7/31/19

Farewell CRU. . .

Last week, while four seminary presidents denounced a 2 minute video critical of social justice from Founder's Ministries, a less public, but more pernicious and real threat to the gospel, went by largely unnoticed. CRU (formerly, Campus Crusade), one of the largest college campus ministries in the United States, held their national conference in Ft. Collins, Colorado from July 19-25. Though the theme of the conference was supposed to be evangelism, it can best be summed up as Christianized regurgitation of Democrat Party talking points.



Sessions such as "Challenges of Brown Faces Navigating White Spaces," "Men and Women Leading and Working Together," and "The Gospel Opportunity in the Midst of the Immigration Crisis," introduced idealistic Christian students to the problems of white supremacy, patriarchy, and border control.

One of the general sessions, lead by Sandra Van Opstal, a Chicago pastor and activist, illustrates the danger. To a cheering crowd, Opstal shouted, "We cannot raise a banner to Jesus, and stay silent while we experience another holocaust!" And no, she was not referring to abortion. In fact, the injustice of abortion was not highlighted in any CRU sessions. Her targets were Donald Trump and border agents. In a Twitter post from June 29, Opstal even compared border agents to the Gestapo.


What would inspire an evangelical leader to make such wild assertions? According to Opstal, though she was "born again," in a Southern Baptist church, she was "liberated" later on in the "Church of God in Christ," a historically Pentecostal African-American denomination. Opstal now describes herself as "an evangelical of the Latino nature," adding, "and it's time for you to take your cues from us now.

In her CRU speech, Opstal's major critique of "the church" was that "intellect and intention" have taken a back seat to "embodiment and action." She blames churches for sending missionaries while not working against genocide and apartheid; building buildings, while not fighting the unjust prison system. The church's complicity in "greed," "American Exceptionalism," and "racist structures," all amount to an "idolatry" that she asserts is turning millennials from Christianity. As long as Christians ignore stealing Native American lands, inequality in housing for minorities, police shootings, and ICE raids, young people will say, "I love Jesus but the church smells gross."
Opstal's solution is to "preach the good news of liberating freedom," learn from "black, brown, Asian, and Native lived experiences," and ultimately read the Bible through the lens of the oppressed.

She illustrated her point with a story. First she studied the book of Amos for ten years, then she went to seminary where she learned Hebrew and studied it some more. However, it was not until she ministered at Stateville Prison in Illinois that she "began to see Amos differently." She states:
In the book of Amos, over and over again, he tells us that trampling on the poor through purchasing through companies that exploit workers and harm and endanger human lives and cause war for our luxurious jewels and our electronic batteries is not worship.
The danger in Sandra Van Opstal's approach is that it places a barrier between human beings and God's special revelation. In her world, a subjectively defined oppressed, are necessary for Christians to truly understand biblical truth. Opstal, and others with alleged oppressed or minority status, stand to gain power as those with special knowledge in how to interpret the Word and the world. And, to an organization filled with college students already mostly compromised with Leftist assumptions, it will probably work.

The only real casualty is the Gospel itself, and the humans it could have helped. Opstal claims that her activism is designed to draw disenfranchised students to Jesus. "We want you to belong to this revolution we're starting here on campus." Though she criticized alter calls, not once did Opstal talk about redemption in Christ as payment for sin. Repentance only came up in the context of "societal and structural evils."

Opstal, and CRU's message to older folks is this: "If we want to get this next generation of people who are spiritually hungry, yet disorientated and dissatisfied by what they see in the church, then the church has to change." "The very people that we're trying to keep out of our country . . . maybe they are the ones that will keep our young people from walking away from the church."

Fortunately, Jesus already has told He will build his church and he doesn't use Democrat talking points or political gimmicks to do it: Just Gospel transformation, one soul at a time.

7/28/19

Breaking: Seminaries Are Scrubbing Social Justice Content

As reported last week, four prominent seminary presidents, including Al Mohler, publicly attacked the trailer for "By What Standard," a documentary aimed at exposing the dangers of social justice in the Southern Baptist Convention. Their reason? It was too divisive, dishonest, and disrespectful.


Though most of the identifiable examples of error came from lesser known figures, with the exception of Beth Moore, the documentary planned to include agreed-upon interview footage from all four presidents.

I made the point on Friday evening, that for the last few years it's been common in evangelical incorporated to refer to social justice as a "gospel issue." Welcoming refugees, fighting climate change, racial reconciliation, and making churches safe spaces for "sexual minorities," have all been hailed as somehow connected with the good news that Christ has taken God's wrath for those who repent and place their faith in Him.

Frequently, social justice has been directly defined as the gospel itself. 

One example, I highlighted came directly from Southern Seminary provost Matthew Hall who stated in an article entitled "Breaking the Silence":
. . . we desperately need these same [white] churches to see what Christ would require of us when we see black boys and men gunned down in ways that bear evidence of a racialized double standard in our communities. Here’s the thing: reconciliation is at the center of the gospel and God’s design for the church. It’s not an optional “upgrade” to standard Christianity just for some. It is the basic path Christ calls every one of his disciples to follow.
By simple deduction, those claiming social justice is necessary for the gospel are also saying that those who oppose social justice have an incomplete or nonexistent gospel. Al Mohler's provost is no exception. Yet, while the long knives are brandished in the face of Founder's Ministries, none of the four presidents have yet to publicly rebuke any on the social justice side for tweaking the gospel itself.

Instead, it appears they've decided to scrub their websites. Not only was Matthew Hall's article deleted, but so was a video in which Hall claimed that "Racism is really about a systemic and structural ideology, an idea that affects the way power is distributed."This behavior mirrors the way Southeastern Seminary suspiciously took down 90% of their material from the Kingdom Diversity initiative after a small portion was exposed in a 38-page document of direct quotes from various public talks and articles.

Rather than publicly repudiate the promotion of critical race theory, Southern Baptist elites have attempted to minimize opportunity for criticism while blasting those who point out the obvious. Matthew Hall is still Al Mohler's provost, on track to eventually replace Mohler as the president of Southern Seminary.


One thing is certain: ". . . whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops." With your support, the Enemies Within the Church project will expose the false teaching, Leftist money, and movers and shakers behind the deceptive Christian social justice movement.

7/26/19

Is the SBC on Life Support? with Federalist Author Matthew Garnett

This week was potential turning point for the Southern Baptist Convention as the elites targeted Founder's Ministries for releasing a trailer on a potential social justice documentary they plan to make.

Video:



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7/23/19

You'd Think the 95 Theses Were Nailed?

Yesterday, Founder’s Ministries released the trailer for an upcoming documentary, “By What Standard?” about the dangers of social justice and its impact in the Southern Baptist Convention. Names like Al Mohler, Danny Akin, Jason Allen, and Adam Greenway (presidents of the top four Southern Baptist seminaries) are all included as interviewed participants. Though the trailer suggests a sensible theological and philosophical examination of the movement, within hours, all four seminary presidents made their opposition clear.

Mohler, the president of Southern, stated he was “alarmed” by the trailer, suggesting it was disrespectful and dishonest.



Akin, the president of Southeastern, was "disappointed" that what he described as "edited footage," was "misleading."



Allen, the president of Midwestern, attacked what he presumed will be an "uncharitable & unhelpful" movie.


Greenway, Paige Patterson's new replacement at Southwestern, suggested he did not want his interview footage included when he said he would "not be part of an agenda that seeking to divide Southern Baptist unnecessarily."



Essentially, all four seminary presidents chided Founders Ministries for causing "disunity," a charge not one of them has dared to publicly level against Southern Baptist Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, when he proclaimed all whites were complicit in the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Or, how about Southeastern Professor Walter Strickland, who publicly admitted, to the NY Times, that he was teaching the ideas of Liberation Theologian James Cone? Where were these four when Russel Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said he would attend a gay wedding reception? Nate Collins, a Southern graduate and former faculty member, wasn't told he was causing disunity when he organized "Revoice," a conference soft-peddling homosexual orientation.

The Real Issue

So, why is Founders Ministries receiving this treatment?

Why is this documentary seen as a threat, while blatant unbiblical behavior is overlooked and often promoted?

Why are Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, which divide humans along the lines of gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual preference, not opposed as strongly as the trailer for this new documentary?

Elites in the Southern Baptist Convention are happy to be invited for a philosophical discussion about social justice as long as no one names names. The unity they believe in is the kind that won't get them in trouble with their board of trustees. It's the kind that ensures conferences go smoothly, books are endorsed, and the media won't run a hit piece. It's the kind that keeps money from both pews and Leftist organizations flowing simultaneously.

It's not the kind of unity that whittles someone down to twelve disciples because they publicly stood for truth and rebuked a self-righteous religious establishment.

Here's the interesting thing though: "By What Standard?" is presented as a philosophical documentary, only occasionally veering into personal examples of blatant error, usually articulated by lesser-known Southern Baptists. Still, this is too close for comfort to those overseeing the training of the SBC's next generation of pastors.

Imagine what they'll do when "Enemies Within the Church" comes out which IS naming names, exposing Leftist money, and attacking the broad threat toward all Christendom posed by the social justice movement?
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