When serving as president of the National Religious Broadcasters, my greatest concern for Christian broadcasters was not the emerging climate of censorship or even abusive hate-crimes laws. I worried about timid, self-censorship among Christian leaders.
Seven years later, I now see that I was only half-right.
What I did not foresee was the dramatic departure from Biblical truth by supposedly Evangelical leaders and institutions. We are now seeing a wide-scale rejection of God’s Word as the authority for faith and practice.
I assure you, it’s no fun writing a column like this. I take no delight in calling out others for Biblical infidelity. Yet, when Christian leaders are clearly losing their way, love for them, faithfulness to the Gospel, and heartfelt concern for those they may mislead, compels truth telling, however painful.
FRANK WRIGHT EXPLAINS WHY HE'S GOING AFTER 'HERESY' HE'S SEEING IN EVANGELICAL GROUPS
Chick-Fil-A unjustifiably disparaged the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home, by making a public spectacle of cutting off their charitable support for being “anti-LGBT.” These groups are not “anti” anything. They simply subscribe to the historic Christian faith — the same faith Chick-Fil-A claims to profess.
The bitter irony here is that Bible-believing Christians stood by Chick-Fil-A’s when they were attacked for their stance on marriage. Chick-Fil-A rewards that kindness by impersonating the deeply-discredited Southern Poverty Law Center which falsely labels groups holding to Biblical views of marriage and family as “haters.”
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS
Less surprising is the once-orthodox, but now left-leaning, National Association of Evangelicals, who recently endorsed radical leftist legislation that would overturn religious free speech and free exercise by establishing sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories under federal nondiscrimination law. According to Dr. Ryan Anderson at the Heritage Foundation, “these laws are not about protecting the freedom of people to live as LGBT but about coercing everyone else to support, facilitate, and endorse such actions.”
SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION
Even the Southern Baptist Convention seems to be suffering a crisis of orthodoxy. According to the newly-launched Conservative Baptist Network, the Southern Baptists are drifting into political and theological liberalism and away from Biblical authority, with its emerging emphasis on “social justice, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and the redefining of biblical gender roles” — all of which are little more than leftist code words for their victim-based scheme of identity politics.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA (PCA)
The generally conservative PCA denomination seems not far behind. There we see the “Revoice” movement forging a beachhead for LGBT inclusion within the framework of “the historic Christian tradition.” Revoice says what’s wrong with same-sex attraction is not that it is sinful, but that others are sinfully opposed to it.
And we can only scratch our heads at Christianity Today, which decided that building the kingdom of God includes calling for the impeachment of President Trump. A false, virtue-signaling kind of kingdom-building to be sure.
PASTOR ANDY STANLEY
Without question, the most astonishing departure from Biblical authority comes from Pastor Andy Stanley, who called Christians to “unhitch” their faith from the Old Testament. Stanley argues that the Old Testament is not the Christian’s guide for “any behavior in the church,” and he calls church unity more important than Biblical fidelity. At base, he seems confused about the difference between the Levitical code (which applied to Israel alone) and the moral law (which applies to all mankind). Perhaps someone will remind Pastor Stanley where he can find the Ten Commandments — or is lying, stealing, coveting, and adultery now “acceptable behavior?”
Yet, Jesus was clear:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).
So here we are, living in a culture desperately in need of truth. While some have joined the sad ranks of the Silent Shepherds, others have charted a new and dangerous course away from the safe harbor of Biblical orthodoxy. We would be far better off if these latter-day skeptics stayed silent also.
The Gospel — whether found in the Old Testament or New — is the only power we have. Even if some leaders walk away from it, we dare not follow them. Standing for Truth requires standing on Truth.
Frank Wright, Ph.D., is president and CEO of D. James Kennedy Ministries, DJKM.org. He was the former CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters.