Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charles Hodge versus Kinism

(The following statements by Charles Hodge, with prefatory remarks and editorial comments by Daniel Ritchie, were originally published at the Confessional Puritan Board. Here Hodge discusses how opposing fellowship with Christians on the basis of race is in opposition to the Gospel itself. In our day, such anti-Gospel racial segregationalism is affirmed by the kinist heretics.)

In Charles Hodges's Systematic theology he has a section considering the question of whether or not the restoration of the Jews in Romans 11 would mean a restoration of Israel as a nation. While not necessarily concurring with everything he says, Dr Hodges's comments are certainly very interesting: 

3. Accordingly in the New Testament it is taught, not in poetic imagery, but didactically, in simple unmistakable prose, that believers are the seed of Abraham; they are his sons; his heirs; they are the true Israel. [...] The promise to Abraham that he should be the father of many nations, did not mean merely that his natural descendants should be very numerous; but that all nations of the earth should have the right to call him father (Rom. iv. 17); for he is "the father of all them that believe, though they be circumcised." (Rom. iv. 11.) It would turn the Gospel upside down; not only the Apostle's argument but his whole system would collapse, if what the Bible says of Israel should be understood of the natural descendants of Abraham to the exclusion of his spiritual children. 

4. The idea that the Jews are to be restored to their own land and there constituted a distinct nation in the Christian Church, is inconsistent not only with the distinct assertions of the Scriptures, but also with its plainest and most important doctrines. It is asserted over and over again that the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile has been broken down; that God has made of the two one; that Gentile believers are fellow-citizens of the saints and members of the household of God; that they are built up together with the Jews into one temple. (Eph. ii. 11-22) "As many of you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. iii. 27-29.) There could not be a more distinct assertion that all difference between the Jew and Gentile has been done away within the pale of the Christian Church. This, however, is not a mere matter of assertion, it is involved in the very nature of the Gospel. [which is why advocating racial segregation as a universal principle is a damnable heresy; to advocate racial segregation among Christians is anathema to biblical Christianity as it denies the redemptive work of Christ in reconciling Jews and Gentiles in ONE body - DR] Nothing is plainer from the teachings of Scripture than that all believers are one body in Christ, that all are the partakers of the Holy Spirit, and by virtue of their union with Him are joint and equal partakers of the benefits of his redemption; that if there be any difference between them, it is not in virtue of national or social distinctions, but solely of individual character and devotion. That we are all one in Christ Jesus, is a doctrine which precludes the possibility of the prominence assigned to the Jews [or to "whites" - DR] in the theory of which their restoration to their own land, and their national individuality are constituent elements. 

5. The Apostles acted uniformly on this principle. They recognize no future for the Jews in which the Gentile Christians are not to participate. As under the old dispensation proselytes from the heathen were incorporated with the Jewish people and all distinction between them and those who were Jews by birth, was lost, so it was under the Gospel. [The type of segregation that racists want did not exist under the old covenant, much less after Christ has destroyed the wall of separation - DR] Gentiles and jews were united in undistinguished and undistinguishable membership in the same Church. And so it has continued to the present day; the two streams, Jewish and Gentile, united in the Apostolic Church, have flowed on as one great river through all ages. As this was by divine ordinance, it is not to be beleived that they are to be separated in the future. 

6. The restoration of the Jews to their own land and their continued national individuality, is generally associated with the idea that they are to constitute a sort of peerage in the Church of the future, exaltd in prerogative and dignity above their fellow believers; [...] There is no intimation that any one class of Christians, or Christians of any one nation or race, are to be exalted over their brethren; [Ironically, this condemns the corrupt religion of the churches in antebellum America - DR] [...] Any Christian would rejoice to be a servant of Paul, or of John, of a martyr, or of a poor worn-out missionary; but to be servant to a Jew, merely because he is a Jew, is a different affair [...] It is as much opposed to the spirit of the Gospel that preeminence in Christ's kingdom should be adjudged to any man or set of men on the ground of natural descent, as on the ground of superior stature, physical strength, or wealth. 

Charles Hodge, Systematic theology (1871-2; James Clark edn, 3 vols, London, 1960), iii, 809-11.

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