Everywhere you look, everything you listen to today seems to address the social justice movement and critical race theory. There is a lot of misinformation and garbage about it out there, for sure; but there is also a lot of solid truth and great teaching as well.
This is really a complex issue and encompasses so many things. In this episode, we break it down as simply as we can because we want every Christian to understand what is happening at a record pace in our churches and schools and how Christians, churches and pastors are coming down on both sides of the issues.
We delve into The Dallas Statement. This statement has come out of conservative evangelicalism recently that have gotten a lot of attention – both negative and positive, and in some cases, has split denominations.
Link to Fault Lines by Dr. Voddie Baucham - https://www.amazon.com/Fault-Lines-Movement-Evangelicalisms-Catastrophe/dp/1684511801/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=fault+lines&qid=1620944014&sr=8-1
Blog by Virgil Walker, Executive Director of Operations for G3 Ministries: https://g3min.org/the-human-dignity-of-equality/
Two episodes from Defend and Confirm podcast that are helpful for understanding what is happening:
Episode 87 – Social Justice & the Gospel – The Dallas Statement
Welcome back! It is hard to believe we are already on week 6 of our series, Real Truth about Real Stuff Round 2. There are so many current topics and trends to cover, we could probably keep this series going for months!
I agree. And that’s a good lead-in to today’s topic, Social Justice and the Gospel. Everywhere you look, everything you listen to today seems to address the social justice movement and critical race theory. There is a lot of misinformation and garbage about it out there, for sure; but there is also a lot of solid truth and great teaching as well.
This is really a complex issue and encompasses so many things. We are going to try and break it down as simply as we can because we want every Christian to understand what is happening at a record pace in our churches and schools and how Christians, churches and pastors are coming down on both sides of the issues.
We are going to talk shortly a statement that has come out of conservative evangelicalism recently that have gotten a lot of attention – both negative and positive, and in some cases, has split denominations. And that is “The Dallas Statement,” also called the “Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel.” It was created by a group of evangelicals, led by Dr. John McArthur, who met together in the summer of 2018.
And we are going to tell you right up front, that there are some big names on both sides of this. This statement and the beliefs behind it have split the evangelical community, and even the Reformed community. The vitriol that has gone back between the two sides of this has gotten ugly at times. It has definitely been a line in the sand, and as divisive as anything we have seen in recent history, or that has come out of the political realm.
It has gotten quite ugly at times. But before we get to The Dallas Statement and what it says, let’s get a foundation of Critical Race Theory and the Social Justice movement. Like we said, it is a complex issue on the one hand, but in another way, it’s pretty simple. We’ll start by defining Critical Race Theory, by defining the word, “Critical.” Almost since the Bible was put together, there have been “critical” scholars popping up who challenge what the Bible says and how it has been interpreted.
And, like we always try to do, let’s define critical scholarship by their own words. Here’s how they define themselves, “Critical scholarship addresses the inevitable. dilemma of being a social and political activity by focusing on the tension between the existing social and material world and the possibility for changing this world. With this. focus, critical scholarship realizes its role in society is not to blindly reproduce existing social order, but to create the conditions in which progressive change can occur.”
Now some of you may be thinking, progress is good, and we don’t ever want to blindly follow anything. And both of those statements are true. But there are 2 major problems with critical scholarship in general, and as we will see, critical race theory. First, critical scholarship, even critical scholarship applied to The Bible, looks at the world’s current condition – or the world’s condition as they see it. Since this is an ever-changing landscape, they don’t believe in any absolute truth. Truth is relative – your truth may not be my truth, and truth can change over time and depending on social conditions. So right off the bat, that’s a problem, because Christians believe – or should believe – that the Bible is absolute Truth that is applicable and relative to every person who has ever lived and will ever live.
And their belief about truth is why there is a second major problem. Their creed to “create conditions in which progressive change can occur,” is completely subjective. Since they do not believe in absolute truth and things are always changing, basically, whoever is the loudest voice and has the power that day is determining what conditions are, the method of changing them, and what “progressive change” is. They are not using any foundation of truth so there is zero accountability as to what they are saying.
It is out of this critical scholarship that critical race theory was born. To put it as simply as possible, Critical Race Theory holds that the most important thing about you is your race. The color of your skin. That's who you are. Your behavior, your environment, your values, nothing else matters. In Critical Race Theory, if you are a member of a “minoritized” racial group—that’s the term they use. - you are a victim of a system that is rigged against you, a system that doesn't want you to succeed. On the other hand, if your race is "privileged," (again, their word) you're an exploiter and an oppressor. It doesn’t matter if you have ever done or intended to be a racist or not. If you are in the privileged group, you are inherently a racist from birth. It’s out of this that Black Lives Matter and Antifa were born.
And you may be thinking, well, that’s the world, that’s not the church. Yes and no. Many churches and pastors all through history have jumped on the critical scholarship band wagon, either by disregarding the Bible and denouncing its inerrancy altogether; or by grabbing a verse here or there and interpreting it to mean something it was never meant to mean. There has always been a divide between the theologically conservative and the liberal, critical scholars. But, today, even many formerly conservative, solid, even Reformed Pastors are putting aside Biblical truth and pushing the critical race theory and the social justice movement.
And it is because of this, that The Dallas Statement was born. Here’s what Tom Ascol, president of Founder’s Ministries said in Sept. 2018 about what started the Dallas Statement, “On June 19 of this year (2018) I had the privilege of meeting in the iconic Herb’s House coffee shop in Dallas with 13 other men to discuss our common concerns about some teachings and practices being advocated in the name of “social justice.” We had never been in a room together but all accepted the invitation of Josh Buice (Bice), who was aware that we had similar perspectives on this growing movement.”
Some of you may have never heard of Josh Buice. He is the President of G3 Ministries & Pastor of Prays Mills Bap. Church in Atlanta. Here’s what he said about the beginnings of the Dallas Statement in 2018, “This summer I met with a group of concerned Christian leaders in Dallas, Texas in order to discuss the issues surrounding the in vogue movement known as social justice. As we discussed the issues, it became plain and clear that this is one of the most confusing and potentially dangerous agendas to face the church in recent history. For that reason, we engaged in a project to collectively formulate a theological statement that would address these cultural matters in love and stand for the pure gospel of Jesus.”
Okay, you all probably get the idea that this Dallas Statement we are going to address has to do with the Social Justice movement, and it does; although it addresses more than just that. This statement was started by men who felt they needed to affirm Biblical Truth in many areas that some churches and pastors, within the evangelical community, had taken in a liberal, and unbiblical direction. And this will become clearer as we go through each of the clauses in the statements.
The purpose of the statement was two-fold. As the introduction of the statement states, “In view of questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church, we wish to clarify certain key Christian doctrines and ethical principles prescribed in God’s Word. 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.”
There are 14 points. We will go through some very quickly and will take some time on others, but we want you to know what is contained in this statement. All points contain a “we affirm” section and a “we deny” section. And each section is backed up my multiple verses of Scripture. The first point, at first glance, seems like it would be the least controversial. It says that the writers affirm that Scripture is inerrant and the only authority on what is true. But it’s the second part, the deny part, of this point has gotten huge backlash. It says that they deny that Christian belief, character, or conduct can be dictated by any other authority. It also denies that the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory are consistent with biblical teaching. And lastly, it says that the only competent teaching on biblical issues is one that teaches what is revealed in Scripture.
Let’s put this in simpler terms. First, the Dallas Statement says that no one or nothing can dictate how Christians should believe or behave other than Scripture. So, for example, your pastor, your boss, or the government can’t tell you that you need to do something or accept something that goes against Scripture. Also in this first point, is that there are some things being taught in churches that are unbiblical: Postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory. These are terms that get thrown around a lot lately. Let’s start defining exactly what they mean.
We touched on postmodern ideology already. It is a belief that emphasizes pluralism and relativism and rejects any absolute truth. In other words, my truth may not be your truth. It all depends on our life experiences. So there is no absolute truth. But the Dallas Statement is correct in affirming absolute Truth. As 2 Tim 3:14 – 17 says, “ But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom[a] you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.” So the Dallas Statement is correct, postmodern ideology is unbiblical.
Intersectionality is also called out as being unbiblical. Intersectionality is a term we have heard a lot lately. Its the underlying theme of Critical Race Theory. It is the belief that our experiences are shaped by ethnicity, race, social class, gender identity, and sexual orientations. Intersectionality refers to how these facets intersect. It’s a complex theory, but basically, the more stakes you have in the “minoritized” group, the more important what you have to say is. So, if you are a poor, gay, black woman, you have intersected on 4 facets that are considered in the minoritized or oppressed group, so your “truth” or life experience is more important than someone who has stakes in the “privileged” group, like a middle-class, heterosexual, white man. His voice is not important because his facets are all considered oppressive.
Even if you have never had a racist thought or never oppressed anyone, if you have qualities that are considered “privileged,” you are racist and have no right to have your voice heard. And this has permeated into churches at an alarming rate. Churches and pastors are preaching and teaching that some voices are more important and should be heard and believed more than others – and the Biblical truth of what these voices are saying is not being taken into consideration or challenged. What does the Bible say about this? 1 Timothy 6:3 – 5 says, “ If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
So how about radical feminism? Is that unbiblical? We’ll let wikipedia define radical feminism because they actually get it right. “Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts, while recognizing that women's experiences are also affected by other social divisions such as in race, class, and sexual orientation.”
So if you are wondering why all the shows on TV seem to have a woman as the boss or head of the family, or why the woman is always shown as smarter than a male counterpart (who often times is portrayed as dopey, sissified, or out of touch), or even why it seems that women are always driving and men are in the passenger seat, the answer is radical feminism, or as my son and daughter-in-law call it, “The Disney Dad syndrome.” They are trying to eliminate what they call male supremacy by usurping men from all authority and completely emasculating them.
And we will get to men as leaders in another point, but as a general rule to all, we can look to Phil. 2:3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. CRT advocates will tell you that they are just trying to level the playing field. And, while we expect the world to go against Scripture, this teaching is starting to infiltrate into churches. Those who support CRT, postmodern ideologies, intersectionality, and radical feminism contend that some groups have been oppressed throughout history (and we don’t dispute that), but the way they want to level the playing field is not just by pulling up those that are oppressed, it is to squash down and vengefully oppressing those they believe are privileged.
Point 2 is called “Imago Dei.” It affirms that every person has equal value and dignity before God because they were created in His image. It denies that roles our sovereign God has given people and situations God has placed people in takes away from or adds to their value. So a person’s socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, sex or physical condition does not change that individual’s worth as an image-bearer of God. And, of course, Genesis 1:27-28 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Point 3 is Titled Justice. It affirms that since God is holy, righteous, and just, He requires those who bear his image to live justly in the world. And this includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due. It also affirms that societies must establish laws to correct injustices that have been imposed through cultural prejudice.
The denial section of this point in the Dallas Statement says that true justice can’t be culturally defined. It says that standards of “justice” that are man-made and not derived from the Bible cannot be imposed with the same authority as the standards of justice that are derived from the Bible. And they give good reason for this, I’ll quote the statement, “Relativism, socially-constructed standards of truth or morality, and notions of virtue and vice that are constantly in flux cannot result in authentic justice.”
Isaiah 1:16 – 17 says, “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;cease to do evil,learn to do good;seek justice,correct oppression;bring justice to the fatherless,plead the widow's cause.” So as Christians, we are always to treat all as valuable image bearers of God, doing good to all, correcting oppression when we see it, and helping those who are need. The problem with the social justice movement, even within some churches is that this isn’t good enough. Pastors, churches and Christians are putting the world’s definition of justice on the same level as the Bible’s definition. And as we just said, that definition which is ever changing, right now says that its not enough to lift up those who feel oppressed, we need to squelch those who are part of what they believe is the privileged class.
Point #4 is about God’s Law. In this section the Dallas Statement defines sin. Sin is a violation of God’s law which is summarized in the 10 commandments and more succinctly in the 2 great commandments – love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. It says that anything that does not violate either of these is not sin – regardless of what some in society may say.
Basically, this point says, God has defined sin. Period. However, there are churches, pastors, and social justice warriors who have redefined sin. For example, Galatians 3:25 – 28 says, “ But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In light of that verse, and others, seeing someone as anything but sons in Christ Jesus (meaning believers) or not in Christ would violate loving your neighbor and be a sin. But SJW, including churches and pastors, have redefined this sin. They say it is a sin not to see people by their skin color, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
This leads right into part 5 of the Dallas Statement which is titled sin. It says, to paraphrase, that because of Adam’s sin, we are born dead in our sin’s and under the curse of God’s law. Our sin nature makes it impossible for us to keep God’s Law and commands. And that condition is exactly the same for every human being ever born (except Jesus). However, we are not culpable for another person’s sin. Advocates of CRT and SJ contend that if you are born white, you are born with the sin of racism and, even if you never had a racist thought in your life, you need to repent of the sin you never actually committed.
Like you said, and like this statement reiterates, we don’t need to repent of being born white, and therefore being racist, if we never actually committed the sin of racism. Our ancestors could have been slave owners, murderers, sex traffickers, or anything – that doesn’t make us guilty of their sins. 1 Cor. 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Rose, even as close as we are, I am not responsible for your sin, and you are not responsible for mine
Point #6 is about the Gospel. It says, “WE AFFIRM that the gospel is the divinely-revealed message concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ—especially his virgin birth, righteous life, substitutionary sacrifice, atoning death, and bodily resurrection—revealing who he is and what he has done with the promise that he will save anyone and everyone who turns from sin by trusting him as Lord. That is the gospel period. The prosperity gospel, the social justice gospel – IS NOT THE GOSPEL
And Paul backs this statement up in Galatians 1:6 – 9, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
Point 7 has to do with salvation. Since these are Reformed pastors who put this together, obviously, what they affirm is that salvation is from God, and God alone. It denies that salvation can be received in any other way. It also denies that someone’s ethnicity excludes them from understanding the gospel nor the responsibility of believing that Gospel. Believe it or not, there are Christians who say that some in the minoritized group are unable to understand the gospel message and should be let off the hook from having to accept it to be a Christian.
And if you are thinking, wow! That sounds racist, you are absolutely correct! It is totally racist! But its even worse than that. Its saying the Holy Spirit is not powerful enough to make everyone whom God the Father has chosen understand the gospel. So besides insulting the intelligence of people of color, they are also insulting the power of the Holy Spirit. This is blatant heresy that goes against Eph. 2:8 – 9 which says, “ For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Point 8 of the Dallas Statement is on the Church. It affirms that the primary role of the church is to worship Godthrough the preaching of his word, teaching sound doctrine, observing baptism and the Lord’s Supper, refuting those who contradict, equipping the saints and evangelizing the lost.” They further say “that political or social activism should not be viewed as integral components of the gospel or primary to the mission of the church.
And they aren’t saying that the church or individual Christians shouldn’t be involved in political and social activism fighting the evils of society. What they are saying is that CRT, intersectionality, or any social justice stuff is not part of the gospel. As we said, the social justice gospel, or any gospel that is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is not a gospel at all and the church should not be tacking it onto the True Gospel because only the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to save people. Nothing else, no matter how good it might look or be, is equal to the gospel.
And like you said, Chris, the Dallas Statement isn’t saying don’t get involved in activism. And it says that because there is Scripture that tells us to utilize all lawful means that God has providentially established to better society. 1 Peter 2:13 – 17, “Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor[c] as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
Part 9 of the Dallas Statement, talks about heresy which they define as, “a denial of or departure from a doctrine that is essential to the Christian faith. We further affirm that heresy often involves the replacement of key, essential truths with variant concepts, or the elevation of non-essentials to the status of essentials.” We have talked about this before. While all Scripture is important because it is the Word of God, there are things contained in the Bible that are of essential importance, things of secondary importance, and things of tertiary importance. Things like the gospel, salvation, the sovereignty of God, Jesus’ resurrection, His virgin birth – these are essential truths because not believing in them, or believing something wrongly about them effects your salvation. Whereas, things like moral integrity, fidelity, baptism, and other things are secondary because, while very important, will not affect your salvation.
And then there are things of tertiary importance like the 3 levels of heaven or head coverings for women where there are different interpretations, but how you interpret it isn’t of the utmost importance, at least not in light of your salvation. So what the Dallas statement is saying is not only is a denial or departure from the truth of Scripture heresy, but elevating a non-essential truth, like moral integrity, which would where social justice would fall under, to essential, meaning its necessary for salvation, is also heresy.
Point 10 deals with sexuality and marriage. You wouldn’t think there would be a lot of push back on this. Basically, it says what most of us would expect it to. That God has determined a person’s gender at conception, and it is a sin to change that, that marriage is defined as a union between 1 man and 1 woman, and any homosexual relationship is sinful, that sex outside of marriage is a sin, and that there is nothing wrong with living single your whole life.
And the denial section is pretty much the opposite of all you stated, Chris. Gender is not fluid, homosexual marriage can not be a Biblical marriage. Also, and I’ll quote this last one, “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.” You can imagine that this point has gotten a lot of pushback – mostly from denominations who have embraced a very liberal “Christianity” like Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, and others. This one point was actually the subject of another statement called the Nashville Statement that was written in August of 2017. It took a solid Biblical position on marriage, homosexuality, and the like. Ironically, some of the pastors who signed it, have refused to sign this Dallas Statement – but obviously its not because of this point.
Point 11 is another point that has a lot of “other denomination” pushback, but not so much in Reformed circles. Its on Complementarianism. Complementarianism is the belief that while men and women are equal in the eyes of God, they were created with different strengths and weaknesses. They were created to compliment each other. Here’s how they word this, “In marriage the husband is to lead, love, and safeguard his wife and the wife is to respect and be submissive to her husband in all things lawful. In the church, qualified men alone are to lead as pastors/elders/bishops and preach to and teach the whole congregation. We further affirm that the image of God is expressed most fully and beautifully in human society when men and women walk in obedience to their God-ordained roles and serve according to their God-given gifts.”
The opposite of complementarianism is egalitarianism. That is the belief that there is nothing men can do that women can’t – and vice versa. Men and women are equal in every way and should be treated equally in all ways. Now that may sound good on the surface, but egalitarianism is the belief behind radical feminism. And let’s be honest, men can’t give birth (no matter what tv shows and some may tell you) and men will always be stronger than women. That’s not something to be angry about, though, it is something to be celebrated as Eph 5:22 – 30 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
And this point is another reason why emasculating men, as radical feminists do, is very unbiblical. We will quickly summarize point #12 which is on race and ethnicity. The Dallas statement says that God made all people from 1 man and that ethnicity or race is not a Biblical category. As we said, the Bible sees everyone as either in Christ or not in Christ - saved or unsaved. What this statement denies is (and I’m gonna quote) We deny that Christians should segregate themselves into racial groups or regard racial identity above, or even equal to, their identity in Christ. We deny that any divisions between people groups (from an unstated attitude of superiority to an overt spirit of resentment) have any legitimate place in the fellowship of the redeemed. We reject any teaching that encourages racial groups to view themselves as privileged oppressors or entitled victims of oppression. While we are to weep with those who weep, we deny that a person’s feelings of offense or oppression necessarily prove that someone else is guilty of sinful behaviors, oppression, or prejudice
This is a huge line in the sand even within Reformed circles. So many Christians identify themselves by their ethnicity or gender over their identity in Christ. Even Dr. Baucham in his book, Fault Lines, admitted that for a long time he saw himself as a black Christian, instead of a Christian who happened to be black.
This point in the Dallas Statement flies in the face of intersectionality that we talked about earlier. Just because you “feel” like you have been offended isn’t proof that someone has actually offended you. I even saw a recent interview where the person said just because most Americans are not racist doesn’t mean that America isn’t racist. According to CRT and SJ, if someone feels like they are being discriminated against, even if no one is actually discriminating against them, their feelings alone are enough for them to cry racism.
This point is why some reformed pastors refused to sign the Dallas Statement. Albert Mohler, who is huge in the reformed circles and a Ligonier fellow didn’t sign. He said, “ [I] am afraid we are going to lose an enormous number of evangelicals to various kinds of the social gospel because that is a lot easier to find satisfaction in than evangelism.” So Dr. Mohler is willing to water down or compromise Scripture to make it more palpatable for some, so they won’t leave the churches. He is willing to say if you feel like you have been offended, even though no one has actually offended you, then we need to recognize that you have been offended. This is in direct conflict with 1Cor 13:4 – 6, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth.”
Dr. Mohler, who is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, even went so far as to warn staff within the seminary they better not sign the Dallas statement. One man did, and was fired by Dr. Mohler. Dr. Mohler has since fired the last 4 conservative professors at the seminary. And he is by no means the only big name reformed guy to take this stance. But instead of letting individuals define what offends them and what doesn’t, and what is evil in society and what isn’t, the Dallas Statement says, “We affirm that whatever evil influences to which we have been subjected via our culture can be—and must be— overcome through conversion and the training of both mind and heart through biblical truth.” They are affirming, once again, that only the Bible has the power to transform lives and minds.
As Romans 12:2 says, “ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Their only denial on this subject is that they deny, by God’s grace, that any culture is beyond redemption. Okay, last point is on racism. And since we are running short on time, I’ll sum up the Dallas Statement’s position on this in one line, racism is a sin rooted in pride and malice.
And the denial, in summary, is that the Bible is never to be used to foster prejudice or racism, because that is not a Biblical truth. But it goes a little further and hits back at the CRT movement. CRT claims that only those in power are capable of racism, while those who are oppressed, even if they are spouting hate and advocating violence against people because of the color of their skin, can never be guilty of racism because they are oppressed. The Dallas Statement takes that head on and says that is not true. They also say, “We deny that the contemporary evangelical movement has any deliberate agenda to elevate one ethnic group and subjugate another. And we emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture. Historically, such things tend to become distractions that inevitably lead to departures from the gospel.”
As we have said, there are those, even within Reformed circles, who believe that the “social justice gospel” is as important as the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we said, there are big names who signed this statement, and big names who have openly opposed and denounced it. There is even a blacklist of those who have signed. They are not to be asked to speak or teach at many national Christian events and conferences. We will end with statements from both sides. For those who affirm the Dallas statement, like Fred Malone, from Founder’s Ministry, he said, If our Social Justice brothers sincerely wish to engage other Bible believers with their applications of Scripture, they need to remind themselves that the Reformation’s “formal principle” was Sola Scriptura, the Bible’s final authority and sufficiency for all matters of faith and practice, not new revelations of new “prophets” of the “reader-response” mind!”
And on the opposition side, John Pavolich, a pastor from Wake Forest, NC, has said that what the writers and signers of Dallas Statement are really saying is, “We are terrified.
We are afraid of gay people and Transgender people and brown people and Muslims—in a time when others are rapidly abandoning such fear.
We are white, Conservative, old men, and we realize that we are rapidly dying dinosaurs approaching extinction.
We see the culture becoming more intelligent, more scientifically aware, more connected across faith traditions and borders, and far less willing to be dictated to by white, Conservative, old men—and we are panicking.
We’ve made our bed politically with a man who is antithetical to every word and deed of the life of Jesus in the Gospels, and since we can’t change him or risk severing those ties now—our only option is to rewrite the Jesus story; to retrofit him to the monster we’ve created.
We want a Christianity that secures our privilege, that hordes our power, that doesn’t require us to be at all confronted or inconvenienced by Jesus.
We will do anything to resist equality, curb diversity, and keep marginalized people where they are—even betray the very heart of the Gospels.
That is all we have time for. We hope we have shed some light and truth on Critical Race Theory, the Social Justice Movement, Intersectionality, and the other issues that are tearing the very fabric of our church apart. Now is the time to pray for God to enlighten His people with Truth and give them the courage and wisdom needed to stand up for it.
If want to read into this further, we will put some links to some excellent resources
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