The president of the Southern Baptist Convention says "white privilege" exists – and that the job of Christians is to spread the privilege to those who have less. A Christian apologist, though, is taking issue with those comments.
In a recent podcast titled "Is white privilege real?," Pastor J.D. Greear defines privilege as "a kind of invisible set of [unearned] assets" he gets from being part of the majority culture. He attributes most of what he's learned about white privilege to Dr. George Yancey, a black professor of philosophy at Emory University – who has stated that privileges are like "rights" that should be experienced by everyone.
In his "Ask Me Anything" podcast on Monday, Greear (pictured below) notes that some argue that those with privilege – white people, in this case – need to make reparations for historic inequality. Others say white people need to fix current structural inequality. Greear says white people need to spread the privilege around.
"Those of us that experience a certain privilege of whatever kind, we want to see people of a different race, from different backgrounds, we want to see them have access to the same opportunities, the same privileges that we have," he states.
Saying there's a "burden" of being a person of privilege, Greear argues that a Christian's duty is to put others' needs before themselves.
"So what do we do now? As a Christian I know that I'm responsible to bear the burdens of others around me and I want to see privilege extended to them," he says. "So if I've been given any privilege in whatever situation, I'm going to leverage that – not for self, but ... to lift others up."
"As a pastor, I can say to all Christians: whatever privilege you have, it is your responsibility to leverage it to help others who are not as privileged."
Christian apologist and author Dr. Alex McFarland says it's troubling to hear Greear infusing today's secular humanist culture into the gospel. "One of the sure ways to make the gospel less relevant is to try to help the gospel be relevant," he tells OneNewsNow, "and I think that might be what J.D. Greear might be actually doing."
Instead, says McFarland, believers should model themselves after the Apostle Paul.
"Paul could have beaten himself up for having been a persecutor of the Church, but he didn't. Paul could have vaunted himself up for having written more than half the New Testament," the apologist suggests. "Paul said 'I am what I am by the grace of God – be ye reconciled through Christ.'"
McFarland is co-host of "Exploring the Word," which airs every weekday on American Family Radio.