Critical Race Theory at Central Baptist Theological Seminary

It is such a heavy task to mark error that very few are willing to do it, yet it is heavier to contemplate the growth of cancer unchecked. At pace with the world, critical theory and cultural marxism have been growing in the Southern Baptist Convention as well as other spheres, and many godly men have opposed it in the SBC. I had assumed that an institution like Central would have done the same, and perhaps they will gain courage to hold to truth in this area in the future. I have written to Dr. Bauder and a separate letter to the administrators. Dr. Bauder gave a short, supportive reply, but neither the administration nor the authors have responded.

28 July 2020

Dear Dr. Morrell and Faculty of CBTS,

Having already written to Dr. Bauder privately, it seemed best to address the leadership of a school that has often proved a blessing to me. The graduates and faculty of CBTS have helped me with the Word of God on numerous occasions. I have come to think of CBTS as an institution following the best of the last 100 years of American Christianity, and it has been on my short list of seminaries for my sons.

In the the last four weeks’ (26 June, 3, 10, 17 July) issues of In The Nick of Time, I was consecutively disappointed, alarmed, shocked, and angered for two broad reasons. While I do not know the men who wrote the articles, I have no doubt that they love the Lord Jesus, have preached his word faithfully, and led souls to Christ.

Problem #1: The most pressing issues facing American blacks were ignored.

1. Crime
How many black people have been killed by other black citizens since George Floyd died? There has been, predictably, an explosion of violence against innocent citizens as well as police officers and even little children. Why was this violence not covered in the articles?

2. Poverty produced by rioting
Economic devastation has come to blacks because of the riots or the ungodly governance that for many years has hindered the poorest communities. The principles of biblical economics are directly related to Christian discipleship as well as the flourishing or languishing of any people in a free society.  

3. Abortion
What about the black genocide of murdering black babies in the womb? Should any societal problem be talked about as frequently or denounced as strongly as this?

4. Fatherlessness
What about fatherlessness in black homes which has skyrocketed since the civil rights movement? How can black commentators like Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, and Candace Owens as well as Christians like Voddie Baucham, Doug Wilson, and Paul Schlehlein see this problem, but not CBTS?

5. Culture
Ben Shapiro does not have enough grace to realize that Isaiah 53 speaks about the Messiah, and yet he could tell that most of the problems in the black community come from culture. Even CNN’s Don Lemon was addressed black culture, but not the leading public voice of fundamentalism?

The last four articles ignored all these concerns and in a few lines sounded like a Washington Post opinion piece. If these men truly write out of concern for black people, then why not deal with the real causes of their misery?

Problem #2: Worldly presuppositions formed the basis of the articles.

1. Assuming that racism is a major problem for American blacks.
Even the questions treated in the articles imply a systemic problem of racism in America. When great problems actually face black and white Americans, the articles chose to deal with categories created by critical theory as if that godless philosophy has some real insight for the church. If a black man does not have the right to vote or freedom before the law or the freedom to choose his own job, show us what things we can change, and we will gladly join you to remove needless government laws and overreach that impede the freedom guaranteed in the Constitution.

No minority has been more oppressed than the Jews, yet why don’t we have articles about their feelings? Because they move on and claim their next Nobel Prize. Prager U has even published a video by a black man urging black men to stop the victim mentality. It is more fitting to Pliable than to Christian to give space to a discussion about how hard life is in modern America because of racism. 

If this is “extremely callous and un-Christian” then why does Larry Elder’s new documentary “Uncle Tom” express this sentiment? Isn’t it insulting and un-Christian to think that black people are a fragile group that need to be coddled in order to succeed? Frederick Douglass thought so. In this way, these articles have assumed—like the world—the degrading conclusion that black people cannot do what the Jews, Slavs, Britons, and practically every other group has done throughout history.

2. Asserting the key tenets of critical theory.
The authors encourage us to divide ourselves on racial lines—not even by culture, and apparently resurrect past crimes done by other people who looked like us to other people who looked like them. “I believe White Christians should do the same.” That is, in the previous paragraph, they should be elated when another white does something good. This sounds like vain glory at best and a prescription for “anti-racism work” promoted by cultural Marxists. If a Swede and a Nigerian moved to America in 1970, they must regard all whites and blacks in this way even in the church? Christians today must “seize every opportunity [in books, church, university, TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, Facebook, and text messages] to publicly recognize” the evil of people who have a certain skin color? Was that lifted from a chapter in Robin Diangelo’s White Fragility?

If this thinking goes on consistently, it will soon explain that Whites (with a capital W) are part of the power structure, especially if they are men, if they marry women, if they worship Jesus, and if they own a business. All “these people” do not understand the “lived experiences” of Blacks (with a capital B) especially if those blacks are also women, if they give themselves to sexual perversion, if they worship the state, and if they are poor. It is now unclear who at Central Baptist Seminary believes these terrible pillars of multiculturalism because there were too many supportive statements and terms taken from this unbiblical movement.

Sociology, which Neil Postman says, “can in no sense except the most trivial be called science,” is used as the basis to promote the idea that the police in America are the bad guys. Having lived in Africa for 16 years I can testify to having been pulled over with my teammate by a pick up truck full of police who threatened us with automatic rifles. I have been stopped 29 times in 30 hours for bribes. Why not let a conservative black who was also a police officer speak about his “lived experiences”? 

Worst of all, the third bullet in Article 3 asserted the essence of critical theory and multiculturalism.

“For the White Christian, confession must be given before God and man for the failings of forefathers, biological or national, and even spiritual leaders, for the history they have made, and the product of their complicity and any suspicious theology that have brought us to where we are today.”

According to these articles, I and my sons must confess our racism while mainly black people have rioted and destroyed black homes and black businesses. Every week over the last two months record breaking numbers of black lives that are supposed to matter in Chicago have been snuffed out by criminals, and at this time, what the church needs to hear, what Christian pastors need to ponder is, how to be Woke?

Conclusion

My position is similar to Voddie Baucham, John MacArthur, Tom Ascol, and Scott Aniol as articulated often in public and crisply in The Statement on Social Justice. Currently, CBTS is taking the world’s position and participating in the unfruitful works of darkness, and Christians should be alarmed. If you will not retract the errors that have been printed, can you at least balance the scales by treating critical theory, cultural Marxism, white guilt, intersectionality, anti-racism, and radical feminism to the public hanging these Diabolonians deserve?

D’Aubigne’s History of the Reformation in England is filled with examples of men whose lives made courage incarnate though like Stephen their bones were broken. Academia is not typically the haunt of men of courage, but Central has been better in the past than the worldly academy. Are there none left from the ranks of the previously militant? I and a number of others would like to know what we can expect from CBTS. King Joash began in righteousness, but ended in ignominy (2 Chron. 24). I pray that CBTS will prove rather like Josiah, or Aragorn, or Tirian.

Sincerely,

Seth Meyers

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