In Wake of Beth Moore Crisis, Some Evangelicals Warn People Against Discernment!

Beth Moore is in crisis mode, and along with her, are the whole army of Social Justice Warriors who have relied upon her shrill, ignorant voice to champion their cause over the last year. Discernment ministries have warned for years that Moore was unorthodox, and they didn’t listen. In light of her dramatic shift on homosexuality, and with no one else to blame for their embarrassment, Social Justice Warriors are out in force today, trying to warn people to stay away from discernment ministries.

Pulpit & Pen published a post earlier today about ERLC board member and SBC Voices blogger, Dave Miller, claiming that discernment blogs are a giant threat to the SBC. He was the man who previously called discerning Christians “wolves” for criticizing Beth Moore. When one has been so embarrassingly and provenly wrong, it’s natural to lash out at the people who can say, “I told you so.”

Another Social Justice Warrior (one of many) is out attacking discernment ministries today in an attempt at suppressing that still, small voice that says, “I told you so.” His name is Matt Emerson, and he’s a pastor at Frontline Church, a multi-site church in Oklahoma. And this pastor really, really hates discernment.

Emerson is also an associate professor of religion at Oklahoma Baptist University and holds the Dickinson Chair of Religion. He received his B.A. from Auburn University and his Ph.D., unsurprisingly, from ultra-woke Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He also has connections with and a strong affinity, so it seems, for SJW leaders Duke Kwon, Russell Moore, and Andrew Walker. And birds of a feather flock together.

Emerson writes…

“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you,” not, “spend all your time on social media trying to build a cyber army against anyone who disagrees with you theologically.”

Please note that Emerson is on social media…arguing…about theology. He just has a problem when others do it.

He continues…

If you’re aspiring to the pastorate or are already a pastor, pay attention to the people you follow/read. If they’re pugilistic – always looking for a fight, willing to do intellectual violence to whoever disagrees with them, etc. – stop following them. Mute them. Find others.

Of course, Beth Moore has been throwing fists for over a year. The Gospel Coalition guys are the most caustic, divisive fellows you’ve ever met, and they have an entire skinny jeans-wearing, Starbucks-sipping mob ready to Burn Book their enemies, who are aptly called, “The Latte Mafia.”

It seems that Emerson himself is looking for a fight…on social media.

But this begs the question. What in the world is “intellectual violence”? I sent Emerson a question on Facebook messenger, but haven’t been given a response back yet. I’d love to know what that is.

No, seriously. What the heck is “intellectual violence”? Somebody explain that to me. It sounds like something some millennial snowflake would cry about in their gender studies safe space.

I can’t even read the words “intellectual violence” without hearing it in a lisp or in Kyle J. Howard’s “transcultural accent.”

Intellectual violence.” It sounds as gay as Jonathan Merritt. And that’s pretty gay.

I mean, is “intellectual violence” like this clip of a Ben Shapiro having to explain that words aren’t violence to a college student? So, what? We’re afraid of ideas now? Ideas are violent?

Poppycock.

The anti-discernment pastor continues…

These pugnacious peddlers of theological dog fights aren’t worth your time. Their attitudes will infect how you treat others, desensitizing you to their antichrist tactics and limiting your ability to grow in the fruits of the Spirit.

Them are some mighty pugnacious words you got there, snowflake.

Pugnacious peddlers.”

Not worth your time.” Dang, that’s dehumanizing, dude.

Theological dog fights.”

Antichrist tactics.”

Does something about being against discernment also keep you from being self-aware? Like, “Hello, you’re being pugnacious, angry, and accusatory.”

Of course, one can only wonder what Pastor Emerson would say about the Apostles Paul, Peter, or John, all of whom wrote polemical treatises against heretics and picked theological fights.

They, too, are providing what itching ears want to hear. Avoid their writing, their tweets, their published material, their content distributed in any way. It’s not worth the infection that will surely come through prolonged contact.

Lol, right. We discernment ministries do it for the popularity. Alas, let us bask in our popularity. The line for our fan club forms to the left.

But notice how desperate Emerson is in his pleas that people avoid reading our blogs, tweets, or content “in any way.” Emerson must be afraid of all the “intellectual violence” (sorry, I can’t get over how stupid that is).

Real academians and intellectuals would be eager to contend against our ideas, if only they were able. Censorship is the sign that one side is losing the argument. I wrote about this is Millennials: Asking for Censorship is Conceding the Argument.

These people can’t contend for the truth. They don’t know it. The best they can do is beg people not stare at the light. And it’s a good thing, too, because when people read discernment blogs they turn on their ideological captors.

I also wonder how many of these pastors with “discernment ministries” or whatever on Twitter inform their church about their social media use? My fellow pastors at my local church absolutely know about and follow my account, and I know they hold me accountable.

What’s weird is that Emerson’s Facebook comment here is set on private, and can’t be seen by the public. Weird, so long as we’re talking about secrecy.

Furthermore, why is Emerson putting “discernment ministry” into scare-quotes? Discernment is a gift of the spirit, like teaching, mercy, and evangelism.

Does Emerson put “Teaching Ministry” or “Mercy Ministry” or “Evangelism Ministry” into scare-quotes? What’s with the hatred of the Holy Spirit’s handiwork, here? Oofta.

Of course, this is an implied threat toward discerning pastors, “Don’t make us get your church involved, pal.”

Yeah, we get the threat. It sometimes works, and Emerson seems to be the type of guy that would ask a church to put the screws to their pastor to get him to not do his job.

Final thought – Christian higher ed clearly needs to do a better job at training students not only in knowledge but also in spiritual formation. I include myself in this critique.

Yes, that’s right. Evangelicalism would be a far better place if students were told to not read opposing views, not go near discernment ministries, and not become objective thinkers. We can call it “virtue.”

Yeah, that’ll produce some fine disciples there, pal.

What Emerson (and the rest of the Intelligentsia) don’t grasp is that urging people not to read discernment blogs actually makes people read discernment blogs. SBC Voices urged people to boycott us. Karen Swallow Prior has urged people to boycott us. The Gospel Coalition contributors have urged people to boycott us. And yet, here we are…winning over the minds of students at Oklahoma Baptist University.

By the way, one of the people Emerson was trying to encourage not to look at discernment material sent this to us because, you know, the strategy backfires.


A Call To Action

Too many churches in America are lacking in discernment. Do you find yourself wishing you could help? Do you have a love for Scripture? And a desire to write to edify the church?

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God Bless, Cody Libolt



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