The title may sound slightly hyperbolic but it is actually accurate. I’ve taken inspiration from Dr. Jason Lisle’s fantastic book, The Ultimate Proof of Creation. This article will equip you to answer social justice and critical race theory, even when it is presented in the guise of church teaching. Given how quickly the social justice virus is infecting even conservative churches, this is something people need to understand, and quickly so that they can stand for the authority of the Bible.
There are a couple of underlying assumptions that keep the social justice and critical race theory narrative from falling apart under its own weight. The first assumption is that every “group”, be it an ethnic group, be it a deviant sexual preference, be it gender, whatever shares the same lived experience. In other words, every member of the group shares the same kind of life experiences, both good and bad. The second assumption is that groups in power always work to keep their own group in power. The third assumption is that the current generation of whatever group in question inherits the actions of their ancestors, be it their guilt or their suffering. The fourth assumption is that a person from outside the group cannot understand the lived experience of the group, or their shared heritage. The fifth assumption is that the more intersections, or more minority groups you identify as, the more oppressed you are. In the case of the United States, the group in power in their view is white, straight, males. Therefore the more of those things you aren’t, the more oppressed you are.
Obviously, this runs counter to all logic but logic and social justice are polar opposites. Social justice warriors operate solely on emotion. Never the less, I think I’ve figured out how to respond to these individuals in a way that, while it probably won’t impact a hardened social justice warrior, it may keep the silent observers from falling into their garbage. It does not involve evidence. As JD Greear was so kind to tell us, “let’s not talk about stats right now”. While Greear is a disgrace as president of the SBC, he actually isn’t far wrong here, except he’s well off base on his reason why we should not present stats. Stats have their place and are definitely worth bringing out if someone is merely ignorant, for a conditioned social justice warrior, the ultimate weapon needs to come out.
The ultimate weapon when it comes to dealing with the social justice warrior is what is termed an internal worldview critique. You need to know a little bit about the worldview you are critiquing in order to do this but, if you do, false worldviews implode under scrutiny. However, it does require you to presuppose that the Bible is true. If you are an evidentialist and you want to reach people who have been conditioned into social justice, you will need to morph into a presuppositional position to use this.
There is Scriptural support for an internal worldview critique. Proverbs 26:4-5 tells us “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” At first glance, these verses seem contradictory. However, upon closer inspection, there is a meaning here. We are not to answer a fool, (which the Bible consistently defines to mean one who rejects God) in a manner that allows him to dictate the terms of the discussion. In other words, we should not accept his assumptions and argue from there. We can, however, temporarily assume his starting point is true, in order to show him we have an answer to him as it says in verse 5. This is what the internal worldview critique does. It temporarily adopts the fools worldview, takes it apart from the inside, then steps out and picks up the pieces.
The way to do this is quite simple. Assume the social justice worldview is true, then apply it logically. Let me demonstrate. My brother was involved in an argument with a “black” gentleman on social media over this issue. The “black” gentleman was alleging all kinds of horrible systematic racism and that my brother could not understand the “black experience” because he was “white”. So I left a comment which stated “If he can’t understand your experience as a “black” man, then you can’t understand his heritage as a “white” man. Therefore you have no right to tell him how to view his history, just like he would have no right to tell you how to view yours.” In other words, if I as a “white” person cannot understand a “black” person’s lived experience, then how can he understand mine? This simple bit of logic was enough for him to stop responding.
The idea of an internal worldview critique will work on anything. Were someone to say, as Christianity Today did recently, that the church should make reparations to African Americans to compensate them for their past slavery, the appropriate response is not to point out no one alive today was a slave or a slave owner. The correct response is to be just as ridiculous as they are. “Ok, but you need to pay reparations to me because I carry the legacy of the suffering of my ancestors who were wounded or died to free the slaves. So you need to pay me reparations for the legacy of pain caused by thousands of fatherless homes and destroyed lives.” might be a good response. If they object, simply point out they cannot possibly understand your lived experience.
Now some of my evidentialist friends may be wondering how this relates to presuppositionalism. The answer is quite simple. The social justice warrior makes a bunch of upfront assumptions. Evidence will not change his mind. Therefore, you must presuppose his worldview, to show him that his own logic defeats him. Once his worldview has been gently demolished from within, he will be much more likely to listen to a Biblical perspective. Because winning arguments is not the goal. Winning people to Christ is the goal.
It is important to remember that we need to engage in arguments in a Christ-like manner. We need to ensure we are not simply attacking the individual and that we are expressing ourselves in a manner that is not hostile or overbearing. We do not want to be a stumbling block to anyone coming to faith in Christ. Thus when using the internal worldview critique, do so gently. When the person’s worldview inevitably collapses, and it will if you do it correctly, you want them to be willing to listen to the answers you offer, not be turned away by your attitude. Still, it is a powerful tool and I think it is a guaranteed way to win any logical argument with a supporter of social justice.
Of course, in an ultimate sense, logical arguments are not ends in themselves. The goal is to reach people with the Gospel. If you can do that, the argument will resolve itself with time. Remember to keep the Gospel paramount.
Do you know what’s going to happen when you die? Are you completely sure? If you aren’t, please read this or listen to this. You can know where you will spend eternity. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to talk to you.