Predictions of a split in the Southern Baptist Convention have intensified since the infamous “Resolution 9,” which endorsed Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as useful “analytical tools,” was passed during the Convention meeting in June. However, the first signs of a split within evangelical Christianity are not coming from the Southern Baptist Convention, at least directly.It did not escape notice when John MacArthur was not included in the speaker line up for Together for the Gospel’s 2020 T4G conference. Conversely, T4G speakers and Shepherd’s Conference regulars, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and Ligon Duncan, were not included in the initial 2020 Shepherd’s Conference line up at MacArthur’s Grace Community Church.
This past Tuesday, while speaking to The Master’s Seminary student body, John MacArthur stated:
“There seems to be less and less willingness to fight these days among many evangelical leaders. They seem to be capitulating to whatever the whims of the culture happen to be. And that is because we now are into about the 4th decade of pragmatism and it has sucked all the masculinity out of so many people who are unwilling to take a strong stand when it may be unpopular.”
“Caught up in the feminist agenda are evangelicals who don’t want to offend people because they’re pragmatic and they’ve sold their souls to pragmatism in ministry so they become part of the MeToo or YouToo, or this race or that race, or this identity or that identity. They lose the fierceness that is required in defending the faith.”
Reflecting on his own personal battle for truth and biblical authority MacArthur said:
“I don’t think I really understood in seminary how relentless this battle would be, and how much discernment it would take, and how it would affect relationships. How many relationships eventually look like they’re going the right direction but are eventually sacrificed to an unwillingness to do battle. And you wind up sort of at the end of your life being stripped of people who at some point gave in to the other side and the ranks get thinner and thinner. I’m sort of living in that era.” “I watch my life as it comes to an end being stripped of relationships with many many evangelical leaders because at some point they’re unwilling to stand where I stand.”
After recounting his own involvement in the charismatic and lordship salvation controversies, the aged radio preacher and seminary chancellor emeritus declared:
“Now the enemy is inside the church in ways that I’ve never seen it.”
“Always you’re surprised by who all of a sudden defects. And what causes that? Well briefly, ‘Certain persons have crept in unnoticed.’ Persons of influence, teachers in seminaries, writers, theologians, but false teachers. That is they’re inside the Christian wall. They’re part of the church. They’re supposedly representatives of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
If a split is occurring over “woke” doctrine, it appears the Reformed Christian movement is the first place it’s happening.