• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.

Featured What is the proper Christian response to privilege?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by powersforgood, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. powersforgood

    powersforgood New Member

    7
    +7
    United States
    Methodist
    Private
    The concept of privilege is becoming more and more commonly deployed in modern political discourse. It is often used in discussions of race (white privilege), gender issues (male privilege), and sexuality issues (straight privilege). For this discussion, I am less interested in those specific instances of privilege and more interested in a general discussion of privilege from a Christian perspective.

    To which I ask, what is the proper Christian response to privilege?

    Some questions to spark discussion:
    Do privilege exist? If it does, how does the Bible discuss privilege? Is privilege inherently good, bad, or neutral? How should a Christian support or oppose privilege? How should a Christian think about privilege? Is there a different between micro-level and macro-level privileges?

    I am looking to sharpen my own thinking in this area, particularly from a theological perspective. I am inclined that privilege exists, but I also find the manner in which it is sometimes weaponized to be unfaithful to the Christian witness. Hence, I would like for my brothers and sisters to help us all engage in a deeper discussion on the issue.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

    +9,598
    Australia
    Christian
    Single
    I certainly see no evidence that "white privilege" exists in the US. I see lots of evidence that "wealth privilege" exists widely both in the US and everywhere else. That is, a rich person of any race has privileges that a poor person of any race does not.

    The Epistle of James speaks extensively to "wealth privilege":

    If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:3-4)

    Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? (James 2:6)

    The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. (James 5:4)
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  3. Christie insb

    Christie insb Well-Known Member

    869
    +505
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Democrat
    I agree about privilege being tied to wealth but I hear stories of even well-off blacks being pulled over for driving while black. I am a white woman who drives a 15 year-old car and I almost never have had problems with the cops. Then the cop gets scared for some unknown reason and shoots the person. This still horrifies me and it wouldn't take many examples for me to never let my husband or son out of the house if we were black.

    As far as privilege is concerned, I think of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus was a beggar in front of a wealthy man's gate. When they died the situation changed dramatically. I don't think it's wrong to have money but we need to handle it well and remember everything we own is God's. Now don't I sound self-righteous? I should have four fingers pointing back at me because we might not think about it but by global standards we are very privileged financially. Also when God blames the wrath to Sodom and Gomorrah on wealthy overweight women who didn't share their wealth my toes start to curl.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  4. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

    +9,598
    Australia
    Christian
    Single
    Cops generally don't see white women as a threat, that's probably true. I'm not sure that constitutes "privilege," though.
     
  5. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    +461
    Christian
    Married
    I had a friend who became involved in RADICAL affirmative action. Does the Bible deal with issues of fairness, balancing disadvantages?

    I immediately though about what it says about worldly affairs, secular issues:

    Luke 12:13-21
    13Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

    2 Timothy 2:4
    4No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
     
  6. Sarah G

    Sarah G Human bean. Supporter

    816
    +1,068
    Netherlands
    Christian
    Married
    I think that as Christians it is important to be aware of our privileges and be thankful to God for them as they are blessings.

    Job was very privileged (wealth, status, health) but he lost that privilege (for a time).

    The rich man and Lazarus shows that privilege is temporary; even if one should be blessed for one's lifetime it is the eternal evermore that is truly important.

    True privilege is to hear the gospel, believe, repent and follow Lord Jesus Christ. We may consider wealthy, able bodied, heterosexual white men to be the most privileged but if they do not know Lord Jesus Christ then they are the poorest, most unfortunate creatures on the planet (and in truth they are often crippled by feelings of depression and emptiness).
     
  7. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,483
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    What do you mean/understand by privilege?
    Is it an area where only recognised people can access?
    If it is that and it refers to places, institutions and organisations. Then potentaly it is wrong C only members of the armed forces can access a base, emplotees access a work place ), if that recognition is based on race, wealth, background or some other discrimatory idea then it is clearly wrong.
     
  8. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

    +107,535
    Non-Denom
    Private
    US-Constitution
    The only "privilege" i've seen is the coming from the very ones batting the word around and accusing others of "privilege". The more recent "trend" of slinging the word "privilege" around is generating from the very ones who drip with it. And that would be entertainers, sports, political figures, etc.

    Perhaps it would behoove all of us to examine what "privilege" actually is.

    Thank you kindly.
     
  9. Shempster

    Shempster ImJustMe Supporter

    +772
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I suppose if we are born into privilege that we should be humble and thankful about it. We would look at those not born into it with respect and gentleness, not using our power of wealth to suppress others in any way.
    Those of us who had to work hard to succeed should thank God for the abilities He gave us and use it to help the underprivileged to grow.
    Some seem destined to struggle and remain poor despite all efforts. These are the "poor" that Jesus told us to help. There is a common attitude I have seen among many that poor people should remain poor because of their laziness and that notion is very wrong. It is selfish and evil. Of course, it may be true for some but one would have to judge the motives of another to do that and we are told NOT to judge, but rather to build up and love all others.....even our enemies.
     
  10. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +29,314
    Anglican
    Married
    The great majority of these terms are not new but they have been dusted off and reintroduced as attack words used by one political party against the other. That is the current political motif. Do not let yourself be drawn into thinking that they are real concerns. Terminology that works to promote class, gender, and ethnic hatred is a tactic. Please understand that.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • List
  11. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

    +13,404
    Christian
    Married
    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.


    Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

    Philemon and Onesimus. In the Rome of those days, a slave was a member of a slave class, established by the gods and enforced by society. Even if a slave owner manumitted a particular slave, that slave was always known in society as a "freedman," not as "freeborn." His class never changed, he was still considered what the gods destined him to be.

    The gospel erases the classes of privilege within the Body of Christ that the world recognizes.

    The world still recognizes those privileges, but that only means those Christians who have such privileges should use them for the benefit of those Christians who do not.

    When I first gained enough rank in the military to be placed in authority over other members, a mentor taught me, "Use your rank to help your people, not to harm them." This is what privileged Christians in the world should be doing with respect to those Christians who do not have privilege.

    That's what Philemon would have to do for Onesimus in their world, because even when Philemon manumitted Onesimus, Obesimus would still suffer in society as a mere "freedman."
     
  12. OrthodoxyUSA

    OrthodoxyUSA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,341
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    US-Republican
    I come from a long line of brick makers.

    Forgive me...
     
  13. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

    +4,338
    Christian
    Married
    What is the proper Christian response to political jargon designed to divide people based on race, gender or income? Share the Gospel, pray for them, and move on.
     
  14. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,670
    Non-Denom
    Private
    Abraham had a lot and God gave him more. Job had a lot and had many challenges. It is what we do with what we have and have been blessed with. It is our hearts that need to have the spirit of Christ as far as balance and know what we have been blessed with and figure out how to use it in God's way.

    If we value the things we have over the spiritual, then maybe we never have enough. When we value the spiritual over what our blessings are, we realize that we have much more than we do not.

    It's part perspective and part being a good steward.

    I would caution however to make the political things of today and try to put it in a Biblical context of 2,000 to 6,000 years ago because this is all newer, per se.
     
  15. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ pondering the things of God Supporter

    +11,310
    Canada
    Christian
    Private
    1. (n.) A benefit, advantage, or right not enjoyed by others or by all; special enjoyment of a good, or exemption from an evil or burden; a prerogative; advantage; franchise.

    2. (n.) See etc.

    3. (v. t.) To grant some particular right or exemption to; to invest with a peculiar right or immunity; to authorize; as, to privilege representatives from arrest.

    4. (v. t.) To bring or put into a condition of privilege or exemption from evil or danger; to exempt; to deliver.

    For a more complete description:

    Topical Bible: Privilege
     
  16. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

    +9,598
    Australia
    Christian
    Single
    I'm not sure that's quite true; some Roman freedmen became quite rich and influential.
     
  17. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

    +13,404
    Christian
    Married
    "Rich and influential" does not mean they had the status of being freeborn. They were not citizens, for instance, and they were denied privileges of citizens. They could be more easily brought before the court on spurious offenses and were more likely to lose. Property upon death would be up for grabs, not necessarily a legacy to one's children.
     
  18. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ pondering the things of God Supporter

    +11,310
    Canada
    Christian
    Private
    So this is thread about hierarchy?
     
  19. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

    +9,598
    Australia
    Christian
    Single
    Generally freedmen were (plebeian) citizens (though there were certain conditions which could disqualify them from citizenship). There were restrictions on holding public office, which varied over time. See The Freedman in the Roman World by Henrik Mouritsen (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
     
  20. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

    +13,404
    Christian
    Married
    No.
     
Loading...