By Thomas Littleton
Concerns over social justice driven forces in the Church and some of the most popular ministers in organizations like The Gospel Coalition have given rise to efforts to denounce those influences. However, little has been done to address the source of these influences or answer the concerns presented by them.
THE DALLAS STATEMENT
The Dallas Statement names the problem and ignores the source(s) of it. It names no names and calls for no separation from the corrupting influences, the funding behind it or those who promote it. Part of the reason for the hush hush on the specific details may be rooted in the fraternal bonds of “Preacher Culture.” Many ministers today fall into circles or cliques like TGC / T4G / 9MARKS etc. with their theological peers who agree with their views and run in the same conference circles. However, there may be another reason behind the John Macarthur presence in the Dallas Statement and its failure to name names or point out the source of the problem. One reason might be John Perkins and his long-time friendship with John Macarthur. Perkins’ extremely close association with Russell Moore, David Platt, Albert Mohler, TGC, ERLC is far more understandable in light of the social justice controversy.
FROM 2013 SOCIAL JUSTICE CURRICULUM HAS BROUGHT WITH IT EASY MONEY – LOTS OF IT!
As reported in The Evangelical Deep State, articles 1 and 2, at SBC Today and recorded in the book “The New Evangelical Social Engagement,” the Kern Family Foundation provided funding in 2013 for the Acton Institute in partnership with Kern’s oversight organization, The Oikonomia Network, to implement curriculum driven by Faith and Works theology, economic policy and social justice on 13 (now 21 and counting) US Seminary campuses. Their work is to “Transform Theological Education.”
“The Oikonomia Network is a learning community of theological educators and evangelical seminaries dedicated to raising up church leaders who help people develop whole-life discipleship, fruitful work and economic wisdom for God’s people and God’s world.” (2018 Impact Report)
“The network is currently impacting classes with attendance of over 7,300 students each semester. Check out our annual impact report and learn more about what our partner schools are doing to transform theological education. See the list of Partner Schools at the link below.”
A SECULAR REPORTER EXPLORES AND EXPOSES CONCERNS with KFF
“In the volatile world of high-dollar charitable foundations, many variables can affect year-to-year assets, most notably investment returns. The Kern Foundation’s assets have ranged as low as $268 million in the recession year of 2009 to the 2012 high. Its 2011 assets of $583 million were actually $5 million greater than those of the Bradley Foundation that year.”
“The Kern Foundation employs some sophisticated investment strategies, including the creation of a Cayman Islands subsidiary. Not too many foundations get into off-shore accounts”.
“It paid some $813,000 for investment advice to five companies in 2012, including $224,197 to Fiduciary Management Co., Inc. of Milwaukee. Fiduciary founder and CEO Ted D. Kellner, like Robert Kern, has been a member of the MSOE Board of Regents.”
DISCUSSION – Kerns Directors and their salaries
“The foundation’s staff, besides Senske, includes James Rahn, a Director and President, who receives $332,727 per year for his services, while Program Directors including Karen Wilken, Ryan Olson, Fredrick Oaks, Greg Forster (of TGC and ERLC and Oikonomia Network) and Kyle Bode receive between $89,423 and $124,908. These are nice, handsome salaries, but a bit shy of those offered by the Bradley Foundation, where Chairman Mike Grebe makes $481,000 per year. But then again, Grebe has to deal with a board of directors that includes George F. Will, and that cannot possibly be fun.”
Kern and Acton Institute OFFERING JIM WALLIS AND FATHER ROBERT SIRICO MENTORSHIP
Documented work in Evangelical seminaries on page 63 of “The New Evangelical Social Engagement”
KERN FAMILY FOUNDATION AND FAITH & WORKS PROGRAMS DISCUSSED ON KFF WEBSITE
• Faith, Work and Economics
“The predominant mission of the Foundation in this program is to equip pastors with an understanding of the intersection of faith, work, and economics, and to empower them to lead their congregations in active application of this knowledge.” The foundation spent $289,203 on two conferences for 210 grantees and nearly $50,000 for a Pastoral Ministry Program in addition to millions of dollars granted to hundreds of Protestant theological schools and programs nationwide. The list takes up pages of fine print in the foundation’s tax return, and is there for your edification, should you have time on your hands.”
EDUCATION Kern and Teach for America and the LGBTQ education agenda
• K-12 Education Reform
“The Foundation “invests in the recruitment, selection, training, placement, and support of a new generation of principals.” It provided a $1 million loan to New Leaders for New Schools, a national group with a significant Milwaukee presence. The loan, at 2 percent annual interest, was to support a principal training program.”
“Teach for America is one of a host of national programs designed to transform urban education that has entered Milwaukee over the past few years and one of several the Foundation has supported. In April 2009 the Foundation made a $150,000 grant, which enabled the program to expand its capacity to serve 40 teachers instead of the 30 planned for in the early stages of the program’s development. Corps members started in the fall at 24 schools. The program now has 120 teachers in 40 charter, choice and Milwaukee Public Schools and 220 alumni.
“Teach for America is not a silver bullet, but it is one important component to an overall educational reform strategy in a community,” said Jim Rahn, president at the Kern Family Foundation, which invested $1.3 million and helped bring the program to Milwaukee. “We are optimistic it will be an important step forward.”
“In 2014, Tim’m West, who runs TFA’s LGBTQ+ Community Initiative, and I worked to organize the first Deep South LGBTQ Education Summit in Little Rock, Arkansas (this is in one of the three states Human Rights Campaign began focusing on with its religious activism in 2014 with over 8 million dollars. That focus was titled called Project One America). What started as a two-hour event quickly escalated into a 10-region multi-day summit, as more and more people across the southern regions heard about it and said, “We need this too.”
KERN VISION TO TRANSFORM MEDICAL EDUCATION
If you are in medical, dental, nursing or some other field of training for the health care industry, the same Kern Family Foundation transformational designs are focused on you and your future that are being promoted in Christian Seminaries and understood to be part of the source of the social justice movement. The battle over socialized medicine began in earnest under the Clintons and was nearly lost completely during the Obama administration. Health care and careers in the medical industry have already seen a massive transformation. More is on the way now in the educational institutions.
“MedEdNext is an initiative of the MCW Kern Institute and the National Transformation Network.”
“In February 2017, the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education was realized in partnership and with support from the Kern Family Foundation, and Stephen and Shelagh Roell. Their support will help the Kern Institute expand and inspire partners with a shared vision of building a new foundation for medical education.”
“Seven medical schools from across the United States formed the National Transformation Network (NTN) to build on shared strengths, speed innovation and collaboration, and drive national impact.”
“The NTN founding partners are:
• MCW School of Medicine
• Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
• Mayo Clinic School of Medicine
• University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
• University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
• University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
• Vanderbilt University School of Medicine”
The Kern Institute and National Transformation Network founding partners named the national initiative to transform medical education MedEdNext.
THE STEADY CREEP SINCE 2013 INTO EVANGELICAL SEMINARIES & CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITIES. EXAMPLES OF THE KERN INFLUENCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
“This report is more than a compilation of data — it is an important feature of our stewardship. While the life, work, and mission of Southern Seminary can never be reduced to any report or statistical analysis, we do recognize that there is a responsibility for us to look closely at markers and milestones that help us understand the blessings of God and the stewardship required of us in these times. I hope you will take the opportunity to look closely at this report. I believe you will be incredibly encouraged as you see what is happening on Southern’s campus in Louisville and, by extension, what is now reaching around the globe.” signed Albert Mohler
THE HIGHLIGHTED PROGRAMS ARE FEATURED BY ALBERT MOHLER IN THE SBTS REPORT.
A new partnership (internship) is featured with the rebranded Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission under Russell Moore. Moore’s love for John Perkins, avowed communitarianism, third way progressive politics, winsome response to LGBT, diluting of pro-life movement and general progressive political agenda are a matter of public record and shared concern among Southern Baptists in particular.
“A partnership between Southern Seminary and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention will allow students to pursue a modular Ph.D. in Christian ethics with an emphasis in public policy; classes began in spring 2015.”
CAN SBTS AND OTHER SEMINARY LEADERS SERVE TWO MASTERS?
Albert Mohler and John Macarthur partnered to focus on expository preaching while much of the remainder of the year’s activities and campus programs focused on the social justice movement, which had little to do with or in keeping with the emphasis on expository preaching. In fact, if anything has come from this mixture of these two “opposite attractions,” it has been the cover given to the problematic programs provided through the perception of the biblical and theological focus being espoused.
The fruit of this has been seminary graduates for the last half dozen years who may be great Bible expositors in some people’s view and trustworthy by perception when in fact their social, public and political ideologies are that of classic progressives and liberal humanist Christians who have tossed the Bible aside years ago.
THE TANGLED MANGLED FRUIT OF CONTRADICTION – FLAVORS MATTER!
Nothing betrays the problem more alarmingly and portrays it more vividly than a conversation with just about any recent graduate of one the infiltrated institutions. Postmodern unteachable attitudes, overconfidence wed with a reformers mantle and social justice vision of the Gospel make for a frightening bent toward driving change in the Church and engaging whatever means at their disposal to obtain it.
The young minister described above will soon be hired on staff at your church if he /she is not there already. They may be teaching your children or grandchildren or picking your church curriculum. The toughest person to reach with the truth is this person who sees their distorted social justice driven mission through the lens of theology and a Divine calling. Your tithes may also be paying their salary to transform your church into something far from the House of prayer and worship Jesus has called and confirmed it to be.
EXPERIENCING EXPOSITORY MADNESS W/ SOCIAL JUSTICE GONE WILD
“SBTS – “THE CENTER FOR EXPOSITORY PREACHING hosted the third annual
Expositors Summit featuring John MacArthur, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and H.B. Charles Jr. Through SBTS Press, the center also reprinted B.B. Warfield’s The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible and launched the podcast Exemplary Exposition in October.”
JOHN PERKINS AT SBTS
Perkins Lectures on Theology and Race in American Christianity
“John M. Perkins led the Julius Brown Gay Lectures on Christian Ethics, Oct. 27, 2014. These lectures are among Southern Seminary’s most prestigious lectureships and have brought some of Christianity’s most significant figures to the seminary campus, most notably Martin Luther King Jr. in 1961. Perkins lectured on “Theology and Race in American Christianity” and said that racial reconciliation and justice are fundamental aspects of Christ’s redemptive work.”
LGBTQQUIIAA CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN – OR CAN YOU?
ERLC’S OWN IN-HOUSE NEWCOMER, SSA/GAY ANGLICAN PRIEST SAM ALLBERRY, PREACHING ON SAME SEX ATTRACTED, THE CHURCH AND “CHRISTIAN ENGAGEMENT OF HOMOSEXUALITY”
“THE CENTER FOR GOSPEL AND CULTURE hosted Sam Allberry for a lecture series about homosexuality and ministry. Allberry is associate pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Maidenhead, United Kingdom, and author of Is God Anti-Gay? And Other Questions about Homosexuality, the Bible, and Same-Sex Attraction. He shared his testimony, including his struggle with same-sex attraction, and lectured about Christian engagement with homosexuality in a series of lectures hosted by Boyce’s Center for Gospel and Culture.”
KERN FAMILY FOUNDATION FUNDING AT SBTS DRIVING SOCIAL “FAITH AND WORK” IS OVERSEEN BY OIKONOMIA NETWORK’S AND THE GOSPEL COALITION’S AUTHOR GREG FORSTER
“THE COMMONWEAL PROJECT hosted its first annual conference Sept. 26-27, 2014, with Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus lecturing on impoverished nations and free enterprise. The initiative also hosted a series of free lunch lectures through the academic year, featuring speakers like R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Owen Strachan. The Commonweal Project, funded by the Kern Family Foundation, is an academic initiative at the seminary to foster a theology of work and economics.”
ANOTHER SBC SEMINARY WITH KERN FUNDING AND INTERSECTIONALITY
SEBTS INTERSECT PROJECT IS THE HUB OF SOCIAL JUSTICE INDOCTRINATION ON CAMPUS
“Intersect educates you to engage the intersection of faith, culture, work and economics so you can equip others and be empowered to glorify God in all your life.”
FUNDING COMES FROM KERN FAMILY FOUNDATION
“Intersect is a project of Southeastern Seminary’s Center for Faith and Culture and the Kern Family Foundation. It exists to educate you to engage the intersection of faith, culture, work and economics so you can equip others and be empowered to glorify God in all your life.”
THE RADICAL REVOICE LGBT+ FLOURISHING INFLUENCES AT INTERSECT PROJECT
“Mark Yarhouse, Professor of Psychology at Regent University, recently gave a lecture at Southeastern Seminary titled “Sexual Identity and the Question of Vocation.” The Bible gives us a framework for understanding sexuality, he said. How then can we minister to people within that framework?”
“Afterwards, Dr. Sam Williams and Yarhouse held a Q&A. They discussed sexual identity, reparative therapy, transgender issues and how pastors can minister to people with sexual brokenness.”
“You can watch the Q&A above. Here are a few key highlights:”
HERE IS THE BASIS OF THE JUSTICE NARRATIVE FROM THE YARHOUSE TALK:
IF SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS TRUE AND DOES NOT CHANGE, HOW DOES THE CHURCH SERVE THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY? ARE EFFORTS TO ALTER ORIENTATION WRONG?
“What about ministries that promise to change sexual orientation?”
“We studied people in ministries like that who were trying to change for seven years. People said [such ministries] were inherently harmful. We measured harm; on average, the data did not show it be harmful. If anything, there was a reduction in the number of symptoms [and] the strength of the symptoms a person was presented with. So, the idea of being in a prayer group, praying, reading the Word of God, worshiping together — that does not seem to be intrinsically harmful based on the measures we used over many years…”
“However, does it help change? I think it helped people change their identity. I think it helped people change their behavior, and that was radical for a lot of people who did experience change. And for some people there was a report on average of meaningful movement on a continuum from same-sex attraction towards opposite-sex attraction.”
“But that significant movement along a continuum was average. For some people, there was greater movement. For some people there was no movement. Again, most people would have wanted more movement than they experienced, and that brings us back to how you minister when for most people [same-sex attraction] may be more of an enduring condition or experience.”
YARHOUSE SUPPORTED THE RADICAL REVOICE CONFERENCE
Another writer for the Intersect Project funded by Kern Family Foundation offers a heartfelt defense for Revoice and advocates for the Church to be patient as sexual minority activists promote their own “Flourishing” in their own terms to the Church.
We are facing an uncertain future in the Church over the trustworthiness of those institutions providing Christian education. What is not uncertain is that many forces are being brought to bear on Christian Institutions – on Christian education. One of those forces is “Social Justice.” Far more unseen sources of agenda driven funding are present than the average person or parent choosing a Christian college, university or seminary is aware of. Primary Christian education is being impacted as well. We need to examine these institutions and make wise choices based on full knowledge of these forces and their potential to impact and corrupt the Gospel Mission of Christian Education and the Gospel itself. The Word of God provides all the basis we need to measure the quality and outcomes of a Christian Education.
Proverbs 22:6-8 (NKJV)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
[a]And when he is old he will not depart from it.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.