Ed Stetzer Ignores the Voice of Black Christians
Ed Stetzer, the former vice-president of Lifeway, a professor at Wheaton College, director of the Billy Graham School of
Social Justice Evangelism, and the interim pastor at Bible Moody Church, launched a Twitter-attack today against those who insist that there has been a demonstrable mission drift away from the Gospel recently, and toward the Social Gospel (Stetzer and others prefer the term social justice, which is indistinguishable from the classical Social Gospel formulated by Walter Rauschenbusch). Stetzer claims the only people worrying about preaching the Gospel, rather than “social justice,” are those who do not have ancestors who were slaves. For more posts about the wizard-bearded anti-Berean, Ed Stetzer, click here.
Stetzer’s tweet, as you can see above, was ‘liked’ by Sam Rainer – the son of Southern Baptist Lifeway President, Thom Rainer – as well as by many other Southern Baptist and evangelical leaders. Within the tweet, there is both a notion and an insinuation. The notion is that only Caucasians complain about the Gospel of Grace being blurred with the faux-gospel of justice. The insinuation is that to complain about the Gospel of Grace being blurred with the faux-gospel of justice is racist. Both the explicit notion and implicit insinuation are factually and logically wrong.
THE NOTION: ONLY WHITE PEOPLE HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT BLURRING OF THE GOSPEL OF GRACE WITH THE FAUX-GOSPEL OF JUSTICE
In Stetzer’s tweet, he dismisses the voices of countless of black Christians who have spoken out against the race-fixation among the Evangelical Intelligentsia in recent weeks. Thousands of black Christians do not agree with the beatification of Martin Luther King at the MLK50 event, a sexually-immoral heretic, womanizer, sex-trafficker and homosexual who denied the deity of Christ, the inspiration of the Scriptures, and the resurrection of Jesus. Thousands of black Christians do not agree with Critical Race Theory being taught by New Calvinists or the victimology being perpetrated upon the black community by privileged white evangelicals as a form of misguided paternalism. Thousands of black Christians do not agree with the concept of Affirmative Action promoted at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Kindom Diversity Department or at the upcoming Southern Baptist pastor’s conference. Many thousands of black Christians do not agree with the Malcolm X “read-in” at SEBTS, or Cultural Marxism being taught through evangelical seminaries. Many thousands of black Christians do not agree with the trajectory of Ed Stetzer, Russell Moore, Thom Rainer, Danny Akin, David Platt, Ligon Duncan, Matt Chandler or Paul Tripp and many other New Calvinist leaders. Many thousands of black Christians do not agree with the race-baiting bigotry of Dwight McKissic, Ron Burns (Thabiti Anyabwile) or Eric Mason.
In fact, not only is there a choir of black voices singing in harmony against the gross incursion of Cultural Marxism in evangelicalism – a choir that Stetzer’s Caucasian ears don’t seem able to hear – many of those voices have been broadly publicized in the national secular and religious press. It is not only unlikely that Stetzer has not heard these brave black voices, it’s unbelievable. That someone as well-read as Stetzer, who sends out more tweets daily than the typical for-hire offshore tweet-bot, who provides constant cultural commentary from the ivory tower of parachurch ministry, it’s far beyond implausible that Stetzer hasn’t seen or read the words of Darrell B. Harrison or Lorine Spratt. They have been quoted all over heaven’s half-acre, in news publications from coast to coast. Has Stetzer not heard the many other black voices who have adamantly rejected the first class suite on the evangelical plantation assigned to them by their Intelligentsia overlords? They’re out there; many of them.
Darrell B. Harrison wrote a stirring reply to the leftist-progressivism seeping into evangelicalism in the name of social justice. Harrison just so happens to be a black man (not that it matters to him, me, God, or anyone who has read Galatians 3:28, 1 Corinthians 12:13, or Romans 3:22). Harrison explained…
As increasing numbers of professing Christians subscribe to a gospel of social justice – a fundamental tenet of which is the resurrection and prosecution of past sins committed primarily by white evangelical Christians against black people whether by commission or omission – the term ‘evangelical Christian(ity)’ has become synonymous with historical and present-day attitudes of white oppression and white supremacy in America, whether perceived or real.
But a fundamental problem with this perspective is that it paints an entire ecclesiastical population, namely, white evangelical Christians, with a very broad and subjective brush, having judged them collectively guilty of harboring such sinful attitudes solely on the basis that they are white and evangelical.
Lorine Spratt, church employee at Bossier City First Baptist Church also wrote a stirring reply to the type of segregation and division-causing discrimination and segregation promoted by the Evangelical Intelligentsia. Spratt also happens to be a black woman, and she wrote…
I, and many other Black congregants, attend a predominately White, Southern Baptist Evangelical Church. We attend there because we are free to do so, we’ve been welcomed, and we’re seen and treated as brothers and sisters in Christ. I truly believe that I could attend any White Evangelical church and be welcomed. However, there are born again Black believers who choose to attend Black evangelical churches and worship within their culture and they are free to do so. We are exercising our freedom to choose. We are not commodities to be bargained with or exploited or used to promote an agenda or boost quotas.
White churches are not advocating racism but Dr. Moore is. He is fueling racial tensions. I view his comments as divisive and antagonistic. His words do not promote unity!
Please, let it be known that Dr. Moore does not speak for me or other Black Christians who believe that great strides and fearless efforts have been made by many throughout the years to abolish racism such as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King Jr., Billy Graham and many others.
Finally, Constance from Truth + Fire writes,
…we must keep in mind that while we are in the world, we’re not of it. We must be vigilant in resisting the sway of the world as it romanticizes and idolizes “woke culture” as the end-all of our existence. As a matter of fact, the greatest irony with “wokeness” is when it is tested against God’s Word, it exposes its proponents as being sound asleep. They truly believe their beef is with flesh and blood, and they assume mere human effort and self-will are enough to impact lasting change and right past wrongs.
We could go on with other examples of black Christians who are concerned about blurring the distinctions between Law and Gospel or grace and justice, including admins and those associated with this very ministry, such as our beloved Bunmi Aremu and many others. But then again, we would be making distinctions by race that are unnecessary; it is sufficient to demonstrate that the notion of Stetzer’s truth claim is false. For whatever reason, and soft-bigotry may indeed be one, Stetzer refuses to hear these voices. It is very likely that Stetzer may not consider these African American brothers and sisters to be “truly black,” because as a privileged white man he insists that all black people think alike and share the same values and theology.
THE INSINUATION: TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE GOSPEL OF GRACE BEING BLURRED WITH THE FAUX-GOSPEL OF JUSTICE IS RACIST
To the contrary, to not recognize that there is diversity within an ethnic group is itself anti-diversity. To not recognize that black brothers and sisters are not homogeneous on this issue is to be culturally insensitive and racially obtuse; it is far from enlightened. Furthermore, to paint any ethnicity with such a broad brush is morally repugnant. The soft-bigotry of Ed Stetzer appears to be displayed in his presupposition that black people really don’t care about the Gospel. Ed Stetzer apparently thinks that a deeper melanin count somehow makes one unconcerned with the purity of the Gospel, or not intellectually astute enough to discern between Law and Gospel.
Furthermore, there are countless black Christians who understand the roots of Cultural Marxism and Critical Race Theory. To think that all black Christians are concerned about is the concept of “social justice” is paternalistic and demeaning.
Finally, Ed Stetzer is culturally appropriating Calvinistic evangelical Christianity for the purpose of political showboating, and I’m fed up with it. If someone was actually “Reformed” and holding to Covenant Theology they would understand that Abraham is the father of us all (most dispensationalists would not necessarily deny this, either). As Christians, all of us have ancestors who came out of Egypt. All of us were once slaves to sin (Romans 6:20). We have all been set free, for those of us in Christ. And the spiritual component to this doesn’t take into account that virtually every human on earth has ancestors who were enslaved, regardless of skin color. Stetzer knows anthropology and history like he knows his theology. And Stetzer’s theology is awful.
Ed Stetzer, the wizard-bearded anti-Berean, is awful.
[Contributed by JD Hall]