8/28/19

The Month in Review: CRU, Josh Harris, SBC Seminaries, and Approaching Your Pastor

Jon explains his lime green shirt, some of the top stories on the evangelical social justice movement from the past month, and gives advise on approaching church leaders about the dangers of the social justice movement.

Video:



Audio:



Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/worldviewconversation

Subscribe:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-that-matter/id1446645865?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Like Us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/worldviewconversation/

Follow Us on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/conversationsthatmatterpodcast

Follow Us on Gab:
https://gab.ai/worldiewconversation

Follow Jon on Twitter
https://twitter.com/worldviewconvos

Subscribe on Minds
https://www.minds.com/worldviewconversation

More Ways to Listen:
https://anchor.fm/worldviewconversation

Mentioned in This Podcast:
https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/news/

8/27/19

Why Faith Statements Won't Save Us

Evidence Critical Race Theory was Promoted by SBC Leaders 

Within the past month, two prominent Southern Baptists were exposed for promoting ideas consistent with "Critical Race Theory," a philosophy used to justify "identity politics."

Matthew Hall wrote, "If you asked the question, how do I know if I’m a racist, if you live in [the United States or North America] and if you’re human, you have been affected by racism.” Hall's solution was to "take a humble posture, recognizing that you have a racialized worldview of which you are likely unaware. Your beliefs, attitudes, and values have been formed in ways deeply informed by whiteness."

Hall, who was elected in April as the provost of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Al Mohler presides, also stated in a video interview: "I am a racist," adding, "I'm going to struggle with racism and white supremacy until the day I die and get my glorified body.”

Similarly, a video interview of Walter Strickland, who teaches at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, was discovered to contain glowing endorsements of multiple heretical books by liberation theologians James Cone and J Deotis Roberts. Earlier this year, Strickland had served on the Southern Baptist Convention's Resolutions Committee, which produced Resolution 9 on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. He told the New York Times in February that "Cone's ideas are in play" in his classroom.

Evidence Covered Up


Both the article and video interview of Hall were hosted on Boyce College's website during Hall's tenure as dean, and both were scrubbed last month after gaining national attention.

When asked why the material was all of a sudden missing, Al Mohler responded, “Because I asked for it to be scrubbed. It was because I did not think it was helpful," following up with, "If I thought Matt Hall was a danger to the church of Jesus Christ, he would not be the provost of Southern Baptist Seminary.”

The video of Strickland promoting liberation theology was not scrubbed. However, it was also hosted by the Jude 3 Project, which is not directly connected with the SBC or Southeastern. Most of the favorable language concerning Critical Race Theory from professors Walter Strickland, William Branch, and Matt Mullins on Southeastern's "Kingdom Diversity" website, was scrubbed. 

No Admissions or Apologies


Interestingly, instead of publicly apologizing for, firing, or articulating thoughtful disagreements with Hall and Strickland, both Al Mohler and the president of Southeastern, Daniel Akin, have affirmed their confidence in both professors based on their stated commitment to correct doctrine.

Mohler stated, "Thankfully, we are a confessional convention and we stand together on the Baptist Faith & Message (2000) and we can discuss any challenge with trust, respect, and eager cooperation." Akin likewise affirmed, "the men who lead our national SBC entities. . . are all unapologetically committed to the BF&M 2000."

Last week, Walter Strickland echoed Southeastern's public showcasing of him and another professor signing "confessional documents," emphasizing that he agreed "to teach 'in accordance with and not contrary to'" them.


Similarly, this week, Matthew Hall advertised his signing of the "Abstract of Principles" during the "morning's opening convocation ceremony."


What's Really Going On?

In an August 5th article entitled, "The Evangelical Reconcilers: How Evangelicalism Reconciles Itself With Modern Liberalism," Stephen Wolfe divides the current evangelical situation into three categories: Warriors, Capitulators, and Reconcilers. Wolfe claims that, "Warriors are those willing to directly and openly oppose the ruling class. . . Capitulators are those who abandon [orthodoxy], largely conform to the norms of the ruling class, and assume a negative posture towards the [warriors]," while "[Reconcilers try to] make evangelicalism not necessarily acceptable or even respectable, but safe for toleration."

Wolfe explains that reconcilers affirm "evangelicalism’s distinctive features (e.g., sexual norms), the sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture, the classical Protestant view of the atonement, etc." What makes the reconciler's position unique is that they are "legitimacy in evangelicalism," yet "they can do the work that liberal ideology has for them: making conservative evangelicalism harmless to the regime. They do this by actively undermining evangelicalism’s ability, both theologically and practically, to directly, deliberately, and assertively shape civil society and government."

Wolfe identifies Daniel Akin as a reconciler, and perhaps this is a fitting title for most current SBC leaders. While pointing to a faith statement, many evangelical leaders, in an effort that accommodates popular worldly thinking, are giving safe havens to ideas that will directly undermine the very same faith statement.

History IS Repeating Itself

In 1923, during the "Modernist Controversy," when German Higher Criticism and Darwinism threatened to undermine Christianity's core doctrines, J Gresham Machan complained about "liberal theologians" "trying to obtain the religious advantages of an affirmation of sinlessness in Jesus [while] at the same time" also obtaining the "supposed scientific advantages of its denial."

In a chilling quote, Machen talked about a time almost a hundred years ago when, "immediately after declaring that the Westminster Confession contains the system of doctrine taught in infallible Scriptures, many ministers of the Presbyterian Church will proceed to decry that same Confession and that doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture to which they have just solemnly subscribed!"

Machen concluded that "despite the liberal use of traditional phraseology modern liberalism not only is a different religion from Christianity but belongs in a totally different class of religions."

The same can be said about the current "Postmodern Controversy." If modernists, who emphasized objective truth in science, were capable of signing faith statements by redefining terms, how much more are postmodernists, who believe perspectives formed by social contexts determine truth?

This is why, while faith statements are necessary, they are not sufficient alone in protecting Christian institutions from postmodern heresies like Critical Theory. While they are supposed to function as shields against false teaching, they can also serve as shields against legitimate criticism. We need leaders who are not only able to "exhort in sound doctrine," but also, "refute those who contradict," as Titus 1:9 states. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Al Mohler and Daniel Akin are fully accomplishing the latter task, even in their own backyard.

8/23/19

Prominent Conservative Pastor calls out Tim Keller for promoting "socialist economic platform"

Earlier this week, Conservative pastor Cary Gordon sat down with Steve Deace to discuss the new film project, "Enemies Within the Church." Pastor Gordon gained national attention in 2010 when he led a successful effort to remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices for subverting the legislative process and sanctioning same-sex marriage. Two years later, Pastor Gordon's endorsement was indispensable in helping Rick Santorum win the Iowa Caucus.

Today, Pastor Gordon spends his effort combating Marxists inside the church.

"Our last movie, 'Enemies Within,'" explains Pastor Gordon, "has already had one million people pay to watch it, and we think . . . this movie will potentially reach three million people with a warning shot about a false gospel called the social justice gospel, and the ramifications of what that false gospel means." He adds, "Also, we are going to have the opportunity of presenting the real gospel by the end of the movie."

Among other concerns, Pastor Gordon warned Deace about "calculated leaders" "who have been secretly admiring Marxist concepts for a very long time."

This prompted Deace to ask, "Is there a name . . . that you would feel comfortable naming as someone that is trying to willfully infiltrate the church with Marxist social theory?”

Cary quickly responded, "Tim Keller," then, pointing to his Bible stated, "[He] believes that this book promotes a socialist economic platform.”

Tim Keller who, along with D. A. Carson, founded The Gospel Coalition, and pastors Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, has often publicly praised Marxists and Marxist concepts.

In the 2007 book, "Reason for God," Pastor Keller explains being "emotionally drawn" to the "socially radicalized" "neo-Marxist critical theory of the Frankfurt School" as a young man. "Christians," according to Keller, "do restorative and redistributive justice wherever they can." He especially praises urban "multiethnic orthodox Christianity" that is "much more concerned about the poor and social justice than Republicans have been."

Pastor Keller quotes Gustavo GutiƩrrez, a Latin American liberation theologian, as observing God's "preferential option for the poor," in his 2010 book, "Generous Justice." That same year, Keller told Christianity Today, "It's biblical that we owe the poor as much of our money as we can possibly give away."

On the first page of Keller's 2012 book, "Every Good Endeavor," the popular pastor praises former Communist Party member Robert Bellah's critique of individualism. Keller's purpose for writing is to recover "vocation," defined by Bellah, whom he quotes, as the "idea of work as a contribution to the good of all and not merely as a means to one's own advancement."

Last year, Pastor Keller helped launch the "Living Out Church Audit" designed to help churches be inclusive toward "LGBTQ+/ same-sex attracted" individuals. 

Though Pastor Gordon admitted that Keller "says a lot of good things," he observed, "If you study people who have misled the church over the last many centuries, 95% of what a lot of these guys say is solid and biblical and honorable. It’s the 5% that’s poisoned.”

8/15/19

Has Social Justice Pacified the ERLC?

On August 12-13, hearings were conducted on Tennessee’s capitol hill regarding the pro-life “Heartbeat Bill,” the latest legal threat to the abortion industry. Senator Mark Pody describes the legislation as an attempt to “say that there's life in that womb from the very moment of conception, and that baby, that human being, should have the same constitutional rights as everyone else.”

According to Matthew Nowlin, the director of Conservative Christians of Tennessee, the bill is technically an attempt to extend common law protection, based in the 9th amendment, to babies, before a heartbeat is even protected. If it were to pass, and then win a victory at the supreme court, it would effectively overturn Roe. v. Wade.

The Tennessee Pastor's network showed up to support and testify, but surprisingly, not the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. Nowlin explains:
This is a Tennessee issue and the ERLC is based in Tennessee. This isn't just a local issue. This is an issue of national importance. By not doing anything, their inaction has almost forced some other Baptist institutions to step in and fill this niche that is really in their wheelhouse. 
Despite being headquartered a few miles from where testimony was taking place, no one representing the ERLC showed up. According to Nowlin, it's a fight in which the ERLC's resources could really help.

For Southern Baptists, the question must be asked: Why does the ERLC have the resources to support the building of a mosque in New Jersey, and animal rights in Tennessee, but not to support a heart beat bill?

In fact, on August 12, Russell Moore, director of the ERLC, posted an ERLC article about artificial intelligence. While AI is an important topic, isn’t it more in keeping with the ERLC’s mission to support pro-life legislation? After all, they are officially pro life, and have been very concerned with social justice under Moore's leadership.

This is yet another reason we’re making our movie. We’ve been warning that the social justice movement is not just a threat to the Gospel, but to the pro-life movement as well. When a Christian political organization appears to be more concerned with animal rights than helping effectively and legally defeating abortion, should Christians fund them?

8/14/19

Tennessee Heartbeat Bill: Where Was the ERLC?, with Matthew Nowlin

Matthew Nowlin, director of Conservative Christians of Tennessee, speaks out about the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention's absence in supporting and testifying on behalf of the Tennessee Heartbeat Bill.

Video:



Audio:



Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/worldviewconversation

Subscribe:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-that-matter/id1446645865?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Like Us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/worldviewconversation/

Follow Us on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/conversationsthatmatterpodcast

Follow Us on Gab:
https://gab.ai/worldiewconversation

Follow Jon on Twitter
https://twitter.com/worldviewconvos

Subscribe on Minds
https://www.minds.com/worldviewconversation

More Ways to Listen:
https://anchor.fm/worldviewconversation

Mentioned in this podcast:
https://tnchristian.com/

8/9/19

SBC Professors Caught Pushing CRT & Liberation Theology, Where are Honest Leaders?

My reaction to this CRAZY video of a Southern Baptist Professor recommending heretical books WITHOUT warning about their heresy. We're talking, denial of literal interpretation, endorsements of Freud and Marx, blatant racism, and a redefined gospel.

Video:



Audio:



Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/worldviewconversation

Subscribe:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-that-matter/id1446645865?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Like Us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/worldviewconversation/

Follow Us on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/conversationsthatmatterpodcast

Follow Us on Gab:
https://gab.ai/worldiewconversation

Follow Jon on Twitter
https://twitter.com/worldviewconvos

Subscribe on Minds
https://www.minds.com/worldviewconversation

More Ways to Listen:
https://anchor.fm/worldviewconversation

Mentioned in this Podcast:

Liberation Theology Montage: https://www.facebook.com/EnemiesWithinTheChurch/videos/386644945360101/

Original Walter Strickland Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxqW-HQ8Fuc

8/8/19

SBC Professor Promotes Liberation Theology *Positively*

Trevor Loudon, producer for Enemies Within the Church, recently warned about the dangers of Critical Race Theory in the wake of the Southern Baptist Convention's "Resolution 9," in which CRT was legitimized as a helpful "analytical tool." Loudon explains that in CRT, "racism is about power, it’s exclusively a white problem, and it’s intrinsic in the current social system." The solution "to end racism," is to "change the existing power structures—a polite way of saying revolution. Affirmative action, reparations, and hate speech legislation are all justified by CRT."

To those familiar with the state of Southern Baptist education, the passage of Resolution 9 came as no surprise. Dr. Walter Strickland, who heads up the Kingdom Diversity Initiative at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has for years been promoting liberation theology, which informs CRT.

Not only was Strickland on the committee that produced Resolution 9, but earlier in the year, the New York Times
noted how "significant" it was "that Mr. Strickland has brought a thinker like Dr. [James] Cone into the heart of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention."

According to Loudon,
"There is zero doubt that James Cone was a Marxist." In 1984, he even joined a delegation to Cuba along with Jeremiah Wright, Obama's famous pastor. Cone's radical and heretical views were enough to raise eyebrows when it was found that a Southern Baptist professor was promoting him.
 

The president of Southeastern, Daniel Akin, quickly reacted by claiming that Strickland was teaching Cone negatively. The seminary did not endorse "liberation theology."



He assured critics that Strickland was confessional and orthodox.

Since that time, a 38-page document outlining the positive teaching of CRT, liberation theology, and social justice surfaced, along with a video from 2016 in which Strickland unequivocally endorses liberation theology books from James Cone and J. Deotis Roberts in a positive manner. Though much of Strickland's public work has been scrubbed from the Kingdom Diversity website at Southeastern since the controversy over Cone, the course catalogue still lists him as teaching "Liberation Theology" this fall.

It is clear that contrary to the presidents attempted clean-up effort, liberation theology, at least on some level, has been embraced at Southeastern. It is any wonder Resolution 9 passed?

In the words of Trevor Loudon, "The Southern Baptists, the most conservative major Protestant denomination in the United States, have started down the Marxist road."

8/6/19

Patterson Portraits Scrubbed

The legacy of Paige Patterson, a Southern Baptist leader instrumental in the 1980s "conservative resurgence," is being attacked at one of the seminaries he used to preside over. In 2008, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary "opened Patterson Hall, a classroom and office building named in honor of Paige and Dorothy Patterson." Two portraits painted by Daniel Greene, one of Paige, and one of his wife Dorothy, were hung on either side of the entrance.




Later, Dorothy's portrait was hung next to her husbands. Recently, both portraits have been replaced with maps of Patterson Hall.


While a portrait of Paige Patterson still hangs in the "Hall of Presidents," commemorating his service from 1992-2003, along with other presidents, the building dedicated to his legacy no longer features a portrait of himself or his wife.

Previous to his termination as president of Southwestern Seminary in 2018, Southeastern had maintained close ties with Patterson. In 2014, Paige received the Presidential Award. Provost Bruce Ashford stated, "Dr. Patterson led SEBTS from being a dying institution beholden to biblically unfaithful theology to being a thriving institution under the submission to Christ and his word. For that, we will remain ever grateful." Vice President Ryan Hutchinson said,  “Dr. Patterson was God’s man at the right time to lead the course correction of Southeastern.” President Daniel Akin affirmed, "Dr. Patterson stepped in and provided inspiring and visionary leadership,” adding, “A spirit of revival swept across the campus . . ."


Everything changed in May of 2018 after the Washington Post ran a hit-piece alleging that Patterson had mishandled a rape case during his presidency at Southeastern in 2003. Though Patterson denied the allegations and never testified in court, President Akin took swift action. In an email to the student body, Akin expressed that he "asked [the] General Counsel to review the actions taken by the previous administration," "consulted with law enforcement," and spoke "with the former student who . . . brought the accusation." "Safe Space" fliers showed up in the Center for Student Life, and within eight days of the story breaking, a panel discussion on "abuse in the church" was hosted on campus.


The only person to not receive a hearing was Paige Patterson.

With all the the controversy surrounding names, paintings, and monuments from history, one has ask the question: "How long before heroes of the faith receive the proverbial 'boot?'" Will Calvin be ousted for the way he handled Servetus, or Luther for his book "On the Jews and Their Lies?" Will slave-holders Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield survive modern scrutiny? What about the Apostle Paul's alleged misogyny, or King David's affair with Uriah's wife? Martin Luther King Jr.'s Civil Rights credentials may protect him for now, but the #metoo movement can't ignore his scandals forever.

If the once respected legacy of Paige Patterson can be tarnished so quickly and thoroughly, Christians may indeed be heading for an age without heroes. The Apostle Paul thought the Christians of his day were capable of emulating the things he did that mimicked Christ, not every single behavior. Then again, Paul was not a Southern Baptist.

This piece was originally posted here: https://enemieswithinthechurch.com/2019/08/06/southeastern-baptist-removes-patterson-portraits/

8/2/19

On the Deconstruction of Joshua Harris

The Rejection

As many in the Christian community are well aware, Joshua Harris, author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” has left the faith, stating recently, “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” This development has caused many to seriously question how someone so seemingly grounded, could walk away from everything they once believed? After all, not all of us have seven Christian book titles with our names on them.

Of course, both Christ and the Apostles predicted this scenario. Judas himself was able keep the other eleven apostles from suspecting his own apostasy. But, there were clues along the way. For Judas, it was his greed. For Josh Harris, it's something else.

Michael Farris, who knew Harris personally, recently wrote in an open letter to him, ". . . you thought your faith and your marriage were based on formulas. They never went deeper than that," adding, "You haven’t walked away from a relationship with Jesus. You have walked away from the culture you were raised in."

To someone who has read many of Josh's books, this sounds like a fair assessment. Whether it's "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," or "Why Church Matters," Josh has always written very pragmatically. This does not necessarily have to be bad thing, unless of course, it's the only thing.

The Signs

In 2017, Josh publicly showed signs of rethinking his religious views in a Ted X talk entitled, "Strong Enough to Be Wrong," in which he stated that "being wrong" about courtship "affected his own sense of identity." People don't usually say such things about formulas, unless those formulas are necessarily tied to core beliefs.

Harris's attempt at humility though, was actually a self-focused revelation of his own pride. An inflated view of his own influence caused him to take responsibility for even failed relationships resulting from a misapplication of his book.

For example, Harris writes in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, "Without purity, God's gift of sexuality becomes a dangerous game." In Boy Meets Girl, he gives an example of two previously married individuals pursuing purity together. However, in the 2018 documentary, I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Harris mistakenly takes responsibility for those who wrongfully equated purity with virginity. Even the falling marriage rate in the church is somehow blamed on Harris's "purity culture."

The Reasons


Like a mathematician with the wrong result, Harris dissects his alleged formula: 

Marriage = Sex = Fulfillment

The take away? Purity culture propagated the lie that marriage would offer fulfillment and it didn't. Marriage was an "idol." 

It is at this point that we should all recognize a similar talking point coming from the social justice flavor of American Christianity. Russell Moore says, "dark powers would have us idolize our selves or by extension our families." Matt Trexler and Sammy Rhodes, two "same-sex attracted" Christians, talk about the church's "tendency to idolize marriage." Carolyn McCulley, Jennifer Marshall, and Betsy Childs Howard, believe there has been an "idolization of marriage." Elizabeth Woodson wants to, "dethrone our idol of marriage." Tim Keller asserts that "traditional religion has often made an idol out of the family."

Josh Harris's denouncement of his own book, and by extension, purity culture, did not happen in a vacuum. At the very moment culture is deconstructing creation norms, leaders in the church are also minimizing or tossing them aside. Josh Harris just took it one step further.

Josh describes his own kissing Christianity goodbye as "deconstruction," going on to state, ". . . to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry."

In the documentary, Harris focuses on "asking questions" and having "conversations" along his "personal journey." He concludes toward the end, "life is full of contradictions."

The postmodern assumptions, Josh likely picked up at the liberal Regent College, are alive and well in popular evangelicalism. They fuel the social justice movement: the last stop before complete apostasy. 

In the words of J. Gresham Machan, "The chief modern rival of Christianity is 'liberalism.' An examination of the teachings of liberalism in comparison with those of Christianity will show that at every point the two movements are in direct opposition."

Unlike Christian leaders pushing social justice, at least Josh Harris is honest enough to admit it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...