We have all heard the concept that there cannot be multiple truths with conflicting answers. From others I have talked to, most understand that 2+2=4 but cannot also equal 3, 10, 17 and any other desired outcomes. The problem is that society wants to be inclusive. It does not desire to state the only truth, so it just tells us that there can be multiple right answers. We are a “pluralist” society, in many regards. And while many cannot explain this disconnect, they accept it for the sake of inclusivity.
Many blend ideas, religions, worldviews; this is called “syncretism”.
Whether one functions as a pluralist or syncretist, it does not change facts or absolute truth.
ABSOLUTE TRUTH – Christians
As a Christian, I believe what Jesus Christ said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
My greatest concern with Critical Social Justice and Critical Race Theory is that they present themselves as a new worldview and religion. They answer life’s great questions and provide a solution. For Christians, this conflicts with the absolute Truth above; Jesus is the the only way. Salvation is not works based.
Discussing all the means by which Critical Theory and relating concepts present as a new worldview and religion will take another or multiple pieces. If it is tackled from white fragility, antiracism, Social Critical Justice, Intersectionality or Critical Race Theory, it will have slightly different content. Many of these words and ideas in this discussion have different meanings, but are often used interchangeably due to the fact that there is a lot of overlap and the ideologies are complex. There are many voices speaking into these concepts; old, new and emerging.
Today’s focus is to recognize that there are two very distinct ideologies being presented. One that is Savior based and all the others are works based. Second, we must recognize that they cannot all be right.
The Gospel says that humans are saved by a Savior, Jesus Christ. All these other path related to the Theories in discussion, are works based.
Rightly, many Christians understand that God has called us to live our our faith and care for those in need. These Theories define those in need, the struggle and the solution though very differently than does the Bible.
Ibram Kendi, the founder of anti-racism clearly states that, “Assimilationist ideas are racist ideas.” (p. 29, How to Be an Antiracist) “The assimilationist sees one biological human race.” (p. 54, How to Be an Antiracist) The page before, Kendi clarifies that Ken Ham is both a Christian Fundamentalist and assimilationist and that he co-authored “One Race One Blood”, premise being “there is only one race, the human race.”
Ken Ham is stating what the Bible speaks of, one race. This clearly implicates that God and Jesus would be considered “Assimilationists” and racists.
Ibram Kendi fault Assimilationists for allowing racism to continue, essentially. One is either racist or or antiracist; inaction would define one as racist. Ibram recognizes “biological equality” (p. 54), but goes onto speak of the “racial mirage” that “makes our skin colors more meaningful than our individual identity.” (p. 54, How to Be an Antiracist)
God says our identity is in Him, this is a clear distinction between CRT/Antiracism and the Gospel. Then Kendi continues to speak of the required works to become an “antiracist”, the solution to “racism” and our society’s ultimate problem.
“To be antiracist is to focus on ending the racism that shapes the mirages, not to ignore the mirages that shape peoples’ lives.” (p.54, How to Be an Antiracist) This establishes one’s identity in their collective group relation, a group created by society, not God. Remember that “race” is a more recent identity created by humans. An individual’s identity is no longer founded in God, it comes through one’s “group” identity.
If we refer back to Intersectionality, this would include many group identities for each person. And the ultimate identity being defined as an oppressor or the oppressed/victim.
Note that, along with color groups, Kendi refers to Latinos as, “Latinx”. The secular world knows that “Latinx” is gender neutral and sexually inclusive, moving beyond a historically biblical sexual identity. If we begin to add in sexuality, we move into CSJ or other Critical Theories, which extend the conversation.
WHITE FRAGILITY’S SOLUTION
Robin DiAngelo, the founder of the concept “white fragility” says, “I have found it much more useful to think of myself as on a continuum. Racism is so deeply woven into the fabric of our society that I do not see myself escaping from that continuum in my life. But I can continually seek to move further along it. I am not in a fixed position on the continuum; my position is dictated by what I am actually doing at a given time.” (p.87, White Fragility)
“White fragility” leaves us on an endless continuum of works. CRT voices cannot answer direct questions of when it will ever be enough. The pursuit is for whites to alleviate guilt and wrong doing to the collective group of blacks through striving to right their collective wrongs as a society and “whites”.
BRIEF GOSPEL RESPONSE TO CRT | ANTIRACISM
When you have time, read all of Ephesians 2.
“(13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (14) For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility (15) …that he might create in himself one new man in place of two, so making peace, (16) and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:13-16 ESV)
Regardless of what angle, terms, or which Critical Theories are in discussion; it is easy to see they are generally “works based”. And though these Theories were not created to function as a different worldview or religion, they often do.
They offer a solution that is anti-biblical.
These are two competing worldviews and both cannot be right.
-Considering there are two separate ideologies, worldviews, can you see the distinct difference?
-Are you trying to syncretize, blend worldviews? If so, do you realize that adopting these worldly identities and concepts is ultimately redefining the Gospel?
-If you are trying to syncretize the Gospel with one of these Theories, do you not ultimately think God is enough?
-What worldview is framing the way you live? Remember both cannot be right.