“The affirmations and denials in the Dallas Statement came from some of the most respected names in evangelicalism. Their ideas, even if wrong, should be responded to. Thousands have signed the statement, and these thousands of names represent hundreds of thousands of church members across America. A point-by-point examination of the document would seem to be required for critics. But for Jemar Tisby – a co-founder of the Reformed African American Network, now The Witness – the assertions of the Dallas Statement should be, like the signers, ignored. Simply put, those ideas are “not worthy” of refutation. Tisby has better things to pursue (like reparations and saving dolphins).”
(JD Hall – Pulpit & Pen) Mohandas Ghandi is often attributed with a quotation actually spoken by American union worker, Nicholas Klein in 1918. Both men knew a thing or two about resistance to overwhelming force, but it was Klein who actually penned the phrase,
“First they ignore you. Then, they ridicule you. Then, they attack you and burn you. And then, they build monuments to you.”
Taking a cue from their own broad generalization of the so-called Oppression Class, Evangelical Intelligentsia leaders are choosing to ignore the signers of the Dallas Statement on Social Justice. They’re also encouraging others to boycott the signatories. This is Phase 1 for how the power establishment mitigates the consequences of criticism from vocal minority groups, and we’ve seen them do this before many times.
In this case, the vocal minority group is led by John MacArthur, and the evangelical establishment desires to stifle dissent. The evangelical establishment runs a spectrum from right to left and includes The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, 9 Marks, Reformed Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Westminster Philadelphia. The establishment also includes more long-running and visibly leftist organizations like Jim Wallis’ Sojourners, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and other mainline evangelical denominations like the United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, and the American Baptist Convention. On the topic of social justice, these organizations on both the theological right and theological left are in almost total agreement, a bizarre and recent political paradigm shift in thought that has for the first time in decades had both sides in almost total unity on at least one issue.
The exception to this right-left unification on Rauschenbuschism is a small group of Gospel-conscious thought leaders from a relatively small section of American evangelicalism who have spoken out against the shift of thought by crafting the aforementioned Dallas Statement. The establishment cannot tolerate that dissent, and they will seek to mitigate the damage. They will do so first by trying to ignore the statement, which currently has more than 5 thousand signers.