MAKE NICE TO YOUR GAY NEIGHBORS -FOCUS ON FAITH AND WORK -COMMON GOOD AND VOTE LEFT OF CENTER .THE MESSAGE OF ACTONS JOE CARTER TO EVANGELICALS
Rev Thomas Littleton 8/24/ 2019
Just a short 2 years after public attentions were drawn to the fact the chief editor for The Gospel Coalition and Communications Specialist for SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission under Russell Moore also held a “day job” with Libertarian Catholic think tank Acton Institute – Joe cater is leaving Acton. The question now is “who will coordinate the messages of TGC/ ERLC /and the Catholic social justice politics of Acton Institute ?”. But don’t lose any sleep over it. No doubt they have someone in mind .
“Unfortunately, though, it means giving up some other roles I love. After more than 8 years I’ll be leaving the @ActonInstitute. It has been an honor to work at one of the world’s best think-tanks, and I’ll be sad to leave all my wonderful colleagues. 2/3
“For nearly eight years, Senior Editor Joe Carter has been a mainstay of the PowerBlog. Not only have readers come to expect his daily PowerLinks but Joe’s numerous contributions (let’s enumerate: 4,400 posts!) on just about every topic we tackle here have been unfailingly helpful. Joe truly understands Acton’s “markets and morality” way of looking at the world and gave readers concrete ways of understanding often difficult concepts from economics, theology, social science and politics.”
“On Sept. 6, Joe will post his last entry to the PowerBlog. He is leaving to take a pastoral position at McLean Bible Church in Arlington, Virginia, where he’ll focus on discipleship and outreach. Previously, Joe helped to plant Grace Hill Church in Herndon, Virginia, where he served as an elder.”
JOE CARTER DRAFTING A NEW POLITICAL NARRATIVE FOR SBC AND PCA FOLK
Few knew that Carter was hired to work alongside Russell Moore when the ever controversial Democrat Moore ascended the throne of the ERLC but the stark departure from the Conservative message of the Southern Baptist ethics offices were obvious from day one.
“For years, as the principal public voice for the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s biggest evangelical group, Richard Land warned of a “radical homosexual agenda” and pushed for a federal ban on same-sex marriage.”
“His successor, Russell Moore, sounded a different note when the Supreme Court in June struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. “Love your gay and lesbian neighbors,” Mr. Moore wrote in a flier, “How Should Your Church Respond,” sent to the convention’s estimated 45,000…”
SIGNALING CHANGE -ESPECIALLY IN TONE TOWARD “GAY NEIGHBORS” KEY TO ACTON/ERLC MESSAGING
Moore Followed up his October WSJ IN 2013 with a total overhaul of the ERLC/ SBC message on homosexuality and marriage with a 2014 conference in which he and SBTS President Albert Mohler “embraced homosexual orientation / abandoned ex gay therapies and introduced an entire HERD of the Same Sex Attracted but celibate “homosexual Christians” to Southern Baptist Conversation. These SSA but celibate included Sam Allberry -a gay Church of England priest , Christopher Yuan now a rising star in the conference circles as Allberry’s star is fading after his ministry announced plans with Tim Keller to “Audit the LGBT Inclusion “culture in your church. Also among those whose narratives were being “message shopped ” around Conservative Christians was Rosaria Butterfield who urges, along with Allberry, that Baptist and PCA people ” support (SSA ) single adoption and foster care and be “hospitable ” i.e. welcome LGBTQUIAA+ people into the church. As the 2014 conference unfolded the media delighted that “Southern Baptist and gays break bread together …”
Moore’s newly hired ERLC staffers boasted to LGBT activist invited to attend the 2014 conference that “Moore is rebranding the entire organization and the SBC”
ERLC /ACTON/ INSPIRATION
Moore , Mohler. with the help of Joe Carter and TGC and the once radical gay activist /turned Catholic priest Actons co-founder and Carter’s boss Father Sirico have never looked back.
Actons Father Sirico’s history is discussed in detail in the account of the gay movement in Catholic and gay publications
The ERLC National Conference, starting today (Monday, October 27), will address “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage,” designed to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families and their churches.
They will address issues like:
How do we effectively minister to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender?
How has the divorce culture impacted marriage in our communities and our churches?
What does sexual faithfulness look like for a same-sex attracted Christian?
Why did God create marriage and why did he design it for the common good?
How should a pastor counsel a same-sex couple that wants to join his church?
How can churches minister to those who are single, dating, divorced or celibate?
How can Christians show the love of Christ to gay family members or neighbors?
The schedule of 20 talks and 5 panels—many of them relatively short in length—are listed below.
Albert Mohler, “Aftermath: Ministering in a Post-Marriage Culture”
Panel: Russell Moore, Albert Mohler, D. A. Horton, Robert Sloan (Phillip Bethancourt, moderator), “The State of Marriage in American Culture: Divorce, Cohabitation, Same-Sex Marriage, and Other Trends”
Greg Smalley, “Building Healthy Marriages”
Kristen Waggoner and Erik Stanley, “The Price of Citizenship: Can the State Compel the Church to Embrace Homosexual Relationships?”
Glenn Stanton, “Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor”
Panel: John Stonestreet, Trevin Wax, Lindsay Swartz, Eric Teetsel (Andrew Walker, moderator), “Millennials and Marriage: Evaluating the Young Generation’s Views on Sexuality and Marriage”
Jennifer Marshall, “Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of Single Life in the Twenty-First Century”
Danny Akin, “God on Sex: The Creator’s Ideas about Love, Intimacy, and Marriage”
Sherif Girgis, “Better Together: Marriage and the Common Good”
Panel: Kevin Ezell, Dennis Rainey, Carmen Fowler Laberge, and Heath Lambert (Daniel Darling, moderator)
Russell Moore and Rosaria Butterfield, “Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert”
Russell Moore, “Questions and Ethics Live”
Christopher Yuan, “Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God”
Jackie Hill-Perry, “How Does the Gospel Equip Christians Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction?”
11:20 AM-12:00 PM
Panel: Christopher Yuan, Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, and Jackie Hill-Perry (Russell Moore, moderator), “Is It Okay to Be Gay? A Candid Conversation on Christians and Same-Sex Attraction”
Denny Burk, “Is There Really a Slippery Slope? A Gospel-Centered Assessment of Gender Identity, Transgender, and Polygamy”
Sam Allberry, “Is God Anti-Gay? Answering Tough Questions about Same-Sex Marriage”
David Platt, “Marriage and Missions: How Singleness and Marriage Connect to the Great Commission”
Lizette Beard, “Why I Love and Hate Being Single”
Jim Daly, “Reconcilable Differences: Building Bridges with Those Who Disagree about Marriage”
Russell Moore, “Slow-Motion Sexual Revolutionaries? Culture Wars, Christian Witness, and the Future of Marriage”
Dennis Rainey, “Growing Great Commission Marriages”
Panel: Steven Smith, Jason Allen, Thomas White, Randy Stinson (Phillip Bethancourt, moderator), “Preparing Next Generation Leaders for a Post-Marriage Culture”
Ryan Anderson, “Marriage in Crisis: The Conflict between Sexual Freedom and Religious Liberty”
J.D. Greear, “Preaching Like Jesus to the LGBT Community and Its Supporters”
JOE CARTER HAS ALSO HELPED TGC AND ERLC DRIVE THEIR POLITICAL MESSAGING WHILE SAYING CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS “HAVE BEEN TOO POLITICAL “
Carter has played a key role in the ERLC/ TGC “never Trump ” and “Third Way ” political narrative .
At no point in modern evangelical history has the message of the Gospel been more mingled with and tainted by progressive social and political content than in the last decade. TGC and ERLC have been at the epicenter of the intersection of these “incompatible streams of influence” of conservative Christianity and a relentless call to progressive social and political engagement.
EVANGELICAL DEEP STATE EXPOSED
Joe Carter has played a significant although stealth role in the Evangelical Deep State for some time . His role and that of Acton and the history of his boss Father Sirico were exposed in 2017 .
The very existence of coordination between the Acton Institute -Social Justice focus and funding and the messaging of TGC aND ERLC is reason to provide pause for evangelical readers. The stealthy approach and sharp left turn of the message proved that concerns are valid.Efforts to lampoon the very existence of the coordination provide the solid proof of the felt need to protect itself .
“And indeed Sirico is perpetually tipping his hand: a recent post on the Acton Institute’s “PowerBlog” uses the unmistakable phrases “social justice” and “common good” along with historical materialist buzzwords like “heart” and “virtue.” Indeed, the word “social” appears over 34 times in that one post alone. In fact, it appears 35 times.”
The absurd parody of the Evangelical Deep State by the very people who are part of it was published by Joe Carter friend and former co-editor of Carter’s first blog -Matthew Lee Anderson. Anderson is also a KEY leader in the Revoice LGBT+ Flourishing Movement in the SBC/ PCA denominations . The fact is even the parody article is a product of the careful coordination of Joe Carter .
PARODY IN “GOOD COMPANY” WITH LEFT WING EXTREME
Why are Joe Carter and Anderson echoing Right Wing Watch in attack?
“Later in the article, Littleton goes on to name faith leaders who have expressed sympathies for LGBTQ people and worked to make their churches more inclusive. These leaders, he believes, are part of a larger conspiracy to detach the church from its anti-LGBTQ stance.”
Odd that Carter and Anderson are so instep with the Right Wing Watch in attacking the messengers exposing their own coordinated messages …or is it?
MATTHEW LEE ANDERSON/ JOE CARTER POLITICAL HISTORY / ANDERSON REOVICE TIES
“Trevin Wax Today, I’m posting an email conversation between myself, Matthew Lee Anderson and Joe Carter about the current political climate and what role evangelicals are playing in the upcoming mid-term elections. I hope you enjoy listening in”
LGBT SHIFT -THE ONE CONSTANT IN TGC/ERLC/ACTON/CARTER/ ANDERSON/ MOORE /MOHLER NARRATIVES
Joe Carter is considered by some in Christian Journalism to have been the ERLC/ TGC “attack dog”. Many who share this view see Carter as having enjoyed his role immensely.What does the future hold for Joe? He is headed to work for David Platt the once popular- now fading star in the SBC who is pastoring McLean Bible Church founded by Lon Solomon .
“He is leaving to take a pastoral position at McLean Bible Church in Arlington, Virginia, where he’ll focus on discipleship and outreach. Previously, Joe helped to plant Grace Hill Church in Herndon, Virginia, where he served as an elder.”
SJ WARRIORS DAVID PLATT AND JOE CARTER -YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER
Congregants at McLean Bible may not deserve to be subjected to “Mean Joe Green” Carter along side the ceaseless weeping and tearful appeals of David Platt reminiscent of Tammy Faye Baker’s “mascara fundraising” on PTL . BUT the two ERLC/ TGC mouthpieces certainly do deserve one another. Don’t tune in unless you have a strong stomach for manipulation tactics of every extreme.
For those who are weary of the coordinated message of the ERLC/ TGC with Acton’s progressive narrative- Joe will not be missed . However for those who love the incessant droning of the TGC/ERLC stable of writers and social commentators- fear not -there or hundreds of Cater Clones trained to take his place. Perhaps TGC/ERLC Christianity Today -Trevin Wax will be the “new next wave JoeJoe Carter. Trevin seems a likely candidate for the soiled shoes of Carter .
Neither those who care not nor those who can’t get enough will have to wait long for Carter’s replacement .
Plus we all have the 2020 election cycle playing out with “Weird uncle Joe” Biden to keep us informed or entertained depending on your political perspective . If you have followed the lead of TGC/ ERLC/ Acton and their political narrative -it is possible you might be considering a vote from “Creepy Uncle Joe” out of Christian Conviction . Let us hope and pray Evangelical Christians are not that stupid or under the spell of the Joe Carter/ TGC/ ERLC/ Acton SPIN.
At some point Russell Moore and the ERLC need to come out of the closet and own the Revoice movement . From the early revelations of the radical LGBT+ Thriving inaugural event in 2018 -the deep ERLC ties have been evident and continue to unfold . ERLC Fellow, close Russell Moore friend Karen Swallow Prior endorsed the radical event from day one. Consultant for the ERLC on prison reform and family ministries Brandon Polk is a Revoice leader and speaker.
Recently ERLC’s Andrew Walker was revealed to be very close friends with Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson -even choosing Anderson to speak for and represent him and the ERLC in a Mormon / interfaith conference redefining the faith communities approach to LGBTQ+ issues .
SEBTS PROVOST AND INTERSECT PROJECT LEADER AND KERN FAMILY FOUNDATION FUNDING LEADER ENDORSES REVOICE LEADER NATE COLLINS.
BRUCE ASHFORD PROMOTING NATE COLLINS /REVOICE FOUNDERS 2017 BOOK
“Nate Collins All But Invisible is a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion about Christianity, sexuality and gender. Collins holds a traditional Christian sexual ethic but argues that many conservative Christians are ,unfortunately , unaware of the ways that cultural Christianity in North America can make it difficult for gay people to live out the traditional sexual ethic . For the sake of our Christian witness, ,It is critical that we identify these roadblocks to to faithfulness and remove them. All But Invisible is not the first word or the last word but it is an important word . Even if you are not persuaded on every point- as I am not- you will be grateful you read this book .
—-Bruce Ashford professor of theology and culture ,provost and dean of faculty, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
LET THAT ENDORSEMENT AND THE REALITY THAT SEBTS PROVOST AND DEAN OF FACULTY/ ERLC RESEARCH FELLOW IS PRAISING REVOICE FOUNDERS 2017 BOOK
“Dr. Ashford has been teaching at Southeastern since 2003 and became the provost in 2013. His goal in teaching is to encourage his students to bear witness to the truth, goodness and beauty of the gospel and to work out its implications in all facets of their lives and in all dimensions of culture. Ashford defended his dissertation on “Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Impact on Anglo-American Theology,” is the co-author of One Nation under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics (B&H, 2015), the author Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians (Lexham, 2015), and is the editor of Theology and Practice of Mission (B&H, 2011). His primary interest is public theology; his secondary interests include philosophy of education, theology of mission, theological method, and contemporary theology”
FROM ASHFORDS SEBTS CURRICULUM VITAE
Teaching & Administrative Experience
Provost / Dean of the Faculty, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary,
November 2012 –
Professor of Theology & Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary,
Associate Professor of Theology & Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological
Dean, The College at Southeastern, 2009-2012
Director, The Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies,
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2005-2008.
ASHFORD’S DISSERTATION TOPIC ( MORE ON WITTGENSTEIN IN A MOMENT)
“Wittgenstein’s Impact on Anglo-American Theology: Representative Models of
Response to Wittgenstein’s Later Writings”
Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians
(Lexham, 2015). ( Also the Kuyper derived title of TGC Faith and Work project)
Publications (Articles and Chapters)
“Pro-Life versus Pro-Birth,” in For God so Loved the World: A Blueprint for
Kingdom Diversity, eds. Dayton Hartman and Walter Strickland, III (Nashville:
Broadman & Holman, 2019). ( Walter Strickland is the SEBTS professor whowas recently exposed promoting Black Liberation Theology and James Cone )
“Just War,” in Christian Cultural Engagement, eds. Joshua D. Chatraw and Karen
Swallow Prior (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2018). ( Karen Swallow Prior is the controversial ERLC Research Fellow who has openly endorsed Revoice from the 2018 launch and for whom Russell Moore denied any knowledge of Revoice to the SBC Dallas messengers when having been interviewed about Revoice the day before)
“Tayloring Christian Politics in Our Secular Age,” Themelios 42.3 (2017): 446-
“Politics and Public Life in a Secular Age,” in Collin Hansen, ed., Our Secular
Age: Ten Years of Reading and Applying Charles Taylor (Deerfield, IL: TGC,
2017), 87-98. ( Ashford is participating in the progressive narrative of TGC/ ERLC politics with Collin Hansen and the “Never Trump / Never Again Trump – narrative)
“Ludwig Wittgenstein,” in Zondervan Dictionary of Christianity and Science, eds.
Paul Copan, Tremper Longman, Chris Reese, and Mike Strauss (Grand Rapids:
Zondervan, 2017): 687-88. ( Wittgenstein is a gay Atheist philosopher and the topic of numerous Ashford projects)
“Creation Care Founded on the Biblical Narrative (Creation, Fall, Redemption,
Restoration),” in TheoEcology 1:1 (January 2012). ( Creation Care is code for evangelical endorsement of the globalist hoax /Global Warming myth )
“A SBC Vision for the Fulfillment of the Great Commission,” co-authored with
Danny Akin in Larry McDonald and Matt Queen, eds., A Passion for the Great
Commission: Essays in Honor of Alvin L. Reid, (Nashville: Towering Oaks
Books, 2014). ( One of several projects with Danny Akin TGC leader and President of SEBTS)
“Theologically-Driven Missiology,” in Chuck Lawless and Adam W. Greenway,
eds., The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Time
(Nashville: B&H, 2010). (Adam Greenway is now head of SWBTS )
“Wittgenstein’s Theologians? A Survey of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Influence on
Theology.” The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50, no.2 (June
2007) 357-75. ( More work on the Gay Atheist Philosopher )
“Worldview, Anthropology, and Gender: A Call to Broaden the Parameters of the
Discussion.” The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood XII, Issue 1
(Spring 2007) 7-9. ( Perhaps a lead in and up to Revoice )
ASHFORD’S WORK WITH RECENT YEARS TGC POLITICAL NARRATIVES
Publications (Selected Essays)
“The Intellectual in Canada Who Unmasked Political Idolatry in America,” The
Gospel Coalition (March 24, 2017).
“Can a Faithful Evangelical Be a Political Nationalist?” (March 13, 2017).
“How Can a Faithful Evangelical Be a Political Conservative?” (Feb 21, 2017).
“Powerful Witness from a Position of Weakness,” The Gospel Coalition
(December 1, 2016).
“The Jewish Intellectual Who Predicted America’s Social Collapse,” The Gospel
Coalition (April 25, 2016).
“The (Religious” Problem with American Politics,” a 7-part blog series published
at Canon & Culture (January 2016).
“How Richard John Neuhaus Changed the Way I Think,” Canon & Culture (Feb
“How a Man Named Lesslie Changed the Way I Think,” Canon & Culture (Feb
“Lessons from Father Abraham (Kuyper): Christianity, Politics, & the Public
Square,” Canon & Culture (March 6, 2015).
“Augustine for the Americans: Lessons on Christianity & Public Life from a
Fifth-Century North African Theologian,” Canon & Culture (April 20, 2015).
ASHFORD’S WORK WITH FOX NEWS ON EVANGELICAL NEVER TRUMPERS
“In an election cycle full of surprises, one of the most striking developments is the number of conservative evangelical Republicans who have stated that they will not vote for the current Republican front-runner: Donald Trump. These include religious figures such as Russell Moore, politicians such as Congressman Ben Sasse, and pundits such as Erick Erickson.”
BACK TO THE CV AND MORE WITTGENSTEIN
“The Hands of Wittgenstein: George Lindbeck’s Appropriation of Ludwig
Wittgenstein’s Later Philosophy”
ASHFORD IS PART OF SEBTS “FAITH AND WORK ” INITIATIVE AND THE KERN FAMILY FOUNDATIONS FUNDING DRIVING SOCIAL JUSTICE ON TGC AFFILIATED CAMPUSES
Awards & Grants
Co-recipient of a creative teaching grant from Yale Divinity School’s Center for
Faith and Culture (2004).
Author of two grant requests approved by the Kern Family Foundation for
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (2014, 2015).
WITTGENSTEIN AND POSTMODERNISM IN THE COMPANY OF -Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche.
“All propositions of logic say the same thing. That is, nothing” Ludwig Wittgenstein
WITTGENSTEIN MENTOR BERTRAND RUSSELL OF CAMBRIDGE
“He was queer, and his notions seemed to me odd,” Russell says, surely using queerin its archaic sense. (Though others do apply; in 1993, Derek Jarman made a gay-themed biographical film about the philosopher.) “For a whole term, I could not make up my mind whether he was a man of genius or merely an eccentric.” Bertrand Russell
Ashford celebrates the influence of Wittgenstein’s later writings while clearly admitting to his lack of any clear theory being put forth .
” Philosophy. Wittgenstein is notorious for his unorthodox style of
writing, and for purposefully arranging his work in such a way that one
cannot discern any type of structured theory. One struggles to find any conclusions within his writings. Rather than drawing conclusions, he insinuates.
Why does he not employ clear premises and conclusions? The primary answer
is that his method of writing unlocks the purpose of his philosophy. He is rebelling against the traditional conception of “philosophy as the setting forth
of grand theories,” and throughout his later writings one can discern his
relentless attack on this type of philosophy. Wittgenstein writes: “We must
do away with all explanation, and description alone must take its place.”7
And again, “Philosophy simply puts everything before us, and neither explains
nor deduces anything.”8 Rather than viewing philosophy as metaphysical
explanation, or theory-building, Wittgenstein views it as description, and as
therapy for philosophical confusion”
ASHFORD ON WITTGENSTEIN ON KNOWLEDGE
“4. Knowledge. For Wittgenstein, knowledge does not begin with consciousness—for that matter, it does not begin with anything. Rather, knowledge is rooted in a person’s form of life. A shared form of life is the context within which he knows what he knows. The subject, therefore, should not view himself as a Cartesian “ego” separated from the world. Only a god could view the world from above:”
Counter Wittgenstein/ Ashford’s view on Knowledge with that of the scripture
Proverbs 2 : “My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;”
Researchers site Wittgenstein as a precursor to Postmodernism -example
“The term “postmodern” came into the philosophical lexicon with the publication of Jean-François Lyotard’s La Condition Postmoderne in 1979 (in English: The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, 1984), where he employs Wittgenstein’s model of language games (see Wittgenstein 1953) and concepts taken from speech act theory to account for what he calls a transformation of the game rules for science, art, and literature since the end of the nineteenth century. He describes his text as a combination of two very different language games, that of the philosopher and that of the expert. Where the expert knows what he knows and what he doesn’t know, the philosopher knows neither, but poses questions.”
“Foucault deploys genealogy to create what he calls a “counter-memory” or “a transformation of history into a totally different form of time” (Foucault 1977, 160). This entails dissolving identity for the subject in history by using the materials and techniques of modern historical research. Just as Nietzsche postulates that the religious will to truth in Christianity results in the destruction of Christianity by science (see Nietzsche 1974 , 280–83), Foucault postulates that genealogical research will result in the disintegration of the epistemic subject, as the continuity of the subject is broken up by the gaps and accidents that historical research uncovers.”
“One such effect, visible in art and in the relation between art and society, is the collapse of the past and future into the present, which he characterizes as “Egyptian” or “baroque” in nature. This temporal effect is accomplished through the collapse of the difference between humans and things, where “humans are becoming more similar to things, and equally, the inorganic world, thanks to electronic technology, seems to be taking over the human role in the perception of events” (Perniola 1995, viii). This amounts to a kind of “Egyptianism,” as described by Hegel in his Aesthetics (see Hegel 1823–9, 347-361), where the spiritual and the natural are mixed to such a degree that they cannot be separated, as, for example, in the figure of the Sphinx. However, in the postmodern world the inorganic is not natural, but already artificial, insofar as our perceptions are mediated by technological operations.”
“Such an emphasis on the philosophical method of Ludwig Wittgenstein reorients literary criticism to involve a conjoint responsibility to both reader and text as the literary critic assumes the humbler role of a guide who assists a reader in/to diverse literary texts. Wittgenstein’s philosophical approach provides us with a strong means of developing such a method for literary criticism—a method that points the way forward beyond postmodern criticisms and to a categorically new approach to literary texts.”
“The crucial point of Brill’s study is that of fit: which critical methods prove most useful towards opening up which texts? Close investigations into the parameters of the language games of texts, critics, and methods enable us to determine which paths to take towards more complete descriptive analyses and critique.”
ASHFORD ON WITTGENSTEIN’S APPROACH TO THEOLOGY
“Thus in knowledge, just as in language, psychology, and philosophical method, as
described above, Wittgenstein is affirming the embodied nature of human
thought and action. One commentator remarked in 1988 that “it is unclear what might happen to a theology given the full Wittgenstein treatment.”17 Less than two decades
later, however, it has become increasingly clear that numerous theologians
have found Wittgenstein’s insights to be so deeply resonant with Christian
belief and practice that they appropriate him in a formative manner”
” Such an emphasis on the philosophical method of Ludwig Wittgenstein reorients literary criticism to involve a conjoint responsibility to both reader and text as the literary critic assumes the humbler role of a guide who assists a reader in/to diverse literary texts. Wittgenstein’s philosophical approach provides us with a strong means of developing such a method for literary criticism—a method that points the way forward beyond postmodern criticisms and to a categorically new approach to literary texts. ”
“Brill’s work discusses at length the implications of Wittgenstein for literary criticism and theory. The volume specifically investigates the implications of Wittgenstein’s work for a number of contemporary critical orientations (notably poststructualism, feminism, and psychology). In addition, the research includes actual applications of Wittgenstein for literary criticism: diverse literary texts (including a number of poems and stories by Native American authors) are approached via a Wittgensteinian method as a means of discerning which critical approaches might be more or less efficacious. Not only does the book provide a solid introduction to Wittgensteinian philosophy for the critical scholars, but it also provides a clear methodology useful to critics seeking a means to navigate through the entanglement of contemporary criticism and theory.”
“Probably the most oft-quoted and well-known concept in Wittgenstein’s
later writings is “language game,” which he used for the purpose of showing
the complexity of language and its closely-knit relationship with people and
their lives.13 He employs the notion of language games to refer to the way
children learn their native language,14 as well as to describe particular linguistic activities such as cursing, greeting, praying, giving orders, or telling
jokes.15 These language games are guided by the grammar of that particular
language, and are in no need of epistemic justification. Wittgenstein is trying
to teach the reader that words are always used in contexts: social, behavioral,
and linguistic contexts. In paying attention to such contexts, one can begin
to understand one’s language and life.”
“Brill argues that a reliance upon the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein can enable literary critics to escape the seemingly endless dialectic between modern and postmodern theory. Instead of debating which theory is theoretically best, we need to describe when theories work—and when they do not.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein & Postmodern Biblical Scholarship
“Christian intellectuals have responded in diverse ways to what some secularists believe to be the Achilles heel of the Christian faith; namely, that Biblical scholarship has revealed how untrustworthy the New Testament narratives could be about Jesus, and how little is known for certain about his life and his message. The secularist asks, ‘How can one be asked to be a Christian on such historically uncertain grounds?’ Orthodox Christian apologists have tended to dismiss this skeptical scholarship as the product of non-believing positivistic historians, who simply reject the supernaturalistic elements of the Gospels out of hand. But secularists found this response less and less compelling as it became increasingly evident that many of the scholars in the forefront of the thinking that has come to these skeptical conclusions are Christian. Consequently another, more sophisticated, Christian apologetic has emerged, which has attempted to save the New Testament picture of Jesus without embracing the supernaturalistic elements in it. The sophistication of this apologetic lies in turning the argument about the negative results of Biblical scholarship into a debate about hermeneutics. Their argument is that the skeptical views of the historical reliability of the Gospel narratives result from a positivist model of historiography.”
Wittgenstein, Truth, and Interpretation
“This apologetic approach raises many complicated philosophical issues, but I would like to concentrate on only one of them; namely, the claim that the rejection of the correspondence theory of truth implies rejection of the distinction between facts and interpretations. I would like to show that it is especially wrong to invoke Ludwig Wittgenstein in this regard. Indeed, for those of us who philosophize in a Wittgensteinian mode, it was just his method of analysis that enables us to understand precisely how the fact-interpretation distinction is ‘at home’ in certain contexts.”
“The first mistake of the new Christian apologists, I would point out, is to assume that core concepts used in scientific discourse such as ‘fact’, ‘theory-laden’, and ‘observation’ mean the same – have the same use – as the same words do in historical inquiry. Perhaps there are affinities of use, but the differences are significant; and is it the business of philosophy to explore these differences of use rather than to simply assume the similarity. It is just this assumption of similarity of use across different spheres of discourse that is the source of intellectual confusion.”
WITTGENSTEIN AND “LONDON SCHOOL ” THINKING -London School of Economics
“To coincide with the Wittgenstein exhibition at the London School of Economics, Dr Michael Nedo (Wittgenstein Archive Cambridge) will give a presentation on Wittgenstein’s philosophy in the context of science.
An argument based on quotes by Lessing, Brecht and Wittgenstein, followed by a discussion exploring the importance of Wittgenstein’s philosophy for today’s sciences and mathematics, supplementing the Wittgenstein exhibition currently shown at the LSE Atrium Gallery.”
“Peters and Marshall examine the parallels between the later Wittgenstein and French poststructuralism and investigate the direct appropriation of Wittgenstein’s work by poststructuralists. They discuss the most pressing problems facing philosophy and education in the postmodern condition: ethico-political lines of inquiry after the collapse of the grand narrative, other cultures in the curriculum, and the notion of postmodern science.”
“Wittgenstein is a central figure in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy. His writings serve as a fulcrum in both modern philosophy and philosophy of education, charting the shift away from the formalist approach of logical atomism to the more anthropological emphasis on language games in the analysis of ordinary language. Wittgenstein’s work served as a springboard for a range of today’s leading intellectuals: Peter Winch, Thomas Kuhn, Richard Rorty, Stephen Toulmin, and Stanley Cavell.”
“Wittgenstein is the source and authority for legitimating analytic philosophy of education―the so-called London school―as a distinctive field of intellectual endeavor based on the method of conceptual analysis and the search for necessary and sufficient conditions.”
WITTGENSTEIN AND LANGUAGE AS A GAME
“Ludwig Wittgenstein was a writer from Austria. He came from a wealthy, talented, and very troubled family, 3 of his brothers committed suicide and he was a very troubled man. He was also a man of genius and commitment who came upon Philosophy as possibly a rigorous science which he thought would lead through logic to understand the Foundations of language and mathematics.”
“Wittgenstein left Vienna which at that time was the capital of culture and headed to England to work with Bertrand Russell. Russell was investigating the systematic foundations for language and mathematics and for philosophy. Hesaw in Wittgenstein an extraordinarily powerful mind, someone who he admired greatly and who scared him as well with his intensity and commitment, and possibilities for intellectual domination as he said.”
“He was queer, and his notions seemed to be odd. So that for a whole term, I could not make up my mind whether he was a man of genius or merely an eccentric. At the end of his first term at Cambridge, he came to me and said Will you please tell me whether I am a complete idiot or not? If I am a complete idiot I shall become an aeronaut but if not, I shall become a philosopher. I told him to write something during the vacation on some philosophical subject. And I would then tell him, whether he was a complete idiot, or not. At the beginning of the following term, he brought me the fulfilment of this suggestion. After reading only one sentence, I said to him, no, you must not become an aeronaut, and he didn’t.”
“Words don’t get us closer to or further from reality. Words get meaning through use. There’s no transcendent, no framework for understanding if it’s the right perfect foundational word. It just doesn’t work in the game you’re playing or the task you have. The game you’re playing is particularly relevant because the concept that Wittgenstein uses in this regard is the concept of a language game in which all the meanings of utterances are created by the moves people make in a language game.”
In the early period of his career, referred to as the 1st Wittgenstein in contrast to later or 2nd Wittgenstein, he was associated with Frege, Russell, Moore, Schlick, Carnap and was thoroughly anti-foundationalist in his theses and approach. In his work the ‘
Tractatus Logicus Philosophicus (TLP) Wittgenstein reduced the problems of philosophy to issues of language – from thinking to saying. For him, philosophy had a therapeutic function: ‘The clarification of thoughts’ (TLP 4.112), it is designed to clear up logical confusion”
“On 25 October 1946, Popper (then at the London School of Economics), was invited to present a paper entitled “Are There Philosophical Problems?” at a meeting of the Cambridge University Moral Sciences Club, which was chaired by Wittgenstein. The two started arguing vehemently over whether there existed substantial problems in philosophy, or merely linguistic puzzles—the position taken by Wittgenstein. In Popper’s, and the popular account, Wittgenstein used a fireplace poker to emphasize his points, gesturing with it as the argument grew more heated. When challenged by Wittgenstein to state an example of a moral rule, Popper (later) claimed to have replied “Not to threaten visiting lecturers with pokers”, upon which (according to Popper) Wittgenstein threw down the poker and stormed out. Wittgenstein’s Poker collects and characterizes the accounts of the argument, as well as establishing the context of the careers of Popper, Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, also present at the meeting.”
“The paper, following a suggestion by Kripke, argues that there is an illuminating analogy between Wittgenstein’s philosophy and Austrian economics (particularly that of Mises and Hayek). Most scholars interpret paragraph 608 of Wittgenstein’s Zettel (hereafter Z608) to suggest that language might arise out of physical chaos at the neural centre. Since, however, Wittgenstein holds that the philosopher must not advance theories, he cannot consistently be advancing such theories in Z608. Rather, all the key concepts in Z608 must be cashed in terms of Wittgenstein’s “forms of life”. Thus, Z608, read carefully, suggests that language “arises”, not out of chaos in the brain, but out of the chaotic activities in human forms of life. The paper shows that an analogous picture occurs in the early Austrian economists (such as Hayek, who is Wittgenstein’s cousin, and Mises). Z608 is part of a still unappreciated Austrian movement that emphasizes the creative chaos in human life. In this connection the paper explains how Z608 is an application of Wittgenstein’s “private language argument” against a neural theory of a private language. Finally, the paper shows that the real argument in Z608 traces to early Austrian phenomenology—shedding light both on Wittgenstein’s philosophy and on Austrian economics.”
ASHFORD AND WITTGENSTEIN ROOTS IN HAYEK ANAD LSE IS A PERFECT FIT FOR “FAITH AND WORK” /ACTON INSTITUTE /OIKONOMIA / KERN SEMINARY FOCUS
THE ERLC FELLOW /SEBTS PROVOST OBSESSION WITH GAY PHILOSOPHER
Promoting Revoice founder Nate Collins book in 2017 as Revoice LGBT+ Flourishing movement was being founded at SBTS was just part of Ashford’s work on this issue.
Ashford’s repeated work on GAY ATHEIST PHILOSOPHER Wittgenstein is ongoing .
“Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.”
“The great philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was of half Jewish and half Catholic heritage. He was also a homosexual. One of eight children sired by an Austrian millionaire steel industrialist, Ludwig sought simplicity and solitude, rejecting the privileged and highly cultured lifestyle of his father and sister. Margaret, his sister, helped arrange Freud’s escape to England in 1938″
“Extraordinarily handsome as a youth, he counted Adolph Hitler among his classmates. They were the same age, but Wittgenstein was two grades apart from Hitler (Ludwig had been advanced a grade and Hitler held back one); there has been much speculation as to whether or not they were friends.”
WITTGENSTEIN “TRANSFORMING SODOMY WITH THE CAMBRIDGE APOSTLES “
“In November 1912, on the recommendation of fellow student John Maynard Keynes (with whom Wittgenstein shared a male lover), Ludwig was elected to the elite Cambridge society known as the Apostles, which at that time maintained an aura of homoeroticism. An atmosphere that teetered on the brink of male/boy worship made Wittgenstein so uncomfortable that he stopped attending meetings. Ludwig was unsettled by his homosexuality and quite secretive about his sexual interests and activities. He wrote his diary in code, identifying the males with whom he had relations by a letter (Ben Richards was code named “Y”). This was perhaps to be expected, given the fact that homosexuality was illegal in Austria and Britain at the time. Historian Julie Anne Taddeo wrote, “The Cambridge Apostles transformed the definition of sodomy from an illegal and sinful act to an alternative creed of manliness and transcendental love and hoped to spread the gospel of the Higher Sodomy among their enlightened contemporaries.”
“During his student days in Vienna, Wittgenstein was known to cruise the Prater, a large public park where he hooked up with rough trade youths. He also frequented a café that was a chess club during the day, but a raucous gay bar by night. However, Wittgenstein went on to have several serious affairs with Englishmen of his own class – mathematics student David Pinsent, philosopher Frank Ramsey, the much-younger medical student Ben Richards, and architect Francis Skinner”
“Ludwig died in Cambridge, housed in his doctor’s home, since he did not wish to die in a hospital. He celebrated his 62nd birthday by taking a walk. Three days later, he was dead. His last words were, “Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life.”
“Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, born on April 26th 1889 in Vienna, Austria, was a charismatic enigma. He has been something of a cult figure but shunned publicity and even built an isolated hut in Norway to live in complete seclusion. His sexuality was ambiguous but he was probably gay; ( BY FAR -MOST OTHER SOURCES CONFIRM HE WAS GAY/BISEXUAL ) how actively so is still a matter of controversy. His life seems to have been dominated by an obsession with moral and philosophical perfection, summed up in the subtitle of Ray Monk’s excellent biography Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius.”
“His concern with moral perfection led Wittgenstein at one point to insist on confessing to several people various sins, including that of allowing others to underestimate the extent of his ‘Jewishness’. His father Karl Wittgenstein’s parents were born Jewish but converted to Protestantism and his mother Leopoldine (nee Kalmus) was Catholic, but her father was of Jewish descent. Wittgenstein himself was baptized in a Catholic church and was given a Catholic burial, although between baptism and burial he was neither a practicing nor a believing Catholic.”( Wittgenstein is said to have died as Atheist.)
BRUCE ASHFORD’S SEBTS DISSERTATION SUBJECT IS POPULAR WITH LGBT BLOGS
“The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein lead a tumultuous life of both creative and temperamental outbursts. He was a student of some of the most famous names in his field, Bertrand Russell included, but always left their company feeling disillusioned. His own linguistic take on philosophical questions was groundbreaking and earned him recognition as one of the 20th century’s most important philosophers.”
“Despite being described as a gay philosopher, Wittgenstein had several female lovers interspersed with his male ones, including one he proposed to, indicating that he may be more accurately described as bisexual.”
“Wittgenstein never married; he is thought to have had romantic relations with both men and women. He is generally believed to have fallen in love with at least three men: David Pinsent in 1912, Francis Skinner in 1930, and Ben Richards in the late 1940s. He later revealed that, as a teenager in Vienna, he had had an affair with a woman. Additionally, in the 1920s Wittgenstein became infatuated with a young Swiss woman, Marguerite Respinger, modelling a sculpture of her and proposing marriage, albeit on condition that they did not have children.”
“In the immediate aftermath of Pinsent’s death, Wittgenstein was depressed to the point of planning to kill himself somewhere in the mountains in Austria. But at a railway station near Salzburg he bumped into his uncle Paul, who found him in a state of anguish, but saved him from the suicide he was planning. ”
WITTGENSTEIN IS REFERENCED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL LGBT LANGUAGE
” By analyzing aid policy language as the mechanism through which global
LGBT rights, the existence of LGBT people and their needs are affirmed, this article contributes both to discussions on international development policy as a mechanism to globalize particular ways of thinking on sexualities and, more specifically, and to thinking on the implications of this for sexuality rights.”
“This approach is grounded in the view that linguistic practices create a particular language game of language use setting rules, making its objects meaningful, like rules of a game to allow different actors to participate in a conversation (Wittgenstein 1997). As a result, a given language use creates a system of reference points for other users to utilize to take part in a conversation. This also creates the conditions of comprehensibility for different actors taking part in the conversation. ”
In a 2014 SEBTS Q and A Ashford revealed he was co-authoring a book on the gay philosopher Wittgenstein
“Q: On what are you currently working?
A: A book with Heath Thomas tentatively entitled “Gospel and Mission.” Also a volume on the doctrine of creation, co-authored with Craig Bartholomew, and a book on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, also co-authored with Craig Bartholomew.”
ASHFORD’S 2007 EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY PAPER ON WITTGENSTEIN
“One commentator remarked in 1988 that “it is unclear what might happen
to a theology given the full Wittgenstein treatment.”17 Less than two decades
later, however, it has become increasingly clear that numerous theologians
have found Wittgenstein’s insights to be so deeply resonant with Christian
belief and practice that they appropriate him in a formative manner. These
theologians come from a variety of denominational affiliations and “schools”
“Wittgenstein in apologetics. Kerr points out that Wittgenstein had a great interest in theological questions, probably more so than any philosopher since Nietzsche.33 What revolted Wittgenstein about some Christian theologians, however, was their attempt to make Christianity into a rationalist philosophical system. Wittgenstein writes, “The symbolism of Christianity is wonderful beyond words, but when people try to make a
philosophical system out of it I find it disgusting.”
“This paper has argued that Wittgenstein’s impact on theologians is pervasive, and the primary evidence for this thesis has been shown through a
threefold typology. The Wittgensteinians are those theologians who consider
Wittgenstein to be the constructive way forward in theology. Although they
have in common that their appropriation of him is deep and extensive, the
final product of their appropriation is colorful and diverse.”
“Another measure of Wittgenstein’s impact is through an assessment of
“schools” of theology. Probably the most obvious place to start is postliberal
theology, where Wittgenstein’s influence is seen on all the major figures—
Paul Holmer, Hans Frei, George Lindbeck, Stanley Hauerwas, and others.
Another major grouping is those who call themselves evangelicals—Kevin
Vanhoozer, David Clark, John Frame, Brad Kallenberg, James McClendon,
Anthony Thiselton, and N. T. Wright. Probably the deepest and most
resonant example, however, is contemporary Thomism, where theologians
such as David Burrell, Fergus Kerr, Victor Preller, Cornelius Ernst, and
Herbert McCabe appropriate Wittgenstein in a formative manner for their
respective programs. Finally, even liberal-revisionist theologians such as
Gordon Kaufman and David Tracy have been affected.”
“It can be shown that commentators are trying to reconcile Wittgenstein’s insights with major figures of the past, such as Aristotle, Aquinas, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Newman, and Barth. In short, Wittgenstein’s later writings have made a significant impact
on the field of theology. It seems safe to say that his present influence on
Anglo-American theology is pervasive. This observation may strike some
readers as bizarre because of Wittgenstein’s early reputation as an atheist
or agnostic relativist. But Wittgenstein has been given a second hearing, and
many theologians now consider his insights relevant for the task of theology”
” It is hard to think of a great philosopher, at least since Nietzsche, whose work is equally pervaded by theological considerations,” and with Feinberg that “[Wittgenstein’s]
views are enormously important for theological issues in view of their profound influence in shaping the philosophical milieu of our times and in view
of his ideas on religious issues.” Theologians are now compelled to give
careful attention to Wittgenstein’s work, in light of his influence on the field
of theology, and with an eye toward either appropriating his insights (either
fully or partially) for their own constructive work, or being prepared to give
a carefully considered rejection of those insights”
BRUCE ASHFORD IS PART OF THE CONVERSATION WITH “LIFEWAY VOICES”
7 FACTS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY AND THE TRANSGENDER DEBATE
The Tractatus was now the subject of much debate amongst philosophers, and Wittgenstein was a figure of increasing international fame. In particular, a discussion group of philosophers, scientists and mathematicians, known as the Vienna Circle, had built up largely as a result of the inspiration they had been given by reading the Tractatus. While it is commonly assumed that Wittgenstein was a part of the Vienna Circle, in reality, this was not actually the case. German philosopher Oswald Hanfling writes bluntly: “Wittgenstein was never a member of the Circle, though he was in Vienna during much of the time. Yet his influence on the Circle’s thought was at least as important as that of any of its members.” From 1926, with the members of the Vienna Circle, Wittgenstein would take part in many discussions. However, during these discussions, it soon became evident that Wittgenstein held a different attitude towards philosophy than the members of the Circle whom his work had inspired.
ASHFORDS’S BLOG” AND CHRISTIANITY FOR THE COMMON GOOD
“I am also a Fellow in Public Theology at the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (Cambridge, UK), a Research Fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and a participant in the Dulles Colloquium of the Institute on Religion & Public Life.”
” I enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Theological Studies. In 2003, I completed the Ph.D., defending my dissertation on a philosopher named Ludwig Wittgenstein. I was hired to teach philosophy and History of Ideas for the undergraduate program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). Today, I remain at SEBTS as Provost and Professor of Theology & Culture.”
Photo and biography from Bruce Ashford’s blog
ASHFORD AND THE SEBTS INTERSECT PROJECT/KERN /OIKONOMIA JUSTICE HUB
“This summer, a conference for same-sex attracted (SSA) and gender dysphoric Christians stirred quite a bit of controversy in the evangelical world. The goals of this conference, named Revoice, included “supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.” In this article, I offer six points to guide our discussions about Revoice and its precursor blog, Spiritual Friendship.”
“Revoice was a shift toward a conservative sexual ethic. Any new movement has weaknesses, some of them glaring and possibly hazardous. But, we should be encouraged when participants like Kyle Keating welcome feedback on their weaknesses saying, “the conference desperately needs good-faith critics who can offer valuable pushback in places where it has gone too far affirming either the spirit of the age or a spirit of self-righteousness.”
“I agree with Matthew Lee Anderson and Kyle Keating that a biblical sexual ethic has more cost for the same-sex attracted than most people realize. Among other discussions, the participants of Revoice are discussing how to thrive and flourish with this core value. They and many single, SSA folks are plagued with loneliness in a married-person’s culture.”
“I agree with Denny Burk that terms used in our discussions of sexuality mean very different things to different people. My continuing concern with the term “LGBT Christian” is the ease in associating it with Q Christian Fellowship (the successor of GCN) and the difficulty of associating it with a conservative sexual ethic. I should note too that when the folks at the Revoice conference use “LGB” terminology, they see it as interchangeable with “same-sex attracted.” However, I do think it’s important that both Revoice and Spiritual Friendship teach their communities more critical engagement with the concepts and language of secular LGBT culture.”
“Wherever this discussion lands, our ideas and language should facilitate our union with Christ and incorporation with His church, not hinder it. My hope for Revoice and Spiritual Friendship (and the larger community of SSA Christians) is to give us new language for communication among Christians that avoids the problems of the current terminology.”
“Overall, I hope Revoice will help the same-sex attracted flourish in their churches, not just in a sexual ethic.”
“5. Conservative evangelicals need to acknowledge that experiences behind LGB language are real.”
“My hope for conservative evangelicals is that we will learn to acknowledge the concerns of Revoice’s participants (and all SSA folks) in our challenges to them. The marginalization these Christians feel and experience should cause us all to think about how we can make our churches safer for confessions of sin and weakness.”
“6. It’s important conservative evangelicals support, encourage and empower the same-sex attracted to follow Christ.”
“I hope Christians will learn to disciple and care for their own with greater sensitivity. I hope churches will have thriving evangelistic ministries to secular LGBT communities. I hope Spiritual Friendship and Revoice will take good-faith criticism seriously. Lastly, I hope the stakeholders in Revoice will one day find churches so full of love and truth that they see no compelling reason to keep offering this conference. Until then, denominations, churches and para-church ministries have a significant and rewarding work ahead of them.”
SEBTS PROVOST ALSO WORKS WITH THE KERN SOCIAL JUSTICE FUNDED COMMONWEAL PROJECT AT SBTS WHERE REVOICE NATE COLLINS STUDIED AND TAUGHT NEW TESTAMENT
“Earlier this fall The Gospel Coalition launched a new faith and work initiative, Every Square Inch, directed by entrepreneur and writer Bethany Jenkins. Every Square Inch aims to help local churches leaders and ordinary Christians alike to see every aspect of their lives, especially their work, under the lordship of Christ. Jenkins received her JD from Columbia Law School and founded The Park Forum, a nonprofit that seeks to plant urban professional Christians in the Bible daily. Originally from Florida, Jenkins has spent the past ten years in New York City, where she attends Redeemer Presbyterian Church. I corresponded with Jenkins about her new role at TGC, what inspired it, and what she and other TGC staff hope to accomplish with this new initiative.”
“I’m thankful for Ben Peays and Collin Hansen, who lead TGC and its editorial team with an entrepreneurial spirit that enables all of us to have broad parameters within which to fulfill our roles. In directing Every Square Inch, I hope to feature practitioner stories (like illustrator Amanda Geisinger), to focus on faith and work at industry levels, and to publish thoughtful writers under our new Crossway imprint.”
WHY IS SEBTS PROVOST ENDORSING NATE COLLINS REVOICE NARRATIVE?
WHY IS SEBTS PROVOST PROMOTING ATHEIST -BISEXUAL PHILOSOPHER LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN WHO IS WIDLLY CELEBRATED BY LGBTQ ADVOCATES YET ASHFORD NEVER MENTIONS HIS HOMOSEXUALITY OF CURRENT USE IN THE LGBT WORLDVIEW NARRATIVE?
WHY ARE SEBTS AND SBTS HIDING THEIR PARTNERSHIPS /SOCIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVES / FUNDING /PRO- GAY CATHOLIC INFLUENCES?
JOHN 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation,that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 Foreveryone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have beendone in God.”
OR PERHAPS WE SHOULD ASK-HOW CAN THE PEOPLE WHO CAN’T GET HUMAN SEXUALITY RIGHT WITH THE BIBLE -BE TRUSTED TO OBSESS AND ADDRESS ROBOTIC INTERCOURSE ?
Rev Thomas Littleton 8/16 /2013
Very real and recent victories in the pro life battles of the last decades are being won in state after state while the Southern Baptist chief ethicist and advocate for Religious Freedom is Missing In Action. It seems that Russell Moore’s backdoor involvement in promoting Revoice LGBTQ+ Flourishing in Christian Churches and other business like redefining Pro- life issues to include his Evangelical Immigration Roundtable Muslim resettlement agenda may have mixed with his recurrent obsession with the topic of sex robots to distract him. Any real anti abortion victories and the current momentum that should occupy this attentions may simply not have space on the Russell Moore ERLC radar screen.
Capstone Report covers the Tenn abortion battle story here :
“The Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) did not speak at a Tennessee legislative national study of a proposed Pro-Life Bill, according to local pro-life advocates. The absence of the ERLC angered many conservative evangelicals attending the high-profile event—an event that attracted national Pro-Life and pro-abortion groups.”
“The ERLC has promoted many “critical” issues over the last few years. In April 2019, the ERLC led by Dr. Russell Moore issued a Statement of Evangelical Principles on AI. In 2015, the ERLC issued “Every Living Thing: An Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals.” In the same year, the ERLC’s head promoted Tennessee’s ban on animal fighting. Dr. Moore attended the signing ceremony. (Via: WordFoundations.com)”
“In May when grassroots groups like Nowlin’s began asking for ERLC participation, Russell Moore was publishing videos on Aliens (the outer space kind) and Christianity.”
“Perhaps the ERLC could take time from aliens to save babies?”
SO WHAT IS OCCUPYING THE THOUGHTS RUSSELL MOORE THESE DAYS?
Seems Dr Russell Moore – the decades long protege’ of Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler is more worried about Robots being baptised AND the ethics of robotic intercourse .
It gets more weird for Russell Moore -as this obsession goes back to at least 2007
“Whenever I raise some of the most pressing questions, they seem, to most people, to be like science fiction,” said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s most prominent evangelical Christian denomination.
He doesn’t mean the questions that way. To Moore, sex robots, artificial intelligence and other technological developments are serious business.
SEX ROBOT WORRIES KEEPING MOORE AWAKE?
“This is what’s been keeping me awake at night for years,” Russell Moore said.
So he’s trading questions for statements.
“This week, Moore’s organization released “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles,” a declaration he hopes will help guide humanity through overwhelming technological and scientific change. Developed through dialogue with medical, legal, political, technological and ethical experts, it urges caution as well as creativity.”
SEX ROBOT RE-RUN
In 2018 Russell Moore visited the topic YET again multiple times
In April interview / report featuring Moore and the ERLCs work on this issue :
“At the end of 2017 a Barcelona, Spain, brothel made news when it opened. Customers had to pay online before being given the secret location. At this location, passersby have no idea what lies behind the walls as they walk along the street.”
“This brothel, claiming to be the first of its kind, doesn’t hire human workers. It employs robots.”
“Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore warns technology-based sexual commodities may, within the next few years, be a reality that hits closer to home.”
“During a recent leadership event where sexual ethics were discussed in a panel, Moore said we are, indeed, “heading into augmented reality,” and offered some insights on what makes technology in the context of sexuality damaging for society—and the church.”
“I think the most dangerous thing is not sexuality added to technology,” said Moore.”
“It’s an understanding of sexuality that sees sexuality as a kind of technology. Wendell Berry, several years ago, talked about the fundamental issue in culture is whether we see humans as creatures or machines.”
“Referencing Berry’s comments regarding the way many refer to the inner workings of themselves and others—such as This is the way I’m wired and I want to find out what makes him tick—Moore asserted society has already begun the trend of ascribing attributes of a machine to humans.”
“This language is machine metaphors in a way we don’t even realize,” he said. “That’s not accidental—it’s a symptom of a larger way we see ourselves. We also see this in a dismissal of sexual ethics issues.”
“Moore also sees a correlation between transgender issues and the Imago Dei implications spurred on by the seemingly pervasive view of humans as machines.”
“When someone says, ‘I am who I am secretly inside of me and I’m altering my body as just a tool to fit that,’ and you add to that what’s taking place with technological developments, we’re at a precipice,” he said.”
“And right now I’m dealing with parents who are asking questions [about this topic] because the children are three steps more tech advanced than they are.”
“How will A.I. affect our understanding of human sexuality?”
“A.I. and other emerging technologies are rapidly creating new opportunities and challenges in many areas of our lives. One of the most important questions raised by these technologies concerns their affect upon our understanding of sexuality.”
“In this episode of Signposts, I address these questions and think about how Christians should prepare now for a future defined by such novelty and innovation.”
“Listen above, and be sure to subscribe to get new episodes of Signposts as they are released.”
IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SIMPLY EATING AWAY AT RUSSELL MOORES MIND
ERLC has even prepared a 12 point statement about :
IS RUSSELL MOORE CAUGHT IN AN INTELLECTUAL VACUUM ?
MOORE TURNS TO KEY REVOICE LGBTQ+FLOURISHING IN THE CHURCH LEADERS AS EXPERTS ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND ROBOTIC SEX
In this project Russell Moore is partnering with Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson and other compromised folks tied to the ” LGBTQ+ Christianity “and Social Justice movement on campuses like Wheaton and SEBTS. and with a host of Revoice and Mark Yarhouse friends who can’t seem to get human sexuality right . Why turn to them for guidance on robotic sexuality ? Do they provide some insights into Moores obsession with artificial intercourse?
Some of the ERLC AI signatories are a luminous group of out loud thinkers in the ERLC/ TGC echo chamber.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion
Will there really be sex robots? How will A.I. affect our understanding of human sexuality? A.I. and other emerging technologies are rapidly creating new opportunities and challenges in many areas of our lives. One of the most important questions raised by these technologies concerns their affect up…”
TGC & JOE CARTER JOINS THE “CONVERSATION ” PROMOTING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE .
RUSSELL MOORE TEACHING ON ETHICS INCLUDE -TRANS AFFIRMATION AND ROBOT SEX QUESTIONS
A SAMPLE on PAGE 52 of RUSSELL MOORES ETHICS CLASS at SBTS
This question takes place sometime in the
future, in your ministry. Joan is a fifty-year-old
woman who has been visiting your church for a
little over a year. She sits on the third row from the
back, and usually exits during the closing hymn,
often with tears in her eyes. Joan approaches you
after the service on Sunday to tell you that she
wants to follow Jesus as her Lord.
You ask Joan a series of diagnostic questions
about her faith, and it is clear she understands the
gospel. She still seems distressed though. When
you ask if she’s repented of her sin, she starts to cry
and grit her teeth.”
“She wasn’t born Joan. She was born John. From
early on in John’s life, though, he felt as though he
was “a woman trapped in a man’s body.” Joan says,
“I don’t mean to repeat that old shopworn cliché,
but it really is what I felt like.”
Joan tells you that when she was twenty she
began the process of “transitioning” from life as a
man to life as a woman. She underwent extensive
hormone therapy, followed by extensive plastic
surgery—including so-called “gender reassignment surgery.”
She has lived for the past thirty years—physically and
socially—as a woman”
MORE MOORE ETHICS CLASS AT NOBTS
“ETHICS CASE STUDIES (10pts @)
1. How should Christians make use of Old Testament Law?
2. A member in your church is part of the CIA. The member comes to you and tell you that
they have an overseas contact that they are having sexual relations in order to gain
intelligence. What advice do you give this church member? Does your answer change
depend on their marital status?
3. Is lying ever justified?
4. A member of your church is going to be deployed overseas for one year. They are
married. The Department of Defense has a contract with a sex-robot manufacturer. The
member asks whether it is appropriate to use the sex robots”
IT APPEARS MOORE WAS NEVER AS CONCERNED ABOUT REDEFINING MARRIAGE AS HE IS ABOUT ARTIFICIAL INTERCOURSE .
“Evangelical theologian Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, argued that although same-sex marriage is now the law of the land, churches “should not panic” or cave in to that decision. ”
“Moore, who wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, pointed out that the Supreme Court “has disregarded thousands of years of definition of the most foundational unit of society.” However, he urged Christians not to be dismayed by this development.”
IS RUSSELL MOORE -DISTRACTED AND OUT OF STEP WITH CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS
The SBC and TGC are left with a chief ethicist and political spokesperson who lives in a world all his own- thinking that pro life means embracing his progressive politics and the full spectrum of his beliefs rooted in his days as a Democratic Staffer. Protecting the Image Dei for Moore means floating along the cultural mainstreams to identify what is important . Meanwhile a real global battle is being waged and meaningful victories won by faithful believers- NO THANKS due to Russell Moore or the $4 million dollar annual budget of SBC $$$ spent on the ERLC.
Russell Moore discussing Artificial Intelligence RNS
“But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.
“For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,”
Tim Keller is likely one of the most popular teachers in evangelicalism today. He is considered to be innovative , intellectual and is impressive to many with his approach. In churches around the country his popular books are used for Sunday School and home group curriculum . ( a sad commentary no matter who the author is ) Keller is credited with being a VOICE in Christian circles and cultural engagement -when in fact he is little more than a echo of the think tanks and organizations from which “his ideas” flow. Keller is not promoting his ideas but THEIR ideologies .
Kellers talking points fall along the thread of classic ‘Third Way Politics” ( although he is asserted to not be political at all). Keller is theologically emergent ( although he is presumed to be orthodox Reformed ) Keller is celebrated for being refreshingly original and provocative ( while he is backed by a significant number of brain trust whose ideas he is fronting and selling as his own.)
CITY TO CITY:WHAT IS IT -WHERE DID IT COME FROM ?
Keller left his popular NYC church Redeemer City Church to begin full time focus on his brand “Redeemer City to City” and its GLOBAL work .
To embrace Redeemer City to City as a Gospel work one must:
*Believe that we will usher in Gods Kingdom though partnerships with the wicked
*Believe that the Global Goals 2030 are a God directed agenda.
*Believe that Frankfurt School politics and philosophies are Gospel Tools
*Believe that Urbanization is a natural phenomenon and the church is called to partner with it.
*Believe that Asset Based Community Development is Gospel driven .
*Believe that Tim Keller is a global prophetic voice while he echoes and seeks to apply theories of social change for the Church of the Living God .
IF ALL THIS IS POSSIBLE THEN KELLER AND HIS PARTNERS ARE DOING GOD’S WORK
KEY CITY TO CITY PARTNERS
Leadership Foundatons .org is a partner with Keller’s City to City and its origins in the Polis Institute of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando . Below they celebrate and explain the work of Keller’s Redeemer City to City as their “Featured Project: From Charity to Change”
“The faith community is a potential force for massive social change – yet it is often fragmented, operating in silos, and desperately needing to align and integrate its efforts with the wider community. In New York City alone there are over 8,500 places of worship, and more than 35,000 nonprofits in the city employ more than 600,000 people. Yet, as is the case across America, most of these churches and nonprofits work independently, often unaware of each other and often attempting to reach the same children and families in need.”
“Over the past two years, Openfields and Leadership Foundations have worked closely with Redeemer City to City (CTC) to develop an innovative training program to help church planters, rising church leaders, and church collaboratives reimagine how congregations can invest in long-term community change. Now, through the Colangelo Carpenter Innovation Center, we are further developing the program with New York Theological Seminary and poised to distribute it through the LF network and beyond.”
“The vision for this project is for churches, independently and collectively, to employ or support community-based “Routers” as a means of accomplishing collaborative, integrative ministry for the renewal of their surrounding communities. We call this program From Charity to Change.”
“Several people had recommended this sermon to us, but we never got around to listening to it until it was assigned as part of Investigative Journalism class at Patrick Henry College.
We were discussing the role of Christian journalists, but the message is for all Christians — and seems especially relevant to rebelutionaries.
Pastor Tim Keller unpacks Jeremiah 29:4-7 to argue for a uniquely Christian approach to citizenship, one that avoids assimilation and tribalism in favor of selfless service.
Keller defines “assimilation” as using the city for your personal benefit and “tribalism” as using the city for the benefit of your group.
Both approaches fall short of God’s command in Jeremiah, where the Israelites are instructed to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
A LOOK INTO THE HISTORY OF RTS/ CRU /SEEKING THE WELFARE -THE ORIGINS OF CITY TO CITY
Seeking the Welfare of the City planning .ORLANDO 2009
As a side note -Campus Crusade for Christ of CRU is now showing the long term impact of the RTS/ Keller / SWC focus as social justice , racial theory and pro LGBTQ+ inclusion saturated the workshop topics of the July 2019 CRU Conference .
“In 2007, the world changed. For the first time in human history, more people lived in cities than did not. From that point, our human story, became an urban story. “Polis” is the Greek word for city and the Institute exists to ensure that the poor and disenfranchised are actively involved in shaping that story. While our work is primarily focused in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia, we have consulted with organizations across the country to help them engage with distressed communities in dignified and effective ways.”
“It all began with a 40-day fast in 2005 by Vonette Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, during which she sought a vision for what should be done to bring hope and healing to Orlando, Florida. After the fast, Vonette hosted a series of dinner parties dubbed “Table Talk” and a research project, focused on the culture of service in Greater Orlando (called “Seeking the Welfare of the City”) was launched. The project received critical support and leadership from Jim Seneff and Angela Winn of CNL Financial Group, and Dr. Frank James, the then President of Reformed Theological Seminary.”
“Dr. James then recruited seminary students to work on the project which he began to call Polis – the greek work for “city”. In 2009, the project ended and the team gleaned three main findings from the report: 1) there were 100 distressed neighborhoods in Greater Orlando, 2) Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) was the best-supported modality to alleviate that distress, and 3) there was no evidence of mature ABCD work in the area.”
“The report went on to recommended these four things: 1) establish an urban institute to guide ABCD with the distressed neighborhoods; 2) compel influential leaders to champion the cause; 3) create formal partnerships to engage in the work in all 100 neighborhoods, one neighborhood at a time; 4) invest in the community-led initiatives that emerge from the ABCD process.”
“Phil Hissom, who had been asked to the lead the project during its latter stages, incorporated the Polis Institute in May of 2009 as a direct response to these recommendations and has been leading the charge ever since.”
“The work of Polis Institute is under-girded by the Biblical-narrative of humanity’s journey from the garden to the city (polis). We help make places more like the promised New City described in Isaiah 65 – where people enjoy the fruit of their labor in long and healthy lives. Our origins are unapologetically Christian but we specialize in finding common ground with all people of good will so that quality of life improves in distressed places.”
“Seeking the Welfare of the City (SWC) started as a project commissioned by the CEO of
CNL Financial Group, Jim Seneff. Mr. Seneff’s desire was to see how the resources of
the Central Florida community could be better utilized to help the needs across our city.
Mr. Seneff commissioned a team of seminary students from Reformed Theological
Seminary along with Angie Winn, an associate of CNL, to undertake this research.
In parallel, Greater Orlando Leadership Foundation (GOLF) partnered with its national
affiliate Leadership Foundations of America (LFA) to analyze the city’s most critical
needs and to recommend a model by which resources of the GOLF alumni could be
mobilized to meet the greatest needs. The consultant conducting this research for GOLF
was Angie Winn of CNL. Naturally, the two analysis efforts converged as one.”
“Summary of Findings
The main finding of the SWC research is that the culture of service in Central Florida is
broken – the resources to address human distress are not focused on neighborhoods
where distress is concentrated and do not emphasize building capacity in those they serve in a holistic way.”
Angie Winn President, Winn Executive Development
“Finding 4: Non-profits lack the resources and strength to accomplish their mission
Non-profit leaders often have the passion and experience to provide services to
the marginalized people of our city. However, many non-profits are challenged
operationally with running an organization and lack the resources necessary to
stay on the front-lines of the work. Church partnerships can be helpful but also
hindering because of the desired level of control and the lack of commitment.”
“Finding 5: Churches are often immobile or vision-imposing
The church is called to social and spiritual renewal of the city, yet many churches
are either immobile or conduct high-profile relief efforts that do not result in
transformation. Community development experts would argue that these efforts
may be damaging in that they foster dependencies and unhealthy perceptions of
inferiority and superiority. Resource rich churches often try to impose a vision
from outside of a distressed neighborhood and do not work to understand the
hopes, concerns, and assets of the residents in the neighborhood. The majority of
the churches within the distressed neighborhoods are focused either strictly on
word of mouth evangelism or serving parishioners outside of the neighborhood.”
“Finding 6: There are no mature and effective examples of asset-based community
development efforts in Central Florida
Every community expert interviewed, most of which were Christian, cited the
secular work of Northwestern University researchers McKnight and Kretzmann as
an essential resource for transforming distressed communities. Their approach is
asset-based and happens from the inside out. There are mature and effective
examples of this approach working in other parts of the country but none exist in
Central Florida. There are Community Development Corporations, Neighborhood
Associations, and community groups of all kinds in Central Florida but none have
had the fortitude or capacity to bring holistic transformation to their
neighborhoods. A major factor contributing to the lack of influence of these
groups is a culture of service that is heavily geared towards providing relief and
betterment services. Relief and betterment services fixate on short-term gains and
as these gains have become the expected norm, there is little patience for
alternatives, even when these short-term gains have not translated into measurable
transformation of distressed communities.”
SWC focused on three themes in the Bible – the kingdom of God, the image of God, and
the covenants of God with his people. These three broad themes inform our mandate to
seek the welfare (or “shalom”) of the place where we are and champion the dignity that is inherent in all people because of God. The Bible tells the story of God’s action in the
world and his desire to be known throughout the world. Genesis 3 tells of humanity’s
lapse into sin and the need for redemption. The hope of the gospel is first seen in Genesis
3:15 with the promise that evil will be vanquished. The good news of the gospel is
redemption from the guilt and misery of our sin, reconciling us to God and to each other.
Redemption of the world itself is also promised.”
“Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), a Dutch theologian and prime minister of the Netherlands
between 1901 and 1905, emphasized the need for the entire world to be transformed for
the sake of the gospel. In an inaugural address at the dedication of the Free University, he
said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”63 Kuyper did not believe that most models of personal charity were sufficient to alleviate poverty. He believed a large scale social change was needed in his day. Says Kuyper, “If Christians are to contribute to the alleviation of poverty, they will need to develop a comprehensive Christian social philosophy. Starting with anything less than an integral Christian vision will only lead away from the truth of God’s creation order and his sovereignty in history.” 64”
“The postmillennial idealism of many early American Christians drove
them to seek social progress. One of American’s greatest theologians, Jonathan Edwards was outspoken about the responsibility of Christians to be generous to the poor. Later in the history of the United States, many Christians became increasingly pietistic in their theology. Instead of seeking societal transformation as part of the spread of the gospel, much of American theology started to emphasize heavily a personal relationship with Christ and a life of personal holiness.”
“In the early part of the twentieth century, a large debate ensued between fundamentalists and theological liberals. Theological liberalism tended to embrace modernism and a Western utopianism and allowed higher criticism of the Bible. Fundamentalists stood their ground in defense of Biblical inerrancy and against modernistic ideas that threatened it. The so-called “social gospel” was birthed out of liberal Protestantism and was often associated with socialism and evolution. The Fundamentalists reacted strongly against the social gospel which underemphasized the need for individual salvation in favor of a broader, social salvation.66 The debate led to what has been called the “Great Reversal” in the early part of the twentieth century. Conservative churches, according to Robert Linder, retreated “from active social involvement into private prayer and personal evangelism.”67”
“During the last few decades, many evangelicals have been calling for a more holistic
understanding of the Church’s call in the world. The debate between fundamentalism and liberalism led to many one-sided views of the Church’s call. Many on either side of the issue mistakenly believed that they must choose between spiritual redemption and social redemption. In reality, the Church is called to both. The gospel is good news of holistic redemption that includes forgiveness of sins and redemption of our souls as well as redemption of our bodies and this world.”
“Gentrification is a common concern among those who study the urban environment. A
generation or two ago, well-off Americans left cities in droves to new and bustling
suburbs. The cities were left with mostly poor families. However, this trend is reversing
throughout the United States. Gentrification is the new trend. Merriam-Webster defines
gentrification as “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx oF middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces earlier usually poorer residents.”68”
“Many central cities have been economically revitalized by this process, but devastating
effects often accompany the progress. The poorer residents who are displaced are often
scattered throughout the suburbs, where they are forced to start over with little sense of
belonging to a community and often without the public services they have depended upon in the city. Government officials have also seen positive results by providing tax incentives for businesses to revitalize districts without completely displacing the lower-income residents as well as tax incentive for mixed income housing.”
“Bob Lupton has coined the phrase “gentrification with justice”69 to describe development That seeks the best interests of all parties concerned. This is a business and development Friendly approach that seeks creative ways to champion the interests of the poor while simultaneously building vibrant businesses. This approach, coupled with the highly substantiated Kretzmann and McKnight70 work on asset-based community development discussed in the Best Practices section of this report, forms the backbone of the socioeconomic framework.”
“To date, over 300 people from 15 churches have gone through the study. Components of it have been used to instruct non-profit leaders, volunteers, and community-minded business people. It should be formally published and utilized for various audiences. It is also recommended that other white papers, articles, and studies continue to be published as new findings are discovered and the need arises.”
“Mobilization of the Church”
“Brave leadership is required to mobilize the church to become involved in activities that
truly strengthen the city, leadership that values quality over quantity and commitment
over short-term successes. There is a large Christian population in the Orlando area. We
have the opportunity to leverage the body of Christ to further the peace and prosperity of Central Florida like few other places on earth. We also have the responsibility to do so. If the church is going to play a vital role in the transformation of the distressed communities of Central Florida, then our common call to action will have to lead to unity rather than to competitive positioning to acquire the largest congregations in the area. Many do not think it is possible for the church to make such choices. We assert that brave leadership can indeed forge a new path where the body of Christ leads the way to healing in our most distressed communities and inspires others to join the cause.”
“Mobilizing the church must be done in a way that does not impose an outside vision or
damage the community which means that leadership must not only inspire others to
action but to the most helpful action. This is mediated by building relationships with the
indigenous leaders within the communities and bringing the church into relationship with those leaders to support them, as well as sharpening their perceptions of assets, dignity, commitment, humility, and other principles of transformation through tools such as Dignity Serves. Many of these leaders do not occupy organizational or institutional
positions of leadership but are well-respected within the community and should be
learned from and supported.”
KELLER / POLIS LGBT /CREATIVE CLASS INCLUSION COMPONENT -RICHARD FLORIDA -CITY LAB
NOTE – No other voice in urban development is more important to keep pro LGBTQ+ policy at the cutting edge of and driving Urban focus and funding than Richard Florida. Keller RTS and CRU ORLANDO “City Reaching ” have Richard Florida’s ideology as a major factor in its SWC plan
RICHARD FLORIDA’S WORK WITH LGBTQ+ ORG HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN MUNICIPAL EQUALITY INDEX.
“In today’s world, cities must compete for business and brain power. Research shows that to do this, they must treat their LGBT citizens with dignity and respect. Acclaimed Professor Richard Florida authored the forward for the MEI. Professor Florida is a pioneer in research into how the nurturing of a “creative class” (entrepreneurs, artists and architects, researchers, scientists, engineers, and other professionals) creates prosperous, economically competitive cities.”
POLIS INSTITUTE AND CRU/KELLER /RTS WORK WITH FLORIDA IDEOLOGY IN ORLANDO
Richard Florida is Hirst Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University
School of Public Policy. Prior to 2005, he taught at Carnegie Mellon University’s
Heinz School. Florida is best known for developing the concept of the creative
class and studying its effects on urban regeneration.84”
“The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure,
Community and Everyday Life (Basic Books, 2002)
– Creative capital is the ability of people to create, innovate, and invent new things and new ways of doing things.
– Richard Florida has witnessed creative capital, not social capital, driving
– Orlando ranked 38/49 in large regions based on percentage of creative class in
– Orlando has a huge percentage of service class workers, topped only by West
Palm Beach and Las Vegas.
– “My conclusion was that rather than being driven exclusively by companies,
economic growth was occurring in places that were tolerant, diverse, and open
to creativity- because these were places where creative people of all types
wanted to live” (pg. 82). Found on page 80 of STWC Report .”
KELLER / POLIS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE PROGRESSIVES
LIBERAL RON SIDER -ECONOMIC JUSTICE COMPONENT
Ron Sider obtained his Master of Divinity and PhD in History from Yale
University. He is well-known for his work which encourages the church to
actively and radically care for the needs of the poor. He has authored over 28
books and 100 articles in religious and secular magazines on various topics. In
October 2006, Christianity Today listed his book, Rich Christians in the Age of
Hunger, as seventh in “The Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals”.86 He
is founder and president of Evangelicals for Social Action.87
Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America (Baker, 1999)
Sider begins with a description of what poverty looks like, and what causes it,
particularly in America. He lays out a Biblical foundation for empowering the
poor and gives a strategy for doing so that includes efforts from church, business,
government, and schools. He has a balanced view of what justice ought to look
like in society, and his overarching premise is that all individuals should have
access, both by law and in reality, to the resources they need, that if used
responsibly, will enable them to and to earn a decent living and to be dignified
participants in the community. All entities in society are jointly responsible to
allow that to happen. Sider describes the importance of employment and income,
family, health care, education, and welfare in a just society.
BOB LUPTON /RAY BAKKE LONGTIME LEADERSHIP NETWORK PARTNERS
Bob Lupton is founder of FCS Urban Ministries, a community development
organization. After beginning his career in business, Lupton and his family
moved to inner-city Atlanta, heeding the call to work with urban neighborhoods
and families. For the past 34 years, Lupton has worked as a Christian community
developer and entrepreneur, bringing together communities of resource with
communities of need. Through FCS, he has developed 3 mixed-income
subdivisions, organized 2 multi-racial congregations, started several businesses,
created housing for a multitude of families, and initiated a range of community
services in his community.88”
“Ray Bakke- Ray Bakke is currently academic dean, distinguished professor of global
urban ministry and chairman of the Board of Regents at Bakke Graduate University
of Ministry. He is founder of International Urban Associates, a network of over 100
urban-based church and mission leaders in many of the largest cities of the world.
Twenty years of his career were spent as a pastor to inner-city churches in Chicago
and Seattle. He has taught at Trinity College, McCormick Theological Seminary,
Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He served as a consultant in cities across the world and has authored several books,
including A Theology as Big as the City and Street Signs: A New Direction in Urban
Ministry. 89 A phone consultation with Ray Bakke in June 2006 produced the
following information which initiated the research phase of the SWC project:”
POLIS RTS- SWC BRAINTRUST TIM KELLER
“Tim Keller is currently pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in
New York City. He previously served as a Presbyterian Church in America
pastor in Virginia and as a faculty member at Westminster Seminary in
Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, he and his wife became involved in urban
ministry, including evangelistic outreach to Muslims and a ministry to individuals
with AIDS. He also served as a consultant to a local Christian Service
81 Organization that provided literary education, job training, and job placement to
unemployed and underemployed people in the city.91 An initial meeting with Tim
Keller in October 2006 yielded the following information which guided the
project aims of the SWC research project:
1. Investment in the city of Orlando will be a long-term endeavor- “If you could
turn a neighborhood from poor to middle-upper class, it would take 10-20
years of careful investment into the community.”
2. Concentrate your resources on the neighborhood and look for hidden elders of
the community- Empower/partner with the neighborhood. You must have
some middle class people who know how to move into the neighborhood.
Employ those who live in the neighborhood in order to have an impact on
your immediate environment. These individuals will often be women.
3. Operate on the principle of gleaning- “Make less and have others make what
you could have made.”
4. Make sure you are giving a community what they are asking for; you must get
the leaders onboard with what you want to give them otherwise your efforts
5. Focus on specific goals- Choose 2-3 indicators (i.e. drop-out rate) by doing a
word study. Define your indicators/categories by way of Scripture.
6. Partner with existing ministries which have been started in faith but have little
kind of structure or acumen. Find people with expertise to help run these
ministries. (This can become difficult, because it often turns reveals racial
and class tensions).
7. Concentrate on Protestant churches but also work with Catholic churches.
There should be no theological problem in working with Catholics.”
SWC NATIONAL PARTNER LEADERSHIP FOUNDATIONS CELEBRATES SWC IN THE WORK OF KELLER’S NYC BASED /GLOBAL REDEEMER CITY TO CITY
AGAIN CONSIDER THAT CITY TO CITY IS LEADERSHIP FOUNDATIONS CELEBRATED SUCCESS STORY
CCIC FEATURED PROJECT: FROM CHARITY TO CHANGE
“The faith community is a potential force for massive social change – yet it is often fragmented, operating in silos, and desperately needing to align and integrate its efforts with the wider community. In New York City alone there are over 8,500 places of worship, and more than 35,000 nonprofits in the city employ more than 600,000 people. Yet, as is the case across America, most of these churches and nonprofits work independently, often unaware of each other and often attempting to reach the same children and families in need.”
“Over the past two years, Openfields and Leadership Foundations have worked closely with Redeemer City to City (CTC) to develop an innovative training program to help church planters, rising church leaders, and church collaboratives reimagine how congregations can invest in long-term community change. Now, through the Colangelo Carpenter Innovation Center, we are further developing the program with New York Theological Seminary and poised to distribute it through the LF network and beyond.”
“The vision for this project is for churches, independently and collectively, to employ or support community-based “Routers” as a means of accomplishing collaborative, integrative ministry for the renewal of their surrounding communities. We call this program From Charity to Change.”
KELLER IS NOT PROVIDING GOSPEL FOCUS BUT DRIVING SOCIAL CHANGE .
“In a city like New York, this would include Christian leaders
like Tim Keller, Cardinal Dolan, Gabriel Salguero, A.R. Bernard,
and Rich Mouw. The cultural elite would be represented by people
like journalist and presidential aide, George Stephanopoulos; New
York Times writer, David Brooks; the president of New York
University; the chief of police; the superintendent of public schools
and the mayor. ”
“Civilitas will seek to build a national network of Christian
leaders and cultural elites from among select cities across the
country. Through the Civil Conversations and through the
networks and dialogues that develop, Civilitas will also work to
identify key issues that are of paramount importance for the
common good of our culture.
Such issues will likely include the welfare of our children,
the crisis in our public schools, the prevalence of violence in our
society, the breakdown of family and community life, and cultural
cohesion and the future of democracy in an increasingly diverse
SEVEN STEP STRATEGY
Five “Implement the process of collaboration on projects that
meet needs while also building trusting relationships.
During the time of making progress towards civility, our
Civilitas Theory of Social Change – developed in
partnership with sociologists at Princeton, Yale, and
UVA – will be used to guide and refine the actual
practice and progress of change.”
ANOTHER REDEEMER CITY TO CITY PARTNER
Partner with Keller and Leadership Foundations is Openfields in NYC.
Developing dynamic programs to increase learning, maximize engagement, and accelerate growth. ”
+ Custom Learning Programs
+ Program Design
+ Network Design
+ Brand & Communications
+ Coaching & Team Development
Portfolio: Experience our work.
“We ask questions, dive into data, invite people to the table, generate ideas, imagine the future, test and learn, launch initiatives, host events, train teams, and pay attention to every detail.”
“The organizations we support.
We’ve helped large and small corporations, universities, philanthropies, local and national non-profits, faith-based and arts organizations from South Carolina to Atlanta, DC, New York, Boston, and Palo Alto.”
INTERESTING PARTNERS FOR “GOSPEL ” WORK.
WHERE DOES IT GO FROM HERE ?
Keller’s work is global. It has massive financial backing . It is either the work of the Kingdom or it is totally antithetical to it.
Which is it ? The Believer today in a church under the influences of The Gospel Coalition
and Tim Keller – those who use his books as discipleship tools or curriculum and especially those who fall into the “donor class” in Keller’s “Generosity Movement ” must decide for themselves .
“33 Then Pilate entered the [h]Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world,that I should bearwitness to the truth. Everyone whois of the truthhears My voice.”
38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.”
“1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying [a]to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of [b]her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”
As most people who have followed the Revoice movement in the church realize by now the two year old event is simply part of a much bigger picture . That picture reveals that the movement came from within two major seminaries -the SBCs Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Albert Mohler and the PCA’s Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis . Also for the Saints who understand what is a stake -most are watching carefully as the movement behind Revoice and other “LGBTQ+ Christianity ” forces are dividing and threaten to destroy two denominations .
What is less known are the roots of the movement in the American Psychological Association and it’s thought leader for Religion and LGBTQ+ Mark Yarhouse . Far fewer believers know that in 2010 The Gospel Coalition of D A Carson and Tim Keller adopted Yarhouse as their own. This is why – not only are our seminaries but our churches and denominations are in trouble on this all important issue: the VOICE of TGC and REVOICE are the same VOICE .
“Yarhouse is currently the Chair of the task force on LGBT issues for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association. He was recently invited to write the featured whitepaperon sexual identity for the Christ on Campus Initiative edited by Don A. Carson for The Gospel Coalition.”
NOTE how Yarhouse reinforces the victim and sexual minority narratives of the Revoice audience and the movements leaders who are blaming the church for lack of understanding -This was the message of most of the middle portion of his speech .
Yarhouse topic is his new book” Costly Obedience :What We Can Learn From the Celibate Gay Christian Community “.No surprises there.
The interpretation of his message here is simply. LGBTQ+ people who commit to historic Christian ethic / i.e. celibacy or mixed orientation marriage while identifying and desiring homsoexual relationships carry a MUCH heaver burden and big big cross in their obedience – and obedience much more costly than us heterosexuals . They are building Christian Character while the rest of us who refuse the unbiblical narrative are the problem and the agent of their trials and growth .
His opening statement and what follows is very insightful .
“The reason I wrote this book is to thank you for the ways in which…the ways in which… the ways…. in which you say no to something everyday to say yes to something else has been a source of great encouragement to me as a Christian”.
“Many Things I deal with in life- I get a pass and -and you don’t”
“There IS something that comes from that over time-It builds a certain CHRISTIAN CHARACTER ”
“We never thought to talk to people to people (in a study of 300 seminary graduates pastors who affirm) who have become family to you”
“How often pastors and people who are navigating same sex sexuality ( i e homsexual orientation ) are speaking past one another …and are so ill equipped …”
“I can’t imagine how hard it is for you when there is no relationship and the letters or emails or tweets are antagonistic and coming from anything but a place of care and trust . or framed as if they were -but are antagonistic ”
“Social media can amplify the worst elements of the human condition between people who don’t even love one another but claim the name of Christ ”
YARHOUSE SITES HIS STUDY OF 300 LGBT_+ SEMINARY STUDENTS
“Neil ( one study participant ) talked about one you all know too well “Guilt by Association” … for conservative churches you are still too far out there.The minute you are gay you are already put in a seperate league from people who are straight ”
Minute 24 -For humor Yarhouse uses a NC Hurricane weather man acting like he is in a massive wind gust in a viral video to show the calm walking of the Revoice celibate gay Christian types in the background and admitting to his own research being lacking in the kinds of elevations of hurricane force winds that might have been promised. Laughter resounded from the Revoice crowd as they were championed as the stable influence in this cultural debate and to validate “MORE RESEARCH” .
In the end -in their ” struggle ” Gay Christians are portrayed as Jacob wrestling with God and demanding the blessing while – enduring Suffering and Trials which are building endurance and Strong Christian Character in Christians who are ready for anything .
Building your stories …..”Friends that has been your testimony to me you are the very people who when you say no time and time again to say yes to something else- you build the kind of Christian Character that strengthens you ( saying no to your unchanging homoesexual desires ) and that has been a source of encouragement (not to mention a career ) to me and is THE VERY THING NEEDED to strengthen the WITNESS OF THE CHURCH TODAY”
No mention is made of the gay affirming APA interfaith – not specific to Christian faith or the Word of God – work of Yarhouse or of the Revoice activist demands to change the language of the church from Biblical and Historic norms on the sin and impact of homosexuality and gender rebellion. Yarhouse leaves off the purpose stated by Revoice leaders which is “Promoting LGBT+ Flourishing in Historic Christian Traditions “.
No the only chord struck by Yarhouse at Revoice 2019 is that “gay Christianity” is the norm because homosexuality is not impacted or changed by the Gospel ( at least not in seminaries TGC/ Yarhouse haunt ) . Yarhouse boast that celibate gay Christians are the ones leading the church forward today. Identifying by and longing after homosexual desires builds Christian Character. That is the message of Yarhouse- Revoice and all under the sway of The Gospel Coalition .
YARHOUSE ON REVOICE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL – AND OFF AGAIN
By the lead up to Revoice 2019 the website had doctrinal statements and leader names and bios. Yarhouse was listed on the Revoice Leadership Advisory Council . He is no longer listed . No one has spoken to or offered the reason (s) why he “has left the building”
In the CT review Ed Shaw of TGC and Living Out says-
“Being a celibate gay Christian means being an object of suspicion. The wider LGBTQ community sees you as shockingly conservative (“You think gay sex is wrong?”), while the wider evangelical community sees you as worryingly liberal (“You call yourself gay?”).
One day, someone will be expressing disgust toward your “fundamentalist” beliefs. On the next, someone else is targeting your “perverted” sexual orientation. Disparate groups see you as an existential threat, and their attacks can be fierce, as recent online responses to conferences like Revoice and ministries like Spiritual Friendship and Living Out would attest.”
“If the students do not know the deceptions are present then they will not be harmed by them”. CMMA Director Bobby Parks response to proven deceptions in student curriculum.
Thomas Littleton 8/5/2019
The Writer at Thirty Pieces of Silver has been involved in many issues that are front line and public concerns for the Church today. In addition to this role Littleton and his wife have quietly served in pastoral and counseling roles , mentoring young people in the faith and in their professions. Littleton is an evangelist and teacher and has been involved in medical missions in Central America since the late 90s.
The Littleton’s met on a medical missions trip through Hunter Street Baptist Church years ago. As a Dental student Littleton’s wife was involved in the ministry of Christian Medical Ministry of Alabama on the campus of University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In the last decade, the Littleton’s medical missions, mentoring efforts and calling have been combined in work with CMMA. They have supported CMMA with time ,money and passionate agreement with CMMAs stated mission. They have played many roles in this and other related ministries .These roles have included mentoring relationships with students and young medical care providers, planning, resourcing and leading CMMA medical missions trips with students and staff and teaching /participating in bible studies. Littleton’s wife Karen has also served on the CMMA Board. (Of note -given the targeting Littleton’s wife has received – She has been the only woman and only minority among a dozen or so white males on the Board )
PROBLEMS BREWING IN HEALTHCARE REFORMS AND FAITH BASED MODELS
By Spring of 2013 -the Littleton’s had become of aware of 2012 plans by a “City Reaching ” ministry called Mission Birmingham to attempt to form Faith Based / Community Health Care partnership (FBP)with the local county indigent hospital.
The Mission Birmingham plan also included efforts to open 30 plus clinics inside churches to be extensions of the county hospital. This plan and Mission Birmingham ITSELF -by this time- was originating out of the Littleton’s home church. The ministry of Mission Birmingham that had begun years ago at Briarwood PCA church as a pastoral prayer meeting. The MB effort was discovered to be seeking to lure the Littleton’s into the FBP plan in order to attract and connect its efforts with CMMA.
MANY problems -which are outlined in the article below -were both obvious from the start and more began to surface as the “vision ” and funding unfolded. The Littletons determined to speak up and protect CMMA vision, employees ,staff, donors and students involved in the ministry from these deceptive -seductive schemes . What follows is the recounting of over 4 years of trails ending – not in any course correction for CMMA -but in the attempts to smear the reputation of and oust Littleton’s wife from the CMMA Board.
(NOTE- This article is not an attack on Briarwood/ CMMA / Harry Reeder/ Benny and Bobby (the) Parks Brothers / or Briarwood or CMMA Staff. WE love and pray for these men and have been very patient – even hiding for years-their actions against us .It IS a statement on the stand we took – why we took the stand _to protect a beloved ministry vision from harm _and the price we paid to and continue to take for standing against it.
Being biblical / faithful and protecting the young lives, faith and calling of those we entrusted to minister to IS the first and last our consideration. Let it be yours as well. )
RELATED BRIARWOOD HISTORY WITH LITTLETON
In 2015 This writer was asked to engage in the Apologetics classes at Briarwood PCA. Over a three year period, 15-18 different hours on the full range of LGBTQ history / movement/ politics/ funding and goals were taught against a backdrop of a clear call to Biblical faithfulness and the truth on how to minister to people in- and families of LGBT. At that point VERY FEW at Briarwood or most churches for that matter – had even heard the letters LGBT much less what they all stood for in the new world supercharged with activism. The voices warning against the LGBTQ education agenda driven by Planned Parenthood and the inside story on HRC and other activist groups “Faith Initiatives ” where very FEW indeed and Briarwood was getting full access to all the story.
As this writers work began to be published nationally – an article appeared in Barbwire in which he wrote about the lack of engagement of conservative Christian leaders in the hottest battles for the heart and souls of American Evangelicalism. This writer mentioned in one paragraph- the compromise of Tim Keller and its ongoing impact in the PCA .Soon “Hell Fire” from Harry Reeder’s office ensued leading up to retribution against Littleton in issues totally unrelated to Briarwood and enduring on to last months targeting of Littleton’s wife . In reality they have yet to ceased.
BACK TO MEDICAL MINISTRY -CMMA WARNINGS REBUFFED UNTIL THE ALL OUT ASSAULTS BEGAN
The relationship at CMMA began to “normalize” after the Keller article reactions at the same time the LGBTQ+ agenda and much more profound Keller compromised surfaced. Following the Briarwood demands NOT to discuss the issues related to Briarwood with others -this writer did not speak of those issues but did attempt to warn CMMA and both Parks brothers repeatedly of the unfolding concerns.
Little if any progress was made in getting past the simple fact that the truth about Tim Keller had not only created a divide but a growing hostility among the Briarwood staff and with the CMMA Director toward the Littletons and any warnings coming from him. These warnings were being published and well received internationally by this time but increasingly -angrily rebuffed at Briarwood . Some responses bordered on hate and were ADMITTED by one Briarwood staffer on more than one occasion to be “sinful”. Matthew 18 efforts on the part of the Littleton’s to reconcile these issues were rebuffed and ignored and only added to the growing tensions.
LGBTQ+ IN HEALTHCARE AND FAITH BASED COMMUNITY CLINICS IMPACTS ANY MINISTRY LIKE CMMA -YET WARNINGS FALL ON DEAF EARS.
Over the following years CMMAs presence at University of Alabama Birmingham medical schools came on the radar of LGBTQ campus activst. Littleton attempted to show some of the developing narratives and tool kit/ conversation guides to the Parks brothers. Exposing these examples of activist tactics and approaches helped many other ministries and churches navigate these issues successfully – but not Briarwood or CMMA .They rejected all efforts to help.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN TRAINED ARMY FOR HRC’s “PROJECT ONE AMERICA ” LGBTQ+ CHURCH FOCUS
Briarwood and CMMA ministry leaders rejected all efforts of help with these rapidly unfolding tactics to infiltrate and deceive the churches by activist. VERY few were aware much less warning ministries and conservative churches of the dangers. Slick and heavily marketed groups like Rethink Apologetics were advising “inclusion in membership ” as an evangelistic approach TOTALLY ignoring the existence of activism altogether and the targeting of the church-even when asked about HRC and more radical groups .Briarwood Church chose to host Rethink Apologetics against many warning until Reeder decided to interview the LGBT+ speaker whose theology and the entire Rethink Approach were determined to be “unsound , troublesome and unbiblical” . Yet the the event was hosted in April 2019 for a third year. Rethink target audience are teens in conservative churches. A neighboring Southern Baptist church is scheduled to host Rethink for 2020.
LGBTQ+ HEALTHCARE AND THE UNSETTLED DUST OF REFORM
The efforts of infiltration and mistaken efforts to find compromise hit CLOSE to the CMMA home. As the Littleton’s continued to work with CMMA ministry in contact with medical students and area medical professionals- suddenly UAB- Children’s Hospital , five local County Health Departments AND most local Faith Based Clinics ( FBPC ) funding signed onto a policy covenant drafted to force pro LGBTQ+ policy in all community development funding areas including and especially Health Care.
CMMA DECISION TO IGNORE THE DANGERS AND PROMOTE THE PROBLEM
*Just three years prior to this developing issue a ministry began by Briarwood- Mission Birmingham . By this time MB was operated day to day by the church (Shades Mountain Independent) where Littleton’s wife was raised, (now called Shades Mountain Community Church). Mission Birmingham had launched an effort to recruit the Littleton’s and CMMA into their Faith Based Clinics partnership vision with the local County.
The vision was to establish clinics actually located INSIDE local churches that would be EXTENSIONS of the local County Indigent Health Care Trust and the local county hospital Cooper Green. These plans were part of that church (SMCC) efforts to follow PCA pastors Randy Pope’s / Tim Keller inspired model. Plans did not succeed nor did efforts to recruit the Littleton’s due to the insight of the deep compromise required for ministries to comply the sad but predictable reality of rampant and growing corruption. A long time partner of Mission Birmingham under SMCC and Briarwood had already been landlord to a $14 million dollar health care fraud in “Community Based Indigent Care by 2015”.Mission Birmingham closed its doors in December 2018 after three decades .
*Still warnings to CMMA / Briarwood of these issues and the local policy driven by the “Equality Act ” style planning were ignored and met with more anger by Bobby Parks. CMMA students were openly accessed in CMMA functions and recruited by Faith Based Health Care leaders even while those leaders were being funded by the same money as the pro LGBTQ+ initiatives . Some FBP leaders were caught being dishonest wth CMMA students while speaking at CMMA meetings . These included denials about government funding and about the FBP clinics being in direct competition to area private practitioners.
Restrictions to ministry in Government funded and progressive private funded health care made the promotion of these clinics as “ministry – fraudulent and misrepresented . They simply cannot be viable as areas for ministry with students/ interns and volunteers while taking such funding .
WHY STAND YOUR GROUND?
This was -in itself at the VERY heart of the Littleton’s stand against using CMMA as a feeder /recruiting station for the FBP clinics.
FBP s cannot be promoted as a ministry when “explicit religious activities “such as Bible study or distribution, prayer , worship, material distribution and “proselytizing ” are “strictly forbidden” by the funders- esp the Government agencies who cannot violate “establishment clauses.” Christians working in medicine is a wonderful thing .Christians in medicine is not the problem – nor are Christian run clinics the problem. Obamacare /socialized medicine and funding partnerships with the church and FBP ARE a HUGE problem.
*Also Students being recruited into some of these programs in CMMA were of course coming to the Littleton’s who serve as mentors and expressing major “quality of care” and medical “ethics ” issues with the care being provided in some cases. This growing problem is currently under review in an investigation that cannot be discussed as of this writing .
CMMA FACE TO FACE WITH THE DENIALS
The tensions of the CMMA students being recruited were illustrated on the very day this article is being finalized as a former CMMA student now in general dentistry and Littleton’s wife were asked by a current student about their thoughts for the student potentially working one of the troubled FBP clinics as a resident .Many CMMA former students know the problems and voice them honestly while the CMMA leadership/ Bobby Parks promotes the models .He has been unwilling to admit to the problems even when the Littletons have warned of it and the Students see them and live them daily .
ONE OF THE MOST SHOCKING THINGS LITTLETON HAS EVER HEARD
*Curriculums designed to recruit students of CMMA and other Briarwood ministries to VOLUNTEERISM contained overt deceptions.
Littleton warned of the presence and long term goals undermining the students own ethics and hopes for future employment in these recruiting and priming methods.
*Bobby Parks – appearing to now be weary of rejecting such warnings declared:
“If the students do not know the deceptions are present then they will not be harmed by them.”
Read that again .
This was the Briarwood staffer- CMMA director’s view on the deceptions outlined above. At this point the Parks brothers and Briarwood appear to have become driven and unstoppable- as the CMMA directors anger continue to boil . To date there has been no apology or signs of repentance for ANY for this.
*CMMA leader Bobby Parks was VERY aware of the backstory with the dishonesty ,abuse and unethical application of eldership authority in the now rapidly declining Shades Mountain Community Church (SMCC) . This included the “new” Mission Birmingham vision after the Littleton’s had made THEMSELVES fully accountable to him as the CMMA leader YEARS BEFORE. Though knowing in detail- Parks gave no warning to a long time associate missionary from the Dominican Republic /SCORE ministry or his wife when they were looking for a church home after relocating to Birmingham.The couple began to attend SMCC. CMMA director chose not to offer warning to his long time associates. The couple joined SMCC and began to bring the deceptive and abusive elders/leadership of their new church home into CMMA’s realm and fundraising. These are the same people who had sought to obtain access thru the Littleton’s to CMMA through the now failed Mission Birmingham and its “Community Development ” /Faith based goals.
*Again Bobby Parks, CMMAs director,appeared to show no concern for protecting others on his staff from these deadly deceptions. To this day- knowing and loving this brother – the Littletons cannot understand the reasoning behind such decisions .
*CMMA Dental ( not certain about other areas) has recently experienced some steep decline in student participation – the Littleton’s are now likely blamed by Briarwood and CMMA leadership but have never detracted from these ministries or even sounded any open warnings until now .
*Littleton also warned the CMMA and Briarwood staff of Tim Keller’s close ties to Revoice radical LGBTQ+ Flourishing Conference and work with the now exposed Sam Allberry , Living Out collaboration with Keller and wife Kathy on the “LGBTQ inclusion Church Audit “.
Such warnings appear to have driven the Parks brothers and Briarwood /CMMA offices to the point of severe and growing retribution .
PARKS BROTHERS CONSPIRE AGAINST GOD’S VOICE CONFERENCE-A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO REVOICE WHICH THREATENS TO DIVIDE THE PCA AND SBC.
Fast forward through many dangers toils and snares to 2017 /2018. In October 2017 word came to Littleton who had exposed the Revoice Conference in May 2018 -that Benny Parks Briarwood staffer was working to undermine any PCA participation in a scheduled meetings called God’s Voice Conference :A Biblical Response to Revoice . Benny Parks was reported to be making efforts to discredit Littleton “with his own writings.”
Littleton sent repeated emails to Briarwood staffer Benny Parks urging him to cease the efforts behind his back and to meet and talk face to face. None of those efforts to contact Benny were even acknowledged .
*Benny Parks of Briarwood Pastoral Staff then consulted together during church and CMMA ministry time to search out “heretical writings” on the internet by Littleton. The goal was to detract from God’s Voice Conference and disparage Littleton. Going to the internet the Parks proceeded to find a website which contained Littleton’s articles. That website was NOT Littleton’s Thirty Pieces of Silver . org website but only one of many that repost and republish Littleton’s articles. Littleton has nor seeks to assert any control over such repostings especially in the flurry of the Revoice controversy .
The Revoice story had been broken by Littleton with Brannon Howse on World View Weekend and then in ongoing detail on Janet Mefferd Today and Janet Mefferd Live programs. Mefferd promoted and spoke at the God’s Voice Conference and interviewed Littleton many times leading up to and once following the God’s Voice Conference. Howse and others continue to expose the deep PCA/ Keller/ Revoice compromise.
THE FALSE PARKS BROTHERS DOSSIER EXPOSED
The Parks brothers complied 12 pages of, in their view, heretical writings by Littleton and handed them to Briarwood pastor Harry Reeder for distribution to PCA guys concerned about Revoice .According to a recipient of the “dossier” -it had been distributed in order to discourage their work with Littleton and God’s Voice. Harry Reeder, Pastor of Briarwood, never spoke to Littleton- not ONCE. Benny Parks ignored Littletons efforts to prevent further backstabbing and false witness and still Parks compiled the dossier and gave the dossier/ file to Reeder to be distributed. A fool and his FOLLY and not easily dissuaded .
Once the fact that the Parks / Briarwood staffer file/” Dossier” was exposed to be totally FALSE – not a word of it being Littleton’s writings -NO effort of repentance was made . – Even AFTER Harry Reeder had distributed it and Reeder even accused Littleton of “breaking the 9th commandment” boasting he was “big on the 9th commandment .” NO repentance or apology was EVER issued by Reeder and his underlings . The Parks Brothers maintained the work they had done on Briarwood and CMMA time was “correct even though it was wrong .” Or in the words of Dan Rather the dossier “was false but accurate ”
Yes you read that right .
CMMA Director made no attempt to apologize or correct his role in the “dossier” while his brother Benny Parks who compiled and passed it along framed his apology as”I am sorry that what I did made you and your wife conclude that I am not trustworthy .”
RETRIBUTION -CMMA/ BRIARWOODS DIRTY DEED AND REEDERS MAN IN THE ROOM
On Monday Night the 22nd of July 2019, Littleton’s wife was called into a meeting of the CMMA board to continue the agenda launched against her on July 12TH. By Wed the 24th the letter removing Littleton’s wife from the CMMA Board with zero due process or justification was drafted and mailed. It was received late on Saturday the 27th by the Littleton’s. No record of the proceedings or the vote or support FOR her was provided- just the usual flowery words before the boot.
The letter simply ended “sincerely, CMMA Board.” No names or signatures to validate it .
NONE of the unorthodox, unethical, inappropriate and bizarre behavior demanding to meet with Littleton’s wife alone- about her husband without her husband present -or the effort to intimidate her in the line of a funeral memorial by a Briarwood elder /CMMA board member were addressed at all. NO effort to RESOLVE that with the Littletons has been made.
The unethical proceedings being overseen by an angry and uninformed Briarwood employee PCA elder/ Reeder operative Jim Alexander – were not examined or confronted. Alexander -a pastor who is “Reeders eyes and ears in the Board Led Ministries ” carried out the Monday meeting with no effort to understand or access both sides of the issues or to even speak once with the Littleton’s on the issues.
PAID TO RAGE AT BRIARWOOD
The Littleton’s have worked with Bobby Parks the CMMA director peacefully for over a decade -even for 4 years in the shadow of his growing animosity. This animosity culminated in the targeting of Littleton’s wife but neither Reeder nor Alexander -his elder operative in the CMMA Board confronted these obvious and glaring realities. Not even when these tensions were observed and questioned by the CMMA Board .
Bobby Parks’ angry and admittedly sinful actions have not been addressed and he remains -as of this writing – in the employ of CMMA. His Brother Benny Parks remains the third in command in Reeder’s Briarwood staff. It seems clear that Briarwood PCA church are paying these men to engage these kinds of activities about which the congregants know nothing and the are not held accountable no matter how unjustified .
DETAILS CONFIRMING THE CMMA BOARD AND THE LITTLETONS ROLES IN CMMA.
IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL HARRY REEDERS REPRESENTATIVE RUNS THE BOARD
The CMMA Board meeting held on Monday July 22nd was NOT conducted by the Board but by Harry Reeder’s recent hire from Colorado Springs Jim Alexander. Alexander has spent years pastoring a church of 130 people but does seem to fit right in at the mega church under Reeder as his “Eyes and Ears” and in this case as the “heavy ” or “Harry’s Hatchet Man ” as some Briarwood leaders have called it. His job in this case was to organize a meeting with 10 MEN to confront ONE woman ( Littleton’s wife) and force her to incriminate herself off the CMMA Board in retaliation for her husband’s ministry .
HOW TO BULLY WOMEN AND CALL IT BIBLICAL AUTHORITY
Perhaps somewhere in the “Tim Keller school of THE PROPHETS” for pastoring TGC churches they teach these guys how to bully women. Alexander was less that professional and quiet rude on multiple occasions so he might have failed that course at TGC and need a repeat.
LIKE BRIARWOOD ITSELF ALEXANDERS LONG TIME PASTORATE IS A TGC AFFILIATE
Jim Alexanders long time church Cheyenne Mountain PCA is a TGC affiliate Harry Reeder has made the decision to remain in TGC even with many concerns expressed from PCA and Briarwood members . The methods to which they have continued to resort against Littleton and now his wife on multiple fronts call into serious question the motives of these men who resort to such tactics and begs the question “what has made them so paranoid- enough to resort to using such tactics?
CHRISTIAN MEDICAL MINISTRY OF ALABAMA BOARD IGNORANCE
Although The CMMA Board was given a one sided -long view of the issues with the the CMMA Director Bobby Parks including emails spanning several years- no opportunity was given to either of the Littleton’s to give context to those emails or the long standing tensions that exist. No calling to account of the Board member who is also a Briarwood elder who repeatedly acted out of bounds with Littleton’s wife were made.
The decision to oust her from the Board came under the direct leadership of Pastor Harry Reeders elder /employee Alexander who never attempted to hear or present both sides- but simply to facilitate and oversee the inquisition and condemnation of Littleton’s wife. The job at hand was to remove her from the CMMA Board. If that is all that mattered – then “mission accomplished “
The outcome is that CMMA is still in danger and those to whom it ministers are in even greater danger by the VERY issues the Littleton’s stood their ground to warn them of. This was illustrated in the first on campus meeting at UAB School of Dentistry for 2019 as THE VERY concerns which were expressed over many years to CMMA leader Parks played out in living color as students are concerned about faith based community clinics into which they are being recruited. CMMA – to date remains a recruiting grounds for these problematic “ministries ” to access the hearts minds , skills and callings of young medical students in it’s care.
Briarwood and CMMA leadership and Board may be pleased with the current outcome . Still they cannot expect that no one is going to notice as these unsustainable models play out and implode .The willingness to compromise the Gospel and your own mission becomes blindly obvious /glaring to everyone except the perhaps to those who have refused to consider them.
25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
3The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
17An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies.
3To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
1st Peter 3
10For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
11They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
1st John 3
18Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has been indoctrinating it’s students in the social justice driven ideology since at least 2014 . Funding from the Kern Family Foundation helped establish the Commonweal Project with oversight from Kern and TGC partner Oikonomia Network on SBTS campus at the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement.
(If you are new to this issue and do not grasp the seriousness of the Social Justice perversion in Evangelical circles consider this brief insight. Decades ago the “social gospel” was the very tool of progressives in mainline denominations which have brought many of those groups into error- loss of true Gospel /transformation focus and into steep decline as movements. People like Ronald Sider and Jim Wallis have presided over this rapid decline as public spokesmen and behind the scenes coordinators of its spread . Their compromise has allowed funding from liberal foundations ( even George Soros and Bill Gates foundations ) and faith based community development programs to invade and shape their vision of the churches role in society .The focus and the impacts are global.
Today The Gospel Coalition , leaders like Tim Keller and Rick Warren have brought this VERY same movement and its deadly compromises into mainstream conservative evangelicalism. They have done so under pretense of orthodox theology and have targeted and won most of our seminaries. Leaders like Albert Mohler ,Danny Akin , Jason Allen, Adam Greenway and many more have embraced this ideology and the massive funding behind it onto the campuses they control.
The core of this ideology may sound wonder . At first glance “Faith and Work” and “Theology of Faith and Economics ” sound like goodly and viable focuses as Christians need to be taught to ,first and foremost ” to work as unto the Lord and not unto men”. Ending global poverty might appear to be a nobel goal for an entire generation . But how those means are achieved : focusing on the “Common Good” – “Human Flourishing ” and ” Thriving Cities” is nothing more than Global Goals 2030 already embraced in 2015 by the current Pope of Rome. Catholic Social Policy – historically shaped and influenced by Cultural Marxist is at the head of the origins of this very curriculum on our campuses and at heart of the it’s long term goals .
These globalist leaders are seeking to build “the Great Society” and see Faith and Work as a means to indoctrinate your children and grandchildren -even in the very heart of Christian education and in your own schools and institutions and churches. In the grand scheme of things- you faith and that of your children is being redefined and your institutions and churches are become recruiting stations and feeder programs for the grand deception.
The church cannot be salt and light when leavened with the false doctrine and the spirit of the age . The eternal Gospel and the ability to provide real hope and transformation is on the line as the deadly -proven failure of a weak and meaningless and unsustainable social gospel now threatens the last remaining Biblically faithful movements in the US.
This grim warning is not overstated and men like Al Mohler and Tim Keller are not only willing to make the compromises- take the funding -and indoctrinate your children and your next pastor and children’s pastor – they are also willing to try and shuffle the facts once exposed .)
Previously the Kern and Oikonomia Network logos appeared at the bottom right on the SBTS website .
The only place on the website where the partnership is currently mention in the “about” section of the front page .
“The Commonweal Project is an initiative at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to equip all Christians with a biblical theology of faith, work, and human flourishing. As a project of the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement, The Commonweal Project is funded by the Kern Family Foundation as a member of the Oikonomia Network.”
The purpose of the program is the development of the Faith and Work programing which KFF has launched by 2013 on at least 13 conservative Campuses. It is the heart of the Social Justice indoctrination “for the Common Good” and “Human Flourishing “.
From the SBTS website -Simply more TGC rhetoric –
1. The common good
2. The public good or welfare
3. Archaic A commonwealth or republic.
4. The happiness, health, and safety of all of the people of a community or nation
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS IN THE FAITH AND WORK IDEOLOGY
Some National partners of the Faith and Works ideology include Yale Divinity School and the VA based – Institute for Faith,Work & Economics
Yale Divinity School https://faith.yale.edu/
The mission of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture is to critically examine and promote practices of faith which advance authentic human flourishing and the global common good.
We advance this mission through each of our four core initiatives:
Actually the very same mantra and ideology that Volf is promoting at Yale divinity School is on Mohler’s SBTS campus .
REVOICE LGBT+FLOURISHING LEADERS AT SBTS
It is significant to note in understanding what is meant by Common Good and Human Flourishing – that Nate Collins founder of the controversial Revoice LGBT “Flourishing ” conference which emerged as Collins was still teaching New Testament at Mohler’s SBTS – Sites Miroslav Volf as a major influence on his ideologies. The cross pollination and contamination is inevitable when Conservative Institutions yoke with such partners and ideologies . Pride and Funding are often at the core
Will Evangelical Leaders Succeed in Selling Out the American Church?
President Barack Obama & the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission President, Russell Moore
By Rev Thomas Littleton
June 21, 2018
Last April, a group of self-appointed, self-important Evangelicals met at Wheaton College for what some have called a “Trump Bashing” and to determine the future of the Church. The list of attendees was not made available to the Evangelical community, whose future they are deciding, however, one attendee seems to be the designated spokesman. Jim Wallis was in his college days an activist in the radical left Students for a Democratic Society. Wallis later became spiritual adviser to President Obama and served on the Advisory Council to Obama’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Wallis’ lifelong political commitments are revelatory. Barack Obama was mentored by none other than William Ayers who was the leader of the 1970’s domestic terrorist Weather Underground, the revolutionary faction of the Students for a Democratic Society, which was discovered to be a Communist front by the FBI.
Hillary Clinton, Jim Wallis & Barack Obama
Following the Wheaton conference, Wallis wrote a revealing piece, which actually clarifies that the intended “bashing” was not for President Trump but for those Evangelicals who voted for him. Of the three main points discussed at the gathering, all three do mention Trump, but the problem as they see it are the Evangelicals who support or even voted for Trump. This political action, in their view, represented a “collective backsliding” (a term seldom used these days even by Baptists). Evangelicals have embarrassed us, they said, and are too dumb to know it. We owe “people of color” and the international community an apology and must explain ourselves. Because of Trump’s personal character flaws, we are then warned of the danger of “losing an entire generation of young people to the Christian Faith” and they, of course, have the statistics to prove it.
In fact, the use of the very word “Evangelical” continues to be called into question as the effort further stigmatize it ramps up of late. At one time “Evangelical” described Christians who “evangelize” or share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost, however, we are now at the point where churches in the US and UK are abandoning evangelism altogether.
UK megachurch pastor: “You don’t have to evangelise anyone, just love accept and serve people. I didn’t build my church on evangelism (in fact I banned the word) but on love and service and we flourished.”
Jim Wallis: “The question this meeting is asking about the future of evangelicalism has been answered by the voices of color and women in this room (pointing to several of them). They are pointing us to the evangel, the good news Jesus said he would bring to the poor in his opening statement in Luke 4. That’s our future, let’s listen. As one of the white evangelical leaders in the Wheaton meeting had said to me before, ‘American evangelicalism is destroying the evangel.’ It is time for the evangel to turn white evangelicalism in America upside down.”
This Evangelical Monster Mash Began Years Ago
By 2014, Cultural Marxism was in full swing and, by 2016, was doing the full monty – flaunting its university erudition and cultural relevance in the Southern Baptist Convention and Presbyterian Church in America, both conservative denominations. Ed “numbers cruncher” Stetzer partnered with his “out” LGBTQ activist journalist friend, Jonathan Merritt, (and some companions) to discuss The Future of Evangelicalism on The Gospel Coalition blog. They assured us that, on cultural issues that face the Church – like where we stand on abortion, homosexuality and gay marriage – we were “like unbaked cookies that need to be placed back in the oven for 3-5 more years and then taken out to see where we are.” Well, it has been 3 1/2 to 4 years, so here we are looking at the cookies.
Assault on the Southern Baptist Convention
Stetzer and Merritt began their long-awaited cookie inspection by attacking one of the main ingredients in the SBC and Evangelicalism – the conservative movement and a leader of the conservative resurgence, Paige Patterson. Merritt called out Patterson on rather flimsy assertions for a MeToo moment, based on twisted narratives of pastoral counseling which Merritt, who is no position to call anyone out, sees as abusive. Stetzer joined the fray on the same day. Anyone who does not see the coordination is simply not looking. Merritt doubled down in The Atlantic, even though airing such grievances, if valid, in the secular press violates the Word of God (1 Cor. 6:1-7). Stetzer clearly received some feedback as he boasted and invited more “Hate Mail” following a shaming session of those in the SBC who dare to not agree with him and his “research.” What Christian leader likes to boast or joke about the amount of hate mail they receive? Perhaps the evil servant of Matt. 24:48-49 and Evangelical leaders who are paid to be nasty and abuse the body of Christ.
Of late, Russell Moore has chimed in on the MeToo allegations against the SBC conservatives by promoting his “Gospel Sexuality in a MeToo Culture” meetings at the upcoming conference in Dallas. Notably, young Merritt’s father is among the speakers.
So, what is this exhibition really about? Is it about the future of the Church? Well, in many ways, absolutely it is! But is the problem that Christians voted for and support the President? The professional shamers claim we are too political, but the fact is that we are too conservative for THEIR leftist political agenda. It simply cannot be allowed again for the Christian fold, in today’s culture shift, to break ranks with their valued leaders and vote en masse for someone they have not endorsed. In a nutshell, they view the Church as their property and this movement is nothing more than a long, forced march toward the progressive slave labor camps that others have been forced into for decades. Our leaders have also placed a for sale sign on the property THEY DO NOT OWN.
Assault AT the Southern Baptist Convention to Hide the LGBT+ Sell Out.
Making the Church fully LGBT-compliant appears to be a primary contingency for the sale property to the new progressive ownership and years of subtle efforts have gone into meeting that required “upgrade.” Now it appears the agents of change must finish the project and massive efforts to complete those renovations are underway. In early May, Gay Christian advocate for Tim Keller and Russell Moore and the combined efforts of TGC and ERLC, Sam Allberry, began promoting a radical LGBT+ Christian conference scheduled for July known as Revoice. This radical conference was heralded as the U.S. counterpart to Tim Keller’s upcoming London appearance at Allberry’s “Living Out” ministry to discuss “Identity in Christ” for Homosexuals. Allberry’s social media promo for Revoice boasted that it is “Promoting LGBT+ flourishing in historic Christian tradition.”
Revoice openly talks about Queer Christians, LGBT+ Christians, Sexual Minorities in the Church and in ministry; the churches becoming safe spaces for LGBT+ people, building allies for LGBT+ in the Church; and the virtues of Queer Theory, Queer Culture and Queer Literature that the Church has missed when tossing out its vices. Revoice also hails the “Treasures that Queer Theory, Culture and Literature will bring into the New Jerusalem at the end of time.” This radical conference has close ties to both Keller and ERLC’s Russell Moore besides the fact that Sam Allberry is promoting it. Those ties include long time preaching staffer and disciple of Keller, Scott Sauls, who is promoting Revoice as well. The Revoice Conference is being held in a PCA church (Memorial Presbyterian in St Louis) and has nearly a dozen strong ties with PCA’s Covenant Seminary there. The PCA’s June General Assembly saw Revoice become a topic of concern and the issue remains a priority.
Dr. & Mrs. Russell Moore at Obama’s White House Christmas Party in 2016
Equally disturbing are the Southern Baptist ties of Revoice with ERLC head and long time SBTS Dean, Russell Moore. ERLC Fellow, Karen Swallow Prior, promoted Revoice alongside Scott Sauls on the website, and doubled down on her support of the controversial event /movement in a recent interview with Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez. Another person involved as a speaker at Revoice is Brandon Polk, whose Arrowhead Advisors LLC is a consultant with Russell Moore’s ERLC for conferences like the ERLC 2017 “Christ Centered Parenting,” their recent work on prison reform and the racially-charged ERLC/TGC Memphis MLK/50 Conference. Polk is also a friend and huge fan/promoter of Todrick, a judge on the panel for the RuPaul Drag Race Drag Queen program on LOGO TV. Deeper Southern Baptist leadership ties to Revoice exist in the Founder and President of the conference/movement, Nate Collins, who carries two degrees from Dr. Albert Mohler and Russell Moore’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he taught New Testament and online course. Dr. Mohler replied to questions about Nate Collins and ERLC connections to Revoice in an interview for Worldview Weekend which is available at the end this article.
You can read more about the Revoice conference, its American Psychological Association DNA and connections to the PCA, SBC, TGC, ERLC, Tim Keller, Russell Moore, Albert Mohler and the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, J. D. Greear, at these links.
My Experience of ABUSE at the Hands of SBC/ERLC Leadership Over Revoice Concerns
The ERLC and the Southern Baptist Executive Committee reacted strongly to this journalist when I traveled to the SBC 2018 convention on behalf of Southern Baptist members to report on the convention and feature concerns about Revoice to leaders there. On Tuesday afternoon an ERLC employee, Brent Leatherwood, attempted to physically restrain me from interviewing ERLC head Russell Moore in what Texas law would classify as a Class C Assault. Leatherwood, a former Tennessee Republican Party executive director, was hired by Moore at the ERLC after being exposed for his counter offensives as a “never Trumper” while at the Tennessee State GOP. A quick internet search will provide more than the average person will care to read about Leatherwood’s historyat the Tennessee Republican Party.
On Wednesday afternoon, June 13, Leatherwood spotted me across the halls of the Exposition building just hours before the ERLC annual report was to be given at the main hall of the SBC Dallas meetings. Within two minutes I found myself face to face with two uniformed Dallas policemen and being removed from the building and the event without covering the main story I had remained for a third day at the Dallas meetings to cover. I was informed by Dallas PD that a complaint had been reported by someone in the event leadership that I had “Threatened Someone,” Leatherwood met the officers and me as they began the long trek out of the massive Dallas Convention Center before thousands of fellow SBC messengers and attendees. Leatherwood came alongside the officer to my right and taunted me to provoke and escalate the situation he appeared to have set in motion. More details of this ABUSE and the history of dishonesty and false assault. threat charges of Russell Moore, dating back to 2000 as a reporter for Baptist Press, can be found here.
Exposure of Revoice has clearly inspired fear and reaction at the top level of the SBC and ERLC. Within 24 hours a totally false version of the above events was published in the Christian Post by a writer who never contacted me for comment. The false version from ERLC Press Secretary, Liz Bristow, was echoed by The Southern Baptist Executive Committee Member, Roger Oldham. You can find the false version of events here.
The Backstory: Peddling the Sheep to Obama
Early in the Obama administration, a cohort of progressive “thought leaders” took it upon themselves to auction off the Evangelical Sheep farm, and its conservative voting Christian sheep, to the lowest bidder. What we see now is that the listing has turned into a fire sale of whatever vestiges remain of the old conservative Christian right. The auctioneers are selling it cheap and fast, without giving notice to the sheep.
To market the Church, these hirelings must persuade the sheep that they go with the property and not to their Shepherd (spoken of in John 10). That is, they belong to the collective “Community.” Though hirelings are not the title holders by any stretch, per John 10:12, gatecrashers like Tim Keller, David Kinnaman of Barna, and a really relevant-looking 40 something with a skateboarder haircut, Gabe Lyons of “Q Commons,” set out to close the deal on the Third Way fire sale to the Obama White House early in his second term. (Reclaiming Hope, p. 186)
(“Third Way” is a political strategy to reconcile right-wing and left-wing positions by advocating a synthesis of center-right economic and center-left social policies.)
The Evangelical leaders’ desperation liquidation was a miserable failure as discussed in the book Good Faith: Being a Good Christian When Society Thinks Your Irrelevant and Extreme (a self-assertive title no doubt) by Kinnaman and “skater” Lyons. Moving further left by the hour, Tim Keller, who enjoys unchallenged protection in the very conservative Presbyterian Church of America, followed Gabe Lyons and other Obama-friendly pitch men who wrote a letter of intent to the President. This led to a presidential invitation to discuss the terms of the sale.
Who Are the Players?
Tim Keller appears to be the senior Evangelical statesman in this visitation committee. Keller is little known outside his denomination (PCA) and the slightly broader footprint of his Gospel Coalition organization. He erupted on the Evangelical scene in 2008 with his book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. Keller had come from an obscure church in Virginia to head the denomination’s flagship church plant, Redeemer City Church in New York City. In 2010, Keller launched his Emergent Missions movement called “MissionSHIFT” in partnership with the likes of Brian McLaren, Alan Hirsh, Dan Kimball and the ever edgy Ed Stetzer of Lifeway Research. This brazen effort, including a not so best-selling book aimed at redirecting the Church, faded with little notice. What was noted by the global audience was his address that same year at the Lausanne Consultation’s South African Congress. Subsequently, Keller has risen to the top of the Evangelical leadership ladder and is said to have filled the shoes and received the mantle of John Stott, the framer of the Lausanne Covenant, as one of the “great Christian intellectuals” of our time.
Don’t feel bad if you have taken little notice of Tim Keller. Secular journalists in NYC love him and he does run in all the right circles. Along the way, however, Keller has become wobbly on the issue of homosexuality, significantly since his meeting(s) with Obama. In a 2015 interview at the Veritas Forum he was unable to say in plain speech that homosexuality is a sin. Prior to that, in a 2013 forum with journalists, Keller said “Christians can support gay marriage in the culture, just not in the church.” Besides lacking Biblical support, this position reveals ignorance or disregard of the impact that the legalization of gay marriage would have on religious freedom and the spiritual institution of marriage. Is Keller ignorant of the dissenting opinions of the judges on the Supreme Court who protested the Obergefell decision? Or is he feigning ignorance to bring about social change? Not only is Keller vacillating on sexuality, but also on the authority of Scripture as a speaker and author for Bio-Logos. This postmodern think tank challenges the Bible with the authority of “science,” so we silly little believers can have a place at the table with the real thinkers.
David Kinnaman is now president of Barna Group which specializes in number crunching for mega church pastors’ growth strategies. These numbers are also used to remind average Christians through compelling data that they have either missed the latest trend or have no clue how to respond to it.
Gabe Lyons is a disciple of John Maxwell, the leadership guru of the corporate and Christian worlds. In addition to Good Faith, Lyons also wrote The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian Americaand unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters. To facilitate the “end of Christian America,” Lyons founded “Q Commons” – which according to the promo “works to educate and mobilize Christians to think well and advance good in society.” “Q Commons” is more easily understood as a loosely “Christian” version of TED Talks or a quasi-Christian Dialectic. The New York Times describes “Q” as “Sophisticated and Orthodox representing a new generation of Christians.” Perhaps it is more appropriate to say “Q” is Progressive and unOrthodox, but we will pass on the word games and labeling for now.
These men, therefore, are the main players at the center of the “Good Faith Movement.”
On to the Oval Office
With hat in hand and armed with Barna statistics, these pillaging prophets made their way to the Oval Office to persuade President Obama that a new, more worthy kind of believer now populates the American pews. It is, as the book title asserts, the “Good Faith Christian.” These are those who are concerned about Social Justice and would “vigorously defend the rights of our Muslim neighbors to practice faith beyond the neighborhood mosque and of our gay and lesbian friends to publicly express pride in their identity” (page 105). The offer was placed on the table in exchange for some tokens and trinkets comparable to the $12 in beads to purchase Manhattan Island from the Native Americans. The team of “global thinkers” promised Obama that, if he would toss in a few assurances of exemptions guaranteeing religious freedom, then THEY were positioned to assure delivery of the “Good Faith” voting bloc as a “Third Way” hors d’oeuvre to the most ravenous progressivism our nation had ever seen in Washington, D.C.
The impetus of the Oval Office meeting had been President Obama’s sudden (?) change in support of gay marriage. Posturing as agents of “Principled Pluralism,” our self-styled leaders implored the Constitutional Professor / President to offer a classically defined assurance of Religious Freedoms. What he in fact offered was the most limited “in house” protections he had come to be known for, assuring only that Americans will always be free to worship in their houses of worship. The pretense of expecting the President to offer Religious Exemptions, especially on the LGBTQ/ marriage agenda, conceals the fact that the Human Rights Campaign and all “Equality advocates” fight any and all exemptions as “license to discriminate.” Or perhaps our Evangelical hirelings were messaging that Obama could low ball the asking price for the Third Way listing of the Church and acquire it for an even better deal – ZERO assurances. Either way the sale was never completed and the Principled Pluralists returned to the sheepfold hoping to keep the flock from scattering while they plotted a new strategy to make the sale.
Meanwhile back on the farm the sheep got restless as the primary season kicked into full swing. The flock had tired of the brown and dried out hay of the stable and began to graze in greener pastures. A field of GOP Presidential hopefuls came into the corral. Could Keller and company yet prove their worth to whoever it was that commissioned and funded them? Could they make good on their promise to deliver us all up as “Good Faith Christians,” fattened for the slaughter by Third Way hirelings to be counted on to abide by the conditions of sale, even though no buyer had yet agreed to the purchase?
Suddenly out of nowhere the unthinkable happened, causing total widespread panic. Though a stable remnant of “Good Faith” types remained devoted, like Deadheads at a rainbow gathering in the local national forest, the mass of the sheep herd bolted and voted for Donald J Trump, a brash New Yorker, casino owner and billionaire with a breathtaking beauty for prospective First Lady. The cabal of Evangelical sheep shearers had a collective cardiac arrest. This could not happen, they thought, and now they had to work even harder to liquidate the assets, lower the price and fire sale conservative Evangelical voters lest they act on their traditional values and dare to make “The Donald” President of the United States of America.
Loose the Prophets of Shame on Unsuspecting Sheep
What happened next is one of the most pathetic displays in modern Christianity. Third Way leaders like Tim Keller and Southern Baptists, Albert Mohler and Russell Moore, joined a host of their trainees in progressive groups like The Gospel Coalition and the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission in a concerted effort to poison the waterholes of the wayward flock and take cattle prods to the sheep. A relentless “Christian” media storm contrived to beat the wayward sheep back into submission continues to this day and has also impacted other elections like the conservative Southern Baptist Roy Moore’s Senate bid in Alabama. The agents marketing the Church to the lowest bidder were pleased as punch with Roy Moore’s defeat which in turn led to the election of a far-left candidate, Doug Jones, as U.S. Senator. The predictable outcome is that Sen. Doug Jones’ ties to the LGBTQ lobby were paraded as a trophy at a recent “big donor” fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign, at which event it was announced that Senator Jones was a co-sponsor of the radical LGTBQ “Equality Act” in the U.S. Senate.
What is Wrong with “Good Faith”?
To see what kind of fruit this Third Way-Good Faith movement has produced, let us look at some of the influence stream and contents of the book itself. Among the Acknowledgements on page 264 of those who “helped round out the rough edges and articulate why this book matters for today’s Christians” are some very left leaning and in some cases, radical leftists, posing as Christians. Examples include Preston Sprinkle who is attempting to move the conversation into the creation of safe spaces for LGBTQ in the Church which mirrors fully that of the progressive most hard core “gay faith activist” organizations. To this end, Sprinkle is pushing a Third Way dialog on the Church.
Another fruit is former Wheaton Chaplain office counselor, Julie Rodgers, who jumped the shark in her “untidy story over gay marriage” just hours after the announcement of Obergefell in June 2015. Rodgers, a once “celibate Christian Lesbian,” promptly abandoned her celibacy for full on gay affirmation in the Church while no longer advocating celibacy. She admitted that she had “quietly supported same-sex relationships for a while now,” though representing herself as committed to celibacy (all a false argument proliferating the progressive conversation like weeds in an untended garden). Rogers cited her concern for “the gaybees” (young LGBTQ “Christians”) in the pew who would be harmed by the condition of abstaining from gay sex in order to be accepted in the Church. Her untidiness is asked to be excused because Julie can find no way to make the Bible and its orthodox teachings on sexuality fit her newfound “conviction,” but she still expects full acceptance of it by the Church. Julie has clearly helped “round out the rough edges” of the Good Faith book and has maintained the approval of its authors and endorsers, including Tim Keller, throughout her untidy journey. She is presently engaged to be married to Amanda Hite who heads the organization Be The Change and according to Amada’s bio on its website, serves on Leadership Committees for the Human Rights Campaign. Julie is herself a friend, hero and mentor to many of the speakers at the upcoming Revoice Conference including founder Nate Collins.
Likely the MOST telling progressive INSIDER involvement in the Good Faith Acknowledgments is that of Michael Wear, who was Barack Obama’s Faith Outreach team leader. At age 23, the boy wonder of the Obama Faith message came into the White House to help coordinate, with the President, the greatest advancement of LGBTQ and interfaith dialog in history. This was in large part facilitated by the overhaul and funding of the Faith Based Partnerships programs which placed Christian leaders of all stripes in close communion with a flood of tax dollars to work together for the common good. Funding is the FUEL of the Third Way strategy. Wear helped coordinate the Obama Faith-Based Partnership program with public and private funding – whether taxpayer dollars used for activism or the wealth of global giants in the corporate world of foundations sphere, the Evangelical landscape was flooded with cash.
Tim Keller played no small role in the production of Good Faith or the Third Way messaging of these visitors to the Obama White House, by offering to sell out the Church at bargain basement prices. According to Gabe Lyons, Keller’s “mentorship over the years has made me (Gabe) smarter, stronger and more confident that, no matter what happens in the broader culture, our faith (the Good Faith brand of faith) will last.”
New Age guru, Dallas Willard, is cited often in Good Faith as is James Hunter Davison and his concept of “Faithful Presence” which was born out of his Frankfurt School-inspired Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. Also frequently quoted is Kirsten Powers, a progressive journalist with Friends at FOX News and a convert of Tim Keller who turned to Catholicism. Powers was among the journalists who interviewed Keller in 2013 when he asserted that Christians could support gay marriage in the culture, again advocating an impossible exemption for the Church if gay marriage became law. It does get worse.
Good Faith authors sympathetically and inclusively interviewed Gene Robinson (page 168), who was the first openly gay Bishop to be ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2003. This ordination forced MILLIONS of faithful Christians out of their denomination and took the once strong conservative membership from over 5 million to under 1.8 million, and declining by the day. Former Bishop Robinson, who went on to work in leadership roles for the Human Rights Campaign, was invited by the authors to share his emotional “experience” and trials for inclusion for them to determine what makes a “Good Faith Christianity” fit for the auction block of the Third Way.
In Chapter 13, titled “The Gay Conversation” (page 170), Good Faith statistics other than Barna’s are presented from a very messy source to support what constitutes Good Faith Christianity. Cited are Gary Gates of the Williams Institute statistics which specialize in “Queering the Census” and tracking LGBTQ / Same-Sex demographics in the U.S. Gates himself is the protégé’ of Marxist Lesbian “urbanologist“ Jane Jacobs’ protégé’ RICHARD FLORIDA, whose ever creepy Gay Indexes and pro homosexual urban theories have found themselves at home with Tim Keller, Q Ideas, the SBCs Albert Mohler and a host of Good Faith (by their definition) Christians. The Human Rights Campaign then uses the wild assertions of Gates/ Williams and Florida to market the Municipal Equality Index to your mayors and city councils and county commissions.
Tim Keller and others in his Gospel Coalition have been long time devotees of the Richard Florida “inclusion” ideology with its Cultural Marxist roots in Jane Jacobs, which includes Keller’s Social Gospel project in Orlando with Reformed Theological Seminary that birthed an Urban movement, Seeking the Welfare of the City, around the “Polis Institute.” ‘Good Faith’ Christians must love Florida’s LGBTQ inclusion ideas because Tim Keller’s certainly does. The book’s endorsement and use of Gary Gates’ Williams Institute research is simply further indication of the inclusive approach to the ideology of Good Faith Christianity. In the quote they do admit to the low stats on LGBTQ population – 3 to 4 % – while at the same time asserting that “some Christians and churches have had a cruel homophobic streak.” This is the typical victim narrative for devaluing the Church in the conversation and applying pressure to make amends by becoming Good Faith partners with Keller and Crew.
In Chapter 14, “We Cannot Live Without Intimacy,” there is a sympathetic overview of the Bruce / Caitlyn Jenner saga. Good Faith followers are reminded that “Christians must not be hard hearted toward those who seek alternative identities. Their quest is a signpost pointing to deep desire to be truly, profoundly known.” (page 189) So the gender confused person or the cross dresser who wants non-binary access the bathroom of choice in Target or your child’s public school is a victim as well. A person whom Good Faith folk recognize as just wanting their true selves to be seen and known. Never mind their rebellion against God’s design and sovereignty (supposedly a core doctrine of Calvinist Tim Keller). To be truly Good Faith you must look beyond the emasculated Gold Medalist Bruce to see the inner Caitlyn and understand her need. That is the Good Faith Christian and those who buy into all the above make a tidy package for the sheep herd of the Evangelical farm being offered to the lowest progressive bidder and the Democratic Party.
Stellar job of hosting this OPEN HOUSE to sell off God’s HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH for the very enemies who want it removed from hindering the progressive agendas of the Left. If that is the call of God in Evangelicalism – if this is what it means to be GOOD in the Faith – then let the rest of us find the exit before the Fire falls! In no way are these Good Faith assertions of Keller, Lyons and Barna compatible with Biblical Christian faith and living in these or any other times. If Kinnaman finds mega church pastors and church retailers like Lifeway interested in statistics and polls then so be it, but neither he nor Lifeway Research nor Pew or any other change agents will change the mind and heart of Jehovah, Who we are reminded in Hebrews 12:29 is a HOLY and consuming FIRE. He does not put a holy finger out to determine the prevailing winds of culture nor is He undecided about the gender He made the victims of the latest Trans-fad. Acquiescence to the tactics of Keller and his Obama-friendly hirelings to sell the Sheep farm is NOT Good Faith. At best it is self-deception and, at worst, self-aggrandizement, arrogance and apostasy.
Thanks for Nothing – Reality Check
Though Biblically Conservative Evangelicals may have been willing to follow hirelings onto the Progressive plantation, a full-scale awakening now threatens the Cabal. The sting of the cattle prods continues by the increased amperage of the recent Revoice Conference for LGBT+ Flourishing in the Christian Church, Cultural Marxist rhetoric, Critical Race Theory, open borders Immigration advocacy, accusations of White Privilege, canonization of MLK and Malcolm X in our seminaries, Transgender bathroom rights, and even disowning the Evangelical identity, thereby changing the name of the Sheep farm. Hopes are high to finally bank their 30 pieces silver.
Wishful Thinking from a Weary Flock
In conclusion – the sale is not even pending. The value of the conservative Evangelical has proven steady, is likely appreciating and did help accomplish the impossible, preventing a Hillary Clinton regime. Sorry to disappoint Tim Keller, Albert Mohler, Russell Moore and other desperate Evangelical leaders. Your Third Way fire sale has failed and exposed massive fault lines between the Blue-Collar saints and your Elitist clique. Please, stop pointing fingers and blaming the sheep. Call off the dogs and tell the manure spreaders to cease and desist. Take YOUR “For Sale” signs off the property. It is NOT yours to sell. Don’t bother trying to act as spokesmen for us or for the Good Shepherd; just fulfill your obligations to those who bought you out and do it preferably somewhere else. Leave our institutions and our pulpits and stay out of the voter booth with us and, please, no more convening meetings to decide the future for us or our children. Stop having conferences and talking issues like Racial Reconciliation (something you, in reality, know nothing about…but only the crass language of division) and fake news MeToo feminist-driven revenge masked as the Gospel. Enough with your efforts to talk the Bride of Christ into embracing Homosexuality as “Christian.” No more Revoice Conferences or endless pro LGBT+ “celibate” victims events staged by ERLC/TGC or The Nines. Stop talking in muddled language about things the Word of God says in plain language. And no more dialoging or sleeping with the enemies of God in the name of “principled pluralism” or any other false virtue signaling labels some social sciences think tank has provided for you. Let us be done with you and leave us to follow our Lord, while you follow the destructive path you have chosen.
Leaders like Tim Keller and Russell Moore – Stop the madness of your empty rhetoric and false concerns and pseudo intellectualism. The poorly disguised progressive political agenda you serve wrapped an ever-thinning veneer of false compassion and gospel integrity just does not ring of truth. It no longer passes the smell test but resembles the sour milk of aging men growing bitter at having been exposed as change agents, deceiving the easy mark on the planet – the trusting, loving flock of God. Stop abusing us. Stop using minorities and race and women and gays. Stop diverting the money and resources of the Church to your globalist views of human flourishing and a sustainable world. Stop the fake concerns for us hurting the Gospel.
Do Your One “Good Faith” More and Just Cease and Desist Already
And finally, though many of you love the sound of your own voices and the “chief seats” in the Temple, please BE QUIET and JUST LEAVE — and let us enjoy the golden silence and be still, knowing that the Lord is God and we are His People and the Sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)
You may not self-identify as an evangelical or even be a fan of the Reagan Revolution revivalists, but if you are a conservative in America you are a stakeholder with those who stand against the progressive tidal wave sweeping our nation.
In the past, evangelicals have been at least a predictable part of the base. This is no longer the case. Now greatly divided and hosting a variety of scripted talking points, the former powerhouse of the “Moral Majority” style conservatism is sending forth an uncertain sound to its constituents.
Once highly visible and vocal representatives carried the torch into the mainstream media and cultural debate like warriors in the arena of Rome. These gladiators of the Faith may not have all been void of egos and self-interest, but they were outspoken with clarity. We would have a very difficult time today pointing out even one such champion as D James Kennedy of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) or Jerry Falwell of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Perhaps many even on the conservative side will say “Good riddance” but let me sound a word caution before any celebration on the right.
First, let us consider what has replaced the once clarion call rallying the faithful to be heard in the forum and at the polls. Those voices have been replaced by echoes.
Change You Will Find Disturbing
The conservative Christian denominations are re-branding and their political rhetoric is softening in the name of Christian love and social justice. Today the mantra most often heard is, “We want to be known for what we are FOR, NOT what we are AGAINST.” Born out of the “compassionate conservatism” of the Bush era is a new evangelical tune. It may market nicely and keep the proverbial heat off the backs of evangelical leaders, but this presents a problem however given the timing of this new détente and the business with which the conservative evangelical community is now occupying itself.
Having adopted the new mantra amid the hot bed of progressive activism means that evangelicals have allowed themselves to be emotionally blackmailed into not openly opposing anything. No issue is more telling than the redefinition of marriage and the broader conservative Christian community’s virtual nonresponse or to the sweeping LGBT agenda being forced upon us all. So, if the Evangelicals are NOT engaging the war being waged against them, and they have instead crafted a unified policy of non-engagement, then the question begs: who gave the non-marching orders? What is being done instead? And, of course, the big one….WHY?
The New Talking Points
I am a very conservative SBC minister and have not been the most politically engaged, yet I could not help but notice the sudden change in our own in-house talking points in 2013. The SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission announced a leadership change and with it came sweeping new disengagement. Many understood it to be the sounding of retreat, if not full surrender to a “lost culture war.” Russell Moore – long time seminary professor at the flagship SBC institution Southern Seminary – took the reins of the ERLC and declared an end to hostilities between the LGBT community and the SBC. Given the coming tsunami of gay marriage and transgender access rights, the timing of this retreat was something between a tactical error and outright sabotage of the conservative evangelical base.
Perhaps this just what you get when you send an academic into the gladiators arena? Of note should be Moore’s replacement for engagement in the political arena. Moore began to sound the Social Justice mantra of leftist Christianity known as Communitarianism. Instead of being culture warriors we are now to be bleeding hearts for helping the poor and downtrodden of society and – guess who our partners are to be in fulfilling this not so great commission? Answer – the LGBT powerhouses of the Human Rights Campaign and the ARCUS Foundation to name a couple. And whose money will these new “partners” be spending? Yours and mine. Absurd? Impossible? Never? Take a deep breath and read on.
New Partners and Their Talking Points
The Faith Based Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) under the Obama administration has created a host of odd bedfellows pursuing federal, local and private grant money for “the common good”. These programs began under the Bush administration, but were reformed under Obama and (unequally) yoked together in the President’s Inaugural Advisory Board was the SBC Executive Committee’s Frank Page and activist organization heads of the HRC and ARCUS (Islamist) along with the usual suspects of the left. The result is a misfit strategy for the conservative evangelical camp who are actually undergoing a revival of conservative theology while at the same time becoming more socially progressive. The end product is a sort of spiritual bipolar disorder which defies common sense. Interestingly, the FBNP reforms went beyond assembling the eclectic group of partners to actually establishing a Faith Based Department within every federal agency. Here are just a few of the things which prove problematic for conservative evangelicals in these partnerships:
The reforms call for OVERSIGHT by the funding agency and the recipient is viewed as a government contractor.
The sweeping LGBT non-discrimination order of President Obama did not include the needed Religious Exemption clause sought by Rick Warren and other SBC pastors signed on to the programs. HRC and ARCUS spend millions fighting such exemptions.
The Reforms actually forbid any faith based religious activity, such as Bible studies, prayer, or passing out religious materials/instruction while administering the programs. The evangelicals market these programs as ministry but “ministry” is forbidden.
The end game for the administration is control. The flood of tax money poured into the programs actually goes away in time leaving only the private funding from foundations and corporations, and of course the church’s resources are exploited and its mission redefined under federal government control. Also the clever coordination of dance “partners” with the evangelicals have given unprecedented leverage for the LGBT activists to force their agenda on and into the heart of the evangelical camp. This effort is complete with tool kits, like communist training manuals scripted to enlighten the poor conservative believers into changing their minds on homosexuality and helping “conflict them” if they do not. Here is the ARCUS Foundation funded tool kit. Human Rights Campaign has its own version called a Christian Conversation Guide. The unwitting target of this persuasive effort would never suspect he or she is being manipulated by the well trained LGBT activists.
The New Mission
By this time it is fair to ask where this well planned takeover came from ? The ideology is nothing new for those working toward Socialist Democracy. It is easier to co-opt the church than to try and destroy it. The compassionate conservatism mantra comes from Austrian Friedrich Julius Stahl. It was first successfully marketed to the conservative evangelical community in the mid 1800’s, destroying its influence as salt and light in the culture by reducing its public stance with Stahl’s “living conservatism.)
The modern blueprint for the new evangelical paradigm comes from another Austrian-management expert Peter Drucker. After decades of focus in the board rooms of America’s fortune 500 companies, Drucker turned his attention to non-profits and churches. His partner for this endeavor was a former corporate client and Texas cable TV millionaire Bob Buford. Buford founded Leadership Network to seek out “innovative” and (I might add) ambitious young pastors and evangelical leaders to train in the Drucker management style.
Under the banner of Welfare Reforms in 1996-97, the Clinton administration helped launch the torpedo which is all but sinking the evangelical’s “good ole Gospel ship” in a sea of social justice activism while loading it with stowaway partners like HRC, ARCUS, Muslims and Leftists. All of them busy with efforts of their own to diminish the evangelical voice. The Welfare Reforms crafted the emerging future of religious organization in the US. This banquet table was spread at the Rockefeller Brothers Conference Center and sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
The blueprint lays the groundwork for the government to dump all social and human services and welfare on the unsuspecting churches and faith based non-profits while gaining oversight of them, thus muting any opposition to the advance of the progressive agendas sweeping our nation. Healthcare is moving toward FBNP providing the core of community care inside church walls. This is in addition to the School Based Health Clinics that the Department of Education has planned for years.
And who is the unseen “partner” in this plan? Planned Parenthood. The Center for American Progress is loving the participation of the evangelical community in Healthcare Reforms. This is an indication of the vulnerability evangelicals have incurred while unwittingly chasing grants among questionable partners. FEMA and HUD have also made huge inroads with similar programs.
The Christians Must Be Persuaded to Embrace a New Paradigm
So, how must the evangelical leadership go about “harnessing the untapped energy” of the conservative church? Enter again the work of Buford’s Leadership Network (LN) and the Drucker ideology. Social justice is the new mantra. Saving Society is the new mission of the evangelicals. In April 2014, Buford published his tell all (or perhaps boast all) book about LN’s founding in 1984. LN’s by invitation only Drucker discipleship program began a comprehensive renovation of evangelicalism, now 30 plus years in the running. The depth of impact for this clandestine “movement” cannot be measured or overstated on the evangelical community.
The ultimate end was to bring these leaders into the Drucker model and to yoke the church in Peter Drucker’s “Three Legged Stool” of Government – Corporate- Church/Non-profit partnerships. Among the most successful of these LN disciples is the SBCs Rick Warren and another up and coming SBC influencer, Ed Stetzer. Warren’s international PEACE Plan is now global and the next stage in its development is PEACE Local which brings a host of human and social services into the church with outside funding and the all-important government oversight.
LN trainee Ed Stetzer has become a key figure in his work with the overhaul of the Southern Baptist vision by providing “research” corresponding with the goals of Drucker for non-profits and developing curriculum like Lifeway’s (Stetzer’s most recent employer) The Gospel Project. Leadership Network, through in house talking heads, is able to promote Urbanization, Healthcare Reform, and Saving Society (the original name proposed for Buford’s LN biographical boast). As a result, the evangelical community has, for over 30 years, has fallen victim to this unseen force from within. It should come as no surprise that Stetzer and others use their platforms and blogs to promote the future of evangelicalism.
Including more compassion on how homosexuality and the LGBT agenda is viewed. The Stetzer facilitated “conversation” asserts the evangelical view of LGBT (and even abortion) is like “unbaked cookies needing to be placed back in the oven for 3 -5 years and taken out to see where we are.”
This is a prime example of how the ARCUS funded tool kit “My Mind Was Changed” is engaged in the places conservative evangelicals get their news. Stetzer and other LN disciples also promote Urban church planting as the key missions strategy of both domestic and foreign missions while promoting pro-LGBT, pro-Marxist “Urbanologist” Richard Florida to the planters. Eager postmodern pastoral trainees and seminary graduates embrace Florida’s pro-LGBT , bohemian and gay indexes to ensure the success of the evangelical endeavors when promoted and facilitated by trusted SBC leadership.
Once such unthinkable discussion for conservative evangelicals have now become all too common place. The conservative Presbyterians (PCA ) are equally as submerged in the LN / Drucker philosophy of ministry, with talking heads from the LN stable like Atlanta’s Randy Pope and the ever popular Tim Keller of New York City. Keller is a huge and outspoken advocate of Richard Florida. Randy Pope and Warren are both leaders among conservative denominational pastors, pushing their churches toward full implementation of in house church based social services and welfare with faith based partnerships.
Hitting Close to Home
Independent mega churches like Willow Creek (pastored by Bill Hybels) are also LN innovation products. It is much easier for those evangelicals outside the doctrinal and mission accountability to implement the new paradigm. Our own home church fellowship of Shades Mountain Independent Church in Hoover, Alabama was once one of the most reliably conservative churches in the greater Birmingham area. To our shock and amazement the trusted congregational leadership had been taking the congregation down the avenue of Drucker partnerships since at least 2011.
SMI was endangering its conservative voice by hosting and supporting ministries which have and continue to take Government tax/ grants from HUD, and seeking passionately through staff led ministries to enter the indigent health care funding fray. In tandem with this new vision has been a willingness to soften the church’s stance on LGBT issues, as such partnerships provide both the incentive and necessity.
Is there a remedy for this sad state of affairs among conservatives? Can our once trusted evangelical partners recover themselves from these money laced traps? Time will tell – it helps knowing the evangelicals are spending your tax money while MIA.
Rev Thomas Littleton is an evangelist with four decades experience in missions and outreach globally. He and his wife have a six year old son for whose future they engage the issues of our time. He blogs at thirtypiecesofsilver.