My longtime friend and writer, Seth Dunn, likens things to professional wrestling way too often. And he does so on this website, to my regular chagrin. But frankly, there’s no more fitting analogy for how we feel today.
John MacArthur has entered the fray on social justice. It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. As I wrote in the post, We Told You So (On Social Justice):
Our great hope is that John MacArthur will rise up like David and kill Goliath, or like Perseus, he will kill Medusa, or like Hercules, he will kill the Nemean lion.
Do you remember when you were a kid and the wrestling heel seemed unconquerable? But then, in that glorious moment the crowd erupted into applause as the Redneck anthem of sweaty America manifested itself from the television and the congregation of face-painted fans rose to their feet and sang along to I am a Real American? Hulk Hogan came down the aisle in his signature tights and boots and that magnificent handlebar mustache, bleach-blonde hair and hotdog skin and in his impressive shadow the bad guy fell to his knees and begged forgiveness. Hogan then tore his elastic t-shirt and threw it to some kid in the third row before dropping the Big Leg onto the bad guy, who of course deserved no mercy.
This is like that, except for theologians. The thing about Hogan is that he always seemed old, and you never knew when his tissue-like skin might tear and he’d never wrestle again. So, we savored every minute. So it is with our elder brother MacArthur, who at nearly 80 years of age has us all scared that he’s close to retirement. We’re afraid of that quote from the other MacArthur, that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
Well, our brother isn’t fading just yet.
I can’t explain to you how elated we are that MacArthur has begun to speak on the issue of social justice. We, that is evangelical Christians of Calvinist persuasion who haven’t lost our minds, have been literally praying that MacArthur would step forward and deal with this issue. And he is, praise God. The consequences of JMAC stepping forward could be huge, and frankly, it could be the thing God uses to crush the serpent.
My prediction is that now you will see a moment of pause from hard-core social justice warriors like Albert Mohler and inhale a deep breath (Mark Dever is too far gone; the proverbial Dark Side has him now). Ligonier and other older ministries may turn course, if but for a moment. It will be more than a ripple.
Be looking to see some of these theologians and groups take a stand on the right side, now that they can safely stand in the shadow of John MacArthur (where they belong). Watch them hustle to be on the right side of history. Watch for men who’ve yet to speak out finally say something.
You see, while some of us were doubting the resolve of MacArthur, my sources indicate that MacArthur wasn’t floundering or hesitating to speak…he was preparing.
Hulkamania’s going to run wild, brother.
Evangelicalism’s newfound obsession with the notion of “social justice” is a significant shift—and I’m convinced it’s a shift that is moving many people (including some key evangelical leaders) off message, and onto a trajectory that many other movements and denominations have taken before, always with spiritually disastrous results.
Over the years, I’ve fought a number of polemical battles against ideas that threaten the gospel. This recent (and surprisingly sudden) detour in quest of “social justice” is, I believe, the most subtle and dangerous threat so far. In a series of blog posts over the next couple of weeks, I want to explain why. I’ll review some of the battles we have fought to keep the gospel clear, precise, and at the center of our focus. We’ll see why biblical justice has little in common with the secular, liberal idea of “social justice.” And we’ll analyze why the current campaign to move social issues like ethnic conflicts and economic inequality to the top of the evangelical agenda poses such a significant threat to the real message of gospel reconciliation. – MacArthur
You can see MacArthur’s first words on the recent controversy here.