When we are looking at what we are “owed”, our vision is often skewed by our selfish natures. Having a Biblical doctrine of man, God’s sovereignty, and justice, why do Christians often imbibe the Doctrine of Privilege Kool-Aid? Is there anything worthwhile in there that might be useful? This week we talk about why the worldly conversation around “privilege” should be repudiated in the church.

Episode Navigation

1:30 A real quick lesson on what shellac is, you’re welcome.

4:40 Don’t message us about this part.

9:00 The doctrine of privilege & why it’s hard to escape from.

14:00 Pop culture examples of what qualifies as “privilege”.

18:00 What are really the nuts and bolts of this conversation?

20:35 An example of privilege-language gone wrong & how wicked the results can be of this type of thinking.

23:44 The “Are You Privileged?” Quiz is a great example of why we should repudiate this ideology.

33:00 How can we acknowledge the ways we have been privileged in a way that is Biblically faithful?

42:00 Our voicemail number is 470 465 0475 and Summer finally has it memorized.

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5 Comments

  1. Joy

    Hi ladies,

    I quite enjoy your podcasts and the way you tackle issues, but I must say that I’m struggling to follow the argument you have laid out on this episode. It seems to me (and this may be a misinterpretation) that you are equating the social justice theory of privilege with the life circumstances one finds themselves in, i.e whether one is rich/poor.

    The way that I understand privilege theory is that there is a sense in which “whiteness” is a standard in the world we live in today and therefore anything other than that is less desirable (I think that this may be as a result of colonisation across the world, but open to correction on this). This “privilege” plays itself out in society in things like black features not being perceived as beautiful or an automatic assumption of intelligence based on race. For context, I’m in South Africa and even though we are a majority black country, there is a sense in which it appears that it is more favourable to be white – largely as a result of the history of colonisation and apartheid in this country.

    I think the crux of my question is something like this: as a Christian, I fully embrace the sovereignty of the Lord and the importance of being content with His providence in our lives, and that includes the race we are born into. What I had hoped you would discuss is more around the nuance of the fact that racism and the benefits that accrue to one race over others are largely as a result of evil structures that were set up by men (i.e. apartheid that has resulted in generations of black South Africans being disadvantaged) and what the Christian response to that should be.
    Statistically in South Africa (and from what I understand, America is the same) , white people are more likely to be educated, advance their careers and/or be more employable than their black counterparts – and that would be what I would describe as privilege. The idea that we live in a world that affords more opportunities to one group of people over other groups of people.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on privilege from that perspective – also, please let me know if I have misunderstood or misrepresented your position at all.

    Reply
  2. Georgi

    Hi Joy and Summer,

    I enjoyed the podcast, especially the discussion of the kulak famine.

    I thought you might find this piece I wrote on the subject of privilege of interest: https://thefederalist.com/2018/06/26/theory-white-privilege-leads-socialism/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=99fa252a47-RSS_The_Federalist_Daily_Updates_w_Transom&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-99fa252a47-83994413

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve talked about this yet, but the South African parliament is getting ready to vote on confiscation of white-owned farmland without payment in order to remedy past injustice done by white people in the region. This already happened in Zimbabwe and led to a famine. It’s not a huge leap to think something like that could happen in the States if this theory grows its roots deep enough.

    But more importantly, it is taking root in the church and hindering our witness as Christians seek to think more like the world instead of more like Christ–even to the point of layering the privilege framework over Scripture to make it say things it doesn’t say.

    Anyway, thank you for tackling this thorny issue. It’s very tempting to just swallow the cultural hook on privilege theory, but ultimately it will be the source of much suffering.

    Sincerely,
    G.B.

    P.s. Shoutout to Dr. White. I love the Dividing Line and that’s how I found out about this podcast.

    Reply
  3. Carrie Thornley

    Yay sleep training! Sleep training=sane mama!

    Reply
  4. Eric

    As a white male that spent 19 years living in an Asian country as a missionary I can say that “Privilege is that thing that you don’t know you have until it is taken away.”

    To equate any talk of privilege with communism and genocide (20:00) or we could “stop doing anything that requires effort” (18:15) is definitely taking the low road. Comparing our best to their worst is never helpful.

    Jesus did say a worker is due his wages (18:30), but he also said love your neighbor as yourself.

    Even Condoleezza Rice said she had to work twice as hard to get where she was. That is because of white privilege. Some people have the support around them to help them push on. And other people do not. They are constantly pulled down by those around them.

    There are things that will not be made right until the Lord Jesus returns, but that does not mean we should not work to make more things right before He does return.

    Honestly, most historical “revolutions” take place when people reach a breaking point in the injustices they feel.

    And if we will be honest, the American revolution is a prime example of this. Sadly, we all justify our own violence and unjust behaviour…while condemning those who complain about being hurt by it. Using fear from Zimbabwe and South Africa does not answer “How can we do this better?”

    I want to quote a verse that we often hear:
    “For you have the poor with you always,…” (Matt 26:11/ Mark 14:7/ John 12:8) Most often I have heard it used to justify not trying to solve issues in society. In the sense of, “Well, there will always be poor people so don’t get all worked up!”

    But in fact the verse is from Deuteronomy 15:11 “For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’ ” Which is just one small part of a larger passage about giving to the poor and cancelling all debts every seventh year…

    Open wide your hand…or as Jesus said “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” (Matthew 5:42)

    Reply
  5. Eric

    As a white male that spent 19 years living in an Asian country as a missionary I can say that “Privilege is that thing that you don’t know you have until it is taken away.”

    To equate any talk of privilege with communism and genocide (20:00) or we could “stop doing anything that requires effort” (18:15) is definitely taking the low road. Comparing our best to their worst is never helpful.

    Jesus did say a worker is due his wages (18:30), but he also said love your neighbor as yourself. I think that this what our discussion of this should hinge on.

    Even Condoleezza Rice said she had to work twice as hard to get where she was. That is because of white privilege. Some people have the support around them to help them push on. And other people do not. They are constantly pulled down by those around them. Fair or unfair, it must be acknowledged.

    There are things that will not be made right until the Lord Jesus returns, but that does not mean we should not work to make more things right before He returns. I that this immediately throws up the subject of the “social gospel” which is another term that is misused to cause the most possible fear.

    Honestly, most historical “revolutions” take place when people reach a breaking point in the injustices they feel.

    And if we will be honest, the American revolution is a prime example of this. Sadly, we all justify our own violence …while condemning those who complain about being hurt by it.

    I want to quote a verse that we often hear:
    “For you have the poor with you always,…” (Matt 26:11/ Mark 14:7/ John 12:8) Most often I have heard it used to justify not trying to solve issues in society. In the sense of, “Well, there will always be poor people so don’t get all worked up!”

    But in fact the verse is from Deuteronomy 15:11 “For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’ ” Which is just one small part of a larger passage about giving to the poor and cancelling all debts every seventh year…

    Open wide your hand…or as Jesus said “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” (Matthew 5:42)

    Reply

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