Question: "How should Christians view the Black Lives Matter movement?"
Answer: Modern “discussions” of race and politics are more often dueling echoes than conversations. Deep issues require careful consideration. With that in mind, please refer to our other resources on social issues, such as systemic racism, for important background perspectives. Phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” often mean entirely different things to different people, depending on what they want to defend or support. Examining every possible nuance of these variations is well beyond our ministry’s ability.
Rather, we choose to address points, commonly associated with Black Lives Matter, over which Christians ought to be concerned. Our focus is on pointing out where legitimate concerns over racism, inequality, or culture can be co-opted by non-biblical ideas and become unbiblical. Neither our expertise nor our purpose is in the subtlest, finest details of social theories or cultural debates. We choose to present clear biblical principles in places where they intersect with culture. No article will ever present every facet of a social issue to the satisfaction of every possible reader, and we make no claims otherwise.
Started in 2013 in response to separate police shootings of two young black men, the Black Lives Matter movement (or BLM) came into prominence with its use of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Ever since, the phrase black lives matter has been a rallying cry of those who believe there is institutional racism against African-Americans in virtually every aspect of society, but especially in police departments and the legal system.
There is no point in discussing the statistics on black crime vs. the percentage of the black population and/or the numbers of black-on-black murders vs. the number of blacks killed by police officers. For every statistic, there is a dueling statistic or a way to reinterpret the statistic. There is no point in discussing the specific cases that spawned the Black Lives Matter movement. The various sides all seem to be rigorously locked into their understanding of the events and the aftermaths. Like most issues connected to race, it appears to be virtually impossible to have a constructive dialogue about the Black Lives Matter movement.
As a concept, it is true that black lives matter. Blacks/African-Americans are equally created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). In God’s eyes, blacks are equal in value to whites, browns, reds, yellows, and everyone in between. Racism is evil. There is only one race, and that is the human race. Ultimately, we all have the same parents (Genesis 5).
As a movement, Black Lives Matter has taken that true concept (black lives matter) and twisted it into something completely unbiblical. The organization has recently showed its true colors, openly promoting causes that oppose biblical values. The two co-founders of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, claim Marxism as their ideology: “We actually do have an ideological frame,” Cullors said in an interview, “Myself and Alicia in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on ideological theories” (quoted in the Washington Times, “The matter of Marxism: Black Lives Matter is rooted in a soulless ideology,” June 29, 2020).
On their official website, BLM expresses their support of the LGBTQ agenda: “We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We . . . dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk. . . . 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” (https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe, accessed 6/16/20).
Perhaps most troubling is Black Lives Matter’s stance on the family: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable” (ibid.). What BLM calls the “Western-prescribed nuclear family” is actually the God-ordained family unit: a father, a mother, and their children. To work to “disrupt” that design is to actively oppose God’s plan for society.
Concerning racism, we can all agree that no one should be judged by the color of his or her skin. We should fight against all true forms of racism and be compassionate to its victims. Through it all, we should point people to Christ as the only answer for racism. Protests, policies, awareness, changes to the legal system, etc., will never solve the problem. Racism is the result of sin. Until the sin problem is dealt with—until people become new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)—the problem of racism will never be eradicated. Only in Christ can racial reconciliation be found: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14).
Concerning the methods used by Black Lives Matter, peaceful protests against racial injustice are appropriate. But Christians should never be involved in rioting, looting, violence against police officers, hateful speech, and/or “reverse” discrimination/racism against non-blacks. Injustice and hatred will not be ended by more injustice and hatred.
As for BLM’s position on issues not related to race, there is no way a Christian should support the godless ideology of Marxism, allow the destruction of the nuclear family, or be involved in a “queer-affirming network” that advocates for the normalization of transgenderism.
As with any group, it’s important to know what Black Lives Matter believes. And some of what they believe is incompatible with biblical truth. Of course, all Christians should be in full support of black lives matter as a concept, as we are all created in the image of God; however, Christians should reject the BLM movement’s hijacking of this truthful concept and its promotion of philosophies and methodologies that are completely unbiblical.