Intersectionality produces never-ending social division and fragmentation. This is ironic, because when intersectionality first appeared in U.S. universities in the 1990s, it was hoped that it would challenge the idea that dominant and oppressive social groups are easily identifiable. Instead, it multiplied social groups and attributed to them an invented reality, leaving us with a culture of identity politics on steroids.
For example, intersectionality demands that you “honor someone’s pronouns” even while knowing that those pronouns can change tomorrow. We are told that good neighbors lie to each other like this, pretending that women can be men and men can be women. We are told that a homosexual orientation is indelible and permanent, but biological sexual difference is a matter of personal opinion.
These contradictions to the creation ordinance violate both love of neighbor and common sense. Intersectionality claims to create community, but the community it creates is fractured, victim-minded, angry, and inconsolable. This is the exact opposite of the community created by the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; Gal. 5:22–23). When intersectionality joins efforts with the gospel, it leaves us with an immature faith, a false hope, and a deceptive vocabulary.
Intersectionality confuses justice, a command of God to defend the poor and the needy (Mic. 6:8), with a conception of justice not defined by Scripture. Biblically speaking, sin causes suffering, and even oppressed people need soul care in addition to body care because oppressed people are sinners in need of a Savior too. Sin produces suffering, both our own sin and the sin of others that hurts us. The order between sin and suffering matters. Miss this point or change the order and you have bypassed the entire gospel.
As Elizabeth C. Corey has pointed out, the departure point for intersectionality is a debatable but never-debated set of ever-expanding personal qualities that constitute identity and personhood: age, race, class, sex, sexuality, gender identity, weight, attractiveness, feelings, phobias—the list goes on. Heading out in the wrong direction guarantees arriving at the wrong place, and that is the unintended fruit of intersectionality in the church. The church’s embrace of intersectionality as an analytical tool was intended to give voice to the voiceless. But the victimized identities that emerge from intersectionality are perpetually immature and in constant need of therapy and affirmation. Because of the nature of the beast, a number of false positives are emerging. Breakouts of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” among college women prove this point. Gone are the days of empowerment; intersectionality requires life support.
God-fearing churches take violence and oppression seriously. A God-fearing church takes church membership, personal accountability, and church discipline seriously, too, because these things are connected. An oppressed person’s best defense against true violence is membership in a Bible-believing church, one that practices both hospitality and church discipline, one that protects the sheep from the wolves by driving the wolves out the door. Intersectionality banks on the power of human words, but justice for the oppressed comes by the power of the gospel.
Churches and parachurch organizations should be aware: intersectionality will not serve the gospel. It will not help you become kinder, more aware of the world around you, or better able to deal with diversity. Rather, it will introduce a new set of false virtues and false vices into your ministry. Take heed to your ministry. Paul’s first epistle to Timothy tells us how: he calls our pastors and elders to be examples of righteousness (1 Tim. 4:12), to “give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (v. 13, NKJV), to not neglect the gifts of teaching (v. 14), to “meditate on these things [and] give yourself entirely to them,” and to “take heed to yourself and to the doctrine” (v. 15).