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nατε picκοwicz @NatePickowicz
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I’ve got serious pastoral concerns about recent growing trends in Evangelicalism. In truth, it seems to fall under one complex, multi-faceted mechanism. Frankly, I’m not sure if using labels is helping or hurting. /1
We’re seeing terms like “social justice,” “Cultural Marxism,” “liberalism,” even “intersectionality.”
Advocates of this movement flatly reject these terms (perhaps they don’t subscribe to all the tenets of them), but we’re certainly seeing a noticeable movement in full force. /2
In truth, this thing has so many tendrils, it’s near impossible to wrap my brain around all that it is, but I’m trying. /3
I believe that there are some advocates of this who are masquerading as Christians who are not. I also believe that there are genuine, regenerate Christians who are part of this as well. /4
However, my biggest concern has to do with the gospel itself. What is the gospel? The gospel is “good news”—it is the message of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross to save us from condemnation due to sin. And this work reconciles us, 1st to God, 2nd to other believers. /5
So, “reconciliation” is key. Again, it is primarily about us & God, but when we are transferred into His kingdom, we are reconciled to every other blood-bought believer through the very same gospel. /6
However, Jesus never promises prosperity, societal prominence, earthly equity, an end to suffering, earthly utopia, freedom from insult & injustice, political success, or any other earthly temporal blessing. /7
We are seated with Christ “in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:3); we live in the hope of an inheritance that is imperishable, not for earthly gains that are perishable. /8
With all that being said, there is certainly spiritual fruit that comes from the gospel; there are gospel effects. Regenerate Christians love others, serve others, give to others, seek to help strangers. This is all true. /9
But this movement seems to be seeking the effects of the gospel, and preaching them *as* gospel. Further, they make the effects non-negotiable mandates. As if to say, affirmative action is our primary Christian mission... except that, it’s not. /10
Preaching the gospel, making disciples, bearing witness to Christ by our testimony and lifestyle—those are all mandates of our mission. The social benefits are, to a smaller degree, the fruit & not the root. /11
However, this movement pushes back and is actively fighting for social fruit. And that’s where intersectionality comes into play. This is the overarching tool of social justice. /12
By grouping people into nice, neat categories, they can be dealt with en masse, and coalitions of like-minded proponents can put pressure on others to force them to give them what they want. /13
This is, at its core, a version of Marxism—to see two classes (the haves & the have nots) warring against each other, with the ‘have not’ minority class attempting to overthrow the “privileged” majority class. But is that what Christ would have us do? /14
Are we social revolutionaries? Are we culture warriors? Are we supposed to be aggressively fighting to gain earthly benefits? While Bible verses are being used in various ways (ways foreign to the history of biblical interpretation), the scope of the Bible doesn’t support it. /15
At best, this social focus is a gospel distraction; at worst, it is a gospel distortion. I’m starting to believe that it is anti-gospel and anti-Christian. /16
Does it affect our churches? Absolutely, it does! The ministries, leaders, and resources being distributed are finding their way into the local church. Even small-town, senior citizen churchgoers have Facebook, and watch videos from online ministries. /17
We lament Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar videos, pushing prosperity gospel to our people. We ought to lament this as well. Because what is the net effect? Gospel confusion and gospel misrepresentation. /18
Anybody who does any level of biblical counseling knows that victimhood is the number one enemy of true repentance and spiritual growth. If I can blame someone else for my problems, then I can avoid responsibility. /19
I fear the social justice movement is creating an environment where Christians are seeing themselves as victims and not as benefactors of divine grace. /20
Further, where are the exhortations toward forgiveness, forbearance, endurance, humility, and grace? When was the last time you heard a social justice leader expound on Jesus’ teaching to turn the other cheek? /21
I’m not saying that there aren’t problems. Yes, racism exists, injustice exists, hatred exists; because sin exists! But how do we deal with these sins? The same way we deal with any other sin. /22
Now, believers who have repented of sins may feel led to impact those they’ve wronged in a positive, social way. But is it the church’s job to mandate it? Or is it up to personal conviction? Shaming the Bride into action is not of Christ. /23
What is the way forward? To be honest, I’m not 100% certain of every single step. But I know that our mandate is to continue to preach the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, to call sinners to repentance, to preach God’s wrath & grace, and to love the Body. /24
And for what it’s worth, I reject labels, classes, and categorizations. I’m not a “white Evangelical” as is used pejoratively.

My name is Nate, and I’m a bondslave of the Lord Jesus Christ. //
**not “benefactors,” rather “recipients” of divine grace
Addendum: This isn’t my “hot take”—I’ve been watching things for several months, reading articles & books, talking with dozens of pastors. While I’ve repented of unkind or hurtful engagement, I want to be faithful to stand for the things I’m convinced are biblically true.
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