In response to events like MLK50 and T4G and the increasing preoccupation of the churches with “social justice” and “woke theology,” a group out of Dallas purporting to represent a more classically Reformed point of view issued the Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel. But it too has had some conspicuous detractors such as John MacArthur, JD Hall, and John Frame, et al., who also see themselves as custodians of the Reformed tradition. And a larger margin have kept their silence, no doubt for fear of the SJW doxing mobs. But the general body of the Reformed and evangelical world seem to have bowed the knee.
The preamble to the work is actually quite good. It affirms orthodoxy and condemns the revolutionary winds of zeitgeist. As does Denial 1 (1-D): “we deny that the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory are consistent with biblical teaching.”
But Affirmation 2 (2-A) breaks the opposite direction: “We affirm that God created every person equally in his own image. As divine image-bearers, all people have inestimable value and dignity before God and deserve honor, respect and protection. Everyone has been created by God and for God.”
While Scripture teaches all mankind is equally human, and therefore image-bearers, it does not in any way teach that all are equal manifestations of that image. Quite the opposite, it tells us some, even prior to conversion, are “more noble-minded” (Acts 17:11) than others. And some are redundantly singled out as ‘terrible peoples’ (e.g. Isa. 18:2, 7) who, even post-conversion, may retain some especially “bestial” characteristics (Tit. 1:12).
‘Inestimable value and dignity’ for all which demands ‘honor, respect and protection’? This notion cannot comport with the cherem curse over Canaan. Neither can it cohere with the doctrines of hell, or permissibility of capital punishment – nor any penology, for that matter. Every punishment and honor requires an estimation of finite and differentiable dignities and deserts.
This point is a denial of God’s sovereign election of men to temporal and eternal inequalities between souls. And to affirm it is to affirm antinomianism, pacifism, and Universalist Unitarianism.
And where 1-D asserts all to have equal claim to honor, respect, and protection, 2-D says these rightly remain differentiated and unequal under God, and the only equality under consideration is their common humanity (imago Dei). So 2-D disagrees with 1-A on this subject.
A-3 rightly says that living justly in the world “includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due.”
But the very next sentence reads, “societies must establish laws to correct injustices that have been imposed through cultural prejudice.” Which in light of the contemporary discussion, is a transparent endorsement of affirmative action, reparations, abolition of national borders, forced integration of families, total wealth redistribution, and the general singling out of Whites for social/legal/economic subordination.
I suppose we should be relieved that 3-D immediately repudiates 3-A. But the pattern of incoherence emerging is as disconcerting as it is comical.
4-A and 4-D on God’s Law are excellent resolves. Albeit in direct conflict with the overall tenor of this creed. Which gives us the uncanny impression that the authors are attempting to hallow bloody folly by swaddling it with clean linens.
Apart from the agenda stalking this discussion, 5-A would be an acceptable, if somewhat sloppy, statement. But in said context, “There is no difference in the condition of sinners due to age, ethnicity, or sex,” it reads as a sleight of hand to fudge a basis for social egalitarianism.
But 5-D broaches an interesting topic: “Although families, groups, and nations can sin collectively, and cultures can be predisposed to particular sins … we deny that one’s ethnicity establishes any necessary connection to any particular sin.”
This is an acknowledgement that there are a multiplicity of cultures and, therefore, preponderances to certain sins, which appertain organically to certain lineages; which is set against the countervailing reality — though a son inherit his father’s inclination to certain sins, he cannot be held culpable in the civil realm for the crimes of his father. (Deut. 24:16; Ezek. 18:20)
We agree on both scores. But these are at loggerheads with 3-A, which grants all manner of ethnic reparationism and revanchist policies against Whites.
6-A defines the gospel in an Arminian — which is to say synergistic — fashion.
6-D yields this morsel: “implications and applications of the gospel, such as the obligation to live justly in the world, though legitimate and important in their own right, are not definitional components of the gospel.”
However, the only purpose served in this phrasing is to grant the legitimacy of ‘social justice’ as a legitimate implication and application of the gospel, thereby implicitly defining ‘social justice’ as genuine fruit of the Spirit. And once that is smuggled in, the next domino to fall will be to note that apart from fruit of the Spirit, no one is acknowledged as practicing the Christian faith. Which will necessarily result in excommunication of all who do not pursue the objectives of cultural Marxism.
7-A says, “Every believer is united to Christ, justified before God, and adopted into his family. Thus, in God’s eyes there is no difference in spiritual value or worth among those who are in Christ.”
No one denies that all believers are saved in the same manner, and are in that sense “without distinction,” but the above statement seems to intend much more than this. It suggests that God’s favor is without gradation or degree.
But what then of John “whom Jesus loved”? And of David, “a man after God’s own heart”? No, the Scripture clearly teaches some store up more crowns and riches in heaven than others, and a select few are given thrones. Some are counted as “pillars,” and others still as “paving stones” to denote their variegated classes and stations. Heaven is not a commune of mandatory equality. It is stratified and hierarchical.
To say otherwise is to deny that Christ sits at the right hand of His Father, as well as to deny the Creator/creature distinction. In truth, to deny the inequalities of heaven is to profess monism. Abject heresy.
7-D says, “We further deny that ethnicity excludes anyone from understanding the gospel…”
In one sense this is true. God can cause donkeys and stones to cry out if He deigns to do so. But this is nonetheless a foolish statement. Because in Scripture God cursed to reprobation whole ethnicities as ethnicities. And even in the present tribes such as the Pirahã prove as of yet incapable of comprehending the basic concepts of Christianity. Whether or not God may yet bring forth some remnant from amongst them remains to be seen, but there can be no doubt that He has ordained certain ethnic handicaps to them and other peoples for the express purpose of condemning those lines. And that for His own glory.
Ethnicity may not technically exclude anyone from comprehending the gospel, but God has withheld comprehension thereof from many on an ethnic basis. But so does He withhold understanding from many born with severe retardation. All of these things are means in His hands.
Every work of Reformed systematics this writer has ever encountered includes sections on anthropology which posit man as existing in a dualism of being — flesh and spirit. And all agree that both these hemispheres in man affect the other. This section of the SSJ&G seems to impugn this mainstay of orthodox anthropology.
8-A is sound, but 8-D waxes heavily R2K/retreatist, if not quasi-monastic. While the institutional church is fenced into its own operational sphere of jurisdiction, the Church (as covenanted clans and nations) is obliged to extend God’s order in society.
Of course, the social dominion taken for granted in SSJ&G is Marxist revolution. But they seem intent on pacification rather than directly rebuking that zeitgeist pervading the churches today.
9-A is a good definition of heresy, but the presumption of ‘social justice’ as valid fruit does “destroy the weight-bearing doctrines of the redemptive core of Scripture.” Because ‘social justice’ condemns all orthodox White Christians as heretics for not seeking the destruction of our people, nations, countries, families, private property, and selves. In the worldview of “woke Christianity” salvation is defined as conformity to the vicissitudes of liberal zeitgeist in Jesus’s name.
10-A is a fabulous statement on marriage. But the stances otherwise taken in this same document undermine it entirely. And so undermined, they will not be able to hold the line in this area because they have already conceded it in principle in other categories.
10-D is almost as good as 10-A. But even if otherwise opposing the SJWs on sexuality, the closing statement concedes the case to them entirely: “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.”
First, objecting to the mathematical reality that sodomites are ‘sexual minorities’ is an absurd rampart to die on. But it belies the fact that those who drafted this statement otherwise hold ‘minorities’ as a sacrosanct status in the Church. And that’s the whole shootin’ match, folks.
Even if complementarianism has proven such a covert door to feminism, 11-A and 11-D are both good statements on the economy of marriage. Albeit the section should have been titled “Patriarchy”.
12-A throws in wholly with the hard Left: “’Race’ is not a biblical category, but rather a social construct…” Full stop. That is nonsense. Henry, Calvin, Augustine, and just about every Christian luminary past wrote in terms of races. Because the concept precedes them in Scripture — specifically in terms like genos, which is alternately translated “a people, folk, or race”. Truth be told, the notion that race is a social construct is itself a social construct. And of very recent liberal mintage.
And to object to it on the grounds that it “classif[ies] groups of people in terms of inferiority and superiority” directly contradicts the sentence following it: “All that is good, honest, just, and beautiful in various ethnic backgrounds and experiences can be celebrated as the fruit of God’s grace.” Clearly, if different ethnicities are admitted to have different strengths, some groups are superior to others in those capacities. And to dissemble on the point is either double-strength cognitive dissonance or craven dishonesty.
And 12-D is an absolute disaster: “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.”
For sake of brevity, suffice it to say, no, Christians do not hold considerations of race to be ‘above or equal to our identity in Christ’, but rather, like our family identities, confluent with it. Because God organized the world in this way, codified the same in the national life of OT Israel, and in the NT the nations/ethne are covenanted to God as such (Matt. 28:19). And the aforementioned ‘strengths and beauties’ (12-A) of the races are revealed to be inheritances entrusted to us by God. They are the glories which the nations bring into Zion (Rev. 21:26). So that ethno/racial distinction is, according to St. Paul, the God-ordained platform for the care and nurture of true religion (Acts 17:27).
As we bear witness today of the antithesis (integration), orthodoxy is everywhere being extinguished by that revolutionary agenda. The SSJ&G overture itself is an attempt to mitigate the damage being wrought by that very thing. Yet its authors lobby for more of the same.
And to ‘deny that any divisions between people groups … have any legitimate place’ not only condemns the existence of races, but also national citizenship, families, and all other categories of identity. It is the faith of the Gulag.
Incidentally, it is also validates female pastors, ‘gay marriage’, and the whole LGBTQ agenda. What is gender/sex if not a biological group, after all?
Moreover, you cannot assert on one hand that historical wrongs against ethnicities are to be ‘confessed as sin and repented of’ while claiming on the other that it is illicit to identify the parties involved. Among other things, this amounts to an anathema on the study of all history.
But this is a happy dilemma as it crystallizes the choice before us. Either the churches will concede in full to zeitgeist on the matter, condemning White people and demanding their extinction, or we shall have history, nations, families, safe communities, and a return to orthodoxy. We will either have racially diverse churches or retain orthodox Christianity, but we cannot have both.
This whole controversy only underscores the fact that Christian nationalism is the order which fosters peace in Church and society. Because the alternative — integration — forced on us only in the past couple decades is literally disassembling (via deconstructionism) the Faith and decimating the visible Church before our eyes.
13-A’s stance that some cultures are superior and others inferior is refreshing, but it begs the question utterly. Not only do non-Whites uniformly repudiate the idea that the historic Christian culture of Europeans is superior, they nigh unanimously condemn it as heresy and the greatest evil the world has ever known. So any attempt to avoid moral relativism or declining to confess historic Christendom morally inferior to all dusky heathen cultures ends in direct conflict with the deepest held convictions of POCs in the Church.
13-B will be endorsed by all sides, but only because its phraseology acts as a cypher in the mind of every reader. And if it is seen as endorsing all sides of an argument between mutually exclusive positions, it is of no proximate use in the discussion.
14-A is rotten top to bottom, but it all hinges on this opening predicate: “We affirm that racism is a sin rooted in pride and malice which must be condemned and renounced by all who would honor the image of God in all people.”
In response to which, we offer J.D. Hall’s counter-question: “Why are we operating from a lexicon created by Marxists?” (Pulpit & Pen Polemics Report 9/13/18)
Fact is, the term ‘racism’ (racistov) coined by Trotsky (c. 1930) was born as a Marxist hex leveled singularly at White Christian nations and cast all our traditional virtues of love of country, nation, community, family, heritage, folk, and folkways as ultimate evil. But this term would not gain traction in American vernacular until the 1960s – incidentally, at the zenith of secular/New Age cultural revolution. And only after having been embraced by all quarters of humanism would the new sin category be taken up by conservative Protestants — dead last, and only in concession to zeitgeist.
But the churches’ acquiescence to this term stems also from the fact that Christianity had no equivalent term in our theological toolbox. Because we had no equivalent concept. No matter how many ‘woke’ sermons the callow or cowardly have churned out in recent months, ‘racism’ is a sin which none of our Reformed exegetes past, nor the church fathers, saw condemned in Scripture. It is the central mind-weapon of cultural Marxism, and the foremost “vain imagining which exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5) in our time.
14-D begins with a tautology: “We deny that treating people with sinful partiality or prejudice is consistent with biblical Christianity.” Aside from telling us these fellows need a proofreader, it only begs the question. Because the question of what sorts of partiality are sinful is the very matter at issue. Some sorts, such as preference for one’s own parents, spouse, children, clan, folk, congregation, and other households of the faith are virtues in Scripture.
And saying, “We deny that the Bible can be legitimately used to foster or justify partiality, prejudice, or contempt toward other ethnicities” is to simultaneously ignore and indict Moses (Deut. 23:2-6; Lev. 21:14; 25:39-46), Isaiah (Isa. 2:6; 18:2, 7), Jeremiah (Jer. 13), Ezekiel (Ezek. 16:45-46), Solomon (Prov. 5:10; Eccl. 6:1-2), Nehemiah (Neh. 9:2), Ezra (Ez. 9), Zechariah (Zech. 9:6), Paul (Rom. 9:3; Tit. 1:10-16) and Christ Himself (Matt. 15:26; Lk. 17:18, etc.).
They also “deny that the contemporary evangelical movement has any deliberate agenda to elevate one ethnic group and subjugate another.” Which, in light of the desperate social promotion of minorities to leadership and incessant calls for the marginalization of White men in the churches, is either a statement of rarest ignorance, or the most common of lies.
The statement concludes, “Historically, such things [focus on social issues] tend to become distractions that inevitably lead to departures from the gospel.” Though a lukewarm plea for moderation, this resolve still winks at the social ethics of zeitgeist driving all traditional/biblical ethics into the catacombs. And excuse me, but the whole jumble of egalitarianism, leveling, liberationism, and cultural Marxism do not only ‘tend to become distractions that lead to’ suppression of the gospel – they are that suppression immediately by definition.
Whatever the disagreements between T4G, MLK50, and the Dallas Statement, if the faith they seem to hold in common is said to be genuine Christianity, then Christianity never existed before the past couple decades. For the dogmas they are holding forth as the Christian faith were embraced nowhere and at no time until the cusp of the twenty-first century.
In fact, the Church did not begin to talk of racial integration as any imperative of the Faith until decades after the secular state forced it on us against what was at the time a unified opposition on our part. And the OPC, PCA, URC, and SBC, have stumbled upon this supposed ‘essential of the faith’ only as of the last ten years.
To embrace this new ‘woke’ faith is to excommunicate all our Christian fathers and proclaim Christianity absent from the earth until sometime between the ministries of MLK and Obama.
Let that sink in.
By His Grace,
The Remnant, 2018