Why Critical Theory is not compatible with Christ

Did you ever find yourself just dumbfounded when you see people accusing others of racism while making blatantly racist statements themselves, like BLM activist Monica Cannon-Grant’s tirade against interracial marriages that would make David Duke and Adolf Hitler proud? Or, you witness people looting and burning buildings and committing acts of violence while protesting against violence? Welcome to the worldview of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality (CRT/I). As believers, we should care about all social injustices, but from a Biblical point of view, which this is not.

I hesitate to even bring this up because some will react based on their political tribalism. But I’m not talking about your political affiliation, I’m talking about two incompatible worldviews. And, as a leader of a local church and follower of Christ, I must speak out when I see Christians embracing cultural ideologies that are not according to Christ. As believers, our priority must always be Christ over culture.  And while our battle is not against people, but against principalities and spiritual powers, it’s also against arguments and pretensions that blind the minds of people to the freedom that Christ offers all people (Eph.6:12; 2 Cor.4:4).

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor.10:3-5 NIV*)

I’ve already traced the roots of postmodernism and identity politics to Marxist ideology in previous posts. CRT/I finds its roots in the same ideology.

As we find ourselves in the heat of an election year, terms like “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” flow very easily out of the mouths of people who are either ignorant of what these terms actually mean, or they want you to bend to their political will.

What’s particularly difficult about grappling with ideas like CRT/I is that, on the surface, they sound like something Jesus would be for. After all, isn’t Jesus for the oppressed? This might be why many Christians like Beth Moore are tweeting these ideologies in the name of Christ. By the way, her statement about name-calling here is quite ironic in light of her sweeping generalizations that smacks of hypocritical virtue-signalling.

Can I say something while we’re here. Don’t be Twitter-led, be Spirit led! Not everything your favorite Christian leader says is necessary based in sound biblical theology. We’re all fallible humans “seeing through a glass darkly.” We must remain humble and teachable, and our minds must be reshaped and transformed by Holy Spirit, not culture.

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. (Rom.12:2 TPT*)

So, apparently, you’re a racist and proponent of white supremacy now, not because you think your race is superior to another (which is the definition), but because you may not agree with a political ideology. On that note, here’s a video where Candace Owens exposes the agenda behind statement like white supremacy before Congress.

In fact, CRT/I has become so pervasive in our cultural narrative that it made it on a recent resolution with the Southern Baptist Convention that has created quite a stir within the denomination.

Three reasons why Critical Theory is not compatible with Christ

So, how are these societal theories not compatible with Christ? I offer a short video by “What Would You Say” that summed up what I believe are the main reasons why.

The video answers the statement, “Since God cares about the oppressed, Christians should embrace critical theory, because it’s trying to eliminate oppression too.” 

To summarize the video: with Critical Theory, everyone is broken up into groups based on race, gender, etc. The degree to which you are “oppressed” determines your level of moral authority. For instance, a black lesbian woman has more moral authority than a black woman, who has more moral authority than a black man, who has more moral authority than a white women, who has more than a white man. In simplistic terms, Intersectionality determines how to navigate levels of moral authority as these groups intersect in culture.

In addition to this, the more “oppressed” someone is, according to this scale, the less moral responsibility they have. Those who aren’t part of the “oppressed” group gain moral authority by surrendering to those who have it. This is called being “woke.”

Hopefully, this helps to explain why an “oppressed” person can call alleged “oppressor” groups racist while making blatantly racist statements themselves.

Here are the three reasons why Critical Theory is not compatible with the Christian worldview, according to this video presentation:

  1. Critical Theory offers a different view of humanity than Christianity. Critical Theory says that our identity as human beings is rooted in race and gender, but the Bible says we’re created in God’s own image (Gen.1:26). Christian theology actually says the opposite of Critical Theory, that there’s no distinction between class, gender, or race (Gal.3:28). Where Critical Theory separates us into groups of either the oppressor or the oppressed, the Bible says that we’re all equal before God.
  2. Critical Theory offers a different view of sin than Christianity. The Bible identifies sin as anything that violates God’s design for people, including unjust oppression of other people, but Critical Theory only identifies sin as oppression of other groups of people. Thus, its advocates would see biblical practices such as discipleship, correction, leadership, and reproof as sinful assertions of power if the speaker is among the oppressors, and would excuse sins like jealousy, anger, hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, or envy among the oppressed. But, according to Scripture, we’re all guilty before God regardless of social status, race, or gender (Rom.3:23-24). Therefore, because Critical Theory gets the problem wrong, it also gets the solution wrong.
  3. Critical Theory offers a different view of salvation than Christianity. According to a Christian worldview, salvation and forgiveness of sin is found by turning from sin and putting faith in Jesus Christ (Eph.1:7; 2:8). Because Critical Theory teaches that oppressors are guilty and the oppressed are not, salvation is based on social liberation, not through Christ. Their hope is only through activism.

In other words, Critical Theory has a completely different understanding of who we are, what the problem is, and how to fix it.

Let me add that as soon as we separate people into “oppressed” and oppressor” groups, we are embracing a Marxist ideology, not a Christian one. The truth that makes all people free, regardless of race or gender or social status, is found in Christ. And when we find ourselves in Him, we will see each other there, too.

23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23 NIV*)

I will close by saying that civil rights leader, Martin Luther King DID advocate a Christian worldview when he looked to the day our children would “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  Beloved, if we say we’re following Christ, THIS is where we should “outlast them” in the war of ideas.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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21 Responses to Why Critical Theory is not compatible with Christ

  1. I usually do not read long blogs, but this one kept my attention. It kind of reminds me of “congregational politics” where different parties have different ideas “for the sake of the church” or “for the sake of souls”. I learned many years ago to just let them do their thing. I do not need a committee or to be organized to go out and do my daily Christian works or teach Christ to people I meet. I have concluded that individuals get by far more done that committees and organizations.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Katheryn, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Self-motivated people get more done than those who are coerced, or even worse, shamed into doing something. As Paul said, it’s the love of Christ that compels us to express other-centered, self-giving love (2 Cor.5:14-15).

      And I’m all for diversity of ideas and am usually not concerned at all with people’s differing views than mine. But when those views are imposed on me, and I am told I’m a racist because of how they labeled me based on skin color, and there are people who want to totally disrupt and dissolve our current form of government, and want to take away our freedoms as individuals, that’s when I have to stand up and say something about it. At least, from a Christian perspective.

      Thanks again for your comments. Blessings to you.

  2. Cindy Powell says:

    Oh my goodness, Mel, so well said. I haven’t checked WordPress for some time but I’m super glad I did today. You put into very matter of fact language things I have been struggling to communicate accurately from a biblical perspective. While anything outside of a particular narrative is bound to cause offense to those already entrenched in certain mindsets, for anyone actually looking for an intellectually honest summation from a biblical perspective, this is pretty brilliant. Often I can see things from a place of spiritual discernment (ie I see the demonic strongholds at play), but I can’t always put things into more intellectual language for those who need to approach it that way. Thank you for the insight! Blessings to you!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, Cindy! Good to hear from you again. Yes, we need to discern things both from the spiritual side and cultural worldviews. I posted an article recently where Dr. Michael Brown talked about the BLM organization (not the movement) in a video. He basically said, Yes, black lives DO matter, but the BLM organization is operating under the spirit of Jezebel (“Black Lives DO matter….and the BLM organization is dangerous“). I don’t usually like to throw that name around because it’s been overused in the past, but in this case he has a point.

      Blessings to you also! I hope all is well with you.

      • Cindy Powell says:

        Wow, I will check out that post too. Sadly Jezebel isn’t just at work in the BLM organization (as I’m sure you know). It’s funny, I was saying to a friend the other day that I’ve never been one of “those” Intercessors that go around naming all the demons and principalities… but lately, at the Holy Spirit’s instruction, I might add, I’ve become one, lol. Jesus keeps highlighting that His name is above EVERY NAME THAT CAN BE NAMED. It’s a season for naming names and specifically calling things out as they are—as you said, from both a spiritual and cultural perspective. So appreciate your voice in the Body!!

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks again, Cindy. Yes, His name is above every name! This is how the early church transformed their culture. One thing I’ve stressed with our local church, as I mentioned in this post, is that our enemy is not people, but principalities and powers that blind them to the truth. We, as followers of Christ, must learn how to fight these battles from the third heaven, from our union with Christ in God. It does no good to argue and reason if people’s ears cannot hear. This is also why our message is Christ’s other-centered, self-giving love, not retaliation or control. Open hearts are hearing hearts. 🙂

  3. Oh, this is really good stuff, Mel! Probably one of the best articles I’ve ever read separating our faith from critical theory and intersectionality. Thanks also for posting that tweet from Beth Moore. I had to sit on my hands, resist tangling with that Twitter thread, but I was really disappointed with her.

    I spent about ten years working as an advocate at a domestic violence/ sexual assault center, so I was (and still am) all over “social justice,” the real kind, not the ideology. What began to happen was that we were converged by some radical feminism, CRT, and the LGBT lobby. I kept slamming into these contradictions between my faith and those ideologies. I thought we could just coexist, but they soon become really incompatible. I was also all about empowering people to not be victims, and CRT was all about insisting people are victims by virtue of an external flow chart of arbitrary markers. Eventually the director and I got ourselves fired.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, IB. What you found out is what every person who loves freedom and goodness and grace should find out. Our country seems to be determined to run headlong into an Orwellian dystopian nightmare.

      To quote “1984”:

      “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

      We shut down our country in April, btw.

      “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

      Sound familiar?

      “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

      “War is peace.
      Freedom is slavery.
      Ignorance is strength.”

      Terms like racism and white supremacy have almost lost their meaning because of the purposeful manipulation of language.

      CRT/I has not been good for minorities or any other group that has experienced actual oppression, as people like Candace Owens and Larry Elder and many other black Americans who are waking up have pointed out. Larry Elder’s “Uncle Tom” is an eye-opening documentary movie that gives a clear perspective on what’s been done to Black Americans in the name of social justice. But what’s surprising to me is that even traditionally liberal and LGBTQ+ people are walking away from this madness by the hundreds of thousands (See #walkaway). That number is growing every day. They had a rally recently in Beverly Hills, of all places!

      So, there is a silver lining in all of this. The pandemic and George Floyd murder seems to have exposed the belly of the beast and has shown the world what it really is. But it still has a major foothold in our universities and among many young people. We really need to pray for our country at this time and believe that God is going to turn what was meant for evil into good.

  4. Citizen Tom says:

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    This is really good! Mel Wild provides a first class explanation of why Critical Theory is not compatible with Christ.

    You may ask, “what is Critical Theory?” Think racism, religious persecution, and various forms of identity politics. Then consider how Liberal Democrats are dividing us and pitting us against each other. Then that fancy expression used by Liberal Democrat academics will start to make sense.

  5. AfroLatino says:

    Just wanted to thank you for recommending the documentary “Uncle Tom”.

    For years, I have been torn between identifying with my race and my identity in Christ which is a shame really. Just wasn’t confident to be called all sorts of names from one side and not being accepted by the other.

    However, the documentary has shattered the confusion. I have also been reading a book by Andrew Wommack which says the devil has already been defeated and uses deceit to keep us in captive to think he has higher powers than he actually does.

    The power of words are also important. I do not want to identify as a victim or the oppressed. In Christ, there is neither Jew or Greek etc. I choose to believe his word over my experiences and my identity is in Christ and not my race.

    Thank you for this article, Mel. Really appreciate your courage in writing on this.

    God bless

    • Mel Wild says:

      I’m glad you watched the documentary, AfroLatino. I wish everyone would. I knew about some of this stuff already because of people like Larry Elder and Thomas Sowell who have been heroes to me, and more recently I came upon Candace Owens, Brandon Tatum, Rob Smith, and many others. These people are all brilliant thinkers and are Christian. But I was shocked to the degree this movie exposed what they would call “slavery 2.0,” which includes the welfare system and the systematic abortion of half of black babies over the last 50 years. If I were a black American, I would be angry that these things were done to me in the name of social justice. But, like you said, I would never see myself as a victim. There are no victims in Christ! The real oppressor is the devil.

      And, as you pointed out, we are ALL one in Christ. We are all precious in God’s sight, and He made us diverse for a very good reason! If we want real peace and unity, we won’t find it in Marxist ideology that must separate us into groups and keep us fighting each other. We will find it in Christ.

      Thanks for your encouraging comments. Blessing to you. 🙂

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  8. boudicabpi says:

    Reblogged this on Boudica BPI Weblog and commented:
    H/T Citizen Tom

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  11. Great post Mel, simple yet clear. Thanks for writing on this topic from a biblical perspective.

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