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Chance the Rapper Spent the Weekend Shutting Down Pastors Who Minimized Racism

Over the weekend, Chance the Rapper took to Twitter with a question for his Christian followers: “Why don’t we as a church explicitly address White Supremacy and racism on Sundays? Why don’t we engage the truths of America and how it’s values are antithetical to the Gospel?”

It’s a vital question that a lot of Christian leaders are asking right now, as the gulf between the Church’s engagement with issues of systemic racism and the depth of the problem have been laid bare by weeks of protests all over the world.

Chance was thoughtful and engaged with the replies, gently pushing back when he disagreed and asking clarifying questions throughout. But things got slightly testy when Phil Johnson entered the chat. Johnson is a pastor at Grace Community Church and executive director for Grace to You, the media ministry of John MacArthur. Johnson warned Chance about adopting a “leftist political agenda” and linked to a blog of his condemning “Wokism” as “a blatantly racist worldview, condemning entire ethnic groups for sins that were committed generations ago by people long dead.”

Chance responded by asking why the fight against racism had to be seen through a partisan lens. “Is dismantling White Supremacy an exclusively ‘leftist’ agenda?” he asked. “Is hearing a preacher directly pointing to the racist structure of our country today somehow worse than making an overarching conversation about how all sin matters? [White Supremacy] is built on works of the flesh, we can say that.”

Gabriel Hughes, pastor of Kansas’ First Southern Baptist Church, took issue with Chance here. “Racist structure?” he asked. “You have exactly the same rights I do. You’re also a sinner as I am. We were all ‘hated by others and hating one another’ (Titus 3:3). All of us are guilty of this. Repent of your sin, believe in Jesus and follow Him, and be saved from the judgment of God.”

Chance wasn’t having it.

“Chance, you’re filthy rich!” Hughes contended. “I will never make in my lifetime what you probably make in a year.”

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“Does knowing that help you ignore the history and current state of the US?” Chance asked.

“Friend,” Hughes responded. “It means you have the same opportunities to ‘make it’ as anyone. Yes, there are still divisions, but not because of a ‘racist structure.’ It’s because people are sinners.”

“You’re obfuscating,” Chance responded. “You’re old enough and grown enough to either study the history of law in the United States or know it already. If you are confused about the placement of judgement, it’s not on people but the system of white supremacy that is in every American institution. I forgive you tho.”

This is a pretty gracious knockout punch from Chance. Our friend Dr. Dharius Daniels recently addressed the whole “it’s a sin issue not a skin issue” question.

“We need human hearts changed, but we need systemic, sinful systems reformed,” he said. “Let’s not conflate racism and injustice. How a person feels about another person doesn’t affect them until they act on it. That’s when racism becomes injustice, and we do need laws for that.”

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