Maybe this is obvious to everyone, but we’re at the point in the story where apparently all the things we thought were obvious are not obvious anymore. You know, things like boys are boys and girls are girls, water flows downhill, and Fauci is not a good guy. I know. Call me a radical. Call me extreme. Maybe even hypersensitive. But I’m not sorry, not even a little. In fact, since I believe everyone needs to pretty much just commit themselves to going around stating such obvious truths (out loud), I’ll try to model that here by just pointing out nonchalantly that the whole #metoo cultural convulsion was the social justice movement applied to so-called sexual “justice.” <Mic drop.>
A Couple Reasons
OK, maybe that was a bit anticlimactic. Maybe you’ve long known that #metoo was just another version of BLM, which is just another version of “social justice,” which is just pharisaism for wokesters. Maybe that’s old news and you shrug and go on with your day. And have a good one. Maybe you were hoping for some real fresh take, something more angular, and this seems as obvious to you as someone telling you that grass is green. But for anyone out there who hadn’t made that connection or perhaps wondered if that connection was warranted but didn’t want to be *that guy*, well, I’ll be that guy and explain the play briefly. Vague accusations about sexual abuse, misogyny, patriarchy, etc., are exactly the same thing as vague accusations of racism, white privilege, critical race theory, and systemic racism. The point is to weaponize vague accusations to destroy your freedom.
One reason for stating this particular connection out loud now is because the church is often 5-10 years behind the curve. What is clear and obvious in the broader culture for some reason is a play that you can still run on Reformed and evangelical denominations 5-10 years (or longer) after all the masks have come off (or have been put on?) in the mainstream culture. This is why I said the whole #metoo movement “was” the social justice movement. I haven’t seen that particular hashtag trending for a few minutes, which means that some enterprising youth pastor could conceivably bring it up next week and catch most church leaders completely flat footed.
If you doubt me, this explains why you can have otherwise orthodox Reformed pastors saying (with a completely straight face) that just because they have celibate “gay pastors” in their denomination, this is in no way anything even approaching a slippery slope to condoning full blown sodomy in their ranks. Many worldly pagans could tell you more about the actual state of the PCA right now, with far more honesty and accuracy, than some of the presbyteries. Something about children of this world being wiser than the children of light… (Lk. 16:8). This is called judicial blindness, and it’s a curse that Jesus levies on churches when He has determined to go to war with them (e.g. Rev. 2:16-23). And that means you’re ecclesiastical toast.
The point of this article is to simply note that the vague shrieks and cries of abuse, the ones without time stamps and concrete details, the ones from decades ago, without specific charges, evidence, and witnesses – those are simply one of the plays of the social justice movement on numerous fronts, all of them calculated to demolish biblical freedom. Remember, “social justice” is just another name for woke drunk driving. We might just call it a DWW — Driving While Woke. But just because they are weaving between lanes doesn’t mean (follow me closely here) they should be promoted to the Indy 500. Christians are susceptible to this play because every Christian knows that real sins and crimes have been committed in the areas of sex and race, and every Christian hates that and wants to do everything they can to stand against it and pursue real biblical justice. The problem is that Christians are frequently far too naïve.
It often goes like this: The world describes a general problem, one that Christians recognize as a real problem (like termites, say), then the world offers the Christians a solution, something like a nuclear bomb. Then the world starts yelling, “racism!” “sexual abuse!” “prejudice!” “rape!” “the children!” and demanding that we push the button to release the nuclear bomb. Don’t you care about justice? Don’t you care about children? Don’t you care about women? Don’t you care about black people? And the screams and yells get louder and louder, and in the heat of it all, the Christian finally slams his hand down on the nuclear option.
What is the nuclear option? Fundamentally, it is to substitute emotions for biblical solutions. So-called “social justice” substitutes mob catharsis for the cross of Jesus and His Word. And this applies across the board: substituting emotional fits for the biblical truth distinguishing sins and crimes and proper jurisdictions, substituting emotional dry heaves for biblical requirements for evidence and two or three witnesses, due process, innocent until proven guilty, and so forth. But when you supplant God’s Word with human emotion, you never get better justice. You always get less justice. You always get some form of injustice.
A Couple Examples
So what do I mean exactly? Well, take GRACE Ministries founded by Boz Tchividjian (grandson of Billy Graham). As the founder of an “abuse advocacy” ministry, he has a history of showing up with almost no knowledge of the facts and delivering verdicts and fiats from on high, which, to put it mildly, is nothing close to biblical justice for anyone. And what do we find on the GRACE Ministries website? An endorsement from “principalities and powers” herself, Rachel Denhollender, saying this about Grace Ministries: “GRACE is the leading evangelical organization specializing in awareness, education, and investigations of sexual abuse handling by religious organizations. I highly, highly recommend them.” On the one hand, one hopes that Rachel is simply unaware of Boz Tchividjian’s style of abuse advocacy. But on the other hand, given the high stakes and the megaphone the Lord has given her and the number of years Boz has been doing his thing, she really ought to know better.
The fact that you had a motion at the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (J. Gresham Machen’s denomination) this last summer to invite GRACE Ministries to investigate the denomination’s handling of abuse is also startling and revelatory. Now, thankfully, the motion failed, but the fact that it was raised should give you the proverbial goose pimples. No doubt many folks supportive of the idea are well-meaning, soft-hearted elders who really care about true victims of abuse. But biblical elders must be soft-hearted and hard-headed (Ez. 3:8-9). This means that elders must see the play. They must see how wolves are trying to gain entry to the sheepfold under the guise of mercy, pastoral care, compassion, and justice. But this is what is known as a trick, a scam. And they have been running this play for many decades. You want to know why? Because it works. You want to know why it works? Because our Christian leaders, by and large (with a few notable exceptions), only have soft hearts and soft heads.
Conclusion: Guard the Flock, Guard Freedom
If nothing else, Christian pastors and elders need to jealously guard the jurisdiction of the church. It is absolutely true that crimes are the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate. Let every Christian report any suspected crime to the magistrates. True crimes are the responsibility of the magistrate to investigate, prosecute, and punish. But God has granted the jurisdiction of pastoral care, counseling, and the ministry of the Word to pastors and elders, spiritually qualified men, who are ordained to that purpose. The ministry of pastoral care, counseling, reconciliation, and dealing with sins of abuse was not granted to well-meaning women, lay committees, or third-party, parachurch palm readers.
There is no freedom outside of Christ, and that means there is no freedom outside of obedience to Christ. This obedience includes submission to His Word of grace, but it also includes submission to His commands regarding jurisdictions. Why do we have a Jabba-the-Hutt state? Because family and church governments have failed to guard their jurisdictions. In the name of mercy and compassion, we have admitted alien governments to our assignments. Often this is because we have been cowards and lazy. It’s easier to pass the buck. But that is the way of slavery. It’s the way a tyranny. How is that? Freedom is found in obedience to the One who set us free.
But when Jabba-the-Hutt offers to protect the women and children, everybody should laugh.