Is Arlen Chitwood a racist?

There are those who will argue that the very question is a statement. But, truthfully, I am not sure of the answer. And that’s what bothers me.

Chitwood is esteemed as a man of God, a teacher of truth, a prophet of his age; yet, he actively teaches that blacks are cursed. In the 1980s, he edited and promoted pro-segregation texts. What are we to make of this? Shall we say that his actions speak for his character? As Chitwood is unwilling to clarify his views, directly refusing to answer questions from KingdomExclusion.com, we have only his actions and published writings to consider.

To his credit, Chitwood does not, as far as I can tell, eschew the company of blacks. He has for the last few years spoken at conferences which featured African speakers. He has worshipped at a church — Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida — that boasts of a mixed congregation.[1. Pastor John Herbert mentioned specifically that his church is ethnically diverse and that he would not adhere to segregationist theology, see http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=388]

However, Chitwood’s published writings and publishing activity paint a very different picture.

Late in 2009, KingdomExclusion.com posted a series of articles on the racial teachings of the late A. Edwin Wilson, the founder of the “Word of the Kingdom,” and Chitwood’s mentor. Wilson, it was revealed, was a strident segregationist, who taught that blacks were sexually deviant and unfit for public office. The principal source of this information was Chitwood himself, who directed my attention to “The Sons of Noah,” from the Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson, which Chitwood edited. An unabridged, electronic edition of this book was available at Chitwood’s website, LampBroadcast.org.

It was a stunning revelation, for Chitwood avowed that his teaching and Wilson’s accorded well with scripture.[2. See http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=262] He defended Wilson’s and his view of scripture with the following statement:

One can no more change that which is written in Gen. 9:25, 26b, 27b than he can change that which is written in Gen. 9:26a, 27a.

The curse connected with Gen. 9:25, 26b, 27b, of necessity, remains in effect today, will remain in effect until the Millennium, and will then pass out of existence (Zech. 14:21b).

The blessing connected with Gen. 9:26a, 27a, of necessity, remains in effect today, will remain in effect until the Millennium, and will then be realized in its fullness during the Millennium and throughout the endless ages following, never passing out of existence (Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 4:22, 23 [and there is an entire O.T., plus a N.T., filled with verses which could be referenced to show that it “must” and “will” be this way, with the two references shown revealing “why” it must be this way]).

The preceding would reflect A. Edwin Wilson’s position, my position, and the position of anyone who takes the Bible at face value and believes it. The latter would have to be the case, for the preceding is simply what the Bible states — something which no one can get around, no matter how hard that person might try.

Questioned later about Wilson’s stridently segregationist teachings, Chitwood shot back, “Note the pronoun in my statement — “his” — referring back to Wilson, not to me. All I did was comment on your statement concerning Wilson, since that had been the continuing subject of your previous inquiry. I didn’t go on and answer your question about my view on the matter.”[3. See http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=388]

Several facts undermine Chitwood’s reply. First, Chitwood himself said that Wilson and he held the same view on the teaching of the Hamitic curse, the underlying framework for Wilson’s racial teachings. Second, Chitwood edited and promoted Wilson’s book, writing, “The articles in this periodical covered a broad range of Biblical subjects and came from the pen of an individual who, through many years of prayer, study, and meditation upon the Scriptures, was pre-eminently qualified to write on these subjects” (Introduction to Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson). Third, Chitwood has only affirmed aspects of Wilson’s teachings; he has never disavowed Wilson on any point. Fourth, Chitwood has steadfastly refused to answer direct questions on this subject.

(Via e-mail, I have directly asked Chitwood, “Do you disavow Wilson on segregation?” Chitwood has never replied.)

For the record, I, as publisher of KingdomExclusion.com, have called A. Edwin Wilson a racist, for he was very much so. I have not called Chitwood a racist, and do not now so say, though the question is — disturbingly — open.

There are those who will ask why a man in the 21st century must answer such a question; further, there are those who will say that to ask it is to accuse. This would be a fair concern had not Chitwood so involved himself in the matter. Note that I am not asking this question of a man who is wholly unconnected to the issue. These are the plain facts: (a) Chitwood teaches that blacks are cursed, and (b) he edited and promoted pro-segregationist writings, which he has never disavowed.

It may be the case that Chitwood is simply unable to admit he was wrong to edit and promote Wilson’s racial teachings. It may be the case that Chitwood is unable to deny any aspect of an established teaching, the “Word of the Kingdom,” for fear that all of it will be questioned. It may also be the case the Chitwood simply doesn’t care what other people think — that would make him a rather callous man, considering the suffering African Americans endured because of the teaching of the Hamitic curse. It may also be the case that Chitwood whole-heartedly believes everything Wislon taught on race (Chitwood did, after all, say that Wilson was “pre-eminently qualified” to write on such topics).

So, is Chitwood a racist? We have only his published writings and actions to consider.

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Footnotes:

© 2010, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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