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Wake Up!

Rather than focus on teaching sound doctrine, we’ve sought to draw crowds into churches with lights, music, and lowest common denominator theology that surely won’t offend anyone. The chaos in our streets should be a wake-up call for Christians. In part, we are witnessing the fruit of our complacency and cowardice to properly preach the gospel.


This is Part 1 in our series “Wake Up!” on Critical Race Theory. Click below to view the others:
I feel a particularly heavy burden to speak to what’s taking place right before our eyes. There is a movement that’s taking the nation, and really much of the western world, by storm and many unsuspecting Christians are being caught up and swept away by it. Ideologically, we are experiencing a revolution. Spiritually (which will be my main focus), we are watching what amounts to a reformation; this is the emergence of what is nothing less than a new religion.
Following the horrific murder of George Floyd at the hands of Derek Chauvin, people instinctively gathered in the streets to protest to express proper outrage and sorrow at the injustice of that event—a crime exasperated by the cruel irony of one, sworn to protect and preserve life, who so wantonly and cavalierly took it instead. However, many peaceful protests rapidly degenerated into uncontrolled riots which included burning, looting, breaking, and beating, marring a just protest.

A Movement

Over the next several days and continuing even now, we began to witness a movement which is grounded in Critical Race Theory (CRT), expressed in the tenants of the social justice movement, and carried out by different groups, the most prominent of which is Black Lives Matter. It is astounding to see how quickly and seamlessly this movement has taken hold; captivating hearts and influencing so many. Again, what is taking place from an ideological perspective is nothing short of a revolution, and spiritually, a reformation.
These next several weeks, we will consider the spiritual side of these current events; what is taking root, I believe, is the filling of the void that years of shallow, man-centered, people pleasing evangelicalism has created. For too long, we have de-emphasized the demands of Christianity and have been satisfied with having Jesus as a part of our lives but never interrupting the comforts we’re living for. We have had little concept of the cost of following Christ, little emphasis on living and loving sacrificially, risking ourselves to proclaim the gospel.
Rather than focus on teaching sound doctrine, we’ve sought to draw crowds into churches with lights, music, and lowest common denominator theology that surely won’t offend anyone. The chaos in our streets should be a wake-up call for Christians. In part, we are witnessing the fruit of our complacency and cowardice to properly preach the gospel.

A “Religious” Operation

At its core, CRT operates much more like a religion than a mere philosophy or theoretical framework examining society and culture as they relate to race, law, and power. It contains many elements, characteristics, and categories that are found in most religions: it contains presuppositions from which flow key doctrines, tenants, and teachings which shape its worldview. It has “theologians”, apologists, evangelists, priests, disciples, and martyrs—those who propagate, defend, and spread the message of CRT on both social media and the streets. It has canonical texts. It requires conversion, repentance, penance, and obedience. Sins include white privilege, micro-aggression, and systemic racism. Followers are expected to abide and obey, or else face discipline. Non-believers are considered to be “lost”—ignorant, privileged, blinded, uneducated.
Evangelism takes place everywhere, from the classroom to the corporate boardroom, from the inner city to the local suburbs. The entertainment industry, the sports world, the political sphere—all of these are means of spreading the message of CRT. Their methods vary from education to indoctrination, confrontation, intimidation, and coercion.

Worship & Rejection

Those who reject or even question the teaching will face scorn, shame, guilt, threats, intimidation, bullying, and harassment. They will be mocked, mischaracterized, stereotyped, and ostracized. There is no room even for clarifying questions or the definition of terms; no data, no hard facts can be requested to back up the claims. Neutrality is not an option—silence is complicity. If one does not speak favorably to and vocally support the cause, they too can expect the consequences. This is their profession of faith.
In this religion, any symbol from the past that is deems oppressive, racist, offensive, or otherwise incongruent with their beliefs, must be eliminated. Statues are being defaced and removed, names of buildings and institutions are changed. It is not enough to let these things stand as part of history, good or bad, right or wrong. No, the mere memory of these men must be erased.
Worship takes place in the public square. They sing, chant, and kneel in their processions; testimonies are shared, sermons are delivered with zeal and passion that few pastors can muster up. Converts confess their sins, the faithful prostrate themselves as they seek forgiveness, redemption, and acceptance by those who have placed themselves in the seat of God, ready to pass judgment or grant absolution as they see fit. The church needs to wake up to this!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll consider the spiritual elements of the Social Justice Movement. We will examine how it mimics aspects of authentic Christianity, but ultimately makes a mockery of it, twisting and perverting the true teaching of Scripture. It is a counterfeit, a lie, ready to devour all those who buy in. Specifically, we will consider the doctrines of sin, salvation, and sanctification, comparing and contrasting these teachings and the very real consequences they hold, as we see these biblical truths hijacked, repackaged, and sold to a hungry people in need of the truth.

May the Lord prepare His church for this fight.

Joe Griffo is Pastor of Redeemer Church of South Hills in West Mifflin, PA. Learn more about him here
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2 Responses to “Wake Up!”

  1. Stephanie Schaming says:

    Thank you for speaking the truth! My husband, who is from Pittsburgh, and I are living in Illinois and every Sunday we come home and look at each other and ask, what are we going to do? After reading a psalm one morning, I wrote a short ‘message’ on sin and it’s consequences and put it on FB. I received many positive responses from people I’ve know for many years, but then my pastor’s wife texted me saying she detected a ‘a bit of arrogance,’ and that someone had taken offense at it. So I was asked to please meet with our pastor to get things straightened out. I had my husband read what I had written for comment and he said, ‘you were just pointing out how sin can sneak up on us but what Jesus lovingly instructs us to do.’ This is only one example that causes us to constantly ask God what we should do. PRAY, most definitely, but this watered down gospel is now showing itself for what it is. The problem is, IMHO, few realize it nor do they feel the need to change. THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this. God bless…Stephanie Schaming

    • Nicole says:

      We are in a similar situation. The church is looking too much like the world afraid to offend anyone except those who are true Christ followers.

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