6/20/19

Tom Buck and Jared Longshore on How to Approach Pastors & Laymen Concerning Critical Theory

Tom Buck, pastor at First Baptist Church of Lindale, and Jared Longshore from Founder's Ministries, discuss how to approach pastors who advocate Critical Theory, while also educating laymen on the dangers of the philosophy.

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Critical Theory, Intersectionality, and Resolution 9 Destroyed in 10 Minutes

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Today I’d like to take a few moments to offer a few thoughts on Resolution 9 - On Critical Race Theory And Intersectionality which was approved by the Southern Baptist Convention a little over a week ago. During the past week there has been much debate on the merits of this important resolution. Did it endorse Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality? Can Christians really use critical race theory and intersectionality as “analytical tools?” After all, isn’t all truth God’s truth?

First, let’s briefly define what Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are.

According to  Richard Delgado in his book “Critical Race Theory,” after the successes of the Civil Right’s movement, “subtler forms of racism that were gaining ground” especially in “ legal institutions” where racism had “embedded itself.” Drawing from Critical Legal Studies, Feminism, Conventional Civil Rights Thought, and Ethnic Studies, sociologists and lawyers such as Dereck Bell, Allan Freeman, and Kimberly Crenshaw, to name a few, invented a language including terms like “Micro aggression,” “Interest Convergence,” “Intersectionality,” “white privilege,” and “Nativism” to create an “indispensable tool” we know as Critical Race Theory.
   
When compared with a Christian worldview Critical Race Theory assumes: 1) legal cases should be decided according to group identity instead of equality before the law, 2) that biblical hierarchy is oppressive, 3) that children should pay for the sins of their parents, and 4) that it is morally imperative to decenter majority cultures.

The Bible is clear: Exodus 23:3 says “nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.” Ephesians 5:22-6:9 describes the differing responsibilities attached with the relationships of husbands and wives, parents and children, and slaves and masters. Deuteronomy 24:16 states, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.” Deuteronomy 15:15 says “As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.”

As can be seen, Equality before the law, hierarchy, personal responsibility, and the centering of certain standards of a majority culture are all biblical principles in direct conflict with the root assumptions of Critical Race Theory’s ethical framework.

Critical Race Theory’s epistemology is postmodernism, it’s metaphysic Marxist, and it’s mode of operation, revolutionary.

You will not find ANY of Critical Race Theory’s  root assumptions in a Bible that assumes an objective truth unable to be manipulated by human power, and the primary human identity being a separation between righteous and ungodly, rather than oppressors and oppressed.

Jesus may as well have told all human powers that they did not have the power to determine truth when he exclaimed to Pontieous Pilot that He was the truth. The Apostle Paul may as well have told all slaves that their identity was not to be found in their subjugation when he told the slave holder Onesimus to consider Philemon “no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother.”

Intersectionality, according to Delgado, “means the examination of race, sex, class, national origin, and sexual orientation and how their combination plays out in various settings.” Delgado asks, “Should persons who experience multiple forms of oppression have their own categories and representation, apart from those that correspond to the separate varieties of discrimination they experience? And what about the role of these "intersectional" persons in social movements such as feminism or gay liberation?”

You see, a gender confused Hispanic female may experience a unique form of oppression from majority culture at the point at which these three identities intersect.

Since critical theorists see the world as a power struggle between social groups, every institution, whether it be the Boy Scouts, NFL, or Southern Baptist Convention, must necessarily also be advocates for alleged oppressed minorities. The greater the intersections, the more oppressed the minority group and the more political power their voice deserves.

This is why Critical Theory is more than a “set of analytical tools” as the Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolution 9 would have us believe. It’s also more than merely a heresy or a worldview. It is the latest re-packaging of a secular humanist religion complete with an original sin, law, conversion experience, sacraments, priests, holy books, and future reward.

Except a straight white male be woke he cannot receive the utopia of equality. Sociologists and their writings will teach woke individuals how to relieve their burden of privilege and avoid inadvertently oppressing others.

If the Apostle Paul were alive today he would destroy “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” including Critical Race Theory. This, however, is not what the Southern Baptist Convention chose to do.

Resolution 9 claims that “Critical race theory and intersectionality have been appropriated by individuals with worldviews that are contrary to the Christian faith.”

This would be like saying, “The Book of Mormon has been appropriated by Joseph Smith,” or “The Origin of the Species” has been appropriated by Darwinists.

The use of the word “appropriate” detaches the false religion from it’s source and insinuates the compatibility of this false religion with “individuals with worldviews IN KEEPING with the Christian faith,” a possibility sure to land those individuals in syncretism.

Indeed, the resolution goes on to state that “Evangelical scholars who affirm the authority and sufficiency of Scripture have employed selective insights from critical race theory and intersectionality to understand multifaceted social dynamics.”

Appealing to concept of “common grace,” Southern Baptists credited critical race theory and intersectionality with the discovery of truth about “social dynamics.”

However, this is not the way common grace works.

Those listening to my voice right now can trust their observational senses, even if they do not outwardly believe in the Triune God of Scripture, because of common grace. Though they might say they do not believe in a God who has authenticated their sense perception so it’s trustworthy, they still must rely on this God and the objective, unchanging, and immaterial laws of logic and morality that find their source in His nature.

Sense perception cannot be trusted because of false religion, but in spite of false religion.

Socrates true insights about the world did not stem from his paganism, but in spite of his paganism.

The Apostle Paul’s use of Epimenides, is not a use of Epimenides religion, but of a true observation Epimenides made in spite of his religion.

Paul did not adopt tools from false religions. Just the true observations of men who accessed natural revelation despite their false religions.

This is consistent with Paul’s teaching in Romans 1:19-20 and Col. 1:2-3.

Some may object that certain questions arising from critical race theory and intersectionality can lead to the acquisition of true data, thus these ideologies are necessary prerequisites of discovery.

For example, a pastor may find a study helpful that exposes certain struggles common to a particular social group: such as suburban black females. By definition, intersectionality assumes these problems are the negative effect of systemic oppression by the majority and seeks to rectify this oppression through political action that punishes the privileged.

The problem with this is that the court of intersectionality assumes the plaintiff’s disadvantage is proof of systemic oppression by a guilty majority demographic. At the root, Intersectionality is driven by an ethic completely opposed to the biblical concept of  blind justice before the law.

In biblical justice, human government is only authorized to punish action and known intent. Heart motives belong to God. In intersectionality, motives are simply attached based on social grouping.

Intersectionality is not striving to give handicap spaces to those clearly disadvantaged by nature. Instead, it seeks to tear down all human hierarchy blamed for unequal distribution of privilege.  until all that’s left is a political court of justice, or in common parlance “Big Brother.”

Just like Freudian psychologists can conduct studies that give us data. Christians should not be positively using the tools or insights that come from a Freudian anthropology to analyze this data and arrive at truth.

Similarly, neither should Christians use the tools or insights that come from intersectional sociology to arrive at truth.

Resolution 9 also states that “Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills.”

Implied in this statement is the opportunity for a professor, such as Walter Strickland who teaches at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and was also on the resolutions committee that produced resolution 9, to continue to teach James Cone, who, in his words, despite “substantive theological differences,” introduced him “to systemic sin in his work [which] was an important theological insight…”

What Walter Strickland doesn’t mention is that James Cone applied his systemic oppression to homosexuality as well.

The truth is, not only are critical race theory and intersectionality alone insufficient, but they are completely inadequate. Trying to hitch critical race theory to biblical Christianity is like trying to hitch Marxism to Christianity. They are competing worldviews diametrically opposed to one another.

As the Apostle Paul asks in 2 Corinthians 6:14 “What fellowship has light with darkness?”

He commanded in Colossians 2:8 to “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

This is why “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

One thing is certain: At the very time when Critical Theory is being accepted in the world, the time for choosing has come for the Southern Baptist Convention. Which direction will the denomination go in 2020? “How long will the Southern Baptist Convention hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if man and his foolish wisdom follow him.”
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