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The Danger of Two-Group Thinking (7/2/20)

July 2, 2020 • Benham Brothers

* Our culture is plagued by two-group thinking. * Back in Christ’s day it was the same thing - Jew & Gentile. * But after Christ’s death we are supposed to be one-group thinkers. * Galatians 3:28 - “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.” * Satan loves two-group thinking. Why? * Because he cannot win when we’re ONE! * When we’re united as one two things are true: * We are the image of God (ex: marriage). * We are the church (the gates of hell will not prevail against it). * *** Peter was a two-group thinker, but God changed him into a one-group thinker. * Backstory: * The gospel was spreading as the apostles preached to the Jews. * Jews were not to associate with Gentiles - it was “us vs them.” * But then… * A gentile Roman centurion named Cornelius had a vision from God to send for and ask for Peter, the Jew, to come talk to him. * The next day Peter had a vision too - to kill and eat unclean animals. * Then God told Peter to go along with the men from Cornelius who showed up. * Vs 24-28 - Passion: “…Yet God has shown me that I should never view anyone as INFERIOR…” * ie - “God has shown me that I’m not supposed to view myself in one group and others in another. We can all be one in Christ.” * Cornelius explains his vision, then Peter responds: * Vs 34 - “NOW I know…” * Peter admitted his worldview had been off. * But he was still filled with the Spirit when he didn’t see it right. * He was done with that old way of thinking and was no longer going to let it guide his decisions moving forward. * Vs 35 - Pete was now a one-group thinker! * But the spirit of our age wants us stuck in two-group thinking. The Foundation of Worldview & Critical Theory: * Our thinking is fueled by our worldview. * A worldview is the lens through which you view the world. * The lens determines what you see. * This is why a worldview grounded in truth is so important. * EX: cataract surgery. * A worldview answers our most basic questions: Who are we? What is our problem? What is the solution to that problem? What is our primary moral duty? How should we live? * Two-Group thinking is based in the worldview of Critical Theory (CT). * One-Group thinking is based on the worldview of Biblical Christianity. * CT defined - “Modern critical theory views reality through the lens of power. Each individual is seen either as oppressed or as an oppressor, depending on their race, class, gender, sexuality, and a number of other categories. Oppressed groups are subjugated not by physical force or even overt discrimination, but through the exercise of hegemonic power—the ability of dominant groups to impose their norms, values, and expectations on society as a whole, relegating other groups to subordinate positions.” Comparing Christianity vs Critical Theory:   * WHO ARE WE: * Christianity - we are equal, made by God in His image  * Critical Theory - members of a dominant or oppressed group w/respect to a particular identity marker (race, sex, economic status, sexual preference, nationality, etc).  * Dominant (Oppressor) - male, white, straight, middle-upper class, Christian, American, Property Owners... * Marginalized (Oppressed) - female, color, gay, lower class, non religious, foreigner, Renters… * Intersectionality - you can be in both groups. A black female experiences more discrimination than a white female… * WHAT IS OUR PROBLEM:  * Christianity - we are all sinners in need of redemption (we all stand equally before God)  * Critical Theory - oppression from the dominant group (we are in one of two groups)  * WHAT IS THE SOLUTION:  * Christianity - salvation through Jesus and sanctification through the Holy Spirit  * Critical Theory - liberation from oppression  * HOW SHOULD WE LIVE:  * Christianity - love God and love people (see all people as equal under God)  * Critical Theory - dismantle structures of society that oppress people  * Fight for social justice (overthrow of oppression) * This is why “clash” is so important (Darwin and Marx talked a lot about it).  * STAGES OF EACH THEORY:  * Christianity - Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration (4 stages) * Critical Theory - Oppression, Activism, Liberation (3 stages - there is no creation - God is not in the picture)  * SOURCE OF TRUTH:  * Christianity - Revelation, logic, common sense, and experience  * Critical Theory - experience (those in the dominant group are “blinded by privilege” so they cannot know the truth because they haven’t “experienced” it)  * FOUR PILLARS OF CRITICAL THEORY: * Social Binary - this is the foundation of two-group thinking. * Oppression Through Ideology - the dominate group maintains power by imposing their ideology on everyone. * Lived Experience - oppressed groups have special knowledge privileged groups can’t have (“blinded by privilege”).  * Social Justice - the elimination of all forms of social oppression. * What’s the solution? * EV Hill knows! He used to tell of a time he received a death threat from the Black Panthers because they didn't like his preaching about that "white Jesus". This was his reply: * “I don't know anything about a white Christ - I know about Christ, a Savior named Jesus. I don't know what color He is. He was born in brown Asia, He fled to black Africa, and He was in heaven before the gospel got to white Europe, so I don't know what color He is. I do know one thing: if you bow at the altar with color on your mind, and get up with color on your mind, go back again - and keep going back until you no longer look at His color, but at His greatness and His power - His power to save!”

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