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One Year After Our Church Stood Up Against Social Justice: Can You Hear Us Now?

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One year ago today, I stood in the pulpit and preached a sermon entitled Social Justice is Not the Gospel. The text was from Colossians 2, and I named Social Justice among the vain philosophies and empty deceits that are according to human traditions and the spirits of our age that take captive Christians and churches.

In that sermon, I said…

You can mark my words, 2018 will be seen as a benchmark year when evangelical believers in America abandoned grace for the sake of justice, abandoned the Good News for Fake News, and abandoned the Gospel for the Law.

The precipitating matter of which I was speaking was the MLK50 event, which is when the evangelical left – led by shadily funded parachurch organizations – went “all-in” on the anti-Gospel mission drift known as “Social Justice.”

All of American evangelicalism was focused this week upon a joint enterprise between the Social Gospel Coalition and the lobbying arm of the Southern Baptist Convention known as the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Like the Cows of Bashan who have come running at the sound of a ringing cowbell, the well-to-do and who’s-who of the religious elite gathered to venerate Martin Luther King, who denied the deity of Christ, who denied the Virgin Birth, and who denied the Resurrection of Jesus. Heresy doesn’t go away just because you admire a man’s social convictions! I think it is fine and dandy to remember any lost person you want to remember who made worthwhile contributions to this cause or that one, but what you don’t do is pervert, prostitute or prostrate the Gospel to do it…let me tell you this, the Gospel is not the property of the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party. The Gospel is not the tool of the left or the right. The Gospel is not and must not be used as a change agent for one philosophical worldview over another…What I saw this week is a whole swath of Christians be taken captive and done so sinisterly in the name of “repentance.” It’s not repentance they’re advocating; it’s self-captivity. It’s editing the Gospel, not reclaiming it. It’s ruining the church, not reforming it. And this week I saw the Gospel drug through the mud, dressed up like a cheap harlot on Beale street, and made to lead a Mardi Gras parade in burlesque.

Ultimately, I called for our church’s resignation from the Southern Baptist Convention, of which I said:

It has been a slow and steady drain of common sense and Scriptural competency, but I’ve stood and watched it with complaint and protest. But what I saw this week, I can’t stand and watch any more. The whole great swath of our denomination doesn’t need to scolded or reproved; it needs to be handed over to satan so that it can be taught.

You can find the full sermon below.

When the press reached out to the Southern Baptist Convention and the ERLC, they literally claimed that they had never heard of any such complaint.

Nothing to see here, Citizen…move along. This was just a crazy church in Montana with a pastor in a tin-foil hat who (according to Relevant Magazine) is “against racial reconciliation.”

The Christian Post reached out to the Vice President for Communications for the SBC, and they wrote the following regarding us:

Despite the announcement from Fellowship Baptist Church, Roger “Sing” Oldham, vice president for SBC communications and relations, said he wasn’t aware of any complaints regarding the conference.

“We have not heard in our office from any churches expressing dissatisfaction with the MLK50 conference,” Oldham said.


The CP also reached out to the press secretary for the ERLC who said:

“This is the first I’ve heard about this.”

We are not aware of any SBC churches threatening to leave the SBC because of our event. We’ve had great feedback from the conference,”

I can’t help but use the photo, so as to spare me one thousand words.

The “Can you hear me now?” guy from the iconic cellular phone commercials.

I wonder if the SBC or its entity, the ERLC, have heard any complaints about the God-forsaken conference now.

I jest.

Of course, they have. It’s the top topic in evangelical Christianity over the last year. Heck, it’s the top topic over the course of the last decade. There’s none bigger.

The Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel was created to deal with the problem of Social Justice mission drift. It started getting attention when the name of Dr. John MacArthur was affixed to it, along with James White, Voddie Baucham, Tom Ascol and other godly leaders in (mostly) Reformed evangelicalism. It drew more attention when the statement grew to 5 thousand signatures. It now has over 11,000.

Sovereign Nations, a think tank founded by Dallas Statement brain-trust, Michael O’Fallon, developed to help drive the “Social Justice Contra” Movement.

A pre-conference event at G3 (a large evangelical/Reformed conference) provided a venue for Social Justice Contras to present their positions and explain why Social Justice is a subversive movement that should be rejected.

Although MacArthur’s renown Shepherds’ Conference invited some of the greatest proponents of Social Justice in Reformed Evangelicalism (a move that I felt undermined his position), a Q&A hosted by Phil Johnson at the event attempted to gain clarity on the subject and force the Social Justice proponents (Mohler, Dever, and Duncan) to clearly state their positions (it failed miserably, as Phil Johnson himself admitted).

Other efforts by an altogether different and less-Reformed branch of evangelicalism have sought to counter pro-gay Christianity that is part-and-parcel to the Social Justice Movement by offering a conference alternative to the LGBT Revoice Conference (which was promoted by some SBC Social Justice proponents, like Karen Swallow Prior).

Feeling the pressure of thousands of evangelicals pushing back on the onslaught of Marxism, Q&As were held by Social Justice proponents to defend their actions (recently at Ligonier and 9Marx), particularly in relation to their softening tone on homosexuality.

Countless podcasts and blogs have been launched to counter the Social Justice movement and redeem the Marxist advances at denominational institutions. Lesser-known but up-and-coming voices like AD Robles, Cody Libolt, and Jon Harris have all developed followings primarily built upon their protest of the Social Justice Movement.

Curmudgeons and ‘deplorables‘ like Steve Camp, Robert Truelove, and I are a strange alliance (which is as rare as it is awkward) with this younger group of pundits, old adversaries (heretofore unnamed), and even older curmudgeons like John MacArthur and Vesta Sproul (the widow of our dear brother, R.C. Sr.). In spite of differences on peripheral issues, we have an almost uniform alliance on this issue for which – just one year ago – I was treated as though I had pitched my tent towards the left field by the Christian press. In reality, we were just ahead of the times.

I ask again, “Can you hear us now?”

Since then, many other Southern Baptist churches have left the denomination (like nearby Capitol Heights Baptist Church in Bismarck, North Dakota), and countless others have chosen to stop financially supporting it. The Baptist Press doesn’t cover these churches abandoning the denomination and neither do they take our churches off their website or rolls. But because Southern Baptist entities are accountable to no one but their hand-selected trustees and because pastors – like my own family members who are Southern Baptist pastors – know the denomination is corrupt but lack the courage to stop funding it, Social Justice continues to be thrust upon the church by subversive institutions outside the church.

As the number of international missionaries is at a decades-low lull, and as church membership is on the decline in almost every denomination, foolish pastors enamored with parachurch ministries like The Gospel Coalition, 9Marx, Together for the Gospel, and the White Horse Inn continue to subject their members to the subversive ideology of Social Justice.

Church members are looking for a way to fight back.

Over the next 16 weeks, I will be preaching during Sunday School on a different topic each Sunday in relation to Social Justice and why it is contrary to a Biblical worldview. That material will be edited and put into a small-group study on Social Justice (and why it’s unbiblical) and published by Crown and Cross Books.

If your church is going the way of Social Justice ‘wokeness,’ we pray this study series will help you combat it from the pews.

The first message from that series was yesterday, and is available below.

[Editor’s Note: Contributed by JD Hall]