Scripture and the Church

ACCC 2019 Resolution: The Evil of Critical Theory

Perhaps you have never heard the term "critical theory", but you may see its ungodly effects every day.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase


Editor's Note: The 78th Annual Convention of the American Council of Christian Churches met in Carlisle, Pennsylvania from October 22-24, 2019. The convention approved several resolutions on critical issues confronting Christians and the church in our time. We present the fifth of those resolutions for the edification and encouragement of God's people. - Dr. Paul Elliott [10]


American Council of Christian Churches
78th Annual Convention, October 22-24, 2019
Faith Chapel, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Resolution on Critical Theory

Since the 1930s, Critical Theorists have sought to supplant biblical Christianity with their brand of Marxist ideology. They have taught that the Holy Bible should be superseded by the writings of the Frankfurt School,[1] Liberation Theologians,[2] and/or other false prophets.[3] Federal headship likewise should not be found in Adam or Christ, but in race, class, gender, physical ability, age, or any combination of these. Sin then should not be exclusively defined as any violation of God's Law in thought, word, deed, or state of being, but today rather should be predicated on one's proximity to being identified as an older, rich, white, able-bodied, heterosexual male, which is the chief of sinners.[4]

Critical Theorists thereby have taught two false gospels, depending on the group to which they say a person belongs. Salvation for a person in an "oppressed" minority group entails 1) an awareness[5] of their innocent, victimhood status and 2) a relentless push to overthrow the hegemonic power[6] in order to attain social justice. The gospel for a person in an "oppressor" group includes 1) a perpetual feeling of guilt[7] for the group's collective sins and 2) a life of penance involving endless apologies, reparations, affirmative actions, and silent listening to "marginalized" groups, as well as the mortification of all purported "microaggressions" of sexism, racism, ageism, ableism, cisgenderism, colonialism, misogyny, patriarchy, and toxic masculinity.

Within the last two decades, Critical Theorists have won many converts by preaching their destructive beliefs in almost every area of society, including academics, politics, athletics, entertainment, and religion. Quite a number of professing evangelicals have even imbibed Critical Theory to some degree.[8]

Therefore, the American Council of Christian Churches at its 78th annual convention, October 22-24, 2019, at Faith Chapel, Carlisle, PA, resolves to reject Critical Theory and its subfields, such as Gender Studies, Feminist Studies, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and Identity Politics. Rather, we admonish everyone to turn from these worldly ideologies unto God's infallible and perspicuous Word, adhering only to His definitions of righteousness, sin, justice, guilt, grace, redemption, repentance, forgiveness, and sanctification.[9] Romans 3:23 says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"; therefore, we urge "all men everywhere to repent [and believe the Gospel]: because [God] hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man [Christ Jesus] whom he hath ordained" (Acts 17:30-31). Lastly, we exhort all Christians to "put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all" (Col. 3:10-11, cf. 1 Cor. 12:13, Gal. 3:27-29).


1. Such as Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm, and Jurgen Habermas.

2. Such as Gustavo Gutierrez and James Cone.

3. Such as Karl Marx, Gyorgy Lukacs, Antonio Gramsci, Paulo Freire, Derek Bell, Kimberle Crenshaw, Peggy McIntosh, Alison Bailey, Robin DiAngelo, Barbara Applebaum, George Yancy, and Richard Delgado.

4. Intersectionality Score Calculator:

5. Sometimes called getting "woke."

6. Depending on the focus, it can be called "heterosexual/straight privilege," "male privilege," "white privilege," or "systemic/institutional/structural racism"

7. At times, this is called "white guilt" The opposite is oftentimes called "white fragility."

8. See Tim Keller, "Racism and Corporate Evil: A White Guy's Perspective," Desiring God Blog (March 28, 2012): William H Smith, "Critical Race Theory, RTS, and SBTS," The Aquila Report (March 30, 2017):, Thabiti Anyabwile, "We Await Repentance for Assassinating Dr. King," The Gospel Coalition (April 4, 2018):√???√??√?¬≠anyabwile/await-repentance-assassinating-dr-king/. Samuel Sey, "Moses or Marx?" Slow To Write Blog (April 27, 2018):, Hohn Cho, "Microaggressions ... or Speck-Plucking?" PyroManiacs (June 18, 2018):, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., "Tom Between Two Cultures? Revoice, LGBT Identity, and Biblical Christianity," Albert Mohler Blog (August 2, 2018):, "The [Dallas] Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel" (September 2018):, J. D. Greear, "Is white privilege real?" J.D. Greear Ministries (January 28, 2019):, Sey, "Whiteness. Blackness, Christless," Slow To Write Blog (April 12, 2019):, Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker, "Whiteness," Just Thinking (podcast), April 14, 2019,, Tom Ascol, "Resolution 9 and the Southern Baptist Convention 2019," Founders Ministries (June 15, 2019):, James Lindsay and Michael O'Fallon, "Grievance Scholars Expose the Trojan Horse of Social Justice in Faith & Academics," Sovereign Nations (August 9, 2019):, and Neil Shenvi, "Is Critical Theory a Threat to Evangelicalism? - A Dialogue with Bradly Mason, Part l," Neil Shenvi -Apologetics (August 30, 2019): https://shenviapologetics.corn/dialogue-with-bradly-mason-part-1/.

9. See the 1998 ACCC "Resolution on Violence in Our Society," the 2011 "Resolution on Instances of Abuse within Professed Fundamentalism," the 2012 "Resolution on Liberation Theology and Socialism," the 2014 "Resolution Concerning Marriage and Sexual Morality," the 2016 "Resolution on Freedom and Respect for Civil Authority," the 2017 "Resolution on Racism," and the 2018 "Resolution on Multiculturalism."

10. Dr. Elliott is a member of the ACCC's executive committee.


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