“Social justice”, words that are all the rage these days among the “evangelical elite”. Russell Moore and the ERLC,Thabiti Anyabwile and The Gospel Coalition, Mark Dever, Beth Moore, Ed Stetzer, David Platt, Matt Chandler, Karen Swallow-Prior, Tim Keller, and the list of all the “cool kids” of “mainstream” evangelicalism just keeps going. There have been blogs and books written, there have been conferences held and councils suggested, twitter wars, podcasts, protests, and everything else that goes with such a discussion in 21st century America. Proponents of “social justice” have demanded repentance from those of “white privilege”, called for intentional “diversity” among leadership in various platforms of Christian institutions, and even projected guilt for atrocities from past decades and centuries onto those who look or believe differently than themselves. The most outrageous example is that of Anthony Bradley going so far as to accuse those who disagree with the celebrities of the “movement” as “never having had the gospel”.
However, this post is not intended to delve the depths of error surrounding the ideology and theology of the social justice movement so popular these days. Thankfully, those errors have been thoroughly exposed and exegetically refuted by men such as JD Hall, Josh Buice, James White, Darrell B. Harrison, Phil Johnson, and others. This refutation has culmitated in the wonderfully balanced and biblical statement the Social Justice and the Gospel Statement drafted by John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, David Miller, Anthony Mathenia, Tom Ascol and others. The statement is clear and concise in affirming with irrefutable simplicity the foundational tenets of the Biblical Gospel, while at the same time denying and repudiating the ever so subtle addition and corruption sweeping across mainstream “evangelicalism” in the guise of the “social justice” movement. Praise God for the courage of these men, and their faithfulness to the Master and Lord Who bought them.
The issue which needs further attention is succinctly summarized in the following tweet from Justin Peters: There seems to be an overwhelming fear of man, that is driving many who affirm the gospel to avoid publicly affirming the gospel when it comes to denying the corruption of the gospel because of their association with the “cool kids”. Why such fear? Is it fear of losing a position? A house? Financial security? Friends? Are such thing now more valuable than Christ? Is the SBC more worthy to be devoted to than Christ? Will Al Mohler intercede for you at the Father’s right hand? Did Russell Moore drink the cup of God’s wrath for you? Are you covered in the righteousness of the SBC elite? Where are the men of courage? Where are the men who like Paul are willing to stand up and say, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” Philippians 3:7-9.
Where are the believers who fear God rather than men and confess, “but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 and “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.
To be silent for the sake of your financial situation is not noble, it is cowardice. To remain silent out of fear of losing a position is not an attempt to be faithful, it is faithlessness. A Gospel that is not worth suffering is not worth having, for it is certainly not the true gospel. The time is past for hiding in the shadows, thinking change will come through cowardice. Silence for the sake of academic, vocational, and financial security, is not safe, it is a treacherous denial to confess the gospel. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13.
Did our Lord not say, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33? Could it be the current state of “evangelicalism” is owning to the cowardice that fears loss of position and financial security more than God?
To those crippled and captive by the fear of man, controlled by money, concerned with position and status, think of judgment that is coming. When you stand before the King of glory, will you be found faithful?
Finally, to those who have friends and longtime colleagues controlled by such fear, stand up and call them to repentance and faith. Stop dancing around names, institutions and friends like you are only confronting an ideology. The fight for truth is not merely ideological, it calls for a rebuke of those who contradict the truth, or has Titus 1:9-11 been removed form your Bibles? Time is fleeting, Christ is coming, to Whom do you belong?