Storytime. Pull up a🪑.

In 2017, I was working for @WhiteHorseInn as one of the leaders of the organization. At the time, I was optimistic that the organization was making strides toward racial justice.

After the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, I waited
to see what our editorial team at @Core_Christ and @WhiteHorseInn would do to respond. The organization had written on topics related to racism and social justice before, so it was well within the orbit of the organization to respond to this event.
After days of silence, I realized that no one else on the leadership was going to initiate a response. So, I decided to write a piece titled "Is Racism a Gospel Issue or a Social Issue?" The article was very barebones. It was simply looking at passages in the Bible that show
us that racism is specifically addressed and is important for the church to speak against. Racism cannot be relegated to a "social issue" outside of the "spiritual" focus of the church. I intentionally tried to be as biblically grounded as possible and didn't stray beyond
commenting on biblical texts.

After the piece was published and shared on the social media channels, I began to get pushback. In the comments section on social media, people threatened to pull their financial support for the organization. Pastors sent letters threatening to
do the same. One of my former professors decided to dedicate an article on his blog in response to my piece without naming me or even linking back to the article. A pastor of a local church began sending me DMs on social media. A radio broadcast was made attempting to lump
together all of the "social justice warriors," of which I became associated.

It became so bad that I was called in to talk with the President of the organization and the founder and editor in chief, @MichaelHorton_. Dr. Horton was and still is a member of the church
where this pastor and professor were, so it was an awkward situation for him to stand crosswise with his pastor and fellow faculty member. After our conversation, Horton assured me that he had my back and fully agreed with me.

I was naive enough to think that this would
solve all my problems. Rather, it made matters worse, as I continued to receive hateful comments, further complaints, and more articles responding to what I had written, all of which were assuming either A) I wasn't theologically educated (I was), B) I was leading the
organization down a social justice black hole, or C) I somehow circumvented the editorial process to get it published. These were comments from complete strangers as well as people who were within the seminary and local Reformed church world. Through all of this, I did not
receive any support from the organization or Dr. Horton. There were no public statements clarifying that they "had my back," that I had gone through the full gambit of the editorial process, and that they weren't going to let threats from angry donors and pastors get in the way
of telling the truth.

Over time, I made it clear to the other leaders of the organization that we had a responsibility to help guide Christians toward seeing the gospel's application in many important topics, including racial justice. But I saw content pulled after publication
due to complaints. I saw blacklists of topics we were no longer able to talk about (e.g. race, racism). I saw blacklists of individuals we were no longer able to associate with in. The organization hunkered down and required all full time employees to sign a contract
stating that all content that they created, even off the clock, belonged to the organization if they were in any way related to Christianity or the Bible. This included social media posts, personal blogs, etc. These now became owned by the organization, and they could
require you to take anything down because they owned it. Further, writers were not allowed to write for other publications on their free time out of fear of bad associations ("What if they write for Relevant?!"). Talented writers who were barely surviving off of nonprofit
wages who were seminary trained couldn't even use their gifts in order to try to help their families out financially. The oxen were getting muzzled while they tread out the grain.

I made it clear to the President of the organization that this direction behind the scenes was
unjust and was nothing more than giving into fear of man. I told him I could not continue working at the organization if they would not change these policies that were stifling the freedom of employees. His response was that other Christian organizations were doing the same
things as well. I told him that that's a poor rubric for Christian ethics. When he wouldn't budge, I tendered my resignation. I stepped down from the leadership position of a well-respected Reformed organization because my conscious could not square with what was going on behind
the scenes.

I noticed a few weeks ago that all of my articles were removed from the organization's website, including my article about racism and the Charlottesville rally. I was not notified about this editorial decision. While on the one hand, I am relieved that this chapter
of my life has been closed for good, I am still haunted by the words that Dr. Horton told me. He told me he had my back and agreed with me, yet allowed all of these things to happen behind the scenes. He had influence and clout, and yet wouldn't lift a finger even though he
said he would. I was so naive to think that him having my back was going to solve my problems or at least make them more bearable. Instead, it made me lose trust and respect for many in the Reformed world who like to talk the talk but refuse to walk the walk and get their hands
dirty. I read every single one of the articles that Dr. Horton wrote against Donald Trump for various publications. While people thought he was being bold, I only saw more of what I had experienced - performative allyship.

Thanks for coming to my #LeaveLoud story.
Thanks to everyone for your kind and supporting words. It means a lot. 🙏🏽

If it's easier to read for some of you, I've converted this into an article format on my Medium. I fixed some typos too.…

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