This past week on the podcast, we read through 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, where the Apostle Paul says the following:
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.”
The sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and teaching that accords with godliness are everlasting treasures—gold, silver, and precious stones. There are men and women whose teaching does not align with the Bible. Their teaching may not be heresy, but it is of little to no value in building up the church—such materials are wood, hay, and straw.
The Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention was held in Nashville, TN, June 15-16, and as you may have heard, it was a divided affair, to say the least. Outgoing president J.D. Greear preached his final sermon addressing the convention before lunch on Tuesday. It was such a great sermon (pause for effect) to serve as an example of teaching that contributes nothing of eternal value in the building up of Christ’s church. In fact, it did more to foment division than forge unity.
Greear opened the sermon cordially, expressing his delight for serving a three year term as president of the SBC. He gave thanks for the influential teachers of the Conservative Resurgence who saved the Southern Baptist Convention decades ago from backsliding into liberalism. Greear went on to say that the convention is now facing a different threat—not of theological liberalism but of the leaven of the Pharisees. However, the “leaven” that Greear described sounded a lot less like the Pharisees as Jesus confronted them, and a lot more like the people at odds with J.D. Greear.
I’ll be reviewing the main portion of that sermon and break it up into two parts. This is part one. The time markers in the transcript below are according to the video of the sermon that is shared through Lifeway Digital Pass. I’m going to skip ahead to six minutes and thirty-eight seconds in. Greear’s comments will be italicized, and mine will follow. Here is Dr. James David Greear.
6:38 GREEAR: “Jesus warned that there is more than one way for a generation to lose the gospel. The curse of liberalism is real. The curse of liberalism is a way, of course, but there was another leaven, was the word that Jesus used, a leaven that Jesus warned about also, perhaps one even more deceptive than liberalism. He called it the leaven of the Pharisees. And maybe what is most dangerous about this leaven is that it grows in the soil of orthodoxy. I want to walk through a few of the characteristics that Jesus gave of the leaven of the Pharisees found in Matthew 23 if you want to look at them in your Bible.”
Orthodoxy means right teaching. Does Greear mean to say that the leaven of the Pharisees grew out of good soil, of the right teaching of Scripture? Unfortunately, he never defines his terms, nor does he read the Scripture and explain it. He says he’s teaching from Matthew 23, but the leaven of the Pharisees is defined back in chapter 16.
Beginning in verse 5, we read, “When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, ‘We brought no bread.'”
Jesus reminded them of the miracles He had performed—feeding the five thousand then the four thousand, and all the food that was left over. God has always provided bread. So Jesus said, “‘How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.’ Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
So what is the leaven of the Pharisees? In the context of Matthew, it’s false teaching. Leaven like yeast makes bread rise. If you’re trying to make unleavened bread, then even “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6, Galatians 5:9), and ruins the recipe. Even a little heresy ruins the whole person. The Pharisees were not orthodox. They added to and took away from God’s word. Jesus had been making that point since Matthew 5 in the Sermon on the Mount.
Not only were the Pharisees teaching falsely, they also did not meet their own standard of righteousness. In Matthew 15 starting in verse 7, Jesus said, “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
This is important to establish because Greear attempts to make a case that there are people who are sound in doctrine but wrong in action, and this makes them Pharisees. It’s the gist of his whole sermon. But that wasn’t the Pharisees. Bad fruit does not grow out of good soil. Jesus said in Matthew 13:23, “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Does Greear really mean to argue that sound teachers are Pharisees? Then he’s making up his own categories for the purposes of this sermon, for that is not what the Bible says. He can say what he wants to say, but don’t say that it comes from Matthew 23.
7:26 GREEAR: “Of course, I’ll be using the CSB. But before I do I just want to make clear—please hear me. I’m not saying that anyone who disagrees with me on something is a Pharisee. No, for sure, I see some of these qualities present in me also. It’s hard for me to actually talk about them, because I feel my own conscience and the stare of my wife saying, ‘Thou art the man!’ And I pray that you will consider whether or not these [prayers?] are in your heart also.”
This was actually quite a funny attempt at humility. If Greear thinks that what Jesus says of the Pharisees in Matthew 23 are present in his heart, he’s unqualified to be pastor, much less president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Let me do what Greear won’t do, and that’s read Matthew 23. Addressing the Pharisees beginning in verse 13, Jesus said: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” Does Greear think this describes him? Does he shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces? Notice that Jesus says these men will not enter themselves! Truly, Greear does not think that his teaching disqualifies him from the kingdom of God.
Verse 15: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves!” Does Greear think he makes people twice as much a son of hell as himself? Does his wife think so with his “Thou art the man!” reference?
I do not believe Greear believes that about himself, and I don’t think his wife thinks that about him. I do believe Greear is twisting the Scriptures, and his attempt to cover himself may actually be his exposure. He says he’s not calling everyone who disagrees with him a Pharisee, but it sure sounds like that in this sermon.
7:57 GREEAR: “First, Jesus said the Pharisees are not content with what the Bible says, so they create a hedge about the law—conflating, He said, the traditions of men with the commands of God. It’s not that their traditions were bad. It’s not that their traditions were devoid of all wisdom. It’s that they equated those traditions and those secondary applications of biblical command with the authority of God and condemned those who disagreed, even when those same people affirmed the commands of God. What does that look like today?”
Greear is going right into application when He hasn’t read a word of Scripture. This is not how to preach the Bible. In the preaching workshops that I’ve been a part of, this is what we tell people not to do. This is eisegesis, meaning that Greear is imposing onto the text what he wants it to mean. A pastor must draw out from the text, which is exegesis.
Creating “a hedge about the law” is not in the text, but it means to completely abstain from certain things so to avoid even the potential of breaking God’s law. The first place we see this in Scripture is in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:1, the serpent asked Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Eve replied, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” God didn’t say anything about touching the fruit—He said do not eat it. Eve put a hedge about the law, as though to say, “If we don’t even touch the fruit, we’re less likely to eat the fruit.” How did that work out for her?
Now, this is something I can say that I’ve been guilty of doing, too. All believers might find themselves doing this at some point or another. We might have a genuine and willing desire to love God and obey His law. We may discipline ourselves by making some precautions so we don’t disobey God. But then we start imposing those precautions on others, as if these are laws that they have to follow, too.
For example, I don’t want to get anyone sick, so I’m going to wear a mask. I am doing this because I care about my neighbor—and that may very well be true. But then, you start imposing that on other people as if it were a command of God: “Wear a mask, because God said love your neighbor, and if you don’t wear a mask, then you’re disobeying God.”
This creates a system of extra laws, of rules and regulations that no one can keep. And like Greear said, and I agree with him, those extra laws are given equal authority with God’s law. This is why Jesus said of the Pharisees, “In vain do they worship me.” It’s for their glory and not God’s glory, “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Rather than trusting in God and His righteousness, man trusts in himself and his own righteousness. He trusts in his own laws and his ability to keep those laws in order to keep God’s laws.
Be we have not kept God’s law, nor can we keep our own laws. Romans 2:1 says, “Therefore, you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another, you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” Romans 3:10 says, “None is righteous, no, not one.” But then verses 21-22 say, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”
I know I’m taking up a lot of space here, but this is the work that Greear should be doing—reading the word of God and explaining it, giving the sense as it says in Nehemiah 8:8. But instead, he’s jumping right out of context into modern application. Here are Greear’s examples of when traditions and secondary applications of biblical commands have been equated with God’s word.
8:35 GREEAR: “Well, it happens when we take a gospel non-essential like a cultural or a stylistic preference. Or our application of wisdom in an area where the Bible does not give a direct command. Or our political calculus, and we give it divine weight. It happens when we make no distinction between essentials where ‘Thus says the Lord’ and derivative applications where liberty is more appropriate. Brothers and sisters, we say we believe in the sufficiency of the Scriptures, but believing in the sufficiency of Scripture means, in part, not attaching divine authority to something unless it has a chapter and verse. It means knowing how to distinguish between ‘Thus says the Lord’ and ‘Here’s how I believe you should apply that.'”
But how can we distinguish between “Thus says the Lord” and “Here’s how I believe you should apply that” when Greear doesn’t read what the Lord says? All we’re hearing in this sermon is, “Here’s how I believe you should apply that.” Greear is doing in real time what he’s telling the convention of Southern Baptists not to do. As Jesus said in Matthew 23:3, “For they preach, but do not practice.”
9:24 GREEAR: “Second, Jesus said, the Pharisees focus on the more minute parts of the law while ignoring the weightier parts. They strained at a gnat, He said, and swallowed a camel.”
That’s verses 23-24: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.”
What does this reference mean? We use it a lot, but what does it mean? Well, the law said not to eat anything unclean, and a gnat was the smallest of unclean animals. So the Pharisees would strain their drinks through a fine cloth to make sure they did not swallow a gnat in their drink. But they swallowed a camel, meaning they missed the overall point: “To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
9:35 GREEAR: “Well what does that look like today? It probably looks like insisting on accountability in our leadership while allowing gossip and cynicism and slander to go unchecked in ourselves.”
I doubt he’s talking about Russell Moore or Beth Moore here.
9:54 GREEAR: “It might look like any institution that creates unnecessary obstacles for victims of sexual abuse or seek justice by hiding behind legal smokescreens or NDA’s.”
I’m unfamiliar with anyone in any SBC institution hiding behind a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Perhaps he’s making a reference to Ravi Zacharias, but I’m not sure. Ravi wasn’t part of the SBC, but he did speak at one of the SBC annual meetings a few years ago. I think since everything has come to light, it’s widely accepted across the Southern Baptist Convention that what Ravi Zacharias did, his adultery and sex abuse scandals and everything else—all of that was really, really wicked. Before his actions were bad, his teaching was bad. Bad trees bear bad fruit.
10:08 GREEAR: “I can assure you it happens when we care more about our reputation than the victims’ safety, or when we defer to protection of the institution rather than the protection of the vulnerable, for whom Jesus died.”
This is meant to be a jab at Ronnie Floyd and Mike Stone, and that’s how it’s received by Greear’s base. But if he’s going to implicate Floyd and Stone, he’d also have to implicate Russell Moore. I’m not going to take up the space with the details here, but for a common sense overview, read the article “Russell Moore and Some Basic Baptist Baseball” by Doug Wilson.
10:22 GREEAR: “It looks like a convention that polices itself rigorously on complementarian issues but allows female abuse victims to be mistreated and maligned.”
The argument here is that some Southern Baptists care more about keeping women out of the pulpit than they care about sex abuse victims. I dare Greear to name one person who does this. Shame on him for hiding by women who have been sexually abused so he can avoid having to address the very real and growing issue of women preaching in Southern Baptist churches.
10:35 GREEAR: “Or as I’ve said before, it looks like an SBC that expends more energy decrying things like CRT than they have done lamenting the devastating consequences of years of racial bigotry and discrimination.”
So I went to the Southern Baptist website where you can find every resolution ever adopted at an annual meeting. Over the last 10 years, going back to 2011, there has been a resolution decrying some level of racism or our past sins as a convention in every annual meeting but one. When you look at the alphabetized list of resolutions, there are 27 references to resolutions addressing either race or racism. (By comparison, there are also 27 references to resolutions on abortion). That includes resolutions condemning the Alt-Right and White Supremacy in 2017, and the Confederate Battle Flag in 2016. (Incidentally, there are no resolutions condemning Antifa or the Ferguson, George Floyd, or Jacob Blake riots.)
In 1941, the convention passed “The Resolution Concerning Race Relations” which urged pastors and churches “to cultivate and maintain the finest Christian spirit and attitude toward the Negro race, and to do everything possible for the welfare of the race, both economic and religious and for the defense and protection of all the civil rights of the race.” This was fourteen years before the Civil Rights movement began. The resolution also repudiated lynching. The convention expressed grief in the previous two annual meetings over lives lost to lynching in the U.S. This was over 80 years ago.
In the history of the SBC, guess how many resolutions there are condemning Critical Race Theory? Zero. Guess how many resolutions on Critical Race Theory were debated at the 2021 Southern Baptist Annual Meeting? Zero. As far as I know, Critical Race Theory had never even been uttered at an annual meeting until 2019 when the Resolutions Committee rolled out Resolution 9, and the convention led by J.D. Greear implemented CRT and Intersectionality as “analytical tools.” Greear is one of the ones responsible for starting this whole mess over Critical Race Theory.
Two years later, he has the audacity to blow smoke up the rear ends of nearly 20,000 people in that room when he says that the SBC expends more energy decrying CRT than they do lamenting the devastating consequences of racial bigotry. Bretheren, CRT is racial bigotry, denouncing all white people, especially white men, as morally inferior racist bigots.
Now lest you think I’m blowing that out of proportion and characterizing the most extreme side of CRT, Dr. Matthew Hall, Provost of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), the school’s chief academic administrator, said the following: “I am a racist… I am going to struggle with racism and white supremacy until the day I die and receive my glorified body.”
That comment was influenced by Critical Race Theory, the thing SBC officers do not want to discuss. They will give lip service to condemning CRT, but it’s as if they do not want the messengers to learn about it, or else more people will see just how influenced by CRT the convention and its institutions really are.
Prior to the 2021 annual meeting, a resolution on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality was submitted to the Resolutions Committee with over 1,300 co-signers—unprecedented for any resolution in the 176 years of the Southern Baptist Convention. But the Resolutions Committee would not allow the messengers to read it or to vote on it. They shut it down in committee.
It was entitled “Resolution on the Incompatibility of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality with the Baptist Faith and Message.” Full disclosure: I played a small part in writing it. One of the things I insisted upon about the resolution was that, unlike Resolution 9, Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality needed to be defined, however briefly, so Southern Baptists would know what these ideologies are and why they’re incompatible with the Bible. The resolution stated:
“WHEREAS, Critical Race Theory collectively designates people by their social identity groups (e.g., people of color, women, homosexuals, and transgenders) which views people “according to the flesh” (2 Cor. 5:16); and
“WHEREAS, Intersectionality combines gender, sex, sexuality, and a myriad of other identity-related concepts in order to allocate power, positions, revenue, and opportunities in ways that are contrary to objective biblical standards of justice (Lev. 19:15; Deut. 16:19-20).”
But rather than letting the messengers see that resolution and allow for discussion, the 2021 committee rolled out Resolution 2, “On the Sufficiency of Scripture for Race and Racial Reconciliation.” In the resolution, CRT/I are not mentioned. Now, on one hand, I appreciate what the Resolutions Committee did. They took all the different statements on reconciliation, including those statements opposing CRT, and they compiled them into one statement, Resolution 2, that condemned racism, and any worldly ideology, and elevated the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only thing that can reconcile us to God and to one another. Amen, hallelujah! I’ve been preaching that my whole pastoral ministry.
However, as the debate over Resolution 2 unfolded, it became apparent that the motivation was not as harmonious as we were led to believe. Attempts to amend the resolution to condemn CRT/I were not met with understanding and patience. Rather, the Committee treated these efforts with contempt, and the messengers voted down any amendments at the behest of the committee.
One messenger came to a microphone and said we need to address CRT/I by its name. State run schools and institutions implement it by its name—the largest protestant denomination in the world needed to be courageous and condemn it by its name. Resolutions Committee chair James Merritt became visibly irritated and huffed:
“If some people were as passionate about the gospel as they are about Critical Race Theory, we’d win this world to Christ tomorrow.”
Simply astonishing. So according to James Merritt, the world would be going to heaven tomorrow if not for Christians who were passionately opposed to Critical Race Theory over the last two years. I had no idea that opposing heresy, contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, was the reason the world was going to hell in a handbasket, did you? Aside from his astoundingly bad soteriology, Merritt was just being a jerk. He insulted the messengers, and at least half the room applauded him for it.
It is because we love the gospel of Jesus Christ that we oppose CRT. It is because we love people that we oppose CRT. But our motivations were impugned at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, and we were characterized as enemies of the gospel. If I acted in front of my church the way James Merritt and JD Greear acted at their podiums, I’d either get fired, or people would stop giving money. And maybe that’s what needs to happen.
10:55 GREEAR: “Let me state this clearly and for the record, and if you’re gonna quote what I just said, you need to quote everything I’m about to say also.”
11:04 GREEAR: “For something as important as what justice in society looks like, we need robust, careful, Bibles open on our knees discussions about it. Justice is a major theme in our Bible, and so of course, Satan the angel of light is going to produce counterfeits to it. And so on this issue we need to ensure that we are more shaped by the Scriptures than we are by the world. The vast majority of Southern Baptists, and all of your convention’s leaders, both black and white, recognize that CRT is an ideology that arises out of a worldview at odds with the gospel. And it is clear that as a convention, we need to clarify and strengthen our position on it.”
Then why didn’t we? Why was Greear okay with letting Resolution 9 stand that accepts Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as “analytical tools” in the Southern Baptist Convention and all its churches and institutions? He says he’s for “Bibles open on our knees discussions.” So where’s the discussion?
Bretheren, this is political posturing, when someone pretends to have a particular opinion or attitude. Greear is bloviating at a podium, from which he and the Resolutions Committee shut down the discussion over Critical Race Theory. Discussion is not welcome here. Only a certain kind of discussion.
Last year, the North American Missions Board paid for and distributed a video series called “Undivided,” described as “candid, gracious, biblical conversations about race.” You can watch this series for free on YouTube. The second part of this series was broken up into five half-hour sessions featuring round-table discussions with nine evangelical leaders, including JD Greear. All if these leaders affirmed the reality of systemic racism and the need to make restitution for past injustices.
In that discussion, Bryan Loritts said, “True reconciliation means there’s equal distribution of power.” When you start talking about power dynamics, that’s the language of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, or as you may have also heard it called Cultural Marxism. True reconciliation doesn’t mean equal distribution of power. True reconciliation means that we who were once enemies are now family.
Titus 3:3 says that we were once “hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us—not by works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy.” Once enemies of God, we are now sons and daughters of God and members of one another.
And I’m not saying that the whole “Undivided” series denied that or that it was all bad. There were some great things said. However, only a certain kind of voice was welcome at that table—those that say whiteness has all the power and all blacks have suffered. But I have too much respect for people to believe that’s true. When a single story goes viral of a black man breaking the law and getting killed by a white cop, I respect my black friends too much to automatically assume they’re all in grief mode. That’s racial stereotyping! And there was a lot of that in “Undivided”—to view all white people and all black people as monolithic groups.
One of the talking points was grieving with the entire black population when something like George Floyd happens. Ken Whitten, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Florida, said in the series that you can’t just be against racism, you have to become anti-racist. That’s the rhetoric of Ibram X. Kendi, father of the anti-racism movement and enemy of the gospel.
Speaking of Kendi, permit me to note something that has happened in just the past 24 hours. Last night on MSNBC, Joy Reid read a quote from Kendi who said, “I don’t identify as a Critical Race Theorist.” But just today, in an interview with Jason Johnson of Slate, Kendi said that it’s through Critical Race Theory that he has “formulated definitions of racism and anti-racism.” Even the think tanks behind CRT are distancing themselves from the name, because if people know what it is they’re harder to influence. Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality have infiltrated this culture so quickly, it’s even in the church, and we’re not helping one another by not addressing it.
Greear says in “Undivided” that he as a white man bears the burden of responsibility for the long term damage that’s come from slavery and Jim Crow. He says he’s part of “the majority culture.” They talk about the need to address whiteness. Karen Loritts says that we need to come up with talking points that are outside of Scripture. Dhati Lewis says that we’re living in a systemically racist culture that is still trying to oppress. These are all CRT talking points.
There are even sessions where they divide the white people from the black people. “Undivided” is divided! And that’s what Critical Race Theory does—it divides people up. Every person in those discussions would likely say, “Critical Race Theory is at odds with the gospel,” yet they’re implementing a soft form of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality affecting the way they read the Scripture (if they read it at all) and share the gospel.
When Greear says we need robust, careful, Bibles open on our knees discussions about justice, and that all the convention’s leaders recognize that CRT is at odds with the gospel, he’s posturing. Oh, he can point to the discussion, but not every Christian is welcome to the discussion. He can point to the statements condemning CRT while they continue to softly implement CRT.
11:47 GREEAR: “But we should heed the counsel of our leaders of color who tell us that our denunciations of justice movements fall on deaf ears when we remain silent on the suffering of our neighbors. And we must make certain that our zeal to clarify what we think about CRT is accompanied by a pledge to fight with them against all forms of discrimination, to make clear that we stand with our brothers and sisters of color in their suffering, lamenting the pain of their past, and pledging to work tirelessly for justice in our present.”
First, Critical Race Theory is not a justice movement, it’s unjust. But second, how does using the term “people of color” unify the body of Christ? Is this not showing partiality? James 2:1 says, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” Now, I don’t believe Greear wants to be divisive. I’m sure he had really good intentions behind that NAMB series and what he’s saying here in this sermon and everything else. He might want to do a good thing, but you just heard him divide the convention into white people and “people of color.”
The definition of Critical Race Theory that I gave earlier, from the resolution they wouldn’t present, said that CRT designates people by their social identity groups, including “people of color.” This is viewing people “according to the flesh,” when 2 Corinthians 5:16 says, “We no longer regard each other according to the flesh.” That whole section of Scripture, incidentally, talks about being given the ministry of reconciliation through the gospel. But a Christian using Critical Race Theory as an “analytical tool” does not think the gospel is enough.
Dhati Lewis has said exactly that. He says the gospel “falls short” of our needed reconciliation. He said, “The gospel is not good news without spiritual redemption and restoration, but the gospel is also not good news without emotional, economic, and social restoration as well.” What happens when someone does not get the economic and social restoration you promised them with the gospel? They’re going to believe it’s a lie. What happens when a person cannot seem to get over their depression, or they don’t get the financial help they need, or they never move up into a more manageable tax bracket? They will think the gospel is a lie. This is the health and wealth gospel with ethnicity attached.
Critical Race Theory is a false gospel, which Greear might admit, but he will not allow the discussion. He talks about listening to “people of color,” so where’s his invitation to Voddie Baucham or Darrell Harrison or Virgil Walker or Hohn Cho or anyone on the BAR podcast network? Where are they in his discussion? Again, only certain kinds of voices are welcome to the table, because this is about pushing a particular narrative, not about seeking the truth of God’s word. (We’re 12 minutes into this sermon, and Greear has not even read God’s word.)
The church is already multi-ethnic. It’s been multi-ethnic since Pentecost (see Acts 2). Preach the gospel to everyone, and Christ will build His church. Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Far be it from any of us to look at that church and say, “God, I just don’t think you’re saving the right people.” For to say that would truly make you a Pharisee.
This concludes Part 1 of this review of JD Greear’s sermon at SBC21. God willing and time permitting, I hope to present part 2 next week.