Andy Stanely, doing his very best Angla Davis/ Ibram X Kendi impression, demonstrated in a newly unearthed sermon that in his words, it’s not enough to be not a fan of Andy Stanley, but rather you must be Anti-Stanley.
Speaking to his congregation during June of 2020 as part of his This Human Race series, the Northpoint Church pastor revealed his belief that white people fear black people. Later in the sermon, he went on a tear against white folk for harboring unexamined racism towards black folk, explaining that people need to stop claiming that they ‘love everybody’ and rather must specifically love people of color.
Furthermore, in the purest form of Critical Race Theory imaginable, Stanley argues there is no middle ground on the subject: being non-racist is in fact, a form of racism, where unless you are active, practicing ‘non-racist,’ then you’re worst than a racist, because you’re a racist in denial.
So what does the Jesus brand of love look like in our current context? How should it shape how people who don’t look like you experience you? How should it shape how people who don’t look like us experience us? First, and this is certainly not original with me:
It is not enough. It is not enough NOT to be a racist. It is not enough NOT to be a racist. ‘Non-racist’ is not the goal. Being non-racist does nothing to address racism. Practically speaking, it amounts to indifference toward racism.
If you’re a Jesus follower, you must be, we must be anti-racism. Just like you’re anti-child abuse. Think about it. You, you wouldn’t walk by somebody abusing a child and think to yourself, ‘I’m not a child abuser.’ You wouldnt walk by and think to yourself, ‘I’m not a child abuser’ and say nothing or do nothing. We must be anti-racist, like we’re anti-bullying, like we’re anti-voter fraud, like we’re anti-whatever it is that gets you worked up.
I mean, think about it this way, if you’re a parent, as a parent, I wasn’t content to simply be non-liar. I was anti-lie. I did not put up with it in my children in our family, right? I wasn’t content with being non-disrespectful to Sandra, I was anti-disrespect to Sandra. There was zero tolerance for disrespecting Sandra in our household.
When you are anti-something, you address it when you see it. You speak up when you hear it, and to carry somebody’s burdens is to get up underneath the weight of their burden. And when we decide to carry the burden of anyone who has been discriminated against for any reason, we won’t be silent. Because now it’s our burden.
But I gotta warn you, speaking from personal experience, I’ll own this, whether you’re white or brown or black. When you shift from non-racist to anti-racist, you may discover something disturbing about you.
You may discover a racist in the mirror. You may discover subtle versions of racism that have been hiding, even masquerading as virtues, buried in the recesses of your heart. Racism, racism, you were completely unaware of until you decided to say something, correct something, or apologize for something.
For some of us, the truth is, when it comes to our hearts, racism will never be routed out until we are willing to speak out. And honestly, there’s probably a little bit of racism in all of us. And who knows, perhaps it will never be completely erased from our hearts, but it must certainly be erased from how people experience us.
There’s a lot to unpack there, but suffice to say Stanley conflates several different categories. He first supposes that someone who is “not racist” but is also not an ‘anti-racist would not directly intervene when blatant and discriminatory racism is presented, when that is simply not true. Furthermore, other than asserting earlier in the sermon that “white people fear black people” he doesn’t give us examples of racist behavior that non-racists would let slide but ‘anti-racists’ wouldn’t. He concludes:
Would you, regardless of the color of your skin, decide not to be content with merely being a non-racist? Will you decide to make the shift to anti-racism, anti-discrimination? Will you stop?
And I’m sorry to push so hard, but would you please stop with all the ‘but I love everybody’ and would you go out and love somebody who doesn’t look like you? Who doesn’t experience the world the way that you do? In other words, will you follow Jesus?