Is Critical Race Theory compatible with the Bible?
This all depends on what someone means by CRT. If it means there are racial and ethnic disparities in the United States that have persisted despite decades of civil rights reforms, then there is truth to it. If it means that more than 150 years after the Civil War was fought there still exist systems and attitudes that negatively affect African Americans to a greater degree, then it has a point. If it means there is a tendency for people in power to marginalize those who are not, we see this time and again through history, both in the Bible and in the history of every nation.
The Bible is clear that every human is created in God's image, bears His likeness, and carries equal value as His created beings.
The Bible is clear that every human is created in God's image, bears His likeness, and carries equal value before God. Our value before God is irrespective of race, ethnicity, sex, age, class, or any other metric. Paul wrote,“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28b) James wrote likewise, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers" (James 2:8-9). We should value others as God values them. Since the Fall, however, men and women in every part of the world, all throughout history, have not treated one another in that fashion.
The Bible is also clear that God has a special place in His heart for the poor, oppressed, and marginalized. David captured this when he wrote, “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed” (Psalm 82:3). When Jesus announced the beginning of His ministry, He quoted from the prophet Isaiah,“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19). God cares for the poor and oppressed regardless of race or ethnicity. So should we.
CRT, along with every other worldview, must be measured in relationship to what the Bible teaches. To the degree it aligns with a Biblical worldview, it can be helpful. To the degree it opposes a Biblical worldview, it should not be used. CRT can be effective when used to illuminate the various racial and ethnic disparities that exist in any nation. But it is entirely unable to offer a transformative solution, precisely because it does not understand the heart of the problem, which is fallen, sinful men and women of every race. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only thing able to transform the human heart. It is the only foundation able to produce a culture where every person is valued, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, or class standing.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only thing able to transform the human heart. It is the only foundation able to produce a culture where every person is valued, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, or class standing.