When things start to drift, it can be tough to know where you are. How far have we gone downstream? How far have the winds of worldliness blown us? That’s an important question. We shouldn’t exaggerate problems. And we shouldn’t minimize them either. Love hopes all things. And we should love one another in the truth.
The drift is not a 21st century thing: ‘Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1).
Here is one among many efforts to help my Southern Baptists brothers and sisters get our bearings. Consider what the resolutions committee and entire Southern Baptist Convention would not do as they presented the infamous Resolution 9 at our 2019 meeting. Here were our declarations:
- We will not affirm that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are godless ideologies that are indebted to radical feminism and postmodernism, and neo-Marxism.
- We will not remind ourselves that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality emerged from a secular worldview.
- We will not remind ourselves that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are rooted in ideologies that are incompatible with Christianity.
- We will not repudiate all forms of identity politics and any ideology that establishes human identity in anything other than divine creation in the image of God and, for all redeemed humanity, our common identity, together eternally united to Christ.
That language comes directly from the amendment that was offered as friendly but received as unfriendly by the resolutions committee and voted down by the convention.
The amendment itself would have added one “Whereas” and two “Resolved” statements:
Whereas, Critical race theory and intersectionality are godless ideologies that are indebted to radical feminism and postmodernism, and neo-Marxism; and
RESOLVED that we remind Southern Baptists that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality emerged from a secular, worldview and are rooted in ideologies that are incompatible with Christianity; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we repudiate all forms of identity politics and any ideology that establishes human identity in anything other than divine creation in the image of God and, for all redeemed humanity, our common identity, together eternally united to Christ; and be it further
And so, Founders Ministries is soon to release a film called By What Standard? God’s World, God’s Rules. That film is another effort to help the SBC get its bearings. It seems that not everyone is interested in our effort to help the SBC get its bearings. One SBC leader recently informed me that “what people are saying” is that “Ascol and Longshore are laughable.” There were encouragements to change the narrative.
It is of course because we love the gospel and Christ’s people that we cannot change the narrative. And we will make ourselves even more contemptible than this and we will be abased in many eyes (2 Samuel 6:22). But we do want the narrative to be accurate and not the scarecrow some of our opponents have pretended that we’re saying.
The message is not that the SBC is woke through and through. The message is rather that there are philosophies contrary to Christ advancing in our day. The SBC needs to wake up to them. We need to examine our thought and teaching closely for some of it is worldly. We need to, as the apostle Paul instructs us, “see to it” (Colossians 2:8).
You don’t go to bed one night solid as a rock on the transcendence of God and the authority of God’s Word only to wake up the next morning Joshua Harris. That’s not how things work. You drift. And faithful are the wounds of a friend who says to his brother, “Hey! It looks like you’re drifting.” And if our present operating principle is that we don’t correct public teaching until someone apostatizes, then that, too, warrants the question, By What Standard?