Praying for Unity: A Christian Response to Critical Race Theory

Praying for Unity: A Christian Response to Critical Race Theory April 4, 2023


One of the most powerful privileges you and I have as Christians is the ability, no matter who we are or where we live, to encourage one another through prayer, Truth and love.

You’re likely aware of the contentious conversations happening both inside and outside the Church on Critical Race Theory and “wokeness” in America today. This issue is sharply dividing many people, so please join me in prayer over this polarizing conflict, asking God to do the following:

  1. Unify His people
  2. Bring wisdom, understanding and peace to these hard conversations
  3. Move the church forward in Truth for the saving of lives
  4. Educate and correct Christians on the issue of the disunified body, racism and critical race theory, that they would receive this correction with gentleness, respect and obedience to the Spirit

The problem: Racism exists.

Whether we want to admit it or not, racism still exists today. Yet, if anyone in the Church is willing to acknowledge this fact openly—the fact that racism still certainly exists, that it is a grievous injustice, and that something needs to change—that person is oftentimes immediately met with the knee-jerk response that he or she is a Marxist and has been overtaken by the concept of critical race theory.

In fact, many Christians are more concerned about removing critical race theory from discussions within the Church than they are about removing racism itself from within the Church.

In the midst of the largest social justice movement we’ve seen in the history of the U.S., many Christians are arguing about epistemology, rather than ethics—asking, “How did we come to this conclusion that racism exists today?” instead of, “How can we better understand, love and help those who are hurting as a result of the racism that exists today?”

Most Christians would rightfully admit that racism is wrong. The problem is that many Christians do not believe racism occurs (and occurs within the church) today. All too often, these individuals jump to extremes toward those who notice that racism is in fact still an issue, labeling them as critical race theorists and automatically dismissing their justice-seeking points altogether.

The problem: Critical race theory isn’t helping.

Commensurately, from the other side, Christians should also be willing to admit that critical race theory is wrong; it is ultimately poisonous, destroying sound theology within numerous evangelical communities. Rather than fixing the issue with racial contention, critical race theory is exacerbating it. Because of this movement, people are increasingly identifying with racialized antagonism.

While acknowledging the fact that lived experiences are in fact valuable, we must also acknowledge that lived experiences are not our final authority; God’s Word is our ultimate authority, and all theology is to be judged by the sound measure of Scripture, not upon the basis of the ethnicity of the person or group proposing said theology.

While not all parts of critical race theory are false, its core tenets do not align with the Word of God—ultimately proving to be invariably dangerous and damaging not only towards the Church, but towards all members of society.

The Core Beliefs of Critical Race Theory

Taken from Tara Yosso’s influential paper defining critical race theory, “Whose Culture Has Capital?”, there are four primary points upon which the theory is grounded:

  1. Racism is permanent, pervasive and normal. Racial oppression has not disappeared, it has just evolved.
  2. Racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, etc., are all inextricably linked forms of oppression that must be fought simultaneously.
  3. Claims of objectivity, neutrality, universality, meritocracy, and colorblindness are mechanisms to disguise racism and oppression.
  4. The experiential knowledge or lived experience of people of color is critical to understanding racism. One of the ways that racism operates is by suppressing the epistemologies of people of color: how they know the truth. We need to recover their knowledge by listening to their stories, which counter the typical colorblind narratives you’ll hear from mainstream culture.

Don’t accept popularized nonsense.

Christians must be careful not to embrace ideas simply because they are culturally popular. Specifically, in the context of critical race theory—which is based upon numerous false, unbiblical ideas—we must reject any falsehoods that do not align with Scripture for the sake of the Church, taking to heart Paul’s warning in Colossians 2:8:

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

In doing so, we must recognize that not all white people are white supremacists; in adopting all facets of critical race theory, we are simultaneously adopting the idea that all white people are racist when the reality is that many are not. Therefore, the movement is committing the very sin it is theoretically aiming to expel.

This is not merely a difference in viewpoints or opinions; rather, it is a very serious cultural and spiritual problem that revolves around a push for an ideology to progress, unchallenged. The issue with failing to challenge a social ideology—specifically critical race theory—is that it will ultimately shipwreck countless people’s belief systems.

The system is broken.

Because ‘wokeness’ is a system of condemnation—condemning people for their political and social stances—it inherently goes against God’s Word, which tells us in Romans 8:1, “There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

Critical race theory is faithfully and openly built upon a Marxist framework, teaching that there is an inexorable conflict between the oppressed and their oppressors. This ideology is built to fail from its start, bred for mutual attack; it is a system that divides these two groups, telling them to hate one another while reinforcing the idea that the gap between the both of them will never be bridged. It is an inevitable cycle of bitterness, resentment and loss for everyone.

Wokeness and critical race theory corrupt biblical justice in that they postulate that all white people are racist—not because of their actions, but because they are inherently part of a greater system. If we societally accept this as truth, we are automatically condemning all white people without allowing them the opportunity or possibility of transcending.

The Word of God tells us differently.

From critical race theory, we can take away the following: there is systemic racism in America, and the U.S. was founded upon racist principles. Because of these things, we must continually pray for and fight for social justice.

Social justice is different than biblical justice.  Yet, social justice is not a rejection of the Gospel; in fact, Scripture continually highlights God’s heart for the oppressed, further incorporating social justice, rather than abolishing it. Biblical justice is in fact true justice, focusing on equality of opportunity and atonement for sin.

The Gospel transforms us and makes us new creations in Christ Jesus—uniting us as one body of believers, without favoritism for any one group over another. In this newness, we are called to forgive one another for grievances, esteem others higher than ourselves and honor one another in sacrificial love. The Gospel compels us to do this, and it is within Christ that we can do all things.

Let us pray that the body of Christ would be united and made whole, that the oppressed would be set free and that eyes and hearts would be opened to Truth.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19


Peter Kerridge is CEO of Premier Insight, which hosts important conversations surrounding issues of faith and belief, equipping listeners to live as confident Christians. The above is based on a new ebook resource created by the ministry, Critical Race Theory and Christianity.

"This man is proof that Luthers concerns about the book of Hebrews were warrented. [Heb ..."

Reconstructing faith – a deconvert returns ..."
" your home work."

Ravi Zacharias: Never confuse charm for ..."
"Correct, there are no absolutes regarding morals, but many common ones like smashing babies against ..."

The surprising facts about why atheists ..."
"Where is the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that the 'god' of the so-called 'bible' actually existed? ..."

Professor NT Wright on whether the ..."

Browse Our Archives