Time to Fear God and Not Man, Part 3
You can find previous entries in this series here: Part 1 and Part 2
THE GAMES THEY PLAY AND FLIPPING THE TABLE
In the previous section I mentioned that we need to stop playing their game. In this final section I would like to better examine what that game is, why you shouldn’t play it, and the various plays that will undoubtedly be run on you when you decide you will begin to push the antithesis on CRT/I. You must be prepared to flip the board.
The first objection you will encounter the very moment you decide to stand up and demand accountability is the charge of being divisive. It’s a very serious charge. One that should carry with it the weight of church discipline and accountability. In fact, the weight of the charge of “causing division” is precisely why you need to call for accountability for those who have advanced CRT/I in the Church. You need to flip the board. To do this we need to examine what division actually looks like in Scripture and who is always responsible for it.
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve.” -Romans 16:17-18
So then the charge of division is expressly tied to introducing false doctrines, not those who oppose them. From here you will inevitably meet an objection to tone, or the way you are bringing up the issue, or even an appeal to who you are to think you are qualified to do so. Much of this can be defended against by conducting yourself according to the previous section of this article. If you approach your elders respectfully and privately and abide by the bylaws of the church in taking the issue further you are not giving them an opening to accuse you of being reckless or careless in how you are handling the dispute. If you understand your role as a husband, a father, a churchman, and a Christian you already have enough scriptural firepower to respond to any ad hominem attack focused on your place in all of this.
Concerning tone, it can be pointed out that nobody that has opposed CRT/I on all of Christendom has yet to reach the levels of inflammatory rhetoric that the Apostle Paul routinely did, or John the Baptist, or even Christ himself. Even for the sake of the argument, if your tone was in anyway sinful, that doesn’t negate the biblical validity of your call for accountability. That being said, on matters as weighty and sobering as this, it is extremely important to watch your own conduct. Do not do anything through your own conduct to make it easier on those that oppose your call for accountability.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we need to address the Motte-and-Bailey fallacy being deployed by those who have pushed CRT/I and those who have opposed holding them accountable. This fallacy has become a common strategy among CRT/I pushers. You encounter the Motte-and-Bailey fallacy when an opponent intentionally conflates two similar positions so as to argue for the more aggressive position and then retreat back to the more reasonable and defensible position when he meets opposition.
Two prime examples of this in culture is how the legacy media has covered both Antifa and Black Lives Matter. These organizations have both called for a radical deconstruction of society, family, religion, and law in order to rebuild these things in their own image. When the public pushed back against their radical ideology what did the media say about them? Well they’re just anti-fascism. They’re just saying that black lives matter.
This is the Motte-and-Bailey fallacy deployed ruthlessly in our day in a way that even the most simple among us should be able to see this strategy at play and understand how it works. This fallacy accomplishes the feat of making opposition to burning cities to the ground, ethnic guilt, ethnic reparations, considering good blessings to be guilty privilege, considering anything other than systemic racism to be the cause of racial disparities, and redefining what justice and equity look like according to a Marxist socio-political ethic to actually mean you think fascism is a good thing and that black lives don’t matter. It’s dishonestly advancing destructive radical ideology by defending a reasonable and shared position. A classic bait and switch.
Understanding how the Motte-and-Bailey fallacy has been deployed in the Church, by our institutions, is critical to success in our calls for accountability. This because it has been successfully deployed so as to avoid accountability. This is where the controversy stands to this day. Note: in order to avoid having to address the very specific statements made (and actions taken) our institutions have produced a blanket denunciation of CRT/I in general while not actually forcing men like Curtis Woods, Matthew Hall, and many others to recant and repent of what they have specifically taught, and continue to advance, within the very same institutions issuing the broad denunciation. It is a “see we denounced CRT” defense while men who have claimed the evangelical church is the result of white supremacy still hold powerful positions within them.
Motte and Bailey.
Denounce the term, teach the substance.
Unfortunately, it appears that we have been largely comfortable with this arrangement. As a result, the parents of Loudon County have shamed us. They do not know the nuances of legal theory inherent in CRT/I but they know the cultural impact is woke trash. Denouncing CRT/I won’t be enough when their daughters are being raped by boys in dresses. To our shame, we have not called for specific accountability for specific statements and actions with the result being a continuing assault on the purity of the gospel and the church to which it was entrusted. It is not simply enough to deal with the false doctrine. Those teaching it must be held accountable. Public error requires public correction. Specific error in public requires specific renunciation in public. These leaders must, at the very least, be made to recant and repent of the statements they have made.
There is a large disconnect between our institutions, much of the pastorate they are training, and the people of God with whom they are charged with shepherding. For that disconnect to close we, the laity, must take responsibility for it. We must make known what is expected of our pastors, elders, and institutions. We must make known to our institutional heads that, as things stand, men commended to us by them will, fairly or unfairly, be met with more suspicion than confidence. Our institutions must be made to acknowledge how they have failed us, and that dramatic steps that must take place for trust to be restored. This will not happen if the cause is left to the few faithful pastors willing to represent us. There simply aren’t enough of them. We have to represent ourselves now. We have to rise up.
It is time to fear God.