Southern Baptist leaders who are proponents of the leftist-oriented Social Justice Movement are absolutely irate at a 3.5-minute trailer for a new documentary citing their own words. Their behavior in social media after release of the trailer by Founders Ministries is best described as something halfway between sheer panic and an unbridled hissy fit.
The short trailer, giving insight into the documentary’s fuller content, shows fiery clips of Founder’s president, Tom Ascol – a Social Justice opponent – interlaced with video of SBC leaders who are widely recognized as Social Justice proponents.
The documentary, called By What Standard, details the current skirmish over Social Justice, an ideology rooted in Marxism and tailored-fit for theists in the Western Hemisphere by Jesuits during the build-up to the First International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974. The wedding of Marxist principles tweaked at the Frankfurt School and western evangelicals was bolstered at that event mostly by the participation of John Stott and Billy Graham, two non-Catholics at the event. Both Stott and Graham used the World Council of Churches to promote the newly founded ideology of “Social Justice.”
However, America’s conservative evangelicals rejected those efforts to Christianize Marxist principles until – so it seems – Tim Keller took part in the Third International Congress of World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010. Keller’s influence in Reformed evangelicalism has been sizable, especially since he founded The Gospel Coalition (TGC) in 2005. From its beginning, TGC’s left-of-center tentacles spread over the evangelical landscape, to include the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention. As that SBC entity and Keller’s TGC melded into a singular organization (they largely share council members, writers, speakers, and contributors), the ideology of Social Justice has spread far and wide in what was once America’s most conservative denomination. Soon, TGC council members would include the SBC’s most prominent names and entity heads, like Southern Seminary’s Albert Mohler, Southeastern Seminary’s Danny Akin, 9Marx’ Mark Dever, and others. Through these key leaders, the Southern Baptist Convention got ‘woke.’
As SBC institutions – especially Southeastern Seminary – began to explicitly teach (and promote) the work of Black Liberation Theologian James Cone, promote Critical Race Theory and Identity Politics (inventions of Marxists inspired by Frankfurt School ideology that developed inside America’s law schools in the 1980s), speak in terms of “sexual minorities” and other identity-driven language, and promote gender egalitarianism – it caught the attention of conservative Southern Baptists, many of whom (but not all) are Calvinists, but of the more traditional or Confessional variety than those associated with TGC or the ERLC who are better called New Calvinists.
These concerned conservatives drafted and promoted The Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, which sought to distinguish between Social Justice and the Good News as preached in the Bible. Largely, that statement has proven to be a practical failure (or at least, unproven), as – thus far – the drafters of The Dallas Statement have refused to make Social Justice an issue large enough to divide over, even as they deride it as being toxically dangerous.
Two prominent Calvinist conferences – Shepherd’s Conference and G3 – hosted TGC board members as guest speakers, in spite of the fact that they are the de facto heads of the Social Justice Movement among Reformed evangelicals. Both made attempts to address Social Justice (G3 at a pre-conference event and Shepherd’s Conference with a Q&A). Both events failed to provoke fruitful interaction with Social Justice proponents, with the Shepherd’s Conference attempt at discussion going so poorly that its moderator, Phil Johnson, publicly apologized for its fruitlessness.
When the Dallas Statement was circulated, Albert Mohler said he disagreed with its content, but was not specific regarding with what he took exception. However, Mohler claimed that the statement would allow the opportunity for “fruitful discussion,” but it was a discussion he clearly was not willing to have at the Shepherd’s Conference or at any time, any place, or any occasion since the document’s publishing. Other TGC council members and SBC leaders like Mark Dever and Danny Akin have been equally slippery about where they stand on the issue. The closest point of clarity yet presented was by Albert Mohler, when he said at the Shepherd’s Conference Q&A that “Who I platform speaks for where I stand on the subject,” and given that Mohler platforms the most radical proponents of Social Justice in evangelicalism at both his seminary and at TGC, his position should be evident even in his silence.
From the brief 3.5-minute-trailer, it appears that By What Standard seeks to clarify the position of Social Justice proponents in the SBC and contrast them with Social Justice opponents. The trailer was to-the-point, direct, and clear. If it’s any indication of the film itself, it will (we hope) pull no punches.
However, after the release of the trailer (which at this time cannot be embedded, so you will need to click the hyperlinks we provided above), the squirmy, squishy, Social Justice leaders of the SBC blew a proverbial gasket.
Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary – which is rightfully perceived as the most radical Social Justice entity in the SBC – took to Twitter to condemn the film. Inexplicably, Akin made accusations about the film from assumptions not knowable from the trailer itself.
Akin claimed that the trailer contained “edited footage,” which of course it did because it was 3.5-minutes-long. Akin also claimed – without any explanation whatsoever – that the trailer “misrepresented important issues and what leaders in the SBC actually affirm.” We find it interesting that after Akin was suckered into doing a promotional video for an atheist organization, he voiced no such regret in social media even after discovering he accidentally endorsed an anti-Christian ad campaign.
It’s unknown how Akin knows that the documentary misrepresented what leaders in the SBC affirm, who those SBC leaders are, or how their **own words on video** somehow misrepresented them. Akin is only present in a very brief portion of the trailer.
Albert Mohler also leaped in with an attack on Founders and its By What Standard documentary.
Again, the documentary trailer was 3.5-minutes-long and contained actual video footage of the “respected SBC leaders.” Mohler has not seen the full documentary, although he was present for interviews which he voluntarily engaged in and spoke candidly on the subject of Social Justice (which no doubt he regrets).
It should be pointed out that while Mohler said via Twitter that “we expect and deserve a respectful and honest exchange of ideas” that he has had more than a year to give us the “fruitful discussion” he promised us was coming from The Dallas Statement.
Mohler has not made a single attempt thus far to have an open and honest dialogue on the subject. The last time (and only time) he publicly spoke about the issue, he angrily snapped at Phil Johnson and refused to give his honest position on the subject.
One would argue that the Founders’ documentary is an attempt to honestly and respectfully exchange ideas on the subject, and Mohler is deriding it.
Even Kyle J. Howard, a radical racialist and leftist political activist who manufactured a false life story of victimization, got in on the documentary-bashing, denouncing whatever footage of him might be used in its production.
During one part of the documentary, Owen Strachan – who has vocally opposed Beth Moore’s attempts to change Southern Baptist views on women in church leadership – was speaking about their ideological opponents while background footage seemed to show a blurry image of Rachel Denhollander, a woman who suffered abuse at the hands of predator, Larry Nassar. Denhollander’s husband, Jacob, has largely capitalized on Denhollander’s abuse and turned her victimization into his own cottage industry, and made a virtual career of it. In doing so, Denhollander has taken questionable positions on a number of issues that intersect with Social Justice.
It is not known the intention of including Denhollander’s image during Strachan’s speech, but Mr. Denhollander began to wage an attack on Founders’ Ministries this afternoon (again, with whom he is already a staunch ideological opponent).
Dwight McKissic, whose footage from a debate in which he advocated for female preachers was used in the trailer, was also outraged his own words were used to convey his own positions.
Founders’ has been repeatedly attacked in Social Media today by the proponents of ‘woke evangelicalism,’ incensed that the short trailer would seem to indicate that the documentary will use the words and videos of Social Justice proponents to adequately state their positions. Marxism and all of its ideological subsets require subtlety, secrecy, and subversiveness. Clarity is their enemy. It should be no surprise these Social Justice advocates are angry their positions will be clarified using their own words.
THE CHAOS TO FOLLOW
Reports are coming into Pulpit & Pen that certain Social Justice proponents highlighted in the film – some mentioned above – are threatening civil action against the documentary makers for including their own words, from both public videos and in interviews they knew they were being conducted (which were not seen in the trailer, but are planned for use in the documentary itself).
Founders Ministries is bracing for legal action by Social Justice proponents who desperately don’t want footage of their own words to be made public. Sadly, those Social Justice proponents may turn to litigation to get the footage concealed, Canerized, and canned.
Pulpit & Pen would like assurances from Founders Ministries that they will not cave to such pressure and bullying tactics from the Social Justice Guild and Latte Mafia. People need to know the truth as to where these leaders stand (as though Pulpit & Pen has not been documenting it for years).
If Founders will stand firm in their effort to provide a truthful, accurate, and honest documentary without kneeling to threats by elitist bullies, they will find a helpful and faithful ally in the discernment community.
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