Are All Black People Going to Hell?

Imagine if I or any white Christian stood up in front of a group of people in a church building and said, “All black people are going to hell!” Can you imagine the standing ovation with thundering applause that would follow?

Yeah, me neither.

In fact, if any Christian said such a thing I would expect lots of deserved public and private rebuke. So, when 91 year old, Civil Rights icon, Joseph Lowery recently said that all white people are going to hell1 – I would hope for the same type of rebuke. Lowery is a professing Christian, a United Methodist minister who is often referred to as ‘Reverend’. After his comments, however, Lowery claimed he was joking.2

Joking or not, Lowery’s words are not well taken, especially, for a professing Christian leader.

Lowery’s comments are a good example of poorly mixing Christianity and politics as he was campaigning for President Obama’s reelection. It seems that Lowery’s views on white people and hell were not always a joking matter though.

“We’ve turned our backs on the faith,” said Lowery. “America is going to hell in a hand basket. We need to straighten up so God can use us.”

Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to hell. Then he mellowed and just said most of them were. Now, he said, he is back to where he was.

“I’m frightened by the level of hatred and bitterness coming out in this election,” said Lowery.3

What an odd combination of contradictory comments. One might take away from Lowery’s comments that the only way God can us Americans and prevent America from going to hell is to elect Obama. I’m not sure I want to touch the question of where Lowery’s statement on whites and eternity would place Obama given his racially mixed background.

Religion seems a larger issue in this election since Romney is a Mormon and Mormons have a terrible doctrinal track record on race relations. Ironically, even leaders in the Mormon cult with their awful racist positions against black people still thought that blacks could eventually enter heaven.

“Several leaders, including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and Spencer W. Kimball, taught that black people would eventually be able to receive a fullness of glory in the celestial kingdom.”4

Thankfully, Americans are not electing a Christian pastor, elder, bishop, deacon, minister, etc. Rather, each voter (hopefully informed) will cast their vote for whom they believe will best lead this country. Some Christians are not comfortable with Obama or Romany and will vote for neither. Other Christians will vote for Obama or Romney as one of the lesser of two evils.

It is not a secret that Mormonism is not a Christian religion. Nor is it a secret that many Christians do not embrace Obama’s Black Liberation Theology as a good representation of biblical Christianity.

My question: In which Presidential election has either of the choices been a godly Christian?

American Christians can only hope for the day when one of the Presidential candidates is a godly Christian. In the mean time, Christians can do their best to vote for the candidate who they prayerfully conclude is closest to upholding biblical principles. We can also trust our sovereign God with who will ultimately be elected President.

Finally, are all black people and all white people going to hell? No. While the gospel may inform a Christian’s vote, it is not a club designed to knock one’s political opponents. Some how, in all of our sinful glory, Christians have got to learn to have better gospel conversations in the political realm. And regardless of race, hell is reserved only for those who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ.

For what it’s worth…

Mark

Let's connect!

tagged as , , , , , , , in apologetics,Christianity,Culture,heresy,politics,theology

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rhology November 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm

That guy is a fool.

2 Lee November 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm

You said, “American Christians can only hope for the day when one of the Presidential candidates is a godly Christian. In the mean time, Christians can do their best to vote for the candidate who they prayerfully conclude is closest to upholding biblical principles. We can also trust our sovereign God with who will ultimately be elected President.”

Who would be the “closest”? A Mormon who denies every Biblical aspect of the very character of Jesus, the Christ, including his divine nature, and his ability to save souls from sin? A Mormon who has been through a temple ceremony swearing a priesthood oath of loyalty to his faith, and who has served both a two year mission and a stint as a bishop, a member of one of the church’s priesthoods, who preaches a gospel that the apostle Paul calls “cursed” (Galatians 1:8-9)? Or a sitting president who resigned his membership in the UCC as a result of Jeremiah Wright’s remarks, and currently attends a military chapel in Washington presided over by a Baptist chaplain? If it really matters, and apparently, criticism of the President’s association with Jeremiah Wright is a strong signal that it does, then that’s the choice.

3 Mark November 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Lee, I cannot make that decision for you. When I wrote of principles I mean the way in which policies, etc. line up biblically. Many Christians would conclude on Obama’s faith as Owen Strachan did that:

Faith as construed by the President gives no offense and draws no boundaries. In the final analysis, what is missing from his theology is nothing other than the gospel, the message of God-given righteousness grounded in the cross of Christ that when received by faith and repentance runs roughshod over a sinner, transforming a ward of Satan into an angel of light. This exclusive reality—and the top-to-bottom ethic it creates—is noticeably lacking in President Obama’s actions and proclamations.

4 joeblackmon November 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Well, the closest would certainly NOT be the one who voted to deny medical care to babies who survived their mother’s attempt to have them slaughtered. It certainy would NOT be the one who didn’t lift the business end of his pinky toe to send help to our embassy when it was attacked..

Oh, by the way, Lee, why don’t you go ahead and post the Bible verse that commands that we only vote for Christians. (crickets chriping) Yeah, I didn’t think you could find one.

Obama is not a Christian. #fact

5 Tom Parker November 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Mark:

Have you rebuked the 93 year old Billy Graham for his change in the status of Mormonism being a cult?

Got some really good red meat here for your readers especially Joe B.

This is the best you can do 5 days before the election?

I continue to be amazed as Southern Baptist pastors try to justify their voting for a Mormon.

BTW, I know this piece written by you here has nothing to do with the 2012 Presidential election. LOL!

6 BDW November 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

When I saw your title over at SBCVoices, my first thought was that you were referring to the new Huckabee video where he not-so-subtly suggests that Christians who vote for Obama will suffer an eternal punishment or put another way, almost all African-Americans are going to hell!

As to your actual post, having met Rev. Lowery a couple of times, I’m inclined to give him a pass so to speak just as I’m willing to give Billy Graham a pass. Based on my many visits with my late great-grandfather at his nursing home while he was in his 90s, I’m just generally inclined to give a pass to folks in their 90s who’ve long lost their filter and say inartful or just downright stupid things.

It is my hope that I’ll live long enough to be that old and be that old half-crazy guy who spouts off foolishness.

Let me just add, Obama echoes the Niebuhrs not James Cone. The only commonality between the two is that Cone’s historic text was based on neo-orthodox methodology – something Cone later criticized himself for. Readers of The Blaze or The Daily Caller generally are theologically illiterate, I suspect. But someone who with some basic theological training ought to be able to distinguish between important theological systems. You’re not going to find any actual scholar who says Obama is some proponent of Black Liberation Theology.

7 Mark November 2, 2012 at 8:28 am

Tom, did Graham just remove the cult language or change his view of Mormonism as a cult? Does he now claim that Mormonism is Christian? I’m not a pastor. My little blog is not going to influence voters.

This post has everything to do with the election, but they are just my thoughts – right or wrong. Also, it’s up to each individual to prayerfully consider for whom they can or cannot vote.

8 Mark November 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

Hi BDW, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I have not seen and was not aware of that Huckabee video, but I will see if I can find it.

I get what you’re saying about Lowery. I did mention that he said he was joking while suggesting that someone like me would probably not get away with such statements. Maybe I’m just not old enough yet. 🙂

I agree with you about Daily Caller and Blaze readers though I barely spend any time on those sites.

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