Clergymen: Stop preaching Critical Race Theory
This Sunday at St. Someone Church in Anytown, USA, the minister delivered a lovely sermon analogizing Jesus's sending his disciples on mission with our local hapless MLB team competing as visitors in "away" cities. His point was that just as our baseball team will be successful on the road only if the members come together and work as a team, we who are on God's team will be successful only if we work together as a church. This gifted young minister's talk was truly inspirational — until he snuck in a comment about how we need to recognize that certain groups in our society historically have mistreated other groups. He said we need to own up to this and then work to make up for this past injustice.
Thus, he ruined a unifying call to get busy working together to spread the word of God. In a few brief sentences, he twisted this call into a divisive message validating racism. Although he never explicitly mentioned white or black people, there is no doubt that he was telling the white members of our church that we need to "own up to" (i.e., take on) the guilt of past racial sins and make up for them so we can build our church community.
I'm no theologian, and I have no idea if this minister's message constitutes heresy, but I know that it is flat-out wrong. Here is Christianity in a nutshell. We are called to love God with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is whomever we encounter. That's it. We don't observe weird tribal rules whereby if some long-dead person from your clan murdered my ancestors, then I am obligated to seek retribution today against you. In fact, it is immoral for me to attempt to remedy sins that occurred among long-dead people by committing injustice against a person alive today. Even worse is to rekindle racism by teaching it to children.
I'm not trying to diminish the sins and injuries of the past. Unfortunately, they are all too real, but we are powerless to reach back and make them undone. People like our bright young minister seem to think God is calling us to fix this. What hubris. We didn't make the world — we are just imperfect participants. Rather than spread and support Critical Race Theory as the solution to our racial ills, each of us is best advised to get to work loving our own neighbor. That is enough to keep us busy. I know it's a full-time job for me.
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