Identity Politics calls for Ethnic Diversity among Bible Translators, Ethnic Hermeneutical approaches, One-sided biblical interpretation and reimagining Bible stories into Social Justice Sermons
[Capstone Report] George Soros is rewriting the Bible. Ok, not him personally, but well-funded Evangelicals supported by a George Soros funded pro-immigrant group are redefining how American Christians understand concepts like immigration, borders and nations.
The chief way these groups manipulate evangelicals is through pious sounding platitudes and exploitation of biblical ignorance. Surveys show evangelicals don’t read their Bibles very often. It makes it easier to deceive them.
Most people in the pews aren’t aware of the ancient languages or the historical context of antiquity. It is this general ignorance that allows a Southern Baptist Ph.D. to claim that Jesus was a “so-called illegal immigrant.” As we’ve pointed out, Jesus wasn’t an illegal immigrant. Jesus wasn’t a refugee. Applying these modern legal terms to a pre-modern world is theological malpractice. However, even if we were to do it, Jesus wouldn’t meet the legal definitions spelled out in International Law.
Yet, this is how Big Eva operates.
They are fast and loose with the facts. Narrative trumps detail.
And after all, Snopes would rate these progressive claims true in spirit if not in fact.
What won’t surprise anyone paying attention is that well-funded groups and Big Eva itself are promoting new ways to view Scripture. More often than not, the lens of Identity Politics is coloring how so-called conservative evangelical leaders and professors interpret and teach the Bible.
Group promoted by Southern Baptist ERLC received over $215 million from Federal Government to help refugees, cooperates extensively with Soros funded National Immigration Forum
In research cited by Michelle Malkin in her new book Open Borders Inc., the National Association of Evangelicals’ World Relief received $215 million over the last decade to aid refugees. Malkin writes that figure is 65% of the entities’ budget for the time period.
World Relief’s content on immigration is promoted by the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. In an article posted June 29, 2019, titled “5 ways your church can help immigrant and refugee communities,” World Relief was mentioned along with the North American Mission Board and ERLC as a useful resource on immigration.
The ERLC included Yang on multiple discussion panels and has a Q&A about World Relief and refugee resettlement.
It even quoted Yang’s promotion of immigration as fulfilling the Great Commission (a tweet that the ERLC quickly deleted, but was preserved in numerous screenshots.)
“We are fulfilling the Great Commission when we welcome people from other nations to our country” -@JennyYangWR #EFL2018 (see image for tweet that was later deleted by the ERLC.)
Recently, we reported how a group run by the Soros funded National Immigration Forum and World Relief was promoted by Baptist Press. The women’s group Welcome. (yes, it includes the period), even published a Bible Study Guide with an emphasis on promoting immigration.
The Bible Study hit many key talking points like immigrants will save the American church. So, you know, fight Orange Man Bad’s immigration detention policy.
Seriously, that was the entire point of Week 2 and Week 3 in the Ruth and Naomi Bible Study Guide. The Study Guide includes a synopsis of a film presenting real stories of immigration, detention and the possibility of deportation. Then, immigrants are presented as the heroes of faith who will save the church, if only we stop arresting and deporting illegals!
And one of the discussion questions really drives home the point:
“Some in our society tend to think about violations of immigration law in a distinct way from other violations of law, but the reality is that most of us have violated one law or another at some point; can you think of any examples of laws that you may have violated? What were the consequences? Do you think there is ever a role for grace in the enforcement of law?”
Talk about manipulative.
It is how Big Eva shapes evangelical views on immigration. This Bible Study aimed primarily at women attempts to turn this into a battle of stories—pitting individual struggles against the immigration system. It compares how an average American might speed with the infiltration of a foreign state.
It is bad theology, bad law and bad politics all in one five-week Bible Study. It totally ignores the nuance required to properly comprehend the Hebrew words translated foreigner, sojourner and stranger. (If you are interested in a solid understanding, read Prof. James Hoffmeier’s article on this important topic.)
Manipulation and only addressing part of the story is how the Evangelical Immigration Table covers immigration in its booklet Thinking Biblically About Immigrants & Immigration Reform. The Evangelical Immigration table (or EIT) is another back channel Soros funded project that includes World Relief and the Russell Moore led Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Throughout its booklet on immigration, immigrants are presented as vulnerable people, fellow Christians and individuals made in the Image of God. All true. Yet, it doesn’t present the illegal immigrant through another important lens—as lawbreaker worthy of punishment for his crime, or as an alien invading land to which they are not entitled. In failing to do so, the EIT misses an important point. A Christian could love a criminal, but still think the criminal worthy of punishment for his crime.
The EIT wants to promote this view over all others,
“Regardless of our views on public policy, our disposition toward foreigners themselves should emulate that of our God, who, as Carroll summarizes, has ‘a deep love for the needy and disenfranchised, whoever they are and whatever the cause of their situation.’ Indeed, God’s commands concerning the foreigner demonstrate his own character, compassion and concern for those in need. It is not too much to say that we know more of who God is and what his salvation is like through comprehending his love for the sojourner.”
But that is only part of the picture.
In fact, the EIT and its Soros funded masters want to change the language. For example, they don’t like the word alien.
“Using language that compares immigrants to vermin or other animals, for example, is inherently dehumanizing. Even referring to immigrants as ‘aliens,’ though that is the terminology used by many U.S. laws and by older English translations of the Bible, leads many contemporary speakers of English to conjure up ‘Hollywood-induced images of three-headed green Martians’ rather than human beings made in God’s image.”
So, despite it being a perfectly good word. And despite the fact the law uses the word alien, these so-called conservative Christians want you to avoid using it.
What’s fascinating in that quote from the EIT booklet is that it mentions Bible translations. That is itself a fascinating topic that has not escaped the infestation of Identity Politics.
Reinterpreting Scripture for Political Purposes or How Identity Politics Infests Evangelical Seminaries
Last week, a New Testament professor at Wheaton College (the place known as the Harvard of evangelicalism) tweeted how future Bible translations would be improved with greater minority involvement.
Dr. Esau McCaulley tweeted, “A question that I can’t stop asking: If all translation is interpretation and interpretation is influenced by social location, what does it mean that most of our English bibles were translated with very few Black or other Christians of color or women involved?”
Compounding the issue, Southern Baptist professor endorsed this view.
Dr. Miguel Echevarria, a New Testament professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary tweeted, “I second this.”
What does this say about the state of what is being taught at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary?
The very words of translation would be improved based on the skin color—the ethnicities—of the committee members?
I’d rather have a Bible translation composed by translators who are experts in the original language and capable of rendering those ancient texts in the best English.
Affirmative Action and/or Racial Quotas for a Bible translation committee are terrible ideas.
However, this is what identity politics does. It divides on race. It divides on sex.
It threatens how we translate the Bible and it also threatens how we understand the Bible. There is special knowledge for special people based on their skin color, according to this view. This is the rise of Ethnic Gnosticism, and it is dangerous.
According to scholars, including one panel discussion held at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, one’s ethnicity and background “speaks into how we read the text.” Here are two explicit examples from the panel discussion about how ethnic values are distorting a plain understanding of the text.
Professor Miguel Echevarria explained how his ethnic background shaped his reading of the Bible.
“I noticed as a Cuban, a Latino, my background was really shaping the things I was seeing in the text.”
A Wheaton College professor Dr. Danny Carroll attacked the idea that there would be only one, universal biblical theology:
“In a meeting where I was being questioned by the head of an institution,” Dr. Carroll said during the panel, “We were talking about Latin American Evangelical Theology. Here was the question, (listen, you guys will appreciate this), ‘Isn’t there only one biblical theology?’ And I said, ‘Well, who gets to decide what that is? Americans?’ Someone is making decisions about what can be in and what can be out. The text should be making those decisions.”
Battle for the Bible II: Ethnic Gnosticism influencing how Evangelical Christians interpret Scripture
This isn’t a battle over the inspiration of Scripture nor sufficiency, but the doctrine of the Perspicuity of Scripture. Is the Bible clear and understandable by all, or only some based on their skin color or sex? Do some believers possess special knowledge, or does the Holy Spirit illuminate all? Is one’s level of oppression the true arbiter of one’s understanding of the biblical text?
Charles Hodge declared, “The Bible is a plain book.”
The belief that one’s oppression score gives someone special insight into the text is dangerous. It overturns the evangelical commitment to the clarity of the Scripture. As Smalcald Articles and the Form of Concord declared of the Scriptures, “That they are sufficiently perspicuous to be understood by the people, in the use of ordinary means and by the aid of the Holy Spirit, in all things necessary to faith or practice, without the need of any infallible interpreter.”
Yet, ethnic or gender insights make some better interpreters than others. As one SEBTS professor declared, even the Old Testament stories of Joseph and Daniel teach about how we should welcome immigrants!
Reflecting on how to interpret and understand Scripture is important in this new environment. Some good advice is to focus on what the author and original audience understood, not on what it means to us:
“Yet one of the cardinal teachings of the Evangelical Christian community about the Scriptures has maintained that Scripture is our ultimate authority for faith and practice. This authority is based on what the Scriptures ‘said’ as written by writers inspired by the Holy Spirit and not what the Scriptures ‘mean to me.’ Since what was ‘said’ is determined both by the writer, his readers and the sociohistorical context and since the contemporary reader is so removed from that context, the insistence on determining what the text said necessitates that all who seek a normative witness must use every available literary and historical means to gain a more accurate understanding of what the evangelist ‘said’ when he wrote the Gospel of Mark.”
In a very real way, individual experiences are changing how evangelical scholars interpret and preach the Bible. A great deal of money is being spent by progressive groups to shape this change. With millions at stake, and now books documenting the flow of money into both evangelical and Catholic charities, the careful Christian must be worried about the future.
Our seminaries are undermining the Word of God with Identity Politics. And doing it all in the service of a progressive political agenda.
[Editor’s Note: This article was first published at Capstone Report, title changed by P&P]
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