There is much more that could be said here. And I’ll preface this with saying I’m an idiot on much of this stuff. However, I do believe I’m making a correct observation here.
In the book Coddling of the American Mind the authors note two types of identity politics. One, the way of MLK, seeks change by convincing people of a shared humanity. You make people more human, not less, then appeal to their humanity.
The second type of identity politic is common-enemy identity. Here we are United against a common foe. We are identified by who we are not, and who we are trying to keep power from. You make change by stripping the enemy of power.
I really do believe this second type of identity politic IS dangerous and antithetical to the gospel. Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood. Christ unites. Our goal isn’t power, it’s to become human again. This only happens through the cruciform life that Christ has purchased for us.
And I think many within CBN, Founders, etc are fearful of, and in their minds opposed to, this type of identity politic. They have seen people silence just for being white and it’s scary to them. Will this silence our gospel efforts? What happens if the liberal Marxists are at the helm?
But they’re actually employing the tool they are trying to destroy. They are uniting around a common foe. Yes, the Conservative Resurgence and it’s proud children use a common enemy identity politic.
We must strip from power all liberal Marxists who employ CRT because they are dangerous is the same philosophy as we must strip white people of power because they are dangerous. You’re just disagreeing about who is the problem.
This is why they must broad brush and say ALL insights from CRT are unhelpful. There isn’t room for nuance in a common enemy politic, because you must dehumanize your opponent.
I believe the divide right now within the SBC is really centered around this. Many have been convinced of a common humanity politic and we view our engagement with the word differently. Its what allows something like resolution 9. It’s what allows me to listen and hear things within CRT/I that can build bridges to the gospel and help provide understanding and ultimately healing. Does CRT help me view someone as more human? That’s a different way of viewing the world.
But there is always a temptation to grab hold of that common foe politic. And I see that happening too. I believe we are battling for the soul of the SBC. And it’s won not by dehumanizing and labeling but by enlarging the humanity of those who disagree, then appealing to that humanity.
This isn’t a call to just play nice. We can’t be content with a system filled with narcissistic abusers who will do anything to stay in power and perpetuate a system to their benefit. We can’t be content when thousands of abuse cases were reported and we disfellowship two churches.
But we fight this by appealing to humanity and saying, “you can’t be okay with this.” You can’t be okay with an empty call for revival when we have blood on our hands. With all that Christ has done, with all he is calling us to, with his heart for the vulnerable, can you really be content with just staying in power? Or will you use that power to speak for every vulnerable even if it means losing power? Or will you dehumanize and dismiss by labeling every appeal as Marxism? Surely your soul is bigger than that.
There is more to be said here but I’m hoping here to get a bit of a conversation started here on the type of identity politics we are employing.