“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations …” (Matthew 5:19a)
Each year the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention gather for a national meeting. At that meeting, representatives from the various member churches gather for business and to pass “resolutions.” Resolutions are official public statements agreed upon by the vote of the representatives that express the official position of the denomination. One such resolution that has been widely published this week relates to the SBC statement that Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Intersectionality are incompatible with the teaching of the Bible.
CRT, as defined by the UCLA School of Law, states: “Racism is ingrained in the fabric and system of American society. This system of white privilege and white supremacy perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.” I agree with the SBC, that the problem of racism is not first ingrained in the fabric of our society, but ingrained in the hearts of all sinful human beings. Racism is not an exclusively American problem, but is a human sin problem. Racism grows from pride, envy, and hate and is truly ingrained in the heart of every person that rejects the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Of the developed nations of the world, America is among the best at creating a system of government that fosters equality of opportunity (not equality of possessions) based on a system of merit and hard work. For generations this system of government has created such a sense of hope in people around the world that tens of millions of people have immigrated to America from every nation on earth. They have flocked to America because it does NOT have an inherently racist form of government. America has long stood as a land of constitutional government, not open to the whims of despotic rule.
The original, unamended, constitution has proven to be a durable system of government allowing for the freedom and happiness of its citizens. But the constitution was also a flawed product of its time by allowing for the existence of chattel slavery. However, over time, by war, by amendment and the moral growth of the country, substantial improvements have been made to our form of government. But these improvements have come by seeking justice, not social justice. Social justice is the idea of having favored groups under the law, instead of pursuing equal justice under the law for all people.
The Bible reveals to us that God Almighty operates by justice, not the social justice of preferred categories. Under the perfect law of God, ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Under this terrible condemnation every man, woman, and child on earth – of every nation and race – are in need of the grace and forgiveness extended to us by the cross of Christ. There is no favored race or favored nation that stands on its own without the grace of God. Because of this, Jesus charged His disciples to go “make disciples of all nations.” He sent a group of Jews to places and people they had never met – people that spoke different languages, had different skin tones, ate different food, and wore different clothes. But they were sent to these people because they were under the condemnation of God for their sin and false worship. They bore a message of grace by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ – a name they had never heard.
CRT will only further divide our nation by picking favored classes singled out for favored treatment, and intersectionality will result in further normalizing the sexual sins of homosexuality and transgenderism. The SBC is right to affirm that these currently popular movements are not compatible with the teaching of the Bible or our confession of faith in the Baptist Faith & Message. Choosing to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations is inherently racially inclusive. Seeking equal justice is a Christian mandate, and not an issue that belongs to either the right or the left. May we as Christians, be a light to the world by how we love each other in truth!