We jump off into the whole social justice (sj) movement today with a brief examination of one of the driving theories behind or underneath it all. The theory of Critical Race. Fun stuff.
So what is the big deal? On the surface many may think that what is happening in America right now is just a reaction against police brutality...but it isn’t.
Many think it is about racism and justice, and that because God is a God of justice and because racism is a sin that - therefore - there is much good in the current crisis. We need to stand up and be counted. We cannot be silent anymore. We need to stand up against the oppressors.
A lot of people are virtue signalling to show that they are not racist. They are bending over backward to show that they love their black neighbors or co-workers, but that is not the issue at all.
What is really happening is we are all being played...and played in a major way. It is pure, unadulterated manipulation, and it is evil.
Some of you may recall that when all the rioting was going on we did an episode on it. We said that this is not about the stated issues of brutality and racism. It is about a shift in power, and it is about money. We are even more certain of it now, than we were a few months ago.
What is fascinating is how this is tearing apart the Church in America.
Fascinating in that people are standing firm on this subject in a way they won’t on almost any other point of theology and practice.
People who could not tell you the first thing about the doctrine of God, or the essence of saving faith, are all of the sudden unbending and unmoving on the subject of justice and systems of power.
The result is that people are looking for many answers. We personally have had way too many conversations with people who are confused and hurt as they see the church they love - and have been part of for years - suddenly change course.
As a side note: this is something primarily within the conservative church. The liberal church believes in everything but biblical truth, and so they are on the front lines of telling everyone that they know that Jesus supports this whole movement and the belief system that drives it.
It is also worth noting that it appears that most churches who are resisting the whole SJ and CRT movement have not suffered an exodus. This can be for various reasons, but it is interesting nonetheless.
We know of families where there is great difficulty right now because sides have been taken at the dinner table, and family visits are now very uncomfortable.
We also note a clear line of demarcation between the older church members and the younger.
So, in some churches while the older people (and perhaps the long time leadership) are not strong proponents of the SJ movement, the younger, up-and-coming ones are.
We see this in the SBC with our current president, JD Greer and what we see happening on the seminary campuses. It is the newer professors who are bringing into some very troubling teachings and beliefs.
We also see it with those who are educated in the public schools. The whole philosophy and belief system is part and parcel to the education system. From kindergarten to graduate school, this is taught in every possible way and in every subject.
The result is as children are growing up they are being taught a philosophy that we are going to argue is overtly anti-Christian in every way, and it is done on purpose.
That fruit is being harvested now, and the cost is quite alarming.
So with those encouraging words we turn our attention to our goal of defining some of the key terms that are being thrown around. From there we want to examine them in light of Scripture, since that is really all that matters in the long run.
What is Critical Race Theory?
It comes out of a bigger theory that started back between WWI and WWII. This theory is known as Critical Theory.
Its roots are in the philosophies of Kant and Hegel. Karl Marx was the one who helped create the fertile soil from which it would grow.
However, Critical Race Theory is not true Marxism. Marxism was essentially an economic model. Theirs was a societal Marxism that focused on oppression and alienation of people. This has now morphed fully into power dynamics between the oppressed and the oppressors. Which is where comments about systemic racism come into play.
A group of people principally from Germany came to be known as the Frankfurt School, also known as the Institute for Social Research. We would tell you their names, but we would likely just mess up the pronunciation so we won’t. If you want to know the actual names a simple search of “Frankfurt School” will give you all you need.
They focused on the reality of alienation of certain classes of people, and what is called reification, or the treating of people as mere objects. It is not surprising that this all occurs in the backend of the Industrial Revolution.
In Bronner’s little book on Critical Theory he states, “Authentic individual experience and class consciousness were being threatened by consumerism of advanced capitalism.” (p. 5). This led to a pushback through their teaching that led to the whole mess in the 1960’s.
To do this required them to redefine what is the family, what is the purpose of education, and what is proper sexuality? In all of this was the belief that we need to eliminate competition and promote some sort of equity.
You should not underestimate the effects this group had. It is still seen in so many parts of our nation and culture.
Modern Art is a result of this movement.
Various forms of liberal theology rose out of its influence.
Psychology as the answer to fix mankind’s ills was a major part of their teaching.
Also they understood the power of the popular culture to effect change. So as radio and television came into being their teachings were introduced via seemingly innocent means of entertainment.
One example that was interesting was the criticism raised regarding a dance group known as the Tiller Girls who did very tight, complex dance moves that were tightly choreographed. It was viewed as proof of the loss of individuality.
By now you should be hearing echoes of things we see all the time today and perhaps you are realizing that beliefs and convictions we hold are not as freely learned as we thought.
The huge love of individualism is a result of this theory.
The current redefinition of sex, love and relationships all find their roots here.
The resistance against anything called capitalism as well.
But the big one is the idea of oppression. The society is oppressing the individuals, and this is due to built-in structures that create the inequality and alienation of people or people groups. There are those who hold power (and therefore they are the oppressors), and there are those who are oppressed (prevented from having power).
So now we turn to the idea of CRT.
We did not discuss Critical Theory in an in depth way because it is a huge topic, and we will do the same for the idea of CRT. So, if you are expecting a graduate level teaching on this you will be disappointed.
We will provide some links below to others who deal with this more fully if you want to delve into it even more.
Imagine that you walk down some hallway at an office building or medical center. As you pass a person you smile and say hello, but they merely look down at their feet and say nothing. CRT will use an illustration like this to speak of race issues. If you are the white man and they are a black man, then it is assumed there are racial issues at play.
In fact, at this point in time it is likely that there are no other options that should be considered. The shift is so complete that breathing is almost racially motivated and defined. What is important to understand is that this is intentional. It is being manufactured by those pushing CRT.
CRT developed out of the Critical Theory primarily in the legal world. In fact, it was not the natural continuation of the Civil Rights Movement, but in many ways a repudiation of it. Where Dr. King dreamed of a day where man would not be judged by the color of his skin, CRT dreams of a day where an entire society is flipped upside down and all acceptable minority groups have all the power.
To be in this new sort of power requires your skin color, your gender, your disability, or your sexual orientation to be flown proudly for all to see.
If you do not fit within that structure, then you must not possess power. That is the goal. It is a sociological response to perceived wrongs.