For the past year or so, I’ve purposely chosen NOT to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement primarily because I don’t want to be another token Black Christian who only talks about race. In my view, if Black scholars in any field (especially theology) want to be taken seriously outside of our own ethnic group, then we need to contribute substantially to something beyond racial matters (but that’s a topic for another day).
However, over the past couple of months, I’ve read a number of articles from Black Christians that attempt to justify their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Because of this, I felt that it may be necessary to give a brief statement on the matter. For anyone who has talked to me about this matter, I am vehemently opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement in terms of their methodology, their political philosophy, their mischaracterization of the metanarrative concerning Black history, and ultimately the worldview.
There have been a number of good articles which critique the BLM movement and I just wanted to highlight them here:
This article provides a useful contrast between the Biblical definition of justice and the modern definition of justice. Here’s a blurb from the article
Despite the incongruity between its activist agenda and what the name of the organization (and hashtag) superficially implies, the social current of #BlackLivesMatter has successfully swallowed a number of churches and Christian organizations in its supposed quest for racial and social “justice.” InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is the latest victim to be seduced by the cultural fad of “justice” — always compartmentalized — at the expense of biblical justice, which is supposed to permeate the totality of the Christian’s life.
Here’s some more straight talk from this article:
Speaking of criminals, here’s another fact: #BlackLivesMatter valorizes black criminality and sanctifies black criminals. The lives of everyday blacks don’t matter to this movement, including the lives of blacks tormented by black criminals. This is why #BlackLivesMatter is a misnomer. The only black lives that matter to these social agitators are the ones killed by (white) cops, largely the result of the actions of the criminals themselves. Defending and honoring the lives of black criminals over the lives of blacks that aren’t criminals, but in need of our attention, is despicable and unworthy of being called or legitimized by Christianity.
As the title suggests, this article explains how the intended and stated goals of BLM are antithetical to Biblical Christianity. Here’s a blurb from the article:
Actually, the question for all biblical Christians with an interest in social justice is “do the core values of #BlackLivesMatter square with the Bible’s clearly-prescribed ways of holiness and morality?” The short answer is no. Because of its thoughtfully-crafted agenda, values, and mission, #BlackLivesMatter is unmistakably incompatible with biblical Christianity, and the many reasons Christians have to reject this movement can easily be found at BlackLivesMatter.com. According to its own “herstory,” #BlackLivesMatter was founded by three black women, two of whom are self-proclaimed queer. And while these women may care about injustice and racism, they also care about normalizing sexual deviance, deconstructing the biblical definition of family, and emasculating strong, black men who identify as straight. Before you hashtag anything else, you might strongly consider the fact that this particular tag is an organized movement with leadership and core convictions. We are not simply talking about an organic movement with social justice as its aim; BLM is far more sinister than that. In fact, this movement has inextricably linked its calls for black justice to core convictions that are the antitheses to any biblical Christian’s convictions.
I think this article is particularly important because it comes from a PCA minister. As many know, Southern Presbyterianism has a sad history of racism extending well into the 20th century as various churches openly advocated racial segregation and other unacceptable positions on race. Because of this, there has not been many open and frank discussions about race. However, I believe that the author has understood the issue rather clearly regarding BLM. Here’s a blurb:
There is no question that BLM advocates positions which are antithetical to God’s Word. I am left wondering how it is even an option for a Christian to support, openly or otherwise, any organization which pursues such abominable ends. The site is filled with the sorts of inflammatory language which if voiced by whites on behalf of “Whites” would be rightly considered racist and divisive. If a redemptive conversation is truly desired then racist and deliberately provocative rhetoric ought to be shelved by all participants. It seems to me a particularly condescending form of paternalism for whites to excuse behavior in one race which they would never tolerate in their own.
An Exhortation to My Fellow Believers
This blog post is written for those Christians who deeply care about social justice issues and are tempted to see public support of BLM as an appropriate means to address the topic. If this is you, I would plead with you to stop and to consider the words of Proverbs 18:17
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
If you are a white Christian who stumbled upon this article, do not allow “white guilt” to shroud your judgment on this matter. If you are a Black Christian who stumbled upon this article, do not allow “racial solidarity” to shroud your judgment on this matter. I would ask you to examine BLM, read the articles posted above, and use the same biblical standards for them as you would use for any other organization. I believe that you would come to the conclusion that BLM does not need your partnership. You can speak out passionately against the sins of racism and speak out against the evil deeds associated with BLM. The law of God applies not just to corrupt judges, politicians, and police officers within the criminal justice system; it applies to all the workers of iniquity, including those within the official BLM movement. But most importantly, as a Christian, you can tell those in the BLM movement who are passionate about social justice that they cannot attempt to impose the second table of the law, without imposing the first table of the law. In other words, they don’t need your partnership; they need the gospel.