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Pat Sawyer: Cautions Regarding Critical Race Theory, Part 2

Caution 4) Through CRT tenets 9 and 12, professing Christians can come to believe the only way to authentically fight racism is to champion the rights of the gay and trans communities via the rules of engagement offered by critical social theory. While Christians are called to love and care for all people, including gay and trans people, and must actively seek to do so, they must do so while maintaining fidelity to God’s word including honoring His views regarding sexuality and sexual ethics. In fact, love will demand this fidelity. Applications of CRT tenets 9 and 12 can lead to an erosion and then displacement of God’s view of sexuality and sexual ethics which portends a larger deconstruction of the faith at work where a biblical understanding of the doctrine of soteriology has been compromised and is possibly being overthrown.

Caution 5) CRT tenets 8, 9, and 12, and 14 can lead one to embrace an oppressor/oppressed binary as an interpretative lens for understanding current society. Setting aside spurious definitions of what constitutes oppression, this lens can lead one to believe that an ‘oppressor’ status is intrinsic to and synonymous with ‘whiteness’ and that an ‘oppressed’ status is intrinsic to and synonymous with ‘blackness’. A number of Black intellectuals, including Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Larry Elder, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, Thomas Chatterton Williams, and Coleman Hughes, among others, have rightly expressed significant frustration and pushback against any victim status being resident in what it means to be Black. Notwithstanding the egregious racial history of the United States, the notion of an ‘oppressor’ status and ‘oppressed’ status being tied to whiteness and blackness respectively is patently false. It is a purblind contention that defies world history, not to mention anthropological and ontological reality. There are no immutable or permanent attributes assigned to whiteness and blackness along the vector of privilege and oppression. Such a view is an assault on Christian identity and an insurmountable obstacle to Christian unity. Moreover, it is an affront to God who made ALL people in HIS image. In addition, confusion here can lead to erroneous views regarding sin, guilt, and corporate repentance where all modern whites are regarded as complicit in the racial sins of some historical whites. Such factitious claims are an offense and provocation to the biblical understanding of hamartiology and the Imago Dei and will be a non-starter to Christian unity.

Having offered five cautions regarding CRT, in the next and final article I will offer three more cautions, a salient concluding point, and final exhortation.

This 3-part series by Dr. Pat Sawyer is part of a 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 3


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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psawyer@outreach.com'
Pat Sawyer has a B.A. in Psychology from UNC Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Communication Studies from UNC Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies and Cultural Studies from UNC Greensboro. Dr. Sawyer is a faculty member at UNC Greensboro and serves on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed education journal, Philosophy, Theory, and Foundations in Education. He is a member of the Summit Church in RDU, North Carolina. He can be reached via Twitter @RealPatSawyer.