The Statement rebukes the Neo-Marxist assault on the Church; Wins praise from diverse group of Southern Baptists including Calvinists and Traditionalists; The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel is most important document since the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy in 1978
Evangelical Christians are locked in a critical debate about the future of the church. Some leaders have embraced a progressive political agenda complete with Neo-Marxist group identity politics. These progressives want to make the church relevant to millennials. The Statement on Social Justice and The Gospel rejects this. The Statement is a rebuke against the church adopting wicked, worldly definitions of justice predicated on group struggle and identity.
The introduction to the new statement explains its purpose: “Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for ‘social justice.’” You can view the statement and sign it at: https://statementonsocialjustice.com/
Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church Bossier, Louisiana and the speaker at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention who gave a memorable speech nominating Ken Hemphill as SBC president, called the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel a “compelling document.”
“As the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church I am grateful for the clarity that the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel provides,” Jurkovich said. “It is a tremendous resource that can help our Southern Baptist Denomination stay strong and vibrant with all that Scripture calls us to and is a compelling document that can strengthen the heart and mind of every follower of Jesus.”
The document was shaped by many important Reformed pastors and theologians. However, that should not worry Southern Baptists of other soteriological beliefs. One of the architects of the statement, Dr. Tom Ascol said this is an issue that should unify Southern Baptists.
“It is an issue that should unite all who are concerned about the authority, inerrancy and sufficiency of God’s Word as well as the integrity of our gospel witness,” Dr. Ascol said. “The statement has been written and is being published because we are convinced that the gospel is being threatened by ideas and movements that find their origins in worldly, unbiblical philosophies.”
The unbiblical philosophies of concern included Neo-Marxism and its attendant identity politics along with Intersectionality. J.P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at BIOLA and co-author with Dr. William Lane Craig of the magisterial book Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, previously explained the threat to a Christian worldview from the Diversity and White Privilege movements. It appears at this time that JP Moreland added his name to the list of signers.
The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel provides an important balance against the one-sided conversation on these issues coming from many important evangelical leaders. Dr. Ascol said the statement, “Provides alternative perspectives on the issues addressed.”
The mostly Reformed-led statement won praise from non-Reformed Southern Baptists.
J.J. Lewis, a pastor-teacher and consultant from Chatsworth, Georgia, and a signer of the Traditional Southern Baptist understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation, praised the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel.
“The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel brings a current dividing issue to the forefront in today’s world of Christianity,” Lewis said. “Biblically, social justice and social ministries must be an outworking of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and not the other way around. Anything that subordinates the Gospel to a secondary role is completely void of the power and purposes of God.”
Brad Jones, pastor of Looxahoma Baptist Church of Senatobia, Mississippi and a signer of the Traditional Statement, praised the Statement on Social Justice and The Gospel and urged unity to fight the threat to the Gospel. He said, “It’s going to take both reformed and traditionalist to fight this battle.”
It also drew praise from local Southern Baptists leaders. Former president of the Alabama Baptist Convention, John Killian praised the statement.
“The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel is a concise statement on the purpose of the Gospel, expressing concern at the abuse of our claim to proclaim that Gospel,” Killian said. “I am thankful for John MacArthur’s wise leadership in calling back Bible-believers to Gospel truth.”
Initial signers include a range of evangelical Christian leaders including John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church, Voddie Baucham, of VBM, Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace To You, Rod Martin, founder and CEO of The Martin Organization, Darrell Harrison of the Just Thinking Podcast, Josh Buice, pastor of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church and director of the G3 Conference, James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, Michael O’Fallon, president of Sovereign Nations, Tom Buck, pastor of First Baptist Church Lindale, Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church and executive director of Founders Ministries, Justin Peters, head of Justin Peters Ministries, Anthony Mathenia, pastor of Christ Church, Jeremy Vuolo, pastor of Grace Community Church of Laredo, David Miller, Line Upon Line Ministries, Craig Mitchell, president Ethics and Political Economy Center, and Gavin Peacock, associate pastor of Calvary Grace Church.
Check back at CapstoneReport.com as we begin a detailed examination of the Statement’s affirmations and denials.