Today we invest a small amount of time talking about the movement known as Black Lives Matter, and it is front and center for us right now as we both live in the city of Kenosha - where the latest police shooting occurred Sunday night.
Riots, looting, arson was the result, and that is only with a short notice for those who love violence in the name of so-called justice. Tonight will be interesting to say the least.
Truly, it is just sad. It is a time of mourning as we watch people we know again say the same tired phrases to justify what is not justified.
We are watching now our city begin to unravel. We have men who love Christ who are in the police and fire departments who must be faithful while the city and state officials will be unfaithful to them.
We watch wives who watch their loved ones go to stand on a line that is hated and despised.
So we grieve.
We also have many things to say about the BLM movement that were written up prior to this latest incident, and that is what you will hear from us. Because none really changed because this man was shot. Truth is still truth, no matter how many rationales and explanations are given to give an excuse to a lie.
Finally, we would also encourage you to listen to Just Thinking podcast by Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker. They continue to bring excellent content to this whole subject as two black men who love Christ and love truth.
Black Lives Matter is one of the new mantras of social media, and it is the type that has almost no nuance to it and no middle ground. You are for it, or against it. If you try to straddle it in some way or another you will find yourself very uncomfortable in a short amount of time.
We want to talk a bit about the history of the BLM movement, then give a sense of its philosophy and worldview, and then give our opinion regarding the value of the movement.
Before we do this, we need to be clear about a couple of related subjects about which people are questioning us. We want to come out up front and say that we are very pro- planned parenthood, and we see that black lives matter dovetails neatly with the entire movement of planned parenthood.
In fact we are really sick and tired of people who want to bash us as pastors, especially conservative pastors, who see planned parenthood as being antithetical to the Christian faith. Like, it is somehow anti-gospel.
Essentially those who do this type of name calling are simply showing themselves to be sour, bitter people who lack a basic sense of rightness. They certainly can’t seem to grasp the gospel and what the gospel tells us regarding the purpose and value of pregnancy and children.
So we want to be up front here and make it clear. If you are not pro- planned parenthood, then you likely don’t need to be talking to us. We can say with quite a bit of certainty that you have little to contribute to the entire national discussion of BLM.
So, before we go any further we want to show you how closely connected BLM and planned parenthood are:
- They support two groups of people who are not protected by society in a meaningful way.
- They help educate people to see the value of every person.
- They promote a concern for healthcare needs to those who are oftentimes ignored or forgotten. Both groups are certainly marginalized by the community at-large, and BLM and planned parenthood both create forums where they can be discussed and helped in a myriad of ways.
-They are future thinking, creating a vision for what tomorrow might be if only we can change the minds of the public.
- They are success oriented. They both want the people to grow up and flourish as humans.
- They are biblically grounded by seeing the intrinsic value of every individual.
- They are gospel-centered as they see that the effects of sin in the world harms these two groups and that we need to come up with standards and methods that help rescue them from the societal effects of sin.
- They are educational as they seek to grow our awareness of some of the unique needs that many of us don’t realize exist in their communities.
We could go on and on, but suffice it to say that Matt and I are exceedingly pro planned parenthood to the same degree that we are pro black lives matter.
Ok, so enough with this. What we are doing is simply showing the asinine way many Christians are approaching the whole BLM issue. So let us clarify what just happened.
The words “planned parenthood” are neutral enough. Who doesn’t want to think wisely and carefully about the role and responsibilities of being a parent?
But is this phrase, “planned parenthood,” something we should be tweeting and posting? That you love planned parenthood? That planned parenthood is not contrary to the gospel? That loving planned parenthood is while claiming Christ is not a false claim? Of course not.
We love babies. We think making and having babies is a good and honorable thing. We want to exalt motherhood and children.
But in a biblical context.
We do not celebrate abortions, it is murder and those who vote for pro-abortion people are participating it those murders. It is that easy.
We do not celebrate pregnancy outside of wedlock. We don’t celebrate absentee fathers. We don’t laugh at the term “baby-momma” or “baby-daddy.” We grieve when young men and women grow up without ever knowing what an intact family looks like.
And we think that the organization known as Planned Parenthood is vile, evil, criminal and hellish in every way. Which is why we don’t use the term “planned parenthood” in our speech. It is so tainted and so corrupted that it confuses rather than enlightens.
- And the same goes for BLM -
We hear people and watch people say things like, “Hey, you can be a Christian and Jesus follower and also believe that black lives matter.” We just roll our eyes at these sorts of things, like they are really brave statements, when they are not.
You have to be brain dead to claim to be a Christian and believe that the life of a black person has no meaning or value. It is a classic straw man, and it is virtue signaling at its best.
It is as mindless as how some are actually spending time debating the use of big/uppercase “B” or little/lowercase “b” as if that really matters. And those same folks doing that are the same ones whose FB and Instagram and Twitter feeds are silent about the utter genocide occurring in black communities throughout the nation with murders, rapes, robberies, and corruption. Drugs are devastating families. Single parenthood is the norm. And do you read quotes and hashtags about how their lives matter? Of course not, because those white evangelical folks are too busy virtue signaling about George Floyd, and the supposedly obvious racial imbalances in the police forces in America.
So let us be clear here. To try to say that we think the lives of black people don’t matter is a simple lie. But to think that this means we should use it as a slogan is wrong and we won’t apologize for it.
So with that said as bluntly as we can say it, we can talk briefly about the whole Black Lives Matter movement.
Our Biblical Lens:
To look at any movement, power structure, activity, philosophy or event requires a Christian to examine it purely from a biblical lens. What is sad is that this needs to be said, but it does.
Too much of what you hear and read is not flowing from a biblically sound perspective. At best you get some bible passages that use the word “justice” or “poor” that are torn from their context and applied to the current situation.
Because preaching and teaching today in the churches is little more than a high flyover of bible passages by people who are committed to examine the biblical text.
So you have two streams of information flowing in too many churches. The first is a semi-biblical stream that touches lightly on the text, but is so busy trying to show you Jesus in some way that they never actually help you see what God had written down.
The second is a popular cultural stream that flows from whatever group you belong to. Whether it is a right-wing or left-wing ideology is not important. If truth is defined by current events rather than current events defined by truth, then the Church has nothing to offer and nothing to lead the people of God to a sound refuge.
So the church is left to wander about with no real compass. You just need to love Jesus, follow Jesus’s words as defined by a elite group of folks who magically find His words to conform to their ideology and not get too caught up in biblical details.
Relatively new, only about 4-6 years since it hit the scene, but the philosophy driving it is much older and is borne out of the muck of CRT, Intersectionality and Social Justice models taught in the public schools and cemented in the colleges and universities.
It was not some grassroots, natural uprising that just happened. It was a calculated move that waited for an opportunity to be unfolded. That opportunity came with the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012.
Here is what BLM’s website says, “Four years ago, what is now known as the Black Lives Matter Global Network began to organize. It started out as a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission was to build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
So we see right away that it is a very focused group. It is not the betterment of the black community in general, but to “intervene” when violence is inflicted by the governing authorities and vigilantes.
Since Trayvon Martin this group then moved on to Mike Brown in Ferguson in 2014.
As a side note, the movement is not because of the deaths of Martin or Brown. Rather, they are using these deaths as the mechanism to keep pushing their agenda. To understand this is simple. Essentially 2 years go by between these two deaths. In that time a massive number of other black men and women are killed, but none of them fit the criteria to motivate unthinking rage among the general populace.
On their own site they make it clear that they are a political action group. This is important because how it is often portrayed is a moral issue rather than a political issue.
Politics always have to do with money and power.
They are clear about their politics and positions. It is to push a new-Marxist point of view regarding wealth, power and economy. If you are unsure about those things listen to our podcasts on Social Justice and CRT.
We keep saying this but it doesn’t seem to sink in for some people. This is a worldview that is as old as humanity. We want our way in our time and for our profit. And what doesn’t matter to us is who and what we must harm to get it. So we take up slogans like “no justice, no peace” and “by any means necessary” and we bulldoze over laws and people in our insatiable pursuit of money and power. That is what you see in the movement and organization known as BLM.
That is really all we need to say about the history of BLM. What follows is a simple analysis of the movement and in it we will deal with some of their stated beliefs and convictions as an organization.
Along with this, there is the idea of how they frame their existence and purpose.
On their “6 Years Strong” they describe the death of Trayvon Martin as a murder. That is not what the facts showed. It is not what the trial showed. And it is not what the judicial verdict handed down said. But they persist nonetheless.
This is again why this sort of movement is so bad and so difficult to discuss.
When facts really don’t matter then you cannot have a dialogue. It becomes a shouting match fit only for the Jerry Springer show.
So they call George Zimmerman a white supremacist even though he is, by their own definition of race, hispanic. Again, facts don’t matter. He looks white so that is what he is.
On the same page they talk about having the last 6 years be so traumatizing because they have been surveilled, called terrorists, and had rubber bullets and tanks that they faced.
Now we are not sure where those tanks were, but regardless, think about what is not said by them.
None of this happened because they were, as the bible would say, “mind[ing] their own business and work[ing] with their own hands.” Nor because they lived quiet lives and are not having any need from others.
Rather, it was because they were advocating and defending rioting, looting and violence against the police. You know, illegal activities. Activities that are violent and destructive. So it is hard to get some sense that these are true sufferers of injustice when they are pushing and encouraging injustice.
On their page entitled “Herstory” they give a couple of instances of how their movement came about.
The first is the acquittal of George Zimmerman.
Again, they call him a murderer. But the judge and jury did not see it that way.
They are angry over, not the failure by the state to investigate, and then make legal decisions based on the facts. Rather they are angry that the process of justice occurred, but did not go the way they wanted it to go.
So when they talk about justice it is just a lie. For justice was served and they didn’t like the decision. So instead they become children throwing a tantrum, destroying whatever they want until they get what they want.
So we know by this that there will never be a fair, impartial hearing from this group. They are not interested in the rule of law. Law and justice is in their own mind and they are the definers of it.
But understand that the moment you take out the role of an impartial judge and jury you take out any real hope for justice. And words stop meaning things.
The second account they mention is Mike Brown. Now the murderer is the police officer who shot him. Again, it does not matter what the many investigations discovered by way of facts. It doesn’t matter what legal decisions were rendered. The man is a murderer and it further proves racism in the ranks of the police.
Again what is conveniently forgotten is that even Eric Holder, the AG for the United States could find nothing to charge the officer with. Imagine all the money and power of the Federal Government trying to find a fault and coming up with nothing. Which of you could stand that level of scrutiny?
We could do more, but this is enough. Instead we want to consider one passage out of Ephesians to prepare us for the analysis that will follow.
Eph. 5:1-16 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you." 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
First, it tells us to imitate God. How? Well the “therefore” tells us to go back into chapter 4. And the verse prior says that we are to be tender-hearted and forgiving, as God has forgiven us in Christ. So that is what he means in imitating God.
Hearts that are kind.
Hearts that are quick to forgive and to forgive fully.
Second, we are called to walk in love. How? Well vs 2 tells us just as Jesus did. By giving Himself as the proper and full sacrifice for our sin. So, we can’t do that can we? We can’t be a sin sacrifice, but we can lay our rights and loves and delights down for the sake of others. Vss 1-2 are very “gospelly.” They talk about forgiveness, the death of Christ for us, love and kindness. Good stuff and the kind of stuff people want to camp on and make much of.
In vs 3, though, a key shift occurs. He puts in this “but” and by doing it shifts to what vss 1-2 will look like in our day-to-day lives. And now it is not so “gospelly” sounding and now things get a bit more real that many people like.
So immorality has no place in the life of the Christan. Not a little. Not on occasion. None. It is not to be even named among the Church.
Then the tongue gets involved. No foolish or filthy or silly talk is to be part of the Christian. Instead words of thanksgiving. And by now you can almost hear people coming up with ways to get around this.
So why bring this up? What is the reasoning behind it all? Vs 5 gives it and it is a doozy. “For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
All of the sudden this stuff becomes very, very closely connected to the gospel. So close that you can be a person who claims to believe the gospel but if these things are truly yours then you are outside the gospel. Simple as that.
Now listen to verbiage of the current protestors and ask yourself if this can be part of your life and words? Listen to words of movements like BLM and ask yourself if they reflect thankful hearts that are tender-hearted, kind and forgiving? And then ask if you can be connected to it in any way?
In vs 6 we are told that there are those who are deceivers who will try to get you to believe otherwise. Paul says it is nothing but empty words, and then he smacks us all again and says that this is what brings God’s wrath down upon us.
So the answer? Vs 7, do not be partakers with them.
So again we ask, do we use #BLM still? Do we post their signs? Do we raise our fists? Do we associate with this in any way? What part of not being a partaker is hard to grasp?
These are things that are part of the realm of darkness rather than light. The Christian belongs in the light and it is that simple. So in vs 9 Paul defines that a bit, just in case people are coming up with ways to go around it. Living in the light consists of all goodness, righteousness and truth. Therefore if an activity or movement does not conform to all three of these then why partake? How would a Christian truly justify themselves?
And this is a lifelong pursuit so much so that Paul says in vs 10, we are to constantly strive to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
This tells me that there are things that you practice that later you discard as you grow in wisdom and knowledge.
As you investigate and study, things become more clear and so a Christian should be in a consistent state of movement from being less pleasing to the Lord to more pleasing.
So my marriage should be more pleasing to the Lord now than 10 years ago. My parenting should be more pleasing now than when I had my first child. My finances, my work ethic, my speech and my leisure should all be changing and conforming more and more to godliness, not less godliness.
Then, in vs 11, he explicitly commands us to not participate with anything to do with evil. Instead, we are to expose it. That is part of the gospel-centered life. A life that grows in godliness and a life that exposes evil as evil.
We expose it, but we don’t revel in it. We don’t make light of it. We don’t make it the centerpiece of our conversations. We examine these things. Then we expose them to be of darkness. And then we move past them.
We certainly don’t have conversations about them with everyone and anyone. We don’t open dialogues. We don’t seek to hear opposing voices as if they are somehow legitimate. We move past them.
So, instead, vss 13-16 tells us that we are to live in the awareness of God’s coming judgment.
In that time all things will be brought to light. Nothing will be hidden. And no rationales will stand His scrutiny. It will be a terrifying day of true justice where all who face it will wish for one more day of grace.
Therefore, because we live in evil days we are to be careful how we conduct ourselves. We are to be aware that it is hard to not become dirty when you walk among filth. So plan your day wisely. And live in the light.
So take what we just said here, and listen to our brief analysis of BLM:
To claim that "to agree with BLM is not the same as agreeing with everything it stands for," only makes sense if you do it in ignorance. Meaning, some people never really examine its positions on various issues, and in a well-meaning way, they jump on board and give it no more thought.
However, like all things, the more you know, then the greater your accountability and responsibility grows. To learn about their goals and beliefs of BLM makes you complicit when you choose to remain connected.
It is noteworthy that the list of victims of racial brutality is remarkably short. A simple perusal through the many blogs, articles and videos pushing the BLM and Social Justice agendas will reveal one of two things, and often both.
The first is a short list of 3-10 people. The current list usually is George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Amaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and Philando Castile. And as of this week you can add Jacob Blake.
The second thing to note is how quickly the BLM and SJ messages shift from the current situation to a historical one. It takes only a short time to go from the death of Floyd to red lining or the Jim Crow laws.
The reason is rather simple. There simply is not that much happening currently that remotely rises to a systematic effort to oppress black men and women. The current events are merely a leaping off point to then try and connect them with laws and events that have long been rejected in our nation. All of this is because of the buy-in to the whole SJ and CRT philosophy.
Another key problem is their overtly anti-biblical view of family.
They write, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
Add to this that they are actively and overtly involved in the promotion of homosexual and transgender lifestyles.
One of the great travesties in the black community is the breakdown of the family. For too long, single parent homes have been the norm. Sadly, one of the biggest reasons for this is the rules connected to welfare benefits. It does not pay to be married.
If we want to talk about a “systemic issue,” this would be the place to start.
This is a government structure that is devastating entire groups of people in our nation. And it has for decades.
Because BLM is a political entity, it seeks to broaden its base by appealing to anyone who would fit into the categories of the oppressed, as taught in CRT.
They seek to break down patriarchal barriers, but again, this would be contrary to the biblical idea of the man as the head of the household, or the leader within the church.
We are not arguing for patriarchy as we know it.
This mindset revolts against any sense of male leadership-- which is God’s design-- and the only way humanity can, therefore, truly flourish.
These are not good for any society, and no society has ever flourished when these are the norms. But these are certainly contrary to the Christian faith and contrary to sound doctrine. The Church should reject this in every way, but sadly it doesn’t. It wants to have “conversations.”
In addition, there is the idea of reparations.
In the rioting and looting that occurred in August of 2020 one of the BLM leaders defended the looting.
Why? Because it is not theft, but reparations. And because the stores have insurance it is ok, they will get their money back.
When you look at the bible there are a few instances where reparations exist. An example would be Leviticus 6:5. Hear it in its context:
"When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the LORD, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, or through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, 3 or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; 4 then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him or the lost thing which he found, 5 or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering." (Lev. 6:2-5)
Note the element: He has financially cheated a person through deceit, theft, extortion, or fraud. That’s the requirement.
The way to resolve it is first, to restore what was taken and second, to add 1/5th more to the value. And it is to go to the person defrauded.
This is consistent throughout the OT on this subject. There is a known value and it is perpetrated against an individual. At no point is it ever intimated that it should be done for perceived injustices. Nor that future generations would be held accountable to this.
But the greatest issue is that this is something God gave to Israel to obey as being part of a theocratic nation. America is many things, but it is not Israel.
When you come to the NT you will see nothing about reparations, as the Church is not Israel, and it is to function within whatever societal standards exist.
Nowhere will you see the expectation that some descendent from some claimed aggrieved person, given the right to demand reparations from the descendents of those who have the skin tone of a group of people who did bad things. The bible would call that theft and injustice. And any Christian who argues for it has lost his way. In fact, ironically, to argue for reparations, is therefore to argue for theft and overt injustice.
Finally, their view of civil disobedience is contrary to the Christian and the Bible.
The Constitution allows for the right to protest. But for most people, this is only vaguely understood. Add to this the constant mantra on the many media outlets about “mostly peaceful protests” and confusion grows.
The First Amendment says in part, “"prohibiting ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." That is it.
The people of the US can peaceably assemble and petition.
But it does not permit people to gather for the purpose of protest where there is a clear danger of rioting and violence. Nor can the protesters interfere with traffic, and present a threat to public order.
In other words, protests are fine, if done properly. But that is not what you see promoted by BLM and other organizations. The level of violence, theft and destruction to private and public property is staggering. And all the while many Christians are thinking that BLM is good.
Just like false prophets in the NT, the way you know the value of some group or organization is through the fruit they produce.
BLM is not a group we would endorse, nor even give a head nod to, as doing “some things” good.
Rather, it is an organization that is antithetical to the Christian. It is as antithetical as a Christian being pro-abortion. They can’t co-exist.
To try to caveat this with the fact that you merely mean a lowercase "b" rather than the actual organization, is simply silly and unhelpful. If it makes you feel good, fine, but it doesn’t make you care more, or be more “woke.”
We would argue that the best thing churches can do with regard to this movement is speak both in a positive, and negative manner regarding it.
Positive means, to speak of what the bible tells us about people, government, property, and protests in a way that is faithful to God’s word. In other words, instructing and building up the people of God to know what the Word actually says.
Negative means, to denounce anything that is contrary to sound doctrine. To take a stand against what is nothing more than a philosophy born out of the god of this fallen age. To call it evil, if it is evil. And to give it no room in the pulpits, pens, or pew of those in the Church.
In the end, we would simply remind each person that the promise of true justice is bound up in the person of God. and the timing for that execution of justice is at the end of the age.
Christians are not to hate their enemy, but to love them.
Christians are not to harm their enemy, but to do good to them.
But all of this is because God promises to bring a true and righteous vengeance upon those enemies in His time.
When Christ returns He will judge the living and the dead, and all things shall be laid open before Him. Every life will matter in the sense that every life will stand before Him as their Lord and He will judge them without partiality.
For Christians, this should be enough. It must be enough.