Tony Evans suggests ‘biblical response’ to critical race theory as tensions mount
As tensions continue to mount nationally over critical race theory, prominent Dallas Pastor Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship has suggested a “biblical response” to the controversial “social construct” called “Kingdom race theology.”
“I define 'Kingdom race theology' as the reconciled recognition, affirmation and celebration of the divinely created ethnic differences through which God displays His multifaceted glory, as His people justly, righteously and responsibly function personally and corporately in unity under the Lordship of Jesus Christ," Evans said during a comprehensive presentation on critical race theory with his church on Wednesday, July 14. The session was followed by part two on Wednesday, July 21.
"My concern is that we as Christians will spend so much time fighting off a CRT, we don’t get around to KRT."
Evans’ presentation on CRT comes as the subject continues to explode in religious and secular spheres, fueling tribal divisions.
Several states have sought to limit CRT teaching in classrooms. During a speech to conservatives in Phoenix, Arizona, former President Donald Trump called CRT a “poisonous left-wing doctrine” and “flagrant racism” that is being forced in “every facet of our society.”
"Earlier this year, Biden signed an executive order pushing toxic, critical race theory into our children’s schools and into our military," Trump said on Saturday, Fox News reported. "This poisonous left-wing doctrine is flagrant racism, plain and simple, and it has no place in our schools, no place in our military and no place in our country."
In Evans' presentation earlier this month, the pastor sought to give a measured explanation of the theory.
He defined CRT as "a post-Civil Rights, social construct … that seeks to demonstrate how unjust laws have served as … the embedded foundation and filter through which racist attitudes, behavior, policies and structures have been rooted throughout the fabric of America, American life and systems even after those laws were changed.”
“So the fruit, like Adam’s sin carries fruit, the fruit of unrighteous laws still express themselves in the structures of society, whether they’re educational, whether they’re political, whether they are social, whether they deal with criminal justice issues, whether they’re economic," he said.
"Because the laws [previously] affected all of society, it, therefore, infiltrated all of society — the argument of CRT goes — so that even today, many people have to struggle with the issue of racism, not because it’s a law, but because it’s an environment that was affected by laws."
Evans, who leads a predominantly black congregation, went on to define other terms, including "racism" and "systemic racism."
He defined "racism" as the "conscious or subconscious or unconscious belief in the superiority of one race over another race or ethnicities, which manifests itself in a variety of dismissive, oppressive, exploitive ways."
The author defined "systemic racism" as the "presence of secular resultant effects of racist practices and processes embedded in and shaping the social, political, economic, legal, educational, infrastructural, medical systems and policies of a society initially established and perpetuated by the government."
"These then overlap and interconnect in such a way as to give an unjust advantage of resources, rights, mindsets and privilege for a majority number of one race while denying or limiting it to a majority number of another race or ethnicities," he said, adding: "This is often called white privilege."
The Dallas pastor explained how the conversation on CRT became conflated with other issues, such as The 1619 Project developed by Nikole Hannah-Jones for The New York Times and the Black Lives Matter organization. Many Christians oppose BLM due to its support for unbiblical values concerning the family and transgenderism.
“CRT was concerned about racist laws. CRT was not concerned with ‘1619;’ ‘1619’ came after CRT, but it got plugged into it. So now the issue is, is CRT saying that America was established to be a racist nation? So now, CRT has gotten pregnant with a bigger issue about the definition of America,” Evans said.
Since CRT has been conflated with different issues that people can’t seem to agree on, Evans suggested his "Kingdom race theology" as a solution inspired by Ephesians 2.
“Now, let me defend my new thing. Go to Ephesians 2 ... and I’ll highlight, I’ll walk through this and hit the high points. ‘Therefore remember that formally you [are] the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision,’ okay? That’s the way the Jews, the circumcision, called the Gentiles. They called them names. They called them the N-word," Evans explained. "The Jews, circumcision, would look at a Gentile and call them uncircumcision. Or, and sometimes they call them uncircumcised dogs. So it was demeaning."
"This is Paul writing the Christians at Ephesus," he added. "These are Jews and Gentiles in the same church. And Paul says y’all used to call each other names. You know why they did, [because] that was their history, their background, it was their reality.”
Evans noted that despite the history between the Jews and the Gentiles in the Church at the time, the Apostle Paul encouraged them in Scripture to find common ground as Christians.
“Paul has to make this point: ‘Y’all are now Christians, you’re going to the same Church. So it’s time for new rules,'" he stated. "I know there was racial division, and there’s a lot of racial issues in the Bible. I know all of that. But let me tell you how we [are going to] move forward from here.’ He says, call the uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision."
The pastor stressed that if people are "spending more time discussing CRT" than they are discussing "KRT," then they have been "tricked by the world."
"You should know about it. You should understand it. I’ve tried to give you a brief overview. But no, no, no, [Paul] says, ‘No.’ We got to start now," Evans stressed. "We got the history. He even says we were name-calling. But now, in Christ, there are new rules. And if you will abide by the new rules of Christ, we will create something new."
Evans assured that while the world fights, Christians "have peace in [the Church] because we’re operating on one new man."
"When I drink my coffee, I got black coffee, but I got white cream. ... Well, what I do is, I put white cream in black coffee. When I put white cream in black coffee, I got something new [because] what I started with is not how it looks right now. What was white and black is now brown because I have put something new together, which makes it drinkable for me."
Evans told the audience that “God can’t drink what we’re offering Him."
"Because black people are offering him black. White people are offering Him white," Evans said. "And God said you better put some cream up in this coffee.”