Critical Race Theory as a Covert Assailant to the Church

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“Critical Race Theory denies biblical reality — it is an affront to the Christian gospel and has no place in the Church.”

–Ryan Helfenbein

Marxism, like many ideologies, is propagated and marketed in such a way that equality, equity, self-gratification, and personal vengeance all share the same stage. It’s a something-for-everyone approach to both utopian idealism and a cosmic quest for justice where the government is the collective guarantor of happiness and the avenger of every self-identified victim group…who wouldn’t want that?

Perhaps on the surface, government-backed utopianism in the name of social justice might sound appealing. But a brief knowledge of history, a recognition of man’s less-than-ideal depravity, and a critical thinking approach to personal liberties will unmask the fundamentally oppressive nature of Marxism and reveal the most insidious hatred for all humanity — especially those it pretends to save.

Perhaps the most prominent expression of Marxism in American culture today is Critical Race Theory.

Critical Race Theory, which is touted by scholars like Kimberlé Crenshaw, Robin DeAngelo, Richard Delgado, and many others, seeks to create an analytical framework of interpretation that deconstructs the entire foundations of freedom, justice, and equality in Western society. It divides the world into oppressor and oppressed groups based on melanin. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, CRT draws on sociology, philosophy, economics, and law to both deconstruct systems in a post-truth reality while infusing identity politics and racism into every interpretive lens.

While Civil Rights focused on the content of character rather than the color of skin, CRT reverses course and focuses exclusively on color and racial identity, effectively looking through a postmodern lens to “see” racism in every structure of society.

Tragically, CRT has become the popular Fifth Column in the modern Church.

In the defense intelligence community, a Fifth Column refers to a clandestine unit tasked with infiltrating their adversaries by acclimating the enemy to the Fifth Column’s covert presence. The Fifth Column is not only displayed as unhostile, it may even appear as supportive.

Likely, Critical Race Theory is a Fifth Column to the biblically mandated pursuit of justice that we, as the Church, are commissioned to advance. On the surface, CRT looks friendly, sounds friendly, and may even be advocated for by reputable church leaders. But CRT includes an infiltrating poison that often goes unnoticed until its toxic nature finds a seat in the Church. The difference in these analogies is that when the Fifth Column is exposed, it is met with a defensive maneuver from its opposition forces. Unfortunately, the Church has not been nearly as discerning nor opposed to this hostile infiltration.

Cue the modern Church where pastors who otherwise would be deemed committed to Scripture are now adopting this Fifth Column of wayward theology to infiltrate their churches.

Recently, Owen Strachan, director for the Center of Public Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, suggested that pastors who teach “wokeness,” an informal descriptive for CRT, should face church discipline.

“In churches and institutions, those who teach and promote wokeness–binding the conscience of people with new unbiblical laws–must face Matthew 18 discipline. The church has tolerated the spread of wokeness too long. It is time for a line in the sand.”

But if CRT is so destructive, why are some pastors buying into it — pastors who are otherwise reputable for ardently standing on biblical truth?

The rival nature of a Fifth Column is not immediately exposed. Indeed, to avoid the appearance of a threat, the column masquerades as friend or ally. Likely, with CRT, pure-minded leaders are enamored with words like justice, anti-racism, and righteousness.

Why wouldn’t a leader find such a theory attractive? This is where discernment should be applied, but oftentimes is not. Simply put: Critical Race Theory is accepted by many pastors because on the surface its qualities mirror the exact biblically-based narratives of justice that all pastors should accept and celebrate. This was no different than when pastors posted black-out squares on Instagram to mirror the social media campaign of Black Lives Matter, Inc., a Marxist organization funded by the Ford Foundation, during the moment of riots, looting, and social upheaval across the country. Again, discernment should be strongly applied here, but is often missing in the current crop of evangelical leadership.

Lamentably, discernment has taken a backseat to CRT while presenting itself as a modern theory of righteous justice that doesn’t replace the Bible but is rather harmonious with it.

Unequivocally, pastors should be shown grace when they are deceived by CRT’s manipulative delivery and shun it upon recognition. But what about pastors who have allowed CRT to prolong its occupation among their congregations after they’ve recognized it for the rubbish that it is?

Several biblical rebukes of Critical Race Theory:

First, Critical Race Theory divides people based on the immutable characteristics of skin color, like “whiteness” or “blackness,” rather than on the present enmity with God. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), and that we were all separated from God because of our sin (Eph 2:1,3)

Second, Critical Race Theory promotes partiality along lines of intersectionality. The Bible demonstrates that God’s justice shows no partiality or favor toward the poor, oppressed, or those with different melanin content. God’s justice, and His righteousness, treats everyone equally (Jam 2:1-13; Lev 19:15; Col 3:25).

Third, Critical Race Theory seeks to condemn Christians and divide the Church along racial and ethnic lines when God has already created one body of believers. Romans 8:1 is clear that there is no condemnation for those who are already in Christ. Ephesians 2:11-22 speaks to the fact that the wall of separation between Jew and Greek has already been removed in Christ, thus creating one new people. Galatians 3:28 speaks to no distinction between Greek or Jew, slave nor free.

Fourth, Critical Race Theory promotes the original sin of racism as being passed down from generation to generation, blaming prior generations for the sins of their fathers. The Bible makes clear that the sin of Adam is inherent in all generations regardless of ethnicity (1 Cor 15:22). Furthermore, particular sins of previous generations cannot be atoned for by individuals (Ezek 18:20); rather, Christ is the only atonement for all sin (1 John 2:2).

Finally, Critical Race Theory is a worldly philosophy that misleads the Church and distorts the gospel. It is an empty philosophy of deconstruction that Paul warns the Church about (Col 2:8-9), and it adds works on to the gospel in order to be fully saved from the sins of the past (Eph 4:20) while absolving others of guilt for the sins practiced in the present (Rom 2:1-11).

CRT denies biblical reality — it is an affront to the Christian gospel and has no place in the Church.

Jesus Christ is the only one who can atone for sin — all sin, including racism — and make one whole community out of divided people, which He has done from the beginning (Matt 16:18).

In the future, we will be judged by how we acted in this present moment. Did we act in love, grace, and in truth, or did we capitulate and virtue signal to a lost and dying culture that wanted ears tickled rather than the cutting-edge of God’s Word?

While Marxism makes its long march through the institutions, we must eliminate the Fifth Column of Critical Race Theory within the Church.