Over on the Faith and Heritage blog, a response was written to much of my work on Kinism, at least that which I’ve written at the time of this blog post. It was penned by Davis Carlton, whose work I had responded to before in some of said Kinist posts. The article was posted on October 4, 2017, and entitled A Response to Truth Tribune on Kinism.
Before we begin, I do want to quote one section from the article:
I found TT’s conversation with Adam Kane to be insightful. I appreciate the time that he has spent researching Kinism. Typically detractors of Kinism make it pretty obvious that they haven’t investigated our beliefs to any meaningful degree. I applaud TT for actually reading and responding to our content. I also appreciate TT’s approach that he takes during this podcast. He seems to understand that Kinism has emerged as a reaction to the problems of modernity.
I appreciated reading this, as my main goal, in writing against Kinism, was to portray it and its followers accurately. As I said in the podcast with Mr. Kane, if Christians are going to be a witness to the truth, they must engage in truthful witnessing. Obviously there will be disagreements and statements of what is true and what is unbiblical, nonetheless, while I’ve never supported the notion of “let’s agree to disagree,” I do support the notion of “let’s disagree in an agreeable manner.” The fact that most Kinists who I’ve seen react to my work, even if they don’t agree with me, at least confess that I’m responding fairly and with their worldview in mind, tells me that I’m fulfilling my call to other Christians to be representative of He who is Truth.
With this said, let’s move into responding to the article itself. As always, anything quoted directly from the article itself will be in purple. I won’t be quoting all of it, but mainly the most important points. If anyone wishes to go and read the article first, I encourage them to by all means do so. The vast majority of my quotes will be enough that I think accusing me of taking things out of context will be a tad bit difficult.
The first part of Mr. Carlton’s article focuses on my length responses to the Kinist position on Rahab.
TT’s first article on Rahab is a response to Ehud Would’s article, “Rahab the Hebrew: The Royal Genealogy Vindicated“, and his “second article” addresses my comments about Rahab in my article, “Kinist Orthodoxy: A Response to Brian Schwertley, Part 4.” I don’t find it necessary to rehash all of the arguments pertaining to Rahab’s identity. Readers can assess our arguments and TT’s counter-arguments for themselves. There isn’t much more to say on this subject, other than I believe that the case presented on Faith and Heritage is compelling. I will offer a few comments in response to TT’s arguments. The crux of the issue is the meaning of Deuteronomy 7:1-6. TT argues that the prohibition of Israelites from marrying the Canaanites was rooted entirely in their abominable practices and worship of false gods. There ought to be no question that the idolatry of the Canaanites is the primary concern since it is specifically mentioned in this passage. Religious purity was likewise the primary concern for Ezra when he alludes to this passage in Ezra 9:1-2.
I have not much to say for much of this, as it’s obviously just introducing my writings and work.
I do want to note, for the careful reader, a subtle wording here: Mr. Carlton states there is no question that the “primary concern” was the idolatry of the Canaanites, and that the “primary concern” of Ezra was religious purity. This wording is obviously intended to leave the Kinist with wiggle room, so that they can say: “Ah, yes, that was their primary concern, but they had secondary concerns as well.”
The problem is one must first prove there are other concerns before using such wording. When one reads Deuteronomy 7 in its entirety, one sees it is not a lecture on genetics, but rather a chapter of scripture which is entirely theological in nature. God commands the Jews to destroy the Canaanites (vv. 1-2), then commands them not to intermarry with them (v. 3). Then, God proceeds with the reason for this ban: “For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods, etc.” (v.4). God then commands that their altars and places of worship shall be destroyed, for the Jews are to be a holy people (vv. 5-6). God then focuses on the special relationship between Him and His people, in contrast to the other peoples of the earth (vv. 7-11). God then promises relief for those who obey Him, and lack of relief for those who serve false gods (vv. 12-16). God then gives encouragement and promises to be with them as they make war against the Canaanites (vv. 17-24). Finally, God commands the people again to destroy the Canaanite idols and altars, and not bring their religious abominations into their own homes (vv. 25-26).
Again, there is no secondary concern seen in Deuteronomy 7; the only concern from God is the idolatry of the Canaanites and His people’s faithfulness to Him. The parallel passage in Exodus 34:11-17 goes into further detail on this, and focuses solely on the theological issues that would result from these potential intermixed marriage with Gentile idolaters. At the time of this writing, I have yet to see a Kinist even really handle Deuteronomy 7 in an exegetical fashion – it is often simply proof-texted against non-Kinists, or quoted with the Kinist interpretation taken for granted.
If Kinists wish to push secondary concerns into this, they are forced either to do so philosophically, or by pushing other passages into it. Mr. Carlton proceeds to do this in the next paragraph:
It would be a mistake to conclude from this, however, that the prohibition on intermarriage is entirely rather than primarily religious in nature. The Israelites were prohibited from intermarrying with particular Canaanite nations as nations. God could have told the Israelites to simply not marry unbelievers or those outside of the covenant, but instead God prohibited the Israelites from intermarrying with a group of particular heathen nations. Ezra alludes to this passage, and expands it to include other nations that were not included in the original commandment. Furthermore, both Ezra and Nehemiah state concerns in addition to the religious purity of the people of Israel. Ezra was clearly concerned with the hereditary identity of Israel and especially the priesthood (2:59-62), and the separation of the children born to foreign women confirms that the separation of Israel from the mixed multitude was not simply religious in nature (10:1-3). Nehemiah likewise objected to these marriages on linguistic and cultural grounds (13:23-24). This provides some background as to why marriages with these particular Canaanite nations were categorically prohibited in Deuteronomy 7 and why Kinists typically don’t believe that Rahab was a member of one of these nations.
A few points here:
First, that the Israelites were prohibited from intermarrying with particular Canaanite nations “as nations” is not surprising. For Mr. Carlton to ask why God didn’t just outright ban unbelievers is like Muslims who ask why Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John didn’t have last names. As I discussed in my previous post on Rahab, the normative mindset of that time period was that people and religion were often interchangeable; you didn’t have societies with religious hodgepodges like you do in the western world today. Even during the height of the Roman Empire, which had many cultures and religions under it, there was a state religion centered around the Roman culture, with “accepted” religions isolated to the people who chose to worship them. This was, in fact, one of the problems the Roman government began to have against Christians: the fact that they preached and witnessed to everybody, and not just their own people or culture… since, as a religion, they had none.
In fact, Mr. Carlton’s question can rationally be used against itself. One might reword his argument with: “God could have told the Israelites to simply not marry Gentiles or those outside of their genetic line.” Of course, God doesn’t do this – in fact, as has been elucidated upon already, we see that God goes at length to emphasis the theological, rather than racial, differences between the Jews and the Canaanites. We must likewise ask, if God’s primary intention was genetic purity (or, that was at least part of God’s concern), why was so much specificity placed upon the Canaanites, and not other peoples around the area? (Barring the Ammonites and Moabites, whom we will touch upon shortly.) Why is the ban placed only on the Canaanites, and for specifically theological reasons, if He had concerns over genetic purity? The answers to these questions are simple: God mentioned the Canaanites specifically because they were idolaters who dwelt in the land the Jews had been promised, and He only spoke of theological concerns because, as a people who were naturally idolaters, they would be prone to entice God’s people to fall away. If God’s people were to dwell in the land and honor Him faithfully, they would have to likewise remove any temptation to fall away from the land.
Second, Mr. Carlton argues that Ezra “alludes to this passage, and expands it to include other nations that were not included in the original commandment.” He is most likely referring to this section:
Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” [Ezra 9:1-2]
This passage is actually spoken of at length in my Rahab posts. As I brought up there, the key point here is that the people, priests, and Levites had not separated themselves from the nearby people “according to their abominations” (v. 1). Later on in the same chapter, during Ezra’s prayer to God, he goes at length in regards to these abominations, stating that the marriages had brought these about (vv. 10-14). In other words, these Jews had married practicing unbelievers who were causing them to commit abominations; again there are theological motivations related to the marriage ban. I go into greater detail in the aforementioned post, so I would point people that way.
Third, Mr. Carlton argues that Ezra “was clearly concerned with the hereditary identity of Israel and especially the priesthood.” Here is the passage cited in full:
Now these are those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan and Immer, but they were not able to give evidence of their fathers’ households and their descendants, whether they were of Israel: the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, 652. Of the sons of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and he was called by their name. These searched among their ancestral registration, but they could not be located; therefore they were considered unclean and excluded from the priesthood. [Ezra 2:59-62]
As this passage was concerned with the lineage of the priesthood, this shouldn’t surprise us, as the priesthoods was based entirely around lineage. Priests were to be descendants of Levi and Aaron (Num 18:1; Heb 7:5). If a person could not prove they were not of Levitical blood, they could not carry out the task of being a priest. This is something no non-Kinist denies, and is a major point made by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews and his connecting Christ with another, greater priesthood (Heb 7:11). However, this understanding, and the full context of the passage cited, in no way demands a pure genetic lineage; rather, it simply demands proof of identity with the tribe of Levi. Note that Ezra records that the groups in question were not proven to have Gentile blood, but rather, they could not provide any information on whether or not their line went back to the priesthood, and therefore could not serve as priests. Mr. Carlton’s citation of this passage is therefore erroneous.
Fourth, Mr. Carlton argues “Nehemiah likewise objected to these marriages on linguistic and cultural grounds (13:23-24).” Here is the passage in question, with the fuller context:
In those days I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but the language of his own people. So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin. Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil by acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?” Even one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite, so I drove him away from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.” [Nehemiah 13:23-29]
Again, this passage was discussed in the previous Rahab articles; as there, we must here note the reference made by Nehemiah to Solomon (v. 26). Solomon took many foreign wives, who caused him to seek after other gods (1 Kings 11:4); Nehemiah reiterates this by talking about those foreign women who “caused even him to sin.” Nehemiah then labels this same charge against the priests – his concern is religious. As for the children and their language, it is implied here that the children were raised with the wife’s culture (and hence religion) controlling the home. This is actually why, after Vashti’s insubordination, the Persian king gave the command that “every man should be the master in his own house and the one who speaks in the language of his own people” (Esther 1:22b): to control the language in the home was, in essence, to show who was really in charge. That the children were speaking the language of their foreign-born mothers showed who was truly in charge, and hence that they were most likely following foreign gods, hence Nehemiah’s emphasis upon the theological aspect, rather than genetic. Matthew Henry writes on this passage:
Observe, (1.) Children, in their childhood, learn much of their mothers. Partus sequitur ventrem—they are prone to imitate their mothers. (2.) If either side be bad, the corrupt nature will incline the children to take after that, which is a good reason why Christians should not be unequally yoked. (3.) In the education of children great care should be taken about the government of their tongues, that they learn not the language of Ashdod, any impious or impure talk, any corrupt communication. [source]
It is clear that Nehemiah’s concern was not that the Jewish men were marrying foreign women, QED. Rather, they were marrying unbelieving foreign women, and permitting these foreign women to run the home. As a result, they were not only permitting the women to cause them to sin, but were permitting them to raise pagan, rather than covenantal, households.
Fifth, Mr. Carlton states that these are all many reasons why “Kinists typically don’t believe that Rahab was a member of one of these nations.” I will only add to this what I pointed out in my previous Rahab articles: in the history of the Christian church, Kinists are alone in this. While Kinists are fond of grabbing quotes or opinions from historical figures in an attempt to prove their historicity, they seem, in their argumentation regarding Rahab, to have completeley missed that the earliest Church Fathers, later Church Fathers, the Reformers, and all theologians from then on, believed not only that the Rahab of Matthew’s genealogy is the same as Rahab the Harlot, but that Rahab was a Gentile. As I presented pretty conclusively in my Rahab articles, there is as much historical validity to the teaching that Rahab was a Gentile as there is for the doctrine of the Trinity. I would again advise readers return to those articles and see the historical evidence against the Kinist position in this regard.
But for the sake of argument, let’s concede TT’s case that Rahab was a member of one of these Canaanite nations and that the law of Deuteronomy 7:1-6 did not apply to her as a proselyte. What does this prove? Does this mean that miscegenation or interracial marriage is normatively acceptable? I don’t believe so. During his podcast conversation TT delineates between weak, strong, and stronger Kinists. These distinctions are valid, but intramural discussions between Kinists have mostly resolved these differences for all intents and purposes. “Strong” Kinists concede that there are perhaps exceedingly rare circumstances in which marriage might be licitly contracted between members of different races, and less rare circumstances in which members of different ethnic groups within the same race might marry. “Weak” Kinists likewise acknowledge that such circumstances are infrequent indeed, and particularly rare in light of our present circumstances. Whites can easily find suitable spouses among members of our own race, and it is important to do so in light of the anti-white cultural zeitgeist that seeks to eliminate or supplant whites in the modern world. It is one thing to debate the propriety of the occasional intermarriage that took place between white settlers on the frontier with women from Amerindian tribes, and quite another to assert that race is a matter of indifference in marriage.
Here Mr. Carlton contends that, even if Deuteronomy 7:1-6 did not apply into the Kinist definition, it would not prove interracial marriage to be “normatively acceptable.” This is a common Kinist appeal to make when their case for scripture is revealed to be a bit weaker than they previously believed it to be.
The problem with this argument is, once again, it’s shifting goal posts. Nowhere have I argued a flow of logic which says that, if Deuteronomy 7:1-6 is not a race-motivated passage, that automatically concludes that interracial marriage is “normatively acceptable.” Neither is that the crux of the argument at hand – the crux of the argument, rather, is on the sinfulness of mixed marriage. Most Kinists argue that if a black man and white woman marry – even if both of them are believing Christians – then they are violating God’s blueprint in the same manner as two homosexuals engaging in sodomy. To make such a statement, the burden is on the Kinist to prove that such a teaching can be found consistently in the pages of scripture. The burden of proof is therefore upon the Kinist to demonstrate this clearly from the pages of God’s holy writ.
The circumstances surrounding Rahab’s rescue from Jericho with her family are nothing if not entirely extraordinary. The fact that Israelites were allowed to marry at least some foreign women in extraordinary circumstances could be granted on the grounds of Deuteronomy 21:10-14, but these are clearly non-normative and cannot make void what is normatively healthy and good. To argue for the normative acceptability of racial intermarriage on the grounds of purported examples like Rahab and Ruth is to miss the forest for the trees. I made the case in my articles “Divorce, Miscegenation, and Polygamy: A Comparative Approach to Their Morality” (Part 1 and Part 2) that this type of argumentation is typically not used or accepted by Christians in defense of practices such as polygamy. We could produce examples of faithful men who were married to more than one woman at a time, yet virtually no church would argue from this that polygamy was a normatively acceptable practice under normal circumstances. Faith and Heritage has published more articles that flesh out the topic of racial intermarriage in greater detail, but the point is that whatever occasional and extraordinary exceptions there have been in history, these exceptions don’t undermine the general Kinist case against racial intermarriage.
Again, the issue is not whether or not one or two mixed marriages in scripture make interracial marriage universally okay. The issue is whether or not scripture teaches that interracial marriage is a sin.
Furthermore, that Mr. Carlton would concede that Rahab and Ruth might have come from banned genetics, but it should only be taken as an exception to the rule, contradicts the arguments made by himself and fellow Kinists. I must remind my reader that, for Kinists, to say Rahab was a Gentile, or Ruth was a Moabite, is to make null and void the Gospel and Incarnation. This is something not argued by anti-Kinists, but Kinists themselves. This was especially outlined by Ehud Would, Mr. Carlton’s fellow Faith and Heritage contributor, in a Rahab article of his own:
…if the genealogies didn’t prove His lawful descent from Jacob and claim to the heritage of David, their inclusion to that end in the text would be a work of sublime futility – undermining the whole of the gospel and, thereby, revelation in general. [source]
Here is yet another quote from Mr. Would, where he states that it is “impossible” to maintain the doctrine of the incarnation, while at the same time denying that Christ’s genes were purely Jewish:
It is impossible to deny the purity of Christ’s pedigree and yet retain any Christian doctrine of the Incarnation. Christ, quite simply, had to be the pure-blood heir apparent in order to be the prophesied Messiah without spot or blemish. [source]
In fact, Mr. Carlton himself declares the idea that Jesus could have had Gentile blood, let alone Canaanite ancestry, as “heretical and absurd.”
Are we then to expect that Christ, the trueborn King of Israel hailing from the tribe of Judah, had Canaanite ancestry – that both He and His ancestors ought to have been separated from Israel for having a forbidden admixture? The notion is heretical and absurd. [source]
What is really happening here is an astounding example of shifting the goal posts, insofar as what happens when the passages of scripture cited by Kinists come under scrutiny by careful critics. Here, we see a sudden shift in the Kinist camp, which at one point states “Confessing Canaanite blood in Christ’s genes is a heresy that undoes the Gospel and Incarnation,” then turns around and declares “Eh, that’s just an exception to the rule, we can ignore it.” Quite simply, you can’t have both. You can’t declare that permitting Jesus to have even one or two banned ethnic groups in his lineage undoes major Christian doctrines, then turn around and say, if such ethnic groups did sneak into Christ’s lineage, it wouldn’t matter in the long run. Mr. Carlton is certainly right that, just because something occurs in the Bible (eg., polygamy), that does not mean it is condoned by God; the difference, however, is that these same Christians arguing against polygamy do not also argue that the very Gospel itself is undone just because ancestors to Christ like Abraham, David, and others had more than one wife.
In the podcast with Mr. Kane, I brought up that Kinism in essence forces it’s followers to engage in compartmentalized thinking, like a cult. This is just one astounding example of that.
In the next portion of his response, Mr. Carlton seeks to defend the Kinist “Law of Kin Rule,” which uses Deuteronomy 17 to teach that only members from a people’s own race or ethnic group may be leaders of the people.
First, the laws given to Israel are applicable to other nations. Deuteronomy 4:5-8 teaches that the nations would learn from Israel’s law and see divine wisdom in the statutes given to them. Virtually everyone agrees that the Law contained universally applicable moral laws that still stand today. The prohibition against theft would be an example of this. Some of Israel’s laws pertained to ceremonial ordinances that were unique to Israel’s place in the history of redemption. These laws are abrogated, as they have been fulfilled by the coming of Christ. Other laws are specific to Israel’s historical context, but would still be applicable as to their underlying moral principles. The law of kin rule was given to Israel in their specific historical and political context, but the underlying principle is still binding. The nations around Israel all had kings and governors and would have been just as interested in preserving their autonomy from foreign rulers as Israel. There is no reason to see this particular law as a ceremonial ordinance unique to Israel, since it can easily be generalized as a principle of civil government.
I’m not quite certain if Mr. Carlton read my argumentation against the Kinist interpretation carefully, since very little of what I actually wrote is responded to in this article; neither does Mr. Carlton attempt to give a counter-exegesis to the passage. (In fact, he quotes very little, if any, of the passage in his article.) Those who read my post will see that I demonstrated why we should believe the “kin law” was abrogated by the coming of Christ. I go into greater detail on this in the relevant blog post, so I would point people there for a larger discussion. Furthermore, when one looks at Jeremiah 30:18-24 (specifically verse 21), they see language clearing drawing from Deuteronomy 17, and used in reference to the coming Messiah. Again, I go into greater detail in the post, therefore I again point readers to the original article for further discussion.
Instead of dealing with much of this, Mr. Carlton attempts to appeal to the general nature of much of the Law, then appeals to the fact that the idea of being ruled by one of your kinsmen “can easily be generalized” as an “underlying principle” for government. Could it be a good principle to be ruled by one of your own? Probably. In specific cases, it might be seen as better than to be ruled by a blatant foreigner. However, arguing from practicality and pragmatism is different than arguing that something is a sin and against God’s blueprint. What is occurring, within the Kinist camp, is a subtle shifting of goal posts: it has gone a “law of kin rule” to a “suggestion for kin rule.” We see this even further as we continue.
The second issue is the nature of the law itself. TT argues that this law was unique to Israel because it pertained to the anointed kings of Israel, for verse 15 states that Israel’s king would be chosen by the Lord. Israel is the only nation that has had kings selected in the manner described in verse 15; therefore TT concludes that the entirety of the requirements for a king listed in Deuteronomy 17 apply only to the kings of ancient Israel. TT states that the requirement that the king of Israel be a fellow Israelite is the “only one Kinists harp on,” to the best of his knowledge. This simply is not true.
That there are multiple requirements listed in Deuteronomy 17 for kings demonstrates that these requirements are not applied solely to the king of Israel, because they would then all be superfluous — for God stated that He would (and did) chose the kings of Israel through the anointing of a prophet. Other nations did not enjoy the privilege of having their kings chosen by a prophetic revelation, but that does not mean that the other requirements did not apply. All nations are an extension of families, as per biblical usage of the term, especially in the Table of Nations (Gen. 10). Therefore, all nations can apply the law of kin rule to themselves for the purpose of fighting imperialism.
Those who read my original post saw that the “multiple requirements” for the king were all directly relevant for Israel, and in fact were relevant later on in scripture, as history unfolded.
Notice also Mr. Carlton’s repeated use of the word “can”: “it can easily be generalized as a principle of civil government,” “all nations can apply the law of kin rule to themselves,” etc. Even if not all aspects of the law apply, it’s still possible for a nation to apply this to themselves. However, in a matter of God’s Law, it is never a matter of can it be, but should it be. Is it that a man can choose to not commit adultery, or that he should choose to not commit adultery? With the supposed “law of kin rule,” it is not whether or not it can be made the law, but should it be made the law. That is, it is merely an “underlying principle” for civil governments to follow, or is it a direct law from God Himself?
As I said before, this is merely shifting goal posts when the scriptural passages suddenly become not as clear as it would be wished they were. We have gone from “God’s blueprint” to something unbelieving nations can happily apply to themselves “for the purpose of fighting imperialism,” so long as at least some of the requirements of Deuteronomy 17 apply. (At the very least, all the parts of the Law except the part where it says God must directly appoint the king.)
Kinists believe that national leaders are bound by all of these requirements. All national leaders are required to enforce God’s commandments. When the Apostle Paul teaches that the civil government is a terror to those who do evil and a rewarder to those who do good, this implies an objective standard of right and wrong to which all people are accountable. The requirements for kings listed in Deuteronomy 17 apply to all kings, not just those of ancient Israel.
If Kinists believe that national leaders are bound by all of these requirements, then do Kinists teach a “law of not multiplying horses”? Do they teach a “law of no trade with Egypt”? Why is the “kin rule” part the only one that seems to be stressed against nations? These laws would seem nonsensical when applied today, but as I pointed out in my original blog post, they were all relevant to the history of the old testament church. If you were to try to apply these laws to Japan or France or Namibia or any other nation, you would have to jump through major intellectual hurdles to do so; by contrast, they make perfect sense when seen in light of the narrative of God’s redemptive history.
Mr. Carlton assures us that Kinists don’t deny anything in Deuteronomy 17, and that most of the requirements in Deuteronomy 17 clearly apply to all kings, neither of which we’ve found to be completely true. Mr. Carlton’s problem stems from the fact that he skirted having to deal with the original wording by not quoting the passage at all, nor exegeting it in any meaningful fashion, and instead merely appeals to concepts of natural law. He says that it isn’t true that Kinists deny the other verses are relevant, but does not even attempt to demonstrate how all the commands are relevant to today’s nations – most likely because, if he did, it would either contradict how it is fulfilled in scripture, or it would become completely nonsensical, or require great redefinition of terms or great allegorization.
Take, for example, Mr. Carlton’s argument here: “All national leaders are required to enforce God’s commandments. When the Apostle Paul teaches that the civil government is a terror to those who do evil and a rewarder to those who do good, this implies an objective standard of right and wrong to which all people are accountable.” However, under what form of government were the Roman Christians when the apostle Paul penned those words? It was not a monotheistic theocracy like ancient Israel, but rather a pagan empire. Some might wish to again appeal to natural law, or the idea of a general law that even pagans can grasp (eg., rape is bad), but was this what was described for the monarchs in Deuteronomy 17? Hardly. Let’s review the last few verses:
“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.” [Deuteronomy 17:18-20]
Again, what was the legal requirement of the king under the old dispensation? It was that he would write a copy of the law in the presence of Levitical priests, and he would reread the law all his life, to fear the Lord and observe the Lord’s law. Point is, this went well beyond “even pagan governments know murder is bad.” How could the Roman government of Paul’s time have fulfilled this law? Which Roman emperor in the first century wrote a copy of the law regarding kings before Levitical priests and continued to read it all the days of his life? In fact, how could any government today fulfill this law, since there is no longer a Levitical priesthood? When Donald Trump was elected president, did he do this? If not, wouldn’t he be as much under a violation of Deuteronomy 17 as Sadiq Khan is for not being an ethnic Anglo-Saxon?
Again, Mr. Carlton’s problem stems from avoiding any major handling of the text, and attempting to dance circles around it in his argument. However, those who compare what he says with the original scripture will notice that his foundation, quite quickly, becomes shaky.
Finally, even if the above reason is discounted on the grounds that all of the requirements for a king listed in Deuteronomy 17 are specific to Israel, it must be pointed out that the law of kin rule stated in Deuteronomy 17 for a king is simply an extension of the principle of government stated in Deuteronomy 1:13-16. The nobility and judges of the tribes were not directly appointed by God in the same way as Saul or David, so TT cannot simply write this principle off as being specific to Israel.
There is no way Deuteronomy 17 can be an “extension” of Deuteronomy 1:13-16. The latter was a repetition of the advice of Jethro to alleviate Moses’ stress from leadership (Ex 18:17-26); the former was a command from God regarding the Jewish kingship. Both served different purposes. Deuteronomy 1:13-16 was not written to be a “principle of government.” To apply it as such is just as erroneous as when Calvary Chapel applies it as a guide for church government.
TT cites John Calvin’s commentary on Deuteronomy 17:15, in which Calvin states that a reason for this commandment was to prevent the Israelites from being ruled by a heathen. I’m not convinced that Calvin believed that this commandment was concerned with only religious concerns. Elsewhere Calvin expresses a belief in ethnonationalism entirely consistent with Kinism. In his commentary on Acts 17:26, Calvin states regarding the propriety of national boundaries, “Now, we see, as in a camp, every troop and band hath his appointed place, so men are placed upon earth, that every people may be content with their bounds, and that among these people every particular person may have his mansion. But though ambition have, oftentimes raged, and many, being incensed with wicked lust, have past their bounds, yet the lust of men hath never brought to pass, but that God hath governed all events from out of his holy sanctuary.”
I must confess that I found this section very shocking upon first reading, for Mr. Carlton basically argues: “Truth Tribune cites John Calvin talking about this verse in a specific context, but he’s wrong because of this quote where John Calvin interprets an entirely different verse with an entirely different context.” Did John Calvin hold views regarding state and ethnicity that would make many soft, squishy Evangelicals today shift uncomfortably in their pews? No doubt. However, appealing to his opinion somewhere else to try to say that Calvin didn’t believe this commandment had only religious concerns is really, really stretching things.
I present the original quote I gave in the article:
Secondly, He commands that he should be taken from the people themselves, and excludes foreigners, because, if they had been admitted, a door was opened to apostasy; for each would have tried to force upon them his native gods, and true religion would have been persecuted by the force and threatenings of the royal power. Behold why God would not suffer a king to be sought elsewhere but from the bosom of His Church; in order that he might cherish and maintain that pure worship which he had imbibed from his childhood. [source]
John Calvin didn’t think there were only religious concerns behind this commandment? One would be hard pressed to believe such a thing when reading his words in full. One would in essence have to appeal to the mere possibility, which most would recognize as a childish tactic. Likewise, appealing to Calvin’s words on an unrelated passage, on an unrelated topic, while ignoring – if not avoiding – what he wrote in the original quotation, is simply a red herring at worse and an erroneous misinterpretation of my point at best. We are in essence told, “Ignore this quote that contradicts my point, and look at this quote over here!”
This sort of tactic might win you points with die-hard Kinists who aren’t interested in the truth to begin with, but, for those seeking answers, or those wishing for meaningful dialogue, it doesn’t contribute at all to the conversation.
It was good to have some written interaction, as interaction and debate always assists two sides in sharpening one another, or demonstrating to those seeking truth who is really handling the matter rightly. Certainly, I’ve had far more interaction with them than I have with the most from the New Apostolic Reformation. (And, given the huge gulf between the material I’ve done on the NAR, and the material I’ve done on Kinism, that says a lot.) Nonetheless, we have seen here some difficulties that arise in the Kinist camp when their beliefs come under careful scrutiny.
Perhaps the biggest difficulty comes in the realization of how weak their appeal to scripture truly is. If Kinists confess that race and genetics are secondary (if not tertiary) concerns in Deuteronomy 7, and passages like it, then the Kinist would have to admit (if they are intellectually honest) that Deuteronomy 7 is not the best sedes doctrinae passage for their doctrine, despite the fact it is often cited as such. Even if they do not wish to confess this, it is something that logically proceeds from their argumentation. Deuteronomy 7, Deuteronomy 17, Ezra, Nehemiah, and others, are therefore proven to be a very weak texts to cite in favor of their worldview. Like leftists who have to appeal to passages unrelated to their worldview and beg the question of secondary concerns or hidden worries about the author to force feminism or liberal theology, Kinists must likewise appeal to verses not at all dealing with race or ethnic lineage and force modern views of genetics and racial purity into it.
This is why, when placed under a microscope, the Kinist must deal with these matters from a more philosophical or pragmatic standpoint. It is the same problem as those who take descriptive passages in scripture and use them prescriptively: when analyzed, their entire viewpoint comes tumbling down like a stack of cards. It is likewise the same problem seen by synergists who attempt to redefine the meaning of strong passages such as John 6 or Romans 9: they must deal with the text in a superficial manner, and, if pressed into a corner on the plain meaning, must revert to standards or arguments outside of the Bible to keep their points afloat. It is plain from this that the Kinist view of scripture is not an exegetical one: it is not one which seeks to go verse by verse to understand the original intent of the author, and it is not one which seeks to come out from the plain meaning of the text. Rather, it will pick and choose what contemporary sources at the time of scripture to believe or refute; it will use a vague meaning from a verse, or one that they believe is implied, and rely upon that to formulate major doctrine concerning sin and error.
Above all, Kinism is a view of scripture which does not look through the lens of Christ, but the lens of race. It does so to the point that, if Christ be not of pureblood descent, then the very Gospel is undone. Kinism says to its followers that if Christ was not a pureblood Jew, then “your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (cf., 1 Cor 15:17b). This is clearly a redefinition of the very Gospel, and is a different Gospel altogether, for it relies not upon the sinless perfection of Christ, but a genetic perfection. This is a serious matter, for we must remember what the apostle Paul wrote: “if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Gal 1:9) Nowhere in scripture is Christ’s ethnic lineage placed in as high a pedestal with His messianic mission, nor is intermixed marriage placed as a sin upon the modern believer.
I encourage the reader, if they be a Kinist, to turn away, and know that their sins are forgiven, regardless of the racial purity of Christ. Likewise, if any are thinking of joining Kinism, I warn them that they will be forced to partake in the compartmentalized thinking seen here, and they will be forced to redefine the Gospel.