The “Word of the Kingdom” is a house divided. Churches and individuals associated with this teaching are split over whether a race of people called “Hamitics”[1. “Hamitics” are considered to be descendants of Noah’s son Ham. They are understood to have settled in Africa and the Middle East. The term is not recognized by sociologists or the designated peoples themselves, yet its use persists among some dispensationalists.] are cursed. This breach is noteworthy inasmuch as kingdom seekers believe the “Word of the Kingdom” is not a teaching, but the word of God itself.
The late A. Edwin Wilson, who originated this system of theology[2. Wilson was the first to teach what is known among kingdom seekers as the “Word of the Kingdom.” This distinctive teaching is preserved in much of its substance in the teachings of like-minded persons], contended that Noah pronounced a generational curse upon the descendants of Ham, whom he identified as Africans. Arlen L. Chitwood, a leading theologian in the movement and a former disciple of Wilson, contends Hamitics are under a curse, though he is reluctant to identify who they are. His writings indicate Hamitics are of African descent.[3. In “Focus on the Middle East” Chitwood identifies 90 percent of Egyptians as Hamtic (p. 75). His writings do not indicate which other people groups fall under this designation, but historically the term was used to describe most Africans and some Middle Easterners. Absent clarification, one has only the historical use of the term to go on. Chitwood placing Hamitics in Africa is consistent with the general theory of the Hamitic race.]
“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),” Chitwood wrote in reply to written inquiries.
He added later, “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.”
Churches associated with the teachings of Wilson and Chitwood are not so certain.
A house divided
Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Los Gatos, California, stated they didn’t know if a “contemporary people group” was under a curse today. “Don’t know,” the leadership wrote on its website. “The Bible doesn’t tell us. The Bible’s genealogies don’t carry into the present day.”[4. http://cornerstonelosgatos.com/DiscussionForum.php?post=14]
This contradicts Chitwood who in a subsequent written statement explained: “Now, if you were to ask me what race of people today is under the curse in Gen. 9, I would take the matter no further than to tell you to find out who the descendants of Ham through his sons are today, and you will have that segment of society.”
That parties associated with the “Word of the Kingdom” claim the teaching is “what the Bible says” makes disagreement among them remarkable. That they sometimes disagree on important subjects indicates the “Word of the Kingdom” is not the word of God itself, but an interpretation of the God’s word. However they won’t admit as much.
Statements from Pastor John Herbert of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, further underscore the issue. In a phone interview, Herbert said he would not comment on the Hamitic curse as he had not yet studied the issue. He did disavow Wilson’s pro-segregation writings, as has the leadership at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Los Gatos.
Both groups emphatically denounced segregation.
What saith the teacher?
Chitwood, however, has neither avowed nor disavowed Wilson’s strident segregationist rhetoric. This is alarming considering Chitwood edited and promoted Wilson’s book, Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson, in which Wilson wrote, “WHAT GOD HAS SEPARATED, LET NOT MAN INTEGRATE!” (emphasis in the original). The book was published in 1981.
Also, Chitwood has asserted he and Wilson held the same position on Gen. 9, from which the Hamitic curse is derived.
Arlen Banks, whose website is one of the few recommended at CornerstoneLosGatos.com[5. http://cornerstonelosgatos.com/Resources.php], apologized for Wilson, stating at KingdomExclusion.com: “[His] view of the Hamitic curse was a prophetical view, of the future, and not to promote racism or segregation as you claim.”[6. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=372] Banks did not explain how Wilson’s pro-segregation stance did not promote racism.
Kevin Hobby, who as an invited guest at the Los Gatos Cornerstone Christian Fellowship recited Hebrews, wrote in the comment section at KingdomExclusion.com that he agreed with Chitwood on the Hamitic curse.[7. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=372] Hobby offered that the doctrine of the curse should not be used to promote racism.[8. Hobby can speak for himself, but as I understand his position, the “curse” should not be understood as condemnation, but abstractly as a condition of the Hamitic people.]
Neither Banks nor Hobby represent the Los Gatos church, but their opinions illustrate how deep the division is among this group of believers.
The “Word of the Kingdom” and the Hamitic curse
In February, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, will hold its annual Word of the Kingdom conference. Chitwood is engaged to speak. One wonders if participants will unite around the revered teacher.
Will they agree that what he teaches is “simply what the Bible states — something which no one can get around, no matter how hard that person might try”? Or will they dissent?
Kingdom seekers have long held that the “Word of the Kingdom” is simply what the Bible teaches. They lament that the broader Christian community has rejected the plain meaning of scripture, going so far as to condemn Christian ministers for neglecting the doctrine.[8. “Woe Unto You,” http://lampbroadcast.org/plets/ppdf6/WoeUntoU.pdf, and “False Teachers,” http://lampbroadcast.org/plets/ppdf4/False%20T.pdf.] Yet, if one were to accept the “Word of the Kingdom” as a valid interpretation of scripture, what stance should one take on the Hamitic curse?
Is there one “Word of the Kingdom”? Or several?
© 2009, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.