Evangelicals and Racism: When Will Christ Be Enough?
When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. –John 19:30
It is finished! These are powerful words from our Savior on the cross that were meant for us. There at the cross, Jesus was our sacrificial lamb, once and for all. He paid the price for the sins of His people (Matthew 1:21). He drank down every drop from the cup of God’s wrath. And He did it all willingly and for His glory.
But today, we learn that is not enough. Now we are told we are to repent of racial sins that we may or may not have committed, strive for racial reconciliation and racial justice because they are key gospel issues according to The Gospel Coalition and the ERLC (which is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention) and we need to make reparations for past racial injustices (a minority scholarship was announced at the MLK50 event last month in Memphis). Ron Burns (Thabiti Anyabwile), in his rants during and after the MLK50 event has said whites must repent of being complicit in the death of Martin Luther King.
White guilt has been slung far and wide as preachers of all ethnicities and backgrounds have twisted and misrepresented scripture in the pulpits. Passages such as the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 have been eisegeted to mean that Jesus was talking about racial reconciliation rather than the true meaning of loving God perfectly with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself. Many of our leaders today fail to see that Jesus is evangelizing the lawyer and that the parable was a story of salvation. Passages like Romans 3:9-20 are made to be about cultural sin, racism, and classism. If Jesus died for cultural sin, then we are all going to hell.
Justice, in and of itself, is a good thing. Being reconciled to anyone, no matter their skin shade is a good thing. For the true believer, our justice is wrapped up in the innocent God-man, Jesus Christ, in His brutal death on the cross, in a justice that we deserved and a mercy we received.
But social justice, racial justice, and racial reconciliation – as our leaders use the terms – are not gospel issues. They are Cultural Marxist issues born out of Critical Race Theory that have invaded and gained a foothold in the churches across this country. You see, Christ did not die to bring social justice, racial reconciliation, end poverty or end oppression. He died for sinners (Romans 5:8). That is the gospel. Adding anything to the message is another gospel according to Galatians 1:8-9. Adding anything to the message creates a false gospel. Saying I must do all these other things puts the emphasis on law and makes you a Galatian-level heretic, adding works upon the Gospel. And we all know how Paul dealt with Peter on that issue.
So to answer the Social Justice Warriors (SJW) who call for predominantly white congregations to repent of their racism (even when there is none), we ask, when will Christ be enough? When will His death be enough? When will His blood, having been poured out at Calvary on behalf of sinners, be enough? When will my sins be truly and fully forgiven? When I stand before God someday, how will I be judged for slavery? How will I be judged for the death of Martin Luther King, Jr? How will I be judged for all the problems in the inner city of my hometown of Memphis? Instead of looking for cultural and social solutions to spiritual problems, why don’t the preachers and SJW’s address the real problem of sin and just preach the true gospel? Why don’t they preach that our only hope of any reconciliation first lies in being reconciled to God, being washed in His blood and living a life pursuing and knowing Him?
I encourage you now, if you are promoting a social gospel, to step back and read the words of our Savior in Luke 19:10 “…For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
[Contributed by Steve Evans]