Evangelical Christianity and Invasion of Postmodernist Political Heresy

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This is the third note in what has become a series.

This post gives a bigger context to the invasion of Postmodern thought into Christianity.

First, it gives a general introdcution to how Postmodernism has invaded both the academic level of Evangelical Christianity and ordinary churches.

Next, it gives examples of how Postmodernist Critical Race Theory has invaded both the language and thinking of our Church.

Next, it shows the damaging effect this has on the presentation of the gospel (with a helpful suggestion to change that).

Finally, it documents an argument against my “Black Lives Matter (TM)” warning, and then presents a forceful rebuttal to that argument based on what we’ve all seen and heard.

The “Weird” Direction of Christian Preaching These Days on Race

Here’s an easy question: Is the belief that people of a certain race are inferior, unworthy of the civil liberties of others, and prejudicial beliefs regarding the character of people of a different race a sin?

Well, DUH! If you don’t believe that, then you won’t have much to agree with here. That’s a question about the old definition of “racism.”

Here’s a second question: If you are white and other racist people have given you things because they are racist, is that “sin” that you need to repent of? Is failing to renounce those privileges (including money, respect, jobs, and positions of influence) an act of “racism”?

Well, that’s more complicated, but this is a question based on the new definition of “Racism” that “Racism is Prejudice plus Power.” That is what is being pushed through out church. It is explicitly Postmodern, and it has invaded our Church.

And just like Gnostic heresies came to the church through the question of “Who EXACTLY was this Jesus guy, anyway? What was his nature?” The Postmodern Heresy has come to our church on the issue of “Race” and “Shouldn’t we be against racism?” after it failed to come through the direct-frontal LGBT assault of “isn’t discrimination wrong?” (though it took some churches down in the attempt).

The Academic And Day-to-Day Invasion

Ideas of Critical Race Theory are alive and well at Evangelical Universities.

For one example, take a look at the dissertation of this paper from Duane Terrence Loynes Sr., who is a professor at Western Theological Seminary, a Reformed Church of America seminary. The title is “A God Worth Worshiping: Toward a Critical Race Theology.”

That’s about as explicit as you can get, and here is what this teacher of preachers believes:

This dissertation begins with the claim that Christian theology still operates from the normativity of whiteness. I will argue that, although the Church has made admirable progress with regard to racial justice, the attempts have been at the surface: the underlying structural logic of White supremacy remains intact. My thesis will be that the systemic problem in North American Christianity of a persistent “White privileged theology” or “normalized whiteness” can best be eliminated by constructing a theological response in classical categories—theodicy, anthropology, and epistemology. A black existential phenomenological approach—perhaps best illustrated in the work of Lewis R. Gordon—and the intersectional analysis exemplified in critical race studies, offer significant promise for exposing and correcting the existing methodological privilege of White theology.

That may sound like impenatrable academic gobbley-gook (and it is) but it is explicitly Postmodern academic gobbley-gook that sees our theology as a product of White Supremacy. Note: It’s not that he argues that any current actions or practices are the products of white supremeacy. It’s that our THEOLOGY is from this. He is explicitly stating that our THEOLOGY needs to be changed.

Yikes.

But I don’t mean to pick on this one guy. He’s just the first one that Google brought up because of his paper. There are many more. Additionally, in this link, you can see Dr. Carl Ellis Jr. saying that while Martin Luther Kind Jr.’s BELIEFS were not orthodox, his THEOLOGY was orthodox, because he acted in agreement with the gospel. And if we expand our definition of theology to incorporate practice and not merely doctrine, we can see this. (NOTE: This video was uploaded in 2014, before we learned in 2019 from declassified FBI documents that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in some shocking aspects, not a very good guy.)

But the heresy does not just come through the academic sphere. It comes to ordinary churches. It comes to the way we tell the Bible stories to children. Whatever “it” is, it is here.

And “it” is Postmodernism.

Examples of Postmodern Heresy Coming Through the Issue of Race

In light of the large things I’ve claimed, I’d like to give a somewhat long but quite truncated list of the examples of a heresy coming for the church. I don’t think any single example below constitutes an invasive heresy, but by the collective power of them all together (as well as the growing intensity of them), I think the matter of heresy is clear.

There is a GROWING philosophical tradition in our church that is explicitly anti-Christian, including Black Lives Matter (TM). No, you don’t need to go out and buy a “Thin Blue Line” sticker for your truck, but Christians need to be mindful about this belief system, and be different.With that, here is a non-exhaustive list of 10 times explicit Postmodernism showed itself in the Evangelical Christian Church:

Example 1: The Southern Baptist Convention Denounces Racism, Sin, and Itself

  • In 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a Resolution on “Racial Reconciliation On The 150th Anniversary Of The Southern Baptist Convention.”
    • There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea, and it includes some rather “well, duh!” statements about what past Southern Baptists have done.
      • I hope it is not breaking news that Christians in the South have been sinful in regards to being prejudicially racist.
    • However, the resolution read: Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the Sesquicentennial meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, assembled in Atlanta, Georgia, June 20-22, 1995, unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin
      • This may look good, but we will return to these words later.
    • What I would like to notice is the theological aspect of these words. Let’s think about this statement of fact included in the resolution: Many of our Southern Baptist forbears defended the right to own slaves, and either participated in, supported, or acquiesced in the particularly inhumane nature of American slavery.
    • Additionally, as a historical matter, the Southern Baptist Convention was created when Basil Manly, an owner of 40 slaves in North Carolina, was denied the ability to be a missionary by the Baptist Mission Board. The Southern slave owners began a separate organization so that they could be missionaries.
      • While it is certainly commendable to recognize that certain sins prevent people from being effective mouthpieces for the gospel, this clear fact is complicated by how controversial the issue was in 1845, as opposed to how clear the issue is today.
        • Is it “clearly sinful” for sinners to want to be missionaries before they fully repent of their sins?
      • What would happen if a similar stance were to be taken on divorce, pornography, greed, rights of minimum-wage employees, surrogacy, abortion, capitalism, the defense-industrial-complex, or other very controversial issues in this day and age? Did the apostles follow this rule?
        • I don’t mean to clear the sins of the past because of the sins of the present, as sins are sins.
        • But I do ask to remember how Jesus said “with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:2-3)
          • This might not work out so well for us.

Example 2: John Piper is a “Racist” (By the New Definition, Not the Old One)

  • In 2011, John Piper confesses that he was a full-blooded racist.
    • In the trailer to his book “Bloodlines,” Piper goes on to describe segregated water-fountains, swimming pools, hotels, and “a cesspool of sin,” and he was “swimming in it.”
    • But John Piper was born in 1946. He was 18 when the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. He was 8 when Brown v. Board of Education was decided. I’m sure that as a child, John Piper absorbed some of the segregated culture of Chattanooga, TN. No doubt. He was eight years old.
    • But what exactly is he confessing when he says that he is a “full-blooded racist”?
      • And how would he measure up today if he measured himself or others on the category of “greed” with the same intensity that he has done here with “race”?

Example 3: Desiring God Organization Puts the Stamp of Approval on the Black Lives Matter (TM) Movement

Example 4: Cru Adopts a Postmodern Definition of Race

  • Though the date is unclear, the organization Cru (formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ) has an article on “The Gospel and Race.”
    • The article states:
      • “After becoming a Christian and facing the reality of racial division in the church, I began to want answers to the questions that continually pressed on my heart: What actually is race and racism? What does the Bible have to say about racial division?
      • I quickly discovered that race is something that humans created to develop a social hierarchy between ethnic groups. Race is not something that is based on any sort of chemical or scientific make-up of these different groups of people. It’s primarily based on the color of one’s skin.”
    • In case you’re wondering, “race is something that humans created to develop a social hierarchy between ethnic groups” is not something you learn in the Bible.
      • It’s something you learn from Critical Race Theory.
    • As far as I can tell, the concept of “Race” was originally created in 1684, which is around the time of the Baconian Scientific Revolution, when people began to try to categorize human beings in new ways, just as they were doing with the elements, physics, zoology, and all other things.
      • Therefore, as a matter of Chronology, slavery is not a “product of” racism. Instead, slavery came before racism. I don’t know what to do with this fact right now, but it seems to be a fact.

Example 5: The Southern Baptist Church Issues Report on Slavery and Racism in the Southern Baptist Church

  • In 2017, Al Mohler, the President of Southern Seminary appointed a six member panel to produce a report on the History of Slavery and Racism in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which was completed in 2018.
    • The report’s introduction from Al Mohler stated:
      • I was honored to be part of the small working group of both white and African-American Southern Baptists who drafted [the 1995 statement of the SBC]. Then, as now, I was president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. At that time, I think it is safe to say that most Southern Baptists, having made this painful acknowledgment and lamenting this history, hoped to dwell no longer on the painful aspects of our legacy. That is not possible, nor is it right.
        • Really? You mean after recognition of sin and repentance, it is not right to no longer dwell on sin?
        • Why is not possible nor right no no longer dwell on the sinful acts of the past?
        • If that’s the case, what does it mean when the Bible says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)?
      • Since our founding in 1859, at no moment has the history of this school been separated, by even the slightest degree, from the history of the denomination.
        • Really? I mean, REALLY? Do we continue to send out slave-owner missionaries? I mean… …really?
      • We have been guilty of a sinful absence of historical curiosity.
        • As a former history teacher, I am supportive of the general sentiment, but the way that the statement seems to connect historical curiosity to “lament” and “sadness” and not joy at the death of sin by the power of the spirit of God, I’m not so sure I like this idea.

Example 6: The Gospel Coalition Puts on the MLK50 Conference

  • In 2018, the Gospel Coalition, an Institutional powerhouse in Evangelical Christianity put on the MLK50 conference.
    • In the promotional paragraph for that conference, it says the following:
      • Fifty years later we gathered in Memphis to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., because he lost his life fighting for something good and true: the dignity of every man, woman, and child as created in the image of God. We remember him because he spoke this truth boldly, knowing it would lead him to pay the ultimate price. King was not perfect. We don’t all agree with him on everything. But we must engage with what he said and did, because so many of our fathers in the evangelical faith opposed him. And they often opposed him for reasons that would shame us today. It would compound the tragedy of 50 years ago if we failed to learn the lessons for our own blind spots.
    • Isn’t the standard of “fighting for something good and true: the dignity of every man, woman, and child as created in the image of God” something that would allow for a Thomas Jefferson conference?
      • Don’t tell me that Thomas Jefferson did not “love” his slaves. (Ahem…) He most certainly did.
    • If it is true that “King was not perfect. We don’t all agree with him on everything,” then why have the conference?
      • Doesn’t this further support the whole “Thomas Jefferson conference” idea?
        • Do I need to continue this sarcastic irony, or do you get it already?
    • Isn’t it historically questionable that Martin Luther King Jr. knew that “it would lead him to pay the ultimate price.”
      • Really? He knew he was going to be assassinated?
        • Isn’t this a bit of a stretch to make him a “Jesus” figure?
    • In light of this, why would it “compound the tragedy” to oppose MLK as a Christian Leader?
      • Isn’t it possible to like what he did politically while noticing that he is heretical in his Christianity, much like (ahem…) Thomas Jefferson?
    • Maybe we don’t have to “denounce” MLK, but shouldn’t we at least “avoid” him when it comes to conferences of TGC, which explicitly exists to “deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures.”
      • There is more that could be said about this conference (and many have) but we need to move on.

Example 7: The President of the Southern Baptist Convention promotes “Diversity” as Goal of the Church

  • In 2018, J. D. Greear, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that “diversity” is God’s intention for the church.
    • The full article is above, and the full sentence is here:
      • God has declared that diversity is his intention for the church, and he has given his Spirit with the promise that he will make it happen (Ephesians 3:1-13; 4:4-5)
    • However, what we find in these passages is that the theme is UNITY, not diversity.
      • When we see the reference of Ephesians 3:1-13, the theme is that the Gentiles are united into ONE body.
      • In Ephesians 4:4-5, we see that the intention is UNITY, not diversity. Specifically, it says this:
        • I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)
      • How does that show “diversity”? That word never appears.
    • Additionally, Greear has a VERY strange plan to achieve this goal, considering he’s a pastor charged with PREACHING the word of God: Listen and don’t speak. He says the following:
      • “Our journey toward this goal hasn’t been easy—true diversification never is. But we’ve learned that pursuing racial reconciliation isn’t a niche “project” for a select few; rather, it is an essential part of discipleship and the responsibility of every follower of Jesus. For those of us in the majority culture, this process has begun with a posture of listening, not talking.

Example 8: The Provost of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Proclaims He Is a Racist, and It’s Not That Big a Deal

Example 9: Southern Baptist Leaders Issue Statement on Death of George Floyd that is Connected to 400 years of Oppression.

Example 10: The Gospel Coalition Tacitly endorses Black Lives Matter (TM) and the New Definition of “Racism.”

  • On June 6, 2020, the Gospel Coalition promoted an article titled “Unmasking Racism, starting with me.”
    • The picture used to promote the article is a protest sign with “BLM” and a Black-Power fist in the air.
    • The post begins with the personal story of:
      • How the Asian author endured racial teasing, bullying, and theft by black and brown kids in his neighborhood, but then moved to a mostly Korean neighborhood to escape that.
      • How he became enmeshed in black culture and liked it.
      • Took a class called “Race and Color in America” and started thinking differently after some personal epiphanies.
    • It ends with the Author:
      • Realizing that his lack of care for the African American community was not the result of being “Asian” or “distant,” but was instead the result of “sin.”
      • Realizing how he had “enormous blinders of privilege that have prevented me from responding to injustice with humility and compassion, and just how entrenched and ugly my sin is.”
      • Having a sort of religious experience in a Black Lives Matter parade, in which he weeps for the first time for people he never knew, seeing his sin, and realizing that he cannot sit quiet.
    • Honestly, it creepily sounds like he finally learned to love Big Brother.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

The Danger of This Reaction to the Christian Church, using the SBC as a Case Study.

Actually no, I don’t care if you get the picture. I’m going to literally give you a picture. The following screen-shot of the Southern Baptist Convention front-page was taken on June 6, 2020. Look at what you see.

I see “We must not be silent on racism.” I see “I am too conservative to stay silent on racial injustices.” I see “A personal resolution.” I see something about a “soul patrol” that “has led 186 people to the Lord.” I see that “Confederate monuments’ removal praised by Southern Baptists.”

Do you see the gospel? There’s that tab up top that says “Good News.” Let’s click that. When you do, you get this:

Which is easier to access on the SBC webpage: The gospel of Jesus Christ, or a postmodernist condemnation of “racism”? As of June 9, 2020, the picture is mostly the same:

There’s more stuff on “racism.” There’s that word “lament” again. There’s the news on the joint statement after the death of George Floyd, which includes a protest sign with the political hashtag of “I Cant’ Breathe.”

From a quantitative and informational standpoint: Does this website look political or religious to you?

The Gospel That Is Missing from the SBC Webpage

In my brief review of the SBC website, I noticed that it took 3 clicks to get to any presentation of the gospel. None of those three links were easy to find. Yet SBC’s denunciation of “racism” is hard to miss.

But even in that presentation of the gospel (which you can find here), the message is “How to Become a Christian” and not “Christ died for Sinners, Saving Us, and Renewing Us Through His Spirit.”

Since the SBC is the largest collection of Christian Churches in America, maybe something like this would be a good PERMANENT AND PROMINENT FEATURE on their site (any any church or organization’s site):

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

God describes himself in this way: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.” (Exodus 34:6-7)

He has commanded us to do what is right, and it is a choice between life and death: “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. . . . It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. (Deuteronomy 30:11-15)

But we have not done what is right, and we have all sinned, (Romans 3:23) and God who is just can by no means clear the guilty from what they have done.

Yet God, who is rich in Mercy, saved us through Christ (Ephesians 2:4), and all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved! (Romans 10:13)

So we invite you to call on the name of the Lord and know him and how he has directed us to live. Walk with him with one of the churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, and help us as we strive to become like Christ, who humbled himself, served us, and saved us. (Philippians 2:1-11)

I wrote that in like 15 minutes. I recommend they use it, or you know, at least something LIKE that. They can have it for free.

And if they don’t like my presentation, then maybe the SBC could just go full-block quote on the gospel and say:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. (1 Corinthians 15:3-11)

So let me just take the opportunity to say as a member of a church associated with the Southern Baptist Convention: THANK YOU for passing on to me what you received, even though (based on your actions as individuals and as an organization) you are “unworthy to be called a disciple of Christ.” But as is clear, by the grace of God, you are what you are, and his grace toward you was not in vain. You preached, and I have believed.

But for Christ’s sake, do NOT fall for this Postmodernist heresy where “racism” is everywhere, always repented, and never forgiven! Because that is NOT the gospel and it will destroy your ministry and the church!

An Argument Against My Position By Someone Who Once Held It

A helpful test-case of my position above about Black Lives Matter (TM), is this link of a clip from John Piper’s “Ask Pastor John” podcast. In it, he first explains how he accepted a position similar to my own in 2015, but then rejected it in 2016, due to the words of a Christian brother who disagreed:

One of the main things to learn from the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement is the need to distinguish between 1. the plain truth of the slogan, 2. the ideological nature of its origin, and 3. the strategies of action that it unleashes on the street.

Now you would think that after wrestling with these things for 40 years, the ethnic, racial, social dynamics, that after 40 years, these things would be more obvious to me – those distinctions. But they weren’t. I had to be corrected. So another thing to learn, besides those distinctions, no matter you’ve been at this, like me . . . you can easily fall into unhelpful ways of thinking or talking. Which is why ongoing friendships across ethnic lines is important.

. . . So let me tell a story to illustrate my blowing it.

Last year, 2015, there were widespread protests under the banner of Black Lives matter, largely because of some high profile cases in which police killed unarmed black men . . . As I was watching this happening, I wondered what to think about it, to say about it, and I Googled and found “Oh! There’s a website called Black Lives Matter.com” and I read it, and oh my goodness! It was awful! I mean, I didn’t like it. Because it featured three women who claimed to be the founders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, and they self-identify as “Queer black women” and in big black letters on their “Her-story” not “history” page, they say that they they are “queer-affirming” and “transgender-affirming.” And I was so surprised that I tweeted this link, so that the’s people could be aware of these roots.

Well, a few weeks later, I was in Louisville with the Together for the Gospel team which included Thabiti Anibwule, and if you don’t to Thabiti, he’s a black pastor in Washington D.C., and he is as everyone who knows him realizes, intellectually, culturally, theologically, highly intelligent, highly intelligent, highly courageous, and not a push-over. And he let me know, clearly, “That wasn’t helpful.” That kind of thing, unqualified, no context. In the give-and-take . . . and he helped me see that for the mass of ordinary folks, black folks in particular, that website is a non-issue. It doesn’t even exist. They don’t know it’s even there, and it’s not driving anything.

So that’s the similar objection that John Piper put forward and got argued out of by Thabiti Anyabwile. It looks like it might be the same argument against me.

But let me give my rebuttal.

My Rebuttal of Recent Events

In contrast to that 2016 assurance by Thabiti Anyabwile that that website is a non-issue that “doesn’t even exist” and “is not driving anything,” let’s just notice a few things that have happened these past few days:

Strangely, the narrative has suddenly changed. Amazingly, we’re not longer talking about the “obvious” truth about the fact that black lives matter. Instead, we’re talking about defunding the police. If you think this is just a strange happenstance of shifting narratives, let’s note who is explaining this change.

And YES, this is precisely the same woman who was the co-founder of that website that “isn’t driving anything” and “doesnt’ even exist” according to 2016 Thabiti Anyabwile. And if you think that this call to “Defund the Police” is a random statement from a crazy person that has no effect in the real world, note the following:

So…. AS I’VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG, this is about power and politics and who gets money. That’s what this group is about, because to them, POWER is all that exists.

If you want to know how this movement treats those who try to pander to them but don’t agree 100% on their issues, note how they treated the Mayor of Minneapolis in this link here.

Whenever he did not agree to “Defund the Police” they cut him off mid-sentence, aggressively wave him away, flip him off, chant “Shame! Shame!” and yell “Go home, Jacob, Go home!”

It’s frightening and evil, especially considering that this is a man who has tried to do everything they want except for the request of dismantling all of the governing power of the city to them according to their most recent demands.

What do you think will happen to the church when a similar situation arises?

Conclusion

So Christians, once again, beware of Black Lives Matter (TM) and the entire Postmodern philosophy that it comes from.

Is it fine to want structural police reform? Sure. Is it fine to want to police the police? Sure. But think twice about using their hashtags. Think twice about joining their cause. Think twice of aligning your language and theology with their Postmodernist way of reorganizing the entire world, including your local church.

This Black Lives Matter (TM) organization is explicitly anti-Christian. They DO run things. They ARE influential. They DO influence things through their hash-tags and appearances and all of that. And Christians should RECOGNIZE that they are the strongest force for societal and theological change at the moment.

They have already used aspects of Christian theology and turned them to their own purposes. It does not accurately reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ and it will destroy our church if we don’t watch out. Though our battle is not one of flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), we do know what we should do in the face of our enemy:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

As I have said before, despite whatever genuine pain is being experienced by those around us, we have an explicit command NOT to Listen and NOT to act in response to non-Biblical ideologies:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

So stand strong for the Christian faith and the gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing that by doing so, you will be standing against a very big Postmodernist movement today.

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