Dear Woke Christian,
Ezra 9 This is an interesting verse to use for corporate repentance. Be careful, it’s a narrative. We have to be very careful lifting “principles” from narratives and just overlaying them in today’s modern times. They weren’t meant to be read like this and we will soon see why. Another point is that we tend to treat “Israel” like Play-Doh. We can mold it into whatever we want. This was a real group of people in real-time and space. We can’t just make promises directed to them apply to us at will. This is a wonderful example of the Play-Doh policy.
This story was about the Israelites who went back with the first rebuilding project with Ezra. They didn’t get much done, let’s be honest. In steps Nehemiah and got things done. That’s the short and quick summary. But let’s go back to Ezra. His people had something that God had directly told them not to do. They came in and married foreign wives. This was the sin they were repenting of in Ezra 9.
I asked Herb to jump in and help with this as well. Here’s his response. I’m really not sure how this text is used to support CRT? Is the argument that racism in America, specifically in white people, is like the modern day intermarriage happening among the Jews? If so, and all people are to follow the Ezra model and seek forgiveness for our racism, what do we do with the actual sin of intermarriage that is being addressed? Are we just to ignore that God was specific about who the Israelites could marry? Seems a bit racist for God to not want his people to marry people of a different “race” ethnicity. The moment we or CRT-Christians begin to explain the intermarriage part of this text everything breaks down. Israel was a “set-apart” people, a holy nation, intended to be different from all others so that they could be a light to the world. This is what living under the Lordship of God Almighty looks like! They were never able to make that claim because they constantly rebelled against God. Hence Jesus had to come, not just to redeem Israel, but all people. Romans tells us that the gospel of Jesus is the power of God for salvation, first to the Jew, and then to the Gentile. We, America, are the gentile. We see the unfolding story of God in his relationship with Israel as a revelation of the character of God, not as a playbook for humanity. I, as a gentile, know that I was dead in my sin (past), am forgiven and redeemed by the work of Christ on the cross (present), and am being sanctified as an adopted, righteous child of God because of Christ in me, not me (future).
Instead of Ezra 9, I’d suggest that people look at 1 John 1:7-10