The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel generated strong reactions among progressives, liberal Christians. Social Justice advocates unleashed trolls, smears and ad hominem in their campaign against the statement.
Like any human document, I’m sure there are legitimate criticisms of the newly released Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. However, the critique from Dr. Joel McDurmon isn’t fair. It is the sly rhetoric of the Social Justice elite that promotes falsehood in an attempt to smear their opponents. The most jarring falsehood in the essay is the attempt to link the statement and its signers with antebellum slavery.
Dr. McDurmon gives a list of reasons for not signing the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. But he sneaks one dishonest smear into the list. He claimed, “This document could have been signed by the antebellum slaveowners, etc.”
Such a claim is laughable. It is so disingenuous that it borders on slander. How on earth would slave owners sign a statement that among other things claims: in the section on Justice, “This includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due. We affirm that societies must establish laws to correct injustices that have been imposed through cultural prejudice.”
Also, in the section on racism, “WE AFFIRM that racism is a sin rooted in pride and malice which must be condemned and renounced by all who would honor the image of God in all people. Such racial sin can subtly or overtly manifest itself as racial animosity or racial vainglory. Such sinful prejudice or partiality falls short of God’s revealed will and violates the royal law of love. We affirm that virtually all cultures, including our own, at times contain laws and systems that foster racist attitudes and policies.”
There is no way that slave owners—who depended on a system of racial bias—would sign a document that repudiates such assumptions.
In other words, it is nothing more than an attack on the character of the signers by trying to lump them in with racists.
That isn’t how Christians should discuss an issue.
However, it is how the Social Justice Warriors act. They resort to name calling anyone who questions their philosophical presuppositions.
Another example is how the progressives at SBC Voices published an article that lied about one of the Statement on Social Justice initial signers. In the SBC Voices article it attempted to paint one man as a raving anti-immigrant, Trump-loving supporter.
The London-based “minister” wrote, “Then asked when he last shared the gospel with a Muslim told me about a conversation he had with a cab driver about Donald Trump.” This is false and the writer should repent. However, when the individual slandered in the SBC Voices post contacted the writer and offered a face-to-face meeting in London, or at the very least a telephone call to reconcile, it was rejected because the author of the slander was too busy to meet or talk.
Such conduct from a Christian and minister is disgusting. The writer should repent and seek reconciliation.
But he won’t. He like so many Social Justice Warriors are convinced of their own moral superiority; they will use any means to attack the un-enlightened among us. Woke is the new Gnosticism.
The initial signer smeared in the SBC Voices post has spent significant sums of money and invested significant time into outreach and dialogue with Muslims. A host of debates can be viewed on Youtube sponsored and often moderated by the man. Do We Need the Cross for Salvation and An Islam Christian Debate: Part 1 are two such examples.
So, not only did the London-based “pastor” mischaracterize the conversation with the initial signer, but left an incorrect impression of the man’s commitment to Christ.
Oh, and the pastor uses another rhetorical trick to claim his moral superiority. “While he was busy writing these things to me, I was busy actually doing real evangelism on the street and met a Muslim refugee who has since trusted Christ, been baptised, and is a faithful member of the church.”
The soul of someone won to Christ should be utilized in a cheap rhetorical device to prove your own moral superiority.
This is progressivism. This is what happens when the church becomes infested with Neo-Marxism, where Soul-winning among poor, oppressed immigrants becomes a tool for virtue signaling.
Social Justice Trolls and Intimidation
The range of progressive reaction to the statement included not only smears against signers, but unleashing Internet trolls. The profane response included Social Justice Warriors signing the statement with juvenile names referring to sex acts, sex organs or famous persons with their location set as Hell.
It didn’t stop the Statement’s momentum. The document now has over 6,000 signers as of Saturday morning.
Trolls do their thing. Play their games. The real threat to Christian unity doesn’t come from the Trolls but from so-called fellow Christians who behave in un-Christian ways. These men who grasp for power and control. How do they do it? By strong-arming their “enemies” into silence.
The best example of this strong-arm tactic comes from Jemar Tisby writing at the Religion News Service. Tisby’s advice to the Woke: ignore the words of the elder Christian men who signed the statement. He wrote, “Here’s my advice. Many of the people who authored and signed this statement have large ministries and platforms. Avoid them. Find other authors, preachers and teachers from whom you can learn.”
Silence dissent. Avoid any preacher who challenges the assumptions of the new Neo-Marxist Gospel.
This isn’t new. While not involving the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, resorted to the same garbage during the SBC presidential campaign. In May 2018 he urged followers to “mark” those who cause disunity even when those dissenters are right.
“Mark those among us with a divisive spirit, who seek to create division in our denomination over secondary and tertiary things and keep away from them,” Greear said in the Facebook Live video. “I’m not trying to be harsh, but that is what Paul commands…To be divisive about a right issue still makes you to be divisive.”
So, in the view of the Southern Baptist Convention’s J.D. Greear, you can be right about an issue, but talking about it and bringing attention to it is divisive.
Also Greear said, “Refuse to tolerate those who slander, backbite or mislead. Just say we are not going to tolerate that.”
Slander is the reflexive defense of the SBC insider crowd when any criticism is raised. Legitimate criticism? Smear!
Greear’s faithful routinely, despite unassailable evidence in his own writings, attack anyone who points out Greear wrote that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. (His own writings and an interview with one of his Gospel Coalition friends prove it.) Yet, that is slander to the Social Justice Warrior wing of the SBC.
And Tisby is playing the same game. Progressives believe they are so strong within evangelicalism, they can enforce de facto excommunication on the rest of us. They will use their positions to marginalize conservative voices.
Make no mistake, the initial signers will pay a price for their stand. The Neo-Marxist forces are already at work.
All conservative, bible-believing Christians should unify to fight this mess. Calvinist and Traditionalist and Arminian and everyone in between must stand shoulder-to-shoulder to fight for the faith entrusted to us. This is the calling of our time. God put us in this moment. Let us not fail to do our duty regardless of the cost.