As was his goal, Jared Wilson – a blogger at The Gospel Coalition –formed the center of a self-congratulatory social media orgy of Social Justice Warriors on Memorial Day when he publicly questioned in a blog post whether or not the most significant evangelist in American history was really a believer.
Positing a question by the most extreme Critical Race Theorists on the political spectrum, Wilson then answered a query that no serious Christian believer would ask.
Because George Whitefield was pro-slavery, was he really a believer? The question seems absurd from the outset unless you’re an SJW who believes that bigotry is somehow the unforgivable sin. Wilson, who represents the Great Awokening, ‘bravely’ challenged the progenitor of the Great Awakening. Yesterday, in Wilson’s blog post, the fraudulent usurper of Reformed Theology took cheap potshots at the real McCoy. While the Social Justice contingent is golf-clapping Wilson with their limp wrists, the rest of us are sick and tired of the endless virtue-signaling parade that is as intellectually immature as it is devoid of genuine thoughtfulness.
The irony of Wilson’s post is that Wilson himself has been celebrating, along with the rest of The Gospel Coalition and his fellow acolytes in the Evangelical Intelligentsia, the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. King’s whoremongering ways were even more revealed in detail over the weekend, as originally reported in the Daily Mail and subsequently written about at Pulpit & Pen. The bi-sexual sex-trafficker is practically venerated by Wilson and his ilk, in spite of the fact that King denied essential Christian doctrines like the deity of Christ and his bodily resurrection from the dead. Likewise, Wilson and Company have given no shortage of veneration to the founder of Black Liberation Theology, James Cone, who’s as surely in hell as Dr. King.
I point out Wilson’s beatification of two obviously lost men (lost by any standard, if Sola Fide matters) to demonstrate his own obfuscation of the Gospel. Wilson asks his questions about Whitefield as though they are complicated. Let me simplify it.
Proposition: George Whitefield was a bigot.
Question: Did George Whitefield believe in salvation by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?
Conclusion: George Whitefield is in Heaven.
Here, let me use the same rubrick for Dr. King.
Proposition: King was a whoremongering, bi-sexual sex-trafficker.
Question: Did King believe in salvation by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?
Conclusion: King is in Hell.
This isn’t complicated for any well-catechized third-grader. The only difference between the first set of questions and the second is that you can get grab-handed and played suck-face with by the Evangelical Intelligentsia for asking whether or not Whitefield is in Heaven, and (trigger warning) blacklisted for asking whether or not King is in Hell.
Wilson, however, acts in his blog post as though he’s not quite sure how the Gospel works. This makes sense if you consider that Social Justice is nothing but the Social Gospel renamed, and the subversive Marx-born ideology is designed to obfuscate the Gospel and drift people away from its real mission. In spectacular fashion, someone who purports to be “Gospel-Centered” creates a steaming mess out of the extent of the atonement and how we know it is properly applied.
Wilson, speaking of Whitefield and Edwards, begins his point:
It is common sometimes to hear the defense that these were “men of their times,” as if to apply a kind of ignorance born of their cultural milieu, an unenlightened naiveté, in hopes of seeing their good “outweigh” their bad. But this kind of defense doesn’t work.
Whitefield and Edwards were both under the (wrong) assumption that Caucasians were biologically superior to Africans. While that belief was common in their time period, the notion of “race” is both theologically untenable (if you believe in a literal Creation account in Genesis) and biologically unsupported. It might also be mentioned that the racialism of James Cone is equally as theologically untenable and biologically unsupported as the racialism of George Whitefield. Regardless, because of their faulty assumptions about race, Whitefield and Edwards believed that paternalism (the idea of owning others in exchange for giving them basic necessities, known as slavery) was benevolent. However, slavery is an Eighth Commandment violation and sin is never benevolent.
So, shame on Whitefield and Edwards. They were complicit in thievery.
How can someone who apparently knew the gospel so well not see his own duplicity? Or, perhaps seeing it, not care? We cannot rightly say this was a “blind spot” in the man’s life because of his contrary views previously. How might we wrestle with the tainted legacy of George Whitefield?
Uh…I think we covered that already. Whitefield operated under the assumption that there were such a thing as “races” and that some races were superior to others. Operating from a faulty biological presumption, and left uncorrected by the scientific textbook of the Bible (I phrased it that way just to annoy the Socinians), many Christians, including these two leaders, bought into the concept of slavery as a means of stewardship. It was wrong. But why is this some kind of mystery we don’t know how to address? I just did it in a single paragraph.
Bam. Done. Simplified. Understood. Where’s the dilemma?
Only if you’re operating from a 21st Century mindset, enslaved to our shifting cultural values to form your ethical foundations, do you presume that bigotry is the unforgivable sin. But clearly, this is the audience to whom Wilson writes.
Later, Wilson says that it’s right that our salvation is questioned because of some future unearthed sin in our lives and says we should wonder about our salvation in light of such, “Not because any of our sins are as great as slavery, but because any of our sins are still great.”
Amazingly, Wilson says in no uncertain terms that slavery is a worse sin than anything we might commit. From where does Wilson get this assumption? The theft of men is indeed a grave offense, but is it the greatest? If Wilson thinks that we are judged harshly for race-based slavery, imagine what our progeny will think of us on account of abortion, which is the premier ‘social justice’ issue of our day that is almost entirely overlooked by the Great Awokening clerics. In fact, most woke evangelical leaders are on the wrong side of abortion altogether.
I would submit to you that Jared Wilson and those at the cool kid’s table of evangelicalism are children of their age, and judge the severity of sin based upon little more than a consensus poll of their lost contemporaries. Either that, or they judge sin based upon RT stats, which is equally as possible.
As I said, I don’t think it will do to call Whitefield’s advocacy of slavery a “blind spot.” He was complicit. He was duplicitous. He bears his own responsibility for tarnishing his own legacy at the expense and abuse of people made in God’s image. He brings his own profession into question.
Whitefield brings his own profession into question?
No, you jackhat. He doesn’t bring his profession into question because we’re not justified by works. We don’t lose our salvation because we’re not sufficiently woke. Keep in mind, this mental midget has never called into question the profession of Dr. King or Dr. Cone, men who frankly were pretty clear in their denunciations of Christ and his Gospel. But he calls into question one of the most assuredly Christian men in the post-apostolic era because we can find a sin on his record? Garbage.
This is exactly why we Social Justice Contras are insisting that wokeness is ruining our Gospel witness. Frankly, if you question Whitefield’s profession because of a sin like bigotry, but embrace outright heretics like King and Cone as fellow believers, I think we all have a right to question your profession.
To the million dollar question at hand: How can anyone believe George Whitefield was a genuine believer?
First, I have no complaints with those who cannot believe he was.
Well, Wilson should have a complaint with those who think that salvation is determined by works. If you believe someone can’t go to Heaven because they’re a bigot, you’re probably going to Hell for trusting in your own virtue. Better signal that virtue some more, boys, we got to get our ticket to the New Jerusalem.
If someone believes that bigotry was not a sin paid for by the shed blood of Christ, rebuke the daylights out of them and then evangelize them. Or evangelize them and then rebuke them, whichever way it fits into your schedule. They’re lost.
If I were Whitefield’s pastor today, I would plead with him to repent as I would any professing Christian living a life that brings their profession into question. And if he were unwilling, I would recommend my congregation to remove him. This is what the church has been tasked to do.
Questions: Would Jared Wilson remove Beth Moore from his church for being a crazy, wild-eyed prophettess who goes around preaching to men what the Holy Spirit supposedly beamed directly into her head? Would Jared Wilson remove Democrats, who believe in slaughtering the unborn? Would Jared Wilson remove MLK for denying the deity of Christ? Would Jared Wilson remove James Cone for denying the real Gospel? Would Jared Wilson remove Tim Keller for promoting Marxism, which wants nothing less than the entire enslavement of mankind?
Nah. Jared Wilson is, as stated above, a child of his age. I think it’s safe to say that if Wilson was around in the 18th Century as a contemporary of Whitefield and Edwards, he would also be pro-slavery. There’s nothing I’ve seen from Wilson that indicates he’s capable of having an original thought. Men like Wilson are not thinkers. Big Eva, as it is sometimes called, is simply a conduit for thoughts popularized by the current cultural consensus. These men are infatuated with culture because they’re a part of it (I must specify that’s meant to be an insult because Wilson will probably see it as a compliment).
Wilson ends by writing:
In the end, I hope and trust Whitefield was saved, not because I have benefited from his work (though I have), but because I am sure I will die with sin unrepented of myself, and as the worst sinner I know, my only hope is found not on the grand scale weighing my good against my bad, but on the grand cross of Christ, where even the vilest of sinners may find atonement.
On this point, Wilson makes a valid proposition. We are saved by the atonement of Christ, or at least, those who have saving faith in that atonement. However, what that also means is that many theological leaders of the Great Awokening do not have an atonement for their sins because – like King and Cone – they are outright heretics.
You see, if Wilson had any courage, any bravery, cojones, or intestinal fortitude, he would be asking questions that would make the Twitter orgy he’s been a part of the last two years stop and stare mid-thrust. He would ask the really hard questions about the founders of Black Liberation Theology, not the founders of American evangelicalism. If Wilson was really concerned about being a serious Christian, he’d be answering questions serious Christians are asking (and they’re not asking about Whitefield).
Serious believers are asking whether or not Beth Moore is a Christian, quite frankly. Serious believers are asking whether Thabiti Anyabwile is a Christian. Serious believers are asking whether or not Tim Keller is a Christian. Serious believers are asking whether or not The Gospel Coalition is first and foremost a Christian organization or a political one.
If you want to project yourself as thoughtful, address the questions that are really dangerous to answer.
[Publisher’s Note: Jared Wilson is a blogger at The Gospel Coalition and an employee of Midwestern Seminary]