Revelation 7:9 describes a diverse yet unified multitude from every nation, tribe, peoples and language, worshipping God in heaven.
Harmonious relationships have always been God’s desire for humanity. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about topics like diversity, inclusion and other aspects of critical race theory (CRT).
While some CRT terminology is new or redefined, the ideology behind it has been around for a long time.
Christianity teaches there is no favoritism with God. As a follower of Jesus, I am called to pursue peace; love and forgive unconditionally; seek justice for all; and treat everyone with dignity and respect. Since every life matters and is of great value to our Creator, they should all matter to us as well.
Scripture condemns discriminating against others based on outward appearances and identifies it as a symptom of a much deeper problem. Engaging in the sin of partiality makes us “judges with evil motives,” as the apostle James put it.
And therein lies my problem with critical race theory: It is based on inherently racist and unbiblical assumptions, viewing virtually every historical or present-day event through the lens of race and oppression.
Far from promoting constructive dialogue and seeking common ground, CRT divides along racial lines by creating negative stereotypes rather than seeing people as individuals made in God’s image.
Criticizing or even questioning CRT is considered racist, and nothing but acquiescence is permitted. CRT essentially condenses power into a small group of social elites who typically oppress and cancel those who disagree with them.
No one can look into the mind of another person to see if he or she is a racist, yet CRT advocates claim to have the ability to know the unknowable. White people are judged as a homogeneous group of racial supremacists and everyone else as victims of systemic racism.
This is demeaning to all races and creates widespread mistrust and acrimony.
Jesus taught His followers to forgive as He forgives, but with CRT there is no forgiveness or redemption; rather, there is endless condemnation and shame.
The theory (some would say agenda) also ignores decades of progress in racial relations and the many achievements by people of color.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of the day when his children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, has turned into a nightmare of segregation and victimhood.
While many well-meaning Christians and churches have embraced CRT, they miss the deceptiveness of this teaching. The Bible moves us toward systemic unity, reconciliation and healing. CRT is built on the framework of atheistic Marxism and seeks to normalize systemic disunity, turmoil, and pain.
Jesus told His disciples they would recognize false teachers by their fruit. The fruit of CRT is division, destruction, and lack of forgiveness.
Certainly, there have been many horrible acts of racism in our nation’s history—as there have been in numerous parts of the world—and slavery was a sad reality that resulted in civil war.
I don’t know of anyone who denies these acts, claims there is no racism today or believes we don’t have more work to do in race relations. But CRT is not the way forward.
The truth is that humanity has a systemic sin problem, and racism is one of its symptoms. If we want positive change instead of more division, we must address the real problem rather than its symptoms.
Only Jesus can change the heart of a racist.The good news is that salvation is an equal outcome for anyone who places faith in Him.
Don Beehler is a retired public relations consultant who has worked with faith-based organizations throughout the nation. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee. (This article originally ran June 29 online in The Tennessean.)