Shaming is a powerful weapon, and it is currently being used against Christians to force them to parrot progressive propaganda. Whether it’s used by leftists with ulterior motives, or by well meaning Christians who don’t realize the damage they are causing to the church, the racial guilt narrative is slowly eroding the American church from within.
A good example of this ongoing shaming campaign may be found in an article published last Friday in Christianity Today, “The Absence of Injustice Is Not Justice,” written by Justin Giboney. The author insists that Christians should be at the forefront of the fight for “racial justice,” an idea that sounds good on its face, but has unfortunately been exploited by the left for political purposes.
Giboney states that Americans ask, “where’s the church?” every time a “grave injustice is exposed in American society,” as a way of shaming Christians into acting. He believes the question has become rhetorical “because there seems to be little to no expectation that churches will do what’s necessary to lead the country toward a more just society on racial issues.” As an example, he cites a June 13 tweet by Chance the Rapper asking: “Why don’t we as a church explicitly address White Supremacy and racism on Sundays?”
Giboney’s thesis is flawed for many reasons. Most crucially, he ignores the fact that when the world asks, “where’s the church?” they don’t do it because they want to shame Christians into improving; they do it because they want to shame Christians into shutting up. The same society that hates us for preaching that abortion is murder, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and, most importantly, that man is inherently sinful and can only be saved by faith in Jesus Christ, will still hate us even if we wholeheartedly embrace White Fragility dogma.
Jesus promises us that the world will hate us because it first hated him (John 15:18), and that we will face persecution if we follow His Word (Matthew 24:9). No amount of kowtowing to modern cultural sensibilities will ever change that. (Unless, of course, we decide to completely sell our souls and throw Biblical teaching out the window, as many churches have happily done in America.)
If we were talking about fighting actual white supremacy, then Giboney would have a very good point that churches must step up. White supremacy, like any kind of racial supremacy, is a grievous sin that belittles and oppresses people made in the image of God on the sole basis of their skin color. Every true Christian should accept that this is sinful behavior that must be repented of.
The problem is that Giboney, Chance the Rapper, and other liberal Christians probably can’t name a single significant church that preaches white supremacy. That’s because the sins of slavery and Jim Crow are in America’s past and we’ve made enormous strides in building a fair America that truly treats everyone equally regardless of their skin color.
The concept of “racial justice” in itself is correct and Christian, but the term has become so incredibly perverted that it’s basically shorthand for “whatever socialist policies the left currently favors.”
Advocates of “racial justice”, as the radical left defines it, have completely accepted a cultural Marxist view of the world that divides all groups into oppressor and oppressed, with no hope of escape. All whites suffer from “white privilege” just like all minorities are inherently oppressed. The only solution for the white oppressor class is to continuously offer mea culpas and say we’re sorry without any hope of salvation. Jesus died to cover all of our sins, but apparently racism was too tricky for him to tackle.
Perhaps most egregiously, Giboney claims that “When black people ask, ‘Are you seeing this? Do you see us?’ it gets lost in an echo chamber of bad theology, excuses, and bad faith deflections.”
Really? We’re the ones guilty of bad theology, excuses, and bad faith deflections?
Who’s really culpable for bad faith here? Which side of this political divide consistently condemns every slight deviation from socialist orthodoxy as racist, white supremacist, and fascist? Which side is currently stating that “the claim of ‘not racist’ neutrality is a mask for racism”?
Someone should ask Giboney: “racial justice for whom?” Why don’t progressives and woke Christians talk about the black lives of black cops who were murdered by “peaceful protestors”, or the black Trump supporter massacred in Milwaukee, or the enormous number of black lives lost to violent crime in Chicago, or the millions of black babies aborted since Roe v. Wade, or the black business owners whose life’s work was destroyed by criminals and murderers?
The reason that Giboney, progressive Christians, and other leftists don’t talk about the aforementioned examples is because such cases don’t support their political views. Talking about constructive policy solutions that would help black Americans, such as ending abortion, improving school choice, and defending black-owned businesses from “peaceful protestors” is simply too passé. If you’re a progressive, none of these policy solutions allow you to shame your white neighbor and to advocate for “racial justice” as a Trojan Horse for Marxist policies.
Sadly, the grievance barons’ strategy of shaming appears to be working all too well within the church. Megachurch pastor Matt Chandler has called it “hypocritical” to merely “Preach the Gospel” instead of actively buying into leftist agitprop; President of the Southern Baptist Convention J.D. Greear has previously condemned the supposed lack of racial diversity in American churches; and Philadelphia pastor Eric Mason has called for centuries-worth of reparations for black Americans. I personally know of some churches whose members are reading and discussing White Fragility as part of church groups, and I’m sure many other Christians can attest the same. (Since Christians are already reading secular books in a church setting, I wonder if it’s fine to add Frederick Hayek’s Road to Serfdom or Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged to the curriculum?)
Some Christians no doubt sincerely believe the leftist rhetoric that they are currently parroting; no doubt many more are simply mouthing off these platitudes in the hope of appeasing the left, to prove that Christians aren’t racist. But as Winston Churchill (played inimitably by Gary Oldman) states in the movie Darkest Hour, “you cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth!”
The Christian church’s collective head is firmly in the tiger’s jaws, but don’t tell that to Giboney. He believes that the church’s “failure” to support BLM rhetoric “seriously compromises the credibility of Christian conservatives” when it comes to matters such as abortion, marriage, and even evangelism.
Who can honestly believe this claim after taking one look at the left today? Imagine a scenario where all of our churches wholeheartedly endorse BLM rhetoric and preach reparations every single Sunday. Would Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Bernie Sanders nod their heads in approval and say: “gee, I guess we should take them seriously when they say we should fight abortion?” Or will they merely see us as useful idiots while continuing to condemn us as woman-hating bigots?
Christians should learn a lesson, and they should learn it quick: unless the left leaves its current path to Bolshevism, we can never appease it. You might not have a racist bone in your body, but unless you support leftist candidates, leftist policies, and a complete leftist world vision, you might as well be wearing a white hood and burning crosses, as the left sees things.
We can’t afford to let our churches become platforms for leftist ideology, something that is quickly happening in front of our eyes. Every Christian should remember the example of the 1st century believers who did not confess their belief in Christ for fear of punishment, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” (John 12:43).