Note: This post is a bit of a departure from the sort of devotional fare I usually serve up on this site. It’s part of a series called Simple Reminders, in which my goal is to remind us all that the Bible speaks very clearly into the cultural debates of our day.
This world is a strange place, and if we aren’t aligned with the One who is always true north, we can quickly find ourselves upside-down.
If a person were to chart the root sins behind history’s greatest crimes and tragedies, racism would be right up there on the graph, next to pride, envy, and greed. It’s an abomination that has no rightful place in the good world God has created.
From the very beginning of the biblical story, we’re shown that racism is a very stupid idea. Adam and Eve are the parents of the entire human race. We all descend from their union, and so, no matter how different we may look on the outside, we’re all part of the same human family. And as God’s image-bearers we all stand on equal footing before our Creator. Is it any wonder, then, that when Jesus came to reverse the curse of sin, He prayed for His followers—you and me included—“that all of them may be one” (John 17:21)?
Of course, just as family members within a household can squabble and disagree, nations, communities, and cultures can clash from time to time. In fact, it is inevitably true that, in some regards, one culture may be “right” in certain areas while another is “wrong.” On the whole, one way of life may be objectively better than another.
I know—at first, that may sound completely racist, or at least patronizing. But that’s only because we’ve been trained by academics and celebrities to conflate race and culture, as though a person’s skin color binds them to a certain set of beliefs and values (a presumption that is itself inherently racist).
We can acknowledge that a society striving to preserve equal rights for all is better than a caste system, regardless of which group has darker skin. And without determining melanin levels, we can agree that a village promoting child sacrifice is inferior to one that protects and cherishes every life. True racism focuses on skin color, facial features, body type, and speech patterns—and every follower of Christ should reject it out of hand.
Though Critical Race Theory (CRT) and its various applications are often touted as necessary correctives to widespread and systemic racism, the philosophy is itself racist. Rather than seeking to bring humanity together, CRT divides people according to race, making black people and other minorities perpetual victims, all the while denouncing whites as inherently and irredeemably racist.
Instead of rightly insisting that all people share inherent worth and dignity, CRT attempts to remake the social order, using race as the only criterion. The content of a person’s character does not matter, nor do their beliefs, values, or even their behavior. Everything is viewed through the lens of race; skin color—a trait no one change—quickly becomes the biggest factor in making decisions. Bringing CRT into our schools, our workplaces, and our government halls is like trying to put out the bonfire of racism by spraying generous amounts of gasoline on the flames and forever insisting, “All we need is more.”
At its core, CRT is Marxist. Those who buy into Karl Marx’s demonic dogma argue that history is one long and constant class struggle—but Scripture tells us plainly that is not humanity’s root problem. Sin is. At the same time, all Marxist ideas hang on collectivism, the idea that people must hand over power to the state in order to enact social justice. The state essentially becomes a god, and the church is crushed beneath the weight of the new deity. Recognizing individual liberty, on the other hand, gives everyone the freedom to follow the Lord and serve Him as God alone.
The apostle Paul wrote to a divided church in Galatia, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Today, we might add “neither black nor brown nor white” to drive home the point. The old divisions cannot survive once we step into the kingdom of light. We are all part of the same family now, as we were created to be. We’re sons and daughters of the King.
The United States has a long, dark, and disturbing history of racial injustice. From slavery to Jim Crow to the unequal application of the law, our nation has broken faith with the ideals of God’s kingdom and our own founding, and the repercussions are still being felt today. There’s no denying it. But the answer to our sordid history is not to repeat similar mistakes in the other direction. No matter how we might try, racism cannot heal racism. Our only hope is Jesus, who rescues the oppressed, heals the wounded, and humbles the proud.
3 thoughts on “Simple Reminder Series: Critical about Race Theory”
Thoughtful and well-made.
Thank you! Appreciate you reading!
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