Updated: Oct 28, 2020
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ…Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.
Colossians 2:8 / Matthew 7:15[i]
One would be hard pressed to find anyone on their contact list who has not by now heard the phrase, “black lives matter”. And perhaps, in the history of internet slogans and hashtags, none have been as prominent and far reaching as #blacklivesmatter.
For the past few months, I have been deeply troubled and disturbed: which tells me that I am either being convicted of the sin of partiality, or there is something profoundly wrong with this movement. Keeping quiet seemed to be the wise thing to do for the last few months as I wrestled with my own shortcomings and strived to find out more. The time has now come where I believe something needs to be said.
I remain deeply troubled. Not so much about the BLM movement in itself, but by the culture, worldview, and values of a society at large that it represents and the Christians who so easily embrace it.
Many see BLM as a genuine struggle against racism, conscious and unconscious bias, police brutality and the unfair treatment of minorities in society – all of which need to be changed. The reality, however, is that BLM is a destructive, seductive, political, atheistic, anti-authority, anti-conservative, anti-Christian, Marxist, racist movement that uses terror tactics, lies, manipulation and identity politics to further their agenda.
Even a simple statement like “BLM”, detached from everything else I have to say, has issues because it assumes that there is some inherit difference between a “black life” and other lives. Where the truth is, there is no such thing as “white” or “black” people, only human people. For the sake of the article though, I will use “black” and “white” in the way most people think to define categories of a person.
Black lives matter
Black lives matter. Absolutely, there is no denying this. If I were to say that “my wife is beautiful”, it would not mean I think everyone else is ugly. I am affirming and emphasizing the beauty of someone who is close to me, I am not commenting on the beauty or lack of beauty of anyone else. It makes sense to say that “black lives matter” in the sense that their lives have not mattered, and many have grown up feeling that their lives did not matter. The fact that their lives do matter needs to be emphasized. Black lives matter because all lives matter, and all lives matter because that’s how God made us, the human race (singular), precious in His image. In South Africa for example[ii], one may argue that it would be equally valid to say, “Farmers’ lives matter”, or in China[iii], that “Uighurs’ lives matter”. Around the world there are many minority people groups facing horrific treatment, even genocide. Their lives need to matter! BUT.
Most lives do not matter BLM
Whilst there are probably many well-meaning BLM activists, the BLM movement has demonstrated that most lives do not matter to them[iv]. It has also quite ironically been led in many instances by a generation of undisciplined, ungrateful, spoilt[v] wannabe neo-Marxists[vi] who manage to care only about a very select group of “black” lives[vii]. Look at the black police officers[viii], even children[ix] [x], killed by BLM supporters, look at the looting, rioting and black owned business destroyed in the name of BLM[xi] , listen to the unashamedly racist things being said and done to white people[xii] [xiii]. The amount of violence[xiv] is hard justify. Look at the statistics on the proportion of black women who have abortions[xv]. For example, between 2012-2016, in New York City, more black babies were killed in the womb than were born alive![xvi] [xvii] the disproportionate number of black babies being killed is a plague of Biblical proportions which BLM does not condemn but rather supports.
It is for these reasons and many to follow that I make the personal choice of not associating myself with the Black Lives Matter/BLM movement or organization. And, by extension, why I will not put up a black square on my social media profile, promote their hashtag, jump on the “woke” outrage bandwagon or regurgitate their racist rhetoric. So please, don’t feel bad if you are one of those people who believe that minority, marginalised and persecuted people’s lives matter, but feel that the BLM group/movement is not the solution to racism or violence. Especially considering most lives don’t seem to matter to them.
BLM is Destructive and Manipulative
Whatever good image existed when BLM began or that many of its supporters hold, the movement has already revealed its ugly face[xviii] [xix] [xx] [xxi] [xxii] [xxiii] [xxiv]. A movement built on the foundations of victimhood and entitlement, prescribing guilt based on race and denying personal responsibility for life’s outcomes, is going to do far more harm than good and bring its constituents down with them. Evil cannot be fought with evil; hate cannot be met with more hate; racism cannot overcome racism. Progress is not possible without forgiveness; success cannot be divorced from competence and no one can grow without a deep sense of personal responsibility for their own life.
“Black lives matter”. Only a racist would not say these words. Right? It is such a good sounding phrase; how could you not declare it? The message almost seems to be: If you really support black lives, if you are really in with their game, you would chant their phrase, slap them on your forehead, make their fist and revel in their lawlessness. Or at least, if you have anything to say against this, if you do not kneel down in allegiance, well – you racist![xxv] [xxvi] [xxvii] On the other hand, do you want to shed some guilt and virtue signal to the world that you are not a racist? No worries, BLM has you covered.
Think also about the phrase “God is great!” in Arabic; a statement that most of the world, unfortunately, associates with Islamic terror groups. I for one absolutely agree that God is great. But I am sure we would all think twice about chanting the phrase because of the connotations it has thanks to the radicals who have weaponised an otherwise good and true statement.
There is no question that there is injustice and suffering in the world. Those who have suffered and still suffer do deserve our support. But BLM is disruptive, radical, atheistic, anti-authority, will not help black people and is not appropriate for a Bible believing, Christ following person to endorse.[xxviii]
BLM is a Political Movement
BLM is manipulating and using people for a Marxist, socialist[xxix] political agenda, promoting identity politics and class-based guilt. Both precursors to horrors like the “Dekulakization”[xxx] in the Soviet Union that whipped out millions of people, through murder and the expropriation of farmland that lead to mass starvations. Phrases like “white privilege”, “white guilt”, “black power” are commonplace and are used to prescribe guilt and divide people based on race. Where is the dream that people “not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character”?[xxxi] Rather, BLM uses critical theory and intersectionality to judge a person’s value.
What is Critical Theory and intersectionality you ask? Very basically:
“First, everyone can be divided into two groups: those who have power and those who don’t. Second, those who have power always oppress those who don’t…According to critical theory, the categories of oppressor and oppressed are based on your group identity. Things like race, gender, religion, immigration status, income, sexual orientation, and gender identity determine whether we are oppressed or one of the oppressors…Intersectionality seeks to measure someone’s level of oppression based on how these group identities intersect in someone’s life. The more categories of oppression someone identifies with, the more moral authority they have. As a result, the experience and perspective of a gay, black, woman is more valuable than the experience and perspective of a straight white man, regardless of what they have to say. In the same way, the more oppressed someone is, the less moral responsibility they have for their actions.”[xxxii]
The problem with critical theory and intersectionality is that it goes against the Biblical view of humanity, offers a warped view of sin and an un-Biblical, and impractical[xxxiii] solution to the world’s problems. Not to mention that these atheistic, communist ideas have already been proven wrong and lead to the death of almost 100 million people in the last century[xxxiv].
Be careful about dwelling on the past and descending into a state of perpetual, psychologically destructive, self-prescribed victimhood[xxxv]. Be careful with these ideas of BLM, which are becoming dangerously close to full blown hate against an entire group of people based on the colour of their skin. Be careful, lest you become what you hate: a racist.
Do not get me wrong. I think everyone has a debt to pay, as the Apostle Paul states, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another”. We all have debt of love to pay and a duty to love our neighbour. If we find our neighbour, a tribe, or people group suffering, disadvantaged, mistreated, and persecuted, then we need to do something about it. We are called to serve and uplift those less fortunate than us, establishing God’s Kingdom of righteousness and justice. But that is not at all the same thing what BLM advocates, which seeks to punish a group of people for crimes they did not commit all the while enriching new masters and not actually helping people in genuine need.
BLM is a false Gospel rooted in Occultism
Not only political, but the above-mentioned points and BLM leaders words and actions also point to a type of syncretic[xxxvi] religions movement, providing “answers” to the nature of man, the wrongs of the world, and solutions to those wrongs that use unbiblical tactics to get their way and message across. This is akin to a false gospel, where the Word of God and Salvation through Jesus Christ have no place.
It has also becoming increasingly evident that the BLM movement is being driven by occult practices[xxxvii] [xxxviii] [xxxix] [xl] [xli] [xlii]. With phrases like “say her name”, types of dancing, chanting, casting spells, idolizing the dead, pouring libation and the channelling of spirits through hashtags being done openly, though hidden from mainstream news.
Where there is distortion of truth, manipulation and deception, we will find the father of lies and that is certainly not the place we should be going to get our cues to fighting for social justice! It is becoming increasingly clear that this is not a battle over race or injustice but rather a spiritual one, not “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”. (Ephesians 6:12)
I do want to add here that we should NOT demonize people who support BLM, most of whom have good intentions. Our battle is not with people, but with the satanic strongholds, opinions, and arguments (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) that hold them captive. BLM is creating mental slaves to destructive teachings and it is out of compassion and love for them that we need to make a defense.
BLM is aligned with terrorists
Terrorism is defined as: “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”[xliii]
Chanting “Death to America!”[xliv] Burning the American flag. [xlv] Burning Bibles[xlvi]. Forcing people to chant their words, kneel or raise their fist?[xlvii] Do I really need to say more? What does this sound like if not terrorism? Of course, it is a minority of people who do this, but think about the ideologies that have inspired them. Taking the BLM narrative to its logical conclusion leads to these kinds of actions.
BLM is divisive at its best and Anti-Christ at its worst
“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work…and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” - (2 Thessalonians 2:7a,10-11)
…deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast…so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. - (Revelation 13:14-17)
Markings on people’s faces. Lawlessness. Refusing to love truth. Delusion. Deception. Forced conformity. Worship. These are all things the BLM movement and the end time anti-Christ prophecies have in common. Am I saying BLM is the mark of the best? No. But it most certainly appears to be propelled by the same spirit of the anti-Christ that scripture speaks of.
The Basic Premise of BLM is False
“…the basic premise of Black Lives Matter—that racist cops are killing unarmed black people—is false.” Writes Coleman Hughes in his article “Reflections on race, riots and police” at City Journal[xlviii] sharing in this article he states that:
“I still believe that racism exists… But I no longer believe that the cops disproportionately kill unarmed black Americans. Two things changed my mind: stories and data…. First, the stories… For every black person killed by the police, there is at least one white person (usually many) killed in a similar way.
At a gut level, it is hard for most people to feel the same level of outrage when the cops kill a white person. Perhaps that is as it should be. After all, for most of American history, it was white suffering that provoked more outrage. But I would submit that if this new “anti-racist” bias is justified—if we now have a moral obligation to care more about certain lives than others based on skin color, or based on racial-historical bloodguilt—then everything that I thought I knew about basic morality, and everything that the world’s philosophical and religious traditions have been saying about common humanity, revenge, and forgiveness since antiquity, should be thrown out the window… To demonstrate the existence of a racial bias, it’s not enough to cite the fact that black people comprise 14 percent of the population but about 35 percent of unarmed Americans shot dead by police. (By that logic, you could prove that police shootings were extremely sexist by pointing out that men comprise 50 percent of the population but 93 percent of unarmed Americans shot by cops.) Instead, you must do what all good social scientists do: control for confounding variables to isolate the effect that one variable has upon another (in this case, the effect of a suspect’s race on a cop’s decision to pull the trigger). At least four careful studies have done this—None of these studies has found a racial bias in deadly shootings.” - Coleman Hughes, fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
I would encourage you to read the full article as well as the sources cited by Mr. Hughes in order to gain a better understanding of the facts and data surrounding this topic.
Racism exist everywhere, but we can rise above it.
More accurately, we are all sinners, “For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.” (Romans 3:9).
I was maybe eight years old or so, driving down the roads of Addis Ababa, sitting in the back seat of our car with my five-year-old brother. At one point when we were stationary, a group of people came to our window, banged on it, point at us kids and shouted, “F*** you Forenji!”, accompanied by middle fingers and other colourful language which I later realised was probably learnt from the popular Jean-Claude Van Damme movies of the time. Forenji or Ferenj is a term used to describe a foreigner or outsider, most commonly a white person. It is not derogatory in nature but is often used in a derogatory manner and I had this phrase shouted at me many times. I do not have an ounce of bad feelings towards any Ethiopians but share this experience only to illustrate a point. That racism is not one sided. That we can determine to a large extent how our experiences will shape us. That I may have been a victim, but I do not have to stay one forever. That I can take responsibility for my life. Make wise choices, rise above the hate, and prove peoples preconceived ideas about me wrong.
At the end of the day, we have a sin (sinful-nature) problem, not a race problem or "whiteness" problem, as some would have us believe. The pain, suffering and evils of racism, propelled to the forefront of social conversation today are ultimately the symptoms of sinful man and a sin-ridden world. The true end of racism will only come when we embrace and become transformed through faith in Jesus Christ and submission to His will - our only hope of being saved from our wicked selves.
Should we just “not see colour”?
To say “I don’t see colour” is a noble statement when meaning, "I don't judge people based on their sacred, God given attributes, which may be different to mine". Whether we truly practice what we preach when we say this is another story.
When judging a person, skin colour should be as much a distinguishing mark, or as relevant as, the colour of your eyes, hair, height, or weight. It is a physical attribute that has nothing to do with your heart or character unless we make it so. The reality is, we do see people and make assumptions about people based on skin colour, not because we should, but because, for the most part, we were taught to.
I don’t think of myself as “white”, or of any of my friends as “black”. Yes, obviously I can see that we have different skin tones, but that is about as relevant to me as the brand of shoes we wear. When I think of my friends, I think of them by name, because a name is given to you, an individual, who is the sum of so many more parts than race. I think about things like our cultures, worldviews, upbringing, experiences, tastes and languages, all of which have shaped us and help us understand each other better. But I never thought about race until statements like “oh, you’re white so that’s why you do that” or “black people always do this or that”, were said to me.
I am reminded of a time when my little blond-haired brother was swimming in a pool with dozens of Ethiopian children and came running up to our parents to ask if they were watching him. My parents responded that of course they were! To which he responded by asking how my parents knew which one of the children were him. He was colour-blind and didn’t realise how much a pale skinned blond hair boy stuck out in a crowded pool of dark-skinned black hair kids!
Judging someone by the colour of their skin is something we were taught. We may do it, but it is not right. Rather than colour, look at character, rather than race, look at the heart, rather than ethnicity, learn who they are. To not see colour is definitely a noble pursuit. Maybe childish too, but then again… unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Scripture to Meditate on
Consider and meditate on following portions of scripture which for the most part need little explanation and speak for themselves:
- Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
- Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)
- Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)
- But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:14-16)
- You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3)
On our Christian Response
- See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
- Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
- There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
On fearing to speak against worldly teachings
- Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)
- Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
- If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:25b-28)
Where are we getting our news?
In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and internet celebrities, everyone has an opinion and has their version of the “truth”. The mainstream media is blatantly bias and it has become increasingly harder to discern fact from fiction and opinion, or truth from lies and deception. I would not be surprised if studies found that our current generation get most of their news from internet celebrities, influencers and comedians. We listen to them because they are funny, witty, and pleasingly controversial and this in turn gives them a platform to push their ideologies.
The news is becoming ever more “clicks” driven. I.e. the more clicks and reads an article get online the more money can be earned from advertising. The result of this is the ever increasing “click bait”, sensationalised and controversy driven news that we see. This is why we need to be so careful about what we read, listen to, watch, and believe. One way I would suggest in countering this is to realise that everyone has bias and follow a broader spectrum of news outlets and social commentators. On the BLM topic, I would recommend the following commentators listed below[xlix], all of whom, though bias in their own right, hold a different view than the common narrative today. Most importantly however, we need to remain sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is saying and stay grounded in scripture – the final authority and source of truth.
Who commands our souls? Who directs our steps? Who leads us? Who influences our thoughts and actions? As Christians: The Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the Church in submission to Christ. Not the world, not the latest fad, hashtag, fashion, or protest.
The issues of racism, of inequality and the struggles of so many people groups around the world need to be addressed. There is no question that there is injustice and suffering in the world. We are called to serve those who have suffered and still suffer. But the BLM movement is disruptive, radical, racist, atheistic, anti-authority and manipulative. It is a distortion of truth and false gospel that creates captives and metal slaves to destructive teachings which have the mere appearance of purpose, of righteous indignation, of standing up for something.
Now, whist I take specific issue with the BLM movement, it is only a symptom of a world in need of Christ. Many of the criticisms laid out can also be applied to countless other movements in the world. A purposeless, Godless world is desperate to cling to what they think will bring meaning to their lives. But the only saving message, to have any meaning at all, any purpose at all, any salvation, freedom, deliverance or life, is that we need to lose our lives in surrender to Christ and allow Him to lead us all ways, in all ways.
Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
[i] Scripture potions taken from Holy Bible, New International Version. Biblica. 2011 (Matthew, Acts, 1 John, James, Isaiah, Colossians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Thessalonians)
[ii] - [xlviii] (Cited in text)
[xlix] ALTERNATIVE COMMENTATORS: Anthony Brian Logan, Conservative Twins, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Candice Owens , Sheriff David Clarke , Antonia Okafor, Gwen Ngwenya, Dr. Ben Carson , Dr. Voddie Baucham , Larry Elder, Michelle Malkin, Dr. Carol Swain, Whaddo Meme?? , Coleman Hughes, David Webb, The Beat by Allen Parr, Monique Duson, Patrick Hampton ORGANISATIONS: PragerU, Center for Biblical Unity, Just Thinking Podcast, One Minute Apologist, Cross Examined [l] See also: Matthew 10:39, Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, John 12:25