I’ve been following Adam Robles as he dissects the various talks given at the MLK50 conference. [See Alan’s channel on YouTube.] He does a very good job of illustrating how cultural Marxism has infiltrated the church, turning formerly faithful Christian shepherds into parodious social justice warriors.
One thing he does not talk about is why this is happening. He rightly traces the origins of the mindset on display to Marx. This is quite clear: evangelicalism has simply adopted the social theology of the left. But how did that happen, and so quickly, given that Marxism is plainly antithetical to God’s law?
I suggested to him, and he tentatively agreed, that this is an overnight success many years in the making—thanks to Two Kingdoms theology. Obviously Marxism has been weaseling its way into our cultural fabric for decades through the advances of feminism, which helped set the stage for what we’re seeing now. [ Mallory Millett, Marxist Feminism's Ruined Lives: The horror I witnessed inside the women’s “liberation” movement in Frontpage Mag (September 2014).] But I think the real engine behind capitulating to Marxism is evangelicalism’s radical Two Kingdoms theology (R2K)—something somewhat more recent in its influence than feminism.
MLK50 was co-hosted by TGC and ERLC. These organizations have long been platforms for feminism [ D. Bnonn Tennant, Evangelical complementarian leaders mostly just teaching feminism (January 2017).] and covert gyneolatry. [See for example Dalrock’s extensive archive on The Gospel Coalition’s view of intersexuality.] They have also been bastions of R2K. And they are now morphing into a platform for cultural Marxism and intersectionality. [Intersectionality is what (supposedly) happens when forms of discrimination combine, overlap, and intersect; see Word We're Watching: Intersectionality on Merriam-Webster.]
How can it be, when the advantage of R2K is seen—even by its moderate critics from within—as creating a “bulwark against theonomy”? [ Kevin DeYoung, Two Kingdom Theology and Neo-Kuyperians on The Gospel Coalition (August 2009).] Theonomy is the view that the Mosaic law contains perpetual moral standards for living—including some civil laws—which remain obligatory for today. [ Dr. Joel McDurmon, Theonomy: a simple definition on The American Vision (November 2016).]
In other words, R2K rejects the law of Moses as having any interesting relevance to our modern social order. When forming our views of how society should be structured and governed, we have no need to ask how God structured and governed Israel. We have no need to wonder whether his law is perfect, reviving the soul; making wise the simple; rejoicing the heart; enlightening the eyes; enduring forever; being true and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:7–9). The fact that Israel’s law was to be a light to their neighbors surely has no bearing on whether it should be a light to ours (Deuteronomy 4:5–8). “Every good work” doesn’t include the works of “social justice” (2 Timothy 3:16–17).
We only need natural law. What we know innately about God’s design is good enough. Our intuitions and inbuilt moral compasses are sufficient. The church is distinct from the civil realm, and has no authority over it, and therefore God’s law has no authority over it. Or something. This isn’t historic 2K. It’s radical, baby. Don’t ask questions.
The fruits of this doctrine are now on full display, captured in 1080p for all time as they rot on the withered tree of evangelicalism and waft their putrescence across the inter-tubes for all to savor. Our intuitions and moral compasses are conditioned by the culture we live in. And the culture we live in is now the culture of partiality: of victims and oppressors, of elect and reprobate, of imputed righteousness and guilt, all on the basis of arbitrary characteristics like skin color. It is Marx’s class warfare translated to the grievances of Western special interest groups. Contrary to the stated aims of MLK50—and it is a brazen irony indeed—this is a social theology which is always dividing and ever divisive.
We have a generation of radical Two Kingdoms teachers, who utterly reject any form of theonomy—but because they’re not illiterate, they can still detect that the Bible expects Christians to be involved in doing justice. They are convinced that the gospel is not political, and that preachers shouldn’t bring politics into the pulpit…but they’re also convinced that Christians must have something to say about righteousness.
What we’re seeing now is the confused thrashing of R2K leaders to comment on civil justice and righteousness—without bringing Moses into it. And when you abandon Moses, and all the cool, relevant people involved with “social justice” are rejoicing their hearts in Marx…well.
Marx probably wasn’t well-muscled, but it still reminds me of that scene in Riddick where he eviscerates the swamp monster and it eats its own guts.