Trueman On What The Achord Affair Reveals

The recent controversy surrounding Thomas Achord, a classical Christian school headmaster exposed for running a white supremacist Twitter account, has proved instructive on a number of fronts. It demonstrates that real racism and white supremacy do exist, a point that the grade inflation to which these terms have been subjected by the professional anti-racists of the last few years has served only to obscure. We must not allow the trivialization of racism to blind us to the places where it actually is. It is also a reminder that a radical right that cannot effectively operate a pseudonymous Twitter account is unlikely to be seizing control of America by force any time soon. The views Achord and his Twitter cronies expressed were vile; their impotent online posturing unintentionally comedic. And then there was the personal abuse to which Alastair Roberts, the man who exposed the situation, was subjected by professing Christians—a reminder that for some Protestants, all Scripture is inspired and perspicuous, but some parts (e.g., the imprecatory bits) are apparently more inspired and perspicuous than others (e.g., the references to kind words deflecting wrath, turning the other cheek, observing the Ninth Commandment, and those pesky sections on not insulting brothers in the faith).

Beyond the bluster, though, two other issues struck me as noteworthy. First, it is clear that identity politics has a home on the reactionary right just as it does on the progressive left. This is no real surprise: In a world where everything has become politicized, such a scenario was bound to come to pass. The danger for Christians is that the apparent polarizing of society makes the stakes of political debates seem extremely high. In such a situation, extreme positions become attractive, even irresistible. As otherwise ordinary Christians see the country slipping away from them and into the hands of those whose culture war seems to have no moral limits, there is a temptation to repay like with like and to become the mirror image of the other side. This has to be resisted. And that resistance has to start in the pulpit, where the tone and direction are set for Christians in the pews. Read more»

Carl Trueman | “Identity Politics On The Right” | December 8, 2022


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One comment

  1. Sort of a dizzy read for me. This subject seems to be unraveling into a superfluity of personal ideas and feelings. The sin of racism is as old as Cain. The Great commission, and the command to love God and our neighbor deal with the Christians response to the existence of social and or racial unfairness. The Gospels confirm that Christ was hated; and so shall his followers! Truly racism, as most sins, should point Christians to pray for the lost, and to pursue opportunities for peace, love and reconciliation—not to emulate the anti Christian. James also deals with the unique character of the “rich in faith”—Christians in the face of the non-christian world and world view!—And, in James 2, while the sin of partiality is clearly in view, the text exhorts Christians not to resemble those who discriminate against Christ and his followers! “Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?” The full scope of the book of Revelation is to encourage persecuted and suffering Christians from every corner of the earth! Certainly the Christian race understands the sin of racism and unjust punishment! Thankfully, there is coming a day when the saints will be free from racism—injustice—the hate which has plagued Christians throughout time.

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