Not the contemporary “I’m sorry for hurting your feelings or offending you” apology. But a biblical Apologia a biblically reasoned defense, for any truth claim I make. Paul was faithful to this standard throughout the course of his ministry. Acts 22:1, Acts 21:28, Acts 25:16, 1 Cor 9:3, 2 Cor 7:11, Phil 1:7, Phil 1:17, 2 Tim 4:16
Today the gospel and the very definition of truth are under attack within society and the church.
Most people don’t even known it.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4-5
There is a false gospel among us hiding under a veil of false empathy and compassion.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Cor 11:3-4
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” Gal 1
Paul was constantly addressing heresy throughout the course of his ministry. For example, he rebuked the Galatians because as a result of ‘some that troubled them‘, the gospel of Christ was being perverted. He makes it clear that it doesn’t matter who does it, be it a person or an angel from heaven; preaching a false gospel will result in a curse.
David Wilkerson addressed the root of this in his sermon “The Gospel of Accommodation”
“Accommodate means to adapt, to make suitable and acceptable, to make convenient, to adjust to the desires of others to placate, to appease and attract sinners.”
There are well-meaning people twisting the gospel because they allow truth to be determined according to “lived experiences” instead of interpreting lived experiences according to the gospel. As a result, we are witnessing a perversion of the Gospel in the name of social justice. The proclaimed compassion for the oppressed on the part of many of its adherents conceals an underlying, malice. As Psychologist Jordan Peterson says, “they don’t love the poor” or (the oppressed). “They just hate the rich” (or the privileged).
Blessed is he who understands the hidden causes of things.
According to Marxist theory, the proletariat or working class is unfairly dominated or oppressed by the power-wielding bourgeoisie or the wealthy capitalist class. Marx saw these divisions as solely economic. He assumed that the alleged economic repression of the working class would naturally result in an eventual revolt against the capitalist class. He did not take into account that while the rich get richer within capitalism, the poor get richer too. Long story short those adhering to Marxist philosophy realized they needed a different strategy for tearing down the status quo in order to usher in a Marxist utopia. The 1930s saw the advent of “critical theory” developed by a group of sociologists and philosophers known as the Frankfurt School.
Instead of working-class versus capitalist class, contemporary critical theory a.k.a. Critical Race Theory states that society is divided into oppressor versus oppressed groups along lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. Sexism, racism, classism, ageism, heterosexism… are the main forms of oppression. While oppression was traditionally defined along the lines of cruelty, neglect, and violence, etc. Critical Race theory focuses on ways in which the dominant social group, namely older white Christian males, imposes its values and standards, on others for the sake of its own interests. Injustice does not only come from a tyrannical government power but through everyday practices of society at large via its normalized language, habits, cultural traditions, and symbols.
To all who are still confused, this is the underlying thought process that validates the recent destruction of monuments and statues across the United States.
Concepts like objective truth especially objective moral truth which is foundational to Biblical truth, are viewed as Western ways of thinking created and maintained by older white Christian men to preserve their “white privilege”. Critical Race Theory assumes that people never seek truth for truth’s sake. Instead, they reduce every social interaction to a vying for power. If someone asserts a truth claim the first question is not “is this claim true?” and “Do you have data and facts that support your argument.” but rather “what incentive does this person have in making this claim?” Hence the abject futility of confronting a committed Critical Race Theorist / Social Justice Warrior with data and facts. Their response will invariably be along the lines of “I FEEL like you are saying, think, mean…. etc.” Meanwhile, you may find yourself scratching your head and maybe wondering if you are losing your mind.
While you are trying to identify the truth. Their entire world view is rooted in concepts of POWER.
Critical Race Theory has so many layers, terms, and concepts like Interest Convergence, Positional Epistemology, Standpoint Epistemology, Grievance Justice, Research Justice, Deconstruction, Intersectionality, and the most recent Cancel Culture movement.
As Christians, we need to familiarize ourselves with these things because thanks to postmodern theory, reality itself is now completely subjective such that we can’t even assume that we are speaking the same language. As missionaries, we understand the three primary cultural paradigms of “Power and Fear”, “Honor and Shame”, “Innocence, and Guilt”. Now we have a fourth, “Privileged and Oppressed” forming right under our noses. That said, As Stuart Greaves, the author of False Justice says, this generation of Social Justice gospel warriors is being prepared to usher in the antichrist.
Language is being hijacked
For example, while equity in society traditionally refers to equity of treatment particularly in regard to “opportunity” where individual outcomes are primarily determined by competence. Critical race theory is focused on the equity of outcomes. Competence models are viewed as being rooted in privilege and are therefore a form of oppression.
For example, take an average white male from a middle-class family whose nonminority status precludes him from certain types of financial aid. He works three part-time jobs, sleeps an hour a day, and eats Ramen noodles for eight years while putting himself through medical school. We used to call people like this inspiring role models. According to modern Critical Race Theorists, he only succeeded as a result of his inherent white privilege. Therefore he needs to do his anti-racism work and atone for it. What this amounts to is the monetization of a “victim status” and the idea that white people must pay.
That is Marxism.
Any committed Critical Race Theorist who tells you otherwise is deceived or they are lying.
Of course, there is no objective truth or objective moral law therefore this statement only confirms my guilt in their minds.
I could go on unraveling the subtly twisted, constantly morphing nuances of critical race theory. It’s a never-ending, journey down a rabbit hole to what looks to me like hell. If you want to read more of the history of Critical race theory I recommend starting with the Derrick Bell Reader. That said, rather than subject you to another 1500 words in an attempt to narrow it all down, I made a two and half minute animated summary of what I think are the most relevant epistemological concerns for the church as we attempt to address social conflict in the coming days.
Before I move on to the next post; a disclaimer
Trauma is real. It happens to individuals. It is healed in the context of individual relationships, counseling, therapy, and ultimately by God. As a former counselor, I am definitely supportive of helping individuals heal. I do not deny that racism is real. It is a sin for which repentance is required. The fact remains that the contemporary Critical Race Theory of Derrick Bell was birthed out of very real trauma stemming from the horrendous and unjust history of American slavery along with the absolutely valid concerns regarding racial injustice and systemic inequality for people of color and women during the late 1950s into the 1970s. Many of Bell’s concerns were valid especially at the time when he was a black professor of law at Harvard. He even made a decent case for for slavery reparations based on the fact that the descendants of slaves were robbed of the inheritance they might have received had slaves been paid for their labor.
The problem for the Church today begins with modern Critical Race Theory’s approach and doctrinal emphasis on the collective rather than the individual. It focuses on deconstruction rather than construction. Instead of solving problems by improving the existing system, it seeks to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater by canceling culture, reinterpreting scripture, and eliminating the status quo a.k.a “the patriarchy”. Christianity is patriarchy. Its author and ruler is our Father in Heaven. The biblically aligned marriage and its patriarchal structure is a model for Christ’s relationship with His church. Critical Race Theory ignores the fact the chronic absence of fathers in inner-city homes is at the root of problems like gangs and black on black murder.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Col 2:8
The gospel rooted in Critical Race Theory otherwise known as the social justice gospel is a false gospel.
It is as subtle as it is pervasive in that it rarely overtly opposes the true gospel on scriptural and, epistemological grounds. Instead, it relies on appeals to emotion. Appeal to emotion is the logical fallacy whereby a person’s critical thinking is overwhelmed and subverted by emotions such as sympathy, compassion, and anger.
The recent death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer is a good example. The method of restraint was clearly unjust, and Floyd did not deserve to die. The actions of the white, black Asian, and Hispanic officers now charged with murder may have been driven by race. But at the time of this writing, it has yet to be proven in a court of law. Given that they didn’t flinch at being filmed by multiple people the officers obviously believed they were acting within their rights and authority. Floyd may have had multiple illegal drugs in his system. It also has not been confirmed in a court of law that his death was caused by the officer rather than a drug-induced heart attack. That is the purpose of the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. However, the officers have been tried and convicted in the media and court of public opinion. The sentence is being carried out on police and property across the nation. Meanwhile, much of the church has enshrined Floyd as a role model for youth and memorialized him with the likes of Martin Luther King as a godly Chrisitan man martyred at the hands of systemic racism and white privilege.
Yeah, I know. “Judge not lest ye be judged”. For the record, I’m not saying Floyd was beyond repentance or that he is in hell. That would be judgment. My concern is that while false Social Gospel warriors quote MLK “that a riot is the language of the unheard” they ignore his insistence that people be judged according to the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
In this case the exact opposite is being played out.
The content of George Floyd’s character is being ignored because of the color of his skin.
Meanwhile, gutless accommodating purveyors of a false gospel are taking a knee before the image of Floyd and repenting for their white privilege while supporting a narrative based on a lie that black people are being genocidally murdered by police every day. They are not. Police are being killed by criminals far more than the other way around. Last year 147 police officers were killed in the line of duty as compared with 9 unarmed blacks and 20 unarmed whites who were shot and killed by police. The true gospel says truth matters.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. Eph 5:6
The first indication that you dealing with an accomodating false gospel is a leader who caters to people’s feelings and accommodates falsehood for fear of offending someone and losing financial support.
Jesus was clear.
The knowledge of the truth is what sets us free. John 8:32
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Rom 3:10-18
The next indication is the overwhelming emphasis on the word “justice”. While racism is sin and justice is certainly part of God’s plan, the false Justice Gospel emphasizes justice within the context of society and society’s standards while excluding personal righteousness before God. Their idea of righteousness is synonymized with justice brought about by the will of man. Biblical righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we walk in because we are grafted in John 15:5 and are granted supernatural power to be obedient to His word. Rom 8:1-5
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. Psalm 89:14
Righteousness precedes justice. There is no justice apart from righteousness. This is where we see Critical Race Theory seeping into the church in the form of misinterpreted and misapplied grace. The overwhelming focus is on perceived, often factually invalid, injustice toward what the new religion of Intersectionality identifies as oppressed groups. Calling people out and telling them they need to repent or face eternal damnation is viewed as legalistic and insensitive when “grace” is what is required.
Grace is another word that has been subtly shifted to align with the world’s definition. While the true gospel understands grace to mean the undeserved gift made available to us as a result of Jesus’s propitiation for the sin of all mankind on the cross, grace within the social justice movement often means tolerance for or even the condoning of sin. Granted we need to forgive each other and often repeatedly Mat 18:21-22. Having grace for another means not rejecting a person while also clearly pointing them toward repentance and the cross. It doesn’t matter if you are among the oppressed or the privileged. The Bible is clear regarding those who do not repent.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19 -21
Another subtle indicator is the politicization of Jesus rooted in the belief that Jesus was unjustly crucified. They say Jesus conquered IN SPITE of the cross as they correlated His suffering with some Intersectional oppressed group today. In truth, He was born to die on the cross as a final sacrifice in fulfillment of prophecy and the law. Jesus conquered THROUGH the cross as a result of His submission to it. We often wonder how many Christian SJWs would have reacted had they been present when Jesus was crucified. Today we have allegedly spirit-filled Christians in the streets acting as the hands and feet of Jesus while preaching “a new gospel narrative”. In reality, they are deceived by Leaven of Herod which is a political spirit Mk 8:15.
The false social justice gospel always looks to worldly solutions in the name of Jesus as they politize His name. All one needs to do is read publications like “Sojourners”, Jim Wallaces Progressive Christianity magazine, to see that progressive Christianity is a political monster financed and driven by organizations like the Open Societies Foundations.
But that’s a subject for another time.
The bible says Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” Heb 4:15 I can only imagine the thoughts and temptations that Jesus wrestled with before God in the Garden of Gethsemane while sweating His own blood and begging His Father to remove the cup of suffering from Him. After all, He could have fulfilled the hopes of the apostles, conquered the Roman Empire, with a single word. Yet he was submissive and obedient onto death. Isaiah 53:10 He is our example in the midst of oppression and injustice.
If I am correct and we have entered into the beginning of sorrows Mat 24:8 then the next step in the process is that we are to be delivered up to be killed. Over course I don’t have a timeline. My point is that it will most certainly represent a clear violation of our constitutional rights. The Social Justice gospel has us demanding and perhaps fighting for global worldly justice. The true gospel has us preaching repentance, the coming Kingdom, and being led like lambs to slaughter for doing so.
Jesus was a Refugee
False justice gospel exegesis is forever correlating Jesus with refugees, “Jesus was a refugee” they say because Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt. Mat 2 or that He had no place to lay His head. Luke 9:58 But Mat 2 is the story of God’s supernatural intervention and preservation of Jesus, not His victimhood and His intersection with an oppressed class. Jesus’s reference to Daniel 7 in Luke 9:58 was a proclaimtion of His deity, humility and rejection of worldly methods and comforts.
Jesus was a man of color
The false justice gospel is forever obsessed with Jesus’s ethnicity. “Jesus was a man of color”, or “Jesus was a black man!” they say as they compare and correlate Him with the racial conflicts of today. While we might surmise that Jesus was olive-skinned based on His Palestinian geographical origins, the Bible says very little about what He looked like.
He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:2-3
Jesus was the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14 He didn’t intersect with an oppressed class. He was God who intersected with all of mankind who stand equally guilty of oppressing Him through the voluntary rejection of Himself and His law. That’s a hard pill for some to swallow.
There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the LORD. Pro 21:30
Social Justice is obsessed with “isms” and “ists”
When you see one, beware! For example, the false justice gospel calls Jesus a feminist because He honored women. Of course, He did. They bear his image. But Jesus came for all of mankind. As I explained in the above video, Intersectionality is the offspring of radical feminist ideology that seeks dominance and power rather than equality with their fellow image-bearers Gen 1:26, Image bearers who stand equally guilty as God’s enemies until they turn to Him, repent and live according to His word. Rom 5:10.
The false social justice gospel is the “yeah but” gospel. “Yeah I know what scripture says but…” These people are often on fire with regard to things like healing, prosperity, and prophetic words. But trusting God with their lives and especially their families by remaining obedient to His word amidst the possibility of persecution and death is an entirely different thing. The true gospel is clear,
“all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Tim 3:12
The false gospel places personal opinion and revelation above the word of God. It says I am made in the image of God, I am filled with His spirit, his laws are written on my heart. I hear His voice. If what I hear and think appears to conflict with His word it’s only because you don’t see and hear and therefore do not understand as I do. My lived experience as a black, brown, female, ist, ism …child of God informs my righteousness. What I feel is right; is right. What I feel is wrong; is wrong. It is my job as a Christian to make the wrongs I see right.
That is Critical Race Theory.
The Bible says “…lean not on your own understanding In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes.” Prov 3:5-7
Wise in our own eyes results in a “yeah but” gospel that embraces almost everything except obedience.
Obedience comes with a cost. Romans 13 is an example.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
Yeah but what? There are avenues to petition the courts and government. There are ways to effect changes in-laws. There are laws that already address certain issues that are not enforced. We elected a black president twice. Killing police, looting and burning businesses are inexcusable. Sympathizing with the criminals who do it while supporting a false persecution narrative based on an intentional and culturally programmed belief in oppression while ignoring the sin that has them on a fast track to hell is neither loving nor Biblical. The false gospel says it is the church’s job to comfort and appease people even if they are lying to themselves and others. The true gospel says they need to repent and that it is the church’s job to call it out. Is that an unpopular message? You’d better believe it is. It got Jesus killed. The bible says it is going to kill a lot of us who remain faithful.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev 12:11
The Social Justice gospel only points the finger and is devoid of gratitude.
Two of our friends in Cabo Delgado Mozambique where we previously served have been crying out to us for prayer because people are being tortured and murdered by Muslim extremists. Forgive us if we feel a bit angry at what is clearly a twisted and manipulative bid for power masquerading as caring for Black Lives.
The fact is that no SJW movement ever acknowledges the blessings of being born in America. They are entitled brats masquerading as victims. But not to worry. Jesus declared a principle that mainly applies to knowledge of the Kingdom. But I think it applies to other principles as well.
Principles like, gratitude.
“For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mat 13:12
Grateful people usually end up with more to be grateful for. Those without gratitude usually lose what they have.
I get the sense that a lot of people are about to lose what they didn’t realize they had.
The false gospel is consumed with the here and now. Its adherents are consumed with prosperity and politics. It always demands immediate justice. But rarely calls its adherents to immediate repentance before God. Rather it points the finger outward and demands eternal penance for the privilege. The Bible says
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Col 3:1-4
False gospel messages may allude to biblical principles and misinterpreted scriptures but the exegesis itself does not refer to, nor is it supported by actual scripture. Instead, it relies on personal experience, personal revelation, politics, and Appeals to Emotion. The true gospel insists on an Acts 17:11 verification of truth according to scripture because
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
These are just a few of the subtle roots and signs that you are dealing with a false gospel. There many others. In fact, more are being generated every day. That said the most profound and overt indication that you have come face to face with a false Gospel is a movement that is growing by leaps and bounds. It is a movement that calls itself
The WOKE Church.
While there is an attempted Eph 5:14 true gospel rebuttal underway on the part of people like Erich Mason and Voddie Baucham, “Woke” is a term straight out of Critical Race Theory. A Woke Christian is a person who identifies and owns the inherent sin of racism within themselves and their church and is willing to do their life long “anti-racism work” and pursue diversity. On the surface, it sounds almost reasonable and embracing of Psalms 139:23-24,
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
However, it’s purpose is to generate an appeal to the inner shame of Carnal man regarding God’s blessings that SJWs claim are the sole result of one’s privilege. The true gospel says that one of God’s purposes in blessing us is that our thanksgiving (should) abound to the glory of God. 2 Cor 4:14-15 Gratitude to God for His blessings is a form of worship. But the social Justice gospel demands we atone for God’s blessings.
This cultist indoctrination that is pervading academia, the workplace and now the church, glues people and their identities to a victim group instead of “in Christ” Eph 2:6. It is a satanic Rev 12:10 katēgoréō (categorization) that manipulates people into feeling guilty for things they never did. It is a method for corraling and controlling people in the name of Godly justice.
It is neither Godly nor just. It is a lie from the pit of Hell cloaked in pseudo loving charismania.
Its extreme end game looks like this this.
There are a lot of vain imaginations exalting themselves against the true knowledge of God these days.
Think about it.
Now more than ever we must “study to shew (ourselves) approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
Please accept my apology.