Social Justice Warrior: a person who advocates a progressive orthodoxy, often on the Internet, especially involving the treatment of ethnic, racial, gender, or gender-identity minorities.
Standing for the oppressed
I used to be a Social Justice Warrior. For the record, I hated when that phrase was used against me. Those three words were constantly being flung in my direction and leveed against me every day online. At first, I was confused with the concept of those three words being used in a pejorative way, especially by Christians who I seemed to get the most push back against my SJW ideas. I would constantly ask myself, “Have we not been called by God to care about our society?” “Have we not been given the responsibility to uphold justice?” And, “Have we not been called by God to be warriors in the Lord’s army?” If the answer was yes to all three of those statements, then what’s the problem with being a Social Justice Warrior? Yeah, I know, I had it all figured out.
All this talk about being a Social Justice Warrior was frustrating to me. The lack of compassion toward the oppressed seemed like a distraction that was being used to divert peoples attention away from the real issues. In my opinion, issues like Mass Incarceration, White Privilege, Misogyny, and Micro-aggressions were being ignored, mocked and ridiculed. My desire to do justice was boiling in me. I made a pact with myself moving forward that I would no longer ignore the Samaritan who was bleeding out on the side of the road. I was going to speak out on behalf of the voiceless. I was going to do justice by representing the marginalized. I was going to stand up for the oppressed even if it meant being called a Social Justice Warrior. I was going to turn a phrase that was being used against me in a negative light and redeem it for the Lord’s glory.
A growing hate
As time went on, I began to see how difficult my calling to stand up as a Social Justice Warrior was. I found myself dedicating an enormous amount of time online trying to convince, otherwise theologically sound Christians about the importance of Social Justice. Every time a new video of an unarmed black man being killed at the hands of a white cop was released I quickly posted it on my Facebook page; for me, this was my way of keeping the injustices that were taking place in our nation at the forefront of peoples minds. At the time I felt justified for my actions – I was a Social Justice Warrior.
In fact, the more pushback my ideas received online the more I pushed forward with my SJW ideas. More and more my patience was fading and my tolerance level for stupid was getting shorter by the day. After countless debates online and several ugly conversations with friends who were trying to warn me of my destructive ways, I finally had enough, I was tired of arguing with people who refused to see the facts. How any person who claimed to be a Christian could be so ignorant toward the plight of the marginalized in our society, and throughout history was jaw-dropping to me. I became more cold-hearted toward those who were seeking to be a voice a reason in my life. I completely closed my ears to their oppressive ideas and closed the door to their friendship in my life.
The beginning of the end
It had been two years now since I decided to commit myself to the cause of being a Social Justice Warrior. In that time, my online presence steadily grew as I continued to champion the cause for justice. I started making new friends online who actually agreed with my worldview and were more than willing to pat my SJW ideas on the back. I was constantly reading books by people who trod the same fields I was currently walking through. I was no longer being discipled by people in my former (Reformed) camp. In fact, those people, the ones who stood for “sound theology” were of the same theological ideology as those who, in times past used their “Reformed” ideas to oppress people of color by justifying slavery and white supremacy. I was done with what I deemed to be the “white version of heady Christianity.” All head knowledge, but no compassion for the marginalized-No thank you!
In the name of broadening my intellectual and cultural competency, I excused my poor judgment of embracing unbiblical ideas by making ambiguous statements such as, “All truth is God’s truth.” Although the sentiment is true, “all truth IS God’s truth” I had gotten to a place in my life where truth was being redefined and in the name of passion I traded in a sound mind. I traded in scriptures for emotionalism that resulted in an embrace of an ethnocentric gospel based on skin color.
For example, at one point I was thoroughly convinced that only white people could be racist. How in the world could a professing Christian come to this conclusion? Easly, by putting down their bible and trading it for secular reasoning. Around this time my diet was a mixture of Robin DeAngelo, author of “What does it mean to be white.” Besides embracing her unbiblical views, I was also a regular listener of podcasts that promoted ethnocentric, and identity politic ideas. Two of my favorite podcasts were ‘Pass the mic’ and ‘The Truths Table.’
- Pass the mic is where I was first introduced to the topic of white Privilege/Supremacy.
- The Truths Table is where I was first introduced to the topic of Reparations for blacks.
From these two podcasts alone, I was introduced to a whole new world of books and articles, the likes of which were unbiblical and created a greater sense of divide from brothers and sisters in the faith who did not fit the ‘person of color’ description.
The ideas from those resources were the recurring thoughts I meditated on. In the name of love for ‘my people’ I fell into the trap of believing a lie rather than the truth. Unknown to me, I was completely wrapped up in Critical Race Theory (CRT) 1. I found myself fighting for “social Justice” rather than allowing the Bible to define what justice looks like 2.
The Lord kept pursuing me
Over the span of two years I had become someone completely different. At one time I was a vibrant and optimistic person who gave people the benefit of the doubt. Now I was almost always on edge and everywhere I looked I couldn’t help but see oppression, injustice, racism, and micro-aggressions. At one point, I was so far off the deep end that I was convinced that only white people were capable of being racist. Because of their “power and authority” in society, I saw them as a threat to true liberation. I had adopted Marxist ideas and I didn’t even know it.
As I write today, I praise God that I am free from the CRT mindset. I no longer embrace the idea that we as Christians need to divide our fellowships over the issue of skin color. I no longer look at my white brothers and sisters in the faith as a threat to my safety in worship (an idea I adopted from Jemar Tisby. I now reject the idea of white guilt and white privilege. In the Lord’s kindness, He used a host of means to draw me back to Himself.
I thank God for the brothers who continually challenged my ideas and my vocabulary during that season. Every time I posted a quote from a new book I was reading that promoted CRT ideas they would give me push back and challenge me. I rarely had a response to their critiques and even when I did they were never sound arguments that were grounded in the scriptures.
The Lord faithfully pursued me during this dark season of my life. He would not let me go as far as I could have gone. He would not allow me to get deeper in the pit, instead, He used the truth of His word and the Body of Christ made up of different skin colors to bring me back to my senses.
It has been about three months now since completely separating myself from the Social Justice Warrior movement, and looking back I am thankful for going through that two-year spell because it helped me greater appreciate the importance of truth, as well as a greater urgency to help rescue others from the deception I was once in.
Now my desire is to see others who are currently trapped in this movement come to the place where they see the danger in it. My prayer is that the damage done by well-meaning brothers and sisters snared by this movement is minimal and that in time God would uncover their eyes and free them from the deception I was once seduced by.
For His Name Sake