In late August, black Christian actress and preacher Priscilla Shirer made an astounding statement that will rub many people the wrong way. She explained that she did not want her identity defined in terms of race, but in terms of her faith, so that the Word of God can defeat identity politics.
“I do not describe myself as a black woman, because that gives too much power to my blackness,” Shirer, an actress from “War Room” (2015) and daughter of Dallas mega-church pastor Tony Evans, declares in a video that has attracted more than 7 million views on Facebook. (The original speech took place in August and a full video can be seen here.) “I don’t want black, my race, to be the describing adjective, the defining adjective of who I am as a woman.”
“I am not a black woman, I am a Christian woman who happens to be black,” the actress declared.
“Because it’s the job of your adjective to describe the noun of who you are. And if there’s going to be an adjective describing me it is not going to be my race, it is going to be that I am a woman who believes in every single thing that my God has declared to be true, and I will stand firmly on the promises of His Word, because I will be girded in truth,” Shirer explained.
She denounced identity politics of any stripe, emphasizing her loyalty to God before anything else. “So you may be a black woman, a black man, a white woman, a white man, but that should not define you, so that if your race or if your political group is going in a different direction than the Word of God, you don’t choose your blackness or your whiteness or whatever culture you are, you do not choose that — or your political persuasion — over what it is that God’s Word declares to be true.”
Then the actress quipped, “I hate to tell you this, but God doesn’t ride the backs of donkeys or elephants.”
“He did not come to take sides, he came to take over,” she concluded.
From a Christian perspective, this is true. When Jesus began his ministry, He announced the coming of the “Kingdom of God,” and when He returns, He will come in glory to judge all people.
If anyone would become Jesus’ disciple, he or she should “deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” (Mark 8:34-38)
Jesus promises a new identity in Him, and that identity transcends worldly identities that divide Christians from one another (Galatians 3:28).
While it seems a bit much for Shirer to declare, “I am not a black woman,” she can and should find her identity in Christ more than in her race or political opinions — and all American Christians need to follow her example in this. Ironically, it is Shirer’s race as a black woman that gives her a unique credibility to focus on her faith more than her racial identity.
While God cares about justice, He is not a Republican or a Democrat. Conservatives like me often insist that Christianity fits best with Republican politics — opposing abortion, supporting traditional Bible sexuality, upholding religious freedom, and helping the poor through charity as opposed to government programs. Liberals would claim that God wants the government to lift up the less fortunate and reverse societal injustices.
Shirer is right that Christians should put the Word of God first and their own identities and political views second. That does not mean Christians cannot advocate for political goals, but there are more important things than politics, and especially identity politics.
Watch her Facebook video below, and the full video for context below that.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.
This is one of the best statements on a Christian perspective regarding RACE and POLITICS that I have ever heard. Priscilla Shirer speaks truth! Take 90 seconds and watch.
Posted by Chuck Bernal on Wednesday, September 26, 2018