A bestseller Christian author and speaker apologized for his comments on systematic racism, a report says.
Josh McDowell, famous for his book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" and other works supporting the Christian faith, delivered a lecture Saturday at the American Association of Christian Counselors' annual conference, where he claimed that African Americans and other minorities were not taught to value hard labor or education, The Roys Report said.
McDowell outlined a series of dangers to the Christian church in his lecture, titled "The Five Greatest Global Epidemics." The first, he claimed, was the critical theory of race, an academic area of research into the basis of systematic racism. The critical race theory, known under the abbreviation CRT, is becoming contentious among both Christian conservatives and politicians.
He told Christian counselors that CRT "negates all the biblical teaching" on racism because it focuses on institutions rather than the sins of the person's heart. He also claimed that today's concept of "social justice" as not biblical.
"There's no comparison to what is known today as social justice with what the Bible speaks as justice," he said.
He then went on to suggest that the Bible exclusively addresses individual sin, not systemic evil saying, "with CRT they speak structurally. The Bible speaks individually. Make sure you get that. That's a big difference."
However, McDowell made a statement that did not sit well with people who contacted him about it. That section of his speech was when he stated his belief that African Americans and minorities do not have equal opportunities for success.
"They don't, folks. I do not believe Blacks, African Americans, and many other minorities have equal opportunity," he said during his lecture.
"Why? Most of them grew up in families where there is not a big emphasis on education, security - you can do anything you want. You can change the world. If you work hard, you will make it. So many African Americans don't have those privileges like I was brought up with," he added.
Aaron New, a Christian college professor, was the first to draw attention to McDowell's remarks on social media. Following New's call to attention, a tape of McDowell's address was taken down from the AACC website.
His statements were confirmed through a copy of the tape.
After being informed about it, McDowell posted a message on social media, apologizing for his comments and stating that they do not represent his own views. He said that his remark regarding minority households does not accurately represent reality.
A statement from Josh McDowell: pic.twitter.com/MhYaL2iA28
— Josh McDowell (@josh_mcdowell) September 19, 2021
"I do believe this. Racism has kept equality from being achieved within our nation," he explained.
"I made a generalized statement ...I apologize and reiterate my Christian love for all races, nationalities and people groups," he went on.
He concluded his apologies by reiterating that his main argument was for Christians to see "racism and inequality" as sins in order to bring about unity and equality that God wants for everyone.
CRT continues to be a point of contention among evangelical congregations. The debate over CRT was a focal point of discussion during the SBC's annual conference in 2021. CRT has been condemned by the presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention's seminaries as being incompatible with the denomination's declaration of faith. However, it was this assertion that prompted a number of prominent Black pastors to quit the denomination.