From our Founder
We are blessed to have the the support and wisdom of Tracy Lawerence on Inspiration Academy’s Board of Directors. Recently she expressed her thoughts on our current culture, and I wanted to share that with you. I completely support her sentiments.
~Eddie Speir, Founder
The past three and a half months headlines have been inundated with the cultural “new normal.” COVID-19. Social Distancing. Riots and Protesting. Anti-Police Hate. Black Lives Matter. How do we navigate in these days in ways that allow us to continue to live blamelessly before God and at peace with all men? As believers, we have a responsibility to think well and to be informed by a biblical worldview, making sure we are not slipping from sound doctrine.
When pestilence, violence, and uncivilized responses arise, the moral decay is exposed in a nation. I’m reminded of Scott Wesley-Brown’s prophetic words written over 30 years ago: “And over half the world is starving, while a banner of decency is torn. Debating over disarmament, killing children before their born. And fools who march, to win the right to justify their sin. Every nation that has fallen, has fallen from within.”
It’s time to examine our convictions, and why we believe what we believe. What is the message behind the campaign “Black Lives Matter?” Is it coming from a biblical perspective? At first glance, it may seem right to join in the social pressure and validate a movement/people group who have been historically oppressed. However, when the thinking behind the theology is examined, it’s a familiar old enemy repackaged.
Critical theory is a social philosophy that critiques society based upon power structures and groups, which are rooted in Marxism-Freudian, and postmodern thought. It compartmentalizes/labels people to expose the oppressed. The primary goal is to help overcome the social structures and domination from the opposing groups who are the oppressors. This theory is pervasive and has crept into the Body of Christ in frameworks of feminism, Black theology, and other liberation theologies. All these social groupings have one common thread: a quest for power and “liberation.” However, freedom is not found in domination according to the Christian worldview. Liberty is found in Christ: “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” This ideology is not just out on a quest to be an equal, but rather to dominate the oppressor. Ironically, it only creates more oppressed, fragmented, labeled groups who remain segregated. Believers need to examine closely why this only leads to more violence and unrest, not equality. This system breeds a lust for power.
We can depend on Scripture to help us in these times to see things as Our Creator-God sees them. God has always been about liberation and dealt with the source of our bondage—sin—by sending His Son to die for all humanity. He radically freed us from our spiritual slavery, so we all could be equal at the foot of the Cross. Jesus proclaimed, “I have come to set the captives free.” Oppression comes from sin, not a skin color, or a gender, or an ethnicity. Sin enters social systems, institutions, and ideologies because a fallen humanity is seeking power for all the wrong reasons. For the believer life is not a quest for power, but rather it is a life of servanthood.
Servanthood is about caring for the oppressed, and Scripture has some strong words against those who oppress: “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31). Jeremiah 22:3 says: “Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood.” Here, the king of Judah and his people are told to not use power for personal advantage, but rather rule in justice and righteousness. Justice in Hebrew means, “making right decisions according to God’s commands and laws. Righteousness means, “what is correct according to God’s norms and moral standards.” God’s people were marked to help carry out this mandate, and the Messiah will carry it to completion: “With justice he judges and wages war” (Rev 19:11).
Dallas Willard said, “This aching world is waiting for the people explicitly identified with Christ to be, through and through, the people he intends them to be. …There is no other hope on earth.” Identity must be found in Christ first for a person to be free. It’s then the submitted Christ-follower can be more effectually helping a neighbor, whoever she may be. For the disciple, all lives matter. We must examine prayerfully the noonday bandwagons that roll by, and let our faith inform our thinking. “Father, may we choose humility and servanthood, not position and power. May we repent of our sinful divisiveness, so that we might be sustained by Your grace. Amen.”