In Matthew 21, we read about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to the shouts of people saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” He then cleansed the temple of the merchants and money changers, turning over their tables and driving out all who bought and sold. After doing this, the blind and lame were able to come to Him and be healed.
The next day, when He returned to the temple to teach, the chief priests and the elders approached Jesus and asked, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?”
The chief priests and elders huddled among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” Finally, they reasoned to answer Jesus and said, “We do not know.”
Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Burk vs. Du Mez
Over the weekend, there was fascinating exchange on Twitter between Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, and Kristin Kobes Du Mez (pronounced “doo may”), professor of history at Calvin University and author of the bestselling book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation. (If you can’t tell by the title of her book, Du Mez is a woke feminist.)
Burk has been warning that Du Mez is a false teacher. So Du Mez asked him directly, “Do you believe that my work… is false teaching that undermines or corrupts the gospel? This seems to be what is at stake here. Plain answers appreciated.”
In a single tweet, Burk answered yes, that her book contained “false teaching, the kind of thing that pastors ought to warn their congregations about.”
Du Mez pressed further and asked Burk, “Where, specifically,” in her book, “is the false teaching that threatens the very gospel of Christ?” When Burk took more than an hour to respond, Du Mez replied, “Your habit of disappearing when pressed for evidence is frustrating.” When Burk returned to the conversation, he said the delay was because he was busy doing other things.
Let me break here in the dialogue for a moment. It is extremely arrogant for anyone to demand your utmost and undivided attention on social media. Once I was having an exchange on Twitter with Dr. Anthony Bradley who asked me a question. When I didn’t answer immediately, he criticized me for attempting to Google my answer. No, I missed the question because I was catching my sick child’s throw-up. Because of his arrogance, I didn’t bother to answer the question at all.
Burk is a bit more gracious. Though he’s written about the problems with Du Mez’s book elsewhere, he answered her challenge and gave her an example of her false teaching from pages 297-298. Du Mez wrote:
“Despite evangelicals’ frequent claims that the Bible is the source of their social and political commitments, evangelicalism must be seen as a cultural and political movement rather than a community chiefly defined by its theology… Evangelical views on any given issue are facets of this larger cultural identity, and no number of Bible verses will dislodge the greater truths at the heart of it.”
Burk went on to explain that this teaches Christians to view their Christianity as something cultural, not something biblical, “and no number of Bible verses” will change that. For a finer example, the reason you believe the husband is the head of his wife and a wife is to submit to her husband is not because Ephesians 5:22-24 says so, but because the Christian culture you’re a part of says so.
“Your claim weakens the ordinary Christian’s resolve to trust the Scripture and encourages them to dismiss what Scripture teaches as errant cultural artifacts designed to prop up an abusive, self-seeking patriarchy,” Burk told her.
Du Mez defended her work and said that many Bible-believing Christians have found her book helpful. “I’m also very busy,” she said. “But when people call me a wolf, publicly misrepresent my work, accuse me of false teaching, of undermining the gospel, sometimes I find it worth responding. I’d love for this to stop. Any time.”
So Burk cut to a more pointed question: “When I read your book, I thought you treated evangelical opposition to gay rights as a negative thing. Others have told me that you personally affirm the church’s teaching that homosexuality is sinful. Do you believe homosexuality is sinful?”
It took Du Mez an hour to respond, “Sorry, currently with kids at IKEA. Feel free to question [my] judgment on that front. Will get back to this when I can.”
So when Burk was delayed in answering a question, to which he gave a direct answer, Du Mez accused him of pulling a disappearing act. But when Du Mez is asked a direct yes or no question with a very easy answer, she “will get back to this” later. It would have taken her less time and less characters to say “Yes” or “No” than it would have been to tell Burk she was at IKEA.
It took her 20 hours to give a 1,200 word response that did not answer his question. That’s right, she did not say “Yes, I believe homosexuality is sin,” or “No, I do not believe homosexuality is sin.” Rather, she said that her church is “actively reexamining this issue in light of tradition, interpretation, history, and science.”
I can only imagine what was going through her mind in those 20 hours, but it was probably similar to the Pharisees in Matthew 22: “If I say yes, that I believe homosexuality is a sin, the Bible-believing Christians will applaud me, but my liberal fan base will be offended and will stop buying my books. But if I say no, that I believe homosexuality is not a sin, then my liberalism will be exposed and it’ll be a lot harder to subvert churches.”
So she said to Denny, “I don’t know.”
Her answer was to please men, not God. She said in another tweet, “I didn’t write [my answer] for Denny. I wrote it for the people I knew he’d share it with.” And she continues to devour the flock of God like the wolf Burk knew that she was. His single question, like Jesus’ question to the Pharisees, made that all the more clear.
Du Mez vs. the Bible
Surely, you can read between the lines, right? Her non-answer was absolutely an affirmation of homosexuality, that she does not believe it to be sinful. In fact, Du Mez called those in homosexual sin, “my LGBTQ sisters and brothers in Christ.” That’s an affirming statement that recognizes any of the perverse sexual behaviors in the LGBTQ spectrum as being compatible with being a Christian.
But what does the Bible say? The sexually immoral, specifically homosexuals, are not part of the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Romans 1:26-27 says that “God gave them over to dishonorable passions.” Jude 7 says that sodomy is “unnatural desire” and will undergo “a punishment of eternal fire.”
But remember, Du Mez, in her deconstructing, critical theory approach to Christianity, does not believe this is the biblical truth. It appears she believes white male influencers have established a standard of heterosexuality, not that God has set this standard (Matthew 19:4-6). Oh, she might call herself a Bible-believing Christian, but insofar as the Bible is interpreted a certain way (all the cults and false religions are nodding their heads, grinning with approval).
The hypocrisy here, of course, is that Du Mez believes Burk is being influenced by white patriarchal heterosexual conservatism, but Du Mez is not being influenced by woke feminist LGBTQ-affirming liberalism.
“For they preach, but do not practice,” Jesus said of the Pharisees. “They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called [teacher] by others.”
“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. 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” (Matthew 23:3, 5-7, 13-15).
And the Pharisees were more Scripturally orthodox than Kristin Kobes Du Mez.
Occasionally the church must be cleansed of the merchants and the money changers, driving out all who buy and sell these lies, so that the blind and lame can be healed—so that sinners will be forgiven by the truth of the gospel.
“Beware of false prophets,” Jesus said, “who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Beware of teachers who won’t call sin “sin,” who pretend to be Christians but will lead you astray with wordy lies. Repent. Turn to the Jesus Christ of the Bible, far above the “tradition, interpretation, history, and science” of men (and woke feminist women). Salvation is from the Lord.