Woke PCA Pastor Says Holy Spirit Insufficient to Overcome Racist Ideologies (This is a Very Dangerous Sermon)

In perhaps one of the most subtle and sneaky sermons we’ve ever heard on the topic, Zachary Bradley, pastor at Atlanta’s Brookhaven Presbyterian Church, which is a Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), does something very interesting: he introduces Critical Race Theory and Ibram X. Kendi’s notion of “The heartbeat of racism is denial” in a way designed to appeal to conservative, reformed Christians.

Buttressing it with the Westminster Confession of Faith, Bradley argues that because we are sinners stained with original sin, we can never get to the point where our sin is so minimal that it is no longer an issue. Being aware of our sin, when someone accuses us of being a racist or having racial undertones, rather than acknowledging the effects of sin in our life and the possibility that the sin may have impacted our thinking, Bradley says our propensity is to deny it, which he describes as a form of Christian perfectionism which claims that we don’t or can’t sin anymore in the realm of racism.

This is why when white Christians are accused of being guilty of racial injustice, we ought to be honest with ourselves and the reality of our sin nature. We should assume we are guilty and there is truth there, given that we cannot be sanctified to the point of sinlessness in this area.

It’s very tricky stuff, and he intermittently weaves some excellent truth into his sermon that any reformed person would give a hearty amen, which is what makes it one of the most dangerous sermons we’ve ever heard on the matter. Here are just a few sermon highlights from one clip, but @wokepreachertv, who provided the video and transcript (save the last one) has a whole series of tweets where he went off on the matter, being as disturbed and affected by it as we were.


If, in discussions of race or riots…people post something along the lines of “I’m not gonna make any sort of statement here on anything that has happened, what we just need is more revival.” Or something like that. That the solution to unrest in our country is revival. What I want to suggest to you is that that is coming from a place of Christian perfectionism…The idea that I can get to a place where my sin is so minimal that I don’t really have to deal with it on a daily or even minute-by-minute basis.

...If you’ve seen anybody suggest, “The problem here is not a race problem. It’s just a sin problem and what we need is more people to come to Jesus…” That’s rooted not in identifying sin in my own heart and then repenting for it. That’s rooted in Christian perfectionism. The idea that, as long as I just become a Christian, that everything else will be okay…To say all we need is revival, as if to say once people are Christians, now all of our other problems will go away, is to subvert and fail to identify what are the specific sins that are going on that need to be addressed?

The place on a daily basis where most of us encounter our tacit Christian perfectionism is our quickness toward defensiveness when we are confronted about anything…If you encounter me on a normal day, usually, if you challenge me, I’m going to say, “That’s not true! I didn’t do X.” That’s me not leading with the idea of saying, “My sin is so wrapped up in my entire being that of course I’m sinful, and let’s try to untangle where it is.” But even moreso, it’s also me saying, especially on issues of race and such in America, saying, “The way that I think must be right, and therefore you must be wrong, and now let’s get into an argumentative stance.”

…The [Westminster] Confession comes in and says you cannot trust the way that you think. You cannot trust basically anything that you do, that it is free from sin…Christianity looks at you and me and says, “It’s not that you are innocent until proven guilty. It’s not even that you are guilty until you are proven innocent. You’re just guilty.” That’s just all it is.

This is why it’s hard for us to deal with, but the Confession is very clear and scripture is very clear. Your sin is literally everywhere. Literally everywhere. It is in the way that you think, it is in the things that you do, it is in the way that you process things, it is in your relationships, it is in your emotions. And when we get defensive about something, then it betrays the idea that I think that, and particularly if I justify it, because I’m a Christian, I must be right about something, instead of leading with saying, “I must be wrong, and so if you present something to me, you’re probably right. Let’s investigate that a little bit more.”

So if somebody drops the term ‘White Privilege’ and your immediate reaction is to get defensive, that’s probably a problem…If someone says ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and my immediate response is to get defensive and say something along the lines of ‘All Lives Matter’ – that’s a problem. That’s defensiveness. It is a tacit Christian perfectionism which is what I am kind of saying...If someone mentions the term ‘reparations’ or ‘Critical Race Theory’ and the immediate response is to get defensive and give arguments, that’s probably a problem. As opposed to saying, ‘Look, every human being here is made in the image of God, I probably have something to learn from you and I am probably sinful – and not just probably but most assuredly sinful – in some area if not every facet aspect of this area. So let’s try to work through this in some ways in humility.’

This is in some ways just a sermon in praise of gospel humility.

9 thoughts on “Woke PCA Pastor Says Holy Spirit Insufficient to Overcome Racist Ideologies (This is a Very Dangerous Sermon)

  1. Woke leftist are terrible at arguing because they have terrible ideas that are nearly impossible to defend and as a result of this, the last thing they want is an rational argument or debate. Instead, of coming up with a counterpoint to “all lives matter” they say “shut up, that’s racist”. If ask how is that racist, they will say “shut up, you’re sinful and so depraved you can’t think clearly about race or social issues and have accept what we tell you is right or wrong”, yet somehow they can transcend above their sinfulness to such a degree that they can sit in judgement of others without needing any other argument except “shut up, you’re sinful”.

    This is what God turning people over to a depraved mind looks like.

  2. Well if ‘the elect’ are just a bunch of congenital racists, powerless over their chronically sinful condition, then Mr Bradley just threw Reformed theology in the dumpster and set it on fire. Dangerous indeed. (Glad I’m not Reformed; my natural self was ‘buried with Christ in baptism’ and if I sin I have an advocate- 1John2:1. Those who falsely accuse me and bear false witness are the ones who need to be very afraid.)
    But this pastor is another example, along with every other denomination including Baptist, that our churches are being destroyed from within by our so called leaders. As one Catholic bishop said “the smoke of Satan has entered the Vatican.” He could have been talking about any denomination. The unregenerate among our clergy are sucking all the air out of the room on social media. Catholics have another memorable adage that ‘every priest who goes to heaven and every priest who goes to hell takes a thousand souls with them.’ Substitute ‘preacher’ for ‘priest’ and we have the same situation.

    1. This isn’t an example of “reformed theology” any more than the Westborough Baptist Church is an example of a Baptist church.

    2. Some I know quit the PCA years back. Also the SBC . New Bible translations, watered down “free will” geared sermons, and like the SBC, liberalism in the pulpits. Both these denominations condone globalism here is an example: https://leagueofthesouth.com/southern-baptists-condemn-alt-right-and-nationalism/#comment-5227 These denominations condone LGBT by not speaking out since it is all about money and members/running a business. Apostasy prevails in 501c3 churches (fewexceptions) for the fear of man/pulling their 501c3 for not being politically correct. I am a reformed protestant and attend a non 501c3 small congregation.

  3. Just another blind guide who obviously has no business teaching anyone about anything biblical.

  4. Does he have the exact same message for non-“whites”? Doubtfully, but not mentioned one way or the other here.

  5. Good gracious, I can write a book destroying JUST this monologue alone (monologue. It’s not a sermon). The fact that we keep denying repentance IS the reason why we have issues now. It’s as if these people act like they’re without sin. That means they declare they’re God! This is just basic logic. I don’t need to get defensive about CRT. This monologue subtly (or not) just declared you don’t need Jesus. Never at any point does the Christian doctrine say everything will be okay once you follow Him. So this monologue already presented a logical fallacy.

    I mean, what is wrong with saying “I didn’t do X?” A specific act at a specific time. If I didn’t do X, that means I didn’t do X. It’s a VALID statement to make in this entire CRT diatribe. It’s like a crime is taking place in Chicago. A Seattle resident is valid in stating he has nothing to do with it. This monologue reeks of irony when he states “the way that I think must be right, and therefore you must be wrong,” because the CRT proponents ARE DOING JUST THAT. Yes, we ARE guilty. Right off the bat. It’s why we need Jesus. As he slightly elaborated with the Confession. So by golly why are we so hinged upon CRT?

    His paragraph starting with “This is why…” is utterly deceptive and devious. Yes, he is correct in that this planet has sin everywhere. It’s a fallen world. But instead of turning to Jesus, because, well, he’s a Christian I assume right? Instead of turning to Jesus, he says we have to listen to anyone speak and assume he or she may be right. What? No discerning Christian thinks “I must be right.” No. Discerning Christians think Jesus is right and we follow Him as He is wisdom.

    Most discerning Christians don’t get defensive over white privilege. That’s just how you see things sir. We turn to the Gospel. Because THE GOSPEL IS THE ANSWER.
    Again, it all boils down to this: sin is the problem. Christ is the answer. You don’t employ color in anything whatsoever. Period. End of story. It’s actually you CRT proponents that turn everything into race. If anything, it’s YOU that’s being defensive and argumentative. True, we have things to learn from each other, but we are not to agree with anything that is NOT Christlike. And CRT is NOT Christlike. Humility is not accepting something that is not Christlike. These people constantly want to “come to the table,” but all that results in is pushing their agenda without Christ.

  6. Never let them get away with claiming that “saying you aren’t racist is evidence of racism!!” It is pure fallacy. You could fill in anything besides racism to make the point. Tell the person he is a pedophile, and if he denies it that is proof that he’s a pedophile.

  7. “…The [Westminster] Confession comes in and says you cannot trust the way that you think”

    does this also include the way he is thinking? why then would he trust his thoughts enough to EVER give a sermon about anything including this topic?

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