Christians and the Culture
Christians and the culture often cohabitate, when instead they should be at odds with each other. As Voddie Baucham says, “We should be observers of the culture but not partakers.” When I use the world culture, I’m not referring to the music or movies or fashions of today. I’m referring to the terms intersectionality, hegemony, or critical theory. You’re probably thinking, “Why should I care?” These are all terms that we may not hear or understand, but their ideas are permeating the culture, education, and even the church. This is why we need to care.
I write this because these are some deep issues that are easier to ignore, except that you actually can’t ignore them because they are already all around you. They are being embraced in the church. You may have even espoused these ideas yourself without realizing it. The terms that I mentioned above are all rooted in Marxism; they are not benign. They are anti-biblical.
Sadly, though, Christians are accepting and even embracing these ideas without so much as a second thought because they make us feel good. The Southern Baptist Convention, The Gospel Coalition, influencers like Jen Hatmaker, pastors like Matt Chandler…they are adapting this very unbiblical worldview because it seems, well…nice. “This has been allowed to happen because we live in a culture where feelings are the truth and feeling bad is virtuous.” –Summer Jaeger
I am not a theologian or a seminary graduate, but I have dug into these things for myself and for my children; I am both saddened and horrified at how obvious it all is. I am not an expert. But I feel it’s imperative that my readers and friends understand what’s happening. So in order to do so, I’m sharing this information with the help of those much more knowledgeable than me.
I urge you to sit down as a family and educate yourself. Husbands and wives, listen and take notes. Parents, study these ideologies with your teens and young adults, especially (but not only) if your children are educated outside your home or in college. If you haven’t been paying attention, these ideas are already part of the education system, both K-12 and college level, and they have saturated social media.
When I began talking to my friends about these things, I wasn’t surprised to find out that these terms are still not well-known. To the average Christian, these ideas may seem unimportant, or only for pastors to deal with. Please, don’t assume that. It’s because pastors are either clueless or are (worse) embracing these ideas that every Christian must understand them.
What is intersectionality? It is a combination of identity groups based on oppression (female, black, gay, etc.). The more you have, the better. The easiest way for you to understand this it to check out this ridiculous, but real, Intersectionality score calculator, designed to accurately calculate your privilege. Here’s mine:
Please give more to those less fortunate.
What is critical race theory? People of a certain race share similar experiences that others do not, so others have no option but to agree with those in that race.
“Being misunderstood and marginalized is just so virtue-imbuing. The more marginalization you can claim, the more inherent understanding of the world you have, while the rest of the world just doesn’t get it.” (The Vice of Victimhood as Virtue by Summer Jaeger.)
“The Frankfurt School would patent the familiar ‘Critical Theory’ which was accurately defined by a student as the ‘essentially destructive criticism of all the main elements of Western culture, including Christianity, capitalism, authority, the family, patriarchy, hierarchy, morality, tradition, sexual restraint, loyalty, patriotism, nationalism, heredity, ethnocentrism, convention, and conservatism.’ Under Critical Theory, anything emanating from the west is to be libeled and attacked…. All blame for societal and economic ills are to be shifted to the west. (America’s Education Watch)
What is the Frankfurt School, you ask?
The Frankfurt School, known more appropriately as Critical Theory, is a philosophical and sociological movement spread across many universities around the world. It was originally located at the Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), an attached institute at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. The Institute was founded in 1923 thanks to a donation by Felix Weil with the aim of developing Marxist studies in Germany. After 1933, the Nazis forced its closure, and the Institute was moved to the United States where it found hospitality at Columbia University in New York City. (IEP)
What is hegemony? The Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci developed the concept of cultural hegemony out of Karl Marx’s theory that the dominant ideology of society reflects the beliefs and interests of the ruling class. (Read more here)
“The cultural hegemony is patriarchal…in our society it is:
- native-born Americans
…and everybody who is not that is a minority. And everybody who is not that is a victim of the cultural hegemony. The more of those boxes you tick off, the more privileged you are.” (Voddie Baucham)
What is Cultural Marxism? Cultural Marxism is a branch of Marxist ideology formulated by the Frankfurt School, which had its origins the early part of the twentieth century. Cultural Marxism comprises much of the foundation of political correctness. It emerged as a response of European Marxist intellectuals disillusioned by the early political failures of conventional economic Marxist ideology. (See Voddie Baucham’s video below.)
‘Advocates of the social gospel believed the church should be engaged in the culture, fighting against injustice and working to uplift the impoverished and downtrodden—all admirable goals. The problem was they unwittingly allowed secular assumptions to inform their theology of cultural engagement. Their profoundly un-Biblical mindset is nicely captured in this quote from social gospel advocate, journalist Horace Greeley:
“The heart of man is not depraved … his passions do not prompt to wrong doing, and do not therefore by their actions, produce evil. Evil flows only from social [inequality]. Give [people] full scope, free play, a perfect and complete development, and universal happiness must be the result. … Create a new form of Society in which this shall be possible … then you will have the perfect Society; then you will have the Kingdom of Heaven.”’ (History Repeats Itself, World)
Wait…the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things, who can know it?” And it also says that, “There is none righteous, no not one.”
See how easy it is for Christians to bypass scripture and embrace cultural trends? So how do you recognize these ideas in your world, in your church, in your education, on social media?
Two words: equity and diversity. In the Trojan Horse video below, this is explained near the end. How do we typically respond? “I know this is wrong, but I am scared. I don’t wanted to be though of as a racist. I don’t want to be a racist, maybe I’m wrong.”
You will be told that, “Denial is proof of your guilt. Asking for evidence is racism, and evidentiary knowledge is western racist domination.” (It’s true; I’ve been there.) You can’t win. And so Christians fall prey to false compassion because they don’t understand the times.
This term sounds very compassionate, but it is the culmination of all of the above, wrapped up in warm, fuzzy works-based ideology that has no biblical basis whatsoever.
“This false religion now dominates the humanities departments of universities in the United States, as well as the entertainment and media industries, and increasingly the board rooms of major corporations like Google and Nike. It works hand in glove with the sexual revolution, as it shares the same ideological roots in Romanticism, postmodernism, and Marxism. It has no place for such essential Biblical virtues as grace, mercy, and forgiveness, replacing these with grievance, offense, incivility, and retribution. Its branches are political correctness, identity politics, multiculturalism, and intersectionality. It is incompatible with the United States’ constitutional, republican form of government, and such fundamental goods as due process. Its bitter fruit is the breakdown of civil society.” (Scott Allen, World)
Further, “The problem with social justice is not its passion to engage the culture and fight for justice. The problem is all the un-Biblical ideology that comes packed in the social justice Trojan horse.”
Understanding the Times
Voddie Baucham makes the correct case for “observing the culture, but not partaking in it.”
This title is deceiving; it should be titled Intersectionality and hegemony.
Quotes from this video:
“Sticking our head in the sand is not an option.”
Why do women, who make up more than 50% of the population, why are they considered a minority? They are not part of the cultural hegemony…”the cultural hegemony is patriarchal…in our society it is:
- native-born Americans
…and everybody who is not that is a minority. And everybody who is not that is a victim of the cultural hegemony. The more of those boxes you tick off, the more privileged you are.”
This next video is a fascinating and very educational talk about these ideas and how they are permeating the culture at every level.
In this first of five interviews conducted in New York City, Sovereign Nations Founder Michael O’Fallon and the co-founders of New Discourses, Dr. Peter Boghossian and Dr. James Lindsay, discuss the current tools of societal and institutional deconstruction being introduced throughout civilization under the banner of “Social Justice.” These, they discuss, are presented in a manner not unlike the legendary Trojan Horse.
Dr. Peter Boghossian and Dr. James Lindsay are atheists. It is important to note that they observe the danger of these philosophies for the church:
“If I wanted to bring down Christianity, “Let’s end Christianity, let’s make ’em woke! If I wanted to end the church, I’d start making woke pastors and send them in.”
More quotes from the video:
If you are a dominant group, you only see in “greyscale.” If you are part of a minority group, you see the world from that standpoint (or with more colors).
People who are marginalized can see and understand more than the dominant group: “I have experiences you cannot possibly understand or empathize.”
White fragility: if you disagree with critical race theory it is because you don’t have the stamina to do the work of anti-racism; your privilege has made you weak and you are comfortable in it.”
(There’s also – you guessed it – male fragility.) This is EXTRA religion. It is not identifiable as Christianity in any sense.
In the church
The saddest part of this cultural shift, and the reason I sat down to write this blog post, is because these ideas have infiltrated Christianity. Popular Christian speakers, authors, pastors, and influencers spout the ideas and phrases based in the social justice culture. I am saddened by the unknowing embracing and sharing of Marxist and unbiblical “truths” by Christians everywhere.
Christians share the famous video of whites not understanding their privilege all over social media. If you say anything unapproved, you’re immediately labeled privileged and racist. Ask me how I know. And then Christians, who feel this is wrong but don’t really know how to respond without making it worse, just shrink back from the conversation altogether, not really exploring the roots and the anti-biblical nature of this entire mess.
One of the things thinking Christians need to do is to study where do these critical race theories originate from? I am talking about controversial concepts such as “white privilege.” The same principle is necessary when a believer studies “psychology.” It is vitally important that one understands Freudian thought before one determines whether or not you should integrate biblical principles with secular psychology. (source)
Matt Chandler and The Village Church: Chandler seems to have made secular ideology the religion of his church. “Chandler repeatedly states that whites have grown up as the predominant culture in America and that this affects our thinking about other races. White people simply cannot understand why non-whites don’t succeed as much as we do, for we are blinded by our privileged status in America.” Sound familiar?
The Southern Baptist Convention 2019 Resolution 9: Read the Resolution here and read Tom Ascol’s description of how it came to be. You don’t have to be Southern Baptist to be very concerned about the shift that is happening in the Protestant church.
I believe this is because we base so much of what we think and do on feelings. Feeling compassionate, feeling sad, feeling angry, feeling guilty…and we completely ignore the supremacy of God’s word. We have allowed the culture to influence Christianity, instead of the other way around.
Christians need to pay attention to the radical culture. They need to understand what intersectionality is, what critical race theory is, why everyone hates the “patriarchy” (white, heterosexual males), and why none of this is biblical and why it’s extremely important. Don’t just accept new thoughts when they hit your radar; examine, question, and most importantly, compare them to the scriptures. As Christians, that is our guide.
Again, I urge you to sit down as a family and educate yourself. Husbands and wives, listen and take notes. Parents, study these ideologies with your teens and young adults, especially (but not only) if your children are educated outside your home or in college. Make this part of your worldview studies.
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