As His Second Coming approached, Jesus taught, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11; all references KJV). That has certainly come to pass. We have had many false secular prophets over the past two hundred years or so, from Marx to Freud to Foucault, whose toxic, dehumanizing ideas have alienated people from God and led to much human pain, suffering, and death. Indeed, they have deceived many.
The most dangerous false prophets, however, are those who wrap themselves in the cloak of religion, who “come to [us] in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15), as Jesus so pointedly put it. Today, one of those wolves in sheep’s clothing is Ibram X. Kendi, a “scholar of race” and professor at Boston University best-known for propagating abhorrent Critical Race Theory and the grotesquely misnamed “Anti-Racism” ideology.
It is not my place to question Kendi’s personal relationship with God or say he’s not a Christian. That call will be made far above my paygrade. I do, however, have every right to evaluate his rhetoric, which is decidedly anti-Christian. Nor would I normally, in my public arguments, cite the Bible as evidence, for the simple reason that anyone who doesn’t believe the Bible would probably not be persuaded. In this case, however, I feel free to do so, since Kendi himself frequently references the Bible (at least in a general way) and many of us who oppose him do so on Biblical grounds. Whether Kendi has actually read the Bible, or understood it if he did, I will leave for you to judge.
In a recent interview onAIR.TV, Kendi explained the difference between Black Liberation Theology (remember Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor?) and what he calls “Savior Theology.” A self-described “preacher’s kid,” Kendi noted that his parents were “both Christians who imagined that the church was supposed to be an engine of liberation, that Christianity was supposed to be an engine of liberation for Blacks and other folks.”
He goes on to define “Savior Theology” as “the form of Christianity that 80% of Evangelicals had when they voted for Donald Trump.” Those irredeemable deplorables (my words) believe, Kendi says, that “the job of the Christian is to go out and save these individuals who are behaviorally deficient. In other words, we’re to bring them into the church, these individuals who are doing all of these evil, sinful things, and heal them, save them.”
By comparison, he argues, Black Liberation Theology postulates that “Jesus was a revolutionary” and that “the job of the Christian is to liberate society from the powers on Earth that are oppressing humanity.” He equates this view with “Anti-Racism,” which he says “fundamentally rejects Savior Theology. That goes right in line with racist ideas and racist theology that says Black people and other races are struggling on Earth because of things that have gone wrong. That type of theology,” he concludes, “breeds racism.”
Well, no. Kendi is entitled to his view but not to imply that it any way comports with the Bible. It is exactly the opposite of what Jesus and those who testified of Him taught. For God, who is no respecter of persons, none of this is about race. I can’t imagine that, when God looks upon His children, He even sees race or any other physical characteristics. Remember, “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Nor is there anything in Christian theology that suggests Black people, or people of any other ethnicity, are more sinful or “behaviorally deficient” than anyone else. “All we, like sheep, have gone astray,” says a true prophet. “We have turned, every one, to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). The Apostle Paul adds, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The truth is, we are all “behaviorally deficient.” We’re all sinners, in need of a Savior. That is precisely the point—one that Kendi apparently misses or more likely ignores.
And what about this popular, post-modern notion that Jesus was some kind of hippy, Che Guevara-like “revolutionary”? If you’ve read the Gospels, you know one of the main reasons Jesus was rejected by the Jews of his day was that they were looking for an earthly Messiah, not a spiritual one. Chafing under Roman rule, they had hoped and prayed for physical and political salvation. He basically sealed His own fate when he acknowledged that His “kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). That wasn’t what they wanted to hear.
Yes, He did come to “preach deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18)—but not in the way they expected, and not in the way Kendi means. Through His grace, He saves us from the bondage of sin, not the bondage of man. That certainly does not excuse slavery; far from it. Slaveholders who attempted to use the Bible to justify their actions were guilty of profound heresy. Unfortunately for him and his followers, Kendi has gone just as far off the rails in the other direction. His “theology,” in its own way, is just as racist as theirs.
In short, Kendi’s false gospel is one of hate, recrimination, licentiousness, division, and ultimately misery. True Christianity, which is indeed founded on our belief in the Savior and our own need of salvation, breeds love, tolerance, forgiveness, repentance, unity, and joy. I invite people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities to embrace the one true Messiah and not to follow after false prophets like Ibram X. Kendi.