Do you think your church is biblically-solid and that it could never succumb to modernistic adulteration of God’s Word? You might want to think again.
Just a few months ago, the Southern Baptist Convention voted to recognize and implement “Critical Race Theory” and “Intersectionality” as valid measures and procedures for measuring the denomination’s “progress”. For more detailed definitions and explanation of these two terms, click the links above, but in short – Critical Race Theory basically defines racism as solely committed by white people towards other races, that it is always systemic and always about power. Critical Race Theory when applied to churches is an assumption that churches are equally systematically racist if they are “white”. It is a parallel to the ancient cult of Gnosticism that assumed that everything physical is, by nature, evil and everything spirit is good, but in this case – if it is white, it is systematically evil and racist.
Intersectionality deals with gender and gender roles. Those who follow intersectionality despise complimentarianism and reject biblical gender roles.
These two ideologies are a part of the bigger cancer of the Social Justice Movement, one that is at its foundation, a false gospel. The Social Justice movement can take many forms, but nearly all reject biblical absolutes, diminish or even redefine sin. From “Christians” who are “pro-choice” regarding abortion, to those who support homosexual “marriage” on one end, to those who simply inject race and gender into every discussion, promoting “Justice” as the real purpose of the gospel. Many large, modern “churches” promote easy-believism for the sake of numbers, while rejecting the call to abhor sin. You generally will not hear Social Justice preachers call listeners to meaningful repentance, nor will you hear them condemn those who proclaim heresies. And the sad reality is – Social Justice #WOKE theology is rooted in Marxism, and is actually quite UNjust.
The reality is – all of these concepts and views fall under the trendy #WOKE mantra. If your pastor refuses to call sin, sin – if you have a woman who preaches or is the “pastor”, your church might be #WOKE. If your denomination is constantly apologizing for the past sins of previous generations – it might be #WOKE. If your church’s leadership refuses to call out those who are promoting and teaching heresies – they may be #WOKE. If the same people in leadership speak more of being “gentle” or the need to “tone it down” when others are addressing these falsehoods and heresies – they might be #WOKE. If your leadership is calling for reparations for past injustices of a nation, they might be @WOKE. If your preacher constantly refers to the Gospel Coalition as a trustworthy source of biblical teaching – yep: #WOKE. If your church, pastor, or leadership consider Beth Moore to be a solid biblical teacher worthy of praise – they might be #woke.
And it is this last example that brings me to the latest Social Justice blow-up. At a recent biblical conference, Dr. John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church was ask (in the context of the above Social Justice issues – particularly intersectionality and Beth Moore’s promotion of women preachers – including bragging on her own pulpit-envy), Dr. MacArthur said that “Beth Moore needs to go home”. This has caused a giant uproar among those who hold to these Social Justice/#WOKE views. These purveyors of false gospels are attacking Dr. MacArthur as “unqualified”, and some even are calling him a heretic. Dr. MacArthur is among the most sound biblical expositors of our time who has dedicated a very long career teaching, discipling, and proclaiming the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a biblical responsibility of Christians, especially leaders, to protect the sheep by identifying and calling out false teachers. Indeed, Paul wrote to the Roman church specifically on this matter:
“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them”. (Romans 16:17)
Simply put, we are to exercise discernment and stand for truth and abhor evil. Those in the Social Justice #WOKE vein are more concerned with numbers (and usually money). I rejoice when churches grow rapidly because of the Holy Spirit’s movement to create transformed, repentant people who love the LORD with all their heart, soul, and mind! But when growth is measured simply by bodies in the chairs (worship attendance), and sacrifices genuine heart change – there is a problem.
Christianity of today, particularly in the United States, has presented a rather weak gospel for decades, but the current #WOKE trends under the guise of Social Justice are throwing the sin-hating, repentance-bringing, heart changing gospel completely under the bus. The Southern Baptist Convention is teetering on the brink of a massive meltdown because of it – but don’t for a moment think your “conservative little denomination” is immune. I sadly have witnessed the tumors of the Social Justice movement beginning to grow in my own denomination, the Baptist Missionary Association. When respected leaders and church planters begin promoting the very tenants of #WOKE theology, and calling out genuine men of God for speaking truth – we have a very serious problem.
So what is the answer? The same that spawned Martin Luther to pen his 95 Theses: seeking what Scripture really says and taking a stand on that, not on people’s feelings. Gospel ministry is not about popularity or making friends, it is about seeking lives changed by the transforming power of the gospel! Don’t be afraid to call out those who teach another gospel (Paul said they should be accursed! (Galatians 1:9). But above all – do not let it go unaddressed! Speak up. Call them to repentance. Point them to Scripture.
Have you ever stopped and noticed what really causes people to become outraged? I have posted previously on the subejct – particularly on things like #blacklivesmatter, where the message is ONLY certain colors of lives matter. But it would seem that the problem is only getting more dramatic.
Now – many of the issues that cause outrage are legitimately outrageous! When we see abject injustice – that should cause a response in us. When we see horrific acts of mankind – especially towards other human beings – we should be deeply distrubed. Indeed, there are many things that happen in this fallen world that should not just upset us, but stir us to action. This is absolutely biblical. It should spur us to help feed the hungry (Matthew 25:35-36) , to visit and look after the widow and the orphan (James 2:27), to comfort those grieving… to weep with those who weep…
The problem comes in when people’s outrage is aimed at some, often troubling issues, while playing off or even supporting other, far more evil and egregious actions. Let me give you a couple:
Obviously, in this case, “John” was outraged by something. To be truthful, the article he was responding to was a sad one. It was reported by local media that three kittens had been found dead in a small animal cage. It appears they had been neglected.
Yes, it bothers me when people treat animals badly. And to be totally honest, I have found that few people who treat animals badly, treat human being much better. Does this guarantee a “reserved seat” in Hell? I can’t find that in my Bible. Unfortunately, many of the same folks who will get completely upside down in their outrage over three kittens neglected to death, turn a blind eye (or worse) to the real-life horror storries going on all around us every day.
When a young man from Mexico in the US illegally, violently rapes a disabled, wheelchair-bound woman, is arrested, but because it is a sanctuary city, is released only to return and violently rape the SAME victim three days after the first rape, and in front of her 3 year old son? – that is grouns for outrage!
Why are we not, as a people, outraged that in Memphis, US Marshalls trying to serve a warrant on a VERY bad guy, saw him ram police vehicles, then jump out of the car he was trying to escape in – and draw weapons and try to shoot the officers? Why are we not outraged that an entire neighborhood began pouring into the streets as law enforement and paramedics were arriving, and started assaulting police officers? Are violent criminal’s lives more valuable that the officers sworn to protect you?
Or how about the outrage over a baker refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex “wedding”, yet the same people are unphased at pedophile “trans” queens stripping to near-nude and erotic dancing with 8-10 year olds who have been encouraged to dress in drag as well?
Or my own personal “favorite” – those who bemoan kitten deaths, or the mean hunters shooting deer… all while comlpetely and uabashedly supporting abortion from conception to post-birth. The utter absurdity of supporting the murder of human beings form the womb, while being utterly outraged (some to the point of near-militant behavior)
How about instead of walking around outraged at everything that even remotely disturbs you – how about we take a look at what causes God outrage – what draws the very wrath of God that will be revealed against what? all unrighteousness – all wickedness. Indeed, the wrath of God has already been demonstrated – most importantly when it was poured out on His only begotton Son, Jesus Christ – who endured the shame and agony to redeem a people from their sins, from their selective outrage.
And we who are redeemed by His blood, should be outraged, not by what hurts our feelings, but what offends God. It is when you are walking closely with God, immersing yourself in His Word, dwelling in His presence via the Bible and Prayer – that we find our own outrage towards trivial things to diminish – and we begin to see the world through HIS eyes. We begin to see the actual orphans and widows who need us. We see the physical needs around us that must be addressed. We desire to see truth over lies. And we are offended at genuine injustice. And because we are new creatures who, in our former selves despised true justice, loved sin, and were participants in the unrighteous deeds of the world, we now desire the things of God, the works of God – and the goodness of God.
Save the self-righteous “reserved place in Hell” for your time in the mirror, check your heart, and pursue righteousness, including the righteous indignation that comes from growing more Christlike every day.