So now even the Gospel is subverted to meet the needs of the gods of Diversity and Inclusion. They have pimped the Gospel to to appease people who will never be appeased. They have declared that the purpose of the Gospel is racial reconciliation rather than reconciliation of sinful man to a holy and righteous God. We now seek racial reconciliation with one another to be right with God. Racial harmony is good, and it’s a public good. But we’re a fallen world and making it the reason for the Gospel is to engage in wishful thinking for a utopia that in the end has the potential to destroy our Gospel mission.
I’m getting more and more e-mail from Evangelical readers who have had it with Evangelicalism, and have reached a breaking point this spring. The common thread is frustration with wokeness in the church, and a belief that Evangelicalism is too thin and culture-bound to offer resistance to anti-Christian forces. I wrote recently about a reader who is a person of color, but couldn’t stand how her Evangelical megachurch was replacing the Gospel with woke identity politics. She and her husband are now trying out an Orthodox church.
Just now I received the longest, most detailed letter I have yet gotten from an Evangelical. I present it below, slightly edited to protect the reader’s identity:
I am writing you because like another reader of yours I have decided that I need to say this and even if not read or noticed, for my own sake I want to write this down. I never comment in the comments section because honestly, I’m too afraid. I need my job, and I work for the most woke company that has bought into it all, diversity, inclusion, BLM, LGBT, transgender, all of it.
What I am going to say is this: Your warnings about the church’s increasing danger in this culture is absolutely on point, and your warnings that the church is not heeding your warnings are absolutely true. You’re right not only because you see the warning signs and know the history, but the Bible tells us that man is sinful and will unleash terrible devastation on himself and others.
I want to give you this perspective from a “dyed in the wool” evangelical. I have read you for a long time and have recently started The Benedict Option because I want to become serious about this. May I offer my thoughts on the evangelical church and its response to BLM and “social unrest” and why it is another example in a long string of them of the evangelical church’s slide into the culture? Let me start with my bona fides.
I grew up in a small rural church in the Midwest in the 60s and 70s, which was part of a small Baptist association that is still thriving today but with none of the influence of the Southern Baptist Convention. We were a fundamentalist church, and though the teaching lacked depth at times, they truly stuck to the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
As an adult I filtered through Baptist churches with stints in the “Bible church” movement (the forerunner of today’s seeker friendly church movement). For about 6-7 years I attended an Episcopal church in Central Texas and at that time the priest was conservative and took a lot of flack when he pushed back against the ordination of gay priests. Ironically for me, some of the sweetest times of fellowship with Christians was in that church. In 2007 I left Texas to attend seminary at a small fundamentalist Christian college and seminary in the [Midwest]. I graduated in 2011 with a master’s in theology. I now attend a large suburban Southern Baptist church in [major Midwestern city]. I actually considered Orthodoxy a couple of years ago as I began to become increasingly disillusioned with the evangelical church but this Baptist girl just couldn’t make the move. I have most recently studied Reformed Theology and am moving there from a doctrinal standpoint.
I want to say to you that many of our churches and our shepherds have abandoned us in these times. I have watched through the years the evangelical church descend into frivolity and complete unseriousness and irrelevance. Everything from the insipid music, the “praise” teams, the canned women’s Bible studies from women of dubious theology, the story telling that substitutes for the Scriptures from the pulpit, the delivery of supposedly biblical truths delivered through Sesame Street videos that flash words and images and Bible verses across the screen, the watering down of the Gospel to bring the bodies in, and the lack of development of any biblical worldview.
I want to add one thing to indicate where I come from as an evangelical Christian on Trump. I was heartsick as I watched Trump rise and beat out all his competitors on the Republican front. I was vocal and adamant that he was a terrible choice. I didn’t vote for him, but then again I lived in a state where that was a safe “protest.” I’m like Ben Shapiro: Trump has surprised us in some ways, and sometimes he (accidentally, probably) stumbles into a conservative position. He supports Christian causes, but from political expediency not personal conviction. He is unsuited for his office and he deserves to lose, and his family “advisors” deserve to lose. But we Christians don’t deserve Biden, and I blame Trump for letting that happen. What a complete and total fool he is.
Recent events have only exposed the evangelical church’s complete capitulation to the culture. I honestly believe that the evangelical church won’t suffer in coming days and years because they’ve already received their thirty pieces of silver and are going to do just fine. It is the Benedict Option Christians who will suffer.
Let me tell you about a couple of things that in the last two weeks have been disturbing to me in relation to recent events. It is the culmination of years of leaning into the culture to please the culture. It’s the evangelical church’s latest attempt to be relevant to the culture that they long ago adopted as its own.
J.D. Greear recently told us Southern Baptists that we should be saying “Black Lives Matter.”[Note: Greear said he does not support the Black Lives Matter organization — RD] He even does this in a “Come on, guys, don’t be stubborn about this” tone. Now, this is the same man who was willing recently to affirm a lie about God’s order for mankind’s flourishing (transgenderism) so he could be polite and not ruin a witnessing opportunity. I know that he’s trying to overcome the Southern Baptist Convention’s unseemly past. (For the record, the Baptist association that I grew up in had Southern roots and honestly there were some pretty racist people in our church. Fortunately, I had a father who was disgusted at that and told his children so.) But Greear assigns guilt to his faithful who honestly are trying very hard to be faithful stewards of the faith, who are serious about the Gospel and give money and their personal time to sharing the Gospel to all races, all levels of income, all cultures. I know many people personally committed to sharing the Gospel and living out the faith. They volunteer hours of work to serve all peoples of color, ethnicity and culture.
Secondly, I support two missionaries in two separate mission organizations. One is a missionary to [Third World continent] and the other is a missionary to [Third World country]. Both are dedicated men who have spent their lives in service to spreading the Gospel to the world.
Both mission organizations came out recently with statements that had the following themes in common:
- POC suffer disproportionately from racism and it’s a structural, systematic facet of American life. POC are always under attack.
- Police brutality is common and directed almost solely at POC.
- White people, including us Christians, suffer from bias of which we tend to be unaware. In short, we are guilty.
- Racial reconciliation is not possible without the Gospel (which is true).
- They are now committed to diversity and inclusion and racial reconciliation.
So now even the Gospel is subverted to meet the needs of the gods of Diversity and Inclusion. They have pimped the Gospel to appease people who will never be appeased. They have declared that the purpose of the Gospel is racial reconciliation rather than reconciliation of sinful man to a holy and righteous God. We now seek racial reconciliation with one another to be right with God. Racial harmony is good, and it’s a public good. But we’re a fallen world and making it the reason for the Gospel is to engage in wishful thinking for a utopia that in the end has the potential to destroy our Gospel mission.
What’s interesting to me is to whom these messages are directed. Surely they know that Shaun King or BLM or Antifa is not going to wander over to their site to see how enlightened and committed they are. I have to assume that they are talking to us, their faithful donors. Slamming faithful donors will not bring those who need it to the Gospel. What irony.