The term “smoke and mirrors” stems from an antiquated practice magicians used to make something seemingly appear out of mid-air. It is defined as “something intended to disguise or draw attention away from an often embarrassing or unpleasant issue.”
Recently, political voices and candidates claimed that Critical Race Theory was not taught to school children in the state of Virginia. The fact is that it is actually being taught not only in the state of Virginia, but in many public-school systems throughout America.
Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for biblical worldview and strategic engagement at the Family Research Council writes, “Some see the debate over Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a disagreement between those who think racism is real and those who do not. But this is not the case. Thoughtful critics of CRT understand that it is not merely a tool for understanding the history of racism. Rather, CRT’s oppressor/oppressed framework is a way of understanding and interpreting the world — one that is significantly in conflict with a biblical worldview because it offers a different understanding of truth. For Christians, God is the source of truth, and His truth is revealed to us in Scripture. But proponents of CRT see truth differently. They see the “right versus wrong” view of the world as part of the oppressive systems they seek to overthrow.”
From a biblical perspective, this kind of thinking is very dangerous because our feelings about reality often conflict with reality. Scripture tells us that our feelings can deceive us: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Furthermore, Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Ken Blackwell is a senior fellow for human rights and constitutional governance at the Family Research Council and in his article, which appeared on Townhall.com, he writes, “As a native Ohioan and a former mayor of Cincinnati, it pains me to see how Critical Race Theory is used to both reframe our history, our conversations and even alter the courses of action we must take to improve the lives of all of our children. I denounce this educational fad, not as a Black man, but as an American... Critical Race Theory undermines — rather than upholds — educational aspirations in Ohio and in the United States.”
I was blessed to have been born and raised in a nation founded on the principles that all men are created equal. Never have I shied away from telling my children or my students (when I was teaching at Xavier University) that America has not always lived up to its founding aspirations.
It took many struggles and many, many brave individuals to bring about the Civil Rights movement and then the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Could either of those achievements have happened if we were not able to build upon the foundation of freedom, equality and self-governance? But there’s good news, my friends. Throughout the state (and even the nation), concern over these teachings has brought out a record number of school board candidates.”
As Jesus began His Earthly ministry, he was quick to warn against things critical to our relationship with Him. “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
No room for divided loyalty when serving the Lord!
Haddon Robinson in “Biblical Preaching” writes, “A Chinese boy who wanted to learn about jade went to study with a talented old teacher. This gentle man put a piece of the precious stone into his hand and told him to hold it tight. Then he began to talk of philosophy, men, women, the sun and almost everything under it.
After an hour, he took back the stone and sent the boy home. The procedure was repeated for several weeks. The boy became frustrated. When would he be told about the jade? He was too polite, however, to question the wisdom of his venerable teacher. Then one day, when the old man put a stone into his hands, the boy cried out instinctively, ‘That’s not jade!’”
Allow me to suggest that you stay so close to God that any voice that is not his is easily identified. What is critical is that we are not fooled by the illusion of a narrative that will lead us away from Jesus!
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council, who writes a weekly column published in The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.