Posted Aug 05, 2021 by Michael L. Brown

For some time now, friends have been asking me to weigh in on the controversies surrounding CRT and the larger questions of biblical and social justice. But I have been waiting and watching rather than writing because: 1) I wanted to understand exactly what people meant by “CRT”; and 2) I wanted to have something constructive to add to the discussion.

Earlier this week, I interviewed Joe Dallas, a respected leader in the ex-gay movement and author of a new book titled Christians in a Cancel Culture. He argued that we must take a strong stand against the evils of racism, addressing any manifestations of it in our society, while strongly opposing movements like BLM or ideologies like CRT. (For the record, Joe is white.)

A few months back, I interviewed Chris Broussard, a well-known TV and radio sports commentator but also a respected church leader with an important men’s ministry. He advocated for the church to lead the way in making reparations for past sins that have resulted in still-lingering consequences for African Americans. (For the record, Chris is black.)

As I tracked responses to these broadcasts, especially to the interview with Chris, since it’s been posted online longer, I saw that, for the most part, both “sides” entrenched themselves more deeply, reacting more than responding.

It even got to the point where some white Christians were accusing their black brothers and sisters of being sold-out liberals while some black Christians were saying that their white brothers and sisters were not even Christians at all. So much for advancing the conversation and fostering deeper unity, understanding, and positive action.

How, then, do we move forward? How do we act righteously and biblically trying to appearing to be woke? And how do we address genuine blind spots without capitulating to cancel culture?

Let me offer four basic proposals. The first three are fairly simple and straightforward. The fourth needs to be unpacked.

First, when the subject of CRT comes up, ask this question: “Could you please explain to me exactly what you mean by CRT?” It’s possible that the issue is one of semantics more than substance, and that, in reality, you have more in common than you think. Of course, the opposite is also possible, and you may deeply differ with the CRT agenda as defined by the person with whom you’re interacting.

Either way, at least you will know what you’re dealing with. So, get past the emotional reactions and misunderstandings and focus on the real issues. Definitions, please!

Second, let’s state clearly where we stand as lovers of God and His Word. We categorically reject racism (let’s define what we mean by that too!). We utterly denounce America’s past racist sins. We agree that, where racism exists in our society, be it individually or systemically, we will work together against it.

Third, let’s set parameters for repentance, based on these criteria. Is the sin still present in our midst? In other words, are we still dealing with racist ideologies or attitudes at present? If so, we must recognize them, renounce them, and truly repent, which means turning around and going in the right direction.

If the sin is no longer present, is the fruit of that sin still present? For example, let’s stay, 20 years ago, before I was a Christian, I was a dishonest businessman who robbed you blind, causing you to go bankrupt, impoverishing you to this day.

Thankfully, 5 years ago, I became born again and am now living a godly life, but still enjoying the wealth of my sinful life while you continue to suffer. Righteousness requires that I address this and make things right with you.

This, then, leads to the fourth point, and this is where things gets complicated, intersecting with the question of reparations.

Candidly, as I told Chris Broussard during our interview, in the past, I viewed the subject of reparations as something that the radical left talked about, not something conservative Christians talked about.

After all, we went through the devastating Civil War, still our bloodiest war to date, as a result of emancipating the slaves. And since then, little by little, we have continued to make progress, enacting various laws against discrimination while continuing to level the playing field.

In Chris’s view, not as a punishment but as an example of the church being the church, the issue of reparations should be addressed seriously, as complicated as it is. (He did not have the time on the air to lay out his thoughts in detail, but in what he has submitted to me in writing, with lots of reference to Scripture, he makes a detailed, practical case.)

Where I stand at the moment is this. We continue to see inequities in our society that are a legacy of our sinful past. And we continue to see manifestations of racism that are so deeply imbedded in our society that we often fail to recognize them. At the same time, I do not believe for a moment that, as a country, America today is systemically racist.

But there is a practical path forward, which is this: we evaluate where things are not right in our society – for example, the education system in our inner-cities; the broken family structure (aided and abetted by the welfare state?); lack of net worth in the average African American family when compared to the average white American family – and then we ask, “What can we do about this?”

My friend, Dr. Daniel Juster, a leading theologian with a great heart for justice, has written an important article critiquing the Marxist aspects of CRT (as articulated by some of its leading proponents) but then calling the church to sacrificial action on a number of important fronts.

He writes, “However, we have to begin with the situation as it exists with many coming from single-parent mother-led homes. Discipling the mothers is so important.  Many single mothers are illiterate.  They need education and training.  Some of the best programs I have seen begin with children and teens and puts them into tutoring programs and then full-time schools with a Gospel emphasis.  There are several such programs.  Until vouchers are available from public funds (they are available in some states) we need to mobilize wealthy people and all who can give to fund such schools.  The CHATS (Church Hill Activities and Tutoring and Schooling) program in Richmond, Virginia, is one such program I support.  They maintain a full high school and the success rate is amazing.  It challenges the lie that blacks must fail due to racism for the graduates of this ghetto school to succeed, and greatly so.  Overcoming massive illiteracy is crucial.  Public schools in ghetto communities graduate many illiterate poor from high school if they stay in school!  Practical job training needs to be part of such schools.  Christians can provide vocational training.”

This, I believe, is how we can move forward as one, fulfilling our calling to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, walking in righteousness and loving each other as Jesus loved us. Are you with me?

Tags: 

Sign Up or Login to post comments.

Comments

user profile
BW posted a comment · Aug 08, 2021
Why is it then, that the reality “the truth” of what the cause and effect of sin is in society. It’s just below the surface seen but never mentioned by media. Not apart of the the discussion. Why ? I think the media has an agenda that prevents full discussion. Full disclosure of all the facts. News media has neutered it’s self. No longer a free press. That, we the people need to be an informed electorate.
czarpaul posted a comment · Aug 07, 2021
You said "He did not have the time on the air to lay out his thoughts in detail, but in what he has submitted to me in writing, with lots of reference to Scripture, he makes a detailed, practical case." Please show us this that we might evaluate it ourselves.
user profile
Dfrey87 posted a comment · Aug 07, 2021
Dr. Brown, I think this piece is spot on for the most part. But, I think that there are a couple critical points that can’t be left out of this conversation. First, as followers of Christ we cannot claim to love our neighbor while simultaneously ignoring sinful and destructive behaviors. For instance, we have placed white people and their actions under a microscope and to a point justifiably so. Yet, the sinful and destructive behaviors in some parts of black culture that lend themselves to the exacerbation of many of the ills they face. We have also almost completely ignored the racism espoused by some in the black community and even the black Christian community! We must stand upon truth in love calling out sinful and destructive behaviors when anyone acts in this way. Second, (I must first caveat this point, by claiming that I am in no way saying that the affects of slavery, segregation, and racism are no longer present today, because they are) We must not give in to the soft bigotry of low expectations. By claiming that all inequalities between black people and white people are due to past injustices. For instance, there has been a claim that has gone around for years, claiming that due to low property taxes in predominantly black inner cities means that these schools are massively underfunded and therefore causing the massive illiteracy rates of poor black children. Public schools haven’t been funded solely on district property tax in a long time. For instance, Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, in my home state Kansas City (both the Kansas side and Missouri side) school districts are in the top 10% of per student spending. Meaning that they get more money per student in funding than 90% of schools across the nation. Yet, they have some of the absolute worst graduation and literacy rates in the nation. As I mentioned my home state Kansas, spends on average 3500 dollars less per year, per student in Blue Valley School district (the wealthiest and highest performing school in Kansas) than the do for the kids in Kansas City, Kansas inner city school district, Same goes for Kansas City, Missouri. So here we can see that per pupil spending isn’t the issue, yet after more than a decade the schools haven’t seen even a slight improvement in any meaningful metric. We have to honest and logical, claiming racism as the cause of every Perceived inequality doesn’t only not add any meaningful value to the conversation, it actually causes harm. Again, I’m not saying that racial injustice doesn’t still have real and meaningful impact and issues, but using it as the catch all cause of every issue in the black community is deeply harmful! Lastly, reparations is something I’ve thought long and hard about and something I used to support. That was until I spent time listening to men like Thomas Sowell, who made it clear that not only was it practically impossible to put this into real life practice. It also, discounts things like Affirmative Action that has a real world impact that if a monetary tag was placed upon its value is incalculable. For instance, how would one go about practically paying reparations? Would you just pay all black people? Who would pay these reparations? Would only all whites people pay them? If so, how do you account for those white people who’s family had never owned slaves or didn’t even live in the country? Or if it’s paid by the government, then it’s pretty pointless for those black folks who pay large amounts of taxes to in practice pay their own reparations? What about the black people who aren’t the Descendants of slaves? Do they still get reparations? What about the descendants of Black Slave owners, do they get reparations? You see it would be almost impossible to rationally and justly give reparations for slavery some many decades after the fact! I completely agree that slaves were owed reparations after the end of slavery. But the Nation failed and at this point I don’t see a just and meaningful way fixing that. Also, this whole movement right now has some very unbiblical presuppositions that must be called out. The main one being that of blame and guilt. Me a white guy who is 160+ years removed from the Civil war and slavery is guilty for the injustice it caused past, present, and future. That somehow on the account of the pigment of my skin, I wear the guilt of all the sinful acts committed by those who share my white skin! That’s not to say that we don’t have a responsibility to act to correct any injustice when we see it. But, it does mean at the very least this one of the very core premises of the current mainly leftist BLM, CRT movement is wholly and completely Antithetical to our Christian worldview! (Thats not even beginning to get into the other more obvious contradictions) Thank you brother, much love and gratitude for all you do!
Deancooper posted a comment · Aug 06, 2021
Thanks Swkh310 for your definition of CRT. I wish it actually meant that. I would think most conservatives would agree with that. In fact, that's what Trump's 1776 project basically said the schools should do. Unfortunately, CRT doesn't actually mean that. It's a Marxist theory whose goal is to divide people into oppressed and oppressors and get the oppressed hating their oppressors so they can spark a revolution and overthrow America from its founding principles. Dr Brown, it's great to support schools that help disadvantaged children and single moms, but do we do nothing about the system that is ruining the lives of so many while we seek to help a few? Isn't it time to break the teacher's unions control over the schools and create decent public schools that teach children to actually read, write and do math? Let's really help people. Everyone. Not just the ones our private schools can reach.
user profile
BW posted a comment · Aug 05, 2021
Askdrbrown covered it succinctly ! your tiresome deficit filled the glass is half full neener neener childishness finger in the face over the top trouble monger bubba hold yourself accountable why don’t you! I do know this God doesn’t tire keeping track of all your useless babble poppy cocky nonsense : empty talk or writing : nonsense.
user profile
Swkh310 posted a comment · Aug 05, 2021
CRT Simply means to teach and learn the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth regarding racial history. Tulsa 1921 is a perfect example of how far we have to go.
user profile
BW posted a comment · Aug 05, 2021
Good Article! God with your Holy Spirit lead the way forward .