A self-proclaimed openly gay reverend named Brandon Robertson sparked quite a reaction when he said Jesus acted in a racist way towards the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7, was called out on it, and then repented of his sin.
Unsurprisingly, the clip went viral.
The claim was picked up and responded to by one of the most skilled Christian theologians of our time, James White, who gave a thoughtful response to not only the argument presented by Robertson, but the overall approach Christians should have when responding to blatantly anti-Gospel views.
Before getting to the response from White, let’s take a look at the Robertson’s viral remarks:
White warned Christians against addressing absurd heresy like this in an emotional manner, as is the temptation for many. He argued we should think presuppositionally when confronting issues such as this because the issue being debated is usually just a symptom of a larger problem, namely the abandonment of recognizing the authority, infallibility, and divine revealed nature of Scripture.
White had heard of this pastor previously, and noticed early on that he was trending in the wrong direction. In this context, he addresses the points Robertson made about Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman:
“He’ll still call himself reverend. They’ll still use the external activities of religiosity,” White explained. “But what this man just said was that Jesus is not a savior, can’t be a savior, he’s a sinner, he’s a racist, he’s not as good as a Syrophoenician woman. She had to speak truth to power. He’s not the truth, he’s not the way, he’s not the life, he’s not the savior. He was a lie from the beginning. But he’ll still call himself a Christian.”
White went on to say that “there is no reason to believe in the doctrine of the trinity if the Bible is not a divine revelation from God. There isn’t any. There is no reason to believe that Jesus Christ was the sinless son of God. There is no reason to believe that Jesus wasn’t a racist.”
White also said Christians over the years have understood the basic truth of that particular Scripture. He explained the woman knew what kind of response she would get from Jesus, a Jewish man, but she pressed on anyway. “She doesn’t change his mind,” White said, explaining that Jesus was drawing out her faith. Many times in the Bible we see Jesus commend people for having faith, such as the woman who reached out, touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed. Jesus wasn’t dumbfounded when he asked “who touched me” – He knew who it was, of course. He was testing her faith and he was bringing it out.
But now, White argues, in the “woke” world even basic truths of the Bible will be abandoned by many because the truth of God’s word simply doesn’t align with the “woke” mantra we are seeing play out today.