In late December of 2014, a prominent evangelical leader inferred that the Pope was a brother-in-Christ, and some Christians on Twitter sought clarification regarding his comments. It was then that uber-smug Lifeway executive Ed Stetzer claimed that the outrage was from “the same 15 angry Calvinists who are mad at everyone.”
What came next was truly amazing, and it altered the course of Ed Stetzer’s career, Lifeway “Christian” Resources, and the evangelical landscape. All things considered, what happened next birthed the modern Polemics movement (as we now know it).
Countless thousands in social media who were fed up with the Evangelical Intelligentsia, who were tired of their smugness and shameless profiteering, those who despised the cogs on the wheels of the evangelical machine, all began to hashtag their tweets—mostly directed at Ed Stetzer, Thom Rainer, Lifeway Christian Resources, the Christian book industry, and the SBC—with the hashtag #the15. They also posted road signs for “15” as their social media profile photos.
There were not 15 of us. There were thousands. Before 48 hours was over, Ed Stetzer had frantically called my more notable ‘celebrity’ friends and begged them to have us stop (but they agreed with us). Stetzer thought that with a few well-placed phone calls, he could end the madness. But, the evangelical Proletariat had enough and we weren’t taking it anymore. Before we knew it, Alex Malarkey joined #the15 and his open letter to Lifeway became the biggest news story in the world on two days of early 2015. Ed Stetzer’s and Thom Rainer’s private emails were released, demonstrating that they knew his book was false but chose to sell it anyway. Thousands of people were walking into Lifeway stores with the cameras, taking photos of their heretical books. “Traditionalist” Baptist leaders also joined the movement to demonstrate that it wasn’t an isolated tribe of concerned Calvinists. Countless Baptist churches refused to purchase Lifeway products any further. And now, Lifeway has scuttled all of their retail book outlets, no doubt due—at least in part—to the sales decline that rapidly began the same time as #the15.
I laid out the strategy for #the15 in this post, and its game plan was largely successful, with Lifeway’s retail collapse, their massive media black-eye, Stetzer and Rainer jumping from the sinking ship before it tanked, and most importantly, their pulling of Heaven Tourism.
It’s Time to Re-Launch #The15
The same Evangelical Intelligentsia leaders who we had to put into their place with the original #the15 are the exact same ones who are pushing leftist politics and Neo-Marxist “Social Justice” down our throats.
Ed Stetzer is still at the front of this parade (more on that Monday), even though he was smart enough to hop off the Lifeway Titanic before it sank (sadly, he was the one who sank it). However, there are also other elitists and Intelligentsia members who are propagandizing us with extreme leftist material.
Cody Libolt provided a list of some of these Intelligentsia leaders the other day, and they include Albert Mohler, Jonathan Merritt, Jason Allen, Kyle J. Howard, Russell Moore, Karen Swallow Prior, Danny Akin, Thabiti, Anyabwile (Ron Burns), Mark Dever, Beth Moore, Jonathan Leeman, Sam Allberry, Anthony Bradley, Mike Cosper, JD Greear, Walter Strickland, Adam Greenway, Eric Mason, Timothy Keller, Ray Ortlund, Don Carson, Rebecca McLaughlin, James Merritt, Ligon Duncan, Jemar Tisby, Matt Chandler, Brent Aucoin, and Greg Forster.
And then, there are all the SBC sycophants like Dave Miller and Brent Hobbs who supported Lifeway while they sold abject heresy, and they’re the same sycophants pushing Social Justice, drifting in the wind with every shift in doctrine. Some pastors will support the denominational elite no matter what, and in doing so they become ungodly footsoldiers in a battle of shame.
Who Are the Social Justice Contras?
We defined the term Social Justice Contras in this post as, “… a group of men fiercely committed to defending the Gospel. They are not against good deeds, but they are against adding works to the Good News. They generally steer rightward politically.”
There are different camps within the Social Justice Contras.
There’s the Evangelical Dark Web (also defined here) consisting of AD Robles, Jacob Brunton, Cody Libolt, and others (and most would say Pulpit & Pen). These guys provide the podcasts, Twitter feeds, and blogs that nobody wants to admit reading or listening to, but they do and it’s driving the movement whether anyone wants to admit it or not.
There’s the MacArthur Camp, which has largely refused to name names or deal directly with the issue, although they are ideologically opposed to Social Justice. Like MacArthur, they say they will “fight false teaching, but will not fight [their] friends.” They’ve largely been out of the fight since ShepCon 2019, but hopefully, they’ll return to the fight one day.
There’s the Founders’ Camp, which includes, most prominently, Tom Ascol. They produced the By What Standard documentary trailer that got so much negative press this week and is the precipitating matter for this particular blog post. I would also put Josh Buice and Tom Buck in this category, not because they’re tied intrinsically to Founders Ministries, but because—like Founders’ Ministries and unlike the Evangelical Dark Web—they try to fight the battle diplomatically.
There’s the Sovereign Nations Camp, which includes Michael O’Fallon, who’s basically busy providing the intellectual steam pulling the Contra engine up-river. O’Fallon doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty brawls as do certain other camps inside the movement, and he carries himself with a great deal of professionalism and courtesy. He’s just an affable “idea man” who is often derided as some kind of sinister Darth Vader in the liberal press, and he’s often vilified by those who fear him the most. More than most, he’s been treated unfairly.
There’s the Tag-Alongs, who we might consider to be James White, Justin Peters, or certain other of the Dallas Statement drafters who it seems hard to pigeon-hole to a particular group and don’t seem as intensely focused on this issue as others, but are still good to go a round or two on the subject and are on the right side of things.
And finally, there’s the Traditionalist Camp. These include those who aren’t Calvinists or Calvinist(ish) and might prefer the term, “Traditionalist” when describing themselves. Although there are fewer of these guys, they’re still out there fighting. These include Tommy Littleton, Alan Atchison, Janet Mefferd, and (like it or not) Brannon Howse.
However, there are people against the Neo-Marxist infiltration of progressive-left ideas into the church who don’t fit into a particular group, as listed above. Nonetheless, they still oppose leftism masquerading as Christianity and won’t be guilt-shamed into believing Jesus is an Open Borders hippy globalist who wants cap-and-trade or gives a care about animal rights or dolphin-flourishing.
If you want real Bible doctrine taught in your church and not politically-motivated progressivism called “Social Justice,” then congratulations…You are a Social Justice Contra.
Big News is Coming Monday that Will Shake the Social Justice Warrior Movement
As I understand it, big news is coming at some point just past the weekend that will expose an aspect of the Social Justice Movement that will have the leftist infiltrators left reeling. They will feel it hit them in the gut, but that means that they will be out in full attack mode.
We need your support. Join #the15 Social Justice Contras by adding a Highway 15 or Interstate 15 road sign to your Facebook, Twitter, or Social media profile-pics or avatars. When people ask what it’s for, tell them that you’re a part of an important resistance movement and that they should join it, too. And when you tweet or make a Facebook post that’s related to Social Justice, don’t forget to hashtag it #the15.
You might belong to a different “camp” within the contra movement, but flashing #the15 will help present a united front to the powerful leftist forces that have taken over our churches.
If You Agree with the Following, Join Us to Help
I wrote the following about Who are #the15 back in 2014. It’s as timely as ever and should be applied to our current fight against anti-social injustice, disguised as a Christian idea.
1. #the15 are those who refuse to be shamed into silence.
2. #the15 are those who are willingly sacrificing our own reputations among men for the sake of God’s holiness among the nations.
3. #the15 are those who will sacrifice our careers and denominational or organization advancement in order to continue speaking prophetic truth to false teachers and those who sell false teachings.
4. #the15 are those who do not mind being made fools for the sake of the Gospel.
5. #the15 are those who will not relent to ask tough questions until we receive truthful answers.
6. #the15 are those who will not be intimidated by power or Christian celebrity.
7. #the15 are those who know people are listening, but would speak even if no one were.
8. #the15 are those who know that God has not called us to success, but to faithfulness.
9. #the15 are those who know this Modern Day Downgrade is reality, and will warn others of its seductive appeal and destructive nature.
10. #the15 are those who, despite being ignored, ridiculed or attacked are not going away any time soon.
Join us now! We could use your support.