(The following is an excerpt of a much longer article I recently wrote to provide Biblical evidence why Christians ought to reject CRT. Please visit that article to get a fuller definition of CRT as well as Biblical alternatives to secular philosophies on race.)
Critical Race Theory is antithetical to a Biblical worldview. Here are eight reasons why every Christian should reject CRT.
1. CRT ignores the fact that every person is simultaneously an oppressor and oppressed.
In Biblical language, all have sinned and are naturally under the bondage of sin. This understanding of man’s nature is one of the most significant differences between CRT and the Biblical worldview. CRT separates these groups. Those “in power” are the sinners. The “underprivileged” are those in bondage under the sin of the oppressors. However, the Bible states,
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” –Romans 3:10-12*
Not only are we all sinful, but we are also all in bondage to sin. Everyone needs rescue. Everyone needs a Savior.
2. CRT elevates racism above every other sin
Specifically, Critical Race Theorists focus on racism as defined by CRT. Because of the constant change in definitions, Christians ought to use Biblical terms—such as partiality—that can be defined by the context of Scripture. The sin of partiality sends men and women to hell. It is despicable and cruel. It is founded on pride and hatred and leads to violence and murder. But it is not the only sin that leads to destruction. James 2:10 says,
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.”
CRT focuses so heavily on racism to the disregard of other sins, such as ungratefulness, selfishness, pride, violence, and materialism. Racism is not the problem. Sin is the problem.
3. CRT eliminates personal responsibility.
I would contend that under CRT, those in a minority racial group may logically claim that they are not responsible for their sin. Instead, their sin is a justified reaction to their oppression. Under CRT, if someone is white, they are responsible for carrying all past and present sins committed against minorities by other white people because of their dominant position. However, personal responsibility is Biblical. Ezekiel 18:20 communicates God’s outlook on personal responsibility,
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
Partiality is a sin that all humans can commit. Those in power who show partiality will be judged by God, as will those without power.
4. CRT deemphasizes God’s good gifts.
We are all privileged. I know this is controversial. Regardless of our state in life, God has given us good gifts. Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:24-29 says,
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?”
And yet, through the struggles and trials, he also says in Philippians 4,
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
5. CRT is racist and promotes discrimination.
CRT judges people based on their skin color or group identity, not their individual actions or personal character. This is racism. This is partiality. This is sin. Stand up and say “No!” to the redefinition of words. Power might make sin more dangerous, but it doesn’t make it any more sinful. CRT devalues innocent people based on their skin color. And on top of this racism, CRT advocates for present and future discrimination against people made in God’s image.
6. CRT breeds disunity.
CRT divides people by color. It highlights differences between races to a dangerous and disunifying level while ignoring similarities. Race becomes the ultimate identifier rather than our identity in Christ. On the other hand, God’s plan unites the church’s members through the philosophy of the Gospel while recognizing and valuing diversity. Romans 10:12-13 says,
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This Gospel unity is pictured beautifully in baptism. In baptism, we are immersed into Christ’s death, signifying the sin that has been destroyed through God’s judgment of His Son, and we are risen to walk in a resurrected life of joyful relationship with God and with others who have accepted Him. In this way, baptism is a reflection of the Gospel. All of us are on equal standing before God. Our baptism unites us with one another regardless of background, gender, race, etc. Ephesians is perhaps the enchiridion on Christian unity. In Ephesians 4:1-5, Paul writes,
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. here is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
1 Corinthians 12:13 affirms this truth,
”For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
7. CRT fosters paranoia.
If every social interaction is either racist or antiracist, we begin to ask of every action, “how was that racist”? The way we interpret every moment adds to our personal experiences until we start to recognize racism everywhere…even where it is not. We must not ignore partiality, but the answer is not to live a life fearing sin at every moment. Our primary focus should be on Christ! We will all be offended at times, and people of all backgrounds are sometimes blind to the cultural offenses of other cultures. Does that mean we should ignore these offenses? Again, the Bible has an answer to this! Matthew 18:15-17 says,
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Our first reaction to any offense should be a private loving discussion. If I offend someone in the church, they should come to me privately, and I should be open to their kind rebuke. If I am unrepentant, the rebuke must escalate until finally I am cast out of the church body. Again, the church is the primary avenue for meaningful change in the world.
8. CRT does not answer the problem of sin.
CRT’s goal is the elimination of racism. The problem with CRT is not their goal but that their philosophy overlooks the main problem that keeps them from their goal—the perniciously sinful nature of all humanity. To eliminate racism, CRT must offer a fundamental change to our sinful nature. CRT may have the power to influence culture, but it cannot change man’s sinful nature. CRT cannot solve racism.
On the other hand, the Gospel has the power to radically transform human nature. The Gospel gives us the ability to fight our sin alongside a diverse group of believers to the glory of God and the benefit of ourselves and others. The Gospel compels us to forgive one another because of Christ’s forgiveness towards us. The Gospel calls us to confront a brother or sister when they offend us to restore unity. The Gospel offers true redemption to its believers. And the Gospel is our ultimate hope because we know that someday Christ will come again and destroy evil forever (including partiality), ushering in a world of ultimate peace and unity.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” –2 Corinthians 5:17
*All Biblical references are in ESV unless otherwise stated.