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Lectionary

The coming darkness.

No, I am not talking about the hyperbole in Washington DC. There are those who argue that the proposed justice is the start of evil, or the start of reformation. It is a vicious fight, and not over.

There are enough problems in my own nation.

Today’s text, instead talks about the false religion and false messiah. This will not merely be the form of religion with no power, as the liberal synagogues of Satan are. This will be with power, with signs and with wonders.

And people claiming they are not what they are.

Mark 13:21-27

21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

There are many out there who are preaching a new gospel. They see salvation in social action, and want us to be like the world. If you speak of the gospel alone, you will be criticized. You will be called alt right. You will be called anti-anti-racism. You will be called a Nazi.

The fact those tactics no longer work has blinded those who have acceded to the spirit of this world, though they call us spiritually blind in Jeff Bezo’s blog.

In case this wasn’t clear enough, the document goes on: “We reject any teaching that encourages racial groups to view themselves as privileged oppressors or entitled victims of oppression. .?.?. We deny that a person’s feelings of offense or oppression necessarily prove that someone else is guilty of sinful behaviors, oppression or prejudice.” Christians, in the view of MacArthur and his fellow signatories, must condemn both “racial animosity” and “racial vainglory.”

By way of background, it seems this statement was created in outraged response to another group of evangelical Christians — the Gospel Coalition — that held a conference on the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. MacArthur clearly wants to paint the participants — including prominent pastors Tim Keller, Russell Moore, Thabiti Anyabwile and John Piper — as liberals at risk of heresy.

Where to start a response? First, there is the matter of judgment. MacArthur surveys the evangelical movement in 2018 — increasingly discredited by rank hypocrisy and close ties to an angry, ethnonationalist political movement — and concludes that its main problem is too much .?.?. social justice. It is a sad case of complete spiritual blindness.

Second, there is a matter of history. Elsewhere, MacArthur complains that evangelicals have a “newfound obsession” with social justice. This could be claimed only by someone who knows nothing of the evangelical story. During the 19th century, Northern evangelicalism was generally viewed as inseparable from social activism. Evangelist Charles Finney insisted that “the loss of interest in benevolent enterprises” was usually evidence of a “backslidden heart.” Among these enterprises, Finney listed good government, temperance reform, the abolition of slavery and relief for the poor. “

Michael Gerson, Washington Post, Archived

But we cannot afford to converge. We are promised, by Christ, that the elect will not be deceived, for it is not possible for that to happen, though many will attempt. This fashion, this apostasy will pass. As surely as those which have gone before.

And those who call evil good will find their own deceptions damn them.

Indeed, as social justice rhetoric has gained currency among evangelicals, just about every cause that is deemed politically correct in the secular world is steadily gaining momentum among evangelicals. It would be folly to pretend the social justice movement poses no threat whatsoever to evangelical conviction.

Evangelicals seldom explicitly define what they mean by “social justice”—possibly because if they gave an accurate definition of where that term came from and what it means in the secular academy, they might lose a lot of evangelical support. Countless critics have pointed out that the rhetoric of “social justice” is deeply rooted in Gramscian Marxism. For many decades, “social justice” has been employed as political shorthand by radical leftists as a way of calling for equal distribution of wealth, advantages, privileges, and benefits—up to and including pure Marxist socialism.

The rhetoric has been effective, and nowadays the typical social justice warrior is convinced that equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law are not sufficiently just; we haven’t achieved true social justice until we have equality of outcome, status, and wealth. That’s why we hear so much about income comparisons, racial quotas, and other statistics suggesting, for example, that systemic oppression by a male oligarchy is conclusively proved by the dearth of women who pursue careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Marxists, socialists, anarchists, and other radicals purposely use such arguments to foment resentment, class warfare, ethnic strife, tension between the genders, and other conflicts between various people groups, because in order to restructure society to fit their ideologies, they must first break down existing societal norms.

John MacArthur

On the return: it will be obvious. The heavens themselves will be darkened before the light comes. And God will call all his own.

Be among them. Do not be one who follows this feckless elite.

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