Passion and emotions are strong on both sides of the argument. Yet, many on both sides can agree: a police officer in Minnesota failed to do his job correctly, and his wrongful actions killed a man. Justice should be served for the wrongful death. Many people on both sides of the debate are concerned for members of Mr. Floyd’s family and are praying for them during their time of grief.
How do we achieve Racial Reconciliation? Is Social Justice something that Christians need to be concerned about? What is Critical Race Theory? What is Intersectionality? Do they have a place in the church?
Sufficiency of Scripture and God’s Justice
“…and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 1 Timothy 3:15-17
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3
First of all, we need to state that the Word of God is fully sufficient to direct us in all manner of life and godliness. One of the names of Christ is our Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6.) Christ is perfectly sufficient in His counsel to supply all of our needs. Including our needs for how to view the world around us. Scripture is completely sufficient. It is the only inspired and inerrant words of God that we need to understand the way of Salvation, to understand how God has revealed Himself, and Christian practice. Because Scripture is perfect and possesses absolute clarity, it can bring clarity to muddled situations. God’s Word clearly reveals what is True. God is the source of all knowledge. We must go to the Bible to understand what is True.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.” Psalm 19:7-9
Since Scripture reveals to us what is perfectly true: we can learn that God is a perfectly Just and Holy God. He is perfectly righteous in the way He works in the lives of His creation. He shows no partiality and He will execute vengeance against oppressors. God is perfectly just in punishing sin as He is in rewarding obedience. In order for God to be completely and perfectly loving, He must also hate, or love ceases to be love. God hates sin. He is continually pouring His wrath out on sinners who stand in enmity against Him.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, God could not overlook it. His justice demanded that He execute a fair and righteous judgment upon their treason against He, the God Almighty, Creator of the Heavens and Earth. Just and righteous sentencing for even one sin against such a Holy Being is an eternity in Hell. So it is with us – we are continually sinning against Him. We fail with every breath that we take to love Him and obey Him as perfectly as His holiness demands. Without perfect justice, evil would not be quenched. Nor would there be any reward for obedience. Just as God is perfectly Just, He is merciful and full of grace and love. Because of that, He sent Christ to pay the penalty for our sinful treason. The eternal and sinless Son of God. Who because of His holiness and eternal nature, would be a life of such value when sacrificed, that it would suffice to pay the penalty owed. God has to be equally Just and Loving in order for there to be not only the penalty for sin but also salvation. And thus, any semblance of order and justice in this world.
Scripture teaches that we are all Imago Dei, we are all image-bearers of God. Each and every person, regardless of ethnicity or cultural background, possess equal value, worth, and dignity. The fact that all mankind is an image-bearer of God, the Creator of the Universe, causes all mankind to deserve respect and honor – and even protection. To say that someone’s background, ethnicity, sex, appearance, etc. contribute or negates even an OUNCE of their worth is akin to blasphemy. We cannot add or take away from the value of God – not even in the representation of His image.
Social Justice is a political concept. It is philosophical, but that makes it also a theological concept. All philosophy (and anthropology) is theological because its mind of thought is rooted in a theological concept. All philosophy teaches a certain view and portrayal of who God is. Social Justice teaches that all people must have equal access to health, wealth, opportunity, and justice. This is not only a Marxist philosophy but a Darwinian one as well. Social Justice rose in popularity during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. During that time, there was a tremendous amount of economic disparity between various aspects of society. Socialism arose, and with it the push for the government to control the production and distribution of goods. It is very similar to communism in the way that wealth is confiscated.
Social justice is not found in the Bible. The Bible teaches that while we are not to show favoritism to people or restrict other people’s freedoms or opportunities, God in His Sovereignty has ordained some people to be blessed with certain blessings and other people to be blessed with a different type of blessing.
Christians are admonished in the Bible to treat others properly and respectfully. We are commanded to love others without any partiality and to not judge others wrongly. Believers are commanded to look after the interests of others and to seek justice especially for those who cannot defend themselves. This is Biblical Justice.
Jeremiah 22:3 “Thus says the LORD, ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.'”
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; Seek justice. Reprove the ruthless. Defend the orphan. Plead for the widow.”
Psalm 106:3 “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!”
Philippians 2:4 “do not look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Intersectionality is another word that is getting tossed around by many people who are not exactly sure about what it means. Intersectionality is a word that describes the types of discrimination a person may be up against. This philosophy holds that a person’s only true identity can be found in the various ways they are oppressed. This is viewing the world in terms of discrimination. This teaching says that a black woman is more oppressed than a white woman. Further, a black lesbian woman is more oppressed than a black heterosexual woman. On and on it goes. The more victim-statuses you can tack on, the more you can fully understand your identity.
Intersectionality within the church is a massive problem. This is also a Marxist and Darwinian concept. It is not found in the Bible. We do not need to be using Intersectionality as a tool within the church. It is not a tool that is given to us in the Bible. It is a tool that propagates Marxism and Darwinian theory. Both of which are anti-Bible and anti-God. Why would we want to use a tool that was so drastically against what we believe in? Why would we want to use a tool that is insufficient and erroneous? God’s Word is sufficient for helping us to correct racism. God’s Word is sufficient for helping us to identify sin in our hearts and to reach out to help correct others.
The primary problem with Intersectionality is its worldview. This worldview does not teach that God is completely sovereign over His creation. This worldview pushes the concepts of multiple races, which isn’t found anywhere in Scripture. We are all one race – the human race. We may have multiple ethnicities, ancestral heritage, and cultural backgrounds. All of these are gifts from God, and as such – none of these are any better than any other. Our identity is who we are in Christ. Our identity is that we are all created Imago Dei, in the image of God. Our identity is that we are all sinners in desperate need of a Savior to redeem us. Intersectionality also drastically diminishes the Biblical teaching that we are all united in Christ. Believers all over the world are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are one family.
“…. For there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory fo God.” Romans 3:22b-23
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:27-28
Critical Race Theory
This is a blatantly Marxist theory. And as such, it is not only atheistic but also materialistic. Critical Race Theory teaches that “people of color” are inherently oppressed and always marginalized by the current power structures in position due to white supremacy. This is more than just philosophical ideation – it is a movement. This is a group of people who are actively committed to transforming these perceived oppressions. Critical Race Theory is completely incompatible with the Bible. The Bible teaches us that we are sinners in need of salvation. Critical Race Theory teaches that the primary aspect of life is a fight for power: the privileged oppressors vs the oppressed. The Bible teaches that our greatest need isn’t the need to identify oppressors and break down any authority structure in which they are in a position of authority over us. Our greatest need is the Gospel. All people are desperately in need of reconciliation with God.
The Christian Response
Everyone at some point in their life will face unfair and harsh obstacles. Many people will be harshly and wrongly judged based on their appearance or accent or clothing. Many people will endure unspeakable suffering at the hands of other sinners just because of the way they look – I know I have, many times. And so have many other people whom I know personally – some with more melanin than me and some with less melanin than me.
We should demand justice – lawbreakers should pay the penalty for breaking the law. But when we go beyond justice – we enter the realm of prideful self-idolatry that says “I demand you adore me for I have suffered at your hands.”
We should love others, we should mourn when others are mourning, be empathetic with their suffering. We ALL have faced injustice in some way. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle in some way. Let us encourage one another and bear each other’s burdens. Demand justice when someone does wrong. This is all biblical. We must note the difference between Social Justice and Biblical Justice.
Racial Reconciliation does exist – it is not something we have to achieve. This reconciliation has been accomplished in Christ. Healing from any sort of injustice – whether racism, sexism, or just ol’ meanness – can only come from the power of the Gospel. Not racial reconciliation. Love others, treat them equally and fairly. We must be reconciled to Christ – that is the only reconciliation we as Believers should be pushing for. Social Justice demands that a person proclaim public repentance for an act of his ancestors – specific crimes that he did not do. That has nothing to do with the Gospel – in fact, it is promoting a false gospel. Its vain, prideful, and materialistic. The Social Justice Gospel teaches that certain actions and attitudes be performed in order to be forgiven. It is anti-scriptural and heretical to demand such actions and beliefs.
Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of African Christian University, said, “And the problem is, that this religion (Social Justice Movement) is promising salvation, somewhere other than God. And unfortunately, there are many Christians, who are sounding like they are satisfied with this.”
The Gospel will convict and change the bitter heart of the racist as well as heal the broken heart of the victim. The Gospel alone is the only true promise of Reconciliation. If you are a church teaching Racial Reconciliation – repent and start preaching the Gospel. For it is ONLY the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit that can change hearts. If you are a church that is promoting Social Justice, or Racial Reconciliation, Critical Race Theory, or Intersectionality – you are promoting a false gospel and do not hold to the sufficiency of Scripture. You can’t fully embrace both, they are completely incompatible.
Here is a great video where Dr. Baucham discusses Ethnic Gnosticism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip3nV6S_fYU
Here is a great article where Pastor Josh Buice discusses Ethnic Gnosticism:
Here are some great links on Social Justice: