A man who has the genuine article is far less tempted by a knockoff. So when you find a man buying lies, that is a clear sign to you that he is void of the truth. And this is precisely what happened as American evangelicals went to toying with Intersectionality over the last couple years. Something about the intersectional system appealed to them. It was filling a void. But if you fill an empty stomach with rubbish, you’re only left with the gut-ache.
Now it is a good sign when friends come along and point out that you’re ingesting rancid garbage. And a good bit of the last year or two has been given to demonstrating the refuse that goes by the name intersectionality. But, we still need to know what to eat so that we won’t go craving after the next idolatry that is served up.
Intersectionality is a fascinating paradigm because it is wrong in ways that highlight the truth. In Part 1 of this post I made the point that intersectionality is wrong about the standard. It does not attempt to erase the standard. Rather it sets up one that is contrary to the true standard. By doing so, it signals just how much we need a standard, one that covers the whole of life. So intersectionality is right about the extent of a standard while being wrong about the nature of the standard. Evangelicals lacked a universal standard (they were mistaken about the extent of God’s standard) so the faulty one that intersectionality sold them was quite appealing. And so long as we trivialize and truncate God’s law, this play will be run on us again.
In “Seven Demons Part 2” here I want to exchange three more lies of intersectionality for the truth.
Intersectionality offers a lie about justice. This lie is closely related to the bogus standard. But justice concerns the application of the standard. Intersectionality is not satisfied to hold to a theoretical law. It demands justice, and it wants that justice now. In other words, intersectionality was dead set on formalizing and actualizing its standard. Now, why was this faux-justice so tempting to evangelical taste buds?
It deceived many because Christians were dead set on not realizing their standard. Evangelicals have been happy to leave the law on top of Mount Sinai. We claimed to hold to God’s standard. But that standard stayed up there on the the Mount where Jesus gave his sermon.
My point is not merely that Christians failed to promulgate the law. My point is that the intersectionalists were far more zealous about the implementation of their standard than the saints were about the true standard. They were more earnest in prayer, saying to their false god, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Many evangelicals have simply given up on seeing the will of the Lord done. They conceive of justice as something that will only be executed at the second coming of Christ. Now, it is manifestly Christian to wait for the final justice of God which indeed will only come on the last day. But it is also manifestly Christian to seek the appearing of that justice on earth today. And this can only be done by grace, through faith, in Christ. In other words, if the saints fail to be prophets, priests, and kings on earth, then that vacuum will be filled by false prophets, pagan priests, and tyrants.
The saints do not need to adopt the manner in which the intersectionalists seek justice (i.e. “by any means necessary”). And such a spirit is a particular temptation, even for some conservative Christians. That error leaves the anti-woke operating according to woke-maneuvers. But, the intersectionalists are right to yearn for the establishment of the standard. Their problem is their false standard and the corrupt manner of its implementation. The evangelicals problem is they have ignored the true standard and abandoned its implementation altogether.
Faux Corporate Identity
Intersectionality strikes out on corporate identity as well. But their whiff highlights the evangelical whiff. The intersectionalists claim that your victim status is the essential ingredient, the most excellent thing. That status could entail being black, female, gay, an immigrant, disabled, or non-Christian. And you are welcome to layer these victim statuses, claiming as many as you can get your hands on. That is, unless you are a straight, white, male, American, able-bodied, Christian. In that case, you can’t have anything. You are the oppressor all the way down the line.
Now we have become familiar with this corporate identity folly. Several right-thinking persons have pointed out how silly this game is. But, to varying degrees, evangelicals fell victim to it because of our lack of corporate identity. You see, the intersectionalists are not wrong about the significance of corporate identity. Rather they are wrong about the significance that they put on the particular identities they’ve selected; and they are wrong about certain identities altogether (i.e. there is no such thing as a transgender person).
If we would avoid being tangled up in the next idolatry coming down the pipeline, then we must recover what Christianity says about corporate identity. It will not be enough to reject this particular intersectional error by emphasizing the individual and individual rights. Praise God for the individual and individual rights. God makes individuals. And he also makes families. Christians must recover just how important last names are. They must also recover how important the name “Christian” is, and the function of the sacraments as they mark out the people of God, making them visibly distinct from the world. In short, we must recover what it means that God deals with his covenant people and says to them, “I will be y’all’s God and y’all will be my people.”
No one can charge the intersectionalists with lacking vision. Their vision is terrible. But having a vain hope is different than having no hope at all. Intersectionality pursues a future utopia in which as Lennon imagined, “The world will live as one.” Given enough critiquing, the equality of opportunity will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Again, many good Christians have demonstrated the folly of this hope. It is a hope rooted in greed. And all of the privilege-checking and public apologies will never be enough. But several evangelicals went for the false hope because they lacked biblical hope.
These evangelicals saw no future for the Christian faith on earth. They did believe in Christ’s return. But they failed to see Christ’s reign on earth. They did not conceive of Christ as in the process of striking down the nations and spreading peace. They missed the good news that Isaac Watts wrote about in the well-known Christmas hymn,
No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found
Rejecting the intersectional lie is essential. But we must do more. We are in great need of developing Christian thought and practice that leaves no room for the lies that come about through “philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world” (Colossians 2:8).
So out with the world’s rudiments. And in with Christ’s rudiments. And from those first principles of Christ will come the opposite of vain deceit, fulsome truths. Fulsome truths that will leave no room for the seven demons coming more wicked than intersectionality.