Critical Race Theory (CRT) is considered by many to be an academic and philosophical discipline which seeks to challenge the mainstream approaches to racial justice. While the city of Marshall may not be the most racially diverse community around, we cannot for that reason disregard CRT. It has inundated American culture, education, politics, and business. It has even taken hold in the life of Christian congregations across our nation.
Many who advocate for CRT believe it to be a lens for understanding the pervasiveness of systemic racism, which they see as the foundation of our country. For them, CRT seems to be a positive step toward the quest for racial justice in America in defense of the oppressed.
These are laudable goals and already you can see the allure for the Christian. We should seek to improve society, pioneer justice and equality, and defend the oppressed. Such aspirations should get support of the Church, and so many congregations have rallied to the side of CRT.
But an autocratic statism by any other name is still an autocratic statism. CRT is not seeking to help the oppressed as much as it is attempting to create a society of oppressed individuals. It is destructive and advocates for the exact opposite of what it claims, treating people differently solely based on the color of their skin. More than that,
At its core CRT is antithetical to the Gospel and vehemently anti-Christian.
There are 4 main premises of CRT’s worldview:
- Racism is foundational to every aspect of American culture.
- Racism advances the interests of white people, making them incapable of being racist.
- The ideas of liberty, peace, individualism, etc., are mechanism that further racism.
- Knowledge and Truth are constructs of society.
These claims are in direct conflict to a biblical understanding of creation and fall, sin and repentance, grace and salvation. Truth is not nebulous. It’s not formed and reformed by the inclinations of society. Truth for living is found in Scripture alone! Scripture shapes our worldview above all else.
CRT functions as an ideology — an all encompassing philosophy that informs one’s thoughts, words, and actions. It is a worldview that interprets all of life in terms of systematic bigotry and privilege. Its adherents believe that every individual is either the oppressor or oppressed based solely on the color of their skin, and that our country is irredeemably racist.
We cannot measure and judge individuals in terms of good and evil, morality and sin, according to the group they belong to because of their skin color. Not only is doing so in direct opposition to Christianity, but CRT also actively targets Christianity as an oppressive regime.
The organization BLM, for example, is openly marxist, openly hostile to Christianity, openly hostile to the family, and openly hostile to the idea that heterosexuality is normal. This is the worldview of CRT at work, and it is openly anti-Christian.
Advocates of CRT argue that Jesus was not a Savior but a revolutionary, and therefore the job of Christians is to revolutionize society. CRT fundamentally rejects “savior theology,” because they argue it breeds bigotry.
As Christians, we know well the evils sin brings upon the world. We readily acknowledge the sin of racism, segregation, discrimination, slavery, injustice, etc., as well as the great difficulty of trying to live a life in the wake of such mistreatment and brutality. However, the Church cannot support the dangerous ideology of CRT as the way to defend our neighbor. Not only does it fail to see injustice as a result of sin, but it completely upends and reverses Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote.
No group of people, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, or nationality, have a monopoly on any particular type of sin, and not all sin is due to racial bias. If racism is a systemic problem in our country (and I do mean “if”), then it is a problem of the human heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things,Jeremiah 17:9-10
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
This is where the Church should shine. For the solution to the problem of the human heart is not political activism, but the Gospel — the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28
We are never to judge the heart inside by the color of the skin outside, but instead see value and worth in each individual as someone for whom Christ died. And let us not forget that Scripture remains all-sufficient. In every way, Scripture is enough for us. In every situation of faith and practice God’s Word is enough, and God’s Word points us to Christ and faith in Him as the only solution. Let us attend to its wisdom.
Cast afar this world’s vain pleasures,TLH 444:2
Aye, boldly fight for heav’nly treasures,
And steadfast be in Jesus’ might.
He will help, whate’er betide you,
And naught will harm with Christ beside you;
By faith you’ll conquer in the fight.
Then shame, thou weary soul!
Look forward to the goal:
There joy waits thee.
The race, then, run;
The combat done,
Thy crown of glory will be won.