Opinion: Bible-preaching churches, please don't depart from your regularly scheduled programming

by Mike Moses · Aug 6th, 2020 12:47 pm

Last Updated Aug 10th, 2020 at 3:52 pm

Jemar Tisby is president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective and author of The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism.

He is also the author of one of the worst pieces of advice I've ever seen on Twitter. (And that's saying something!)

On Tuesday, Tisby tweeted this:

"Given the depth of theological mis-education when it comes to race in white churches, a brief sermon series on race before you get back to your ‘regularly scheduled programming' isn't going to cut it. We need to consistently address racial justice for months and years at a time."

He later dismissed the (justified) pushback to his tweet as "White supremacy and Christian Nationalism."

Pastors, if your "regularly scheduled programming" consists mainly of psychological self-help talks based on the latest summer blockbusters, I suppose a multi-year series on racial justice works just as well. But if your regularly scheduled programming is faithful, verse-by-verse exposition of God's Word, don't give Tisby's counsel a second thought.

It is not surprising to hear unwise and divisive words from those who have blended their Christianity with critical race theory (CRT). CRT redefines racism as a sin that only white people can commit, and sees this sin as insidiously pervading every aspect of Western society (including the church). According to bestselling authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, racism affects every circumstance—it's not a question of if racism is involved, but how racism has manifested itself. The only way to be anti-racist is to repent of benefiting from a racist system, admit your implicit biases, "check your privilege" constantly, pander to those whom CRT says you've oppressed by your mere existence, and advocate for radical leftist policies. CRT preaches an anti-gospel of unforgivable sin, unachievable repentance, no grace, and no hope except for the promise of a socialist utopia.

Note that for Tisby, even those churches that have taken time for "a brief sermon series on race" haven't done nearly enough. This is because the "woke monster" is never satisfied. Don't bother trying to appease those locked in the ungodly and hopeless worldview of CRT. You can never, ever do enough.

If you simply preach the whole counsel of God, verse-by-verse, you won't be in any danger of "theological mis-education" in your church. Preach the Word, and you'll establish the true doctrines of man and sin. Preach Genesis, which establishes the dignity of all humans as created in the image of God, and which clarifies the root of all sin: rebellion against God's rule. Preach Leviticus, which reveals God's heart for impartial justice. Preach the Psalms, the songs of an adulterer and murderer who wasn't "canceled" but was graciously forgiven and restored. Preach John's gospel, in which Jesus graciously brings salvation to a marginalized woman but doesn't fail to confront her sins. Preach Ephesians, which proclaims the glorious power of the gospel to unite redeemed people who were previously divided by ethnic hatred. Preach Revelation, in which men and women from every nation and tribe join their voices to worship the worthy Lamb.

Preaching the Word is a stumbling block for all who cling to the sin of partiality: for the white supremacist and the social justice warrior alike. But preaching the Word draws and nourishes Christians—of all ethnicities—who simply desire to walk in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

In past generations, many Christians sinfully advocated slaveholding and segregation. The problem was not Scripture; the problem was that they set aside Scripture to accommodate the sinful ideals of their surrounding culture. Let's not make the same error in our day.


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