Question of the Week: What is the Biblical stance towards Critical Race Theory?
Critical Race Theory in a word is rooted in Marxism (Karl Marx was a 19th century German economist and communist) which replaces money with skin color. The beliefs of Karl Marx were that there are only two states that a person could find themselves in; Oppressor and Oppressed. His belief then was that in order to resolve this, the oppressed must rise against those in power. To what end is anyone’s guess. Many have promised utopia to only deliver the end of society with nothing but more oppression. This is the playbook of Critical Race Theory. The philosophical underpinning of C.R.T. in combating oppression in a society, in the form of racism instead of poverty, carries with it three assumptions that need to be at play.
1. Selective Existentialism: What you are comes before who you are, unless your emotions tell you otherwise.
2. Selective Subjective Morality: What personally appeals to you emotionally is the standard for right and wrong.
3. The Absolute Assumption of Mankind’s Corruption: The problem with people is what they are by nature.
It would help to understand some tenets of Critical Race Theory. They are:
I. “Individual identity cannot be separated from our group identity (We are either oppressed or oppressor). Move away from seeing yourself as an individual. You are a part of a group that is allocated by skin color, sex, gender, religion, politics, and health.
II. Hegemonic power – The ability of a group to have power over another. Oppression is imposing a “norm” on society. (i.e., Having a hetero sexual family is a norm that would be seen as oppressive because it is the norm in society.)
III. Diversity means the elimination of all forms of oppression (the hegemonic power). Liberating people from all normal cultures.
(i.e. the 10 Commandments is a list of moral and ethical norms that are binding on all people. Because of this, God would be seen as an oppressor in Social Justice Theory).
IV. Lived experience is more important than objective evidence in understanding oppression. Facts, Data, Reason are less important than narratives, stories of the oppressed. Oppressive groups hide their oppression through objectivity, evidence, reason and logic.
V. Intersectionality – Experiences are unique to oppressed groups. There are different levels of oppression depending on your intersectionality (i.e., how many oppressed groups you identify with; black, woman, transgender, disabled, Muslim.)
Using their own dictionary and standard for ethics, there are naturally many problems with this belief system on a philosophical, historical, and even conceptual basis given its inspiration from Marxism. The goal (on paper) isn’t the liberation of the oppressed, but the transference of oppression from one group to the other. Many brighter minds can deal with the political, historical, and philosophical problems with this mindset. The question we need to be asking is what the Biblical response is to this modern movement.
Response #1: We do not disagree that mankind is fallen. Without a fundamental change of our nature, we will always find a way to oppress each other.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV)
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Romans 7:21-24 (NKJV)
When finding common ground (in a discussion) there doesn’t need to be further clarification! In order to respond effectively to someone’s position, it is always going to be most productive when we start with where we agree. So we can agree with C.R.T. that all people are fallen.
Response #2: We agree that society’s impositions do not establish how society ought to morally function. All societies before us have fallen short of a just society in some way. The question is where the standard for a just society comes from? Our purpose isn’t determined by the societal norms of the current day any more than the passionate theories proposed to oppose them as oppressive. If the destination (our purpose in life) isn’t objective, then there is no solution. We don’t necessarily move to a better society by tearing down where we are now. Our response is that the standard for a better society comes from the one who it originally came from. The Creator has the sole right to explain how something was intended to function because it was their intention that made it in the first place. Those who believe in C.R.T. and Christianity both don’t believe that society (in concept or idea) is the problem. Only the way it’s currently functioning. Where the Christian and the C.R.T. supporter differ is whether we should go back to the beginning (God’s intent), or move on to something different in the present. Jesus made this point when addressing a flaw that had taken place in another institution He created known as marriage. Instead of doing away with or reinventing it, He pointed back to how it functioned in the beginning, with Him as the standard. His followers then applied it to their lives in full understanding of what marriage objectively is accordingly.
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Matthew 19:4-6 (NKJV)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:22-32 (NKJV)
So, we disagree with C.R.T. on who is to be the authority on how society should function. The Christian holds to an objective truth that is to be adhered to (God/Jesus), while C.R.T. holds to the subjective opinions of C.R. Theorist.
Response #3: Where is the Gospel? The Gospel, or good news, is what separates the Christian from the supporter of Critical Race Theory. C.R.T. offers no solution to our nature or an opportunity to be redeemed again for the sins of their skin color. Those of the oppressed didn’t ransom the oppressor from their status of having white skin or being a part of the norm. There is no redeemer in C.R.T. In contrast, through Jesus Christ, we are shown the problem and freely given the solution (Mark 10:45). In C.R.T., the person who is identified as the problem is given no solution. Only perpetual shame and torment for what they are. The admission of your ethnic guilt could suffice, but maybe not! You still are in your skin, so to speak.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4 (NKJV)
So, Christianity would disagree with C.R.T. as to what the best solution is to free humans for oppressing other humans. Christianity teaches the Gospel message, while C.R.T. has no solutions to the problem of skin color.
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