Jesus was a racist, according to a widely-viewed TikTok video by LGBT activist and ‘pastor,’ Brandan Robertson.
Robertson’s 60-second clip began circulating on social media this week after he claimed that Jesus had to repent of his racism for using a racial slur.
Appealing to an account in Mark 7:25-30, Robertson argued that Jesus initially refused to heal the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman because he had “prejudices and bias” towards other races.
I think this might be the most cursed of all time? pic.twitter.com/Mb28GX2qoD— Cursed Protestant Nonsense (@protnonsense) March 8, 2021
“Did you know that there’s a part of the Gospel of Mark where Jesus uses a racial slur?
In Mark chapter 7 there’s the account of the Syrophoenician woman. A woman who is Syrian and Greek, both of which there were strong biases against within the Jewish community.
And she comes to ask Jesus to heal her daughter who is possessed by a demon. And what is Jesus’ response? He says it’s not good for me to give the children’s food – meaning the children of Israel’s food – to dogs. He calls her a dog.
What’s amazing about this account is that the woman doesn’t back down. She speaks truth to power, she confronts Jesus and says, ‘Well you can think that about me but even dogs deserve the crumbs from the table.’
Her boldness and bravery to speak truth to power actually changes Jesus’ mind. Jesus repents of His racism and extends healing to this woman’s daughter.
I love this story because it’s a reminder that Jesus is human. He had prejudices and bias. And when confronted with it, He was willing to do His work. And this woman was willing to stand up and speak truth.”
Of course, Robertson is exactly wrong on almost every point. He has an agenda to advance and he’s evidently willing to distort the Bible to achieve that end.
So, what’s this account really about? In the story, Jesus was approached by the woman, a Gentile by birth, who “fell down at his feet” and “begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.”
Jesus responded to the woman’s request, perhaps by testing her faith, with a saying that some scholars believe was likely a popular proverb at the time: “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
Despite Robertson’s claim, the word “dog” is not a racial slur. Rather, it’s a term used in the Bible to describe those that are outside of the Kingdom of God by employing the imagery of those outside of the family home.
Writing to Gentiles, that is non-Jews, Paul warns the Philippian church to “watch out for those dogs” (Phil. 3:2) who seek to undermine the Gospel. John employed similar imagery when he said, outside of the Kingdom “are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers,” and so on (Rev. 22:15).
In Mark’s account, the woman responded to Jesus, in a demonstration of faith, by saying: “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Jesus responds, “For this statement, you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” Mark then tells us that when the woman went home she found her child well.
These verses foreshadow the ministries of Jesus’ very own disciples, ministries that will bring in the Gentiles, those who currently live outside of the home, like a family pet.
Robertson’s claims not only demonstrate the dangers of reading the Bible through the lens of Critical Race Theory, but they also show the importance of reading the Bible in context.
So, no – Jesus didn’t repent of his racism, because he wasn’t a racist. In fact, Jesus never sinned. Now, you’d imagine a professing ‘pastor’ and ‘theologian’ could grasp one of the most fundamental aspects of the faith, but we should never underestimate the progressive’s ability to overlook their most obvious faults.
The Bible isn’t ambiguous or obscure when it comes to the sinlessness of Jesus. Not only is it impossible for God to contradict and deny himself (Heb. 6:18; Tit. 1:2; 2 Tim. 2:13; Jam. 1:13), the sinlessness of Jesus is imperative to his coming.
The Apostle John tells us that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John goes on to say, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (v.14). In other words, the Word that was God became a human being and lived on earth with other human beings.
But for what purpose? According to the Bible, the “Word became flesh” for a number of reasons, such as, to bring light to a dark world (Jn 12:46), to bear witness to the truth (Jn. 18:37), and to serve (Mk 10:45). But he also came to accomplish what no other human being could accomplish. Namely, to give eternal life to his people by overcoming sin and defeating death.
Jesus achieved this by offering himself as a substitute for sinners, something he couldn’t do if he was a sinner himself. On earth, Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God, from birth until his death. He lived the life that we’ve all failed to live. He then died the death that we all deserve to die.
The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus came to earth “to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb. 9:26). There was a great exchange. He dealt with our sins on the cross so that he could clothe us in his own righteousness (Isa. 61:10-11). The proof of that being accomplished was his resurrection. Death was undone.
Why was all this necessary? Because even the “righteous” things we do are tainted and marred by sin. As the prophet Isaiah said, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isa. 64:6). None qualify to enter God’s presence without melting away like wax before a flame (Ps. 68:1). So, what hope do we have for dwelling on his new earth in his kingdom forever?
Furthermore, lest any of us are still banking on our own goodness, Jesus warned that “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).
For us, this is an unachievable standard. So, you better hope you have the right Jesus, the sinless Jesus of the Bible, and not a fictitious invention created in the image of your own woke ideology.
Otherwise, as Jesus said, “you will never enter the kingdom.” And in the end, you won’t be eating at the table with the children, you’ll be outside the family home, like a dog. And that’s a warning that Robertson would do well to heed.