Opinion

The Battle for Scriptural Authority

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Asheville – In Voddie T. Baucham’s just released book, 

Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe, he makes a plea to the Church:

“I believe we are being duped by an ideology bent on our demise. This ideology has used our guilt and our good and godly desire for reconciliation and justice as a means through which to introduce destructive heresies. We cannot embrace, modify, baptize, or Christianize these ideologies. We must identify, resist, and repudiate them. We cannot be held hostage through emotional blackmail, and name-calling. Instead, we must:”

 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” 

—Colossians 2:8

Baucham is a reformed African-American pastor, born in Los Angeles, who is presently Dean of the School of Divinity at African Christian University in Zambia. He is a former SBC minister and has been active in the battle to keep unbiblical Marxist distortions of social justice out of the Church.

Last year, 2020, Scott David Allen published an eye-opening and insightful book on the cultural Marxist subversion of Christian churches and institutions and Christian understanding of justice.  Theologian Wayne Grudem called, Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice, a truth-filled “warning about the deeply anti-Christian ideas behind much of the modern ‘social justice’ movement.”

Baptist pastor Tom Ascol, president of Foundation Ministries, wrote that “The modern social justice movement is a Trojan Horse that is being welcomed into many evangelical camps with the kind of fanfare that would make the citizens of Troy blush. Under the pretense of loving one’s neighbor and pursuing justice, ideologies that are contrary to the way of Christ are being employed to set agendas for and shape the consciences of evangelicals. Because biblical words are being used, what the Bible means by those words is assumed and that [false] assumption is wreaking havoc on sound Christian thinking and healthy Christian living.”

Scott Allen asks us: “Will we go along with the warped and distorted social justice morality, or will we have the courage to speak out on real injustices where they exist, such as abortion, black-on-black violence, or female gendercide? Will we adopt the distorted moral priorities (and blinders) of ideological social justice, or will we allow the Bible to guide us on matters of justice and morality.”

Specifically, Allen asks if we will adhere to biblical sexual morality or compromise with the sexual revolution? Will we commit to end the grievous injustice of abortion or remain silent and ambivalent? Will we ignore injustices perpetrated by members of victim groups, or will we judge impartially as Scripture demands? Will we speak out for victims of justice regardless of skin color, ethnicity, stage of life, or sex? Will all lives matter or only those from self-defined victim groups?

In E. Calvin Beisner’s pamphlet. Social Justice versus Biblical Justice, (second addition 2020, Cornwall Alliance), he reminds us of four criteria for biblical justice. First is impartiality. “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great, you shall not be afraid of any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s” (Deuteronomy 1: 16-17). Second, justice requires fairness—rendering each person their due (Romans 13:7).  This concept includes whether an act is intentional, negligent, or purely accidental.  Note this is EACH person or party. Punishing groups or descendants would not be just. (Ezekiel 18: 1-3, 19-20). Third, justice requires proportionality. The severity or lenience of the punishment must fit the infraction.  The fourth is conformity with the standard of God’s law throughout both the Old and New Testaments, including, of course, the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 

It is extremely important to note here that Social Marxist ideology is the primary driver of Critical Social Justice (CSJ) and Critical Race Theory (CRT), which reject the concept of absolute truth. The central driving faith of all Marxism is that “power is the only truth.” Therefore, whatever advances Marxist ideology and power is truth and right. Power trumps all other considerations and values. Deception is the natural environment and most formidable weapon of all Critical Theory (CT). Orwellian manipulation of words and language is common and characteristic.

In Judaeo-Christian and traditional American and British law, the term “equity” means impartial justice or fairness. In CRT, equity means divided proportionately by racial or favored “victim” groups. This has nothing to do with equality of individuals under the law or equal opportunity. CRT also makes abundant use of false narratives to exploit or even to fabricate racial grievances, which are built into social injustice narratives supporting Marxist cultural and political objectives.  These narratives may have some truth to them, but they are most often built primarily upon subjective “lived experience” and many falsehoods that contradict objective facts and reason. The Marxist perpetrators of these false narratives often claim that the narratives are a “higher truth” that cannot be seen or understood by white people or their allies, because they don’t have the “lived experience.” The anti-Biblical and contrafactual narrative of “systemic racism” is a prominent CRT political theme. Voddie Baucham exposes several false narratives in his book, including the CRT inspired Black Lives Matter (BLM) narrative on Police anti-black racism.  Despite having considerable visible media exposure (George Floyd, etc.), many studies, including a forthcoming National Academy of Sciences statistical study by Roland G. Fryer, indicate that the Police anti-black racism narrative is false. In fact, statistics indicate the reverse is more likely. CRT narratives always trump truth or moral considerations.

Both CRT and its BLM inspiration are fragrantly anti-white and alarmingly anti-Christian. They are anti-capitalist, anti-family, anti-family values and anti-male in their embrace of radical feminism. They promote all the intersectionalist values of LGBTQIA+ and encourage various forms of gender confusion. They are anti-merit and anti-ableism. They are anti-free speech. They have made “racism” ‘the unforgivable original sin and antiracism an almost-religion. CRT divides people into privileged oppressors protected by “systemic” long-term racism versus the down-trodden and disadvantaged oppressed for whom significant upward mobility is blocked by long-term “systemic racism.” The oppressor class is almost always white. However, they are opportunistically anti-Asian or anyone standing in their way.  CRT objectives are power, destruction, revolution, reparations, and more power.

The “Cancel Culture” derived from CRT is an unforgiveness culture and comes near the hate culture described in George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984, based on Stalin’s Soviet Union.

CRT has so broadened and abused the terms “racism” and “social justice” that responsible writers and speakers need to define them more thoughtfully. 

Voddie Baucham tells a sobering story of the battle for Biblical truth and authority ongoing in evangelical churches.

The Southern Baptist Convention met in Birmingham on June 11-12, 2019, and a resolution came to the floor that essentially condemned CRT. However, this resolution was tabled for quick re-writing by two seminary professors who had been promoting CRT, Intersectionality, and pro-liberation theology. The revised Resolution 9 allowed that CRT and Intersectionality could be used as analytical tools.  Seeking truth though a distorted anti-Christian lens may seem absurd to some, but the new Resolution 9 was passed during the last few minutes of the Convention, as people were ready to leave, with the help of an accommodating SBC President. According to Baucham, this was a “deliberate act of duplicity.” 

This was at least a case where many evangelical messengers were so sensitive to any suggestion of racism if they criticized the revised Resolution 9 that they failed to exercise the proper discernment and courage expected of evangelical leaders. However, on November 30, 2020, the Council of Seminary Presidents of the SBC completely repudiated CRT and Resolution 9. While condemning “racism in any form,” the Seminary Presidents agreed that:

“Affirmation of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and any version of Critical Theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith and Message.”

Rather than a theory of social dominance, CRT is better described as a Neo-Marxist ideological framework, operational plan, and toolset for undermining the cultural, social, moral, economic, legal, political, and spiritual foundations of a people, nation, government, or church.  “Critical” is a questionable modifier in this context.  CRT should be called Marxist Racial Agitation Doctrine.  

CRT is a poisoned chalice, the fruits of which will darken the spiritual, moral, and intellectual discernment of all who partake of it. It is a Trojan Horse that can destroy men, women, children, armies, nations, and unwary churches.

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