Guest Post - Bob Weathers
Is Critical Race Theory biblical? Should Christians embrace it? Absolutely not. Here’s why.
Five years ago, for most of us, Critical Race Theory (CRT) was barely a blip on our radar. But now it dominates our cultural conversation, pushed to the forefront by activists who claim to advocate racial justice, diversity, and economic equality.
Now the tentacles of CRT are stretching into public education. CRT advocates are adding it to curricula for lower grades, but in New York, Nevada, Virginia and other school systems, parents are pushing back, and, in some cases, withdrawing their children from public education in a backlash against CRT.
On May 5 the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law banning the teaching of CRT in the public schools. And last week two NC Representatives to Congress announced they are introducing a bill to prevent federal funding for a recent Department of Education proposal aimed at teaching CRT in schools.
And Christians are discussing CRT in their denominational settings, churches, and even Bible studies. A host of Christian leaders claim that CRT has merit as a metric to help Christians understand racial issues in our culture or in our churches, and that it may be a viable tool to promote racial reconciliation. Are they right?
For Christians only one thing really matters. Is CRT compatible with a biblical worldview? Should Christians embrace it?
No, we should not. CRT is incompatible with a biblical worldview, and therefore it is destructive to our culture. Here’s why.
What is CRT and where did it come from?
You may feel like CRT materialized from nowhere. But CRT has been lurking and growing in the hallways of academia for several decades. Disillusioned intellectual Marxists of the 20th century concocted the ideas called “critical theory,” which became CRT, and for a long time it was mostly limited to studies in sociology and law by scholars who sought to advocate race as the primary metric for measuring what is just and what is right. Then in 1995, CRT slithered out of legal discourse and social theory, and it spread throughout higher education, with its tentacles extending into nearly every discipline. Today, CRT is taught and applied in education, political science, women’s studies, ethnic studies, communication, sociology, and American studies. And, yes, even religion.
The proliferation of departments and positions of “Diversity and Inclusion” verifies that CRT theories and practices are becoming the norm in higher education.
CRT’s basic idea is that humanity is divided between the oppressors and the oppressed. And, typically, white people are the oppressors and people of color are the victims. As with most movements cultivated in the garden of postmodernism, CRT elevates feelings and preferences above facts and truth.
But it gets worse. CRT weds its doctrine to “intersectionality,” a sociological concept that is equally unbiblical. Intersectionality provides even more victimization to the oppressed by multiplying the categories of oppression beyond race. Combined, these theories force all people into groups, and people are judged not for any inherent value, but for their value as members of their defined groups. CRT and Intersectionality are like corrupt cousins who got married and whose children are worse than the parents.
So, why should Christians reject CRT?
CRT is not only unbiblical. It is anti-biblical. That is, embracing CRT requires Christians to deny three key components of a biblical worldview:
All people are created in God’s image.
The most essential biblical truth about humanity is that we are creatures created by a benevolent and loving God, and all human beings share His image (Gen. 1:26-27). So, what matters most is who we are, not what we look like or our status in life. All human beings, the Bible teaches, have value because they are human beings, made in the image of God, designed by Him for a purpose—to glorify Him. Our value resides in our humanity, because we are human beings, in the human race, not in how much we align with other groups. And one’s skin color doesn’t give a person greater value than any other in God’s design.
But CRT inverts this truth. CRT ties every problem and every solution to the color of one’s skin—to one’s race. People of color are portrayed as victims in a culture that is dominated by “white supremacy.” And, depending on the context, other races are categorically portrayed as oppressors. That’s it. No one is permitted to have identity or value as human beings made in God’s image.
But here’s the problem. I did not choose my race. God created me, picked my race, and placed me in my family. To renounce these facts is to insult the Creator, to deny His sovereignty, and to assume He had no plans for me in life, which is plainly unbiblical (Jer. 1:5, Ps. 139:13-14).
Perhaps the most egregious irony of CRT is that telling any person to renounce his or her racial identity is an outlandish and overt act of racism and sustains the very problems this nation has been striving to escape. By tying the value of all people to our skin color and race, or anchoring someone’s identity to their experience of oppression, CRT diminishes all humanity. People become nothing more than their skin color or their status in life. CRT doesn’t solve racism. It fortifies it.
All people should be judged by their character, not by their skin color.
Among the most fundamental truths of a biblical worldview is that we are judged by our character and our actions, not by our outward appearance (1 Sam 16:7). And we can control and change our character and our actions. Victims can heal and become survivors. Oppressors can repent and become advocates. We can be redeemed, forgiven, and reconciled. But we cannot change our race.
CRT advances the notion that racism is our greatest problem. But in a biblical worldview, racism is not the primary problem. Sin is. Racism, though real and insidious and indefensible, is the result of sin. Addressing only the outward expression of that sin, in this case racism, oppression, or victimization, changes nothing and leaves people hopeless, angry, and lost.
All people are sinners in need of a Savior.
Because CRT denies our sin, it also rejects the solution. We are—all of us—sinners in need of a Savior.
CRT categorizes all people as either oppressors or victims. But the Bible teaches that God makes only one distinction between human beings. Two types of people roam the earth—those who are in a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and those who are not. Lost and saved (John 3:1-6). Or, as Paul more graphically states, “those who are perishing and those who are being saved” (1 Cor. 1:18).
For people of all colors and every status in life, for the victim and for the oppressed, there is only one hope and one way to heal and to reconcile humanity–Jesus Christ, who died to save the human race.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7
Want to know more about what the Bible teaches about racism? See this blog, Two times Jesus confronted racism, two biblical truths, and why it’s a sin in the first place