It was reported a few days ago that more than 50 “pillars of evangelicalism” had been invited to a private gathering at Wheaton College. When asked what the intention of the event was, Doug Birdsall, an organizer of the exclusive meeting, answered somewhat candidly:
“When you Google evangelicals, you get Trump…When people say what does it mean to be an evangelical, people don’t say evangelism or the Gospel. There’s a grotesque caricature of what it means to be an evangelical.”
Another organizer of the assemblage, Darrell Bock (director of “cultural engagement” at Dallas Theological Seminary), described the get-together using much more intentionally ambiguous terminology:
“It is an attempt to try and show how we should be thinking in such a way that our theology is what is the central concern versus our political commitments…We have some people who are going to be doing some presentations about how they see the current situation and we are going to talk about it…The concern is with the church expressing itself clearly about its theological commitment and its theological character in the midst of the environment we are in. Part of the point of the meeting is to have a conversation to see where we are and if there is agreement on how to proceed.” [Emphasis mine.]
An agreement on how to proceed? Translation for the reader: We’ll meet behind closed doors so as to conspire against Trump and the Christians that voted for him by coordinating a message we’ll collectively communicate through the respective outlets we have influence over. This is the kind of conspiracy fiction authors generally write about – only this meeting didn’t include any smoke-filled rooms (one hopes).
The semi-secret cabal and their plot became public knowledge when sources reported that mainly Marxist activists disguised as Christian ministers, such as Timothy Keller, Gabriel Salguero, Jenny Yang and Claude Alexander, were invited to attend and give presentations. Further confirming the inclination of the affair, a few attendees claimed that the event was “crazy Trump bashing” and a “one-sided venting” against the President.
What else is to be expected by charlatans that pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ, claiming that the Good News is in fact compatible with Marxist doctrine. Furthermore, their hypocrisy and arrogance can be clearly seen by their actions and words.
Consider that these comrades are accusing the President and those that voted for him of having turned the Gospel into a political ideology, replete with a new representative-god, Donald Trump. However, these heretics are and have been doing the same thing they accuse Trump and some of his most popular supporters of doing – subtly and seductively introducing doctrines into the church that are incompatible with the Gospel and giving the impression that those concepts are the Gospel. (Ex: Social Justice, Liberation Theology, Black Liberation Theology, Black Hebrew Israelites, etc.)
Herein lies the truth: these co-conspirators are alarmed at the fact that many believers do not subscribe to their version of Christianity, evidenced by the fact that the majority rejected the personification of their preferred ideology during the 2016 election, Hilary Clinton, and chose to vote for a man that promised to respect religious liberty and combat Marxian policies at home and abroad. Hence, they gathered at Wheaton to scheme a collective response, as it were.
It becomes plainly obvious that the agreed upon propaganda is to fan out and intentionally misrepresent the views and actions of the those that voted for Trump by vilification, claiming that they are the ones perverting the Gospel. In truth, such lies attempt to conceal the fact that the real reason many evangelicals voted for Trump is because they feared the highly probable persecution of their faith under a Clinton administration and, as political conservatives, favored many of the government-reducing campaign promises promoted by Trump during the campaign.
Of further consideration is the general lordliness the attendees display. Who convinced these deceivers that they and only they can and should unilaterally speak for and represent the church in part or in whole? Some might answer that the respective persons that belong to the organizations these individuals head have permitted them to do so. My answer to that retort is: When did they seek explicit permission to do so? Do they even have Biblical support to do so? (Obviously not.) Are the people they supposedly speak for that monolithic in their beliefs?
Let’s call this what this is: a usurpation of a privilege not conferred to them and an idolatrous view of their own selves and knowledge – if it can be called knowledge. I’m tempted to call it chicanery. And why not? Jesus tells us that those who have nothing to hide go to the light so as to glorify God through their works and that those whom hide from the light are to be suspected of wrongdoing because they are undertaking evil. (John 3:20-21) The use of such vague language to describe the event (such as Darrell Bock’s declarations) and the secrecy that shrouded the gathering should give one pause in light of what Christ teaches.
Lastly, Bock alluded to friendliness and openness to differing views as a justification for the meeting, claiming:
“That was the idea that this had a political agenda to it and that kind of thing or that it was about being anti-one particular group, which it wasn’t. It was about discovering with one another where we are and where we see things and how that relates to the ministries that we participate in.”
Bock’s sophistry is an insult to the intelligence. Before the assemblage took place, his co-organizer Doug Birdsall was asked why prominent figures who are Trump supporters, such as Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell Jr. weren’t invited to the meeting (if it was to be such an unbiased gathering, as advertised by Bock). He responded in the following manner:
“I don’t think they are globally perceived as evangelical thought leaders by virtue of what they have written or by virtue of the values that are reflected in their public statements.”
Once again, translation for the reader: Those Trump supporters are stupid and aren’t invited because they are the types of people and messaging we will seek to counter during our cabal.
In the end, Bock’s seemingly diplomatic language tries to disguise the intent of the gathering and even the sinfulness of it. Consider that Paul states that if anyone is to approach us with a Gospel contrary to what was taught by Christ, he should be considered anathema. (Galatians 1:6-9) Considering the aforementioned, why is it that such subversive types were allowed to give presentations which pitched Cultural Marxism under the guise of the Gospel, such as “white supremacy” and “white privilege”? Isn’t this akin to accepting anathema?
Christ said that by their fruits they would be known. I believe this occurrence further cements Jesus’ statement – by their sophism, you shall know them for the manipulators that they are.