Home Voices The Exchange Pat Sawyer: Cautions Regarding Critical Race Theory, Part 3

Pat Sawyer: Cautions Regarding Critical Race Theory, Part 3

The third and final post of Dr. Sawyer's thoughts and concerns on CRT.


While much more could be said about cautions regarding CRT, I must bring this to a close. I want to conclude by making a final point about CRT. Part of CRT’s allure, seduction even, is that it listens to Black people and all people of color and takes into full account their racial pain. My dear friend, William “Duce” Branch (aka the The Ambassador) is quick to make this point. He’s also keen to emphasize the Church’s responsibility in this. Among other things, this is an indictment of the Church, specifically White spaces in the Church. Racism is an abomination to God. It should not even be named among God’s people. Yet much of the professing White church, throughout its history in the U.S., has been marked by either active engagement in racism, looking the other way, or acting as if it is no longer a concern. Moreover, as historian and theologian, Esau McCaulley, points out regarding historical Evangelicalism, “apexes of theological faithfulness coincided with nadirs of Black freedom” (Reading While Black, p. 11). Let that sink in.

To be sure this means that impenitent, tyrannical enslavers (1 Timothy 1:10) who named the name of Christ had a form of godliness but without its power (2 Timothy 3:5). For more than a few, the “lawlessness” that Christ refers to in Matthew 7:23 is racism. I have little doubt that the brutal slaveholder, as well as the fervent Jim Crow champion, who professed to know Christ, was damningly self-deceived and is suffering under God’s wrath at this present moment. I personally can’t make a biblical case for their salvation. The book of 1 John alone and its sobering analysis regarding love and hate towards fellow brothers and sisters and what that means concerning salvation is a hurdle too high, not to mention numerous other texts and passages.

Nevertheless, this also means that those of us who are actual Christians, who are white, need to take stock. We should take no comfort or any praise for never owning slaves or not approving of Jim Crow laws. Such protests are often (not always) cover for being content with more subtle forms of racism. Inasmuch as we are personally guilty in failing to love our fellow human beings of color and our fellow Christians of color as providence would dictate when it comes to listening and responding to their racial pain, fighting against racism (within and without), and seeking to correct the injustices against them, we need to repent.

While a robust embracement of CRT is incompatible with biblical Christianity and will ultimately exacerbate racial division, and while it is a genuine threat to the Church and certainly not a red herring or mere distraction, we must acknowledge that it addresses a real and present concern in racism – a horrendous evil – that must be challenged and rebuked on every front. May we as God’s people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Revelation 5:9) love each other deeply (1 John 4:7-12), relish and promote our oneness (John 17:21), and bring our future (Revelation 7:9-10) into the NOW.

The references for Dr. Pat Sawyer’s series start just after the links to the larger series discussion on Critical Race Theory. Read Dr. Sawyer’s other articles in this series here: 

What is CRT and Should We Be Concerned? Part 1

Cautions Regarding Critical Race Theory, Part 2


Read the entire series here.

Read the Complete Critical Race Theory Series

Part 1: Framing Critical Race Theory 

Part 2: What Is CRT and Should We Be Concerned? 

Part 3: Cautions Regarding Critical Race Theory

Part 4: Cautions Regarding Critical Race Theory II

Part 5: A Missiological Assessment of Critical Race Theory

Part 6: A Missiological Assessment of Critical Race Theory II

Part 7. A Missiological Assessment of Critical Race Theory III

Part 8: A Missiological Assessment of Critical Race Theory IV

Part 9: Sociological Theory and Precursors to Approaching Critical Race Theory

Part 10: Critical Theory and Precursors to Approaching Critical Race Theory

Part 11: Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics


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