Josh McDowell’s Ugly Comments on Blacks

Welcome to Defenders Voice. I am Dr.Paul. Thank you for joining us today. Please send me your questions to Visit my website to subscribe to my podcast and to read my articles. Today’s question is Josh McDowell made ugly comments on blacks. Is this right?

We all know Josh McDowell as the author of the famous book Evidence that demand the verdict. He gave a speech on Saturday at the American Association of Christian Counselors. His speech is entitled “The Five Greatest Global Epidemics”.

Some of his comments became controversial.He said critical race theory is the first global epidemic. He said that not all Americans have equal opportunities to succeed.

“They don’t, folks….. I do not believe Blacks, African Americans, and many other minorities have equal opportunity. Why? Most of them grew up in families where there is not a big emphasis on education, security — you can do anything you want. You can change the world. If you work hard, you will make it. So many African Americans don’t have those privileges like I was brought up with.”

Someone posted his speech online. His point that blacks do not teach their children about hard work drew criticism. AACC removed his speech from their website. Josh McDowell gave an apology on Sunday stating

“Racism has kept equality from being achieved within our nation, ” my comment is a “generalized statement that does not reflect reality.”

“I apologize and reiterate my Christian love for all races, nationalities and people groups,” “My desire is that we as Christians would deal with both racism and inequality as the sins that they are in order to restore the unity that God desires for all.”

First of all, stop giving speeches that draw attention to a particular race. We say that US Constitution is color blind. The Word of God is also color blind. Pastors and apologists should understand it.

‘Black families don’t emphasize hard work.’ That offends black people in the audience. If you want to emphasize the virtues of hard work, just speak about the virtues of hard work. Dont link it to any particular ethnicity. Sensitivity matters.

     On September 11, 2001 – I went to a church for a special prayer meeting for the victims of 9/11. On that day, the terrorists wreaked havoc on America killing over 3000 Americans. I was living in Florida at that time. I was shocked by those incidents. 

In the evening, I attended this prayer service for the victims. The pastor gave a speech denouncing terrorism. Every time, he talked about the terrorism he was constantly looking at me. Some of the people in the congregation also looked at me suspiciously. One person asked me, Are you from Afghanistan? I felt awkward and uncomfortable when they asked me such questions. The pastor would have denounced terrorism without drawing attention to me. In the same way, Josh McDowell could have denounced Critical race theory without making controversial comments about black families.

In his speech he said,

“There’s no comparison to what is known today as social justice with what the Bible speaks as justice. With CRT they speak structurally. The Bible speaks individually. Make sure you get that. That’s a big difference.”

He said, CRT focuses on structural sins. The Bible focuses on individual sins. That is not the right view. The Bible speaks of both individual sins and structural sins. Read through the Old Testament, God speaks to nations and denounced their national sins. Our individual sins soon become national sins.

We have a story in India. Every morning, people collect milk from their farms to send it to a local dairy where that milk is pasteurized, parceled and transported across the region. You are supposed to squeeze the milk out of the cow and send the pure milk to the collecting center. You should not dilute the milk. You should not add water to increase the quantity. If you got one gallon of milk from the cow, then you add one gallon of water to it and say, I got two gallons of milk, then it is corruption.

One morning one milkman says to himself, ‘Everyone sends pure milk. Who would know if I add some water to my milk?’ But unfortunately, lots and lots of people thought like that. They all diluted their milk with water. When the truck reached the milk plant, they saw what happened. A ton of fake milk.A ton of corrupted milk.

    The moral of that story is individual sins add up quickly into structural sins. We might compromise with sin saying, 

‘I am the only one doing this sin. It won’t affect society’.

I am the only one lying here. How does it impact society?

I am the only one stealing here. How does it impact society? 

I am the only one cheating here. How does it impact society?

If everyone takes that approach, individual sins quickly structural sins affecting whole societies.

   The Bible denounces both individual and structural sins. CRT’s main problem is it exposes the structural sins of only one group, the oppressor. It divides society into two groups. The oppressors and the oppressed. It talks a lot about the structural sins of the oppressor and nothing about the structural sins of the oppressed. 

       If you look at the southern border, tens of thousands of people gathered under the bridges to get into the United States. They are all from countries where people are taught that capitalism, colonialism and corporate greed are the reasons for their failure. They are from countries where Marxism is the main doctrine of politics: someone else is the reason why we failed as a nation. 

You don’t see many people from South Korea under that bridge. South Koreans were subjected to vicious colonialism for many centuries. But they stopped looking at themselves as victims. They worked hard and it paid them rich dividends. They built the 10th largest economy in the world. It has just over 50 million people. 

They built the 10th largest economy in the world with 2.2 trillion GDP. Samsung, Hyundai, LG Electronics, POSCO, Kia motors…they became household names around the world. Compare South Korea to North Korea. In North Korea, Kim Jong tells people, ‘You are all victims. America is responsible for your miseries. Marxism is the solution. You need me to save you from America’. CRT advocates give the same message: you are victims. America is responsible for your misery. We will save you’.

Tonight, you will see people from North Korea under that bridge in Texas. Not the people from South Korea. Taking responsibility, working hard, and focusing on education are great things. Biblical principles are universal principles. They help anybody anywhere in the world.

Josh McDowell gave a good speech but spoiled it by comments on African Americans . He gave a speech denouncing Critical Race Theory. In his apology, he ended up supporting the basic tenets of critical race theory. With some precautions he would have avoided that debacle.

Finally, Josh McDowell had to resign from his ministry over this comments. That is not right. He would not have to resign. An apology would be sufficient. But well, our Cancel Culture Christianity does not allow that. If you make one mistake, your career must be over.

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