A Biblical Look at Black Lives Matter

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Black lives are just as valuable as the lives of any other human being who is created in the image of God. Because of this, black people deserve to be treated equally under the law and granted the same rights and protections as any other American citizen. When this is not realized in our country, Christians are called to weep with the black community (Rom. 12:15). Moreover, God’s people are told to seek justice (Psa. 82:3–4) and act justly (Micah 6:8) because God is a just God (Psa. 50:6) who loves justice (Isa. 61:8). God’s heart is for His people to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Prov. 31:8–9, NIV).

Unfortunately, the simple truth that “black lives matter” has become confused in our modern context. It is now a politically charged statement whose dominant meaning is infused with the ideology of Cultural Marxism and critical race theory. Moreover, it is virtually indistinguishable from the political organization, Black Lives Matter (BLM). As such, Christians who are eager to live out these biblical principles may find themselves undermining their own faith and morality if they are not careful to distinguish their advocacy for black lives from support for the Black Lives Matter organization—an anti-Semitic and pro-abortion organization that champions Marxism, subverts God’s created order, marginalizes men, lauds sexual confusion, and seeks to subjugate generations of black children to the dysfunction of fatherless families. (To better understand this, read my article “Should Christians Support Black Lives Matter?”)

Regardless of how one feels concerning racism in America, Christians should refuse to address issues of racism and inequality under the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter Network because the core values of BLM are incompatible with the Bible’s teaching on holiness and morality. When Christians use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, they are directing people to an organized movement with a leadership and core convictions that stand in direct opposition to God’s truth.

  1. Black Lives Matter supports the murder of unborn babies

One of the Black Lives Matter co-founders began her career as a pro-abortion political activist.[1] Far from its stated position that “in affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position,” BLM has no interest in protecting the lives of unborn black babies. Instead, the organization actively targets these innocent lives, saying, “We deserve and we demand reproductive justice that gives us autonomy over our bodies and our identities.”[2]

Reproductive justice and bodily autonomy are fancy ways of saying that Black Lives Matter demands the right for black people to kill their babies. In God’s mind an unborn baby is a person (Isa. 44:24) capable of experiencing emotions and of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41, 44). More importantly, unborn babies are created by God (Psa. 139:13–14) after His own image (Gen. 1:26–27), and it is He who grants them life (Psa. 139:16). Because of this, nobody—including the child’s mother—has the right to destroy God’s image.

One of God’s earliest commands can be found in Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” This command is repeated throughout Scripture (Exo. 20:13; 23:7; Rom. 13:9). Nevertheless, Black Lives Matter demands the right to unjustly destroy God’s image for the sake of convenience. While protecting some black lives, they actively promote the killing of others.

  1. Black Lives Matter champions homosexuality

Considering that two of the Black Lives Matter co-founders identify as queer[3]—one of whom is also married to a trans male[4]—it is not surprising that BLM describes itself as queer affirming: “We foster a queer-affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”[5]

“Heteronormative” sexuality is another way of referring to God’s intention that sex be between a biological male and a biological female (1 Cor. 7:2–3). Far from honoring this relationship (Heb. 13:4), Black Lives Matter seeks to free society from God’s created design for sexual relationships.

The Bible clearly defines homosexuality as sexual immorality and a sin (Lev. 18:22; 1 Tim. 1:8–11) and warns that any who choose a homosexual identity over the new identity Jesus Christ offers will not be permitted to enter into the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9–11; Rev. 21:8). Perhaps it is because of the serious consequences of this practice that God so strongly condemns it throughout the Bible. In Romans God describes the practice as “degrading passions” that come from a “depraved mind” (Rom. 1:26, 28 NASB) and links homosexuality with a rebellion against God and His intended design for creation.

  1. Black Lives Matter seeks to normalize gender confusion

Far beyond simply being “inclusive,” Black Lives Matter deliberately champions transgenderism: “We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.”[6]

“Cisgender” is a way of saying that one’s gender identity aligns with one’s God-given anatomy. It assumes that we have the right to change our bodies and appearance to match our perception of ourselves. It prioritizes feelings over objective reality, and it denies that our bodies are sacred gifts from our Creator. However, God is the one who created us as sexual beings. He determines our gender and whether our bodies will be male or female (Gen. 1:27; Mark 10:6).

To speak of cisgender persons is to assume that it is possible for our soul—our perception of ourselves—and our body to be misaligned. When God created mankind, He first formed a body from the dust of the earth. However, it was not until He breathed the breath of life into that body that the man became a living creature (Gen. 2:7). Our souls are not pre-existing entities in search of physical bodies. Rather, God created both our soul and our body. As such, they cannot be misaligned. We cannot accidentally find ourselves in the wrong body.

  1. Black Lives Matter seeks to dismantle the biblical definition of family

Under the heading “What We Believe,” the Black Lives Matter website states, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”[7] Such a statement implies that the family unit is merely a social construction that is unique to Western civilization. Even a cursory review of history reveals this notion to be preposterous! The family unit has been the single most defining constant in all civilizations throughout all of history. This is because its origin dates back to the world’s first man and woman.

God’s intended design for the home is a biological man and a biological woman united under the monogamous covenant of marriage (Gen. 2:18–24; Mark 10:6–9). Apart from tragedy, God’s expectation is that children will be raised in homes where a father and a mother are present (Exo. 20:12; Eph. 5:1–3). Opposition to this family structure is opposition to God’s created design and order.

  1. Black Lives Matter is against male leadership

The Black Lives Matter belief statement goes out of its way to emphasize its disdain for male leadership, such as, “We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.”[8] Certainly sexism and misogyny are wrong, but they should not be equated with all male leadership. Jesus and the early church were counter-cultural in their emphasis, respect, and inclusion of women. Nevertheless, the Bible assigns male leadership for God’s churches (1 Tim. 2:11–15) and teaches that men are to be the head of their households (Col. 3:18–20).

The family structure and the order of that structure are important to God as they provide a tangible illustration of our relationship with God. As the head of the home, men are called to love their wives sacrificially, and wives are to respectfully submit to the authority of their husbands (Eph. 5:22–25). This is not because women are inferior to men. After all, Jesus submitted to the Father without making Himself inferior (Matt. 26:39; John 6:38). It is, in part, because this relationship reflects God’s relationship with His people. Jesus is the head of the church—the people of God—whom He loves sacrificially (Eph. 1:22; 5:22–33). Likewise, His people are to respectfully submit to His authority (Eph. 5:24; James 4:7). To reject any system that values male leadership as necessarily sexist and misogynistic is to reject God’s personal example of functional authoritative distinction and His model for the church.

  1. Black Lives Matter seeks to abolish government and civil authorities

The Black Lives Matter Network is a member of Movement for Black Lives which openly states, “We are Abolitionist: We believe that prisons, police and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black people must be abolished and replaced by institutions that value and affirm the flourishing of Black lives.”[9] Similarly, Black Lives Matter DC officially tweeted, “Black Lives Matter means defund the police.”[10]

It is not the Christian’s calling to displace governments and to institute a new social order. The Apostle Paul cautions, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom. 13:1).

The early church suffered from oppressive taxes and regular injustices at the hands of the Roman government, local authorities, and law enforcement (Acts 22:25; 26:30–31). God’s instruction to His church was not one of revolution but one of respectful submission and a command to pay one’s taxes (Rom. 13:1–7; Tit. 3:1–2). Moreover, Christians were directed to pray for their government and civil authorities (1 Tim. 2:1–2) and to honor them (1 Pet. 2:17).

  1. Black Lives Matter promotes Socialism

“Black Lives Matter’s founders and their demands are overtly socialist.”[11] Responding to an interviewer’s concerns that the BLM movement might not have enough of a “clear ideological structure,” BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors admitted, “We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.”[12]

At the heart of Socialism is class warfare, but class warfare is evil (Prov. 14:31). According to God, everyone has equal worth because we are all created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). This is why racism, xenophobia, and chauvinism are evil—they deny the teaching that all human beings are equally valuable because of their status as imagers of God. Rather than pit classes and ethnicities against one another, Jesus offers reconciliation, unity, and lasting peace (Eph. 2:11–16).

*****

Christians should absolutely stand against injustice and champion the value of black lives, but we cannot support the Black Lives Matter organization. Second Corinthians 6:14 commands, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? … Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord.”

This is not a situation where we are united in our primary cause but disagree on secondary issues. Black Lives Matter fundamentally exists to subvert God’s created design and order. Resisting injustice is merely one of several motivating issues for Black Lives Matter. The organization is just as motivated to see revolutions in the areas of abortion rights, gender confusion, progressive feminism, and Socialism. These are anti-biblical goals, and Christians cannot support Black Lives Matter in the areas of racism and injustice without empowering the organization in its other goals.

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Timothy Zebell

Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Onge, Sarah. “Why Supporting Black Lives Matter Is Anti-Christian and Anti-Life.” Religion. Federalist, June 12, 2020. https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/12/why-supporting-black-lives-matter-is-anti-christian-and-anti-life/.

2. “In response to the State of the Union.” Black Lives Matter, February 14, 2018. https://blacklivesmatter.com/responsestate-of-the-union/.

3. Salzman, Sony. “From the Start, Black Lives Matter Has Been about LGBTQ Lives.” US. ABC News, June 21, 2020, 6:23 a.m. https://abcnews.go.com/US/start-black-lives-matter-lgbtq-lives/story?id=71320450.

4. Cobb, Jelani. “The Matter of Black Lives.” The Political Scene. New Yorker, March 7, 2016. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/03/14/where-is-black-lives-matter-headed.

5. “What We Believe.” Black Lives Matter, n.d. Accessed June 30, 2020. https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/.

6. “What We Believe.”

7. “What We Believe.”

8. “What We Believe.”

9. “About Us.” Movement for Black Lives, n.d. Accessed July 3, 2020. https://m4bl.org/about-us/.

10. BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives). “This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police. @emilybadger say it with us.” Twitter, June 5, 2020, 9:53 a.m. https://twitter.com/DMVBlackLives/status/1268903712581464066.

11. Onge, Sarah. “Why Supporting Black Lives Matter Is Anti-Christian and Anti-Life.” Religion. Federalist, June 12, 2020. https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/12/why-supporting-black-lives-matter-is-anti-christian-and-anti-life/.

12. Ford, Adam. “Video Surfaces of Black Lives Matter Founder Saying, ‘We Are Trained Marxists.” Disrn, June 20, 2020, 5:15 p.m. https://disrn.com/news/video-surfaces-of-black-lives-matter-founder-saying-were-trained-marxists.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.