, dwelled together in true unity; if we engaged with one another charitably, speaking the truth in love; if we were the first to admit our need to constantly be re-formed by His grace.

  9. Kelsey Vaughn

    Secondly, as much as this post saddened you, I’m equally saddened by how quickly so many brothers and sisters disregard the lived experiences of their fellow co-heirs with Christ. (I do it too in many ways, believe me.) I’m curious, though, if you have any friends who do not share your same racial identity, and if you have ever listened—really sought to understand their perspective—on life in America (especially life in the American church) as a person of color. It would seem to me that our calling to bear one another’s burdens would apply to, among other things, the burden of racial or ethnic injustice, the history of oppression of a particular group of people based on the color of their skin, and the present consequences of that history.

    I work with international students at a university. If I didn’t take a student’s cultural identity into consideration when sharing the gospel with them, that would be irresponsible on my part, and ultimately unloving. How in the world could I ever establish any kind of real relationship with them—or effectively communicate the Gospel to them—without constantly seeking to understand more and more thoroughly their history, which has so greatly been influenced by the family, country, and time period they were born into?

    In much the same way, Christ did not disregard the Samaritan woman’s ethnic identity, her gender, or her marital status when He spoke with her at the well. He saw the whole person—all of her, including her past—and loved her.

    Imagine, then, if she joined a body of believers where she was one of very few Samaritans. What if one day she was walking around town with her Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ, and they saw a Samaritan boy run by, insult a Jewish religious leader, and then run off laughing, proud of the attention he’d received from his own arrogant, adolescent stunt? Imagine if the Samaritan woman—the very same one Jesus spoke to at the well—then heard her Jewish sister in Christ say “I can’t believe that boy—a Samaritan, of course. He probably doesn’t know any better. I mean you know how *people like him* are raised … statistically speaking, of course.” Then another sister says “Yes, that poor boy. What a bleak future for him. Thank God we were raised better than that.”

    How do you think the Samaritan woman would feel? When she became a Christian, did that erase her Samaritan-ness? Should she not call her sisters to reconsider their views on that boy, on his people, on their sister’s people? Even if the woman at the well now finds her brothers and sisters in Christ to be her primary family, even if her main identity is now as a disciple of Christ, should she not plead with her Jewish sisters in Christ to see that boy (who they only witnessed for 20 seconds) and his people (her people) the way Jesus sees them?

    Let’s assume you agree that she *should* encourage her sisters to reexamine their hearts and repent of any part of them that does not see the boy and his people the way Christ does—in Love, which hopes all things, endures all things, and is not arrogant or rude. What would be her motivation for having that conversation? After all, she is one of very few Samaritans in her body of believers. And the roots of their Jewish perspective on her people run centuries deep. That conversation could potentially cost her a great deal (not the least of which being considerable emotional energy, vulnerability, and the life-giving fellowship of a body of believers).

    But her primary lens is the gospel, therefore she is called to speak the truth in love to her sisters in Christ that they might more clearly see that boy and his people the way Christ sees them. Her primary lens is the paradigm-altering, idol-shattering GOSPEL of Jesus Christ, *therefore* she must urge her sisters in Christ to try to understand and share the burden of being a part of a historically oppressed ethnic minority. Her primary lens is as a redeemed, reformed, renewed child of the King who has mysteriously ordained to use His children to reach the nations with the good news of His Kingdom; so if she says nothing—if she lets her Jewish sisters continue seeing the specks in the Samaritans’ eyes while missing the log in their own—is she being faithful to the Lord who desires to make His Bride more like Himself?

    Christ, in his flesh, has indeed torn down the dividing wall of hostility between us and God. And He is creating in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, so that He might reconcile us both to God in one body on the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2)

    We could even take it a step further and imagine, more to Ekemini’s main point, what the Samaritan woman might feel if, in a group of mostly Jewish women, it was in fact another Jewish woman who pressed the issue with her sisters, urging them to see Samaritans as Christ sees them. After all, she might say, if Jesus Himself saw fit to go out of His way to call the woman at the well His own, how could we ever, in good, biblical conscience, call upon our ethnicity as justification to write off a teenage boy and his people as hopeless? How encouraging it would be for the Samaritan woman to witness the power of the gospel at work, healing deep-seated divisions, to be reminded that she and her people are not disqualified from the fellowship of the saints because of their ethnicity!

  10. Kelsey Vaughn

    Christopher, two things.
    First, I’ve copied below what our sister Rachel asked another brother in a previous comment: “Chris, why are you implying that our sister Ekemini does not give first priority to the Gospel? Do you know anything about her? Ekemini is about to receive her M.Div. at Westminster Theological Seminary. Her life’s passion IS to see men and women reconciled first to God and then to one another, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. She is deeply rooted in reformed theology and if you want to hear an example of her excellent Biblical exposition, you can do so here:

    Part of the mission God has given her is to speak boldly about racial and ethnic prejudice. This is not a popular or an easy calling but it is a Biblical one (Galatians 2). All of us, and that includes Dr. White, must be willing to be challenged or corrected. If you disagree with Ekemini’s ideas, then engage her in a gracious manner on the level of ideas. But please do not question her commitment to the Gospel.”

  11. Brian Bywaters

    Dear Ekemini,

    Thank you for your article. I am encouraged to see black Christians confronting the issue of racial disparity, especially as it occurs in the church.

    I found Dr. White’s post troubling, and I do believe it revealed a racial bias against blacks. I also read his response to this article. In reference to it he said, “It [ Where are our white allies?] was posted on the Reformed African American Network website. I am not sure if there is a Reformed Scottish American Network, or Reformed Japanese American Network. I have honestly never looked.”

    It is telling that Dr. White felt the need to belittle the idea of having a distinctly African-American Reformed site. It is the kind of denigrating rhetoric usually heard from the right-wing, talk-radio crowd. It was disturbing. Unfortunately, I believe the deepening racial biases of the right-wing have permeated the church to a great degree and contribute to a hardening and intolerance toward recognizing racial issues.

    I thank you, again, for your work. I pray that our Lord continues to bless your efforts, and I look forward to more in the future.

  12. jess

    I think a capital error made by ‘Blackist’ theology is in mistaking social justice [whatever that may mean] with sound exegesis. I understand the origins of Blackism, and the short -sighted impulse of white Christians is to demean the protagonists as demogauges with an axe to grind.

  13. Chris Arnzen

    Very well said, indeed, to say the least, Brother Christopher (from another Christopher)!!

  14. Christopher

    This article is deeply saddening to me. To place one’s race ahead of the Gospel and to attack a fellow Christian for what one reads into their comments, rather than what they truly said, does not bring glory to God, but rather distracts from the commission of the Gospel.

    First, it’s rather obvious that the author took her knowledge of Dr. White’s comments from a third party I that she doesn’t provide accurate facts to the background; Dr. White not only witnessed the young man but had video of the event which was posted with his article, which Ms. Uwan failed to properly notate or recount. Due to this omission, it makes Dr. White’s comments sound as though they exaggerated and possibly fabricated by writing “according to Dr. White” when in all actuality it was according to the video evidence.

    Second, Dr. White is all but accused of being an ardent racist. While a statistic isn’t an absolute indicator of an individual’s life events (or outcome), Dr. White cited studies that show the unfortunate reality that plagues many black Americans’ homes and included the qualifier “likely” to the possibilities of this young man’s life and future. How the comments made about this young man’s rebellious actions can then somehow be applied to the black Christians in America is quite a leap and one that, I would argue, shows that it is actually Ms. Uwan who is wholly guilty of the accusation that she attempts to project onto Dr. White. The hypocrisy is undeniable.

    Finally, the fact that Ms. Uwan clearly argues that we are to identify first by our race and then through Christ is a point that is so thinly veiled that it all but jumps off the screen. I don’t believe that it is a coincidence that the order of what is written here puts psychology before the Gospel, race before Jesus, and lastly mentioning random verses of scripture, which when read in their context speak nothing of race, as though it was some afterthought – this is done to such an extent that she is ready to pass over what is obvious rebellion against God to attack Dr. White for pointing it out! It is rather apparent that Ms. Uwan doesn’t place Christ first in her article but rather sees her racial collective as her primary identifier.

    Prayerfully, my hope is that Ms. Uwan, and others who see race before the Gospel, regardless of their own race, can put aside their perceived slights allowing us to focus on Christ. Fight abortion. Fight the evil spread of secularism. Fight the lies that are propagated to pit Christians against Christians. We find our identity in Christ and only in Him, if you’re placing something else in front of it then you’re guilty of idolatry.

  15. Christopher

    Jesse, you mean that as a de facto rather than a de jure statement, correct?

  16. Kennon Wigley

    Please see Dr Jarvis Williams on Gospel reconciliation in Christ. His post sheds much biblical light on this issue.

  17. Natasha Peacock

    I understand what you are saying. How can we stand together in the body of Christ as one in Him but when something of racial/prejudice nature happens to one in the body it’s becomes a non-issue. But when it effects the body as a whole then we all need to carry that burden. God did have Jesus atone for certain sins and he died for all of them. He wrote in the word “Bear your brothers burden” for a reason. There was no specific burden pointed out either. If it weakens you as my sister/brother in Christ then it weakens me. It should cause a person to pray and seek the word and act. I think when we as people decided to “educate” the Bible throughout history we took away the simpleness and pureness of the word.

  18. Jesse

    Race is the final determiner on every issue. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or even Native American, every other category or description is subservient to race.

  19. Salvatore Mazzotta

    Of course, I mean “have” not “kave.”

  20. Salvatore Mazzotta

    Ekemini Uwan, kave you considered that James White is one of your allies?

  21. Sergius Martin-George

    Dialogue — hah! You should have waited until tomorrow (April 1) to post that suggestion.

  22. Jesse

    Why is it that a ‘legion of white allies’ or some such thing are expected to rise and shame James White for stating the obvious: that liberalism has ravaged the black community. James has made being unlikeable a habit and uncouth a virtue, true, and his laser-sharp focus on a black teen was imbecilic, but to make this an issue of so-called ‘white privilege’ is goofy to say the least.

  23. Dale

    I don’t have much to add to this particular discussion. I would like to see dialog though.

    Overall, I am very disturbed at the direction of race relations in the US.
    Whenever there is a conflict between a black civilian and a white officer, people on social media line up to take “their” side. The same racial side everytime.
    Well, I have seen video of a white officer murder a black man by shooting him in the back.
    Here in Indiana, a black man murdered a white police officer for no reason other than racial hatred.
    There is a sin problem that is both white and black and every other race. racism goes both ways. There does need to be reconciliation. As Christians, we need to rise above the politicians that keep stirring up the problems for their own political gain.

    I think there needs to be a lot of repentance on both sides.

  24. Nicholas

    If the author wants to be taken seriously, she may want to abstain from using offensive terms like “lily-white” in the future.

  25. Jonathan

    There are so many thing WRONG about this article that I am at a LOST for words to even begin to respond. Moreover, REVERSE RACISM is so manifestly rife in the black reformed movement that I could HONESTLY say that as a BLACK REFORMED BAPTIST I would NEVER associate with, or attend a black church. You guys are not about the gospel, you are about RACE.

  26. Ted Turnau

    Nicolas, what depresses me is the blatant racism of the majority population (no, it’s not the whole “native population” that is white) towards those with skin darker than theirs. And I ain’t leaving. I’ve lived here 16 years. A few million racists aren’t enough to deter me. The really depressing thing is that the vast majority of Czechs (including Christians) don’t understand/care how racist they are.

  27. Nicholas

    Why would “white privilege” be a term in the Czech Republic? The native population is white. Furthermore, that entire population was oppressed under a Communist dictatorship not too long ago.

    If you’re “upset and depressed” about how things are in Prague, then leave!

  28. Nicholas

    Flipping off a police officer is NOT normal, typical teenage behavior.

  29. Arline Erven

    Also, I recently saw the phrase “ethnic conciliation” come up in my Twitter feed. Perhaps it was DA Horton… I can’t remember, but that phrase seemed a useful one. 🙂

  30. Arline Erven

    I don’t know why many Christian leaders (we trust and honor!) didn’t speak up. It’s evidenced almost weekly that the blogosphere and twitterspere blow up when a pastor says anything even vaguely unbiblical.

    Maybe some haven’t learned from the “blind spots” of Whitefield and Edwards and ethnic prejudice/oppression is a not a worthy issue to fight. Maybe they have a much smaller tolerance for participating in fighting sin that costs them anything, if the benefit to them isn’t obvious. Or maybe they were all being super-spiritual and missed everything bc they were not on social media for Holy Week.

  31. Roberto Reyes Jr


  32. Kennon Wigley

    Ekemini, thank you for your post. It is so encouraging to us that our African American brothers and sisters in Christ still desire fellowship and reconciliation with us despite the history of racism within the evangelical church, and the continued trials which you continue to face. God bless you! We are praying for you and thank God for you!
    Kennon and Teresa Wigley

  33. Chris Arnzen

    I am not guilty of idolatry. The facts are that a well known public Christian figure has been clearly slandered, by name, in public, due to false accusations being made directly upon his character, as compared to this public figure’s statements, in contrast, that have to go under eisegesis in order for someone to declare that his comments were racist, & that involve a young man who nobody knows because he has never been identified.

  34. Rachel Stanton

    Brother Chris, I say this with all gentleness and respect and not as a judge, but as one fellow idolater to another. Please examine your heart to see if you might be making an idol out of Dr. White and his ministry. You said “The enemies of Christ’s Gospel may be emboldened to continue in their rebellion if they are given another excuse” and “And even far more horrific than that is the damage done to the hearts of opponents of the Gospel, who have now been given a reason… to continue doubting, mocking & rejecting the precious Gospel that Dr. White has championed for decades.”

    Brother Chris, do you really believe that Dr. White’s critics have the power to interfere with God’s sovereign election? Do you really believe that people God eternally purposed to save will perish because fellow believers attempted to confront a brother who hurt them? Is it possible that Dr. White actually DID err in what he said and how he said it and that the Holy Spirit could have used this situation to instruct and grow him? Is it possible that Dr. White’s ministry and testimony could have been strengthened if he had responded in a teachable manner? Could the Spirit have done a mighty work of reconciliation and healing if Dr. White had been willing to listen humbly to his brothers and sisters?

    We know that God will ultimately accomplish his sovereign purposes regardless of our sin and idolatry. We must also recognize that is it very dangerous to view any fallen man as being above public criticism. Refusing to receive correction is not the path to more effective ministry for the Gospel. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” I Peter 5:5

  35. Chris Arnzen

    My last post was intended to be a caveat to my initial reply to you, Rachel, but your reply beat my caveat to the punch. I am not a very fast typer. };o)

  36. Chris Arnzen

    BTW, Rachel, I am not implying that a well known Christian figure is impervious to public critique when their published thoughts intended for public consumption contain teachings that are unequivocally racist or heretical, nor do I think such sinful sentiments should be swept under the rug. Long before this current controversy began Dr. White himself exposed & condemned the teaching found in an audio file of a now deceased Christian, who is still a highly respected theologian & author beloved by many Reformed Christians in certain circles, who sadly stated from his own mouth that Christians should not marry individuals outside of their own race (& this individual was very clearly, unmistakably referring to the color of one’s skin). There is a huge leap from that to language that offends those in a modern culture who appear to have been highly influenced by the Leftists’ “thought police”, & have become, subsequently, so hyper-sensitive & paranoid that they eventually wind up slandering God-honoring people because they, through their eisegesis of another’s words, see themselves, their people or their cause being attacked when in reality the attack nowhere exists in the words they’re reading. I don’t believe the battle against racism is won by insisting that people treat those of other races like little children, & by forcing public speakers & writers to act like they’re walking tiptoe on eggshells every time they speak or write on interracial matters, due to the paranoia of hurting the feelings of those who we would otherwise presume are mature & reasonable adults.

  37. Rachel Stanton

    Chris, Happy Resurrection Day to you too, brother! I must say that I am troubled by your reply. It sounds as though you are saying that because Dr. White has an effective apologetic ministry, it is wrong to publicly criticize him. Remember that his original post was public and when many of his Christian brothers and sisters tried to point out that his remarks were insensitive and hurtful, he doubled down, rather than humbly listen and learn. No matter how gifted Dr. White is, he is not above correction.

    Imagine if the apostle Paul had applied your logic to the incident described for us in Galatians 2. What if Paul had decided not to openly rebuke the apostle Peter for fear of hurting Peter’s reputation? What if Paul had decided that since Peter was a powerful and effective preacher he was not to be criticized? Why is the burden of responsibility placed on Dr. White’s critics to be silent for fear of harming his ministry, but no responsibility is placed upon Dr. White to be humble, teachable, quick to listen, and slow to defend himself? Again, no one is above correction.

  38. Chris Arnzen

    Hi Rachel Stanton. Happy Resurrection Day sister! I was not implying that our sister Ekemini does not give first priority to the Gospel. I was emphatically stating outright that her *article* was giving a higher priority to her own *interpretation* of Dr. White’s words as being racist over his global reputation as being a formidable defender of Christ’s Gospel & apologetic opponent of enemies of that Gospel. The enemies of Christ’s Gospel may be emboldened to continue in their rebellion if they are given another excuse to, i.e.: “a globally renowned, respected & sought-after champion of Christian apologetics should not be trusted because he is a racist, & therefore the gospel he touts is dubious”. My reply to our sister Ekemini was posed in a series of *questions* to her, to challenge her to prayerfully examine her motives for writing the article, to prayerfully reconsider the writing of such an article about a brother in Christ who has no tangible history of racism associated with his career or private life, & to warn her of the horrible consequences of writing such an article, due to the damage done to the cause of Christ & His Kingdom. More seeds of doubt & suspicion have possibly been placed within the minds of Muslims, cultists, apostates & others who reject the truths of Christ’s inerrant Word, who also know Dr. White well as being one of their foremost critics in the arena of theology to be reckoned with. There are very few Christians who possess the unique skills that God has given to Dr. White specifically in regard to the art of public, moderated theological debate. There are many brilliant & gifted men & women blessing the church with their wisdom & talents, through writing, public speaking & in many other vital areas. But the gift for debating successfully is a very unique & rare talent, & therefore we should be extremely cautious about shooting in public one of our own who is in the front line in this field around the world, defending truth & exposing error as very few others can or do, in places very few of us will ever venture to, & with captive audiences that even fewer among us will ever have gathered in our midst, intently listening to our every word.

  39. Rachel Stanton

    John, why do you believe that Ekemini won’t have you as an ally? Have you ever engaged in dialog with her? In what way would you like to be her ally? When did she say she does not want a law enforcement officer as an ally? When did she say that anyone who disagrees with contributors to RAAN is a white supremacist? (BTW, not all contributors to RAAN agree with one another or speak with a single voice.)

    Also, you claim that Jemar Tisby “does not believe he had anything to learn.” Why do you say that? Do you think that Dr. White believed he had anything to learn from his Christian brothers and sisters, both black and white, who found his original and follow-up posts to be offensive and deeply hurtful?

  40. Rachel Stanton

    Chris, why are you implying that our sister Ekemini does not give first priority to the Gospel? Do you know anything about her? Ekemini is about to receive her M.Div. at Westminster Theological Seminary. Her life’s passion IS to see men and women reconciled first to God and then to one another, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. She is deeply rooted in reformed theology and if you want to hear an example of her excellent Biblical exposition, you can do so here:

    Part of the mission God has given her is to speak boldly about racial and ethnic prejudice. This is not a popular or an easy calling but it is a Biblical one (Galatians 2). All of us, and that includes Dr. White, must be willing to be challenged or corrected. If you disagree with Ekemini’s ideas, then engage her in a gracious manner on the level of ideas. But please do not question her commitment to the Gospel.

  41. John N

    Chris Arnzen has laid the axe at the root of the tree. Black racism, contempt for white people, is at the root of the issue here. That it exists without restraint or rebuke among so many black Christians (thank God, not all) is inexcusable.

    To the author of the article, I am your ally, but you won’t have me. I am a white male, law enforcement officer, recent victim of black criminals that targeted my me, my wife and son. I am a law enforcement officer. I am a Christian above all else. I strongly disagree with you and many contributors to RAAN regarding race relations within and without the church, and for this you and others consider opposers to be white supremacists. Outside the church any opposition to black people, their culture, ideas or anything else is labeled racism. Within the church the same reaction, which you have expressed here, is the norm. This ought not to be. Mr. Tisby has said this issue is a teaching moment for us all, but truly he, and likely you, does not believe he had anything to learn. That’s pride. That is prejudice.

    Thank God for the precious few black leaders that do not toe your line, within and without the church.

    Racism is as much a black sin as it is a white sin. The sin of so many black people, even black Christians, is that you only see racism as a sin whites commit against blacks. Racism is alive and well among black Christians, and I call you to repentance.

    Just do a little search on YouTube, “black racism” and you will see endless examples of hatred for white people.

    I am your ally. I’m hopeful you will come around.

  42. Chris Arnzen

    I think it’s very painfully obvious that YOU just proved MY point. My prayers are being offered to the Throne of Grace right now on your behalf as well, & for the madness to stop!!

  43. Vance Freeman

    I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that someone would actually white-splain in a comment to this article. But it does make me very sad. In your ignorant way, you’ve proved the author’s point. I’m praying for grace and peace for you Chris.

  44. Chris Arnzen

    Am I mad? Why wouldn’t I be watching a feeding frenzy that has begun to devour the reputation of one of God’s most powerful gifts to the modern-day church in the arena of apologetics just because he didn’t parse his words to appease the demands of political correctness. It is baffling that so very few see the inherent racism involved in an accusation itself when someone immediately jumps to the conclusion that another person’s motives are racist when that other person is white & mentions anything negative about a person of color. The assumption that a person is racist because he or she is white, even if that assumption militates against everything known about that white person’s character & history, is in & of itself the product of racism.

  45. Vance Freeman

    You mad, brother?

  46. Chris Arnzen

    Ekemini Uwan, are your allies those, regardless of their color, whose life passion is to call sinners enslaved by the world, the flesh & the devil to flee from the wrath to come by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or are these allies those who either share the color of your skin or have passed some kind of sensitivity training course that demands one follow your rules of etiquette for white people whenever they mention non-whites in public discourse? Do you *really* believe Dr. White actually intended to convey some evil propaganda that alleges white supremacy or the inferiority of blacks?? Do you *really* think he would have remained silent if he instead witnessed some young white punk with a purple mohawk, whose pierced face had more metal in it than a tackle box, giving “the finger” to a passing police officer?? And is it *really* in the best interest of the battle against the wickedness of racism to insist whites speak to or about black individuals with an entirely different protocol handbook guiding them than when interacting with other whites?? Isn’t that, at its heart, in reality, racism itself?? The damage being *certainly* done here against an honorable & godly (albeit imperfect) man who is recognized globally for his tremendous gifts for defending the precious truths of Scripture against some of the most zealous & passionate adversaries of those truths, is infinitely greater than the *alleged* damage done against a completely anonymous young man who is totally (& who will always remain totally) unaware we are even having this conversation. And even far more horrific than that is the damage done to the hearts of opponents of the Gospel, who have now been given a reason, this time from the very lips & writings of those who claim to be Christian, to continue doubting, mocking & rejecting the precious Gospel that Dr. White has championed for decades, the very Gospel most involved in this mess claim to treasure above all else.

  47. Robert Andrejczyk

    What was that good reason? Because he disagreed? Because he did not toe the TGC line? Please explain why a man cannot have a different opinion on such issues without being called hateful, bigoted, etc.

    In the Brown case, Baucham simply tried to reorient people’s thinking. Everyone was all fired-up about this one incident. Meanwhile, black on black crime happens day-in and day-out and no one is outraged. Did he not have a point? Do we weep over the daily loss of life in America’s streets? Or do we only become outraged when the media brings a particularly charged incident to our attention?

  48. Darin

    Yeah, apparently the author here has bought into the exact argument that Dr. White made in his Dividing Line audio broadcast about the so-called controversy here. He addressed all of this, and many fair non-white people have agreed that his remarks are only racist because they come from white guy, not because anything he actually said was false. Perhaps this author should do some more research instead of falsely accusing a brother.

  49. T. Webb

    Dear Ekemini, I’m an ally, albeit one who’s not on social media. I didn’t hear about this until the RAAN podcast on this issue!

  50. Matthew

    Ekemini, thank you for your post! I just wanted to briefly comment why I feel apprehension at considering myself a “white ally.” From my perspective, calling myself a white ally and standing up for the cause of racial injustice means becoming a part of a movement of which I do not have control over the direction. An ally seems to mean one who comes on board of a group who already has an agenda. This makes me a second class member of the group who is really along for the ride of wherever those higher up in the movement should choose to take the group. This is a crass way of saying it, but I don’t want my principles, talking-points, or opinions to be dictated to me from the top leaders of the movement. I see this happening very often in modern social movements. Through the use of social media, intellectual movers and shakers in groups are able to signal to the rest of the group what the group’s party line is on an issue. Then the other members of the group fall into line and inundate social media with that perspective. Those who do not fall in line or who question the established narrative are derided or deemed outside the group. In short, these are my concerns. I’m afraid of signing on to a movement that may be combatting a legitimate social movement, but then being left at the mercy of the opinions of the mob.

  51. Stacey Westfall

    Dr. James White responded in a very Biblical manner, just as Voddie Baucham did when he was attacked for pointing out the sin of ethnic gnosticism. You can listen to all of Dr White’s episodes of the Dividing Line and all of his debates on youtube and determine if he is racist or prejudicial. I am a half black and half white woman and can identify with ethnic gnosticism because I have experienced it within my own family. We want white people to speak up and defend us, but then when they do we tell them they cannot speak into our personal narrative because they are not black and are privileged. I am half black, but apparently I have white privilege whenever I talk about sin and the Gospel also, lol.

  52. Ted Turnau

    Hey Ekemini,

    Good stuff. I didn’t speak up on the James White thing because I didn’t know who he was, couldn’t find the post, and the link to Alan Noble’s response to him got deleted somehow. Overall, I thought it was another Twitter tempest in a teapot. Should’ve been paying more attention.

    But more to the point, I think the reason that there aren’t more white allies is that it takes a while for white folks like me to understand the depth of the problem. Seriously, it wasn’t until Michael Brown that it started dawning on me how persistent and systemic racism still was in the U.S. Part of the realization was that this wasn’t a new thing; the new thing was that it was being caught on video. This kind of abuse has been going on for years, just undocumented. That shook me a great deal.

    And it wasn’t until I sat down with Ruth Naomi Floyd for a good long chat over breakfast that I could understand the depth of hurt and rage and fatigue and all the crap she has to deal with every day…from white Christians. White REFORMED Christians who should know better. She’s a hero of mine, not least for her patience in laying out this stuff for me.

    In other words, there’s a steep learning curve before folks like me get a feel for white privilege, even while a big part of us resists the very idea (after all, America is a meritocracy, right? RIGHT?). Please be patient with us.

    I wish there were more I could do, but at the moment I’m in Prague. And over here, white privilege isn’t even a term, and race relations are more like U.S. circa 1950. It’s kind of upsetting and depressing. I’m so very thankful that you’re doing what you’re doing, and doing it at WTS, which needs a lot more of what you guys bring. Count me an ally.



  53. Rachael Starke

    I was just thinking today about the irony of Christians being so vocal on social media about their favorite, or least favorite, political candidate, often being the very ones who criticize being vocal about racial justice.

    Thanks for exhortation, sis. I’m blessed and sharpened in knowing you.

  54. Rachael Starke

    Per Richard – He did, and there was, and for good reason.

  55. Robert Andrejczyk


    You know, you are absolutely right. Voddie Baucham DID make comments about the Mike Brown case and other incidents. Those comments did not agree with the majority and so he was castigated. He was vilified. I saw him called an “Uncle Tom” by other Christians. Is that the right response? Is that how reconciliation, unity, love, dialog, etc. are promoted?

    We hear constant cries for open and honest discussions about race, but when anyone says anything that offends another’s sensibilities in the least bit, the result is all too predictable. It is to the point where every white person I know is fearful to say ANYTHING about race lest they be labeled a racist, bigot, intolerant, etc. Is that the way forward?

    How about we lead with the gospel, not race? How about we NOT do what the world around us does and rip apart anyone that disagrees with us? Voddie Baucham, James White, and others have a long record of faithful service and gospel proclamation to people of different nations, ethnicities, religions, etc. yet they are not shown even a pinch of grace from people that were not even alive when they started ministering the gospel. It seems that today, social media presence trumps a long record of ministerial faithfulness every time.

    Christians see the world through the lens of Scripture, through the lens of the gospel, NOT the lens of a worldly philosophy and mindset. They are calibrated by Scripture, not the narrative being put forth by culture and the media.

  56. Richard Clark

    He did, and there was. On TGC, Re: the Mike Brown case.

  57. Zachary

    If Voddie Baucham made the same remarks as Dr. White I don’t think you would have seen an uproar.

  58. CSD

    Thank you and very on point! Sadly, I’ve found that many of our allies remain silent supporters, as even they fear being cast away for speaking out against injustice.

    As a Black male, your point about the name-calling that takes place definitely resonates with me. In churches that I have belonged where I was the minority, once I cross the line and start speaking out about race (always after enduring numerous remarks about the POTUS, the racially-charged event of the month or xenophobic comment from church teachers), it seems like the eyes open to many that “He IS Black!” At that point, we often then get lumped into Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton status. Once with that status, the allies become few, and as Jemar Tisby pointed out previously, we become faced with the “should I stay or should I go” question. Having some brothers and sisters standing with us makes that question so much easier to answer.

  59. Ellen

    I assume that most readers are aware of Dr. James White, but I was not. I found this helpful link that might help anyone who missed the whole discussion.
    I’m sure there’s much more.

    Thank you for your post! This is a good time to be thinking about all you said.

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