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One of the problems with Christendom and the divisions within is that we want to circle the wagons when someone speaks against our brand instead of listening to our critics to see if there is value in what they have to say. We want to defend our own, and if sometimes our own is indefensible, we prefer to ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, aren’t a problem. This is foolishness, you can’t ignore a cancer in your body. We must be our own greatest critics, removing the planks out of our own eyes before we remove the specks from others. That is one reason why, as a Reformed, Calvinistic Christian I am critical of Douglas Wilson and his teachings. It’s why I’m thankful for the protectors of orthodoxy in the URC and OPC denominations who have written at length and in detail against the errors of Federal Vision.
But there is a stink in the Reformed body, we’re not the sole host but I believe we’re the the largest one in the Christian world. It’s the odious theology of kinism and I’ve discovered, sadly, that it’s far more prevalent than I previously thought.
A quick disclaimer, which I’m only making since previously I’ve only written about Doug Wilson: I do not believe that Doug Wilson is a kinist. To the contrary, he has actually made himself an enemy of them and pointed his barbs in a good direction with them. I believe Doug Wilson has a problem with understanding racism, but I think it has more to do with trying to justify his nostalgic views of the South, needing to shape it in his mind and others as an almost ideal Christian society. There are many problems with this, but none nearly as grave as what is espoused by avowed kinists.
Kinism is virulent racism dressed up in supposed equality. Their cry is “Africa for Africans, Europe for Europeans and Asia for Asians” (Somehow, America for Native Americans didn’t make the cut). claiming that while they believe in the equality of all races, that they need to be kept separate, segregated in order to protect their respective cultures and distinctions. A byproduct of keeping the cultures separate is, of course, being anti-interracial marriage, or as they prefer to call it, miscegenation. Of course, anyone who has studied a lick of American history understands what this separate but equal policy really hides and it is odd that they try to hide it at all since nearly everything else they say is drenched with out and out racism.
Kinism in the Reformed world primarily shows up in Reconstructionist theonomy circles who heed the works of RJ Rushdoony. If you find a kinist group on Facebook or look at a kinist’s page, there will doubtlessly be fans of nearly countless Reconstructionist and RJ Rushdoony groups and pages. Now, I believe the vast majority of theonomists in the Reconstructionist camp would deny their interpretations, but it’s very easy to see where they got their ideas from:
The answer is, there is not a law against it, but there is basically a principle that militates against such marriages, so that you might say they are just barely legal, but in principle Scripture is opposed to them. Because the whole point of marriage is that the wife be a helpmeet to her husband, and the term “helpmeet” means in effect a mirror, an image, one who reflects him spiritually; that is, in terms of faith, in terms of a common background, in terms of a common purpose. Now, marriage between persons of very different races generally doesn’t fulfill that requirement, you see. So that it can be technically a marriage, but it isn’t one in which the wife can be a helpmeet. So that while it can legally qualify, theologically you could say there are factors which normally, in almost 99 cases out of 100, would militate against it.
And another quick one:
Moreover, if she is to be “a help as before him,” a mirror, there must be a common cultural background. This militates against marriages across cultures and across races where there is no common culture or association possible. The new unit is a continuation of the old unit but an independent one; and there has to be a unity or else it is not a marriage. Thus, the attempt of many today to say there is nothing in the Bible against mixed marriages whether religiously or culturally is altogether unfounded. We do not have to go to the Mosaic law (Exodus and Deuteronomy) to demonstrate that, because here in the very beginning (Genesis) we are told that she must be a help meet “bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh” sharing his faith, sharing a common background, a common culture, a common desire to fulfill his calling under God. This, then, is the meaning of marriage in the Biblical sense.
So essentially what we have here is what qualifies a woman to be a “helpmeet” for a man, as God established Eve. Rushdoony viewed racial and cultural divides as being nearly insurmountable, and that thus they would also be “unequally yoked” as 2nd Corinthians 6 warns against. Unfortunately, Rushdoony and the kinists ignore the clear examples set in the Bible to the preference of their extrapolations to justify their sinful, racist hearts. When Miriam criticized Moses for taking a Cushite (Kushite/Nubian) wife, God afflicted her with a skin disease (Numbers 12). Perhaps the most famous love story in the Bible is anathema to kinists, that between the Moabite Ruth, and the Hebrew Boaz.
I don’t think you’ll find a kinist denomination, or a kinist church, but the error of kinism is insidious. It’s not always as easy to sniff out as someone saying that the curse of Ham was the creation of the black race and thus, the chattel slavery the South practiced is justifiable. Today it can be as simple as something like, “Keep France safe for the ethnic French people” which might seem understandable, especially in the light of recent events, until you take a second look and wonder what they mean about keeping France for the “ethnic” French people.
Two of the largest organized proponents of kinism in America today are the League of the South (Which Steve Wilkins, Wilson’s co-author of Southern Slavery As It Was, was once a board member of. I do not know if he is still a member, but as he is no longer on the board I hope he has left it entirely and repented of his involvement) and the Council of Conservative Citizens. These organizations are baldly racist on their face, just look up the League of the Souths president’s twitter page for quick confirmation of that, but I have seen members of these societies pop up too frequently for comfort in broad online Reformed groups.
To have a legitimate voice, in order to preach the Gospel faithfully in our world, we must not shy away from policing ourselves. We need to recognize that our theology, no matter how pure, can be corrupted and put to evil use. We must call those who subscribe to these fellowship-hating doctrines to repentance if we’re to be the salt of the earth. Jesus told his disciples to go, baptize and make believers of all nations, let us honor the great commission and not mar it by tolerating those who would make a mockery of it.