Josh McDowell, the Christian author widely known for his book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, apologized to his Twitter followers for statements he made claiming that Black Americans and other minorities were not raised to value hard work.

“They don’t, folks,” McDowell said in his speech. “I do not believe Blacks, African Americans, and many other minorities have equal opportunity. 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.”

His speech was given at the national meeting for the American Association of Christian Counselors. The organization is “committed to assisting Christian counselors, the entire ‘community of care,’ licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training.”

During the meeting, McDowell led a conversation called “The Five Greatest Global Epidemics,” where he identified the five claims that he believes threaten the Christian church. One of the claims he asserted was detrimental is the hotely contested Critical Race Theory (CTR).

The term is an organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color.

The author said that the theory “negates all the biblical teaching” about racism — because it focuses on systems rather than the sins of the human heart and said today’s definition of “social justice” is not biblical.

“There’s no comparison to what is known today as social justice with what the Bible speaks of as justice,” he said. “With CRT they speak structurally. The Bible speaks individually. Make sure you get that. That’s a big difference.”

His controversial comment was noted on social media by a Christian college professor, Aaron New. When New shared the remarks, McDowell’s speech was removed from the AACC website.

McDowell later shared a statement to Twitter apologizing for his remarks and distancing himself from his own comments.

“There is a statement of mine from the AACC conference that has been circulating on social media,” the tweet reads. “My statement as quoted does not reflect my own beliefs and I want to begin by apologizing for my words and the implications they had.”

Many Twitter users found McDowell’s apology lacking.

“Your talk denied systemic racism. Do you understand that you communicated a racial stereotype and your white privilege at the same time? Please now take back your attack on efforts to combat racism in social institutions,” wrote one user.

“How many attendees heard these statements? The twitter world gets an apology. How will the attendees know of your retraction and apology,” questioned another user.

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