It is one thing to pass on the ice cream. It is another to eat your greens. Weeding the garden is good and hard work. But you won’t eat a thing if you fail to plant and water. Herein lies the rub. Ripping out some big nasty weeds yields an immediate reward. In thirty minutes flat, you’ve taken what was a hot mess and turned it into a nice clean bed. But planting and watering are not as instantly gratifying. And they require a particular kind of diligence, wisdom, and perseverance. If you plant seeds in the morning and take a picture for your Instagram in the afternoon, your friends won’t be one bit impressed.
Now the evangelical world played with the fire of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Intersectionality, and a fair number of people are still bandaged up from the third-degree burns. But a large swath of Christian leaders have now renounced the abominable flame. Most recently, we have a Special Committee from Gove City College giving CRT the boot. Upon receiving this news, all God’s people said, amen. And this renunciation is not the first of its kind. Over a year and a half ago, all six Southern Baptist Seminary Presidents renounced CRT/I, using the same “incompatibility” language found in Grove City’s report. Christian leaders of many conservative organizations have made their way around to saying “no” to the wokeness.
Now several of these leaders were quite slow on the draw, only coming around to such renunciations after correspondence from conservative donors that troubled their sleep. As Wodehouse once put it, these disgruntled donor letters made these slumbering Christian leaders leap on the pillow like a gaffed salmon. But renounce the wokeness they have. And here we all are now saying, “Look, the weed is gone, and behold how clean my garden is.”
But Jesus once warned about what happens when the demon is cast out of the house, and people start tidying up—”When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45).
I make no predictions about how long this process will take. But it is my firm conviction that if we do not fill the house with the truth, then seven demons more wicked than intersectionality will be coming home to roost. Consider it from this angle. If the conservative evangelical community had been feeding on the truth, they wouldn’t have gone for the counterfeit. Yes, intersectionality is a sneaky, nasty lie. It is revolutionary in the sense that Kuyper described, “the Revolution turns everything topsy-turvy, such that what was at the bottom rises to the top and what was at the very top now moves to the bottom. In this way it severs the ties that bind us to God and his Word, in order to subject both to human criticism.” So CRT/I is a slippery snake. But it is the kind of slimy creature that a mature Christian community would have seen miles off. And what actually happened was much more like the blurry blind man at Bethsaida, “I see principles of justice as trees, walking.” And we do need Jesus to lay his hands once more on our eyes and make us look up (Matthew 8:25).
Exchanging a Lie for the Truth of God
So if we would keep intersectionality’s bigger, hairier brother out of our house, then we need to do more than sweep and garnish. We need to fill the house with the truths that were missing. We need to fill the vacuum that the wokeness filled. Paul speaks of those who exchanged the truth of God for a lie. And so, something might click for us if we run that process in the other direction and exchange a lie for the truth of God. So in what follows, I will sketch four lies of intersectionality that lured too many evangelicals. And I will signal the corresponding truth that we need to employ to stand against whatever corruptions intersectionality has gone to round up. But this post is getting chopped in two. So one lie this week, and the other three are coming next week.
The first intersectional lie that Christians need to exchange for the truth is interesectionality’s lie about law. It lies about the standard. It does not erase the standard altogether. It exchanges the true standard for a false standard. Intersectionality is dogmatic about its standard. An error is embodied in the phrase, “To each their own.” But that particular error is not found in intersectionality. Intersectionality demands that we should all be equal in every sense of the word. That’s the standard. The victims need to be brought up a notch, and the oppressors need to be brought down a notch. And if the bourgeois are up two notches, then they need to come down two in conjunction with the proletariat coming up the two notches they are down. And, after we have achieved this readjustment, voila! All is well now that everyone has an equal slice of the pie. Now I’m not vouching for the integrity of those who preach this faulty standard. Many of them are flat-lying to you and simply want your stuff. But, the whole system is predicated upon the Marxist paradigm of haves and have-nots, with a big attendant, “That’s not right, and we’re going make it right!” Thus a standard, faulty and abominable one, but one nonetheless.
Now many evangelical leaders are rooting up that particular faulty standard. I don’t mean to get in their way as they do. I’m grateful they are getting their hands a little dirty. But I do want to point to what comes next. This erroneous intersectional standard was imbibed by many because we were standardless. The saints were hungry for law (Psalm 119:97-104) and the Christian ethos in the United States was by-and-large antinomian. Even those healthier parts of American Christianity that were not ecclesiastically antinomian, were antinomian outside the ecclesiastical sphere. I mean that several Christians limited God’s law to the church and individual Christians. These legal reductionists would say that you had to obey God’s law if you were a Christian. They maintain that the church is under God’s law. But they shortchange the divine standard, divesting it of its universal claims. The intersectionalists do not limit their faulty law in this way. Intersectionality doesn’t ask you if you want to submit to its standard. It does not say, “This standard worked for me; would you like to try it?”
People are hungry for a standard that covers the whole lot, a measure that applies in the home and at work, to the doctor and the entrepreneur, a standard that is for the homemaker and the lawmaker. And come to find out, that is precisely what Christians have, and it is time to plant that particular truth so that we have more than a nice clean bed for whatever demons intersectionality is going to pick up. In a nutshell, we need to recover what the wiseman taught long ago—”Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).