ROLL OVER CHUCK COLSON: THE SOCIAL JUSTICE/REVOICE /RETHINK /BIOLA COLLABORATION IS DANCING ON YOUR GRAVE
By Rev. Thomas Littleton
The legacy of Chuck Colson is to some Christians a very trusted partner for Conservative causes and political / cultural engagement. To others, like this author, the legacy is a mixed bag with a dangerous history of highly compromised ecumenical ties and a worldview well beyond the comfort zone for Biblically conservative Christians. Some in this more cautious group may still consider the conversion of Colson and his Prison Fellowship ministry to have contributed to a lasting legacy for outreach in prisons nationwide. The Colson Center established the Colson Fellows program upon the death of Chuck Colson in 2012. Today the Colson Center is in younger, far less capable hands – as is often the case with second generation leadership in ministries.
In 2018, we witnessed the revelation of deep infiltration, compromise and progressive perversions of the Gospel within long-trusted organizations, major denominations and their seminaries. Recent revelations indicate 2019 will be another painful year in the Christian spectator sport of helplessly watching trusted ministries and ministers manifesting the steady creep of selling out.
Word on the street is that the leaders at Colson Center have recently come into some big money. The new choice of faculty leadership in the Fellows program indicates the likelihood of the fresh money and a load of social justice compromise that came with it. It is fair to ask, “Are some in this line up of Fellows faculty in keeping with the vision of Chuck Colson?” Let’s take a look at three of them and their current work.
IS THIS A CHUCK COLSON CENTER ENDORSEMENT OF REVOICE AND RETHINK APPROACH TO LGBT?
Several of the new Faculty choices appear to be an endorsement of some of Evangelicalism’s worst compromisers. Why has the Colson Center chosen major players in the Revoice circles “promoting LGBTQ flourishing in historic Christian tradition,” the Biola Apologists who want to Rethink their industry and modern Social Justice Warriors who are promoting Black Liberation Theology ?
From the Colson Fellows site:
HISTORIC CHRISTIAN CONSERVATISM OR NOT?
The claims of Colson Center history boast the current work to be in keeping of his vision.
“When Chuck Colson passed away in 2012, the program was renamed Colson Fellows. Today, it continues to fulfill his vision. Over 1,300 people across the nation and in a dozen foreign countries have completed the program. Today, a record number of men and women engage in the National program or in Regional and Academic settings.”
TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING
Again, things are changing with many once conservative ministries and even denominations. One indication of this would be the recent evangelical concerns and push back over infiltration of the Seminaries with the false Social Justice gospel. You can read more about that infiltration here in both parts one and two of The Evangelical Deep State.
These issues in general were further raised, in a measured response, by the Dallas Statement which has now been signed by over 10,000 concerned ministers and Christians. The Statement, which came out last Fall, stops short of naming names or exposing the sources of the infiltration and funding behind it. Still the popular response to the Dallas Statement indicates an awareness of the problem.
LGBTQ+ IN THE DOOR AND IN YOUR FACE
Today we are seeing a major departure from vintage conservative Christianity as many major ministries embrace the massive coordinated effort to provide a new language and voice to homosexuality in the Church. It is a classic victim narrative and filled with heavily nuanced propaganda.
The Revoice Conference, which was held in St Louis in July 2018 at a Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), was a huge eye opener for the non-progressive churches. If Revoice had been a collaboration of liberal denominations, like the Methodist or Episcopal, it would have been little more than a blip on the radar of the evangelical world. But Revoice, because of its origins, was alarming because it arose from the heart of conservative evangelicalism and two of its most prestigious seminaries. The founder, Nate Collins, was a long-time student and teacher at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky, which has long been celebrated as a historic marker for its conservative victory over liberals who abandoned the Word of God decades ago. Fast forward to 2018 and SBTS has produced the Revoice founder, and some SBC entity Fellows and preachers were endorsing Revoice and its affiliated mentor ministries.
The PCA’s Covenant Seminary was fully represented with 7 Revoice speakers including some faculty and recent Covenant graduates. Also, The Gospel Coalition, which was co-founded by the popular Tim Keller and campus ministries like CRU, RUF and other long trusted organizations, had speakers involved. Revoice provided the proverbial thud among Biblical evangelicals as an event preaching to its choir of “Sexual Minorities” while advocating acceptance in the Church. Now Revoice wants to bring with it their ideas of welcoming, safe spaces, and the “virtues of Queer culture and Queer Literature” into the heart of Evangelicals’ remaining conservative congregations.
BIOLA UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT / STAND TO REASON / RETHINK APOLOGETICS – ISN’T IT JUST REVOICE LITE?
Apologetics Undergoing APA Compliant Transformation Under Yarhouse at Biola.
Biola University has had more than its share of LGBTQ+ activism on campus and has remained under the activist gun and in the spotlight from at least 2012. An underground LGBT group has made relentless waves over school policies. By 2015, Biola appeared to have found a solution . . . a way out of the pressure. After efforts to compromise and appease in measured fashion failed, Biola President Barry Corey signed onto the often discussed Civilitas Group compromise.
THE PROBLEM AS CIVILITAS SEES IT –
NEEDED DETAILS ON THIS PROBLEMATIC ALLIANCE
It appears Biola and other schools/leaders see the big problem with the world today as lack of civility.
“Our society is increasingly characterized by competing special interests and fragmentation while the church is too often associated with the Culture Wars which serves to intensify its unprecedented experience of marginalization. Researchers, sociologists, and journalists are increasingly speaking of America’s future in categories of polarization and decline.”
“Historians have developed theories with respect to the rise and fall of great nations. History is replete with examples of civilization after civilization that has followed this pattern. However, historians can also point to societies that have experienced renewal, revitalization, and renaissance.”
USING THEORIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE ON THE CHURCH – TO CHANGE IT
Biola and Fuller and Wheaton (displaying an ever growing stench of compromise) along with other schools’ Christian leaders signed on to using a think tank, citing its roots in Cultural Marxist Frankfurt School, promoting social justice for an endless stream of victims in order to change the church – to be more civil and find “common ground” for the “common good.”
FEARING MAN AND IDOLIZING CIVILITY MAY KEEP YOU ALIVE BUT KILL YOUR SOUL.
Is this the approach of the Apostles who turned the world upside down with their preaching? Is their “Civility” the reason they were killed for the sake of the Gospel?
SO WHAT IS THE CURE ACCORDING TO WHAT BIOLA AND FRIENDS HAVE SIGNED UP FOR?
“Implement the process of collaboration on projects that meet needs while also building trusting relationships. During the time of making progress towards civility, our Civilitas Theory of Social Change – developed in partnership with sociologists at Princeton, Yale, and UVA – will be used to guide and refine the actual practice and progress of change.”
CHICK-FIL-A: THE CORPORATE GROWTH MODEL FOR COMPROMISE IS A MINISTRY / GOSPEL APPROACH?
“Civil conversations will work to change the tone of our society by supplanting vitriolic public discourse with respectful listening, constructive exchange, and positive partnerships. Dan Cathy, President and CEO of Chick-Fil-A developed an improbable model of such civility in a surprising friendship with Shane Windmeyer, national director of the LGBT group Campus Pride. After Dan Cathy was vilified by gays and lesbians in 2012 for his support of traditional marriage, Dan took a simple but courageous step of reaching out to Shane. He invited him to dinner so that they could meet and discuss the nature of their differences and explore matters of common interest. To the surprise of both Dan and Shane, they had a pleasant evening and they developed a friendship. A short time later, Dan invited Shane to be his guest and to sit with him in the owner’s box for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Shortly thereafter, Shane wrote an op-ed piece in the Huffington Post entitled, ‘Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy.’ In the article he gave praise to Dan for taking the initiative, for listening respectfully, for sharing his convictions honestly, and for seeking first to understand rather than to be understood. Shane wrote, ‘We learned about each other as people with opposing views, not as opposing people.’ As a result, Shane made the decision for Campus Pride to discontinue a nationally organized protest to boycott Chick-Fil-A. A Civil Conversation paved the way for discovering the common good.”
THE ELITE OF THE CHURCH AND THE CULTURE WILL SHOW US THE WAY
“In a city like New York, this would include Christian leaders like Tim Keller, Cardinal Dolan, Gabriel Salguero, A.R. Bernard, and Rich Mouw. The cultural elite would be represented by people like journalist and presidential aide, George Stephanopoulos; New York Times writer, David Brooks; the president of New York University; the chief of police; the superintendent of public schools and the mayor.”
“Civilitas will seek to build a national network of Christian leaders and cultural elites from among select cities across the country. Through the Civil Conversations and through the networks and dialogues that develop, Civilitas will also work to identify key issues that are of paramount importance for the common good of our culture.”
“Civilitas will then seek to connect the best minds and the most creative entities in the country to work on our most intractable challenges in pursuit of solutions for the common good. This will include churches, colleges and seminaries, mission leaders, and social entrepreneurs, together with Christians who have earned trust and exerted influence in every sector of society, to collaborate in pursuit of the common good.”
“Civilitas is committed to building a network of partners with groups of shared conviction such as Veritas Forum, The Trinity Forum, James Davison Hunter and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (University of Virginia), The Centre for Ethics and Public Policy, The Center for Public Justice, The Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts, the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities, the Christian Community Development Association, private Christian foundations, national student organizations, and institutions of higher learning.”
IMMEDIATE OUTCOME OF COMPROMISE
A stated outcome is raising the churches perceived value in the culture. How is this is to be achieved through compromise?
“We believe that a by-product of this strategy will be a significantly enhanced public perception of the value of the church and Christian organizations in our society. This was the means by which the early church ‘turned the world upside down,’ and it was the fruit of the social transformation brought about by William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect in England.”
BIOLA HOST P. R. STUNT WITH RADICAL GAY THEOLOGY PROPONENT
Soon after signing on to the Civlitas Group, Chik- Fil-A / Gay compromise, Biola guys invited the radical Matthew Vines/Reformation Project to a “private sit down” covered by the New York Times which NY Times billed as “Evangelicals Open Door to Debate on Gay Rights.” (Why have a reporter and photographer at your private meeting? )
Soon after this Vines meeting, the apologist from Biola – who would cover the issue of LGBT+ for the soon to launch, post Civilitas compromise, “Rethink”– attended a Reformation Project/Vines event. These thought leaders included Sean McDowell and Alan Shlemon, both of whom carry most of the LGBT+ topic discussions for Rethink Apologetics. Shlemon confirms that he believes LGBT should be welcomed into church membership “just not into church leadership” roles. Such ignorance of the implications of random inclusion and limitation is unimaginable in light of ever expanding LGBT discrimination laws. This Biola apologist also would not discuss activist organizations like Human Rights Campaign working to force the LGBT+ agenda into churches even after being given the chance to warn his audience of those deceitful efforts.
BIOLA, MARK YARHOUSE AND THE PRO-GAY AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
McDowell and Shlemon are very open about the influence of Mark Yarhouse on their narrative. Their publications are flush with interviews and quotes from Yarhouse who is the source of the promotion of merging a person’s faith identity and homosexual identity into a Gay or SSA Christian identity and Sexual Minority Christian. Yarhouse is the same source of compromise in Tim Keller’s organization, The Gospel Coalition, and in the TGC influence in Campus ministries like CRU, RUF and Intervarsity.
“Christ on Campus Initiative: TGC supports this ministry that prepares and circulates literature for college and university students. The most recent article, written by Mark Yarhouse, offers a Christian perspective on homosexuality. Christ on Campus Initiative.”
“Dr. Yarhouse is currently the Chair of the task force on LGBT issues for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association. He was recently invited to write the featured white paper on sexual identity for the Christ on Campus Initiative edited by Don A. Carson for The Gospel Coalition.”
MOVING ON TO THE TIES OF “RETHINK APOLOGETICS” TO REVOICE AND THE COLSON COMPROMISE
Both the Revoice controversial approach to “Promoting LGBT+ flourishing in historic Christian Tradition” and the Rethink Apologetics of Biola’s apologetics department have a COMMON GROUND SOURCE of inspiration in Christian psychologist and American Psychological Associations Interfaith and Sexuality expert, Mark Yarhouse. Yarhouse has had a huge influence in Tim Keller’s The Gospel Coalition and Campuses ministries both which are represented in the Revoice speaker line up.
You can read more about Yarhouse and Revoice here and about a dozen related articles on the DNA of Revoice:
(Rethink Apologetics was launched in 2015/2016 and began to hold regional youth-oriented Apologetics on a host of topics. The topic of concern here is the LGBTQ+ compromises related to its embrace of Yarhouse views in Sexual Orientation and therapy for those wanting to extricate their lives from homosexuality. The Civilitas Group participation by Biola leaders has set the tone for compromise.)
THE LEADING CONSERVATIVE PCA CHURCH IN BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA HOSTS RETHINK APOLOGETICS.
ReThink Student Apologetics Conference
April 21, 2018 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
$30 – $50
“Last year’s inaugural reThink Conference was a great success, and we know this year will be even greater! With a host of challenging speakers such as J. Warner Wallace, Greg Koukl, Sean McDowell, and many more, this will be an entertaining, informative, and most importantly, challenging weekend. Click here to see the complete schedule and to register. Early bird rates end March.”
Returning for 2019
reTHINK Apologetics Student Conference
April 26–27, 2019
The PCA is struggling and efforts to cover for Revoice and continue to provide a platform for Rethink are ushering in increasing controversy and concerns.
COLSON CENTER’S TRAJECTORY
COLSON’S NEW LIST OF FELLOWS TELLS THE TALE
Assistant Professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, Author and Speaker
Sean is a subscriber to the Revoice inspiration and promotion of Mark Yarhouse.
Sean McDowell and partner from Rethink Apologetics, Alan Shlemon, cover the ever present topic of LGBTQ+ and the Church in the Rethink Conferences. Again, both carry the influence of Biola’s apologetics department and of Mark Yarhouse views from the APA and his own limited research on the view that sexual orientation is real, therefore homosexual orientation does not change and that few experience significant change in sexual orientation when coming to Christian faith (or any faith for that matter according to Yarhouse interfaith applied research ).
The assertion, then, is that with Sexual Orientation being real, that it, presumed from their conclusions, does not change at conversion – then the person who is same sex attracted and comes to Christian faith, which is contrary to homosexual behavior, then that person has a Sexual Identity and a Faith identity which are “in conflict” with one another. The sexual Identity, which they say cannot change, must then be merged with the person’s faith identity to create space for a “Gay Christianity.” Then the church can be led to embrace both identities, in the framework of espoused celibacy or mixed orientation marriages, and allow for “Sexual Minorities “and or “Gay, LGBT+, Queer Christians” to be welcomed into the church. This is the “sweet spot” of the counseling goals being sought. In the same way that Civilitas seeks the “sweet spot” of “common ground for the common good” for society to embrace pluralism and we can “all just get along.” According to these circles of influencers, these are “gospel goals” and produce “gospel fruit.”
RETHINK AND REVOICE
In reality, Revoice and Rethink are just two brands produced from the same source of ideology and packaged / marketed to slightly different markets.
SPRINKLE DOWN FROM REVOICE TO COLSON FELLOW MENTOR
Author, Speaker, Teacher, The Center for Faith Sexuality and Gender
Sprinkle is a graduate with both a Masters and a Doctorate from the conservative Master’s Seminary of John MacArthur who signed the Dallas Statement but has not broken ties with the TGC/ Social Justice crowd. Here we see a guy, Sprinkle, wearing the Masters brand while he promoted, mentored and spoke at the radical Revoice LGBT+ flourishing conference. What amazing contradiction.
Sprinkle’s organization provides training, resources and events to further the embrace of “LGBT+ Christianity” in the church, advocating on such topics as “Gay Teens in Your Church” – “Creating Safe Spaces for LGBT in the Church” and the church dealing “Transgender Identity.”
Sprinkle and his Center were at the heart of the radical Revoice LGBT+ Flourishing Conference.
Thursday, July 26, 201812:00 PM
Saturday, July 28, 20189:00 PM
201 South Skinker Boulevard
St. Louis, MO, 63105
United States (map)
Google Calendar ICS.
“Preston will be speaking at Revoice 2018!”
“The Mission: Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can experience the life-giving character of the historic Christian tradition.
“Learn more at www.revoice.us
SOUTHEASTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY AND BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY – PROVIDES A COLSON FELLOW FACULTY MEMBER
Walter Strickland II bringing Black Liberation Theology / Social Justice at Colson Center as Colson Fellows mentor.
Another recent addition to the Colson Stable is Walter Strickland II
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SYSTEMATIC AND CONTEXTUAL THEOLOGY/ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR DIVERSITY; SOUTHEASTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Strickland teaches at Danny Akins TGC affiliated Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
Some of his areas of expertise and focus include, diversity development, assimilation, racial tension, and reconciliation, African American Theology, as well as Liberation Theology.
New Colson Fellows faculty, Walter Strickland, is hosting author Reggie Williams on campus at SEBTS in February 2019 as part of his Kingdom Diversity work on campus.
Book and Event Description
Southeastern’s Annual Black History Celebration Luncheon is being held on February 8, 2019. This year Dr. Reggie L. Williams is delivering a lecture based upon his book Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance. Dr. William’s book was chosen because it highlights the fruit of intentional self-displacement across cultural lines for spiritual growth. This book illustrates how the gospel refines the most God-honoring parts of a culture and eradicates that which does not honor Christ.
Williams illustrates this phenomena with a historical example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer during his two year stay in New York City. While in NYC, Bonhoeffer regularly attended and served at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Williams argues that Bonhoeffer’s formation during his time at a historically black church helped form the concepts that emerged in three of his most influential book: Ethics, Life Together, and Discipleship.
Williams tweeted his support of Black Liberation Theology and the influence of James Cone and Jeremiah Wright.
Reggie Williams @reglwill
Reggie Williams Retweeted Freedom Road
This is a conversation starter. I failed to mention how much Rev. J @emeritus5 and Rev. @JeremiahWrigh10 have been to me.
Here is a recent interview with Williams about his book.
NOW LIVE: Episode #7 of the #FreedomRoadPodcast Summer Series Finale discusses #BlackMensMagic with Host @lisasharper and prolific theologian/ethicist, Dr. Reggie Williams (author of Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus). @reglwill Check it out! …
Where is the Colson Center Fellows program headed? The new Colson Fellows Faculty gives us a strong indication of deep compromise.
The Colson Center Fellows current additions to the faculty members now include one of the controversial Revoice Conference developer/ speaker/ and mentor, Preston Sprinkle. Revoice is promoting LGBT+ Christianity.
Colson Fellows also includes many from Biola Apologetics whose University has signed onto to using the “Civilitas Theory of Social Change” in order to alter the church’s approach to LGBT issues. Stand to Reason team-mate, Sean McDowell, subscribes to Mark Yarhouse and his APA driven “sexual orientation, sexual minorities. and gay Christianity.”
Walter Strickland II – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, NC Associate Vice President for Kingdom Diversity Initiatives whose field of study and program developments focus on the issues of racial tension, black liberation theology and, A Blueprint for Kingdom Diversity.
MORE ON SEBTS FROM A WHISTLEBLOWER
Just this week a SEBTS graduate has made news as a whistleblower on the Social Justice “take over” at SEBTS under the leadership of The Gospel Coalitions Danny Akin.
“To be very clear, Harris alleges that the institution has taken a “left turn” and that the institution has gone from being known as the “mission school” to the “social justice school.”
“Calling it a “Downgrade,” a term that harkens back to Spurgeon’s stance against the doctrinal dumbing-down of the Baptist Union, Harris begins by quoting Scripture and urging viewers not to be taken captive by heresies and false teachings.
“Harris claims that because he’s chosen not to affiliate with the SBC, he is free to speak out about their newly ‘woke’ social justice movement – a detriment to the Gospel in his estimation – unlike many other students or professors who rely on the SBC for income and are silenced.”
COLSON CENTER DANCING PRO-LGBT+ AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ON CHUCK COLSON’S LEGACY
Colson Center is running with the pack which is leading the Church into the social gospel – the social justice gospel.
Galatians 1:8-9 (NKJV)
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be [a]accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.