The Strange Coalition Against MacArthur’s “Social Justice Statement”
Technically, it wasn’t John MacArthur who was most responsible for The Dallas Statement, also known as the “Social Justice and the Gospel Statement.” MacArthur’s name, however, stands out as hovering above the rest in notoriety. In actuality, the statement was very much a grass-roots effort of concerned evangelicals who have stood witness as a political ideology has commandeered a theological movement with lightning-quick speed. In less than half a decade, the movement known as New Calvinism or the Young, Restless and Reformed, has reverted from a promising growth of Calvinism to an issues-oriented Social Gospel movement. Thanks to the leadership of leftists and progressives from the academy – known as the Evangelical Intelligentsia – Critical Race Theory and Cultural Marxism have merged so uniformly that most of the movement’s leaders (Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, et al) seem completely unaware they’re caught up in a political blitzkrieg rather than a theological revival.
The Dallas Statement makes a series of affirmations and denials, most of which are not controversial, regarding a clear articulation of the Gospel. And yet, the names not on the document resound as loudly as those that are. Most of the popular Calvinist conference speakers have not signed the document. These include leaders who have been actively promoting Social Justice, including Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, Tim Keller and Russell Moore. Albert Mohler (who opposed Social Justice vigorously as far back as 2011), gave a “thanks but no thanks” review to the Baptist Press, saying that the document has resulted in “productive conversation” (if you call screaming hysteria about the supposed “white supremacy” of John MacArthur “productive conversation”). Paul Washer signed the document and then removed his name. Todd Friel has yet to sign it, and neither has Steve Lawson. While the document has notable signatories like Voddie Baucham, Phil Johnson, Justin Peters, and Doug Wilson, the more prestigious names among the wider Calvinist movement are few. Arminians or so-called “Traditionalists,” like David Allen at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, have largely stayed away from the document not because they disagree with the general premise, but because of what they perceive to be overly-Calvinist language regarding the sin and guilt of Adam.
While finding notable names among the six thousand-plus signers is a challenge, the opponents of the document abound to seeming infinity. If someone wants to discover the right side of the discussion, it might be helpful to survey the long list of opponents to this call for Gospel clarity. One might be surprised to see who exactly comprises this coalition against the Dallas Statement.
THOSE WHO DENY SCRIPTURAL INERRANCY
Union Seminary has used The Dallas Statement as an opportunity to advance their agenda of denouncing Scriptural Inerrancy, a cause for which John MacArthur is most well known. Ironically, Albert Mohler and other opponents of the statement make odd bedfellows with those who deny inerrancy.
There is no doubt – zero, zip, zilch – which side of the Social Justice aisle those who deny the Inerrancy of Scripture find themselves. Notice that in the first tweet (above), Union University denounces The Dallas Statement. In the next tweet (immediately below it), they deny the Bible’s inerrancy and infallibility. In doing so, they claim that the Bible is riddled with “prejudice” and needs to determine which parts of the Bible are God’s messages and which parts are just the message of sinful men.
RACE-BAITING POLITICAL LEFTISTS
Dwight McKissic is a profoundly racist man, a race agitator, and bigot who uses his credentials as a Southern Baptist minister to drive the nation’s largest Protestant denomination to the hard left. Cowering in fear of McKissic at each SBC annual conference (knowing he will use his ethnic minority status to deem them racist in the media), denominational leaders have more than once felt coerced to bend to the will of the charismatic and “Baptist” preacher. As we have previously written about McKissic:
In short, Dwight McKissic is the SBC’s version of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, and he uses his own skin color – rather than the content of his character – to gain for himself notoriety and place himself in the midst of scandal. Racial disharmony is good publicity for Dwight McKissic, and he knows it. Heck, he causes it. Southern Baptist pastors, who are extra sensitive to charges of racial insensitivity, will rarely call out McKissic for what he is; a race baiter, liberal, charismatic, and a parasite on the Southern Baptist Convention.
Thabiti Anyabwile – whose actual name is “Ron Burns,” but chose his new moniker to identify with the Black Nationalist Movement – endorsed first Bernie Sanders and then Hillary Clinton on the pages of the Gospel Coalition. Burns, whose brother assaulted a police officer who he is himself is on record many times disparaging law enforcement, is a well known change agent for the political left. In fact, Burns claimed that he’d rather have abortion stay legal than have President Trump in office. Thabiti, who has benefited greatly on account of the color of his skin thanks to the patronage of Mark Dever and the paternalism of The Gospel Coalition Plantation who are always in pursuit of using minority voices, is one of the most vocal political voices in evangelicalism.
JIM WALLIS AND THE OLD-SCHOOL PROGRESSIVES
Jim Wallis is different than Russell Moore and Ligon Duncan only in one respect; he has admitted to taking the money of George Soros. The other two haven’t denied it, they just won’t give comment. Wallis, on the other hand, has given no apology for forming a financial alliance with the globalist billionaire and leftist financier. Wallis was “Social Justice” long before it was cool, back when it was called “Social Gospel.” In fact, it was Wallis that Albert Mohler debated on the topic of Social Justice in 2011. Wallis, unlike Mohler, hasn’t changed his positions. He still claims that the atonement of Christ was done for the purpose of recycling waste, saving the dolphins, lowering carbon emissions and havings pets spayed and neutered.
Wallis’ organization, Sojourners, has been at the forefront of the political left’s attempt in commandeering evangelicalism for well more than a decade. Wallis – a spiritual advisor for both Presidents Clinton and Obama – finds himself now in perfect unity with Calvinism’s most famous leaders in a bizarre turn of events. Sojourners ran an article accusing MacArthur of leading the church away from repentance and reconciliation.
THE GHOST OF CHARLES FINNEY
For some reason, the critics of John MacArthur keep invoking the name of arch-heretic, Charles Finney, as though he were an expert on much more than splitting hell open. The Washington Post, the defacto publication aligned with ERLC kingpin, Russell Moore, published a blistering article against John MacArthur and The Dallas Statement. In it, they write:
Invoking the name of someone who is blamed by Calvinists for all of evangelicalism’s problems may not be the best way to convince John MacArthur fans that he’s not on the right track. This ranks right up there with quoting Lex Luther to Superman, quoting Rosie O’Donnell to Donald Trump, and quoting Karen Swallow Prior to anyone with common sense.
And yet, Finney’s name keeps getting brought up – repeatedly – in an effort to convince evangelicals that the latest Social Justice fad isn’t really a fad. Again, this is like quoting Arius to demonstrate that Christians have always denied the deity of Christ.
Homosexuals are another odd compatriot of the Calvinist Social Justice boys. Who would’ve thought Albert Mohler and the Gaystapo would be on the same side of an issue? And yet, they are. Led by the homosexual with perhaps the most credibility in evangelical circles, Jonathan Merritt, this flamboyant gaggle of fabulous gays are marching for Social Justice Pride. They’re here and they’re queer and they really, really hate John MacArthur.
Notice that Rachel Held Evans RT’d the tweet.
Of course, she did.
Lots of homosexuals are following Merritt’s lead to condemn the Dallas Statement. After all, justice means not punishing homosexuality. Right?
Now, here’s the thing. Just because the entire lost world seems to be in agreement with the New Calvinists on this topic doesn’t mean (in and of itself) the New Calvinists are wrong. However, it sure ought to make you think. It ought to make them think. Furthermore, there’s another truism that’s undeniable. If the progressive-left, the race-baiters and bigots, the LGBT and Jim Wallis are all for “social justice,” they mean that term very, very differently from the majority of the New Calvinists. One wonders if in the midst of all the agreement between America’s hard-core left and the New Calvinists is really much agreement at all. While certainly Thabiti Anyabwile and Russell Moore are immutably left-of-center, the chances are that other more impressionable New Calvinists don’t understand that their concept of “justice” is different from many of their allies on this issue.
[Editor: JD Hall]