Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
As the world goes through its twin convulsions of the coronavirus pandemic and racial discord, the world’s religious leaders have joined in the fray, offering everything from medical advice to proposals on police reform.
While there is nothing to preclude any citizen from offering his perspective on current issues, many so-called Christian leaders focus on worldly issues to the near-exclusion, or even the contradiction of the gospel message.
Some allow themselves to be tools of politicians, helping to push the exigent political narratives du jour. Others get entangled with popular social causes. And still others are so theologically bereft, callous, conniving and logically inconsistent that it boggles the mind.
Standing solidly in the last camp is the cynical opportunist J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
There was an article today in Fox News entitled “Southern Baptist president calls for members to declare: ‘Black lives matter’.” Following are some interesting excerpts:
“Southern Baptists, we need to say it clearly as a gospel issue: Black lives matter,” Greear said. “Of course black lives matter. Our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God. Black lives matter because Jesus died for them.”
My comment: I agree with Greear that our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God and that Jesus died for them. Every person is made in the image of God, and Christ died for every person.
But, Greear didn’t think that the fact that Christ died for everyone was essential when he was making his climb to ascend to the top of the SBC.
In a Christian post article entitled “Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says,” Greear made the following astounding claim:
In an interview with the Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn’t matter how many “points” of Calvinism one holds because “Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we’re not carrying it out, that’s just plain unfaithful.”…
“We only have so much ‘bandwidth’ as a Convention, so we should seek to be known for the Gospel and the Great Commission, not for a particular stance regarding Calvinism. What unites us is so much greater than what threatens to divide us. We are united by a Gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way,” Greear said.
My comment: One of those tenets of Calvinism that Greer references is limited atonement, the false teaching that Christ died only for the elect (those that He has chosen to believe in Him).
The horrific, false tenet of limited atonement would mean that some lives mean more to God than others. By extension, this would mean the only way that Christ could have died for them (the black lives that matter, or anyone else for that matter) is if He had chosen them to believe the gospel. This is a remarkable thing to gloss over in the name of unity. If it doesn’t really matter to Greear that people in his convention are teaching limited atonement, then it doesn’t matter to Greear whether or not they are teaching that Christ died for everyone.
Continuing, from today’s article in Fox News:
“And, oh by the way, let’s not respond by saying ‘all lives matter,'” Greear said.
My comment: Greear’s advice to his congregants (and readership) is politically expedient, in the same way that his comments about Calvinism were.
And, finally, from the today’s Fox article, one of the other members of the SBC elite weighed in:
“It is clear that change is imperative,” Dr. Ronnie Floyd, CEO and president of the SBC executive committee, told Fox News in a statement.
“We often find ourselves chasing after the winds of our own preferences, opinions, issues, and social media streams, but we must reimagine a new future together built around a unified Great Commission vision,” he said.
My comment: Ronnie Floyd, J.D. Greear, and the SBC teach a false gospel of eternal life by works. There may be unity in their worldly false gospel, but it has nothing to do with the Great Commission.
A good summary of the false gospel of the SBC can be found in the article linked below:
Southern Baptists Hold Lordship Salvation All-Star Event
In addition, both Greear and Floyd endorsed the false gospel message of Greg Laurie and his soCal Harvest event. See links to articles below:
Participating in Greg Laurie’s Evil Deeds
While worldly religious leaders scramble to get their ducks in a row and strike just the right political tone, the gospel seems to take a back seat. And while man’s perception of his greatest needs is ever-changing, his greatest need has always been eternal life through Christ Jesus.
So, without clearing it with J.D. Greear, or any focus groups, and without fear of the cancel culture, I will state unapologetically: Eternal life matters!
If you would like to know more about the gospel click here: The Gospel
Jason, to the extent anything in the Bible sounds masonic, it would only be because of the attempt by others to co-opt scripture, not vice versa.
The phrase “master builder” even occurs in the Bible (1 Corinthians 3:10). That too sounds masonic.
Chas, Lausanne is definitely ecumenical and has plenty of heretical ‘church leaders’. John Stott was the reformed Anglican who started the movement. Interesting they use the terminology (re: Stott) that he was a ‘chief architect’. Similar to the wording with the Masons.
We know darn well we cannot associate with false doctrines, but the big ‘ministries’ do. Speaks volumes. Billy Graham was one of the first with Stott. I believe Rick Warren. Somewhere you can see the signers. But basically the idea is a one world church.
Can you imagine signing a covenant with these people?
Chas, it’s not just you.
The “sinner’s prayer” is not biblical and this particular one gives the false impression that one must give his life to Christ” in order to receive the feee gift of eternal life.
That “conference” sounds very ecumenical. There is little chance that all of those groups would coalesce under the true gospel.
Well, just when I think I’ve maybe seen all the LS groups there are, I find a new one. While waiting to hear the President’s ID4 message at Mount Rushmore, I was listening to the on-air talent of RSBN talking about where they were staying in the area. They mentioned Keystone Lodge, and that there was a group called The Keystone Project headquartered there which “spreads the love of God throughout the world”. So I went a-Googling.
Forgive me if you’ve heard of it before, but it’s new to me. Seems this Keystone Project is “an interdenominational and multicultural network of churches and leaders that is unified in the essentials of the Christian faith and diverse in the nonessentials.” (sic) Apparently, one of their “essentials” is this:
The Lausanne Covenant (LC) is a 15 point statement of faith of sorts. On the website, there is this proud proclamation:
And then this bit of arrogance:
Under point #4 “The Nature of Evangelism”, it is stated in part:
The LC mentions the need for “repentance” a lot but I could find no explanation of what that is. From the general tone of the statement it appears that they mean “turning from sin” or some undefined degree of “commitment” or some-such. There seems to be a heavy dose of LS in the LC.
Given that the Keystone Project “has trained leaders from over 150 denominations, including Baptist, Pentecostal, Coptic, Roman Catholic, Dispensational, Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican, and non-denominational”, the LS content doesn’t surprise me. It is confirmed in the “testimony” of the Keystone Project’s president, Richard W. Greene. Recounting his own “Personal Journey of Faith” he says:
Greene seems oblivious to the fact that he did try to make a deal of a sort with God; Greene’s life for His life.
Further down Greene gives his “sinner’s prayer”:
Get that? “Okay ‘Lord’, let’s do a trade!”
Is that believing in Christ’s sacrifice, without “demands, deals or conditions”? Doesn’t sound like it to me. Or is that just me?
Holly, I have noticed the same thing. The corporate, church, and government mantras are almost indistinguishable from one another.
I notice more and more churches are moving in the social gospel, good works direction. And are joining in calling evil good and replacing darkness for light and bitter for sweet.
Holly, agree. The dominionists/Kingdom Now folks are helping with the move toward one world religion.
Another thought. Some of the Kingdom Now people are into these same kinds of declarations. They think they’re bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. I think this is just a taste of what we’re going to see with a one-world religion.
Jason, agree that eternal life matters and that one’s works cannot contribute to the free gift of eternal life.
In the US, there is no risk for religious grifters who go with the political winds. They are indistinguishable from corporations and politicians in that regard.
A Nigerian made this comment to me: “Jason…The killings in Nigeria is even greater than the killings in the U.S.A. Every life matters but the positive impact one makes in life matters most. Nigeria needs a Saviour!!!”
Among the sad things that is he referring to is the fact that their police stop, frisk, and shoot for wearing dreadlocks. The hashtag EndSARS has trended. And of course, there’s Bokkko Haram. Their corrupt president is one of the Black Lives Matter hypocrites.
I replied with: “Eternal life matters”, the hashtag FreeGraceNow, and a link to this article. I worry that the “Savior” he is referring to is a political leader. Impact in this life has absolutely nothing to do with having eternal life.
Jason, it may in some people. To me, all they offer is bad news.
Calvinism feeds liberal dementia, the feeling of entitlement.
Holly, very good point.
Johninnc, I’ve always said they can find common ground with their description of being chosen, and their mischaracterization of God. Making Him the author of evil, they can easily find common ground with darkness.
John, well said.
Having been raised in an SBC church, I have noticed that there has been a growing emphasis on collective salvation, or “redeeming the culture”, rather than personal redemption from eternal judgment by faith alone in Christ alone. It seems to have coincided with the Calvinists’ efforts to increase their number and influence in the SBC since the ‘80s. Now you would be hard-pressed to find a pastor in any SBC church, large or small, who is not at least tolerant of LS.
Keith, Calvinism/LS is focused on works as conditions for, or evidence of eternal life. As such, its proponents have bought into the world system, in which they become the ministers of whatever is important now. The social gospel and marxist utopian visions may be the logical end of this madness. And, as we know, anytime one puts a qualifier in front of a word, it becomes something else. The social gospel is not the gospel.
The internal theological frictions in the SBC, which are superficially based on the degree to which people identify as Calvinists, are being smoothed over. The Calvinist tenet of perseverance of the saints is in the DNA of the SBC as far back as I can find. The main theological disagreement in the SBC has been over whether God chooses who will believe, and hence, whether or not Christ died for everyone. The SBC is trying to iron out that wrinkle, because they want political and economic strength in numbers.
J.D. Greear is the youngest person ever elected as president of the SBC. He was elected to that role in 2018. We began covering him in 2013, as his spurious theology became a prominent part of the SBC PR machine.
Interesting article, John. Calvinism/LS inevitably lead to political correctness and the social gospel, and ultimately, Marxism. We’re seeing it being played out in the largest evangelical denomination in the world.
Chas, thanks for your encouragement. It seems like a slogan that all Christians would agree with.
Finally, a slogan I can agree with!
Great article, johninnc.
Holly, I agree we should desire the salvation of all men, because that is what God desires. But, Calvinism/LS has permeated the SBC and its leadership. Greear seems to deftly surf whatever political wave comes along.
I saw that today Johninnc.
Thank you for your article. I also saw many similar arguments back and forth between the slogan of the group (which unfortunately many chapters are inciting riots) and those who don’t like what they’re seeing as an outcome from these riots which are full of all sorts of evil and darkness.
I am not surprised one bit by J.D. Greear, I was expecting a similar response. I wonder if he came out and denounced the church for their slave ownership.
I know none of that is really the issue, the interesting thing is the link between the elect and being prejudiced. It’s a real similar thing in so many ways. The end result that we should all desire is the salvation of lost men. But until they get it right, they are just going to make more converts to Calvinism I’m afraid.
Kathy, thanks for your encouragement!
“Eternal life matters!” – AMEN!