A trailer for a “documentary” called By What Standard, posted on the website of Founders Ministries, an evangelical Christian group, trashes popular preacher Beth Moore, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore (no relation to Beth), and pastor James Merritt — all because those Christians are supposedly working to introduce something dangerous into evangelical churches.
That something? Social justice.
We can’t embed the video here, but the description for the video explains how Southern Baptists “are in danger of loosening their commitments” to conservatism, all because some leaders are urging Christians to think about (gasp) intersectionality, feminism, racial injustice, and sexual orientation.
Bob Smietana at Religion News Service has more:
“I see godless ideologies that have spread across Western civilization over the last decades with a vengeance, to tell us what we are supposed to be seeing,” said [Founders Ministries president Tom] Ascol in the video. “Many of these ideologies have been smuggled into many evangelical churches and organizations through the Trojan horse of social justice.”
A number of the clips highlighted in the video come from sessions and events that took place during the Southern Baptists’ annual meeting in June. They include part of a discussion on race in the church, featuring James Merritt, a Georgia megachurch pastor and former SBC president; a discussion about abuse; and a discussion of whether women can preach.
Leave it to religious conservatives to see discussions about racism, abuse, and feminism taking place within their movement and act like the sky is falling.
The conversations angered Calvinists — the ones who believe in total depravity — so much that they issued a statement on how the “liberal” concept of social justice is apparently a threat to their beliefs.
Really, that should tell you everything you need to know about people like this. If their group’s existence is so threatened by social progress — at least what passes for it in certain Christian circles — then it’s about time for it to die out.
Some of the Christians blasted in that video are now speaking out, too, saying they either were duped into participating in the project, furious at their inclusion, or worse:
Dear @FoundersMin, @tomascol, @JaredLongshore & etc… – your use of my wife's image in your video and the insinuation that she is part of the principalities and powers attacking the church is cowardly, grossly dishonest, and bearing false witness. Please apologize and stop.
— Jacob Denhollander (@JJ_Denhollander) July 23, 2019
— Daniel Akin (@DannyAkin) July 23, 2019
Totally blindsided by this. Really disapprove of the message being sent here. Very divisive, unnecessary & unfortunate. I plan to ignore it from this point though. Kingdom work must take precedence over this bizarre attempt to sow discord among the brethren. https://t.co/0vKez25UhC
— Dwight McKissic (@pastordmack) July 23, 2019
Yes, folks, I have now seen the @FoundersMin video trailer and I am alarmed at how some respected SBC leaders are represented. Southern Baptists expect and deserve a respectful and honest exchange of ideas. I am convinced we are all capable of this. 1/3
— Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) July 23, 2019
Meanwhile, there are still children languishing in cages at the southern border. If only the Christians furious about social justice and the Christians furious that they’re being called out for social justice cared this much about atrocities that are being carried out by an administration that commits them only because they know most conservative Christians will vote Republican no matter what.