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Why Even Atheists Should Teach Their Children about God

One of the questions being asked today is, “Why depression and anxiety are so common among children and adolescents?” One explanation—almost surely the most neglected—is declining interest in God and Jesus. Psychiatrist, psychologist, counselors see the consequences of this in their practice almost every day.  A 2018 Harvard study involving 5,000 people examined how being raised in a family with religious beliefs affects the mental health of children. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/religious-upbringing-adult-health/ The study found that kids who attended a church service at least once per week scored higher on psychological well-being measurements and had lower risks of mental illness. Weekly attendance was also associated with higher rates of volunteerism, lower probabilities of both drug use and early sexual initiation, and a sense of purpose. Yet, despite all the evidence that church involvement leads to positive behaviors, Gallup reports that the U.S

Dallas Theological Seminary is Going Woke

 

Secular Corporation and Christian Institutions Apologies: DTS Going Woke

In our culture today we’ve been seeing secular corporations and Christian institutions jumping on the “woke” apology bandwagon. What I will call virtue signaling for personal gain. Whether for monetary profit or fear of being silence by the mob or vainity. There is a “love of the world” kind of motivation behind these apologies.

The apostle Paul condemned mechanisms by which humans attempted to contribute to their salvation or there “right standing” before God.

Galatians 2:16 (NIV) …. because by observing the law no one will be justified.

Galatians 2:21 (ESV) I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

This is what social justice advocates look for. Those who have invited this unbiblical secular filter into their “rightly dividing of scripture” can articulate mankind's need for the grace of God and the exclusivity of faith in Christ for salvation and yet simultaneously apply his atoning work as to individuals, the church and impersonal systems through the ability of humans to keep a new secular derived law. Though Paul taught that the gospel of grace left no place for boasting (virtue signaling i.e. black squares profile pictures) and human accomplishment. This amalgamation allows for just that, law and grace.

That's the crux to this. That's why there are these secular corporate apologies.  That's why there's virtue signaling.  Jesus warned about this kind of boasting. On the sermon of the mount, He said beware of practicing your righteousness before people, to be noticed by them and He then gave examples of the way the Pharisees sounded trumpets when giving to the poor and called attention to themselves when praying in public places. If we were to truly be followers of Jesus these are actions to avoid.  In the midst of a harsh rebuke against the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus also accused them of being unwilling to live up to their own standards. Their motive was not loving God but instead receiving social honor, authority, respect and position. To look down on those that didn’t follow their unbiblical lead.

Today many social justice advocates display the same kind of attitude and one way is through weaponized corporate apologies.

But like Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun”

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (ESV) “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

C.S. Lewis on National Repentance:

In 1940, C. S. Lewis observed a tendency in young English Christians to apologize for foreign policy decisions they were not old enough to participate in at the time they were made but which they presumed contributed to World War II. Lewis quipped that “men fail so often to repent their real sins that the occasional repentance of an imaginary sin might appear almost desirable.” Essentially, “the young man who is called upon to repent of England’s foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbor.” Pretending to take responsibility for other’s failures can actually serve as a clever and prideful way to criticize and single out those who do not engage in the same kind of apology while simultaneously projecting the appearance of personal humility. Lewis wrote that the “charm of national repentance” was how it enabled someone to denounce “the conduct of others . . . yet feel at the time that [they were] practicing contrition.” The parallels between what Lewis described and what commonly takes place within the ranks of social justice advocacy are striking.

There's a test he outlines where he essentially talks about “if” someone enjoys apologizing, if they enjoy correcting or condemning someone they love then that should raise a red flag in our minds. Why? Because that should be something you know that you don't want to do. It's something you do because of duty or because you care about something greater but it's not something that you have glee about. It's not something you get the cameras out and say look at this. It’s not something you blast all over social media platforms.

Here's a couple examples of this:

1.       At the 2019 CRU staff conference, speaker Latasha Morrison led thousands of employees in one of the largest evangelical Organizations in a “liturgy” in which they lamented actions like mocking the poor, allowing institutional racism, participating in racial segregation, ignoring the plight of brown and black men, and idolizing the nation.

2.       In June of 2020, The Gospel Coalition hosted “A Night of Lament for Racial Justice” in which evangelical leaders such as Mark Vroegop, Shai Linne, and David Platt asked for God’s conviction, indicted the church’s callousness, and confessed things like partiality.”

3.       In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021, Mark Yarbrough, the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, offered an “institutional apology for our past racial sins” in chapel which included slavery, segregation, and continued prejudice. Yarbrough also asked forgiveness for those “suffering” and “wronged” by the institution, though he did not provide any concrete examples.

In examples 1: This is despicable, all these young people working for Campus Crusade (formally now called CRU) are essentially guilty of all these things: they've mocked the poor apparently, they've allowed institutional racism, they’ve participated in segregation, they've ignored the plight of black and brown people and idolized the nation. Latasha Morrison is tell these young people that they're guilty, they're complicit in all of these things. After all she is using the pronoun “we”. But are they really guilty?

What they're actually doing is they're lashing out against something that they see through there presuppositional “woke” filters, what they don't like. They're critiquing it but they're hiding their critique within an apology. Because you can't really criticize an apology. Right? After all an apology is supposed to be “humble”. It's such a brilliant way to castigate someone else or another group of people without just directly castigating them. It's a very indirect way to do it. However, it's sneaky and it's slimy. It’s like accusing a group of people of being thieves even if they didn’t participate in stealing anything.

In example 2: In June of 2020 the Gospel Coalition did the same thing essentially. They hosted a night of lament for racial justice in which evangelical leaders such as Mark Vroegop, Shia Linne, and David Platt asked for God's conviction, indicted the church's callousness and confessed things like partiality. In other words, these things are widespread enough they can characterizes the church as a whole therefore there should be conviction. You know we're guilty of partiality. These are the kind of things they're lamenting. Maybe not saying the word apology but it's the same kind of thing. It's a critique but it's taking it on themselves that WE ARE ALL guilty of this also. This hides the fact that it's a critique in honor of Martin Luther King day.

Mark Yarbrough, the president of Dallas Theological Seminary offered institutional apology for “OUR” past racial sins in chapel. This included slavery, segregation and continued prejudice. Yarbrough also asked forgiveness for those suffering and wronged by the institution. Though he did not provide any concrete examples. This is a perfect example of what C.S. Lewis was talking about.

Now while there are instances of national repentance in scripture, they involved PRESENT participation in sin by perpetrators directed to the Lord and resulting in forgiveness. Some might say, “What about Saul and Saul's sons? They were punished for his sin. Right, however, in the text it says Saul and his house.

First, there is a generational sin but it's not generational in the sense that they're paying for the sins of their fathers. It's generational in the sense that they have continued to participate in the same sins of their fathers out of habit or tradition. They're guilty and they apologize for the sins that they've done and for how their fathers who taught them that sin. That's included in the apology for PRESENT guilt but you're not going to see anything that falls outside of this rubric.

However, today here's what's happening. Though it's so far outside of this rubric, weaponized apologies are often for past unrelated or uncharacteristic wrongs by those not responsible. This frequently towards other social groups and in perpetuity without lasting forgiveness. It is literally contradicts every single point of a biblical corporate apology. C.S. Lewis pointed out that the moment there is reason to suspect that someone enjoys rebuking someone they love, there is reason to doubt the authenticity of their rebuke. Simple humans generally do not welcome the opportunity to publicly admit actual sin or the sins of a beloved institution yet at the very moment evangelicals are announcing their complicity and racism. So are most secular institutions and that is because weaponized apologies aren't actual apologies.

Their purpose is to advance accusations which portray others who fail to apologize as morally inferior and in a sense, they are a subspecies of the virtue signalers. Now we have, if you fail to apologize, if you fail to make a statement against racial injustice etc., you stick out like a sore thumb and you are to be condemned. That's what the purpose of this is. It is not an authentic apology. It is a mechanism by which you identify and then castigate those who fail to join in with their fake apology.

Here's what happened with Dallas Theological Seminary. A quote from the president of DTS:

“Friends, hatred is a poison that will derail any system, including political parties, companies, ministries, and the local church. Sadly, it happens at Dallas Theological Seminary.

How do | know this to be true? Because no person is without sin, no people are without failure, and no entity is without stain — not on this side of eternity.”

He hasn't cited anything specific sin committed, however somehow, it's just apparently there. How do I know this to be true? Because no person is without sin therefore it must be true. That's the proof. We all “know” racism is in every institution. Every country has racism. After all we're all racist somehow. You know it's just everywhere because we all have sin. It's just the doctrine of original sin. That's all it is.

Here’s the problem with this unbiblical logic. We would never do this with every other sin that is a symptom of original sin. For example, you'd never do this with the sin of pedophilia. After all we all must be? Right?  We're all just that because everyone has sin? No! Of course not. Not everyone has the same sins. Not everyone has the same propensity for certain sins. Not everyone's making the same choices which lead to these sins. There are some people were that is not a vice or the sin that they are participating in. However, with this poison of “wokeness” infecting the church it’s adopting the tactics of the Accuser of the brethren where it's just the assumption of guilt without proof. This is the flipping around of innocent till proven guilty.

There's sin in a general sense but you can't say that it's characterized by racism or bigotry or anything like that if you don't have something to point to say this is where I see it. That's what we're seeing today by those within the Christian community that are adopting the secular woke narrative.

Here's the apology at Dallas Theological Seminary:

At DTS, we acknowledge our past and present sins, our American forefathers’ sins, and those of the American church. We acknowledge that the trade and treatment of enslaved people created by God to mirror His image—was evil, unrighteous, and often justified by misuse of Scripture. And this slavery led to tragic divisions both in the nation and within the church of Jesus Christ.

After the national declaration of emancipation, divisions remained in the US as African American men and women were denied their rights in various institutions, such as the legal and educational systems. The division also remained in many white churches. Despite the gains of the Civil Rights era, racism and prejudice continue, both against African Americans and others. Unfortunately, racism and prejudice still exist within American culture and the body of Christ. It is a horrific blemish on the history of the nation and the church.

This day of remembrance for MLK gives me, in serving as the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, a public opportunity to reaffirm my personal and our institutional apology for our past racial sins. While beginning with a bold and noble vision for theological education, DTS did not advocate for African Americans as much as it should have. Proactive change should have replaced complicity.

Today, well over half a century since DTS admitted its first African American students, we strive for full Christian reconciliation, relationships characterized by mutual love and respect. Such striving is wholly consistent with Jesus’s command to love one another (John 15:12, 17).

This is exactly what C.S. Lewis said it's apologizing for the sins of your neighbor. While beginning with a bold and noble vision for theological education Dallas Theological Seminary does not advocate for African Americans as much as it should have. This is so vague. What it doesn't outline is what was specifically sinful, in a biblical sense, it just makes the accusation they're guilty of racism. The misleading and insinuation of unproven sin in peoples heart by telling brothers and sisters to repent is nothing more than guilt just because I say so: I encourage us to search our hearts to repent of any form of racism. To those wronged I ask forgiveness for the suffering we have caused. He’s saying “we” caused suffering. He's heaping guilt on the institution but there is nothing specifically going on in this statement and then he says their mission is to glorify God. Embedded in that statement is a heartbeat not only for all people and nations but a faculty staff and student body who celebrate and reflect the diversity of God's people around the world.

What are they going to do? One of the things they're going to do pursue qualified administrators faculty staff and students from across the nation. Around the world seminary's commitment to formal and non-formal education, offering requires that we recruit competent employees with multicultural experience and establish specialized financial scholarships for students with limited access to theological education. It is a form of affirmative action. It's a form of quotas.

What background did they come from and so this is Dallas Theological Seminary going completely woke using a weaponized apology to virtue signal. There’s no other way to figure out what the motive behind this is.  What I think they're doing fits perfectly with what C.S. Lewis talked about. It fits perfectly the motivation Jesus said of the Pharisees has, it's a public statement of look at us. If there was really things going on at DTS that were racist or bigoted or whatever, those are things that you would expect them to focus on and take care of in-house. Kind of like: Hey there was this incident that happened where these this white professor said this horrible thing to a minority student or You know there was a minority that said this to a white person that was hateful or whatever the case maybe you would deal with that sin between the people that sinned against each other. DTS isn't doing that. They're publicly virtue signaling to the world. Broadcasting how really great they are because look at us, look what we're doing, we're diversifying ourselves, and we acknowledge how horrible we've been at the same time

Every corporation last year was doing the same thing. We acknowledge systemic racism. Here are the measures we're taking. That's really what it's all about. It's about getting up to speed with secular culture. We are going to be taking these new measures. We're going to be judging everything off of an intersectional framework and not a competent merit framework.

This switch is really turning everything around. It's going to turn around the quality of manufacturing goods. It’s not about doing business with who makes the best product but what is the intersectional makeup of the business.

DTS is now a part of that. Its not about being informed by a biblical worldview done in Jesus name but a secular worldview done in Jesus name.  

If a church or Christian institution who's apologizing for the sins of the past and of their neighbor and sounding like they're humble, well they're not. This is a weaponized apology. It is part of a virtue signal. It is part of “look how soft my heart is”, “how emotional I am”, “how wonderful I am”, “I'm this compassionate”, “I'm this empathetic” etc. It really is what the Pharisees did.  The motive is doing it to be seen by men. How often do all of us to some extent, though hopefully we're not characterized by that, but that's the natural human tendency. If we want someone to know, in this case it's actually cheap virtue. Though they haven't actually done anything good. They haven't done anything right but it gives them the feeling that they have. That's what a virtue signal does.  

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