Understanding the Terms of Cultural Marxism (Social Justice): A Christian Response

Critical Race Theory (CRT)[1] defines race as being socially constructed rather than a natural biological function.[2] In CRT, the concept of race was constructed by white people and serves as a mechanism for them to oppress black people and promote pervasive institutional racism in order to maintain white supremacy.

CRT is related to Cultural Marxism which is composed of a broad set of ideas that serve as instruments for a societal transformation to bring about the redistribution of power and wealth-socialism.[3] White people need to repent of white supremacy and privilege, but black people do not need to repent. Even if a white person has never had a genuinely racist thought or he has repented of past racism, he is still a racist, white supremacist, because he is white and belongs to the majority.[4]

Intersectionality (IN) encompasses interconnected social categories such as race, sex, and sexual orientation, which can serve as components of multi-layered discrimination and oppression.[5] For example, as a minority, a woman could suffer discrimination, but a black woman suffers two compounding levels of discrimination. If the black woman is a lesbian, she then suffers on three levels.

A person’s identity and authority are wrapped up in the degree to which the person suffers discrimination (the basis of identity politics). In Cultural Marxism, of which IN is a part, truth claims made by the oppressors (white people) are always suspect. In contrast, truth claims made by the oppressed (black people) are always credible until proven wrong, which intersectionality makes almost impossible. We have even seen this in the Me-Too movement when accusations of abuse are accepted as truth and evidence, while the accused is assumed to be lying guilty until proven innocent. Trial by the internet.

As a Christian, our identity is not socially determined nor is it a result of either being wronged or our perception that we have been wronged. Our identity is found in Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). See also 2 Cor 5:17 and Gal 5:20.

Social Justice, which is similar to Cultural Marxism, is accomplished by favoring one group (the oppressed/minority/non-sinners) and punishing the other group (the oppressors/majority/sinners) by redistribution of wealth, power, and privilege. Redistribution can be accomplished by civil measures (graduated tax structure) or anarchist revolution and forced redistribution of wealth and power.[6] As in Marxism, social justice emphasizes group identity rather than individual identity. The groups may be composed of people who neither suffered nor inflicted wrong. Merit or guilt is based on such things as skin color or sex. Social justice’s identity politics divide rather than unite.

Biblical Justice emanates from God’s holy, impartial, and loving nature (Lev 19:2; Acts 10:34; 1 John 4:8). Everyone is created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27). They are, therefore, essentially equal and under the same righteous standard of justice. Everyone has sinned against God and falls short of his holy and just standard (Rom 3:10). Each person is accountable for only his sin (Ezek 18:19-21, 32; 33:11). Because God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), he desires to save every person from their due judgment for their sin, and he has provisioned so that everyone can be saved (John 1:29; 3:16; 20:30-31).

Biblical justice holds each person responsible for his own sin only. “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Biblical justice holds each person responsible for the opportunities he has as seen in the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30). God grants salvation and forgiveness to any person if they come to Him trusting Christ, and this is regardless of what group he belongs to or what he has done in the past (John 3:18). Opportunities and privileges that a person has, regardless of how many, do not require guilt or repentance but only stewardship (Matt 25:21) and thanksgiving (Eph 5:20).

In Christ, all barriers are broken down (Gal 3:28; Eph 2:14-15; Col 1:20). All who are in Christ are to carry the gospel of reconciliation to the world (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-21) and to reflect God’s impartial and unifying justice toward everyone (Exod 23:3; Lev 19:15; Mic 6:8), compassionately ministering to the genuinely needy (Deut 10:18; Ps 140:12; Ezek 22:29; 1 Tim 5:3; Jas 1:27).

[1] Encyclopedia Britannica now defines CRT: “The view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of colour.” Tommy Curry, “Critical Race Theory,” para. 1, https://www.britannica.com/topic/critical-race-theory. But when I originally wrote this article, 2/8/20, the definition was “Race instead of being biologically grounded and natural is socially constructed; and that race as a socially constructed concept functions as a means to maintain the interests of the white population that constructed it.” This provides an interesting insight into the terminological fluidity regarding our time and this subject.
[2] Both CRT and cultural Marxism are a part of critical theory, which seeks to change society rather than just explain it like other social theories.
[3] Cultural Marxism is the application of Marxist concepts to marginalized groups rather than classes as in classical Marxism.
[4] True racism is the belief that one’s own race is inherently superior to another, and others being inherently inferior, cannot overcome their inferiority.
[5] See also “intersectionality,” https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/intersectionality accessed 6/18/19.
[6] Encyclopedia Britannica says, “Critical theory: Marxist-inspired movement in social and political philosophy originally associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. Drawing particularly on the thought of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, critical theorists maintain that a primary goal of the philosophy is to understand and to help overcome the social structures through which people are dominated and oppressed.” “Critical Theory,” https://www.britannica.com/topic/critical-theory, accessed 2/5/20. It is important to keep in mind that Marx, Fredrick Engels, and Sigmund Freud were all materialists; they denied God, the soul and spirit of man, and the entire immaterial world, which makes them absolutely in opposition to Christianity.

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Ronnie W. Rogers