4.5K Christian leaders reject churches’ ‘social justice’ agenda
Nearly 5,000 Christian pastors, churches, organizations and leaders have signed an online statement affirming evangelicals’ rejection of “social justice” campaigns, which reflect the “values borrowed from secular culture” that are touted by numerous churches across the United States.
“[T]he project introduced just days ago [was] launched in response to a move by churches – including evangelical churches – into social activism,” WND reported.
Social ‘injustice’ … according to the Bible
The declaration takes on “social justice warriors” in the Church who have misled evangelicals to believe that the politically correct movement is backed by the Bible.
Statement signer: Discussion needs to start among Evangelicals
Theologian and historian Cal Beisner tells OneNewsNow why he signed his name to The Statement.
“The social justice movement, I think, is moving in some directions that are troubling,” he says. “That’s not to say that everything is wrong with it. It’s not to say that this is a perfect statement.”
What is important, he continues, is for the Church to faithfully hold to biblical teaching.
“Defining, for example,” he says, “the term ‘justice’ itself properly as rendering to each his due, according to the biblical standard of justice, rather than approaching some pre-determined degree of equality of outcome or something like that.”
Beisner warns that even some conservative evangelical leaders are being pulled in by secular thinking, so he views the document as a good starting point for discussions among Bible-believing Evangelicals.
“And what we need is to have civility in how we address each other and mutual respect,” he insists, “and we need to keep calling each other again and again back to scripture.”
“[The] statement from evangelicals … challenges those who believe ‘social justice’ is compatible with Christian teaching,” The Daily Wire informed. “[It] references copious numbers of statements from Scripture as it takes on the inroads it feels secular culture has made into the evangelical Church.”
The first words of the declaration attack the divisive “social justice” philosophy sweeping the nation and the Church through the mainstream media and education system, which consistently tout groups such as Black Lives Matter and glamorize athletes – including former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his refusal to kneel for the National Anthem – for bashing police, whites, America and all it stands for … in the name of a so-called “civil rights” movement.
“In view of questionable sociological, psychological and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads [in] Christ’s Church, we wish to clarify certain key Christian doctrines and ethical principles prescribed in God’s Word,” the “Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel” opens. “Clarity on these issues will fortify believers and churches to withstand an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the Gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
It then argues how the social justice campaign unbiblically promotes reverse racism and homosexual behavior while attacking God’s prescription for masculinity and femininity that is found in the Bible.
“Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality,” the statement expresses. “The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for ‘social justice.’ If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles.”
Reaffirming God’s Word
The statement – endorsed by numerous Christian leaders, including Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur, Alpha and Omega Ministries Director James White, Movieguide Founder Theodore Baehr and Grace to You Executive Director Phil Johnson – laments the secular teachings that have infiltrated the Church in the name of “social justice.”
“We submit these affirmations and denials for public consideration – not with any pretense of ecclesiastical authority, but with an urgency that is mixed with deep joy and sincere sorrow,” the statement’s introduction reads. “The rapidity with which these deadly ideas have spread from the culture at large into churches and Christian organizations – including some that are evangelical and Reformed – necessitates the issuing of this statement now.”
It affirms the inerrancy and absolute authority of God’s Word before challenging the unbiblical precepts behind the social justice movement.
“WE DENY that Christian belief, character or conduct can be dictated by any other authority, and we deny that the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism and critical race theory are consistent with biblical teaching,” the statement affirms, according to The Daily Wire. “We further deny that competency to teach on any biblical issue comes from any qualification for spiritual people other than clear understanding and simple communication of what is revealed in Scripture.”
The value that God gives to every individual is then affirmed.
“WE DENY that God-given roles, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, sex or physical condition – or any other property of a person – either negates or contributes to that individual’s worth as an image-bearer of God,” it continues. “WE AFFIRM that since He is holy, righteous and just, God requires those who bear His image to live justly in the world. This includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due.”
The concept of “white guilt” – consistently touted by the movement and its left-leaning adherents on American university campuses, the mainstream media and the entertainment industry – is then targeted.
“WE DENY that – other than the previously stated connection to Adam – any person is morally culpable for another person’s sin,” the document declares. “Although families, groups and nations can sin collectively – and cultures can be predisposed to particular sins – subsequent generations share the collective guilt of their ancestors only if they approve and embrace (or attempt to justify) those sins.”
The defense of God’s construct for traditional marriage – as opposed to same-sex “marriage” – is then addressed.
“We further affirm that God’s design for marriage is that one woman and one man live in a one-flesh, covenantal, sexual relationship until separated by death,” the statement impresses. “Those who lack the desire or opportunity for marriage are called to serve God in singleness and chastity – this is as noble a calling as marriage.”
The social justice argument that human sexuality is relative to an individual’s feelings – as “a socially constructed concept” – is then challenged in the statement.
“We also deny that one’s sex can be fluid,” the online document points out. “We reject ‘gay Christian’ as a legitimate biblical category. We further deny that any kind of partnership or union can properly be called marriage – other than one man and one woman in lifelong covenant together. We further deny that people should be identified as ‘sexual minorities’ – which serves as a cultural classification, rather than one that honors the image-bearing character of human sexuality as created by God.”
The attempt of social justice to shift American churchgoers to the political left was also addressed …
“Faithful church members are being encouraged to reject constitutional conservatives and to embrace open borders, reject normative patriotism and embrace progressive concepts and social justice policies normally reserved for radical socialists or open society adherents,” the statement declares, according to WND.
Acknowledging that the statement against social justice will likely receive considerable backlash, its authors remain unapologetic about its firm stance in Scripture.
“We have a great Lord and Savior, and it is a privilege to defend His Gospel – regardless of cost or consequences,” the online petition notes. “Nevertheless, while we rejoice in that privilege, we grieve that in doing so, we know we are taking a stand against the positions of some teachers whom we have long regarded as faithful and trustworthy spiritual guides. It is our earnest prayer that our brothers and sisters will stand firm on the Gospel and avoid being blown to and fro by every cultural trend that seeks to move the Church of Christ off course. We must remain steadfast, immovable – always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
An appeal to the Apostle Paul’s warning to Christians in Greece 2,000 years ago in the New Testament is then cited …
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ,” reads the statement, quoting Colossians 2:8.
An overall discredit of the worldly philosophies behind the social justice movement was stressed from the onset of the online form.
“We deny that Christian belief, character or conduct can be dictated by any other authority, and we deny that the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism and critical race theory are consistent with biblical teaching,” the authors of the online petition impress. “We further deny that competency to teach on any biblical issue comes from any qualification for spiritual people – other than clear understanding and simple communication of what is revealed in Scripture.”
Opposition to the statement within the Church
In the United Kingdom, Grace Baptist Church Pastor Ryan Burton King challenged the statement in support of the social justice movement.
“Purporting to address an alleged shift in evangelical circles away from the biblical [G]ospel towards a false social gospel, the new Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel is driven by people I would like to believe are well-meaning, but frankly not at all ‘getting’ what those whom it primarily addresses are saying – that is at best,” King wrote in his blog post. “At worst, it represents a toxic agenda to discredit and undermine godly men and women crying out for biblical social justice, national and ecclesiastical repentance, and meaningful reconciliation.”
While discounting the statement, the British pastor failed to adequately address the scripturally backed arguments against church’s social justice campaigns that are addressed by the documents’ authors.