“Some who support justice for African Americans and oppose police brutality may rightfully wonder what Caitlyn Jenner or Dan Savage have to do with Freddie Gray or Tamir Rice,” Dr. Hart said. wrote on the Patheos site, pitting icons of the transgender and gay movements against black men whose deaths galvanized Black Lives Matter.
The unease of evangelicals over Black Lives Matter goes beyond specific policies. Many believe that the church should not be intimately involved in politics.
In an interview, Dr Hart, a member of the conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church, said he takes police brutality and racism seriously, and that these concerns could affect his vote in local or national elections. But in general, he thinks the church should not be a political player.
“I tend to be a Machen guy,” Dr. Hart said, referring to J. Gresham Machen, the Presbyterian theologian who died in 1937 and was known for his belief that political participation could defile the church. “He believed the church didn’t do politics, although Christians can.”
Mimi Haddad, an evangelical, leads Christians for Biblical Equality, which works for equality for women, including those in the church. She signed a open letterprinted in the liberal evangelical magazine Sojourners, praising InterVarsity for bringing Black Lives Matter to light.
In an interview, she said evangelical suspicion of social issues like race dates back to the early 20th century, when politically engaged modernists in the church also took a more liberal view of the accuracy of Scripture.
“The problem is that if you start to feel like someone invested in social justice, you really don’t believe in the major tenets of Christianity,” Ms Haddad said. “’If you are active in racial reconciliation, how can you believe the gospel?’ And we say that has always been part of the gospel.