I listened to Michael Wilburn’s sermon, titled “Gospel-Rooted Ethnic Unity” which he gave at the GARBC Conference. It’s important to know who you’re giving your time and attention to. Mr. Wilburn is pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., and studies leadership at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Al Mohler is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Mr. Mohler is also on the board of the Gospel Coalition, an ecumenical organization that serves to promote secular liberalism within the body of Christ. I wasn’t aware of Pastor Wilburn’s associations before I heard his presentation but they certainly make sense now upon reflection of what he said.
Pastor Wilburn’s “sermon” sounds just like something you’d hear Cultural Marxists masquerading as “religious leaders” Russell Moore, David Pratt or Tim Keller impart. The same spirit of worldly compromise that’s taken over the SBC has infected the GARBC. Pastor Wilburn started out well. The story of a slave turned minister, John Jasper, was heart-warming and inspiring. But instead of carrying this story into one of biblical redemption, Christian charity and persevering faith, Wilburn veers sharply left into extra-biblical Social Justice. His sermon became a liberal political indoctrination speech camouflaged by scriptures. There is nothing Christian about Social Justice in history or concept. The very idea is a facet of atheistic Cultural Marxism which seeks to utterly annihilate the foundation of Western Civilization; Christianity. It represents the ultimate divide and conquer strategy in both the culture and the church. The two are in fact merging, and not on the side of God.
Social justice” distorts scripture to emphasize “good works” in an effort to change political society in order to pacify aggrieved (real or imagined) factions, deemphasizing the greater need to reach out to lost souls in need of salvation. Jesus didn’t come to change the political order, He came to save the world. When He comes again, that’s when the political order will be finally and perfectly changed to His ideal, not that of fallen man. That’s when the enemies of God will get their justice. Christian compassion and charity (love is another word for charity) are important teachings and proper actions as the Holy Spirit leads us. Needed sermons can and have been preached on these fruits of our faith without mingling it with the lie of social justice.
Social Justice is being openly promoted in culture by the enemies of God. Within the church, they don’t even bother to change the name. That’s how clueless they take us to be. Same words, different wrappings for Christian consumption, but the exact same goals. How better to destroy the church than from within. Pastor Wilburn asked; why are churches so white. In answer, I have a few questions for Pastor Wilburn. Do people have the freedom to attend church where they so choose? Are you aware that people tend to attend locally, close to where they live? Did you know that some areas are predominantly of one ethnicity? Were you aware that within subcultures inside the US are different styles of preaching and conducting church and that some people prefer these cultural differences, that’s why they attend where they do? I’m not aware of any church that has rules barring someone from attending based on perceived race yet Pastor Wilburn is preoccupied with quotas of color. Identity politics, not biblical teaching. God looks at hearts, not skin pigmentation.
“For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:11)
Pastor Wilburn could’ve spoken about how we’re brothers and sisters through Christ despite any other differences. How we’re called to love one another as such. Yet he couldn’t focus on that. Social Justice was calling. Note the title of his talk, Gospel-Rooted Ethnic Unity. These church-talking Social Justice warriors use the word “Gospel” a lot. To them it means and is used to justify whatever liberal cause they’re presenting. They’re big on calling for unity too, unity under the banner of the false teachings they promote. As usually happens, the Social Justice advocate will tell us that what they’re pushing, in this instance, gospel-rooted ethnic unity, is part of the Gospel. Social justice isn’t the Gospel of Christ or even part of that gospel. The word “gospel” simply means “good news”. The bad news is we’re all sinners, wretched before a Holy God because of our rebellion. His perfect justice dictates that all of us deserve Hell. We’re incapable by and of our works to achieve anything but God’s judgment. The “Good News” is:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The sinless Son of God, Jesus, came into the world to suffer and die in our place, having the wrath of God that we deserve instead placed on Him, that by His shed blood, His willing sacrifice for us, that we might be “saved” if we would but repent of our sins and believe on Him. He died, was resurrected on the third day, and is coming again for those obedient faithful who love Him. To stray from this simple message is to adulterate the gospel, exchanging truth for what the apostle Paul calls “another gospel.”
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-8)
So repugnant is such a twisting of the Gospel of Christ, that Paul repeats himself in the next verse.
“As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:9)
Pastor, if you’re preaching “social justice” you’re reinforcing what congregants in your church hear from openly Marxist teachers, professors and other deceived influences. Satan is the author of confusion and that’s exactly what you’re contributing to. Pastor Wilburn refers to those that he’s convinced are victims of injustice as being “without hope and power”. How can a saved Christian be without hope? Our only hope is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Are we to seek power, Pastor Wilburn? Power is a political aspiration in the context he’s using, not a spiritual discipline. His motives show through his rhetoric. Pastor Wilburn talks of the true division between Jews, specifically Christian Jews, and gentiles in the early church and how faith bridged that gap. Praise God. But he then twists this to make a pitch for opening our borders to illegal aliens. The realization here needs to be stated that Paul, and later the other Disciples, went to the Gentile lands to preach the gospel to the gentiles where they lived. Their focus was the Great Commission. Notice they didn’t advocate for an invasion of Israel to accomplish it. A nation’s right to control who comes into it through immigration laws serves to maintain that nation’s heritage and sovereignty. Such law are, biblically-speaking, lawful and moral, fulfilling government’s proper role of protecting its citizenry. Pastor Wilburn advocated against this God-ordained rule of law.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” (Romans 13:1-5)
Are these verses annulled by personal philosophy? This is what happens when biblical authority is insufficient for those who have better ideas. Satan was the original better-idea guy. Still going strong and just as wrong today.
“Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) AMPC
Let me again emphasize, the political points Pastor Wilburn put forth are exactly what the anti-God secular world wants. When you find yourself on common ground with evil, you’re in spiritual quicksand, right where Satan wants you. It should be of grave spiritual concern to any believer that they find themselves in league with the political positions of the unsaved.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?“ (2 Corinthians 6:14)
The question for the GARBC is why an SBC-sounding convert is preaching at the GARBC Conference with a Gospel Coalition message. Is there still a separation based on principle from other associations or are we seeing the surrender of biblical and doctrinal principles to the apostasy that’s swallowing entire organizations, associations, and denominations. If the latter is true, why GARBC? Dissolve it, join the SBC.