By Elizabeth Prata
Three years ago this week, a group of Christian men gathered in Texas to hammer out a Statement to affirm the Gospel and to deny the social justice movement. The Social Justice Movement (SJ) and its philosophies had been infiltrating into evangelical churches. The result was a published “Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel“.
The same week, Todd Friel of Wretched.org published an absorbing video called “The Gathering Storm: A Split in the Reformed World“. In it, Friel made the prediction that race would be the issue that bubbles to the surface in the basket of issues social justice covers, and would be the fault line that splits believers in the faith from each other. He predicted that race issues would become the ground for schism.
They were right. Those men hammering out the Statement on Social Justice statement were:
Front row L-R, John MacArthur, Michael O’Fallon, James White, Craig Mitchell, Justin Peters, Josh Buice, Phil Johnson, Anthony Mathenia.
Back Row, L-R: Todd Friel, Tom Ascol, Jeremy Vuolo, Voddie Baucham, Tim Challies, Tom Buck
Now you know who to follow.
PASTOR, GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH
DIRECTOR, ALPHA AND OMEGA MINISTRIES
JUSTIN PETERS MINISTRIES / KOOTENAI COMMUNITY CHURCH
SR. PASTOR, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH LINDALE
GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH / TMS STUDENT
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, SOVEREIGN NATIONS
PASTOR, CHRIST CHURCH
PRESIDENT, ETHICS AND POLITICAL ECONOMY CENTER
What IS “social justice”?
There was a huge push for social gospel work in missions then that began in the very late 1800s and reached its peak in the 1910s and began to wane after WWI.
The premise of the work was that if missionaries or lay-Christians in their everyday environments could show the love of God in doing good, rectifying deplorable conditions, it would spark an attraction to Jesus in the recipients of the benevolence. Moreover, if the hindrances to faith are removed, i.e. that if the recipients did not have to worry as much about their next meal or getting coal or firewood to stay alive, it would also spark an interest in Jesus.
I wrote about social justice often in 2018, here is one of my essays titled It is true that the Prodigal Son only needed a sandwich and a bed? that outlines the issues. Out of the Social Justice basket of problems (poverty, education, race, inequality, alcoholism, crime, war…) has risen one particular issue: race, just as had been predicted.
The leaders above were ahead of the curve. How did they know the mess that social justice, critical race theory, and LGBT issues would seek to destroy the faith? How were they so prescient? They are strong in biblical knowledge. They stand on the word. Doing so gives an eye-opening ability to clearly distinguish doctrines of demons and the doctrine of our Holy Lord. Being so embedded in the word of God gives an ability to see patterns in human behavior over time, philosophies and fads that rise and fall, and rise again.
The lengthy ministries of most of these men, their character unblemished by scandal, and their warnings years ago about the infiltration of these issues, have proven themselves true. Here are some resources if you feel led to research social justice, critical race theory, or other race or social issues contributing to the confusion of the one and only mission Christians have: witness to the Gospel, preach the Good News, and make disciples in His name.
Articles related to each part of the sections of the Statement on Social Justice.
This 2017 article from a site I’m unfamiliar with, The Conversation, gives a succinct overview of the history of the social justice movement, and extends into predictions for the future:
Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and “Woke” Christianity: video explaining the issues very well
Critical Race Theory vs. Real Racism part 2 of the above, video
The Gathering Storm: A Split in the Reformed World, Todd Friel of Wretched