There are many “emerging” leaders who hold to biblical authority and objective truth.
Emergent Village and Tony Jones do not speak for everyone, or perhaps even most, in movements sometimes called “emerging.” Nonetheless, the Emergent Village understanding of truth is quite attractive to many in contemporary evangelicalism, for all kinds of reasons.
” As for the black man who has children with a white woman: “He don’t want them to look like him, so he’ll marry with another.” Lest this sound racist, Reagan adds helpfully, “Some of the finest people I ever met in my life was some of them colored people.” But this sermon isn’t from the bad old times; it was recorded just last year in Reagan’s 600-member Johnson City, Tenn., church. They may not all embrace the racial separation extolled by Reagan, but the Branham theology invites racism, says James Walker, president of The Watchman Fellowship, an Arlington, Texas, evangelical ministry that researches cults and new religious movements. He preached that original sin stemmed not from Eve biting the fruit and gaining knowledge but, instead, from her sexual intercourse with the serpent, which resulted in the birth of Cain.
What’s more, the pastor is not unique in translating the theology of William Branham, a breakaway Pentecostal religious leader, into a “no-exceptions” Biblical ban on interracial marriage. This led, through the bloodline of Cain, Noah and Ham, to a race of human beings who were descended from the evil serpent. Actually, Branham never quite said, notes Walker, author of The Concise Guide to Today’s Religions and Spirituality (Harvest House).
My stance on interracial marriage ought to demonstrate to me, he argued, that truth is not “Platonically floating around somewhere” but is instead changing and growing.
My problem is that Tony’s understanding of truth as community-structured and located is exactly what was propping up the white supremacy of my ancestors, and it was something entirely different that knocked it down.
People of color, in this twisted interpretation of the Bible, are soulless beings made by God on the sixth day as “beasts of the field.” Adam’s descendants? “Christian Identity has it all worked out who’s the lower people. But most of Branham’s modern adherents certainly believe that miscegenation is a sin decreed by God.
Any church that teaches this ‘serpentism’ is going to have a tendency to be racist, because it separates people by DNA and bloodline.
Tony has argued, based on the writings of postmodernist epistemologies of various religious and non-religious stripes, that “all hermeneutics is local,” that truth is located and constructed in the community.
Now, I know that many who are categorized in the “Emerging Church” camp are nowhere near this.
It’s a loose confederation, says Walker, with churches geographically scattered in places including Louisiana, Indiana and Arizona.
Branham is extolled as an apostle himself, practically a god, in these churches.
I told the caller that the Scripture nowhere forbids interracial marriage, that the distinctions to worry about should be of the Spirit not the skin-color.