The internal Cru report, Seeking Unity & Clarity on Critical Race Theory within Cru, the formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, illustrates the intersection of politics and theology. Power and identity are connected to both politics and theology.
People have identities. It is a fact of the modern world, as Political Scientist Francis Fukuyama explains in his book Identity. The question is not if someone has an identity but what is that identity. Identities can be helpful and wholesome or identities can be corrosive and balkanizing.
Cru chose balkanization over unity in Christ.
Fukuyama encourages the promotion of benign forms of identity. He suggests the promotion of an identity that cultivates civic virtue. This combats the more dangerous forms—forms that can threaten national cohesion. For example, a unifying multiethnic American nationalism over the ever expanding (proliferating) numbers of identities given to us by modern ideologies.
This same logic applies to the Church. From a functional standpoint, should the church encourage ethnic identities as superior to the shared identity in Christ?
We know the answer. Both reason and the Bible tells us that the Christian has an identity in Christ that should be more important. That does not sever our attachments to family and nation and ethnic groups. It just clarifies what is important and provides a ground of unity only available to Christians.
The political is theological and the theological is political
Racial Identity is ideological. This makes it a political and theological issue. This cannot be separated. Each feeds on the other. Liberal theology begets liberal politics. Liberal politics begets liberal theology. It really does not matter which comes first—it is always the same, one or the other, regardless of which comes first, turns the person into a Leftist.
The liberal theology of the 1960s taught in the mainline seminaries spread into the church pulpits. However, it was not the liberal theology that sent the mainline denominations into collapse. No. It was the anti-war message that sent members scrambling into evangelical churches.
Because the folks in the pew grasped the issue.
Often, theological issues are obscure; theologians hide in nuance. They abuse the meaning of words. This can make it hard for the laity to hold elites accountable.
However, simplify the issue to something they can understand: A Battle for the Bible or the preacher is Anti-Vietnam War, and you’ll get a response.
So, we must speak the language of the people to organize the masses. (The masses speak the language evangelical elites understand–donations.)
This is harder for us in our fight against Critical Race Theory than our fathers in the Conservative Resurgence. All, or at least most, of the megachurch celebrities support CRT or are sitting quietly on the sidelines waiting to see who wins.
CRT is a political issue
The solution to CRT in Cru is proper theology.
However, the means to get at proper theology likely involves mobilizing the people. Theologians and pastors should not recoil at this. We should always be doing it—for it is our responsibility to both our people and our institutions.
Do not shy away from pointing out the practical ramifications of CRT inside missionary organizations like Cru. The Seeking Clarity & Unity report catalogued some of the key political issues. The report mentioned Trump 10 times, political 67 times and politics 11 times.
For example, the Lenses Institute tweets catalogued by the Cru internal report is a chronicle of Leftist political talking points. One tweet raged against Justice Neil Gorsuch (see our review of Originalism’s Promise.)
Leftists are leftists regardless of whether it is political or theological that they show to the world. Eventually, it will become both.
So, from a practical perspective, it behooves Christian conservatives to use all the forces at our disposal to defeat the enemy.
Do not be jealous because Tucker Carlson and James Lindsay and Christopher Rufo have educated the public about the evils of CRT.
Use the ground these men prepared.
Build coalitions. Think of new combinations that might be possible to resist the Woke Totalitarians.
And there are many possible allies in the struggle against these new tyrants. The same thing happening in Cru is happening in other secular, evangelical, Protestant, Roman Catholic—and yes, even Islamic—institutions.
Nothing less than the obliteration of traditional religion (or superstitions as Elites view faith) is their goal.
In its place, will arise a new synthesis of old faiths combined into a mix of harmless (at least to the Secular Elites) pietistic sounding platitudes. Something like the Orange Catholic Bible—if we might be permitted to reach into fiction to find a resemblance of things to come.
In fact, science fiction provides a few interesting roadmaps as to what Elites would like to do. Sohrab Ahmari’s new book The Unbroken Thread even touches on what one Fabian imagined.
Ahmari writes, “Wells also wrote a fictional ‘history’ of the future, in which an enlightened, science-worshipping world state delivers humankind from war and chaos by abolishing all organized religion, including by shuttering Mecca and other Muslim holy places and gassing the pope and the entire Catholic hierarchy (The Shape of Things to Come, 1933),” (p. 28). (Review coming soon.)
Science-worshipping is certainly what some Americans are doing.
“Science” is no longer a process. It is a mantra. The chants of worship are visible on Twitter and in the very words of Joe Biden and his fellow revolutionaries in Washington.
To defeat this new religious and political system will require both theological work and political work.
We need both.
Michael O’Fallon’s Sovereign Nations‘ conferences showcase how to build alliances. His conferences featured Jordan Peterson and atheist James Lindsay along with conservative evangelical Christians. These are the types of bridges we must build.
There will be battles in different spheres—some of us are called to work in a single theater and others called to multiple ones. Each and everyone is important.
Be prepared for the area you will face off against the Woke tyrants. And don’t forget that it is a political and theological struggle.