Sean McDowell | June 11, 2020

Every Black Life Matters (But I Won't Support BLM)

Every Black Life Matters (But I Won’t Support BLM)

Every black life is valuable and precious. There are no exceptions. Thus, I can’t support the organization Black Lives Matter. Let me explain.

Many of my black friends have told me that the phrase “black lives matters” is powerful because it draws attention to the historical fact that black lives have not been valued equally in America and to continuing inequalities that exist in the black community today.

Please know that I hear you. I share your concern, mourn with you at racial injustice, and want to work with you to identify the roots of the problem and make the world better for black people.

I believe that black lives matter. But because of ideas embedded within the organization, that undermine the value of all black people, and are in opposition to the teachings of Jesus, I cannot support the organization BLM.

As far as I can tell, some people are clueless about the nature of the BLM organization and need to learn what it stands for. Others are afraid to say "black lives matter" for fear they will be criticized for associating with the BLM organization or for embracing a progressive agenda. Neither of these are true. I think there is a better way.

Consider two examples of why I cannot support the BLM organization and yet believe black lives matter.

Unborn Black Lives Matter

In a written response to the 2018 State of the Union address, the BLM website says,

We deserve and thus we demand reproductive justice that gives us autonomy over our bodies and our identities while ensuring that our children and families are supported, safe, and able to thrive.

Sadly, the black community has been particularly affected by abortion, which has significantly reduced the black population over the last half century. Nearly half of pregnancies among black women end in abortion. And in New York, the headquarters of Planned Parenthood, more black babies are aborted than born alive.

Do unborn black lives matter? Clearly they do. Yet, any organization that supports abortion, like BLM, cannot affirm the value of these precious human beings.

Black Children Matter

Consider another example. The “What We Believe” section of their website, which describes what the organization is about, offers their view on sex and marriage:

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”

I have been very outspoken on the importance of demonstrating love and kindness towards LGBTQ people. I have had countless public and private conversations with people who are gay–both Christian and non-Christian­–and attended affirming conferences to listen, meet people, and better understand their stories.

I am committed to loving LGBTQ people in the way that Jesus would love them based not only on what the Bible teaches about human dignity, but what Jesus affirmed about the nature of marriage. Thus, I cannot (in good conscience) support an organization that undermines the very message Jesus taught about God’s design for sex and marriage.

I am not merely concerned about what BLM teaches on this issue, but how this affects black children in particular. In affirming the LGBTQ view of sex and marriage, and in their commitment to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” BLM is working to undermine the right of black kids to be raised by a mom and dad. If the lives of black kids really matters, we would take more seriously the role of having a mom and dad involved in their lives.

All Black Lives Matter

My point is not that you shouldn’t use the phrase “black lives matters.” Let me say it again, I believe all black lives matter. As I said before, I believe this deeply and am committed to the long-term fight against racial injustice. As my friend Chris Brooks (author of Urban Apologetics) said when we interviewed him for the Think Biblically podcast, it is possible to affirm that all black lives matter without supporting the organization. That’s where I stand.

We need to find a way to value every black life, and to stand with the black community in solidarity, but we must be careful not to undermine these efforts through inadvertently supporting an organization that not only does not value all black lives, but also stands for things in opposition to the message of Jesus.

Let’s be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell, TikTok, Instagram, and his blog: