Unless you have been living in seclusion somewhere, you will have noticed that a radical putsch is currently underway to get evangelicals on board with doctrines borrowed from Black Liberation Theology, Critical Race Theory, Intersectional Feminism, and other ideologies that are currently stylish in the left-leaning secular academy. All of these things are being aggressively promoted in the name of “racial reconciliation.” This has suddenly given rise to a popular movement that looks to be far more influential—and a more ominous threat to evangelical unity and gospel clarity—than the Emergent campaign was 15 years ago. The movement doesn’t have an official name yet, but the zealots therein like to refer to themselves as “woke.” Evangelical thought leaders boast of their wokeness and vie with one another to be woker-than-thou.
Last evening a magnificent AA brother called me “woke.” I felt honored, grateful. Might Jesus be making an impact on me? Of course, some won’t like this. But go ahead and @ me all you want. I don’t care. I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.
— Ray Ortlund (@rayortlund) June 28, 2018
In many ways, today’s Woke Evangelicals are merely an echo of their Emergent forebears. The central threads of their rhetoric are identical, and many of their goals are similar—starting with their campaign to convince other evangelicals that gospel clarity alone will never reach a hostile culture. To do that, they say, we must strive for postmodern political correctness. We need to try to “make Christianity cool.”Nowadays, that means race must be an issue in practically every subject we deal with. Meanwhile, diversity, tolerance, inclusivity, and a host of other postmodern “virtues” have begun to edge out the actual fruit of the Spirit in the language and conversation of some of our wokest brethren.
The inclusion and equality of LGBT people is non-negotiable. It’s not an issue in which we can “live in the tension” with. It’s a human rights issue and anything less than full equality should not be tolerated by Christ followers. #FaithfullyLGBT
— Brandan Robertson (@BrandanJR) June 15, 2018
The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and Together for the Gospel (T4G) were founded little more than a decade ago to bring Christians together around a shared commitment to the foundational doctrines of gospel truth. Earlier this year both organizations sponsored conferences promoting Woke dogmas. Both of them, for example, paid homage to Dr. Martin Luther King not only as a great champion of civil rights (which he certainly was), but also as an exemplar of gospel truth and authentic Christian conviction (which he emphatically was not). Those of us who don’t believe that kind of “wokeness” reflects biblical integrity have been scolded, shamed, and called racists by key leaders from both organizations.
In other words, these two organizations that were originally founded to unite believers in the proclamation and defense of the gospel are now dividing evangelicals over something other than the gospel. Under the guise of being Woke they are championing ideological dogmas and political policies that no biblically-minded Christian in any generation of church history ever considered germane to the gospel. They are actually shifting the evangelical focus away from true gospel issues.
In short, I fear both TGC and T4G are dangerously close to becoming exactly what they were founded to oppose.
All I have to say is Amen! I believe this whole woke movement is not the gospel. It’s called gospel but really it’s a social gospel.
I have been warning about this on my blog since at least 2014. Tim Keller, one of the founders of Gospel Coalition is an avowed liberal. I don’t think this is anything new with them, but their intent all along. Richard Stearn, CEO of World Vision, also has a very liberal bent and with his book The Hole in Our Gospel is responsible, to a degree, for the direction some segments of the church is heading, in my opinion.
It is indeed, the Emergent Church renamed. Their name is “Woke” and they grow increasingly dangerous.
Agre… Tim Keller is a false teacher. Why is this not publicised more? Here is dangerous.
Wow,this is bad! “But Lords,didn’t we…”
“In short, I fear both TGC and T4G are dangerously close to becoming exactly what they were founded to oppose.”
I believe they have arrived, and are irrelevant to the mission of the church, though they need to be continually exposed for what they have become for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. Sad times we are living in.
Amen, Phil. Way to tell it straight!
Thank you for keeping us awake to wokeness heresy.
My husband and I were former members of Grace Church, and Grace fellowship, then Sojourners before moving to Arizona, where Andrew Gutierrez (former elder at Grace, graduated from TMS) is now our Pastor. However, I am just now learning about the dangers of the social justice “gospel”, and The Gospel Coalition. Andrew is a member of TGC Arizona. His reasoning is that so he can help those other Biblical pastors in Arizona become more reformed. I have just learned that Ray Ortlund is a proud fully “woke”, and Andrew loves Ray Ortlund. Three of our ladies’ Bible studies are using a David Platt book (I don’t know the name) on missions, but one of the ladies says that by lesson three, the social justice gospel is coming through. Would the Grace Church bookstore ever allow David Platt’s book it its store, and if not, why not? I was not able to speak to Andrew directly, since he was called away on an emergency when his father went into the hospital for Covid, so met with new pastor John Filkey (also a member of TGC AZ) and pastor Jason Drum (also a grad of TMS) who tried assuring me that the whole session at Canyon Prescott is totally against the social justice gospel. I am not so reassured. In fact I am rather alarmed. Should I be? For me, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. How about Come out from among them and be ye separate. Can light have communion with darkness? I understand Andrew refused to sign the Dallas statement against the social gospel. He usually brings a lot of men from the church to shepherds’ conf, but I don’t think our church can wait til then. This stuff is invading our church now.
I am here again to confess that
1. I was wrong to speak about my church and the elders in the way that I did.
2. I was wrong to not have gone to them directly with my concerns first and foremost.
3. In actually going to them, I have learned that TGC Arizona chapter is a separate entity, and as such, when one of the members came to the rest of the Arizona chapter urging everyone to participate in a night of lament over their whiteness, ALL the rest refused to participate, saying that was not who they were.
4. In actually going to them, I learned that Pastor John MacArthur actually said to pastor Andrew Gutierez he was glad that Andrew was a member of the Arizona chapter, and Andrew’s influence toward good Bible preaching.
5. I am still concerned about “wokeness” being proclaimed by those men we formerly trusted as Biblically sound. However, I have been encouraged to look for original source(s) of their departure from Biblical soundness and proclaiming they are now woke, instead of just trusting anyone who claims that has occurred without giving original source(s). I am not inferring Phil Johnson in the article above has done this, as I have gone to the tweet mentioned, and was able to bring up tweets before and after, giving more of the context, but there are other bloggers who rant without giving the source(s).
All this woke evangelicanism is just a new form of an old religion that started way back in Babylon. It will probably continue to gain members and power until the antichrist declares himself to be God and it will then be destroyed and replaced by the antichrist.