Edit (9/28/20): A few days ago, Black Lives Matter removed the “What We Believe” page from their website after widespread criticism.
I have debated on writing this article for several months for fear of a backlash. In fact, I would not be surprised if, in the end, I lose the respect of some people I hold in high regard – although I truly hope this is not the case. Rather, I hope this article sparks healthy discussion and encourages some Christians to reevaluate their bandwagon-esque allegiance to the organization, Black Lives Matter. I ask this knowing that it is becoming increasingly unpopular (and possibly dangerous) to voice a contrary opinion to that of the culture. The culture is an unforgiving animal that will eat its own if given a chance. However, my conscience will not let me remain noiseless. Lest I forget the simple, yet profound truth, to be a Christian is to make assertions.
From the outset, let me state without the influence or distraction of any surrounding arguments, that racism is unequivocally wrong. It is an evil and vile thing birthed from the pits of hell. Throughout history, racism has been a driver of violence, death, poverty, and suffering for billions. Not just here in America, but all over the world and in many generations’ past. From the fall of man, sinful prejudices have manipulated mankind to do horrible things – sometimes even under the guise of religious pretenses. Well, I say here and now that none of this excusable. Under God, we are all one race, and whatever diversities exist in our genetic makeup is by design, and therefore God-glorifying. I hope that even my biggest critics will find agreement with me here. Racial and cultural diversities ought to be celebrated as a God-given, fundamental part of reality. Moreover, when all men are examined before the cross of Christ, we find that skin colors fade and all our sin, shame, and sorrow looks the same.
Having established that very important precedent, I will now contend that Black Lives Matter not is the answer. More than that, I genuinely fear that years from now, unless something changes, the net result of the BLM movement will result in the opposite. Namely, a furthering of disparity due to race among all peoples. Therefore, we should think hard about how we promote such an organization and its worldview. I will expound on this thought later in the article. But for now, I will just point out that any effort to raise cultural awareness of a single race over all the others is inherently misguided. Rather than critically thinking through what BLM is actually promoting, the general public listens to biased news, clever marketing campaigns, and blue-checked Twitter accounts.
Falling in line with pop-culture, I know I have seen many Christians announce their support for BLM. While I will not support their endorsement, I somewhat understand it. They see half-truth, racial injustices on the news coupled with an outcry of a mistreated people, and long for justice. They want equality and fairness; I do too. But please hear me out: BLM is not the solution to this problem. Despite its rise in popularity, it is almost entirely antithetical to the Christian worldview. It has no place in a Christian’s effort to stop racism. I will go as far as to say that promoting BLM (the organization and not the issue of fighting racial injustices) is a detriment to the furthering of the Kingdom of God.
For decades, western Christians have a severe problem of privatizing their religion apart from the culture. While many faithfully attend church on Sundays, the rest of the week is carried out with a very secular mindset. Our work, entertainment, and friendships are largely removed from the influence of Christ. This bifurcation of reality has allowed very anti-Christian philosophies to creep into the cracks of worldview and penetrate our ideals. For many well meaning Christians, the private and public spheres of our lives, operate in mutually exclusive ways. It is precisely due to this incongruity of realities, that BLM has been readily adopted by so many Christians. Without a holistic, scriptural view of reality, Christians are largely unequipped to interpret whatever hot social or philosophical ideology comes along. It has become increasingly frustrating for me to watch Christians adopt such a god-less organization. Since when is the gospel of Jesus Christ ill-equipped to combat the horrors of racism?
Spreading awareness for a cause is important, and, for what little it may worth, I will give BLM some credit here. They have successfully created mass cultural awareness. And if BLM was simply a tool for awareness, then OK – let’s use this. But it is more than that. Black Lives Matter, under the pretense of creating a peaceful general awareness, is actually positioning a Neo-Marxist worldview and a philosophy. When you #BlackLivesMatter on your social media profile, you are not just taking a stand against racial injustice, you are promoting an organization that aims to unravel the very threads of God’s creative order.
As the name implies, Neo-Marxism is a modern extension of Marxism – which is openly atheistic and very anti-Christian. As Nancy Pearcey explains in her book, Total Truth, Neo-Marxist groups “apply Marxist forms of analysis to groups identified by race, or gender. Urging them to raise their consciousness and throw off their oppressors” (p 135). At face value, this may sound OK. After all, what is wrong with raising cultural awareness? The problem is the method and philosophy behind the movement. What they aim to do, they do at the expense of all other races. This isolation of the race/individual apart from the rest of the world is dangerous. Rather than seek to build unity within our racial diversities, BLM’s methods perpetuate a type of racially-driven, ontological individualism, meaning they aim to promote their individual blackness over and above all aspects of life.
If one wishes to add fuel to fire of argument that Black Lives Matter is more of a Neo-Marxist philosophy than a means of single-issue awareness, they just need to read the Black Lives Matter “What We Believe” web page. Aside from repeatedly using language like “comrades” (which is equally ironic and telling), they offer multiple ideological beliefs that go far beyond creating consciousness of racism. Let’s look at a few of the statements.
The first thing I find alarming is the insistence that one’s race is the most fundamental and basic component of one’s identity. This is the cornerstone for all outward relationships. While claiming to work for “freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people” they immediately discredit this statement by adding that they “are unapologetically Black in our positioning” and “to love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.” The importance of being Black is a “prerequisite” for loving others?
They go on to point out that recognition of being black is more important than “actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs”. Taking ontological individualism to an extreme, they have chosen to elevate race over the social, sexual, biological, and religious aspects of existence. They’re reducing the primal means by which one interprets their reality, or their worldview, into the color of one’s skin. This is unequivocally discordant with the bible’s account of creation and worldview. All humanity is made in the image of God, and therefore, pregnant with dignity. The color of skin is not the basis for one’s value. This is too shallow. Our intrinsic value and core identity is rooted in the “imago Dei” (image of God). Because we are made this way, we share self-actualization and morality not just between God and human, but between human and human. This is the cornerstone for building a healthy and moral identity – not race, nationality, or culture. Black lives do matter, but not because they are black – it’s because they are human.
Finally, in perhaps the most openly anti-Christian statement on the “What We Believe” page, BLM claims to “dismantle the patriarchal practice” and “disrupt the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure”. A disruption of the “nuclear family” again takes shots at God’s created order. By God’s design, creation is embedded with an idea of family and gender roles. Within Marxism, you find that the universe itself is the power of motion and change. This “dismantling” of God-given, gender roles is an unraveling of God’s created order. It is very liberally minded and very Marxist.
Racism awareness is important, and BLM has accomplished this to some degree – but at what cost? Without a proper and complete worldview, we lose focus of what was created, how it fell, and how it can be redeemed. Without a complete, encompassing worldview approach, our efforts to find equality among races and peoples will be disjointed, misapplied, and misunderstood. BLM doesn’t really offer any viable solutions to the problem they are singling out. Instead, they emotionally charge irrational people and let them draw their own conclusions; this is how we get riots. Singling out any race, group of people, or demographic, as being more fundamental in one’s ontological understanding, is in and of itself, racist. BLM is not solving the problem of racism; it is creating a breeding ground for more radicalism and violence.
Furthering its misalignment with a Christian worldview, Black Lives Matter is openly supported by Planned Parenthood. Whom, I should point out, aside from hating Christian morals, is the biggest single contributor to black deaths in America. 36% of all abortions are obtained by black women. That scales out to something around 44 million (and growing) black babies have been aborted by Planned Parenthood since 1973. In a disgusting statement, dripping in irony, Planned Parenthood writes “All officers who have participated in the murder or assault of Black people must be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Any association endorsed or recommended by Planned Parenthood ought to signal giant red flags.
Christians, Black Lives Matter is not the path of redemption for the problem of racism in our society. We should never endorse something that makes no efforts to understand human dignity as something rooted in our creation (that is, our being made in the image of God), and seeks to undermine God’s creative order. Black Lives Matter is a dangerous Trojan Horse for Marxist ideologies, liberal agenda, and hyper-individualism. We can do better.
So, if BLM is not the answer to fix the problem of racism in America, what is? The answer is simple: you and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the church’s job to the answer to the problem of racial inequality, injustices, and economic hardship. The church ought to be the primary driving force of justice. If we want to change the culture, it starts within our families and communities. As I pointed out in my last article, the greatest and most powerful instrument of change doesn’t come through force or politics, it comes through earnest people doing good. Let’s bring the gospel into the arena for change. By simply teaching our children to see the beauty in our racial diversity, a world can change in a generation.
With a Christian worldview in place, we will recognize that all men are equal before God. There are no racial perquisites for loving one another. We love others because God has loved us. We seek justice because God is just. We seek reconciliation because God has reconciled us back to Him. With the right worldview, the pieces fall into place bring equality to all peoples. The gospel can unify us and bring about real change. Black Lives Matter is a sham of a worldview and has no place with Christian thought. It offers no answers, no hope, and no real instrument for change. Instead is stirs the masses and lets the people choose their preferred method to be heard – sometimes this is peaceful and sometimes it isn’t. The gospel, on the other hand, gives us all we need. It has the power to change hearts and bring about repentance for the sinful prejudices in our hearts. It gives us the ability to see the world as it ought to be seen. Namely, a worldview shaped by a philosophy that compels us to look past skin color to the cross – the equalizer of all men.