If you are a Christian, or have any desire to think like one, I think you need to listen to it.
I know I don't know you. I know it's 45 minutes out of your busy schedule. But I think you need to listen to it.
I know you've likely decided what you think about Critical Race Theory. I know you wouldn't have decided that way if you weren't confident that what you think is right. I felt similarly. And that's why, knowing I was blessed by doing so, think you need to listen to it too.
The "it" I refer to is one of the more illuminating messages on the topic that I've heard. One that teaches, instructs, admonishes, rebukes, warns, cautions, encourages, and exhorts us to think biblically about a topic saturated in manmade constructs, confusion, and controversy.
It is devastating the degree to which Satan has been effective in dividing God's people over this issue. If nothing else, it has demonstrated the failure of so many churches to disciple believers into transforming their minds to Christ, into developing a method and manner of thinking that separates itself from the world at the most fundamental level.
I'm not suggesting that's an easy task amid the richest and most self-centered culture in humanity's history. There's a reason Christ warned that it was easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. We are a distracted and self-indulgent people, and choosing to crucify that part of our flesh is not as simple as we sometimes pretend it to be.
Even the most well-intentioned efforts to speak on this topic from a Christian perspective fall into divisiveness and error. For instance, David French's recent Sunday essay on the topic appeared to be an earnest attempt to "love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with God." But the author, for whom I have a great deal of respect, inadvertently wandered into some grievous theological errors, including a borderline heretical appeal to communal guilt. As one commenter noted, "once you get into communal guilt across generations, why not communal salvation?"
That's why I really think you would be edified by listening to this sermon from Dr. Tony Evans. Somehow God helps Evans pack into just 45 minutes (1) a sober analysis of the intellectual intent of critical race theory, (2) the manner in which the movement has been hijacked, coopted and muddled by proponents and opponents alike, and (3) a powerfully insightful alternative for Christians to approach the topic with a biblical way of thinking totally unlike that of the world.
Dr. Evans takes time to define his terms, something that is rarely done anymore. He explains that the original intent of CRT was to focus not on personal racism of individuals, but rather the structural problems created by racists in the past. His example of the golf course across the street from his church is as simple and perfect an illustration of the issue (as well as the shrewd Christian solution to it) as I have ever heard.
The preacher then delivers an accurate assessment of how all discussion related to CRT has become bogged down with superfluous baggage – Marxism, Black Lives Matter politics, George Floyd riots and police brutality, intersectionality, LGBT ideology – and consequently no one is debating the same thing.
"So now everybody's talking about CRT but they don't know what they're talking about because they could be talking about any iteration of CRT which means they're never going to agree."
Just this last weekend, Rich Lowry noted that very reality.
As it happens, I attempted to address that glaring problem when I suggested a few weeks ago that we should begin discussing specifics rather than the larger construct of CRT:
- "What is the problem specifically?"
- "What is the specific policy that we're talking about imposing as a remedy?"
- "Why do we think that specific policy will effectively deal with the specific problem?"
But beyond policy and politics, the reason I am comfortable recommending Evans' sermon is because of the last 15-20 minutes where he speaks the language of Scripture directly to Christians, advocating that the body of Christ quit folding itself into worldly camps in a worldly battle that pretends there can and will be a worldly solution. Instead, he advocates "coming out from among them" to live something truly biblical, an idea he called Kingdom Race Theology.
Evans defined KRT as, "the reconciled recognition, affirmation, and celebration of the divinely created ethnic differences through which God displays his multi-faceted glory as His people justly, righteously, and responsibly function personally and corporately in unity, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ."
Evans warned believers, "If you are spending more time discussing CRT instead of KRT, you have been duped by the world." That's a stinging but loving indictment of so many within American Christendom who are attacking one another as the enemy, uncharitably attributing to fellow believers the worst possible motivations for their ideas ("you're complicit with Marxism," or "you're complicit with white supremacy").
Evans counters with a revealingly personal and thoroughly biblical alternative. Acknowledging the difficult past that exists between black and white in America, he speaks truth in love to his fellow Christians:
"When your race trumps God's word, you have made your race an idol and God rejects idolatry. Whether its white privileged idolatry or whether its black overreaction idolatry like the movement BLM, not the emphasis but the movement."
"...You got Black Wall Street...you got Rosewood...you don't skip those stories you don't pretend like they aren't in history. But, you must move forward to one new man (Eph 2:15). That is where we are going, that is where God calls us to go."
Do I believe that this singular message can fix all our problems? Of course not. Do I believe that Evans is infallible? Of course not. But do I believe that God has used Dr. Evans to speak the truth of His revealed word to His people in this contentious hour? Absolutely. It's up to us then to listen with open hearts and minds, and I hope you will.