CHRIST AND CRITICAL THEORY
by David King (via Facebook)
A nation collapses not because of politics or economics or military weakness, but because of philosophy–specifically, how its citizens choose to process information and make decisions, especially in their relations with each other. Historically our nation was founded on a Judeo-Christian view of reality. Over the last century or so, that foundation has been weakened by a series of philosophical challengers: first, modernism; then post-modernism; and now the newest academic fad, critical theory.
Critical theory seeks to “critique” all existing institutions and structures for hidden flaws and weaknesses, thus exposing the injustices that must be corrected. That sounds noble, but in all its various manifestations (critical social justice theory, critical gender theory, critical race theory, etc.), this philosophy is in direct conflict with a Biblical worldview.
All versions of critical theory share four key components:
– Human identity is defined exclusively by group affiliation rather than individual character. It is stereotyping on steroids, labeling everyone solely by their group connections.
– All interactions are viewed only in terms of power. Every difference and disagreement among groups is seen as a struggle in which only one side (i.e., one group) can emerge victorious. It is inherently divisive and chaotic.
– Belonging to a marginalized group bestows victim status on every member of that group. The more oppressed groups I belong to, the higher my “victim” status–and my “oppressors” need to confess their sin and pay up.
– The highest virtue is to achieve a state of “wokeness,” a condition where an individual is “awakened” to all these hidden imbalances and oppressions that lurk in every corner of society, and signs on to the struggle to eradicate them. Only the “woke” person is on the side of the good and right.
All four of these elements are antithetical to the spirit of Christianity. The Bible teaches that:
– God judges us as individuals, not groups. I am responsible for my own behavior, not others (Rom. 14:12).
– Differences are inevitable, but people with good hearts learn to live together in harmony and mutual respect (Rom. 12:18).
– Whatever our victim status, the mature way to respond to mistreatment is to rise above it with patience and forgiveness (1 Pet. 2:19-20).
– The highest virtue is love, a policy of unconditional kindness toward all…just as God has loved us (Col. 3:12-14).
Like all man-made philosophies, critical theory will someday burn out and fade away, leaving a lot of wreckage in its wake. Our job as the people of God in the current crisis is to continue to hold forth His Son as the beacon of light the world needs to find healing.