First, who is A. Edwin Wilson? He is the originator of a teaching called the “Word of the Kingdom.” He died in 1987, but his teaching lives on, principally in the ministry of Arlen L. Chitwood. What is the “Word of the Kingdom”? It is the belief that the salvation is conditional — that Christians will suffer the hurt of the second death for carnality. Since 2007, I have opposed this teaching, outlining my objections in article after article, maintaining that “Word of the Kingdom” propounds works-salvation.
But in 2009, sometime in November or December, I came across another reason to oppose this teaching: race hatred. As it turns out, Wilson was a segregationist. Given his Southern origins, this should not have come as a surprise. But it did. After all, “Word of the Kingdom” says Christians need to be aware that they are accountable for their actions.
Apparently, this is not so.
Had Wilson merely been a product of his age, I suppose I would have written off his views as an unfortunate circumstance of history. But there is more. Through the 1970s, Wilson continued to preach that blacks were cursed, and that no equality should be afforded to them. In 1981, his admirers felt his teachings should be memorialized in a published collection of his writings. Chitwood edited and promoted this text, callously disregarding its racist content.
Since publishing several articles on Wilson’s racial theories, only one advocate of the “Word of the Kingdom” has stated that Wilson was wrong on the race issue. Pastor John Herbert of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, disavowed Wilson’s position on race, saying, “I would not adhere to that under any circumstances.” In this regard, he stands alone.
The Response of Others:
- Chitwood has declined repeatedly to explain his role in editing and promoting Wilson’s racial theories; in fact, rather than contradict Wilson, he wrote his own treatise on the Hamitic curse, declaring that, in fact, blacks are cursed[1. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=1223]
- John “Driftwood” Chitwood — Arlen Chitwood’s son and webmaster — concluded that Wilson’s book was not “racist”[2. http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Writings-Edwin-Wilson/dp/B003QTIWQQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280433697&sr=8-1 and http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=1373]
- Radio preacher Arlen Banks replied by e-mail that “Wilson is not a racist” [3. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=1391]
- Ralph Alley, an edler at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Los Gatos, California, wrote on his church’s website that “a few of A. Edwin Wilson’s writings can be problematic at times, and the one in question was from a time (some 40+ years ago) when such writing was acceptable in certain circles”[4. http://cornerstonelosgatos.com/Blog.php?post=14]
- Jim Brooks, who spoke at a “Word of the Kingdom” conference at Herbert’s church, continues to disseminate Wilson’s racial teachings[5. ]
- Royce Powell, another speaker at that conference, also taught that certain races shouldn’t intermingle[6. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=943]
- Schoettle Publishing Company continues to sell Wilson’s book (now in its third printing)[7. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=374]
- RaptureReady.com continues to publish Wilson’s book on-line[8. http://www.raptureready.com/resource/wilson/w22.htm]
Does accountability matter at all? The hypocrisy of these advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom” is galling.
© 2010, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.