Ephesians 2:11-22

Critical Race Theory or CRT has become both all the rage and outrage of a WOKE world. Because you’re white, you’re inherently racist and are oppressive to anyone who is not white. CRT makes a fundamental and critical error at the very core and foundation of its theory – it is in the name – and that is the very idea of “Race.”

Critical Race Theory assumes many and differing races of people. We’re to segregate each other into differing races – by color, nationality and identity – in an effort to unify and bring people together. The Book of Genesis makes it quite clear, however, that there’s only one race; and that is the human race. That’s right, we’re all descendants of the one man, Adam; and in that one man’s disobedience bringing sin and death into all creation, so all mankind fell in Adam’s fall. We are all related and alike, we’re all sinners in need of the Savior.

Oppression certainly does happen in this world – and it does manifest itself in segregating people by the color of their skin and other criteria. Because of the fall into sin, people oppress other people, not because of so called “whiteness”, but sinfulness that resides in all of us; we’re all descendants of Adam and Eve.

So yes, there truly is oppression in the world, but it’s not because or being white – which is a human construct and not a created and biological trait – but it’s a direct outgrowth of disobedience to God and the oppression of our sinful flesh, the world, and the devil. The one race of mankind and all creation are infected with this disease of original sin.

Oppression is not just white on black. Nazi’s oppressed Jews, the rich oppress the poor, the strong bully the weak. And yes, Satan oppresses the Christian through trials and temptations. Just consider Joseph, Job, and that first act of oppression of Cain against Able. And today, Christianity is oppressed by the unbeliever. Sin brings and is the root cause of oppression.

You and I need to hear the freeing words of Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (2:11-12), Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh…rememberthat you were at that time separated from Christ,alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers tothe covenants of promise,having no hope and without God in the world.”

At one time, you and I were outside of salvation; conceived and born in sinfulness, oppressed by the guilt and punishment of our transgressions. Thanks be to God that something has changed; and making that change is Jesus. Christ came along to take the oppression of your guilt from sin and suffer the punishment of death that is the wages of that sin in your place. He was tempted in all ways, but remined faithful and righteous for your sake to win life and forgiveness for you.

By faith, that forgiveness is applied to you; and you can know that your sins are remembered before God no more. You have no need to pay reparations for past transgressions, for your Savior has done all that’s necessary, paid your entire debt on the cross.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once werefar off have been brought nearby the blood of Christ.Forhe himself is our peace,who has made us both one and has broken downin his flesh the dividing wall of hostilityby abolishing the law of commandments expressed inordinances, that he might create in himself onenew man in place of the two, so making peace,and mightreconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Ephesians 2:13-16).

True reconciliation and forgiveness can only come about in Christ. Because of Jesus, who died once for all, through faith and the waters of Holy Baptism, He unites all together in the one human family of God regardless of our worldly differences, onenew man in place of the two, so making peace.

Paul states this same unity to the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:12-14), For just asthe body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body,so it is with Christ.Forin one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slavesor free—andall were made to drink of one Spirit.”

And to the Galatians (3:27-29) he wrote, For as many of you aswere baptizedinto Christ haveput on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slavenor free,there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Andif you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring,heirs according to promise.” Salvation in Christ is truly color blind.

The only way to solve the sinfulness oppressions problem is to identify – not by your race, creed, color, or national origin – but to identify and be united with Christ. In Christ, all are Christians and children of God. So, the biological, economic, cultural, social, and any other differences that fallen mankind see and distinctions made are just that, man-made and meaningless.

The shepherds of Critical Race Theory are the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of [God’s] pasture!… who have scattered [His] flock and have driven them away, and… have not attended to them” (Jeremiah 23:1-2) through their “evil deeds” ideology.

Your Lord’s response can be heard in Jeremiah (23:3-4), I will gather the remnant of my flockout of all the countries… I will bring them back to their fold,and they shall be fruitful and multiply.I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares theLord.” This is the Church you’ve been called to by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel; and her faithful pastors God has appointed.

Jesus himself [is]the cornerstone,in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows intoa holy temple in the Lord.In himyou also are being built togetherinto a dwelling place for God” Ephesians 2:21-22). You are one people in Christ.

God has set His Son Jesus as the one Good Shepherd and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.In his days Judah will be saved, andIsrael willdwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called:‘TheLordis our righteousness’” (Jeremiah 23:5-6). And that is your Lord and Savior, Jesus. Only He can bring people together in reconciliation.; can bring hope to a hopeless, oppressive, angry and dying world.

As a forgiven sinner, you’re freed to follow the way and teachings of Jesus and treat your neighbor as you desire to be treated (Mark 12:31). This is the only way to kill the hostility (Ephesians 2:16). And he came andpreached peace to you who werefar off and peace to those who werenear.Forthrough him we both haveaccess inone Spirit to the Father.So then you are no longerstrangers and aliens, but you arefellow citizens with the saints andmembers of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:17-19).

The critical problem for the human race isn’t a human ideological theory, it’s sin; and the only way to correct that is to identify with Jesus. He’s paid the reparations and wages of sin for you. You don’t look back to your past sins, but back to the cross of Christ to know those sins forgiven; and your life is then lived out like Christ; lived for others of all nations, tribes and languages, Jew or Gentile, for one eternal heavenly kingdom.

For many, CRT might stand for “Critical Race Theory”, but that’s all it is; a theory born in the halls of academia and the minds of fallen mankind that solves no problems, nor changes any hearts. Perhaps as Christians, we should see CRT stand for “Christ’s Redeeming Truth.” for it’s only the truth of God that will set you free from sin and death’s oppression. Amen.

Rev. Daniel Herb

Messiah Lutheran Church, Middletown, OH