By Levi Secord
There is a reckoning coming for the American church, and it’s not what most people think. In the aftermath of the unjust killing of George Floyd, I’ve witnessed Christians and fellow pastors flock to cultural Marxism, critical race theory, and intersectionality to confess their sins and seek cultural salvation. I know many of my brothers, even those in leadership, have their hearts in the right place, but that’s not good enough. Cultural Marxism is a rival religion; it is opposed to Christianity and seeks to stamp it out. Turning to cultural Marxism to condemn an evil is akin to turning to Islam to help evangelize the world. Both of these ideologies cannot coexist in the hearts of Christians.
To be clear, I believe what happened to George Floyd to be evil and inexcusable. Also I think that much of what has happened since his death is equally vile and sinful before God. God will judge all of it. The fact that many statements coming from churches, denominations, and pastors only condemn the one sin while ignoring other connected sins demonstrates a blind partiality and a submission to worldly agendas. God hates all sin, and the Christian message is addressed to every man’s sin, calling them to repent and believe in Christ. It appears the American church is mostly concerned with confronting only what the world wants us to, while ignoring our culture’s precious little idols. Lord have mercy on us as we abandon our charge to call everyone, everywhere to repent.
Why am I so concerned? Because cultural Marxism is sinful before God, and we have Christian leaders promoting it! This ideology aims at overthrowing the hegemony (the beliefs and concepts held by the majority). It asserts the hegemony is inherently oppressive to minorities. This hegemony consists of those who are white, male, Christian, straight, able-bodied, etc. In this thinking, the majority need not be actually oppressive, the mere fact that it is the majority and that it isn’t Marxist is enough for condemnation. The goal of this Marxist movement is to overthrow these structures and beliefs in order to replace them with tenets of Marxism. When Christians set themselves against the supposed hegemonic power (white privilege, whiteness, systemic injustice, etc.), they unwittingly align themselves with the very wolves who will one day turn to devour the church. Opposing injustice is not the problem, but defining injustice according to Marxist dogma and offering anti-Christian solutions is. For a pastor to partner with the wolves, is inexcusable. For churches to stand in solidarity with those who aim to oppress the sheep, is treasonous. There is no hope found in cultural Marxism, none whatsoever.
The Tricks of Satan
Satan only has a couple of moves. Unfortunately, they routinely work. One of those moves is to offer solutions that are worse than the current state of affairs. Satan suggested Adam and Eve had a problem when there was no problem. He convinced Eve she was lacking and offered her fruit to eat as the solution. The results were catastrophic. To Christ in his hunger, Satan tempted him to turn stones into bread. If Christ had taken the bait, there would be no hope left for mankind. The very solutions Satan offers always lead to our destruction.
This fate is true of all forms of Marxism. Traditional Marxism sought to liberate the working class from the oppression of capitalism and the bourgeoisie. As Satan offered this fruit and Russia took it, it led to a bloody revolution and the murder of millions. Did Marxism liberate workers? No, instead, workers were worse off than before, trapped in poverty and oppression for generations. Eventually, Communist Russia murdered tens of millions of those it promised to liberate, all in the name of Marxism. This story was repeated again and again as countries turned to Marxism for salvation. Marxism is the most bloodstained belief system of the last century with hundreds of millions murdered. Instead of being saved by Marxism, those who ran to it got a form of Hell on earth. Marxism only has the power to destroy.
Cultural Marxism aims to bring about the same liberation but through changing the culture. It pits grieved classes of minorities against the hegemony (the oppressive majority). In this way, it fragments society into an endless amount of identity groups all trumpeting their victimhood, crying out for redemption. What we are witnessing in our cities, in my cities (I live in the Twin Cities), is the fruit of this division as the hate between these groups boils over into our own Bolshevik Revolution. If anyone thinks cultural Marxism will produce significantly different fruit than that of its mother tree, I have no words for such folly. Cultural Marxism is Satan’s proposed solution to perceived problems (some of them real, many not so much). Nonetheless, it has no power to save and only brings further suffering and evil. And as with traditional Marxism, it will be the marginalized who suffer the most. Satan’s tricks are not new. Neither are the consequences of believing him. Christians, if you really want to help the marginalized, cultural Marxism ain’t it.
The Hopelessness of Postmodern Diversity
Cultural Marxism feeds off of our postmodern mood, our rejection of universal truth. In The Holy Trinity, Robert Letham discusses how the doctrine of the Trinity uniquely lays the groundwork for a unity-in-diversity. When a movement lacks the foundation for either unity or diversity, problems arise. Letham writes, “Islam is a militant and monolithic unifying principle, with no provision for diversity, but postmodernism is a militant diversifying principle without a basis for unity” (xxvii). Islam’s belief in a unitarian god eventually flattens all diversity into submission to its theological foundations. This reality marks many countries with a strong Islamic influence.
Conversely, postmodernism pushes diversity without any basis for unity. Without universal truth, there is no recognition of God, and so any basis for unity vanishes. All that is left is fragmentation. We are witnessing the fruit of this ideology. Our blind focus on diversity leads some to condemn those who call for Christian unity. Such disregard for one of the major themes of the New Testament is both breathtaking and horrifyingly unbiblical.
Postmodernism fuels much of cultural Marxism, especially when it comes to intersectional diversity. Who needs unity when we can focus on what separates us to gain the status of a victim? If Christians only emphasize our diversity, then there is no hope for peace or unity. This is the natural fruit of postmodernism and cultural Marxism—there is no basis for unity, and unity is not the goal. What a hopeless path! Why, Christians, would we ever turn this way?
To all of this, Christians affirm a unity-in-diversity as our God is three in one and one in three. We understand the diversity of mankind and his unity. In Adam, we are one. In Christ, all types of individuals are united by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. In Christ, all our other identifiers don’t disappear, but they do fade to the background. Our identity in him trumps everything else. At least, it should. As cultural Marxism and its militant diversity fragments us and inflames hostility, it is only the Christian message that can effectively combat it. We do not need the tools of an ideology that only seeks division and destruction.
Standing Against the Wolves & Offering Hope
Pastors and Christian leaders, the church must not to take its cues from the unbelieving world. We must not stand with those following Satan. What is required is a distinctively Christian witness. Preaching the gospel to all is our job. Such preaching involves looking at people as individuals who are made in the image of God, not primarily as members of different identity groups. Preaching this gospel means confronting all sins, especially those viewed as acceptable. Placing people’s primary identity in their ‘race’ goes against the message of the gospel. When Christ said you must hate your family to be his disciple, this clearly applies to our ‘racial’ ancestry as well. You cannot make that identifier primary. If you do, then you cannot be Christ’s disciple (Luke 14:25-33).
There are many wolves out there that pastors like me must fend off. Faithfulness means opposing traditional racism that dominated past generations, and the new acceptable form of racism found in cultural Marxism, critical race theory, and intersectionality. All of these wicked ideologies are wolves, and those charged with shepherding the flock purchased by Christ must oppose all of them without hesitation and qualification. Anything less is a dereliction of duty.
We have the hope of the gospel, and the wonder of it is that it puts all of us equal before God in our sin. The self-righteousness that drives much of the progressive movement is evident for all to see. They see themselves as the sinless ones, the ones who, if they confess the sins of prior generations, will prove how clean and separate they are from others. If the church affirms this self-righteousness and refuses to call these ones to repentance, then we leave them without hope. God’s justice is impartial, and he won’t excuse people of their wickedness because their agenda is woke enough.
To look at the plight of sinners and not be moved to preach the gospel shows a cruel indifference. The gospel message brings this double unity. First, it humbles everyone before God as sinners by birth and by choice. By nature, objects of wrath. Second, it offers forgiveness and membership in the new mankind, united and restored by grace through faith in the work of Christ. Preachers must preach and apply that message to all of life. Yet, it is also the message many Christians refuse to speak out of cowardice, shame, or belief in something else. Such a message is always counter-cultural and always requires boldness. Through such preaching, the kingdom of Christ advances and offers a true and lasting hope. This is something cultural Marxism can never bring.
Levi J. Secord serves as a pastor at Riverview Baptist Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree. Levi, his wife, and their three boys live in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they spend their time slaying dragons.