Wake Up To Wokeness: J.D. Greear embraces Racialism & rhetoric of White Privilege

Woke Ideology is New Gnosticism; Are Southern Baptists ready for a Progressive SBC President who embraces Neo-Marxism and its Racial Identity Politics?

Southern Baptists might be surprised to find that SBC presidential nominee J.D. Greear embraces the rhetoric of Neo-Marxist racial identity politics through the use of the terms like “White privilege” and “Wokeness.” Greear has said that America in general, and white evangelicalism in particular, is beset with systemic racism. His church is even hosting a three-week course on racial issues of “White Privilege” along with “Wokeness.”

The Summit Institute declares the course on Race in America: Past, Present and the Church’s Path Forward: “Join Pastors Chris Green, J.D. Greear and other Summit Leaders for a close look at Race in our society. This 3-week course will provide a Christian perspective on America’s history and future regarding ethnic relations. Come and discuss Black History, White Privilege, Wokeness, together with your fellow believers in a safe and gospel-centered environment. Leave with practical action steps to help make the church, and our society, a multi-ethnic haven.”

Wokeness is the new Gnosticism, as has been noted. Gnosticism was the early church heresy that promoted the belief that some have an elevated knowledge than others. This concept aligns with the idea behind the newly coined buzzword “wokeness”, since those who are considered the “woke” claim to have a sense of the social injustice present in America.

The word woke became entwined with the Black Lives Matter movement; instead of just being a word that signaled awareness of injustice or racial tension, it became a word of action. Activists were woke and called on others to stay woke,” according to a blog post from Merriam-Webster.

Greear appears to hold the view that some Christians have more insights than others about racial matters— illustrating the relation of Wokeness and Gnosticism, Greear wrote, “For those of us in the majority culture, this process has begun with a posture of listening, not talking. The definition of a blind spot, after all, is a weakness that we don’t know that we have. Historically, the most insidious blind spots result from positions of privilege and power. If we are serious about discovering these blind spots, it means committing ourselves to uncomfortable conversations where we seek more to understand than we do to be understood.”

Greear has adopted the rhetoric of White Privilege on several occasions. According to the Christians Post in a story headlined “Megachurch Pastor Says White Christians Must Recognize ‘Privilege,’ Share Burdens Believers of Color Face,” the Post reported, “Megachurch pastor J.D. Greear of the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, said that white Christians must offer to share the burden that believers of color face in society, in order to progress toward racial reconciliation.”

Jordan Peterson explained the rhetoric of white privilege arose out of Marxism. According to this conference summary, “The Marxist concepts of the ‘oppressed and the oppressor’ continued to manifest themselves in countless ways eventually leading to the coining of the phrase ‘white privilege’ by Peggy McIntosh in the late 1980s.  Eventually, the neo-Marxist concept of ‘white privilege’ evolved into social doctrine within progressive political camps.  Even more concerning is that the fallacy of ‘white privilege’ has found its way in through Reformed Christian circles and into the two largest Protestant denominations in the United States: The Southern Baptist Convention and The Presbyterian Church in America.”

Greear wrote on his blog that systemic injustice still exists in America despite the gains of the Civil Rights movement, “Whether you want to call that ‘white privilege’ or ‘systemic injustice,’ blacks have not always received the same equal protections under the law, nor been afforded all the same opportunities and privileges as have whites. That is easily demonstrable from history, when actual codified laws—like Jim Crow laws—overtly discriminated against blacks. But even today, post Civil Rights era—when most, if not all, codified prejudice has been removed—in practice, police, judges, and sometimes even juries often adjudicate unfairly against blacks.

Greear affirmed white privilege exists in a posting shared by the ERLC. Writing about Ferguson, Greear said, “As we’ll explain below, white privilege most certainly exists in our culture, but to prematurely turn this situation into an illustration of that—or the basis of a call to action—before it has been proven is to create a scapegoat out of potentially innocent people.”

Greear even praised the ERLC’s recent conference that featured political sloganeering on issues of race. Greear tweeted approval of the “challenging conversations” taking place at the Russell Moore led conference. Unfortunately, the conference was anything but good for Christianity.

Darrell B. Harrison of the Just Thinking podcast and blog summarized the conference agenda as overt politics. He wrote, “Listening to the speakers at this #MLK50Conference, I’m having a difficult time distinguishing this event from the conferences put on by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Jesse Jackson’s Operation P.U.S.H.”

Later, Harrison tweeted, “What’s sad about some of the messages coming out of the #MLK50Conference is they are targeted only at white pastors/churches, as if black pastors/churches don’t have their own historical sins from which they must repent. Black evangelicals can harbor sinful biases as well.”

But that wouldn’t fit the narrative Dr. Moore is trying to advance.

The ERLC conference even featured the absurdity of the word “micro-aggressions” included during the worship music. In a performance before Matt Chandler spoke, apparently these lyrics were recited:

“Father, we need our minds to be renewed by You
Cause it’s a daily fight to remind myself that I am worthy
When microaggressions lie behind every other corner lurking
We been hurting for a long time, weary souls
Why’s it seem like my brothers in Christ can’t understand it though?”

The absurdity of the ERLC conference is the future of the Southern Baptist Convention if J.D. Greear wins election as president of the SBC. Greear has wholeheartedly endorsed Russell Moore of the ERLC. Moore was the chief organizer of the ERLC conference on MLK. Greear has praised Moore as a “great representative” of Southern Baptists.

One of the most racist recent comments in evangelicalism came from Southern Baptist Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile. Anyabwile was on the Advisory Panel and Programming Committee of the ERLC’s MLK50 Conference. He posted this rant at The Gospel Coalition blog, “My white neighbors and Christian brethren can start by at least saying their parents and grandparents and this country are complicit in murdering a man who only preached love and justice.”

Anyabwile’s entire piece is called “We Await Repentance for Assassinating Dr. King.” Read it. It is shocking, but this is what Russell Moore wants of the Southern Baptist Convention. One of my friends on Facebook pointed out the essential assumption of the entire article is that blacks are the proletariat and whites the bourgeoisie.

Want to know how embedded Thabiti Anyabwile is with J.D. Greear and Russell Moore? They are popular panelists together on the TGC, 9Marks circuit, and both Greear and Anyabwile are part of the author team of the ERLC’s Gospel For Life series. And just this week, Greear endorsed a book from 9Marks leader and ERLC fellow Jonathan Leeman. Leeman is the former elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church and taught an entire Sunday School Class on Racial Identity Politics.

Dr. Moore’s embrace of this new Social Justice mysticism can be illustrated in one Tweet the ERLC chief liked on Twitter. Moore liked this tweet from Dr. Eric Mason, “Let me tell you how I’m not going to spend my gospel energy in the race & justice dialogue, on people who refuse to be learners! Giving pushback from a privileged position will get shut down! I’m building w/ those from now on who know the problem didn’t start from a mutual point!” The head of the SBC ERLC liked a tweet saying that some Christians should sit down and shut up and listen to the enlightened “Woke” among us.

Do Baptists want more racialism and identity politics? Then they should vote for Greear. For the rest of us, we must put aside our identity as black or white Baptists, Calvinist or Traditional Baptists and unite to fight the infiltration of our Convention from the Neo-Marxist racial identity division. Ken Hemphill is the only option in this campaign unhindered by loyalty to Russell Moore’s progressive politics.

During the Conservative Resurgence, Calvinists and Traditionalists stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the ranks fighting for the Gospel. It must be no different today. This is not a Calvinist versus non-Calvinist fight. Many of the people standing firm against today’s Racialism are Calvinists. So, Calvinists should not be deceived by the rhetoric coming out of the Greear partisans that this is only a campaign against Greear because he is a Calvinist. People are campaigning against Greear because he is not what the Southern Baptist Convention needs at this time in SBC history.

17 Comments

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  1. 1
    Robert

    Powerful essay! The Apostle Paul taught us that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek. By extension, there is neither black nor white in Christ.

    But, alas, rusty moore and his ilk would have us believe that the white man is the devil incarnate. Does rusty take responsibility for helping to encourage violence? In my hometown of Kansas City, there was a young black serial killer shooting middle aged white men in the back of the head. One murder was only a few blocks from my old home. In South Africa, there is ongoing genocide against whites. Is rusty OK with this? He is quick to condemn whites. Why no condemnation of violence if the victim is white?

  2. 2
    Edwitness

    When I began reading your article I was skeptical about your usage of Gnosticism as the construct the “woke movement” is using. But, it appears that it is indeed intrinsic in the Gnosticism that John addressed in his letters.
    But, it became clear that the form of Gnosticism that carries with it the idea of having something inside us waiting to be “woken”, that is not part of the natural man, is clearly at work in these people’s thinking.
    But, the Bible makes it clear that it is a lie to believe that there is something inside each man that is separate from his natural being that needs to be “woken”. But, it’s easy to see where they come up with this idea from the mainline church’s doctrines.
    Contrary to those false doctrines however is Paul’s teaching that Adam was natural and had no spiritual part in him from the time God made him. 1Cor.15:45,46. The Genesis account bears this out as well in Gen.2:7.
    But, because the church teaches that he was spiritual, and that Jesus came to “re-awaken” the spiritual part that is in every man to God, we see the seeds of Gnosticism in these doctrines that are already present in the mainline church. So it’s no surprise that this SBC leader falls into this trap of believing that people need to be “woke” in this way as well.
    Flee the harlot teachings of the rcc. She is the mother of harlots. And the promoter of this form of Gnosticism John taught them to be against.
    Blessings:-}

      • 4
        Capstone Report

        Well, in defense of Greear, he would affirm only Jesus saves and one must repent and believe on Christ. However, Greear has embraced the rhetoric of Neo-Marxists on matters of race. He even made the theological error of claiming Christians & Muslims worship the same God. Link: http://capstonereport.com/2018/03/31/j-d-greear-says-christians-muslims-worship-god/31952/

        I think Greear is a good guy and a dedicated Christian. However, I think he is imprecise in his language (something critical in our post-modern world) and is too easily attracted to political nonsense. He isn’t the right man to be president of the SBC at this time.

    • 6
      Capstone Report

      Eloquence and grace that could only come from the Russell Moore wing of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  3. 7
    ExpatNJ

    Many congregants of SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) Churches are ‘black’/’African-American’/etc. J.D. Greear and the SBC are merely exploiting their base. After all, JDG’s job is to ensure those donations keep flowing into those collection plates.

    The true question is whether WHITE congregants will follow, or fall away. I predict the latter.

    ALL issues boil down to Money and/or Power (i.e. control over others). In this case, the trail leads to money. But, if JDG believes he will receive more power from his ‘black’/’African-American’/etc base, he will be sadly ‘awoken’ when that base turns on him and kills him because he’s White.

    • 8
      Jon

      You sound very fearful of Black people. You should start seeking genuine friendships with Black brothers and sisters and spend some time listening to and learning from them.

      Also, if you think Greear’s church is overflowing with African-Americans who are emptying their bank accounts into the donation plate because of his stance on racial reconciliation, you’re clearly in a state of ignorance about the Summit Church.

  4. 9
    Billy Edwards

    I’ve got a black friend who was taking his wife home from the doctor. He saw a dryer obviously discarded by the curb. He loaded it up, only to be stopped by a cop who asked him if he had permission to take the dryer. So my friend asks the homeowner, who told him she left it in the curb for someone to take. The cop told him, “I have your license plate. If anything goes missing, I’m coming to you.” I’ve got white friends who do that in the same neighborhood. Never been stopped. Why don’t you make friends with blacks – invite them to your house. Then listen to understand, not speak. You’ll change your tune. We are privileged.

    • 10
      Capstone Report

      I love the assumption that anyone who opposes the Marxist use of the term privilege is automatically someone who doesn’t have any friends of another race.

      It is better to be slow to speak and quick to listen. However, that isn’t what these leaders mean. Notice the not-so-subtle declaration from many who attended the ERLC conference that they won’t engage with anyone who disagrees with them? We even had an SBC pastor tell someone one twitter they were “co-conspirators” with MLK’s assassin. That isn’t healing divisions that is only dividing the Body of Christ.

      • 11
        Billy Edwards

        So do you have real friends who are POC? Friends who come into your home, who call just too talk, who you eat lunch with without an agenda, who you can call on when you’re needy?

  5. 12
    TheTruthBurns

    Just rename the Church Southern Blacktists forget about Jesus & Christianity Go straight to Lucifer where you belong. Cut the Racial Garbage.

  6. 13
    Eckbach

    MLK was a depraved, communist thug. If he hadn’t been murdered by the FBI, he wouldn’t have become a “martyr” and his memory would be nada.

  7. 15
    Lavictoire

    When I was stationed overseas our commanders told us to behave because we represented America and do not want to set a bad image of Americans. Nobody thought to say, why, that would be unfair of the locals to think badly of us Americans if we are rude, publicly drunk and raping and stealing and murdering the locals. The point is, if you are a part of the black population you are a member of a group that commits the majority of violent crimes per your population and fills the jails so don’t get mad at the locals for looking at you suspiciously.
    Would it not be a better response to understand why people look at you so and get mad at your own people who bring all the trouble down on you with their actions? I hear sensible black people say this very thing and say they don’t blame whites for being suspicious and afraid. Sounds like that cop knows the streets and was doing a good job. I think it is Marxist agitators and ignorant whites who preach the white
    privilege and racism garbage.

  8. 17
    Mark

    Leftist ideology has no place in the Southern Baptist Convention. I, for one, will opt out of the SBC if this Leftist ideology becomes the guiding principles of the SBC. If the SBC follows the “moderate” (I prefer the term liberal) Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, it will be our downfall. That appears to be where we are headed. Luckily, Southern Baptists believe that each church is independent and can sever fellowship with any nonsense from the convention.

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