(This is part 2 of my How Should Homeschool Families Now Live series. You can read my first article here.)
Critical Race Theory. Intersectionality. Social Justice. Black Lives Matter. I’m not sure there is anything more controversial going on in public schools and churches than these hot button terms. Few people really know what they stand for, let alone describe. But, if you don’t take the right side on the issue you will be persona non grata in most of mainstream society today.
From all reports, CRT has now blown up in American schools. The 2021 elections turned towards the Republicans, largely over these controversies in Virginia schools. Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher told MSNBC on election night, “Wherever you look, it looks like these college-educated, suburban white voters, who Democrats thought were breaking their way, they rallied back around 'Critical Race Theory.’” On the morning following the election, NPR complained that “Democrats need an answer on education and race.” And CNN referred to the now infamous comment that sunk the Democratic candidate in the Virginia Gubernatorial race, (referring to teaching CRT in public schools): “I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach."
Now Christian families are having to ask the question, “Can we still appreciate this nation, and the values upon which the nation was formed? Should we celebrate Columbus Day, or must we celebrate indigenous cultures from the 15th century and their human sacrificing cults?”
Has America ever been so divided around this and a hundred other issues? The melting pot of what used to be America is boiling over, and about ready to explode. The political divide as measured by the partisan view of the president is wider than ever before. The polarization gap on presidential approval was only 27% with Dwight Eisenhauer, 52% under Reagan, and now 90+% under Trump and Biden.
Some issues have huge potential to divide a nation, because they are ill-defined, emotionally charged, and play on the pride, covetousness, or envy of a sinful nation. Such are the issues that the devil has rolled like a hand grenade into the mix in the current situation.
I do not believe that unity can be restored, or our socio-economic situation can be salvaged in this country without a turning back to God. But I am convinced that Christians should be able to take the higher ground on these discussions. Not that everybody would agree on our presuppositions, but they need to at least realize that we are consistent to our standard, which is the Word of God.
We all want a better world. Most of us would like a little more peace and unity in our churches and nations. Ostensibly, that’s what both liberals and conservatives are looking for. But, how do we make a better society? How do we change the world?
1. We don’t change the world by fomenting class strife and ethnic tensions, and then looking to the government for “social justice.” The basic assumption among the Marxists and CRT advocates of our day is that the government can solve the problem of economic inequity. Or the government can solve the problem of ethnic hatred by education or by force. Governments can certainly punish criminals who murder one another out of hate, but governments cannot solve the problem of the heart.
Critical Race Theory teaches that there is systemic “racism” in Western countries embedded in institutions that result in disadvantageous conditions for certain minority ethnic groups. For some then, an inculcated mistrust of institutions requires revolution and an overturning of society.
The Apostle Paul warns Christians seven times in the pastoral epistles not to get bound up in quarrelsome and questionable issues. But there are certain hardwired elements in CRT which always result in massive ideological food fights. For example, how does one know for sure what causes the disadvantageous conditions for certain ethnic groups? It is incredibly difficult to assign cause and effect relationships in social conditions. It’s tough enough to identify cause and effect relationships in a closed laboratory situation when you are dealing with pressures and temperatures. There are serious arguments over the extent of those disadvantages.
As Christians, we must remember that the assumption that all inequalities are evil is based in a Marxist definition of good and evil. Remember, the Lord Jesus acknowledged “the poor you always have with you.” And 1 Samuel 2:7 points out that, “The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.” As far as the government is concerned, we are warned repeatedly in Scripture not to get involved in Marxist revolutions, “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute” (Exodus 23:2-3). Leviticus 19:15 also reminds the magistrates, “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty.”
If we ground our ethical definitions and standards in Scripture, then we cannot submit to the Gramscian Marxist definitions of the day. Antonio Gramsci is the famous Marxist revolutionary behind CRT and much of the cultural Marxism of our day. CRT would teach that if a certain people with a certain skin pigment have more privilege, power, and money, then the systems they create must be evil—and only another Marxist revolution can make it right. This becomes a fatal mix of class envy and racism. And, once more the world is turned upside down with more revolutions (as we have already witnessed in Russia, Cuba, China, Vietnam).
2. To rightly identify the problem with the world, we must define sin. Marx defines sin as economic inequity, but the Bible defines sin as the violation of God’s law. Killing babies in the womb is wrong. Human sacrifice is wrong. Sexuality outside of the bounds of biblical marriage is wrong. Robbing banks is wrong. Stealing money from one class and giving it over to another class is wrong. These are violations of God’s law. Sadly most Christians are unfamiliar with God’s definitions of right and wrong clearly communicated in the Old and New Testaments. If Christians ignore God’s law as the definition of sin and crime, we are left with constantly fluctuating definitions and controversies over nebulous philosophies like CRT.
Another assumption maintained with great tenacity by modern educators is that we are much more righteous today than President George Washington, William Bradford, and the American founders. But how can we be sure? Only God’s law gives us a moral compass by which we can determine right and wrong, and that which is more abominable and egregious than something else. Revolutionary cultures always think of themselves as “pure in their own eyes.” But Proverbs 30:13-14, reminds us that these are dangerous people, and they are “not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”
Governments have a purpose, and that is to punish criminals that rape, kill, and steal. But, to set the world right, we do not saddle grandchildren for their grandparents’ sins. According to biblical law, the grandchildren of Germans should not pay for their grandparents’ crimes committed against the Jews 80 years ago. The Nuremberg trials addressed the crimes of individuals and those scores are now settled.
3. Man’s problem is based in the heart, and only the Gospel can change the heart. Fundamentally, it’s not man’s institutions and environment that form his behavior (Matthew 15:19-20). Real transformation of lives and cultures can only come with the preaching of the Christian Gospel. As Christians, we assume that the Gospel changes lives and entire institutions. As far as nations are taught to observe everything Jesus has commanded (Matt. 28:18-20), the Lord Jesus and His missionary work has been fruitful through the ages. This is the way we should view history. Christ is on the right hand of the Father, and He must reign until He brings His enemies under His footstool. This view of history competes with an evolutionary view, a humanist view, a Marxist view, etc. Christians look at history differently than those that write curriculum for public universities and schools.
And while the Western world has returned to the sins of infanticide, abortion, slavery, poor treatment of women, etc. during periods of faith lapses, the general trajectory of civilizations influenced by Christ has been amazing cultural transformation. In my book Epoch, I map out the slow but steady elimination of slavery in the Western world, beginning with Augustine, St. Patrick, Queen Bathilda, Athelstan, Anselm of Canterbury, and others. However, compromised Christians, influenced largely by the Muslims in Spain and Portugal, reintroduced slavery into our world. The fated Dum Diversas issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1452 initiated the slave trade. The terribly, morally compromised English Kings Charles II and James II introduced slavery into the American colonies in the 1670s. And it wasn’t until John Quincy Adams defended the Africans shipped in illegally by the Portuguese in the Amistad case in 1841 that the trade finally ended.
But from the beginning, Christopher Columbus’s motivation was clear in his own diaries: “It was the Lord who put it in me to sail from here to the Indies. The fact that the Gospel must be preached to so many lands — that is what convinced me. Charting the seas is but a necessary requisite for the fulfillment of the Great Commission of our Glorious Savior!” Columbus testified of his faith in his writings: “I am a most unworthy sinner. But I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. . . .No one should fear to undertake any task in the Name of the Savior, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service. The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will.”
Has Christ not accomplished much, despite man's constant tendencies to reintroduce slavery, abortion (human sacrifice), and sexual perversion into the world? I think so. That’s why I wrote the epochal story of how Jesus changed the whole world — not just the Western world. Epoch — The Rise and Fall of the West tells the story.
With the tremendous changes going on all around us right now — the social disorder, the economic strains, the decline of Western culture, the national and political disunity — I wanted to help my Christian brothers and sisters to better “understand the times,” so they would “know what to do” (1 Chron. 12:32). I’m praying that Epoch will help to that end.
The question of "How shall we now live?" should be of paramount concern to the Christian homeschool family in light of all that's going on around us in today's culture. That's why I hope you can join us next Thursday, November 11th at 9am Pacific for a special FREE live Q&A workshop titled How Should Homeschool Families Now Live? Responding to Government Tyranny, Social Tension, and an Anti-Christian Culture.
We'll be addressing some of today's toughest topics and answering your biggest questions regarding how we as Christian homeschool families should live in light of:
- The overextension of government
- Critical Race Theory
- Mandated vaccinations
- The censoring of "free speech"
- The marginalization of Christianity in today's culture
I'm excited to be opening up discussion surrounding these topics. Will you join us next week for this FREE ONLINE WORKSHOP?