Wednesday, December 2, 2020 : By Nathan Skates
The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), made up of 25 denominations, is going all-in on critical race theory and reparations.
The MCC is embarking on a 10-year initiative of racial reconciliation and reparations. They are not subtle in their intentions, fully embracing reparations – even land reparations. In September they released a document entitled “Dismantling the Structures and Repairing the Damage of Racism in Minnesota.”
The document repeatedly states that the churches will engage in what they describe as “truth-telling” about the racist past of Minnesota and how the past has created a system of inequity. The document begins by stating,
“The genocide of and stealing of land from the Indigenous population combined with the arrival of enslaved Africans as uncompensated labor made racism and White supremacy core to the way of life in what would become the United States of America. The complicity of Christian faith communities further stamped on the nation the imprint of a sinful dehumanization. The State of Minnesota was born out of this blueprint.”
The document claims that while there has been “resistance to this reality,” the MCC believes that people are ready to change after George Floyd’s death. According to the document, the purpose of the MCC’s initiative is:
“to build a structure for racial equity in the church and the State of Minnesota through initiating a process of truth-telling about racism in Minnesota and investing in repairing the damage done by racism in Black and Indigenous communities. The focus will be on naming the history and addressing the systems that have made Minnesota rank as a state with some of the highest racial disparities in the United States.”
The council also said that present-day immigrants and refugees suffer disparities caused by “pre-existing structures that create inequity,” structures that “developed to support White supremacy.”
The MCC will form a coalition to “call for, legislate, and deliver reparations to Black and Indigenous communities.” The reparations would not only be financial. The document says, “This restitution would include land and economic reparations.”
For biblical evidence, the document references Numbers 5:6-7 and Luke 19:8.
“Speak to the sons of Israel: ‘When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully against the Lord, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess his sin which he has committed, and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong and add to it a fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged.’” –Numbers 5:6-7, NASB
“But Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I am giving to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I am giving back four times as much.’” –Luke 19:8, NASB
There is a key issue with using these verses to justify confession and reparations. In each instance, the person who had committed the sin was to confess his sin and give back to the one he had wronged. It is highly unlikely that any American alive today owned slaves or stole any land. These verses indicate personal responsibility for one’s actions. They do not indicate culpability for the sins of anyone who happened to have had the same skin color over the last few centuries.
The Council’s CEO, Rev. Dr. Curtiss Paul DeYoung, also referenced Christ’s teaching in Matthew 5:23-24 regarding Jesus’s command that if you are presenting an offering and remember that your brother has something against you, then you should go and be reconciled. Again, this is an instance of personal responsibility: the person has sinned against their brother and must make amends. Evidently, DeYoung is saying all racial minorities have something against all white people and that all white people have sinned against all people of other ethnicities.
Even if you grant DeYoung the argument that there is systemic racism that promotes white supremacy, it still does not mean that all white people have personally sinned against all racial minorities and can only fix that by giving them reparations.
While reading the document or comments by supporters of the MCC’s initiative, you will not see the word “equality,” but you will see the word “equity” repeatedly. Bishop Ann Svennungsen said, “Not every person living on the land that became Minnesota has experienced it as a place of equity.” She also said that too often the Christian Church has been silent and is glad “the MCC has made anti-racism a central focus of its work.”
It was never the promise of Minnesota nor the United States in general to provide equity. Citizens are promised equality of opportunity. It is a fallacy to think that the United States has somehow failed and promotes white supremacy because all have not attained the same level of economic prosperity.
It was also never the Church’s mission to promote equity. The Church’s mission is to share the gospel. Yes, the Church should speak out against injustice, and there are times it has not, but supposed inequity is not injustice. It is not the nation’s nor the Church’s responsibility to ensure that everyone is the same.
Phraseology like this is not Christian doctrine, it is Marxist dogma. The MCC has fully embraced Marxist critical race theory, and its priorities reflect the desire not to reconcile but to promote its woke ideology. Nothing says racial reconciliation like blaming all white people for the past sins of others and subsequently taking their land and money for sins they did not commit.
Check out this episode of the Falkirk Center podcast with Pastor Tom Ascol on the heresies of critical race theory: