Say the authors, “Lament requires us to search our hearts, determine where we have fallen and sincerely grieve. At this time, either alone or in a group, take time to lament. Acknowledge the Church’s complicity with racism and discrimination (past and present) and engage in confession and lament of our shortcomings, both personal and corporate, for not actively fighting against racism.”
The guide includes several appendices to help people continue educating themselves on the effects of racism in the U.S. These include Appendix C, “Self-Care for People of Color,” Appendix D, “What Is Whiteness?” and Appendix F, “Black Voices.” The guide concludes with a list of resources, tools, and contributors.
Reactions to The Salvation Army’s Guide
In an open letter to The Salvation Army posted on Facebook on Nov. 1, Christian apologist Greg Koukl announced that he would no longer be financially supporting TSA. After reviewing the guide and looking at the resources listed at the end, he said, “It rapidly became clear to me that TSA has fallen for critical race theory lock, stock, and barrel.”
Said Koukl, “There are lots of good things The Salvation Army continues to do all over the world, helping the poor and disadvantaged. However, at the moment, The Salvation Army is advancing a destructive ideology that is inconsistent with the biblical worldview, and therefore I cannot contribute to an organization that does good but also currently promotes something manifestly evil.” Various people commented on Koukl’s post saying that they would also be redirecting their giving elsewhere.
Color Us United, which is “an organization created to speak out against those who want to divide America” and which specifically promotes the idea of being “race-blind,” has launched a petition to “tell the leadership of The Salvation Army to stop letting race activism dilute the good work of fellow Salvationists and supporters.” As of this writing, the petition has garnered over 14,000 signatures.
Others have taken TSA’s guide to be a blanket criticism of Christianity. Daily Wire author Joseph Curl wrote the guide “claims Christianity is inherently racist.”
Samuel D. James, Communications Specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention, found Curl’s “characterization of the Salvation Army” to be “so inaccurate that it seems almost certainly deliberate.” In James’ view, the guide was “overall…a pretty thoughtful take on the gospel and racism.”
“We at The Salvation Army remain undeterred in our mission because we are confident in the power of the gospel, and because millions of vulnerable Americans need our help,” said TSA at the end of the Nov. 25 statement. “And we remain deeply grateful for the support of a generous public—people from all walks of life and from all parts of the country—who help us meet human need wherever it exists. Our supporters know that ours is a message of love, even for those who disagree or attack us. That is the model set by Christ, and we strive to follow it every day.”