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There is a technique being used against Christians, and others, who are speaking out against non-biblical beliefs and anti-Christian social and political policies, that is specifically designed to shut people up. This particular technique does not allow for a discussion of the topic at hand. Its purpose is simply to shut down opposition so there cannot be any debate.
In the political arena, we saw this playing out during the latest Supreme Court confirmation hearings. During the hearing, Senator Ted Cruz asked Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson about her support for critical race theory (CRT).
CRT is an academic concept that advances the belief that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but something embedded in legal systems and policies. This belief is 180 degrees out of phase with biblical beliefs (and with the traditional beliefs of America’s legal and social foundation). A biblical worldview expresses a view that racism is not a social construct, but is the product of individual bias and prejudice. That is, racism is something individuals do, not societies. This does not mean that there are no racial problems within a society, only that their root cause is not in social structures, but in the hearts of individuals.
After Sen. Cruz asked his question, MSNBC commentator Chai Komanduri made the comment that Judge Jackson was only being asked about CRT because she is a black woman. He went on to say that watching Cruz question Jackson felt like witnessing a “hate crime.”
To make a statement like that, Komanduri had to begin with an underlying assumption that CRT is a correct belief system. And by characterizing it the way he did, he was also making a moral judgment that his view was moral, and that Crews’ position was immoral. And he did that all without ever giving any reason why he felt he had the moral high ground. He just assumed it and made his attack based on that assumption.
And that is the way people who hold anti-biblical beliefs often operate. They identify the belief they want to support (and the one they want to shut down), they assume that theirs is true and moral (and that opposition is untrue and immoral), then they attack people who hold opposing views based on their assumption (all without ever justifying their own beliefs).
There are quite a lot of Christian beliefs that get attacked this way. We see these attacks when it comes to the biblical view of abortion, sexual immorality (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, polygamy, ...), race, economics, the nature of the law, and a host of other topics. So how should Christians handle these kinds of attacks?
The immediate tendency is to try to defend ourselves by simply answering back with our own beliefs. But that is typically not effective because the entire basis of the discussion has already been established based on the non-biblical beliefs of the attacker. That immediately puts Christians on the defensive.
There is a place for directly answering the false assertions of those who would attack us, but that can only be meaningful in a situation where there is a mutual willingness to hear the arguments of the other side. However, in the scenario we are talking about here, that kind of willingness does not exist. In fact, the entire approach is designed to shut down opposing views. So what can we do?
The solution is not to immediately try to answer their objection, but to question them in a way that makes them justify their premise. In the case of Ted Cruz, if he had actually had an opportunity to speak to that commentator, he could have made him justify why he believed CRT was moral. After all, if CRT is true, then it is perfectly legitimate to judge people based on race – even people who have not committed any racist acts. Thus, it is completely legitimate to make them justify why they think that is okay.
And when people attack our Christian faith using that same tactic, we can respond in the same way. We can ask, for example:
The point is, as Christians, we should not simply accept any unbiblical premise that people try to use to shut us up and keep us from witnessing to the truth of the gospel. We have every right to question their premise, and use that as an opportunity to share with them the blessed hope found only in Jesus Christ.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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