In Part 2 we gave specific definitions for Justification, Sanctification, Equity and Equality. In Part 3 we will discuss definitions for Racism, Justice, and Oppression.
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What is Racism?
The conversation with CRT and SJW proponents steps onto unsure footing because they redefine words like racism/racist, racial reconciliation, justice, etc.. They want to say that racial reconciliation is a Gospel issue. They want to smash the ideas of Justification and Sanctification together. I mentioned Jarvis Williams in Part 3 of “Are You Tired of being Called a Racist?” He promotes books with clear CRT and Social Justice connections. A student of his recently leaked some of his teaching notes. See Jarvis Williams’, Professor at SBTS, class notes that he taught from in the Fall of 2019. To try to figure out what they mean by words like “justice” and “Gospel” we have to dig a little deeper as we have been.
In Jarvis Williams’ notes, at least my understanding of them, he did not give a good definition of racism. While in Acts 17:11 God says that there is one race, the human race, he (Williams) goes through painstaking effort to redefine race as any identity one might apply to oneself. This is the essence of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Intersectionality. This is the essence of Herbert Marcuse and Saul Alinsky. This is what Marcuse, taking his que from Heidegger would use when he realized that Marx’s theory of turning “proletariat against the bourgeoisie” wouldn’t work in America. He then went on to try to divide everyone into smaller and smaller groups to then turn them against each other. He wanted to turn blacks against whites. This then transitioned into the CRT of Cone.
Professor Williams goes on and basically says that everyone who is not in Christ is a racist (see page 6 of his notes) which really destroys any possible definition that has been used to date by anyone that I am aware of. He also keeps using the term racial reconciliation which he does not define what this means. My suspicion that will require more study of Williams, is that he believes that racial reconciliation requires things like reparations which is a demand for transfer of wealth and a demand for power which I will discuss a little later in reference to James Cone, the father of Liberation Theology and Critical Race Theory. Let me say that if there are issues today that we can fix, let’s work with the law to fix those wrongs. Reparations is a really big can of worms that we need to be able to deal with. One of the movements supporting the wrong headed movement for Social Justice is the 1619 Project. See the end of the article for links regarding the 1619 Project.
Williams deals with the word “Ethnos” or nations in his attempt to redefine racism. To better understand it let’s look at some trusted godly resources. In the book One Blood, Ken Ham and Charles Ware note this about the biblical terms relating to the “ethnos”. “Before Darwin, the term “race” was largely a political and geographical term. People that were closely related biologically (such as the English and Irish) were considered to be separate races. …When it comes to defining human beings that are culturally, geographically, and politically distinct from others, missionaries use the term “people groups.” A people group is roughly defined as a cluster of human beings that are set apart from others because of their language, culture, geography, or religion. The Bible uses the Greek word “ethnos” to describe these relatively isolated groups of humanity. In the Great Commission, when Christ commands us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” He used this word “ethnos,” much like Native Americans would use the term to describe the Cherokee Nation, or the Sioux Nation. Depending on how they are specifically defined, there are between 12,000 and 24,000 people groups on earth.”
You can see that Jarvis Williams uses Ephesians 2:11 ff. and Galatians 2:11 ff. to say that racial reconciliation is a requirement and part of the Gospel (See page 12 of his notes). The aspect that these passages deal with racial reconciliation is that it is a product of our Salvation, not the Gospel. These passages have to do with the correct understanding of the Gospel, our being reconciled to God, and that in Christ Paul goes on later in Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11 to say that we are a new creation. We are now His children and members of his family regardless of earthly distinctions. Colossians 2:14 tells us that while we were dead in our trespasses, regardless of our ethnos, Christ cancelled our debt by nailing it to the cross.
In Ephesians 2:11-15 we see that both Jew and Gentile had to be reconciled to Christ and it is in Christ that we are one.
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
In context this Ephesians passage does not seem to be what is being called “Racial Reconciliation” by the SJWs. This is not just about a white person and a black person coming together to reconcile because of their differences. This is anyone of any color hopelessly lost and separated from God needing to be reconciled to Christ. In whom we become one and are then able to reconcile because our hearts are made new. We are called to carry the Gospel to all the “ethnos” or nations in the Great Commission. We lovingly do this because of the amazing love, grace and mercy that has been shown to us. We are merciful because we have been shown mercy in Christ. We want to see the nations reconciled to God to become His sons and daughters with us. His shed blood enables us to then be molded more and more into His image as II Corinthians 3:18 says as we go through the process of Sanctification.
We are called to racial reconciliation under Christ as well as reconciling with other believers in any area that we may have a broken fellowship. Ephesians 3 and 4 speak of both the Gentiles and the Jews being reconciled to God and call for love and unity as we “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” The world will know us by our love. If we are not reconciling and loving fellow believers, then there is an issue. If the color of a person’s skin is offensive to someone, this is sin.
Definition of Justice
The word “Justice” used by CRT is not typically used in the legal sense. An instance of using it in a legal sense would be when a criminal is punished and justice is carried out when their penalty is fulfilled. CRTs do talk about justice being carried out against racist cops but not in the truly legal sense. We will get to this below. Nor do they use it in theological terms in relation to a historical, biblical Christianity that describes a person’s right standing before God or how a person should live. The Bible teaches that we are justified by Christ. That is we are legally before God declared to be righteous because Christ died in our place on the cross. (Romans 3:25-26; 8:28-30). Grudem notes that biblically our Justification is “an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.” 723. The Bible does call us to be just and to do justice but what does this actually mean within the context of Scripture? We will see this below.
Justice: (Dictionary.com) the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness:
How is the word “Justice” used today by those pushing CRT? James Cone the Grandfather of CRT and Liberation Theology wanted to smash the ideas of biblical Sanctification and Justification together while changing their definitions and denying that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. Basically, James Cone was using the Bible to push his Marxist, Post Modern ideas. Cone and CRT adherents like to use biblical language and will often read Scripture with the word “justice” in it when trying to convince people that God demands justice of Christians but they do this without telling people that they have redefined what justice actually is. Ultimately Cone and CRT adherents destroy the Gospel and Justice in the Bible.
Regarding true biblical Justice, Grudem notes that “In English the terms righteousness and justice are different words, but in both the Hebrew OT and the Greek NT there is only one word group behind these two English terms. (In the OT the terms primarily translate forms of the tsedek word group, and the NT Testament members of the dikaios word group.)…whatever conforms to God’s character is right.” Justice and Righteousness are basically two descriptions of the same thing. Justice only finds its meaning in the nature of God. Living righteously or in the same vein will entail obeying God’s laws which include justly dealing with people. It will include Grace and Mercy. Justice deals with the rulers, law, honesty, fairness, etc. It could also deal with business owners using “just” weights and so forth.
Let me reiterate that as Christians we should want to live justly and want to help protect others by seeking to build laws that are just. There is no doubt that in the past the Police and laws were many times unjust in their dealings. But what SJWs mean by Justice is something different. Some here have tried to say that cops are unjust and racist and sometimes they are and they should have the book thrown at them. Much study has gone into figuring out if black people are shot more by white officers because they are racist. More recent studies have shown that this is not true. Below are some articles to check out. This is a hotly debated topic but you will need to study it out for yourself. One thing that they found is that the rise of the civil unrest caused by groups like Black Lives Matter means that more black people are put in harms way because the police stop protecting the areas where there is high crime because they are attacked so viciously by everyone. So they are actually pulling back. I recently saw several arrests in New York where people were throwing water and bottles at cops while they were trying to arrest someone just because they hated the police so much.
Cone and CRT though says that Justice is “stopping oppression.” What is oppression then because most Americans today hear this and look around at the freedoms available to everyone and then look quizzically back at the person claiming to be oppressed. James White notes that in Critical Race Theory “oppression” is often defined by different socio-economic status. In other words if someone has something more than another person then the person with less is being oppressed. This is Marxism at its core. Cone claims that if a person has this power then they are “racist.” The only ones that Cone claims can be racist are the people with power and in America he claims that is all white people.
Oppression – any disparity in socio-economic status from one group to another. Why might some of this disparity exist? It could have something to do with the welfare state. It could have something to do with the absence of black fathers in the home. It could have something to do with the Faustian bargain that black Americans reached under the New Deal.
The oppression claimed by the SJWs could often biblically be called greed and a reminder of Marx’s famous saying “from each according to his ability to each according to his need.“ this redistribution of wealth is called for by all Socialistic ideals. It’s the desire for equal outcomes rather than equal opportunity.
Our giving to the poor is to be a picture of justice/righteousness in the Gospel. Not because they deserve it. It is not due to them. Remember when we talked about Equity vs. Equality in the Part 2 of this series? What if we applied the CRT view of justice to the Gospel. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death… What is due to us is death and eternity in Hell. It is only because of God’s great mercy and grace toward us that we have any hope. Romans 6:23b …but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What we deserve is Hell and He gave His live for us.
Listen to the podcast for the story from Charles Ware about Church not doing business with land owner who was a racist. Read James MacArthur commentary on Ephesians 2:11-22.
Here are a couple articles that tell a little about what I believe is the actual history in contradiction to the “1619 project” for more information:
In Part 2 we gave specific definitions for Justification, Sanctification, Equity and Equality. In Part 3 we discussed definitions for Racism, Justice, and Oppression. In Part 4 we will finally get to quotes from James Cone, and continue discussion on Justice, Welfare and Mercy for the Poor.
 Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Zondervan Publishing House, MI, 2000 P. 203.