Tony Evans, a Pelagian and the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX, recently preached a sermon that has been making its rounds through Big Eva and being lauded as a really good “solution” to the problem of Critical Race Theory in Evangelicalism. That sermon can be heard at this link.
Evans begins by presenting Critical Race Theory in a light that is not completely compatible with Scripture–which he is correct–and that it tends to divide people rather than unite them. While Evans did rightly acknowledge many of the ills of Critical Race Theory (CRT), his so-called “solution” to it, which he dubbed “KRT” for “Kingdom Race Theory.”
While Evans verbally denounced Critical Race Theory, he still presented racial tensions in the Church much in the same way that Critical Race Theory does. He presents a picture of a racial divide in America that is rooted in systemic racism and argues that white supremacy is still the problem part of the problem in the Black community.
Evans also distinguishes between Black Lives Matter–the movement and the organization. And while he discredits the organization, he appears to argue that the movement itself is legitimate. He compares the Black Lives Matter movement to the pro-life movement and argues that they both place an emphasis on a certain group of people who are being killed unjustly and at inordinate rates. The fact, however, is that this is demonstrably false and has been disproven repeatedly.
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Evans’ view of racial injustice in this country is not far removed from Critical Race Theory despite the fact that he acknowledges it to be toxic.
While Evans’ proposed solution to racial issues may not be as radical as far-left racial agitators like Jemar Tisby and Jarvis Williams, it is still not without its problems. Chiefly, its largest problem is that it’s still attempting to present a solution to a problem that, in reality, either doesn’t exist or exists differently than what has been presented. Evans solution, which he attempts to present out of Ephesians 2, suggests the solution to racial division in the Church is to take “blackness” and “whiteness” and mix them together to present something that God will accept.
This proposal is actually horrible as Evans contends that God will not accept our worship unless we take some kind of action that the Scriptures do not actually command us to take.
Evans gives an illustration to make this point–which appears to be the entire thesis of his sermon.
“When I drink my coffee, I got black coffee, but I got white cream,” Evans says. “Well, what I do is, I put white cream in black coffee. When I put white cream in black coffee, I got something new, because what I started with is not how it looks right now. What was white and black is now brown because I have put something new together, which makes it drinkable for me.”
Evans then said that “God can’t drink what we’re offering Him.”
“Because black people are offering him black. White people are offering Him white,” Evans continued. “And God said you better put some cream up in this coffee.”
Evans’ distinction between “white Christianity” and “black Christianity,” again, is not far removed from the premise of Critical Race Theory which has drawn artificial, cultural lines in the Church. The Scriptures do not make a distinction and, in fact, the Scriptures clearly deny that there is any distinction between cultures, ethnicities, people groups, etc. when we come together as Christians (Galatians 3:28). Evans suggests that the only way God will accept our worship is if we mix our cultures together to create something new–this is unbiblical and very dangerous. The Scriptures nowhere state this.
Evans further suggests that that Black Christians should be slow to pass judgment on White Christians when a White Christian says or does something that triggers “racial sensitivities.” He gave an example of how Black people can be “sensitive” to being called “boy” because of historical treatment, but then warned about passing “illegitimate judgment” because that person using the term might not know or understand that history.
Some people do what they do because of the system they’re in, not because of the person they are. But if you take the system and put the system on top of the person, you may be letting a system judge a person when the person is not agreeing with the system. And unless that exists, at least within the church, within the Body of Christ, we will not have the kind of impact and influence that God wants us to have.
Rightfully, Evans condemns the judgment, however, again, it is still false to assume that “systems” are the problem here. This, of course, is a conclusion one can only come to by employing Critical Race Theory. Instead of giving too much deference to these “racial sensitivities,” we should be correcting them with facts. Another example of a “racial sensitivity” is Black people being afraid to get pulled over by a cop. The reason they’re afraid is that they’re conditioned – by CRT – to be afraid. Instead of comforting them and trying to empathize with them (which is sinful), we should offer loving correction and point out that their fear is irrational.
Evans’ solution appears to be right in line with much of what Big Evangelicism has embraced. It is a watered-down, softer version of Critical Race Theory that still paints “whiteness” as the root of the problem which, in fact, it is not. Evans does this. While he at least admonishes Black people to be willing to come together with White people in the Church, the division that exists is still due to the rhetoric of people like Evans himself who continue to create this problem that needs to be fixed.