White Privilege Is an Abomination to God

[Updated from the archives.]

I have something my wife doesn’t have. No, I’m not talking about a Y chromosome (although it’s true she doesn’t have one). What I have I didn’t ask for, I didn’t earn, and I don’t deserve.

White privilege. That’s what I have.

The concept of white privilege has been around for decades:

The term denotes both obvious and less obvious unspoken advantages that white individuals may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice. These include cultural affirmations of one’s own worth; greater presumed social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely. The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one’s own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal.

The universality of white privilege is a controversial topic, but the existence of a privilege based on skin color is hard to deny in specific instances. When you have enough specific instances grouped together it becomes evident that people of differing skin colors experience the same social, economic, educational or political spaces in divergent ways, often to their detriment.

Here’s how that played out for one family:

Yet even though this was a moment when everyone learned something, does that make white privilege itself a good thing in this instance?

I think not. I think white privilege is an abomination to God.

White is Not the Color God Looks for in His People

God has chosen from the beginning to bring people from all over the world into his family. How else could he bring together an uncountable multitude into one nation, as he promised Abraham?

I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:2-3.)

As Jesus said:

I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16.)

John found out just how large a multitude of people Jesus called together from Israel and from all those other places:

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9.)

Can you imagine the skin tones you’ll see in that gathering? The colors will be staggering and, no matter what you look like, there is no privilege in God’s kingdom for people of a particular color of skin:

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Colossians 3:11.)

God’s kingdom looks like this. (Source)

Not like this. (Source)

 

 

 

 

***

The Only Privilege Worth Having Is Knowing Jesus

I am so looking forward to the day no one will need to remind whites they have a privilege and power they must exercise for the benefit of others, because the only power any of us will need is the powerful majesty flowing from the throne of God.

This is a privilege we all share in right now, as a matter of fact:

the Body of Christ,

the Kingdom of God,

the Fellowship of the Spirit.

What a blessed day it will be when all privilege is cast aside but the privilege of knowing we are Jesus’ own people.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7-8.)

What a privilege.

***

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22 Responses to White Privilege Is an Abomination to God

  1. esbee says:

    I have WOP privilege. that means my Italian grandparents on both sides, came from Italy, got Nothing from the govt except the opportunity to work. my parents were born to those people and were taught and they taught me, if you want something you work for it. do not expect the govt or anyone to help. thank the Lord he gave me an art talent and “arrangiarsi” the ability to use what you have around you to get the things we needed over the years, since money was scant and hubby always ill with something. I was able to trade my art for so many needed things.

    • What do you mean, Esbee? It appears from this comment and your other comments below that you think people of color do not work hard, or that they receive undeserved handouts. In a later comment you say you refuse to feel guilty about your blessings or about what you’ve received as a result of your “hardwork”: do you mean that being white is one of the ways God has blessed you? Do you believe God blesses only white people? Or that he only blesses hard workers? Do you mean that because there is still slavery rampant in the world today, we should not tear down symbols of past slavery? I don’t find your ideas very easy to follow.

      • Tim says:

        Great questions, Jeannie. Recognizing that unmerited privilege exists isn’t the same as saying you should feel guilty about it. Unless a person has that privilege and is glad people of color don’t. Now that would be a reason to feel guilty.

        • esbee says:

          oh you guys are a hoot… misconstruing my comments…….
          I suggest you listen to a commentator who is Jewish called Ben Shapiro and his sharp retorts and truth about the left. He can explain it far much better than I can.
          your question was–…Do you believe God blesses only white people? Or that he only blesses hard workers?
          ANSWER—What do you mean by blessing and where did you get that idea that I think God only blesses white folk? God blesses whom he chooses, black , white and all the colors. BTW, I am Italian, not white. I have worked hard and gotten many blessings. What I meant is that the left uses the media through phrases like white privilege to make whites feel guilty over having been born with more than the average 3rd world citizen.
          Your comment was “Do you mean that because there is still slavery rampant in the world today, we should not tear down symbols of past slavery? I don’t find your ideas very easy to follow.”
          ANS- YES, do not waste time or money on stone but help the living people who are suffering today as sex slaves in those very same towns. How many people stop and look or even think about those big stone horse and riders anyway? Or at least until the left decided to make a big thing about it.

  2. roscuro says:

    I’ve found that an assumption of white privilege has caused mostly misunderstanding and frustration for me. I am of European descent (although one of my great grandmothers accused her daughter-in-law, my maternal grandmother, of being a Gypsy due to her colouring and facial features), and I was born into a working class, low-income family. Several years ago, I had the opportunity of working with an NGO in a West African country, a former colony that is now a cheap tourist destination for Europeans. Due to our superficial resemblance to the former colonizers and also the tourists, I and others on the NGO team had many requests for money, since pale skinned people are assumed to be wealthy. Due to the exchange rate, the allowance I received from my sponsors donations enabled me to buy items which were out of the reach of most of the citizens of the country I was in, but the amount would have hardly provided for my needs in the Western country where I was born.
    Since the European tourists, both men and women, were known to take for themselves lovers of the people who lived in the country, I was often approached by men who offered themselves to be my (and I quote) “man in [West African country].” I was completely uninterested in the offers, but it occurred to me had I taken such a lover, the NGO would have discharged me for breaking my contract; my income from sponsors would have stopped; and the West African man would have found that his supposedly wealthy white lover was now more impoverished than himself, since I had no income or savings outside my allowance. The assumption of white privilege masked who I really was.
    As a woman, I found being repeatedly approached for a sexual relationship to be degrading (one man would not take no for an answer, which then made me feel threatened); as person of European descent, I felt ashamed for being assumed to share the loose morals and exploitive attitudes of the tourists; as a Westerner from a low income family, I felt frustrated that I was assumed to have unlimited money. As a Christian, which I place before my ethnic origin, country of birth, or even my sex, I readily forgive the misunderstandings of others concerning myself; but I long for the day when we will see all things clearly, as Christ sees us (I Corinthians 13:12). Until then, the love that bears, believes, hope, and endures all things (v. 7) is needed to overcome the barriers that the fallen world keeps putting up between humans made in the image of God.

  3. Larry Wilson says:

    The myth of white privilege is like one of those medications designed to treat a fabricated disease. If you can convince enough people that white privilege is “thing,” then you can justify marginalizing people and convincing people that non-white Americans are victims just because they aren’t white.

    Whatever elements you think create the characteristics of ‘white privilege’ do not apply to most white Americans, and if you keep expanding these subjective and likely arbitrary characteristics to qualify the majority of white Americans, you will inevitably qualify the majority of Americans who are not white as well.

    By perpetrating the myth of ‘white privilege,’ you contribute to the perpetuation of racism, and that is fundamentally non-Christian.

    • Jeannie Prinsen says:

      Larry, you say that if the “subjective and likely arbitrary” characteristics that constitute white privilege are expanded far enough, soon they will include non-whites too. But that really doesn’t make sense. A person who is not white will never have white privilege. I don’t think that Tim (or anyone else who discusses white privilege) is saying that every white person is in a better economic or social situation than every person of color, or that people of color can claim special victim status, or even (as Roscuro says above) that there aren’t complex misunderstandings about whites too at times. But in general, being white gives automatic advantages that we don’t even recognize because it’s the air we breathe. Arguing against the existence of this concept and claiming that whites are the real victims of this “myth” actually confirms its existence all the more.

  4. Nancy Le says:

    ❤ thank you Tim. #solidarity brother 😊

  5. Pastor Bob says:

    When I hear this fallacious term thrown around I think of the many people I worked go who were not of this pigmentation, but darker. I see and hear how these people did what anyone else would have done, worked hard to achieve what they have. I see the actions and words of one who abused his staff, becasue he could -where this man of color learned this…. does not matter. The “privilege” was to depart from his oversight.

    Point of this story, there are those who will abuse what they have, and they are accountable to Him. There are those of faith who will abuse power, God will deal with them as well. The only “privilege” I will ever enjoy is that of heaven, and that is because of who my Savior is. Truth is, this is a gift but there are those who want the fruits of the labor of others with out exerting the necessary work for their own good.

    This insulting term seems to come more form those who wish to use the wealth of others without doing enough to support themselves. (Can anyone hear the words from Margaret Thatcher?)

  6. Tim says:

    A couple of commenters talk of white privilege as a myth or fallacy, apparently based on instances of white people being poor, not living lives of privilege, or being treated poorly by people of color who are in positions of power over them. That misconstrues white privilege. It does not mean all whites enjoy lives of privilege. It means that in some situations being white puts a person in a better situation than a person of color, all other things being equal, and to a greater extent than the opposite occurs.

    This is real in America.

    • esbee says:

      the concept of white privilege has been made into a real thing with negative connotations by the left and other social engineers through the media— Of course many who are white have advantages because the majority of the population is white. and the leftists and media by giving it a name has made it seem that those who have those blessings should be ashamed or denigrated for having been born or attained to that way. and it certainly is a way to stir up a hornet’s nest against the white race by making those who are less advantage of other races hate them.

      The communist chinese did their own version of privilege in order to take away land and possessions from their citizens who were well-off in the 20th century. My sister in law is chinese. her grandfather was murdered in front of her mother because he owned a few acres of land and fruit trees he had worked and paid for…the chinese army said “look at what you have stolen from the chinese people” as they shot and killed him.

      The Nazis did this to the jews, who were very well off by using propaganda to turn the rest of the germans against them …their property was seized and the german govt came into possession of valuables like jewelry, god and art.

      where ever you go in the world there will always be those who are well off. and those who are not well off.

      • Tim says:

        You’re right. Privileged classes are found in different ways around the world and in history. You’ve also proved that in America, white privilege is not a leftist construct. Being white carries certain privileges that are not enjoyed by people of color.

        • esbee says:

          but i refuse to feel guilt because of the blessings God has given me or from hardwork that has made many blessings real…that is the socialist lie that the left/media is spreading. kinda like we need to tear down condfederate statues and/or pay reparations for past slavery when there is so much actual real sex slavery (women and children) going on in the world today.

  7. Lea says:

    I think the term ‘privilege’ tends to be associated with money/class, which is why ‘white privilege’ as a term hits the ears wrong at times. Because being white doesn’t equal growing up with wealth. I know that’s not the dictionary definition, but it tends to be how I hear it. The classic ‘born on third and thought he hit a triple’. We all have things that give us advantages and disadvantages in life. Some start out with more of one than the other.

    I get the concept that is trying to be conveyed through it, though, and there is truth in it.

    • Tim says:

      I think if it were expressed as “advantage that comes to one person for being white and is denied to another who is not white” the walls might not go up quite as reactively.

  8. Terri says:

    We have yet to see someone here who’s protesting white privilege who understands what it is. White privilege is NOT:
    –having an easy life with no struggles
    –being rich
    –not having to work hard
    –everyone automatically respecting you
    –a requirement to feel guilty

    White privilege IS:
    –dealing with all the normal struggles of life *but not having to deal with racism ON TOP OF IT*:
    you’re not followed in clothing stores,
    you’re not pulled over in your car by police far more frequently and aggressively than white drivers,
    your own hard work and success aren’t automatically attributed to affirmative action and used to assume you’re unqualified
    you’re not living with a national history of having science and medicine used as tools to “prove” that you and everyone like you is inferior
    and the list could go on and on. And on.

    It is very telling when Christians, who one assumes follow Christ, are far more emotionally invested in defending ourselves personally than in loving people who are suffering because of the color of their skin. We purport to follow Jesus but we’re setting up white privilege strawmen and knocking them down *instead of* going head-to-head with sinful systems, which is what He did on earth. He didn’t waste time arguing that system that existed don’t really exist–He fought those systems by resisting (mostly nonviolently–there was that one thing with the whip in the Temple, after all). He didn’t fight on behalf of Himself, He fought on behalf of others who were suffering.

    Today we’re challenged to see how different others’ lives often are because they’re not white and to *do something* about that out of love. Not to focus on ourselves. Love is the first and greatest command.

  9. Terri says:

    Tim, this is the best explanation of white privilege I’ve seen. Other readers can read if they’re interested in a great, accurate definition of it that is badly needed in this and so many other discussions on white privilege. Thanks for writing on this subject. It’s challenging to discuss, and far more challenging for black people to live with in their daily lives.

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

  10. Jane says:

    Many commenters don’t understand white privilege.

    This list of 17 examples helps explain it. White people might experience a few of these things in their lifetime, but my Black, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern friends and coworkers got it frequently.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/michaelblackmon/17-harrowing-examples-of-white-privilege-9hu9

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