Jemar Tisby Denies the Gospel, Insists White People Must Atone for Their Own Past Sins

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Jemar Tisby is a former professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, the president of The Witness, and the author of the book, The Color of Compromise (which we reviewed here). Tisby, a proponent of social justice purports to be a teacher and minister of God’s word. He is well known in New Calvinist and even in Reformed circles and a favorite among progressive Evangelical outlets such as The Gospel Coalition. In a nutshell, he probably has a lot of influence in your evangelical church.

Tisby is one of the leading advocates of Marxist ideology — namely Critical Race Theory — as a replacement for the gospel in churches. Critical Race Theory (CRT) has become one of the predominant schools of thought behind the push for racial reconciliation in the Evangelical Church. CRT emerged as an offshoot of Critical Theory, a neo-Marxist philosophy that has its roots in the Frankfurt School and its methods are drawn from Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud.

CRT teaches that institutional racism exists within every structure of society and that these structures are intrinsically designed in such a manner as to protect and preserve “white supremacy” in our culture. Further, CRT does not rely on factual statistics or objective evidence to support the theory, rather it relies on anecdotal evidence and personal experience.

Tisby recently penned a scathing piece at Religion News Service calling on white “Christian leaders” to dig up their yearbooks and see if they’ve ever committed any racial sin — and if they have, they need to atone for it. He writes,

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The goal of restoration does not mean a person does not face negative consequences for breaches of trust. It simply means that the final word on a person’s humanity should not be based solely on the worst act he or she has ever committed.

What would a yearbook audit of today’s prominent Christian leaders reveal? Have megachurch pastors, seminary presidents, committee heads, authors, professors, missionaries or theologians painted their faces black in a degrading pantomime of black people? Have they associated with people who flaunt racial bigotry? Do they have embarrassing racist incidents that they hope no one discovers?

By the way, did you know Reformation Charlotte has a Christian gear and apparel store? Check it out at ReformedGear.com.

Given the close associations with segments of the American church and racism, the answer to these questions is almost certainly “yes.”

Christians who genuinely want to atone for any personal acts of racism must focus on dismantling racial inequality as it persists across systems and society.

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Stating that “admitting wrongdoing is only the first step. Tangible efforts to fix the broken trust between people of different races must follow,” some of the ways he suggests atoning for sin include, just to name a few:

  • stepping down from a leadership position in light of past racist actions,
  • Christian institutions might need to change the names of buildings on campus or rename endowed chairs,
  • commit to training all of their staff to understand implicit bias or amend their practices to ensure that several racial and ethnic minority candidates are interviewed whenever top-level positions open up,
  • advocating for voting rights for all people,
  • aid efforts to reform the criminal justice system that incarcerates black women and men at much higher rates than white people,
  • be the first to denounce xenophobia and racism from political leaders even when the toxic rhetoric spews forth from the White House itself.
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Then he states, blatantly, “Christians who genuinely want to atone for any personal acts of racism must focus on dismantling racial inequality as it persists across systems and society.”

So, if Christians want to atone for their past (perceived or real) sins of racism, they need to become social justice warring, Marxism supporting political activists who promote identity politics, intersectionality, and affirmative action. In short, you must be come a Democrat.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jemar Tisby is not a Christian. This kind of rhetoric is not spewed from the mouths of regenerate, born-again, Bible-believing Christians.

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1 Comment

  1. I found this article because I genuinely wanted to know more about Tisby’s positions. But the accusations here are unsubstantiated. You say Tisby is involved in CRT and Marxism, but give no quote or evidence. You link to an article where he calls for repentance from racism.

    Do you not believe that hating someone or mistreating them because of their race is sinful? “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)

    If it is wrong, do you not believe in repenting of sin and making restitution? Zacchaeus gave evidence of true conversion by making restitution for his sins in Luke 19, prompting Jesus to declare that “today salvation has come to this house”.

    You may disagree with Tisby about whether people are still discriminated against because of race today, though I think the evidence shows that it still happens. But nothing you’ve said here justifies saying that he is not a Christian, or that he’s “spewing” rhetoric. If you have no evidence for your accusations, you are guilty of bearing false witness (Exo 20:16). I expect better from a supposedly Christian site.

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