Google “Kinism refutation” or some variant there of, and you’ll eventually run into Barlow Farm’s 2007 blog post “The Kinists are Back”. The tone is presumptuous; typical of wanna-be hip Reformed writers who can’t look outside the politically correct box to save their lives. And while there’s nothing in the article that threatens Kinism, I’ll provide a brief line by line critique anyway, if for no other reason than to even out the Google discourse:
As most of you know, I presented a paper critiquing the “Kinism” movement at the regional American Academy of Religion meeting back in March.
Anyone want to guess how many Kinists were in the audience for this? Anyone want to guess how many Kinists this man actually dialogues with either in person or over the phone? I don’t know, but I’d guess he’s taken a page from Brian Schwertley’s book, and refused to have a discussion with actual Kinists. This is standard fare for the oh-so-brave defenders of politically correct Christendom… in the name of Marx, Rousseau, and Dr. King, amen.
In short, Kinism is back, and racial separatism is becoming respectable again in secular circles too.
So, after a brief internet “pause” this ugly doctrine resurfaces, and the brave Barlow Farms blogger is here to meet it head on! It’s enough to make baby Martin Luther King Jr. cry tears of compassionate joy. I wonder if Barlow is having trouble sleeping at night knowing how large Kinism has become since 2007?
Now, I’m enough of a classic conservative…
You’re not a conservative…
…to recognize that there is a certain truth to the idea that nations are more than ideas. And certainly we all recognize that ethnic and cultural diversity is as difficult and challenging as it is enriching.
Here, without cause or argument, he naively presupposes the trendy “Diversity is our Strength” mantra.
Now, every Kinist would agree that “diversity” is a beautiful thing. God made a diverse creation after all. In fact, not only is diversity beautiful, it’s a necessary component of any objective theory of aesthetics, ethics, linguistics, truth, and any other area of academia.
Think about it: without diversity, how could there be the harmony among notes required to make chords? Music would consist of a single note, struck only one time, and would reverberate throughout all time (though, without diversity, we’d even have problems thinking of a succession of moments, since we’d need a diverse array of temporal events).
So, we can grant that diversity is “enriching”; it’s beautiful, and also necessary.
But Mr. Farms has something more nefarious in mind when he speaks of diversity. He means it in a national context: racial diversity within a nation, is “enriching” – and this, no Kinist will agree with, nor should any sane “conservative”.
Real conservatives, unlike the politically correct Reformed hipsters who only claim the title, realize this. From Edmund Burke to T.S. Eliot, “classic” conservatives have realized that for nations to function (and function well), there needs to be a unifying sense of homogeneity; a sameness of culture and religion. And yes, even a sameness of race, which should, when functioning properly as an identifying category, organically tie all the other elements together.
From Eliot’s “After Strange Gods”, page 19:
Where two or more cultures exist in the same place they are likely to be fiercely self-conscious or both to become adulterate. What is still more important is unity of religious background; and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large numbers of free-thinking Jews undesirable. There must be a proper balance between urban and rural, industrial and agricultural development. And a spirit of excessive tolerance is to be deprecated.
That’s how a real “classic conservative” speaks, Mr. Farms.
Orthodox Christianity holds that human nature mirrors the image of God – that an unavoidably social God (the one God of Christianity *is* the three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) created unavoidably social beings in God’s own likeness.
Well, there are theological quibbles we could make with all this, (debates over a Christian theory of anthropology get very complicated), but it’s agreeable enough to grant for the sake of argument. The overall theme of “humanity” as “unavoidably social being” is something Kinists agree with as well. Even the late great John C. Calhoun wrote something like this into the foundations of his political theory.
“As, then, there never was such a state as the, so called, state of nature, and never can be, it follows, that men, instead of being born in it, are born in the social and political state; and of course, instead of being born free and equal, are born subject, not only to parental authority, but to the laws and institutions of the country where born and under whose protection they draw their first breath.” ~ Disquisition on Government.
And just as it is part of our glory that we were created with free will, we were also able to bring rebellion out of ourselves in some mysterious perversion of something God pronounced “good.”
Agreed. Kinists believe man brought forth the ideals of egalitarianism, democracy, and statism from out of a deep, sick part of his fallen heart, and hipster pastors are pronouncing it all “good”.
And yet when God set out to accomplish the repair of his image bearers, he took to himself a true and complete human nature. Jesus had a certain color of hair. He had a certain “race” so to speak.
This wasn’t an arbitrary move on God’s part, by the way; there were legal *covenantal* reasons for it. Also, it’s funny that “race” here is in quotes. But moving on…
And yet Jesus formed the cornerstone of a church made of living stones (humans) that are united first to him by the power of the Spirit, and secondly to each other in him.
Neo-Babelists constantly make emotionally laden appeals to the “spirit” when they wish to make ambiguous points. As a Presbyterian, I believe I’m united to Christ legally, by membership in His covenant. And while the Holy Spirit certainly helped bring this relationship about, it’s disingenuous to pretend that all Christians are held together by some mystical, ambiguous, bond.
And also, while I do hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith’s statement on the Communion of the Saints, there are limits and boundaries to how we are to commune with each other (see chapter 26, III) – something the good farmer Barlow hasn’t seemed to have noticed.
Now, imagine the Kinist apostle who seeks to lead others to separate themselves into various neighborhoods by ethnicity. That is a difficult thing to imagine (in fact, it essentially did happen with Peter and in Galatia, but we all know that was opposed by other apostles). Imagine not wanting to live in Jesus’s neighborhood because of his race!
Since people naturally self segregate for the most part anyway (unless they’re under the influence of neo-babelist pastors), the job of the “Kinist apostle” is fairly simple when it comes to segregated housing. (See Jared Taylor’s discussion of self-segregation in his book “White Identity” – the stats don’t lie).
Further, Kinists believe God has created man with an in-born desire for his own kind – similar to the in-born psychological disposition a mother has to care for her child. Unfortunately though, these natural and Godly impulses are often thwarted by sick sexual fetishes or other sorts of pastor-approved sins.
And, how about the Peter vs. Paul show down in Galatians 2? Does this Biblical episode demonstrate that segregation is sinful? A careful exegesis of the passage (which doesn’t rely on radically egalitarian, socially marxist hermeneutics), shows a reluctant Peter, unwilling to act as if Gentiles were now part of the new covenant. Paul correctly chastises him for it. Further: first century churches were routinely segregated anyway, so – despite the good farmer Barlow’s implications, Paul must not have been too upset about it.
As a matter of fact, the early Church was segregated. First of all, in New Testament times it was segregated between the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers. And there was a good reason for that. The Jewish believers were so far superior that to integrate the two would have meant more often confusion. And when you realize that in, say, the Corinthian church, they didn’t even know that fornication or adultery was a sin because in the Greek world there was nothing wrong with that. After all, the chambers of commerce in Greece and Corinth and elsewhere…maintained regularly around two thousand prostitutes for all visiting businessmen. It was a manufacturing town and so on…and no one thought there was anything immoral about that. Or about men having relations with prostitutes. This was all taken for granted. So in the Gentile churches the moral standard was pretty low. It was a lot of hard work for a couple of generations and more to bring them up to any kind of standard. Well, the Jewish congregations represented a far higher moral standard and Paul saw nothing wrong with that, nor did any other apostle. So the principle of segregation was present there from the beginning.
See more on this passage (and the argument in general) here.
As for the last line…Kinists not wanting to “live with Jesus because of his race”, a few things:
1. The good farmer has once again naively presupposed a bit of pop-wisdom without providing argument. Is it true that Jesus wouldn’t be of the same “race” as white people?
While I’m not expert on the racial makeup of the ancient near east, I have studied the matter enough to know that anyone who states dogmatically that Jesus was this race, or Jesus was that race, is probably lying to you. The historical data is ambiguous and complex at best. However, I do believe the data points to Christ being of a race that most people would today consider “white”.
2. But what if the good farmer calls up some of his neo-babelist buddies and links me to their articles which prove Jesus was not a white man? Well, so what?
Here we uncover yet another naive presupposition of the good Farmer’s. He’s presupposing a neo-babelist eschatological model, without argument. He’s assuming Christ will be king of a new race – a new nation.
To the contrary, Kinists believe Christ is the King of a new “international” world of nations, all gathered around His throne (we have the shadow of this in Numbers 2, with the different *diverse* tribes, all camped around the Ark of the Covenant). Christ was the King of a single nation – now He’s the King of ALL nations. And as the King of all nations, his race doesn’t matter in the scheme of things.
3. Let’s reduce the good farmer’s reasoning to absurdity:
Jesus is a man – I am a man. I want to fellowship and be around Jesus. I do not want to marry Jesus or take Him as a wife. We can easily see by this vulgar illustration, that just because one wants to love and fellowship with Jesus, doesn’t mean one also must give up adherence to Godly social order.
Kinists then, can love and want to associate with Christ (and serve under Him as our Lord), without giving up our adherence to a Godly, racially diverse / segregated world.
And this is where I have hope for the Kinists. Unlike the Christian Identity movement whose soteriology is basically a story about how white people are saved, the Kinists believe in a fairly orthodox soteriology, narrowly conceived.
The good farmer should focus less on our soteriology, which for most Kinists is purely orthodox Reformed, and more on our differences in eschatology, particularly the nature of the Kingdom and the finer particulars of the doctrine of the Communion of the Saints.
Oh, and we have hope for you and your neo-babelist friends, too, farmer Barlow.
If all salvation is about is “going to heaven when we die” then the Kinists have an orthodox soteriology – Jesus saves caucasians just as he saves those of other races. But salvation is about more than that – it looks forward to a new heavens and a new earth – a world, in the flesh, where the redeemed get their bodies back and pursue human industry as it was always intended to be. As the first possessor of a resurrection body, Jesus was recognizable to the disciples. He didn’t look the same, of course, but neither did he suddenly take on the appearance of the Dread Pirate Roberts – a blonde, swashbuckling version of himself.
I kind of like thinking of Jesus as a blonde pirate … better than seeing him as a limp-wristed, egalitarian hippy.
He still was the same race, could blend into the same kinds of crowds, etc. Right now as I type this post, Jesus’s human nature sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven and Jesus has a particular race. How comfortable can a Christian be with the idea that his beliefs about race would in effect rule out his being in proximity to at least one non-caucasian that he respects tremendously?
I answered this question above. *Even if* Christ was a different race from us, it wouldn’t mean we would want to serve Him or fellowship with Him less, but nor would that require us to give up our views on segregation.
Imagine if the good farmer Barlow argued that we anti-homosexual advocates were going to be very disappointed in Heaven, since we’d be stuck having to love a masculine savior for all eternity? That sort of argument is obviously ridiculous.
If Kinism is true *and* prescriptive, then either all resurrection bodies must be of the same race or heaven must be segregated. Surely we can reject the idea that heaven will be segregated. And surely we can reject the idea that all resurrection bodies will be of the same race. And if we can’t, then we have to at least recognize that they will all be one race that may or may not be selfsame with the race each of us currently is. Thus, we could potentially be adopting a worldview that risks our not wanting to live in our own neighborhood someday.
“Either all resurrection bodies must be of the same race, or Heaven must be segregated.”
I’m not sure how this follows from Kinism, but let’s grant that it does.
The good farmer naively rejects the idea that Heaven will be segregated. Why? How? What reasoning does he give for this? None is forthcoming. As a matter of fact, I think it’s prima facie obvious that Heaven will be segregated. I fully expect to see my grandfather and grandmother in Heaven some day. They’ll still be my grandfather and grandmother. For all eternity they will be the entities through which God brought me into the world. They’ll always have that relation to me. Further, their parents, and their parent’s parents will be there (presumably). In fact, many of my relations, all the way back to Adam, will be in Heaven, and I’ll have an eternity to meet each one.
So, on the surface, it seems there will still be familial segregation, even if in no other way than our unique emotional affinities for our own ancestors. We’ll be in genealogical groupings.
And in light of that, it really doesn’t matter if the resurrection bodies of all the saints are physically similar or not.
See more on race and segregation in Heaven here.
And so the only real question is whether Kinism is prescriptive, descriptive, or totally untrue. And here my answer may surprise you. I think Kinism is basically descriptive of the situation in which humans find themselves.
And you and your neo-babelist buddies are here to right that natural wrong!
And here is why Kinism can be properly descriptive and yet pernicious at the same time. It essentially teaches that humans should give up on salvation, separate from each other, and simply wait for God to make the races interact with trust and comfort.
This is a ridiculous caricature.
Giving up on “diversity” (meaning: diverse nation states), does not = giving up on salvation.
As a matter of fact, I could argue that a Kinist missionary would bear far more fruit than some pretentious neo-babelist, for the simple fact that the Kinist is able to sympathize with and see the beauty inherent in a particular people. We can only love other cultures after having a serious love of our own.
This “let go and let God” approach is unbiblical.
It also has nothing at all to do with Kinism.
The Bible basically affirms that while God is the power of change in the world, he generally transforms things through his instruments – humans. We can no more sit on our duffs and wait for diversity to be easy than we can sit on our duffs and wait for God to teach our children about himself or for our lawnmowers to mow our yards.
Nor will any amount of preaching make your presupposition that “Diverse racial nations are good” come true.
This is not only a false presupposition, but it’s a terribly arrogant and destructive one. Satan is the god of those who desire to blur all distinctions out of the nations, and bring everyone together under one, humanistic abstraction called “state”.
Far better to retain Godly, decentralized ethno-states – where God’s beauty through diversity can be maintained with dignity.
Another aspect of the Kinist case is an is / ought move from the God ordained existence of races to the goodness of perpetuating or preserving distinct races. This relates less to diversity than it does to the Kinist opposition to miscegenation.
Is it an “is / ought” fallacy to move from God ordained roles between the sexes, to the goodness of perpetuating traditional marriage and sexual roles? Obviously it is not. And if not, then neither is it fallacious to argue from God-ordained roles for families, to perpetuating tribal boundaries.
But, there’s more going on here than mere natural law. The good farmer needs to know that most Kinists are not only Reformed (holding to a strong view of Covenant Theology) but also theonomic. As theonomists, we believe that God’s law is a reflection of His own nature in the world. Thus, if sin hadn’t corrupted our thinking process, we’d be able to look at the world and clearly see His ethical will for our lives. But, in light of the noetic effect of sin, the good farmer is right to be wary of natural law arguments.
Nevertheless, to be consistent in our systematics, we must agree that creation reflects God’s moral will (even if we’re unable to fully realize it). Furthermore, most traditional Reformed scholars refer to this initial act of creation as the “Covenant of Creation” (see O. Palmer Robertson’s classic work “Christ of the Covenants”). Inherent in the creation, then, are certain creation ordinances – as Robertson mentions: dominion, marriage, and family.
Most importantly for our present topic, is the “family”. The family structure is a natural part of God’s created realm and is, therefore, the ethically normative state of mankind (just as marriage is the ethically normative state of men and women). And families grow – they branch out, and eventually fill entire portions of the world.
These creation ordinances are inherent not only in the Garden, but are reflected in God’s law as well. Theonomists hold that the Levitical Case Law presents nothing new in history, rather, it’s simply a written exposition of Godly natural law, and as such, we see ethnic-nationalism and a set of regulations concerning immigration and foreigners, written in.
So, the “is / ought” distinction, in a Christian world, is a valid one. If God created something, then it ought to be that way. And we have the law to prove it to those who disagree.
We Christians of all races commune with each other, by the power of the Spirit of the glorified flesh of the incarnate Word, and yet we shouldn’t marry each other? Try a reductio ad absurdum approach in the form of a lesser to greater argument on for size – if it is terrible for people of different races to marry each other, how much worse would it be to do something so important together as communing together as the bride of Christ?
Let’s do a real reductio here – if all Christians are to commune with each other, by the power of the Spirit of the glorified flesh of the incarnate Word (if I get enough pious sounding language in there, no one can possibly doubt my conclusions!)…then shouldn’t male Christians be allowed to marry other males? Shouldn’t 50-year-old Christian men be allowed to marry 12-year-old Christian girls? Shouldn’t Christian sons marry their Christian mothers?
Um – no. Sorry farmer Barlow – a Godly communion of the Saints doesn’t preclude legitimate social boundaries.
This argument hopefully leads the Christian reader to understand the monstrosity that opposition to miscegenation of the races is.
The only “monstrosity” here, is the fallacious reasoning of a neo-babelist.
In summary, I have hope for the Kinists – that a consistent thinking through of Christianity will result in their rejection of racial fatalism.
Not sure how Kinists are “racial fatalists” … but what does accuracy matter at this point?
Unlike with the Christian Identity movement, which is another religion effectively, Kinism is more like a soteriologically heterodox Christian sect.
To reiterate, I think Barlow should focus more on our eschatology rather than our soteriology, since we would, presumably, have much agreement over the latter.
There is common ground here for non-Kinist Christians to persuade the Kinists that they are on the wrong track.
That would require actually talking to, and trying to debate with, a Kinist. Bad move for a neo-babelist. But, please…we’re here where we’ve always been, growing in numbers and waiting for a serious challenge.