MARK DEVER AND 9MARKS JONATHAN LEEMAN DISCUSS POLITICS & LEEMAN’S FABIAN SOCIALIST EDUCATION AT LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
By Thomas Littleton 11/15/18
In an event at the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention, Mark Dever, the founder of 9MARKS and pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC, took on the topic of politics with pastors. The subject was addressed by featuring a book, How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics for a Divided Age; and the event itself was titled “Nations Raging Church Unchanging.”
The guest on the two-man panel was 9MARKS editor, Jonathan Leeman. Free copies of the book were provided for all who attended. Leeman’s bio at The Gospel Coalition reads:
“Jonathan Leeman is an elder at Cheverly Baptist Church in suburban Washington, DC, editorial director for 9Marks, and the author of How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics for a Divided Age (Thomas Nelson). You can follow him on Twitter at @JonathanLeeman.”
“RETHINKING” – THE LANGUAGE OF CHANGE AGENTS
(Biblical warning against philosophical arguments :Colossians 2:6-10
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding [d]in it with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone [e]cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead [f]bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all [g]principality and power.)
Dever began the discussion by asking the pastors a question: “If you have found the last two years more challenging in ministry because of politics then please stand. I would be standing with you.” Ironically, only one person of those in view of the camera stood up. The event appeared to be addressing a problem that does not exist among those in the audience. Undeterred by the weak response, the event moved forward. Dever and Leeman appear to have planned the event as their contribution to the rhetorical chorus of Russell Moore and his underlings at the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, who have been exhorting Southern Baptists to unhinge themselves from the Republican Party and allow themselves to think outside the conservative political box. The menacing word “Rethink” was employed to persuade the attendees that it’s time to reconsider their politics “for the sake of the Gospel.” The stage for further discussion was set by a nasty inhouse tweet from 9MARKS leadership concerning the appearance of Vice President Mike Pence at the Convention. Overlapping his editorial work for The Gospel Coalition, Leeman tweeted:
June 13 ·
In a follow-up article, perhaps to explain away his rude tweet, Leeman presented four points for publication by the Gospel Coalition titled “Truth, Power and Pence at The SBC.” Though he asserts he remains neutral about Pence, it is hard to imagine Leeman’s tone would have been the same were he not breathing the air of the “Never Trump” culture of progressives in the SBC leadership. Leeman’s article suggests that politicians should not be in the pulpit but in the pew. The presence of Pence on the platform at the SBC “undermines the evangelistic and prophetic witness, tempts us to misconstrue our mission, subverts the gospel purposes to the purpose of that political party, and hurts the unity of Christ body.” Leeman does not, however, have a problem with a political science major and economics editor, like himself, expressing his political views to SBC ministers on the 9MARKS stage.
Another 9MARKS affiliated pastor, Dever disciple and ERLC Council member, Garrett Kell, had proposed an amendment to one of the resolutions coming to a vote on the floor—an amendment to have the Vice President disinvited the day before he was to speak. The coordinated anti-Trump, anti-GOP tone revealed a desire to influence SBC messengers and pastors on the subject of politics and a brazen intent to alter political sentiments away from their standard conservative social and moral moorings toward Social Justice progressivism. More on that in a moment.
Little information about Leeman was published in his official 9MARKS bio, only that prior to coming to 9MARKS he worked as editor for an unnamed economic magazine in Washington D.C. However, 11 minutes into the video Mark Dever made a startling revelation: “Jonathan has a Masters in Political Philosophy from the London School of Economics. It’s very dangerous for him to answer a question (from the audience). You’re going to get bored really fast.…” As Dever tried to laugh off and preempt the likelihood of a lengthy answer he, in fact, made a startling revelation. The 9MARKS editor’s book is not simply a gospel look at politics and voting patterns in the SBC. Indeed, Devers friend and editor is a skilled marksman in political philosophy. There is more behind the talking points than 9MARKS’ Reformed Theology.
ROOTS OF LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND GOALS OF ITS POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Leeman does have theological degrees but his Masters level degree and education at the London School of Economics calls for a closer look into the shaping and source of his politics and political rhetoric. The famed London School of Economics is a Fabian Socialist institution, according to the Fabian Society archives held at the LSE which was founded by the radical Fabian Socialists in 1895.
“Today, the society and the LSE continue to work closely together. The London School of Economics holds the Fabian Society archives including extensive correspondence and early photographs of Fabian Society events. It is also home to the Fabian window, a stained-glass image of early Fabians, designed by George Bernard Shaw.”
The Fabian Society coat of arms in the window of the LSE is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Its stated mission: “The Fabian Society is a British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow.
According to its website, “The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a world class centre for its concentration of teaching and research across the full range of the social, political and economic sciences. Founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, LSE has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence”
More information on LSE / Fabian Society is available in these sources:
https://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/george-bernard-shaw-1856-1950-and-the-fabian-society ß Libertarian org co-sponsored by Acton Institute
https://www.amazon.com/Third-Way-Politics-Century-Pamphlets/dp/0716305887 — author is Tony Blair
WORKING THE CROWD
Leeman’s response to Dever and a question about the Augustinian two parallel Kingdoms was to assert that he sees all things in black and white terms – those who love and serve God and those who love and serve themselves. Somehow, Leeman intended to blend the Third Way Rhetoric of his Fabian Socialist education into this SBC discussion of politics without anyone noticing. For the remainder of the meeting, Dever and Leeman took questions from the audience of Pastors and ping ponged the discussion between themselves, covering topics like “how to pray for the government,” “Voter guides,” “community service,” “racism,”— all pointing the pastors to a Social Justice position as a sort of Third Way middle ground that is “biblical.” Leeman then brought up the issues that “polarize Right and Left Christians.”
“SINGLE ISSUE VOTING/VOTERS” REFERS TO THOSE POOR BELIEVERS THAT CLING TO FIGHTING ABORTION
At minute 48, Dever asked the Golden Ticket question into progressive voting patterns for their followers in the SBC: “What about single issues voting.” By this Dever was echoing his fellow change agents in the ERLC and TGC. Among evangelicals, Pro- Life Voters are their single biggest obstacle to social change in the Church. Dever therefore asserted that one issue voting is the root of the racial divide he proports to exist among white and black Christians.
“African American Christian voters realized a long time ago that there are going to be a bunch of different issues affecting us. So I can support a candidate I don’t agree with on some issues, which nothing may get done about anyway, because I do agree on other issues where they can help do something. Can we, even if we don’t accept the position ourselves, can we make room for that in our church as a morally legitimate argument and option?”
Dever added, “Many white Christians act like that [single issue voting] is the only morally legitimate way of voting … I would certainly like to question that.”
Of course, if you have not figured out that the one issue Dever is talking around is the fight to end Abortion, the puzzlement is about to end.
HOW A THIRD WAY SOCIALIST SOUNDS TRYING TO TALK CHRISTIANS OUT OF VOTING PRO-LIFE
Leeman made his pitch by asserting that “one of Satan’s greatest successes is dividing majority /minority Christians politically through that particular issue.” He finally named – or nearly named “that issue” as being the pro-life problem. The dance around the issue was exhausting as Leeman made his case for a Third Way compromise:
“Satan is psyched over the issue [having achieved the divide]. He sees division in the church and that we don’t trust each other. You’re voting for them? [pro-choice] You must not care about justice. I don’t even know if you love Jesus, right? I question your Christianity, and just rank division in the church. [Leeman indicated the conflict is like fist to fist combat. Again, Leeman asserted,] “This is where we have to allow for Christian freedom. Remember Romans 14 and differently calibrated consciences and that we are united around the gospel and not around how I make my decision on who or who not to vote for.
”So I can understand how a person might, and I might not agree with it, but I can understand how a person might decide, ‘Well, look I’m not pro-life but there have been Republican pro-life quote/unquote candidates in the White House for the last number of decades and the laws haven’t been overturned and, meanwhile, I think that, let’s just say, hypothetically, that the welfare policies of these candidates actually decreased the number of abortions in such an such a state and actually brought the number of abortions down and so, although they are pro-choice, I think they have actually helped the abortion issues as apposed to your Republican candidates. I might not personally agree with that argument. I might say that is wrong for reasons x, y and z. Nonetheless, I can understand how a Christian can in good conscience make that argument. Therefore, I am going to leave space for that particular option for Christians. Unlike, and now it’s possible we get to an issue of ‘I’m going to vote for a pro -Nazi or a pro Klu Klux Klan candidate, a Communist Party candidate in China, well I’m going to restrict a bit more. There are parties, there are candidates that I think are beyond the pale… but we are still in a place in America where we are in a two-party system where Christians in good conscience can make two different kinds of arguments and we need to leave space for that. …If we don’t, we risk subverting Christianity and the Gospel to Party identity—and how’s that going for us? Not very good I don’t think.”
Dever closes with his opinion that one of the “glorious opportunities” the pastors in the audience have is to follow Jonathan Leeman’s Third Way compromise on abortion for the sake of church unity. “…you can build the kind of love and unity that the unbelieving world around you does not understand. And I think that in an increasingly fractured society, and I think there are economic motives behind that, and that they learn how to sell the base either direction, and they milk it, and they get money, they sell data. I think there are a lot of powerful forces pulling us apart. And I think the local church is on the very front lines of displaying a unity in Christ that transcends those decisions. So, brother pastor, of all people, you must learn how to communicate with people who disagree with you on secondary and tertiary matters and part of that is deciding what those issues are you have to agree on and what you disagree about and THAT is where having a plurality of elders will help your local church. Have a plurality of elders in that single site, single service church that meets on the Lord’s day… do that and that plurality of elders will help you be discerning about what issues you should or should not allow liberty in.”
POLITICS IN 9MARKS SWEET SPOT
Dever and Leeman have just taken an hour with several hundred pastors at the SBC Dallas conference and moved them away from conservative Christian values – accused them of racism for voting conservatively, increased their suspicion of conservative candidates and warped the narrative of moral issues to the point of embracing the genocide perpetrated by the pro-abortion lobby that the last pro-choice president funded with half a billion dollars per year of taxpayer $$$. Clever Dever and his London School of Economics Fabian Socialist-trained editor have just nuanced these pastors (perhaps your pastor was among them) toward the Third Way Sweet Spot of false social justice progressivism.
Putting this in to non-nuanced terms, Leeman and Dever are saying that to be a staunch pro-life supporter / voter means we are playing into Satan’s hands to bring about racial division. You are causing the racial divide and enabling the cause of Satan in the church. Being pro-life means you are a divider. Dever then wraps up the squeeze play by asserting that it is the calling of pastors to decide these issues for their flocks and with the help of a “plurality of elders” they can decide what to allow, and not to allow, their congregations to carry convictional stands on. Clearly, in the Dever-Leeman world, pro-life is not allowed to be such a conviction for Christian Voters. Welfare, Healthcare, Racial Reconciliation – these are the real issues for believers or the ones they will allow you to have.
WHO GOT PLAYED?
In the close of Leeman’s anti-Pence article for TGC he asked the question, “To my Southern Baptist brothers and sisters, whom I love: how would you say we’ve been doing lately at speaking up against the powers that be? Or here’s another question: is it possible we just got played?”
Given what happened in SBC Dallas 2018 Convention on the 9MARKS stage with a leading SBC pastor and his Fabian Socialist-trained political philosopher, it is far more likely the SBC itself was being played, and whose pastors are being led like sheep to the recruiting offices of the agents of social change.
The Fabian Society was founded by members of the British Eugenics Society whose socialist agenda involved population control for “race betterment.” A co-founder of the Fabian Society, Havelock Ellis, was also president of the Eugenics Education Society and the mentor of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Recommended sources on the collaboration of the Fabian Society, LSE, Eugenics Society and Planned Parenthood:
“Part of the strategy of the Fabian Society for gaining power gradually was infiltration and replacement. It sought allies in the universities, Churches, and newspapers, trained speakers, writers, and politicians, and indoctrinated young scholars who would eventually infiltrate educational institutions, government agencies, and political parties to promote Fabian socialism. For example, Henry Hutchinson, a Derby Fabian, left a generous sum of money (£20,000) to the Society for ‘propaganda and other purposes,’ which was ‘used by the Webbs, Graham Wallas and [George Bernard] Shaw to found a research institute to provide proof positive of the collectivist ideal.’
“In 1895 the Webbs, Shaw, and Wallas set up this institute as a branch of the University of London, called the ‘London School of Economics and Political Science’ (LSE). According to Kerry Bolton it ‘provides an influential means by which Big Business can foster its [Fabian Society] aims’ … According to the UK Fabian Society’s own website, ‘[t]oday, the Fabian Society and the LSE continue to work closely together.’…
“According to Bolton, a friend of Ernest Cassel (1852-1921), Lord Haldane, said: ‘Our object is to make this institution a place to raise and train the bureaucracy of the future Socialist state’ (Bolton, p. 102)”
“Socialism also brings us up against a hard rock of eugenic fact which, if we neglect it, will dash our most beautiful construction to fragments.” (p. 150)
“Still, whether we like it or not, the task of speeding up the decrease of the human population becomes increasingly urgent.” (p. 176)
Havelock Ellis (Wikipedia)
“Havelock Ellis (1859- 1939), was an English physician, writer, progressive intellectual and social reformer who studied human sexuality. He was co-author of the first medical textbook in English on homosexuality in 1897, and also published works on a variety of sexual practices and inclinations, as well as transgender psychology. He is credited with introducing the notions of narcissism and autoeroticism, later adopted by psychoanalysis. Like many intellectuals of his era, he supported eugenics and he served as president of the Eugenics Society…
“He joined The Fellowship of the New Life in 1883, meeting other social reformers Eleanor Marx, Edward Carpenter and George Bernard Shaw…
“Ellis was a supporter of eugenics, in line with many others of that era. He served as vice-president to the Eugenics Education Society and wrote on the subject, among others, in The Task of Social Hygiene:
“Eventually, it seems evident, a general system, whether private or public, whereby all personal facts, biological and mental, normal and morbid, are duly and systematically registered, must become inevitable if we are to have a real guide as to those persons who are most fit, or most unfit to carry on the race.
“The superficially sympathetic man flings a coin to the beggar; the more deeply sympathetic man builds an almshouse for him so he need no longer beg; but perhaps the most radically sympathetic of all is the man who arranges that the beggar shall not be born.”
“The American Eugenics Society (AES) was established in 1922, as a result of the Second International Conference on Eugenics that took place in New York in 1921. … Prominent members and sponsors include J.P. Morgan, Jr., Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle, Margaret Sanger, and John H. Kellogg… After Roe v. Wade in 1972, the society was reformatted as ‘The Society for the Study of Social Biology’…”
“While researching information on contraception, Sanger read treatises on sexuality including The Psychology of Sex by the English psychologist Havelock Ellis and was heavily influenced by it. While traveling in Europe in 1914, Sanger met Ellis. Influenced by Ellis, Sanger adopted his view of sexuality as a powerful, liberating force. This view provided another argument in favor of birth control, as it would enable women to fully enjoy sexual relations without fear of unwanted pregnancy. Sanger also believed that sexuality, along with birth control, should be discussed with more candor, and praised Ellis for his efforts in this direction. She also blamed Christianity for the suppression of such discussion.”
“In 1929, Sanger formed the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control… In 1937, Sanger became chairman of the newly formed Birth Control Council of America… In 1948, Sanger helped found the International Committee on Planned Parenthood, which evolved into the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952, and soon became the world’s largest non-governmental international women’s health, family planning and birth control organization. Sanger was the organization’s first president and served in that role until she was 80 years old.”
1 Kings 22 : 16-23
16 So the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
17 Then he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.’ ”
18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ 22 The Lordsaid to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.”