Identity Politics: An Ultimate Deception

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I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.
Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
—John 17:23

The word “radical” derives from the Latin, radix. At its etymological center is the concept of being centered and internally fixated on some all-consuming thing or concept. A true radical is not someone on the “left” or “right,” politically speaking. Rather, it is someone whose supreme identity through which they delineate themselves, views all other things as “secondary” when measured against the value of their core true “me.” I am “that,” and ultimately everything else that makes up “me” orbits around my “thatness.” They have become fused and one with their “that.” Such are the words of Jesus as He describes His fused “thatness” with God the Father.

Identity politics is more than just a strategic political weapon designed to segregate, isolate, and destroy a given body politic. It is a spiritual weapon designed to turn ethnicity or sexuality into a core identity that exclude a “thatness” relationship with God. It elevates our ethnicity or sexual identity as the all-important core of our self. True Christianity precludes us as humans from having any ultimate, centered identity other than that of Christ our Creator, energizer, and host. This makes such things as ethnicity and sexual identity secondary issues. The statement of Saint Paul to the world’s most abstract ontologists of that day, the Greeks in Athens, still reverberates clearly today: “…for in Him (Jesus Christ) we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). It was this statement that penetrated me more than fifty years ago, ejecting me beyond all the studies, disciplines, higher consciousness pursuits of the day, and the philosophies of Sartre, Marx, and all the rest.

It matters a great deal that God assigned each of us an ethnic and gender/sexual identity of His choice for His purposes, both now and later. To those who believe evolution came to these distinctions out of “probability reality,” I offer them my sincere condolences. However, those who measure their core identity by their sexuality or ethnicity do not necessarily understand the political trap in which they are housed. In fact, I think most people trapped in the supremacy of race or sexuality have no clue of the portent of limitation in which they are meddling. Their language consistently reveals their condition and is painful to hear. A displaced focus on sexuality and ethnicity has a true basis in evil for many reasons. It baits the trap that elevates one’s reality of themselves as worthy of being the supreme centering point of their identity.

The spiritual beings that oppose Christ (Ephesians 6:12) see things far clearer than many who claim a Christian-based ideology, which is both painful and perplexing to consider. The spirit of anti-Christ works primarily on the macro-level, sociologically speaking, using culture and social injustices which are so common in our fallen and self-centered human condition. If that spirit traps us on lesser levels socially, it does more than simply divide us culturally, economically, and politically; it grossly dilutes the possibility for Christians to be truly centered in Christ as their core identity, and undermines the church’s value to society as a potential healer to the attacks on humanity, justice, and intellectual clarity.

Identity politics is not going away anytime soon. The question is how many clarion voices will arise to confront it—not as Republicans or Democrats, but as those who truly understand the ultimate damage it is doing to the millions caught up in the current toxic effects. God made me white, male, and imperfect, yet an image-bearer of Himself. However, He alone is my core identity alignment. Are you black or white, male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, an American, an intellectual, a Marine, an artist, or whatever else? Good for you! None of those things are worthy of your core alignment; they are secondary. Christ alone owns that place, and that is…

THE BOTTOM LINE.

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