“Separation from evil is the necessary first principle of communion with Him … Separation from evil is His principle of unity” – J.N. Darby
Ecumenism seems to be the new drug of choice in the Church today. Everybody’s doing it; it’s cool, it’s hip and if you’re not on board, you’re going to miss out. In the latest episode of a series of hand-holding, pandering to groups of lost souls without a clear Gospel message, is President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Danny Akin, partnering with the atheist group, Openly Secular (which is a joint project with the Richard Dawkins foundation).
Among highly liberal, and God-hating groups like The Richard Dawkins Foundation, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Recovering from Religion, Akins has now yoked together with Openly Secular for what he defends as “the freedom of religious expression.” In the video below, he gives an explanation of why he has decided to support this God-hating organization.
You probably are wondering immediately why would I then be doing a video at the site of Openly Secular.
Absolutely we are wondering why, especially since Scripture forbids this type of partnership. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 says:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
Yet he attempts to defend his position by claiming that we (as evangelicals) have a common interest in supporting religious freedom. He goes on to say:
The reason is … we do believe together that no one should be coerced when it comes to their particular religious belief, whether they are religious, or not religious. They should have the freedom to express what they believe, and they should be able to do so without hatred and without discrimination. They should not be put down because they happen to believe differently that what another person believes.
This is nonsense. First off, does he not realize that the people he is partnering with here are doing exactly what he thinks they are joining hands to fight against? Seriously? Does he think that the Richard Dawkins Foundation is anything more or anything less than a “hate group” against Christians? Secularists hate God; and they hate people who love God. The Bible teaches this truth. What these secularist groups believe is that anyone who preaches the Gospel, or somehow displays their reverence to God, should be silenced. But somehow Danny Akins thinks he’s partnering with a group of people that share his same interests.
He goes on to say:
We also believe that all people are valuable and have dignity and worth, and therefore all people should be respected.
But do we as Christians believe the same as they do on this? First of all, as Christians, we believe that all people are created in the image and likeness of God. This is where we derive our dignity and value from. Outside of this value, we are completely depraved, lost souls in need of a savior. Secularists have a completely different idea of human dignity and value. Many, such as Dawkins, believe that human beings are the highest order of evolution, and therefore, this is where our value comes from. They believe it to be intrinsic, within ourselves, while Christians believe it to be of God. So if we disagree on this important fact, then what common ground do we have with these unbelievers?
Of course it doesn’t end there. There’s always the social welfare aspect of ecumenism. He goes on to make the case for coming together for social justice:
We also believe we can come together to help in areas like poverty, … and in areas of making sure our planet and environment are well cared for.
Social justice has become a major theme within the ecumenical framework of the Church. It’s been explained before that social justice, as part of the social gospel, is the antithesis of the true Gospel of Jesus. While the true Gospel focuses on individual depravity, self-responsibility, and the individual’s need to repent and turn to Christ, the social gospel takes the focus off of the individual, and places the responsibility of sin on the community. Therefore, we compromise the true Gospel by advancing this social justice, and even more-so when we partner with unbelievers to do so.
Danny Akin doesn’t seem to realize that the very people he is partnering with are using him against their enemy–who is God. They do not stand on the same moral authority as believers do, and therefore have no interest in upholding the same “good deeds.” Akins’ assumption is that he is partnering with people of “good will,” and for a “good cause,” but their cause is not good. Without Christ, their deeds are like filthy rags, even if they seem to align with a righteous man’s cause (Isaiah 64:6). Further, we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, rather expose them. However, Danny Akin, sadly, has chosen to partner with them in disobedience to Ephesians 5:11.
What have you and I to do with maintaining our influence and position at the expense of truth? It is never right to do a little wrong to obtain the greatest possible good … Your duty is to do the right: consequences are with God. – Charles Spurgeon
If you are giving money to your Southern Baptist Church, and you aren’t specifying where the money is to go, then part of your money is going to support the highly wasteful SBC Coop Program. By supporting the Cooperative Program, you are inadvertently supporting Danny Akin, and his cause to partner with Atheists.
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]
Editor’s Note: Some asked the difference between this and Al Mohler’s speech at Brigham Young University. We would like to point out two primary differences; (1) Mohler did not do a promotional video to promote BYU or encourage people to attend it and (2) Mohler explicitly proclaimed the Gospel and gave the famous line, “We will not be Heaven together, but we may go to jail together,” making clear that their religion is a way that leads unto death.
2nd Editor’s Note: JD recently preached a sermon on this topic, “The Temple of God and Idols.” You can listen here.