He wasn’t a great man. Some say he wasn’t a good man. But he was an important man. His murder, in broad daylight, as it knowingly was being recorded, opened the eyes of many people, black and white, here in America and around the world.
Many of my friends have encouraged me to start a blog. I’m so technically challenged, I’m not really sure what that even means (smile) !! But I have been quite vocal on-line, on Facebook, which is not the best venue for this sort of thing. I found out the hard way that Facebook has an 8000 character limit per post and one of mine, so far, greatly exceeded that !! I do have a lot to say. You don’t have to agree with me, just like I don’t agree with a lot of the posts I have been reading. I get a bit bent out of shape when I read things that aren’t true or just slightly true, and I try to point that out. I don’t expect all people to think like me, but I do want you to form your opinions on the truth and factual information. Knowledge is the key to understanding and that understanding is what is needed to affect change.
I’m not really narcissistic, but I feel I should first say a few things about myself and my upbringing. Maybe that will help you understand where I am coming from. Some of you know me well. Some of you barely know more than my name. Many of you know I grew up in Waynesboro, VA. I was born in Charlottesvile at the University of Virginia’s Hospital. That was due to my mother’s complicated pregnancy. My brother was born several years before me. He was born in the Colored Only section of the hospital in Waynesboro. He was a very large baby, over 10 pounds, but back then, doctors did not waste the expense or effort of performing C-Sections on black mothers. He was extracted with forceps, which left my mom “damaged” and made her second pregnancy high risk. I’m not really supposed to be here……but I’m glad she went through all the trouble she had to go through to get me here. She was bedridden for most of the last six months of her pregnancy in order to keep the fetus viable, so I thank God that she sacrificed that much to bring me into this world.
I am old enough to have experienced “legalized” segregation first-hand. Schools did not integrate in Waynesboro until I started the sixth grade. I was fortunate that my home was in an integrated neighborhood. That upbringing gave me a unique background with interacting with others, so that I felt comfortable around blacks and whites growing up. It was the same neighborhood my mother grew up in. I guess my first recollection of color was when I started the first grade. I remember having to catch a bus to go to school. It was kind of far from my house, but I had seen the school before, so it wasn’t foreign to me. I went through my first day, came home, and couldn’t wait to talk to my neighborhood friends about it.
“ I didn’t see you!!”
“What class are you in ??”
“My teacher’s name is Miss ######; what’s yours??”
This went on for about three days before we realized there were no white children at my school !! And there were no black children at their school (the one in our neighborhood)!!
I grew up on the Eastside of town. That was the only integrated section of Waynesboro. We had two all black sections – Maupintown and The Hill. The rest were white – the Tree Streets, Country Club, Wayne Hills, the Philippines. I never knew why it was called the Philippines, as we did not have a large ethnic population there !!??!! Blacks had one school, 1st through 12th grade, Rosenwald School, that was located on The Hill. Whites had elementary schools in their neighborhoods, but our city was so small we only had one white high and one junior high school. When schools integrated, I started the sixth grade and just went to the elementary school in my already mixed neighborhood. The rest of the city had some minor issues because they put together two populations that had no previous interaction with each other. Being a small town, we did not have anywhere near the problems that occurred in larger, more urban areas. I do remember having our own black public park ( North Park) with a pool because we we not allowed to go to the parks or pools that whites had. I remember seeing WHITE and COLORED ONLY water fountains and bathrooms. I remember Standard Drug Store and Newberry’s Department Stores downtown where you could go in and buy things, but you could not sit down at the lunch counters they both had. You could, at least, order food at the register for takeout. I remember being followed around in those stores, and others, by at least one clerk because it was assumed that if you were black, you were going to steal something if you had the opportunity.
I remember going to the movie theater, but we were not allowed to go in the front door like everyone else. Blacks had their own separate entrance – a door at the end of the alley. It lead to a stairway that went directly to the balcony, so you had no interaction with the whites on the main level. Your ticket was purchased at a barred window in the alley. If you wanted some snacks, you gave your money to the ticket seller and they would go to the concession stand inside and get what you wanted, then pass it through the barred window to you. But that was just the way things were.
I’ll fast forward to high school, grades 9 through 12. My brother was there before me. He developed a bit of reputation as a troublemaker. Though Black History Month was created in February of 1926, Waynesboro High School had no cause to celebrate it until integration. My brother was an integral part of introducing that to the school. The way they handled anything of that nature was to dedicate a bulletin board to the subject. The school would only agree to one week, but the blacks students wanted the entire month. My brother organized the first student walk-out to protest this limitation, and the principal agreed to the month-long bulletin board display.
So, I guess I come by this attitude naturally, but I was very shy in school up until my Senior year. It was at then that I decided that I could flunk every subject and still graduate! I was a good student, though. Got good grades. Was well behaved and respectful to my teachers. A bit of a wallflower. Started to realize I was pretty nondescript around my junior year. I decided to come out of my shell and offer to be the student producer of our class’ Junior Variety Show. I was invited into the Keyette Club. I even joined the Future Homemakers of America, and I pretty much hated all things domestic! I enjoyed that so much (ha,ha), that my senior year, I took over the Presidency of the FHA because no one else wanted to do it ! I added the Spanish Club as their Secretary. I was a Miss Red Feather contestant. I was selected for Homecoming Court, but I did not win the coveted Queen’s position. I was selected to be a member of Virginia Girl’s State… and I can still sing the theme song in its entirety to this day !!! I was National Merit Scholar. I tried out for the girl’s basketball team, but during a practice session, I went up for a layup and came down on with a broken bone in my ankle. I had to settle on being a manager for the season. On a whim, a friend and I decided we were going to try out for the cheerleading squad. Neither one of us had ever done anything of this nature before. Most of the girls had been cheerleading since elementary school. The afternoon of the selection process, we were wandering around the gym area when we overheard two of the staff discussing the tryouts. They had decided they were going to pick me because they had no blacks on the squad and how that would help with the racial problems we were experiencing at the time. I went to my locker, packed up my things and went home. I was not going to be anyone’s “token” anything!!! There was no way I was at the level of performance of most of the other girls and I was not going to be chosen for any reason other than my actual abilities and qualifications.
I was offered a four-year scholarship to Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA, but turned it down because I did not want to attend an all-girl’s school. I applied to, and was accepted at the University of Dallas in Irving, TX because I loved the Dallas Cowboys and, in my twisted, immature young mind, thought I might have a chance to try out for the Cowboy’s Cheerleaders !!!! Keep in mind, I was younger, thinner and cuter version of the Wanda you know now!! I was going to attend, and was accepted at Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA, because one of my best friends went there the previous year. But my Guidance Counselor made me fill out an application to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. I was accepted, given some scholarship money, and with grants and loans, I graduated with a B.A. degree in Sociology with a total of $5000 debt for the four years. I was the first black student graduate of UVA from my hometown. It wasn’t easy. Regardless of my grades and proven community involvement and service in my high school years, it was assumed I only got in there because I took some white student’s place because of Affirmative Action! Because my parents had divorced by that time, my Mom had absolutely no money to send either of her children to college. We were told early on, if we wanted to go, we’d have to make the grades and get the funding on our own. And that’s what we both did ! My brother went off to Virginia State College (now University) in Ettrick, VA. After my first year at UVA, I worked a part-time job at Sears, usually putting in as much as 30 hours a week, year round, to afford the high cost of living in “the ‘Ville”. After your freshman year, you had to put your name each year into a lottery for on-campus housing. I never was fortunate enough to get in, so I had to live off-campus for the duration of my schooling. Never had a car, so I used the combination of school and city buses to get around. Because my job work-load was so heavy, my class load was always lighter. That caused me to make up the balance of my required hours in Summer School. Because of that, I lived and worked in Charlottesville year round, not coming home for extended summer or holiday breaks. I didn’t technically graduate until the summer of 1977. I was offered the opportunity to march with my graduating class in May of that year, but I declined to do so. Didn’t want a fake graduation but waited until I officially fulfilled all my requirements.
So that’s the first twenty-one years of my life in a nutshell. Just wanted to give you a little insight on how I grew up. We all have different experiences that make us who we are.
I was encouraged by some of you to use something other than Facebook to let you know what’s on my mind. Some of you we curious about my 8000+ character post. I will warn you, I am not an intellectual. My statements may not be the most eloquent thing you’ve ever read. But I am sincere in wanting to present accurate information.
This was in response to an article written by Natasha Crain. I didn’t include her actual article in my wordy response, but without the article, you won’t understand my comments. I will let you read what she says, then follow with my response to each of the points she’s making :
5 Ways Christians are Getting Swept into a Secular Worldview in This Cultural Moment
By Natasha Crain | June 9, 2020
So much has been said and is being said about the tragic death of George Floyd that it almost feels excessive to add to the conversation. But to continue on with the “regularly scheduled blog posts” without addressing such a significant event would also be bizarre.
Many people have already written on how tragic and unjust Floyd’s death was. This post is not here to elaborate on that. If you’re reading this, I take it that you already agree. Many people are also addressing how unbiblical racism is, and that Christians should actively be working to combat it. This post is not here to elaborate on that either—again, if you’re reading this, I take it you agree. I say this up front, because I know some will read the following thoughts and think I don’t care about Floyd’s death or the problem of racial injustice because I’m not talking about them specifically. Please know that’s not the case; they just aren’t the focus of this particular blog post.
What I do want to focus on are the problems I’ve seen with many Christians’ response to this cultural moment. In particular, it seems Christians are getting swept into a secular worldview as they respond to Floyd’s death…without even realizing it. Here are five ways I see that happening. As parents, it’s extremely important that we think carefully about these issues in order to raise kids who are prepared to grow up in a culture of this nature.
1. We’re too quickly jumping on social bandwagons hitched to secularism.
Christians, we need to open our eyes to a very important fact: research shows that those committed to a biblical worldview are now a minority. This means that if everyone around you is jumping on a bandwagon of some kind, there’s a really good chance it’s not a bandwagon rooted in values consistent with a biblical worldview.
Maybe that’s not the case in a given situation, but you won’t know unless you take the time to thoughtfully evaluate what’s going on and determine if this is a bandwagon a Christian should be on. If you don’t, you may unintentionally be espousing the values of a worldview in significant conflict with your own.
How do we do a better job of being mindful of this?
- Carefully read statements of belief on the sites of organizations you support and promote. For example, before you champion the organization Black Lives Matter, be sure to read the statement of beliefs on their site (these reach far wider than a statement of black equality—their support for abortion, desire to “disrupt” the traditional family structure, and call to erase all gender lines are just a few of many concerns here).
- Before you donate, look at public financial statements to see where funds are being used. An organization’s statement of belief might be broad enough to not raise a red flag, but where the money goes speaks volumes.
- Don’t use hashtags until you understand where they originated, what they represent to the people who created them, and what they (likely) communicate to those around you.
- Before purchasing books, look at the endorsers (are these people you already trust to hold to a biblical worldview?) and read both 5-star and 1-star reviews. Many times the 1-star reviews will expose the underlying assumptions of the book. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t read books you disagree with, but rather that you should be fully informed going into the book regarding the worldview from which it’s been written.
MY RESPONSE :
Knowledge is the key here, as with anything you are having an issue with. The following is EXACTLY what the Black Lives Matter website says in their “What We Believe” page:
Four years ago, what is now known as the Black Lives Matter Global Network began to organize. It started out as a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission was to build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
In the years since, we’ve committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.
Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state.
Enraged by the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, and inspired by the 31-day takeover of the Florida State Capitol by POWER U and the Dream Defenders, we took to the streets. A year later, we set out together on the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, in search of justice for Mike Brown and all of those who have been torn apart by state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Forever changed, we returned home and began building the infrastructure for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which, even in its infancy, has become a political home for many.
Ferguson helped to catalyze a movement to which we’ve all helped give life. Organizers who call this network home have ousted anti-Black politicians, won critical legislation to benefit Black lives, and changed the terms of the debate on Blackness around the world. Through movement and relationship building, we have also helped catalyze other movements and shifted culture with an eye toward the dangerous impacts of anti-Blackness.
These are the results of our collective efforts.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network is as powerful as it is because of our membership, our partners, our supporters, our staff, and you. Our continued commitment to liberation for all Black people means we are continuing the work of our ancestors and fighting for our collective freedom because it is our duty.
Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.
We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.
We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.
We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.
We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.
We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world.
We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.
We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.
We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.
We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.
We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.
I know that took up a lot of space, but it is important to KNOW what you are talking about before drawing conclusions. That is EXACTLY what BLM embodies. No where does it mention anything about “their support for abortion or call to erase all gender lines.” There appears to be an underlying belief that because of a 2015 statement of their support of the Planned Parenthood organization, they are “ radically pro-abortion.” I am a supporter of Planned Parenthood. They do more than perform abortions. I was a poor, young woman with no insurance and no ability to afford gynecological care. They provide that in many disadvantaged neighborhoods across the country. They offered the care I needed without causing me financial ruin. They didn’t push abortions on women nor did they offer that as the only means to deal with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy. They call for a “disruption” of the traditional family life but not a dissolution. The actual text in question, about dismantling the patriarchal practice, both affirms the health and vibrancy of core families, while making sure it includes extended family, “villages” (remember – it takes a village to raise a child!!), and the inclusion of LGBTQ individuals.
I just encourage you to take the time to actually take the time to examine statements instead of just taking what you hear at face value. Now, as a Christian, if you take issue with any organization or person that that has any dealings with an organization or person that offer abortions, THAT is the issue. That does not mean the organization or person is “radically pro-abortion.” And, as a Christian, if you have a problem with homosexuality or transgendered individuals, that is an issue you have to deal with between you and God. The law of the land says that legally they have to be treated the same as anyone else. You don’t have to socialize with them, but they are protected under the law, as same as anyone else. And we are bound by the law. So, as a Christian, if you don’t want to have any dealings with an organization or person that has any dealings with an organization or person that supports homosexuals or transgenders, that is the issue and BLM certainly includes them. I can’t or won’t try to change your opinion on that.
I won’t take up time or space on the issue of donating money to a cause. If you care to, you can look at what I researched. Just know your donation will go exactly where it is supposed to go.
[ ***I will include that reference here. It was in response to a half-truth post that Candace Owens made. I said the following :
“In case anyone out there wants to donate to the Black Lives Matter movement, I wanted to clarify a half-truth that is being put out there by some, including the notorious Candace Owens, about where your donation is going.
A popular claim on social media asserts that donations to Black Lives Matter go directly to ActBlue, which uses them to fund Democratic campaigns. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT !! ActBlue is a nonprofit technology organization that provides a platform for people to make contributions. ActBlue does not pocket donations that are facilitated by its platform — it ROUTES donations to organizations. Both Black Lives Matter and Democratic presidential candidates DO use this platform to fund raise. Black Lives Matter Global Foundation, Inc., the organization that operates the Black Lives Matter website, is a nonprofit. The Internal Revenue Service stipulates that 501(c)(3) organizations are “absolutely prohibited” from making contributions to political campaigns. If you donate THROUGH this established platform, your money goes to the specified organization. It it a lie that it just goes directly to Democratic campaigns.
Candace has tweeted her outrage that your money is going DIRECTLY to Democratic efforts if you use the ActBlue platform. As I said, that is a pure and simple lie. She fails to mention that Republican fundraising uses a similar platform called WinRed. Same rules apply there…. but she kinda forgets to mention that.” ]
I do agree with Ms. Crain that you should know what any organization represents before joining or sharing information. And you should check things you read to confirm that it shares your RELIGIOUS values. So if you believe that BLM’s focus is to abort children, promote homosexual families and promote transsexuals to lead the county, instead of promoting equality for all people, then don’t support it.
2. We’re conflating empathy with agreement on action.
There’s a huge emphasis right now on the need to listen to the experiences of people from marginalized communities, and that’s a really good thing. If you’re personally unaffected by the issues these communities face, it’s far too easy to live in ignorance and not feel the sense of urgency for change. I’ll personally acknowledge that the extent of the (peaceful) protests has raised my own awareness of just how much sadness, anger, and injustice simmers under our cultural surface. If we don’t take the time to listen, our ignorance will only deepen the wounds.
It’s extremely concerning, however, when it’s implied that listening with empathy and compassion means 1) the listener has no further place in the conversation, and 2) truth is dictated by the experience of the person being listened to. When the call to listen with empathy and compassion turns to, “Be quiet (permanently) because you have no right to speak to an issue if you don’t fit a specific profile,” there is a major problem from a Christian worldview. Abortion, for example, doesn’t suddenly become morally acceptable just because a black person shares their experience of discrimination and injustice, then states that it’s oppressive to the black community to be pro-life (something I’m seeing a lot of online). This should be a simple matter of logic, if only because multiple people who have experienced discrimination and injustice can have different views on abortion (whose view wins?). But beyond this self-evident logic, Christians believe that objective truth exists—truth that applies to all people, regardless of their demographic profile or personal experience.
Compassion doesn’t equal agreement on action.
MY RESPONSE :
She makes really insightful statements on showing empathy to others….. but I don’t know why she is bringing up the subject of abortion…. again??!?? That is not the issue here. Not one issue of the BLM movement advocates abortion! I also don’t understand where she’s getting the notion she has to “be quiet (permanently) because you have no right to speak to an issue if you don’t fit a specific profile.” I don’t know where she’s getting that from??!! Perception is truth! If you perceive something, that is true to you!! BLM is encouraging you to examine the perception of someone else, specifically your black brothers and sisters. We know how it feels to view life through your window. If you have Christians compassion, it should manifest itself in action. The dialog should begin, the give and take, to come to some sort of agreement on action.
3. We’re being shamed into accepting secular definitions of love.
If there’s something pretty much everyone does agree on right now, it’s that we need to love one another. Given the importance of love in Christianity, one might think this is an area where the secular world and Christians can align. Unfortunately, however, that’s often not the case.
As I explain in chapter 10 of Talking with Your Kids about Jesus, the key to understanding why is in Matthew 22:36–40. A Pharisee asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
If Jesus says that one commandment is the greatest, we need to listen closely; it implies that any other commandments should be obeyed within that context. In this case, he’s telling us that what it means to love others depends on what it means to first love God. This is why Christians so often clash with culture on what love is—we have different objectives. Christians (should) strive to love others given God’s standards. The secular world strives to love others given self-defined standards.
If someone shames you for not being “loving,” remember that Godly love is wanting for others what God wants for them—even when that’s not what they want for themselves.
MY RESPONSE :
I literally haven’t a clue to what she is trying to say here. She is quoting scripture, but she herself is only commenting on half of it !!
“And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.”
God wants us to love Him. God wants us to love one another. He wants us to treat our neighbor as we would want to be treated. I honestly don’t understand what she is trying to say??!!! “Godly love is wanting for others what God wants for them—even when that’s not what they want for themselves.” Do we NOT want what God wants for us ?? Is wanting to be treated equally something we DON’T want and God DOESN’T WANT for us?? She needs to explain where secular and Godly love differ here.
4. We’re unknowingly getting caught up in Critical Theory.
Critical Theory is the ideology that underlies many of the popular responses to racial injustice that we’re seeing today, and it’s a secular view that is unfortunately spilling into the church in shocking degrees. This ideology views reality through the lens of power, dividing people into oppressed groups and oppressor groups along lines like race, class, gender, sexuality orientation, physical ability and age. Truth becomes relative based on your status in one of these groups. If you’re unfamiliar with the term Critical Theory, you’ll be blown away when you learn about it and see how it explains so much of what you see happening today.
Dr. Neil Shenvi specializes in this area and has written extensively on his site about it. PLEASE read the introductory resources he has here. He has also reviewed several books on racial injustice on his site, exposing how they conflict with a Christian worldview given their grounding in Critical Theory (e.g., White Fragility). I highly recommend you search his site and read what he has to say about many of the popular books being recommended right now (even by churches).
Additionally, I highly recommend the new ministry of Monique Duson, The Center for Biblical Unity. She came out of Critical Theory herself and is now working toward unity from a biblical perspective.
MY RESPONSE :
Critical theories aim to dig beneath the surface of social life and uncover the assumptions that keep human beings from a full and true understanding of how the world works. That is a secular view. I personally don’t see a problem with that. Disparages do exist, and where you are on the scale determines your view of the world. That is a fact. Dr. Shenvi himself says “not everything that critical theory affirms is false” and “the notion of hegemonic power is also legitimate.” “Critical theory functions as a worldview. It answers our most basic questions: Who are we? What is our fundamental problem? What is the solution to that problem? What is our primary moral duty? How should we live?”
He summarizes by saying “true freedom and joy are ultimately found in Christ alone.” So far, I don’t see a disparity with this and Christianity.
This would be something Dr. Shenvi sees as problematic. “Christians who embrace the paradigm of critical theory as a solution to racism or sexism often question a biblical understanding of gender roles, gender identity, sexual orientation, marriage, parental authority, and even the uniqueness of the Christian faith.” I read his scriptural references and it affirmed what I know about God’s sovereignty. I didn’t really see where it was at odds with my understanding of most of the items he pointed out. But if we have biblical issues dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation, we are bound by the law of the land on these matters.
He sums up his position by saying “When a church demonstrates true neighbor-love and fellowship across lines of race, class, and gender, it undermines the idea that critical theory is the only path to human flourishing and gives credibility to the charge that critical theory fails to deliver on its promises.” That in itself would be a secular view. As a Christian, I don’t see critical theory as the ONLY path. Critical theory identifies the issues; issues that I don’t believe God just wants us to pray about and physically do nothing about. Our God is a God of action. Ultimately we know these problems are the result of sin and as he says, true freedom and joy are ultimately found in Christ alone. Our love of God and his Son should compel us to do good works in honor of them.
5. We’re neglecting opportunities to demonstrate how a secular worldview fails.
As Christians get swept into secular ways of thinking, we lose sight of the highly relevant opportunities right now to show how a secular worldview fails to explain what everyone is saying they intuitively know: that every human life is valuable, that there are things that are objectively wrong, and that justice matters.
None of those things fit with a godless worldview. If God doesn’t exist, the universe came into existence by chance, the first living cell developed from non-living matter by chance, and all living things are the eventual product of the blind, undirected process of evolution. In such a case, human life is no more valuable than dust, and there is no basis for saying that any life matters. Only if there is an author of life who creates and imbues us with a meaning greater than our physical parts can lives actually matter, and in an equal way.
If God doesn’t exist, there’s also no objective standard for labeling an action—such as murder—wrong. If we’re all just the product of blind, purposeless forces, morality is just an opinion. Unless there is a higher-than-human moral authority, no one has a basis for claiming that murder is objectively wrong.
And finally, if God doesn’t exist, the concept of justice is meaningless because there can be no right or wrong in the first place to require justice. As C.S. Lewis famously said about his conversion to Christianity, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” Justice requires a standard, and there is no objective standard in a purposeless universe.
The desire for justice is a beautiful thing, and is rooted in the reality that our God is a just God. But we can go about seeking justice in some very ungodly ways. As Christians, we must always check our responses to culture to make sure the secular worldview hasn’t crept into our own. When we don’t, culture will influence the church more than the church will influence culture.
MY RESPONSE :
I, and many others, do not view this world as completely Godless. It was perfect, until we, as humans, messed it up! It is flawed because of us. Does that mean we should do nothing to try to make it better ? I think not. Some of us litter, but some of us pick up trash and recycle in order to help the environment. Some men beat our wives, while others provide shelters that protect the woman from further harm. Is this Godly? Is this secular? Is there a difference??
He finalizes his position by saying, “the desire for justice is a beautiful thing, and is rooted in the reality that our God is a just God. But we can go about seeking justice in some very ungodly ways. As Christians, we must always check our responses to culture to make sure the secular worldview hasn’t crept into our own. When we don’t, culture will influence the church more than the church will influence culture.” I guess we will have to search our hearts on this. As a Christian, I do not condone senseless violence as a means to an end, yet I know, in some instances, God has commanded peoples to go to war to further His cause. Can we truly see a clear line between a Godly and secular world view when even Dr. Shelvi, her primary informational resource, admits the two entwine? Dr. Shelvi says the secular worldview fails if you indeed believe that this is a Godless world. I don’t believe that it is.
This was long; I only half-heartedly apologize for it. You need to look at the facts, the truth, in order to make an honest and fair opinion.
I also commented on a post Monique Duson made, which she made reference to. That post is following. She is talking about the Gospel vs “Woke” ideology. You will need to listen to it, then refer to the comments I made on it below.
MY RESPONSE :
I did watch the video from Monique Duson. I would like to point out that the Bible mentions the words “oppressed” and victim” numerous times. It does identify that phenomena. So these labels of people in the Bible do exist. And yes, I do agree that, as Christians, we are one people, with no distinction between Jew and Gentile. IN THE CHURCH, we are supposed to be on an even playing field, and are all considered a child of a God, regardless of race or social class. Personally, I also don’t just look at a person and accept the ideology that a white person is over me and I am inferior because of my color. No black person does !!!! Like Monique, I have a crystal clear understanding of my place in God’s kingdom. But I also am not blind to the fact that some Christians, regardless of what the doctrines of our religion dictates, don’t accept me because of the color of my skin. That historically cannot be denied. So, regardless of what I know and how I feel, even some Christians are biased against me because of race. No; it is not Biblical, but it is a fact in this world. And if I can’t even rely on some of my Christian brothers and sisters considering me as an equal, what chance do I have out in the secular world?
The Stanford University Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Critical Theory as such : “In both the broad and the narrow senses, however, a critical theory provides the descriptive and normative bases for social inquiry aimed at decreasing domination and increasing freedom in all their forms.” “It must be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. That is, it must explain what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation.” After researching numerous articles concerning the matter, I could find no article that advocated the elimination of hierarchy, as Monique suggests. Alvesson and Willmott argue that “the intent of [critical theory] is not to indulge in the Utopian project of eliminating hierarchy, removing specialist divisions of labor or even abolishing the separation of management and other forms of work.”
Dr. Neil Shenvi (Christian apologetic) describes it : “Contemporary critical theory views reality through the lens of power, dividing people into oppressed groups and oppressor groups along various axes like race, class, gender, sexuality orientation, physical ability and age. While I disagree with contemporary critical theory on a number of grounds, I’m particularly concerned as an evangelical Christian with the way in which it is influencing segments of the evangelical church.” But he ALSO says in the very same article, “not everything that critical theory affirms is false. Like almost any discipline, there are areas in which Christians should agree with critical theory. For example, critical race theorists affirm that race—as it has been defined historically and legally—is a social construct and not a concept legitimately rooted in human nature or human biology.” In essence, he is acknowledging that there is systemic racism in our social structures that is not based in biology; that one race is superior to another. He also concludes, “the notion of hegemonic (ruling or dominant in a political or social context) power is also legitimate. Christians have long recognized how various institutions can—intentionally or unintentionally—perpetuate ideas like secularism, naturalism, and relativism that create resistance to the gospel.” Just because you are a Christian does not negate the fact that these disparities do exist. We must recognize and deal with it.
From what I can discern, critical theory does NOT strive to eliminate the power hierarchy. Power hierarchy is critical in biblical and secular life. All things must have order. Some see it as a replacement for religion, IF this were a Godless society. And since I do not believe our society is Godless, it is just a tool to identify the issues and the structure of the hierarchy in order to eliminate the disparities.