Skip to main content

The experts say that the title you choose for the articles you write is very important.  They say it should capture someone’s attention immediately and summarize to some extent what the article will be about.  I purposely chose today’s title and some of you are here simply because of the title.  Really, the title should have read “The Gospel and Critical Race Theory” because I want to remind us that the Gospel always comes first.  Everything is informed and shaped by the Word of God first.

When reading the title…

I wonder how many have jumped to the conclusion that I have gone off the deep end theologically?
I haven’t.

I wonder how many have disagreed with what I’m about to write simply from reading the title?
I hope not many.

I wonder how many have bought into false narratives, developed from present day politics, informed from both conservative and liberal points of view?
I hope less than I think.

Whatever your views of Critical Race Theory might be, you shouldn’t start there. You should always start with the Word of God. When it comes to questions of great cultural and spiritual importance, we must let the Bible speak for itself first, second, and to the end. If you allow the world to shape the discussion, if you are always bouncing from one narrative to another,  you may never get to the root cause of any result of sin.  This is true for all the new things that capture the hearts and minds of our society, for new things that drive the latest news cycle.

I have a couple of thoughts on the topic of Critical Race Theory.

1 Peter 3:15–17 (NLT) “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!”

1. Live your lives in worship of Christ as Lord.

What does this have to do with CRT? Everything. You see your view of CRT cannot be expressed properly outside of a worshipful submission to Jesus Christ. How could it? Everything in our lives comes from our worship of Jesus. A lack of worship will lead to very fleshly, un-christlike behavior. However a life abiding in Christ, will saturate the atmosphere with an air of love, mercy, and grace.

2. Your opinions must start with the Bible.

If you don’t start with the Bible you begin to attack those things you disagree with. But when you attack opinions, you almost always are perceived to be attacking the person that holds them. How do you feel when you’re attacked? I know I feel that way too. Defensive. In a defensive posture, it’s almost impossible to communicate. But pastor, “they attacked first. I am just standing up for the truth of God’s Word. This world is turning its back on Christian values and virtues,” you say.   I’m 100% with you in standing for the truth. I’m just wanting you to learn how to build a bridge into their lives, a bridge of trust, before you attack a viewpoint held by someone that you disagree with. Jesus taught us that the world is against Him and His teachings. They proved it by crucifying an innocent man. Jesus also modeled empathy with those who disagreed with Him. Empathy goes a long way. Jesus was amazingly empathetic with those of us trapped by sin. What about the Pharisees Ed? Jesus rebuked them strongly.  You’re right. Jesus rebuked those who should have known how live out the gospel but didn’t! Ultimately, you and I should be living lives that prompt questions from those living apart from Christ that are prompted by the clear hope by which we live!

3. Be ready to explain your hope.

In discussions about CRT, I have found that most Christians are stuck attacking the humanistic theories surrounding systemic racism. There is no turning point in the discussion to talk about hope, to talk about forgiveness, to talk about a person’s pain as they have personally experienced racism. When there is no turning point, then the conversation is fruitless.  Sure, maybe you won your argument, but you lost the soul.  Look to things that you agree on like the fact that racism is real, racism has been with us from the earliest days of mankind, and racism has a thread throughout human history that leads even to this present day. There is hope in Jesus to help us love one another despite our differences.

4. Pray.

We live in a world filled with perilous times. The world is lost, aimlessly living in rebellion against God. If CRT comes up in a conversation, use it as an opportunity to pray, build a bridge, and explain the hope of Christ. CRT will come and ago, but the Word of God is eternal.

As I read the Bible I see very clearly that prejudicial racism has been with us since the fall of man. Maybe you have had prejudice in your heart in the past? We praise God, don’t we, for His cleansing of our hearts and minds?!

Many people don’t like to hear the phrase systemic racism. Ok, call it what you wish, but man’s disdain for his fellow man is a horrific sin and has been with us for a very long time. Sin has utterly destroyed human relationships.  Jesus is redeeming us. I love the sanctifying power of the Spirit as we are growing more and more into the likeness of Christ. Theories and academic postulations like CRT is yet one more divisive issue among us.  Whole denominations are arguing over these matters and dividing against each other at an alarming rate. Healthy debate and disagreement has its place for sure. Yet if we aren’t careful, the enemy of our souls will divide us to the point where we are destroyed.  We cannot remain ignorant of the devil’s devices.

2 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV) “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Years ago, when our church was meeting in a little middle school around the block from where we meet now a very tall, kind black man walked into our assembly.  He paused, looked around, and sat down to worship Jesus with us.  I don’t remember the Sunday he visited myself, but from his recollection he was the only black man in the room.  He knows because he observed the room so differently than I did.  He and I went to lunch not too long after his first visit and we talked about his life, my life, and the Lord.  In that conversation he told me, “You know Pastor, when I first visited your church I walked in and looked around and didn’t see anyone like me.” I responded “like me, what do you mean”?  He went on to explain that he views the world a little different than I do because of the color of his skin. He loves the Lord, one million percent, but he has been treated extremely poorly at times simply because he is black.  He has often and still now, been on the receiving end of racism and prejudice.  He looked around the room differently. That’s a fact. He taught me a lot that day and continues to be a very valuable part of my life and our church leadership even now almost 20 years later.

I have a lot to learn in being loving, empathetic, and understanding of life from your point of view, from everyone else’s point of view for that matter.  I want to learn, believe me. The time is short and the coming of the Lord is at hand. I don’t have time to argue with you about CRT. Instead I would love to use that discussion to get to know you, and you to know me, and ultimately we will be in the Bible together, praying for His love to show us both how to live our lives to honor Him.  I want to use the topic of CRT to listen carefully, and perhaps be a tool of healing in lives from the pain someone has experienced. I want to use the topic of CRT to humble myself before the mighty hand of God so that in due time He might raise me up in Him.

2 Timothy 2:23–26 (NKJV) “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

Praying for you friend as you navigate this difficult time in our world. It’s hard. But God is faithful!  Critical Race Theory is not the biggest deal on the planet earth day.  Sin is. Men and women are facing a Christless eternity, settling for far less than God has promised them.

Ed, this article wasn’t anything about Critical Race Theory. You didn’t explain it. You didn’t give your opinion about it. You just talked about using it to love others and talk about Jesus.  I would say this article was all about CRT.  You see when we take the narratives of the world and flip them upside down and into God’s Word, He gets the glory for great things He has done!


Leave a Reply