Ideas Have Consequences

Stand: Christianity vs. Social Justice with Pastor Jon Benzinger

September 12, 2023 Disciple Nations Alliance Season 1 Episode 89
Ideas Have Consequences
Stand: Christianity vs. Social Justice with Pastor Jon Benzinger
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Critical race theory and cultural Marxism dominate education, big business, media, and our societal discourse, but why and how has it also infiltrated the Church? Join us as we grapple with the onslaught of critical theory and social justice ideologies that we see in many churches with Jon Benzinger who is a friend, pastor, and author of Stand: Christianity vs. Social Justice. Even though the BLM riots of 2020 are behind us, the Neo-Marxist worldview driving the new social justice movement has not slowed. This worldview is the toxic new religion of our time and brings with it a catastrophic history. If and when its rapid growth takes root in churches, it will bring about their demise. This episode underscores the Christian's vital need to amalgamate truth and love in the face of these advancing lies.

Jon Benzinger:

They're anti-Christian ideas, they're anti-gospel ideas. That's why people embrace them and then they leave Christianity, or they embrace a heretical form of Christianity, like progressive Christianity, which is neither progressive nor Christianity. It's regressive and it's some other religion.

Luke Allen:

Hi friends, welcome back to another episode of Ideas have Consequences, the podcast of the Disciple Nations Alliance, a show where we examine how our mission as Christians is to not only spread the gospel around the world to all the nations, but our mission also includes to be the hands and feet of God, to transform the nations to increasingly reflect the truth, goodness and beauty of God's kingdom. Tragically, the church has largely neglected this second part of her mission and today most Christians have little influence on their surrounding cultures. Join us on this podcast as we rediscover what it means for each of us to disciple the nations and to create carcass honoring cultures that reflect the character of the living God.

Scott Allen:

Well, welcome again to a new episode of Ideas have Consequences. This is the podcast of the Disciple Nations Alliance. I'm Scott Allen, I'm the president of the DNA and I'm joined today by my teammates Luke Allen and Dwight Voet. Our special guest is Pastor John Benzinger of Redeemer Church. Pastor John, it's great to have you here.

Jon Benzinger:

It's great to be back. It is an honor to be on your show and be connected with such a wonderful ministry.

Scott Allen:

Thanks so much, john. It's great to have you back. John, we had the blessing of having you out a couple of times, but it's been a while and we haven't had you on since the release of your book. It's hard to believe that it's been out for, I think, about a year, so it makes me think, gosh, we need to have you on more often. For those of you who are not familiar with John's book, it is titled Stand Christianity vs Social Justice. John, was thrilled to see you put a lot of your learning that came out of your sermon series. That was done way back in kind of 2020. Exactly, it was about the same time that my book on Social Justice came out, so I was really happy to see you put your learning and teaching from that time into a book. So congratulations on that and thanks for doing that.

Jon Benzinger:

Well, thank you.

Scott Allen:

Well, I just really want to get caught up, john, with you on. These are such tumultuous times in our culture and especially around these issues. I really like to just try to touch base with folks that are like-minded and just kind of get their sense of the lay of the land. But just first on the book itself, john why I know your friends with Owen Straughn, who wrote the book Christianity and Wokeness, and Vodibhakum, who, of course, wrote his book called Fault Lines, and so you know I remember back in 2020, there wasn't many books that were out that were, let's just say, critical of kind of evangelicalism and critical theory or social justice, critical race theory. There were books out, but most of them were actually by people that were kind of proponents. You know, there was that famous book by, you know, woke church by Eric.

Jon Benzinger:

Mason.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, and there were many others actually as well. So it seems like the first batch of books that came out kind of in a reaction to all that was going on in the culture, where evangelicals writing in kind of positive ways about Black Lives Matter and you know all that was happening. And then, you know, kind of right around the same time, a number of books came out. Pastors started preaching sermons, you know, and so I was really happy about that. You were an early one, so good for you to address this issue from the pulpit. And then, you know again, many others did as well. So now there's a number of terrific books out. I was just wanting to get your thoughts, john, on what you know. Why did you feel like, hey, I want to put this down into a book form. What were you hoping to add to the conversation, to what these other terrific people had written in their books? One strong, vodibhakum, and others as well?

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, so I don't. I've never met Vodibhakum, but Owen Strand is a dear friend and I wrote the book because Owen texted me and said if I wrote the book he would get behind it, and so he had heard the sermon series and thought it was worthy to be put into book form. So that's why I did it. That's the initial reason, but then, as I expanded out, what are the main reasons for the book? Because there is there's the philosophical and theological critiques of the social justice movement, and those are all great and those are all helpful, and where my book comes in is it's very lay level. So it is.

Jon Benzinger:

It's not. It's not using the large theological or philosophical words that usually go into a study of critical theory, social justice, Marxism, things of that nature. It's very simple, it's very easy for any any church person that goes to church can understand. Here are the ultimate issues as to why this is something that needs to be fought against, not integrated into Christianity as some kind of help or interpretive framework, but that it should be expunged from Christianity because it is an attack on the gospel and a completely different worldview, and so helping people understand that and not just understand it, but communicate.

Jon Benzinger:

It is really where this book comes in. It's very similar to your book in that way. Very easy to understand, not written for scholars, written for the everyday person that needs, that needs to be equipped, because this is attacking them.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, that's great, sean. I totally I was going to say I really relate to that. I I you know these are such I'm a huge believer in the power of ideas, for good and bad, and you know, those ideas need to be kind of communicated in a way that people can understand them just average people can understand them and know how to to respond to them, you know, and in this case, to fight back against them.

Luke Allen:

And.

Scott Allen:

I yeah at that. Said, I'm sure you would agree. I'm so grateful that there are people writing at kind of that academic level and dealing, you know, absolutely you know with that level as well. But boy, we do need you know to have these ideas expressed in ways that people can just average people in the pews and whatnot. You know businesses and whatnot can, can wrestle with them as well.

Jon Benzinger:

And that's the thing I've heard the most about my book is that, as people will say to me over and over again, I knew there was something wrong, but I didn't know how to articulate it. I didn't know what to say, and your book gave me the words. It gave me the language to be able to describe it and to describe what's wrong. And again they're like I just want to reiterate what you just said there's nothing wrong with books like Owens. I loved Owens book, I'm one of the endorsers in Owens book and so there's nothing wrong with those books. This just meets this, this kind of niche for this subject, and that's why I wrote the book.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, terrific, yeah, yeah.

Luke Allen:

And if I could just speak to that too. I haven't read the book yet. I want to, but I did go through most of the sermon series back when that came out and one thing that hit me is just your take was less. You dove into history and you dove into where these ideas come from, but you really grounded all of it in let's tackle these from a biblical perspective and you really just I feel like you went into the word more than I saw other people do. It was very pastoral. It was just straight into. Here's how you can approach these things right from the beginning. You can approach these things right from the Bible. A lot of people you know with new ideas like this come up, modern ideas. It's like how does the Bible address CRT, something like that? Oh, it does, and I think you gave us the tools to do that.

Jon Benzinger:

I appreciate that, luke, because I believe strongly in this efficiency of Scripture. So, as I was thinking through, how am I going to, how am I going to shepherd this flock, protecting them from wolves, the wolves of this CRT movement? How am I going to do that? It came back to the sufficiency of Scripture. Scripture is sufficient to fight this and any other attack. And so what other attack is in the Bible that is a gospel, denying heresy, that's trying to say that it is gospel, it can be integrated with the gospel, but it is really an assault on the gospel. And then, and then just automatically went right to the book of Galatians and then realized if I removed Judaizing and put in CRT, this book comes alive in how to attack this issue.

Scott Allen:

Just on that, explain that a little bit, john, will you? What do you mean by that? If you replaced Judaizing with critical race theory? Help our listeners understand that.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, in the first century the idea was that Christians needed to become Jewish, they needed to adopt the Jewish law, and as they did that and they lived according to the law, then they were saved. So, it was faith plus works equals salvation. And Paul comes in and just rails against that and says no, it's not, it's faith alone, and that we're not going to break into two different Christianities. This is not a Gentile Christianity and a Jewish Christianity and Gentiles need to become Jewish.

Jon Benzinger:

No, we become one new thing which is the church and so it really is a and. So then, when Paul is talking about the unity amongst believers, there's no Greeks or Schythians or Jews or Barbarians that were all one in Christ. That, all of these concepts, that you trace them from chapters one all the way to the end of the book, fit exactly with the attacks on the gospel from CRT, from critical theory, cultural Marxism. It's an absolute same thing that, if these things are adopted, it's a replacement for the gospel. It's a completely different worldview. It attacks the gospel but says, like you will be more Christian if you do these. You will be consistent as a Christian if you follow this ideology.

Jon Benzinger:

And then what it here here, paul is saying it's going to break us up into two kinds of churches. Well, that's exactly what's happening. Churches are being destroyed, organizations, schools, non-denial paratroops, organizations being destroyed between the woke and the non-woke. And Paul's going yeah, the Judaizing. And the Christians Like yeah, that's exactly what's going to happen if we, if we allow these ideologies into Christianity. They're a poison, they're not helpful, they are a snake, they're disguised.

Jon Benzinger:

Their wolves and sheep's clothing is what their wolves and shepherds clothing is what they are.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, on that too. You know, when I read your book, john, and I really appreciated it I thought you know it was. I just want to commend it to the listeners, to you know your further study on this subject. I really want you to consider going out and getting a copy of Stan Christianity versus social justice.

Scott Allen:

You know, one of the things that struck me in the book was you talk about critical race theory, just critical theory, this kind of cultural Marxism as a wolf, right, you know it's. These are dangerous ideas, they're destructive, and in the past we had, you know, a group of evangelical leaders that would do a pretty good job, you know of when these ideologies would come into the culture, and then they would start coming into the church. They would kind of act like shepherds and you know they would kind of give warning to the flock. Right, these are dangerous ideas, etc. Etc. And it didn't seem like it happened with this. You really made a point of that at the beginning of the book, because you kept saying I kept waiting, you know, for those speakers to speak out. You know, and I'm not saying you know, john MacArthur and some did, but but there were very few that did and I had that same reaction.

Scott Allen:

I, honestly, I was like Somebody's. You know, I just kept waiting. Somebody you know is going to, is going to, is gonna write a book, or really, you know, start the discussion, get the movement going, and you know when, because I really didn't feel like that. I was equipped to do that. I just, you know, I so because I'm just a lay, you know I Deal in the realm of ideas and discipleship of biblical ideas. But Anyways, I don't. I'm not a prominent leader of the church in in the West or something like that, but because they weren't, I felt like I got to get the book out. Why my question on all that is why do you think that's the case? Why did so few of our prominent leaders kind of recognize this and speak out? What are your thoughts on that?

Jon Benzinger:

So this is the 64 thousand dollar question, right, why didn't they do it? And I don't have any. I don't have any hidden cameras or microphones in their offices. I wish I did, then I would, I would know the real truth. But I'll tell you this it is an interesting thing to watch now that we're in 2023 and Some of these leaders are trying to reinsert themselves into evangelicalism after being marginalized for not talking about these things. So they're being, they're being inserted back into the conference circuit, being inserted back into the good graces of those who actually did speak out, and they're being allowed to do that without any public repentance. And so I am.

Jon Benzinger:

I Wouldn't say I'm a conspiracy theorist. What I would say is is that everything that was called a conspiracy in 2020 turned out to be true. So, when it comes to this issue, why is this happening? I think that there are some people that really believe that they cannot speak on race issues or gender issues, because I believe it is because of the fear of man, that they are afraid of the blowback they're going to get, and so they decided that on this one, they're not going to. I mean, I've been a Christian now since 1995, and so for 28 years and in that time I can remember things like the emergent church, homosexual agenda, open theism, post-modernism, all of these things. They would come out. There would be a response, a loud response, from reformed evangelicalism in particular. They would be united in their destruction of the ideology and when that would do that boom, that thing is gone.

Luke Allen:

It's marginalized.

Jon Benzinger:

It's done, it's over, and why not this one?

Luke Allen:

Well.

Jon Benzinger:

These institutions? Still they. They come like. So these leaders come out, the Al Mollers, the Mark Devers, the Ligand Duncan's and others. They come out. They'll say well, you know, I'm for CRT, confessional reform theology and so they make a joke about it or they don't talk about it at all, or they come out with a podcast Against critical theories, but they still employ the teachers in their schools that teach this garbage, mm-hmm and so it's so. They're talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah and the only thing that I can that that makes sense to me when you put all of it together is Is the idea that they are getting some benefit for trying to stand in the middle of the road, say, on one hand, hey, we are against this, but yet, on the other hand, not do anything about it. They are getting some kind of benefit for doing that. And that's as far as I could. I personally can go, because I haven't Been in the conversations, I haven't been in the rooms, but I know people that have and they've told me they're absolutely getting benefits for For not taking a stand before 2020, but then kind of taking a little bit of a stand after 2020, when people like Vody and Owen, people like Michael Fallon and James Lindsay before anybody, people like John MacArthur, people like James White, screamed about this stuff, statement on social justice, screamed about this stuff and went no, this, stop this, this is wrong.

Jon Benzinger:

And those guys and others Didn't join that fight. They stayed on the sidelines. Oh, I wanted to. I wanted to have some input into that or all that stuff. It's like what? No, like this is a time to fight, just like all those other times, but you're not fighting now. You know this is wrong. You know it because you know where critical theory comes from. You know the philosophical underpinnings of those things. You know this is, this is a false ideology being inserted into the church. This is exactly what Paul talks about in Colossians 2 8 that were to be aware, to be aware of, and yet you're letting it in and you're keeping it in. The only thing that explains that to me is they're getting benefits for doing so. I know it's probably not to answer your thinking.

Scott Allen:

No, no, I think that's, I do think.

Luke Allen:

Hi friends, thanks again for joining us for this episode with Pastor John Benzinger. I'd like to take a minute here to share with you a couple of helpful resources to check out if you're interested in learning more about the toxic new religion of wokeism. Firstly, darrell Miller and Scott Allen co-authored a short summary book on this topic, called a toxic new religion Understanding the postmodern, neo-marxist faith that seeks to destroy the Judeo-Christian culture of the West. Following up that book, I would also recommend my dad Scott Allen's most popular book to date why social justice is not biblical justice An urgent appeal to fellow Christians in a time of social crisis. This book also comes with an engaging study guide, which you can find on the episode landing page.

Luke Allen:

We'd also like to point you again towards Pastor John Benzinger's excellent book Stand Christianity versus social justice. If you'd like to learn more about John and his church, redeemer Bible Church, you can find them at redeemer azorg and from there you can find their podcast called the redeeming truth podcast, which I would especially recommend for any of you who work in church ministry. Again, as always, all of these resources that we mentioned during our episodes you can find on the episode landing pages, which you'll see linked in the show notes below, or you can always find that page by going to our home page of our website, disciplenationsorg, and you'll see the landing page from there again. That is DiscipleNationsorg. Thanks again for listening and I hope you enjoy the rest of the episode here. On ideas have consequences.

Scott Allen:

You know you mentioned in the past there were Really some kind of heretical and false doctrines that were coming into the church. You mentioned open theism and oh what were some of the other the emerging church.

Scott Allen:

I think what sets this is my own kind of thought on this, john, I'd love to hear your reaction to it. But I think that what sets the critical theories and the cultural Marxism apart from those things Is those were largely I'm not saying they were separate from what was happening in the culture, but they were largely issues in the church, whereas this is is is really coming in from the culture. In other words, it's taken over the kind of the cultural high ground. So In business and government and media, right in education, at all levels, right now it's really dominated and to me that speaks to the seriousness of it as well. We're not talking about some kind of error in the church here. We're talking you know that's serious, but we're talking about a ideology that's really captured the culture kind of at every level, and now it's coming into the church.

Scott Allen:

So To speak out against it, you, you lose the benefit, if you will, of cultural acceptance. You know and that's that's tough for anyone I mean I'm not saying that's not hard for anyone you know you won't be accepted by the most powerful and influential people shaping the culture. You know you're not going to be accepted by the most influential people shaping the culture if you speak out against this because it's taken over the culture. So there's, I think there is that difference. I would say, you know, from past issues where they didn't pay a big price, let's say in the culture, to speak out against the emergent church or open theism or something like that, that those weren't interested, those you know, the culture largely wasn't interested in those issues.

Jon Benzinger:

Yes, but they had no problem speaking out against the homosexual agenda. Uh-huh, yes, that's true, that's true.

Scott Allen:

So you're right on that one, and that was a huge issue from the culture, right?

Jon Benzinger:

And female pastors. They had no problem talking about you know, taking the cultural hits for being against female pastors and things of that nature too. That's a good point.

Scott Allen:

No, that's a good point. No, it's fun to talk to you about this and get your thoughts on it. I think another yeah, just, you know, for me, another reason that I think people didn't speak out the wolves were not speaking, excuse me, the shepherds weren't, weren't guarding against the wolves is the use of of race, you know, by proponents of critical race theory. I just felt like that one in particular, it's like they finally came on something right that really was very powerful, you know, and very effective in the United States, like that was going to be really effective because of our guilty conscience that we all have in this country because of slavery, because of Jim Crow, because of this history, and so I felt like that was a particularly kind of almost demonically deceptive. I think that a lot of Christians really struggled with the race one, you know.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, but we struggled because those leaders didn't come out clearly and just say what the Bible says in. Ephesians two and Galatians three about the unity of the body of Christ and reconciliation found in Christ. Like they didn't come out, and that's Christianity 101.

Jon Benzinger:

And these guys didn't come out and talk about it. They didn't come out and say there is no such thing as race. There's one race, the human race. They didn't. They didn't talk about it. There's at different ethnicities, but there's not a different race. They didn't talk about any of these things and, as a result of that, now then, christians were confused. Oh well, what should? Well, what about this? What about that? Yeah, I don't know. And they were. The church in 2020 was waiting for these guys to say something. The John and these guys just, just, just, it was word salad when they talked about these things. They were, they refused to take stands.

Scott Allen:

Or they platformed.

Luke Allen:

You know the champions of it, you know, in places like universities or ban emissions conference.

Scott Allen:

And so they gave platform to the actual promoters of the ideology. And yes, they did.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, that to me was go ahead, all because of this so called guilty conscience that we're all supposed to have over stuff that we did not participate in and do not benefit from.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, it's on, it's on, and not only that. But we had, we had a war over this. We've had laws that deals deal with this for for century or for over a century, and so it's like what are we talking about now? This and so again. But I mean, I grew up on the West Coast, I didn't grow up in the South, and so I know people will say that to me that we did. I didn't live in that world, like many of these guys live in that world, but even still, theology is theology.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, and so at the end of the day, these guys were the theologians. But when you're being told, hey, there's a change coming to this world and there's nothing you can do to stop it and you can either get on board or you can get run over, when you're being told that and you're being incentivized to believe and promote that and you're going to have a place in the new world where you're going to be good to go and everything's going to be fine for you, well then you just shut up about this stuff and let and be and be seen as the the middle of the road, the. I'm the calm one, I'm the one who's who's nuanced and winsome and those other people over there.

Jon Benzinger:

there they're the fundamentalist weirdos who think that this is wrong, I mean we're not the progressives either. We're not the fun bees. You know, we're the nuanced, winsome people.

Jon Benzinger:

It's just garbage, it's just. It's just Hegel, it's just these people that insert Higelian dialectic into known, easy to understand theology and say, well, there's two sides to everything, and here's one side, and here's the other side, and we're in the middle, because we're the, we're the nuanced guys who, who are the smart guys in the middle. It's garbage and it, but it's been something that has been shifting evangelicalism to the left for years. And then add the influence of the pope on young evangelicals to do the same exact thing to relativize clear theology, salvation, justification by faith alone and scripture alone and Christ alone. And we're going to relativize that. And you know, you're a fundee if you believe in that reformation stuff. But you know we're going to be the nuanced guys in the middle.

Jon Benzinger:

And yeah, it's just garbage, it's what's. It's being inserted into a church that has for half a century believed that theology and Bible preaching is just kind of lame and we're just really not going to do a lot of discipleship, we're just going to do a lot of evangelism. And if you want discipleship where you, you better do this other class and you better join this small group and all that stuff. But but the core of what we're going to do is really going to be for unbelievers. It's created a stupid church that has no discernment so that all this stuff can flood in easily. And then someone like me is like, oh, like sounding the alarm, oh yeah, well, you know, it's just a fundee over there. What does he know?

Jon Benzinger:

And it's not nuanced and winsome like we are. You know, you guys are false teachers masquerading as believers and and the day, the day, the last day, is going to ferret this whole thing out.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, yeah.

Luke Allen:

On that note, john, one time I heard you talking about how there was a. There was a virus implanted in evangelicalism from its core, from its start. And it's this lie. Can you, can you elaborate on that for us?

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, if you read the book reforming funnel mentalism by George Marston. He makes the point in that book, with the quotes from the early evangelical leaders, that that there was. The thing that they wanted most was to be this mediating position between fundamentalism on the one hand and the culture, modernism, on the other hand. And so they want it what they. When it comes to biblical theology, to the, to the biblical studies, what that meant was we want to be relevant in the halls of academia, and so we don't want to. We don't want to continue to parrot the old things that people have always said about theology and the Bible. We want to take the methodologies of unbelief and baptize them with evangelical theology so that we will be relevant in the academy and relevant in the larger culture. So at that time Marston doesn't call it that, but when I'm reading that I'm thinking that is the virus in evangelicalism. We so want the culture to like us because we believe the lie that if the culture likes us they'll like Jesus, and so we've got to make them like us so that they'll like Jesus, which is just a straight up lie it is. It's a lie from the pit of hell. It's the exact opposite of that we are told throughout the New Testament that it is not good if the world loves you. It is in fact. It is enmity, it is war against God, it is adultery against God to value the opinions of unbelievers, people who are hostile to Christ and think it's your opinions that should matter for me in the church. No, you need to repent of your, your opinions. You need to repent of your ideologies and submit to the Lordship of Christ through mediated, through his word.

Jon Benzinger:

And so we're so upside down today, for so many reasons. It is. It really is a wonder. I believe that it just really is a wonder that it doesn't surprise me to change it. It doesn't surprise me at all that we are where we are as a church, as a nation, doesn't surprise me at all. I think we've been, we've been, we've been dominated by the world. So we care so deeply about what the world thinks. Number one and number two we've been infiltrated by bad actors pretending to be, to be, shepherds. It is, it's called cognitive oh my goodness, it just it's called cognitive infiltration. People pose as the real thing, they insert wicked ideology, but because it's coming from a trusted mouth, we give wicked ideology some kind of place within evangelicalism. It's garbage. It's total garbage. What's happening today? I'm sorry I was. I was saying to myself I'm not going to get fired up.

Luke Allen:

Last time I got super fired up on your podcast.

Scott Allen:

No, I'm glad, john, no, I listen. It's I think it's worthy of being upset and angry about. I feel the same way, you know I. At the same time, you know, I am struck by the fact that it seems like the people that were the most prone to kind of going along with this ideology were those people that you know. Let's say we're more in academic circles or more kind of more learned, more elite, if you will I don't love using that word when it comes to evangelicalism, but but the but the mass of evangelicals I was kind of surprised by this, frankly, didn't seem to go along with it.

Scott Allen:

You know, and you saw this like I think we talked about this last time you were on there was kind of this migration of people from one church to another, and the migration was largely towards churches like yours, john, that were speaking out against it.

Scott Allen:

It wasn't the other way around. I mean, I'm not saying that there wasn't any movement the other direction, towards churches that were kind of nuanced, if you will, or or favorable towards critical theory, but it seems like largely the movement in evangelicalism was the other way and I thought that was a hopeful sign. You know that you know, even though there's a lack of discipleship or an understanding of some of these biblical doctrines or theology, people kind of smelled it out and said, no, this is, this isn't biblical, these ideas aren't biblical. Right, and I'm going to go find I maybe can't express it, I can't describe it, I don't know the ins and outs, but I smell it, I feel it's wrong and they laughed. I mean they felt that way, strong enough that they actually got up and left churches, which is not a simple thing to do.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, good for them. Yeah, God's spirit within them that caused them to their spidey sense, to tingle and go wait a minute.

Jon Benzinger:

This is not this is not only not biblical. These men have. I didn't realize that they were actually wolves. I thought they were trustworthy. I thought they were guys that and they're so nice and they're so cool and they're and they're so learned, and you know, I trusted them.

Jon Benzinger:

But no, they got sucked into this ideology. Because there's a lot of that today where evangelicals a lot of them here in the East Valley even get sucked up into fads. They're fad chasers. They see people, they see groups of people following a fad, so they want to get in on that. And what that tells you is they don't have conviction. They don't have theological convictions, except whatever the crowd is into I'm into so they just jump from tribe to tribe, teacher to teacher, ideology to idea. Every big book that comes out, they do a sermon series on it. You know they try to capitalize on all this nonsense rather than just. This is a 2000 year old movement that started in Jerusalem and is spread all over the world. And how about we just stick to what the Bible tells us to do instead of being jumping on fads and celebrity preachers and all this nonsense, and just do what the Bible tells you to do, be faithful, leave the results in God's hands. Be faithful and go home and hear well done.

Luke Allen:

Why isn't that good?

Jon Benzinger:

enough. It's not today. Now we got to have platforms and we got to have book deals and we got to do this and that and we got have all these cool and God's people just see this stuff and they just go. This is gross.

Luke Allen:

This is disgusting, Like.

Jon Benzinger:

I don't. This is not what church is supposed to be about. And so when leaders get off and going in the wrong direction, people vote with their feet and they go. No, I'm out of here, I don't need this. And so I praise God for that, because there are many times that that the people, when the leaders are, are derelict in their duty. The people rise up and go. You know what. We're going to go find another shepherd who's in line with God's spirit and God's word. I'm going to go find another shepherd who's going to care for my soul that I can trust, because you just lost my trust and you can't get it back.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, I think this is true of the United States and the West more broadly is that this ideology is really being pushed by elites, but the you know, and they have a lot of power, they have a lot of influence because of their positions in these places of you know, cultural creation, if you will. Absolutely but the people largely aren't with them. I just, I really sense that, and I sense that in the evangelical church as well.

Scott Allen:

Like the, the, absolute average evangelical is just not on board with this, even though it has attracted a group for sure. You know, I wanted to talk about theology and just one of the things that I've had and you probably have to, john, have had opportunity to have discussions and slash debates with evangelicals that kind of are champions of critical theory, are much more favorable to it, and one of the things that I've heard more than once now is because I I I'm fascinated personally with the history of ideas, kind of where. Where do ideas come from? You know, and this is one of the things that I really kind of latched onto in this whole discussion of critical theory.

Scott Allen:

I said these ideas aren't coming from the Bible, you know, these are coming from non biblical thinkers, people, people like you know, hegel, like you mentioned Hegel, or they're coming from Karl Marx himself, or they're coming from non biblical sources, largely especially in the United States, I would say, in the academic sphere coming from the realm of sociology, and what I've heard evangelical champions or promoters of this say is they say, well, yes, they'll give me, they'll kind of grant that, yeah, these ideas are coming from non-biblical folks, non-christian folks, let's say, but they would refer to the doctrine of common grace, right, you know we can listen to non-Christians and they have wisdom that we need to listen to and bring into the church.

Scott Allen:

Right, they use this doctrine of common grace and I thought, well, I believe in the doctrine of common grace, but I think you're misapplying it. And I wonder, john, if you could speak to that you know, just for those folks who aren't familiar with what this doctrine is, your thoughts on it and how it's correctly applied, let's say or versus misapplied, because I think it's a misapplication of that.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, absolutely so. Common grace is the idea that God, that even the non-believer can understand truth, yes, and that based on general revelation, meaning that the knowledge of God, his existence, his attributes are clearly seen through what is made, so that human beings are without excuse. And to understand those, to understand that general revelation, there's common grace that is necessary, like being in the Imago Dei correspondence theory of truth, the built into the reality of the laws of logic and the use of language and all of that stuff, that there's all of this common grace out there of mathematics and that allows us to communicate, to learn, to grow, even if we're not Christians, and so we can throw out. See, this is. I find this infuriating when this comes from academic so-called, because they're just not being honest. If you've read critical theorists, if you've read Angela Davis, if you've read Kohn, if you've read Foucault, you've read Rorty, some of the intellectual underpinnings of those people, you would realize there is nothing at all common grace in their language, in their writings. They are vehemently anti-Christian, vehemently anti-Christ.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, so it's like exactly this is what I said to them is what makes common grace common grace is that it's non-Christian. Speaking truthfully or acting truthfully, and that can happen. Right, it's not just listening to any old non-Christian and assuming that what they say is something we've got to pay attention to. You know, and I've got such a misapplication of the concept.

Jon Benzinger:

Well, yeah, and in that moment, when this is an academic saying this to me, it's like you're either ignorant or you're lying, or you're playing the dialectic, or you're trying to shift the overton window, you're trying to move things to the left, and so it's one of those three. You're playing a game with me right now because you've read it, you know what they say, but you have another agenda. Or you're lying. You've read it and you just straight up lying. You know what they're saying. Or you're ignorant, which I shouldn't be considering you an academic.

Jon Benzinger:

Then you need to go read their writings then and then come back and tell me that, oh, it's just the civil rights movement. Or did you read James Cohn where, over and Over, he says he attacks the civil rights movement, totally attacks it, because they are against the civil rights movement, because it talks about the equality of all human beings, because it talks about the image of God in man, that that was the cry I am a man, and that they hated that because it took away from the oppression that that group felt and that they needed to upplay the oppression and not be so much civil rights movement. I mean, no, they don't say, oh, it's just the civil rights. As soon as I hear stuff like that, it's like you have no idea what you're talking about no clue at all.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, no, they're promoting ideas like you say race essentialism, this idea that we're defined first and foremost by skin color. Well, yeah, I know that these sociologists are saying that that's not common grace, because it's not true right, it's just not true, like if they were non Christians and they were saying a true thing. Like you know, we all have value because we're made in God's image or whatever it is. Then that's common grace, right. Yeah, we can listen to non Christians and value you know we can benefit from their, their teaching.

Scott Allen:

But I just yeah, I just wanted to get your your comment on that, because I hear that, I continue to hear that actually this kind of misapplication of the doctrine of common grace it to to say essentially, hey, we need to pay attention to these. Really well, these wolves, I mean these, these non Christian social theorists that are pushing very, you know, dangerous ideas. They're anti.

Jon Benzinger:

Christian ideas they're anti Christian ideas.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, so there's why people embrace them and then they leave Christianity. That's where they or they embrace a heretical form of Christianity, like progressive Christianity, which is neither progressive nor Christianity. It's regressive and it's it's some other religion and so but but where do they end up? They end up there, yeah and so. And so we look well, why, why are there so many people deconstructing their faith? Because they're being, because anti gospel ideologies are being inserted into their churches, into their school, into their Christian schools, into these nonprofit organizations, christian nonprofits and then people are deconstructing. Oh wow, what a surprise. Yeah.

Scott Allen:

John, I wanted to get just moving just a slightly different direction. I just I was struck here about maybe two weeks ago. I read a sub stack by a, a really a friend. I consider this guy a quite a close friend. He's an influential leader. I'm not going to mention his name. He's an influential leader in evangelicalism or has been had a prominent role, you know, prominent platform and I just want to hear read what he what he wrote in this sub stack.

Scott Allen:

He said this he said that critical race theory is a quote conservative bugaboo. And then he went on and he quoted a pastor, a black pastor from St Louis named Michael Bird, and he quoted him saying that he quote rolls his eyes when he hears evangelicals arguing about critical race theory Because he says this is Pastor Michael Bird. He's so busy helping his church members deal with real issues like crime, dysfunction and poverty. So my friend said that you know, when he brings up people like Pastor Michael Bird, most evangelicals who are worried about CRT don't like it because they don't like to be challenged to consider another Christian perspective. This was written again just recently, within the last few months, I mean. So we're way past 2020. He's, I would say, he's politically conservative, he's not a liberal. What what? I was kind of stunned. What are your thoughts? How would you respond to what he's saying there?

Luke Allen:

Well, I know, this is an audio, just a bugaboo.

Scott Allen:

This is really not. I mean, essentially, this is not. This is not really an important issue, it's a distraction. It's kind of what I hear him saying.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, I know this is an audio only podcast, but when I hear people say that this is a conservative bugaboo, I roll my eyes because I'm dealing with real issues, with people in my church like the two daughters that were homeschooled through 18 and then went to one semester of college and came back denouncing Christianity and denouncing their parents as white privileged oppressors because they live in a suburb and are Christians.

Jon Benzinger:

I'm dealing with real issues like a mom and her family, or her whole family, who now is cut off from their son for the same reasons. I'm dealing with the same issue. I'm dealing with myriads of people in the church that I get to be a pastor of who are fear losing their jobs because of DEI training that they are forced to take pride t-shirts they are forced to wear. So, yeah, I roll my eyes when people say that this is just a non-issue. They have no again. They're either lying or ignorant or they are infiltrating a part of the dialectic To complain that game. I roll my eyes when you call it a bugaboo. Let's get to the actual theology instead of playing these little games.

Scott Allen:

No, I have the same thought. I thought this is clearly not some kind of imaginary problem that we're making up to gain political points.

Scott Allen:

I mean, we saw what happened in 2020 with the riots, much less what went on beyond that, like you say, the churches that are split the families that have been split and, of course, not just the race issue, but especially on the issue of critical queer theory and transgenderism and just all of these. I mean I think there's a 5,000% increase in the number of young people that are claiming to be transgender and you got a whole movement now just pushing hard for them to get you know, just have their breasts removed and all of this surgery, I mean. This is, so to say, I was like really, really, this is just some little non-issue I just had. I don't understand how somebody at this juncture could you know?

Scott Allen:

and again, he's a dear friend. I don't mean to say that. It's puzzling to me. I'm like how are we seeing this so differently?

Jon Benzinger:

I don't know yeah it's ivory tower in the worst possible sense and I don't know how we can say this in 2023, that it's conservatives who are using this to score political points. When Black Lives Matter went out of business because they got exposed for taking tens of millions of dollars and enriching themselves from political, using political points. It is un. It's see. This is the thing. You have to understand what they're doing. They are accusing you of what they're doing, to that. The heat is not on them, but on you. This is all a game. This is all Richard Rorty. It's reification. This is all a game in order to score points and get power and get influence and then and shame their enemies. It is, it is. It is a sick. It's rules for radicals. It's beautiful trouble. That's all this stuff is.

Jon Benzinger:

And conservatives don't read their enemies, the people that see them as our enemies. We don't read them. We don't. We don't spend time listening to our ideological enemies. We don't do that. Christians don't do that. They. I got my Bible and so I'm not going to read what Mormons say. I'm not going to read what postmodernist teach. I'm not going to do that. I'm safe in my little intellectual ghetto bubble and I'm going to be okay, but then this stuff comes in oh, it's just a curmudgeon, oh it's just, it's not really real. It's like you have no clue if you're saying that, or you're a liar if you're saying that which one is it?

Scott Allen:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, anyways. Well, thanks for your thoughts on that.

Jon Benzinger:

I know, I know I totally get fired up on this stuff, but I just I still.

Scott Allen:

Am I really? I'm so puzzled that people I really know well and respect and we can see this still as see it still so differently and it you know, honestly, I have to be open to being challenged like am I? Am I off on this? You know I don't think so, but you know absolutely.

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, I mean any. But that's the thing. If you read the other side, if you spend time reading their blogs, listening to their stuff, reading their books, you know you're not wrong because you read their stuff and you know exactly that what you're saying is true. You're not making it up because you read their stuff. So it's like go ahead and tell me Well, you know, to be honest, what I hear this person saying is I really, you know?

Scott Allen:

or at least this pastor in St Louis saying, isi really care about the real issues facing the black church and the black community and CRT is a distraction. And I'm like I care about those issues too. I really do, and it is not a distraction. It's causing so much of the havoc in the black community because it's it's putting the focus on issues that need to be dealt with. It's it's it's it's saying, you know, yeah, it's just not, it's not dealing with real issues. You know, I mean the real issues that are, that are that are a struggle that we really do need to be dealing with in all communities, not just the black community. You know the the breakdown of marriage and fatherlessness and things like that.

Jon Benzinger:

I mean yeah, and like like me being a pastor in a suburb, that I'm supposed to feel guilty because I'm not helping the families in my church deal with crime and poverty and things of that nature. No, I'm, I'm helping them deal with the issues that they're facing, just like you're helping the people in your church deal with the issues they're facing. We all, we're all deal but. But to say that I mean I can, I can do that with everything I can, why? You know, I really can't that, that whole women's movement thing, that me too stuff, oh, you know, that's just, uh, it's just a liberal curmudgeon. You know I'm, I'm at church dealing with real issues. Over here it's like what do you talk? No, you have to deal with the actual thing, not just dismiss it like it's not really real. No, it actually is real yeah, it's just.

Scott Allen:

It's just silly the degree that that people in the black church or wherever have really imbibed critical race theory. They're putting their focus on the wrong thing, you know, the thing that's really going to bring about a difference. So it's dealing with that is not some kind of distraction, it's.

Jon Benzinger:

It's getting to the root of what really can bring about some positive change and it's gonna, it will destroy, it'll destroy those churches, all the churches that embrace the rt. It's going to destroy and dismantle those churches and they will be, uh, no different than the world in a very short amount of time.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, that if I did put my finger on the one thing that I think is so destructive about it. It's it's that it takes away human agency. It says I'm a victim and somebody else has to. You know, for for my circumstance to change, somebody else has to change and do something.

Jon Benzinger:

I can't do anything, and that's just such a really destructive, unbiblical idea, you know yeah, the thing that scares me the most about it is that there is no forgiveness there's no forgiveness, there's no reconciliation.

Jon Benzinger:

And if there's no forgiveness or reconciliation, then when there is an increase in rage and there is no outlet for that rage, it can only do one thing, which is turn violent, and that's what we saw in 2020 and that's what we will see again, and that's the thing. Conservatives need to recognize beautiful trouble. There's a a, a good, a good dude named james lindsay who brought this out. He said when you read beautiful trouble, they say in there that all their action is our reaction beautiful trouble john, beautiful trouble is the update to rules for radicals okay

Jon Benzinger:

it is the modern update for rules for radicals, so you can just find it online, probably download it for free somewhere. But they say in there that that their action is our reaction. So they are trying to push us to get angry. They're trying to push us to punch them. They're trying to push us to do worse. They're trying to do that because then they can justify the revolution before.

Jon Benzinger:

If we respond to them in christian love weeks, respond to trans people who are looking for meaning and purpose and fitting in in the world and identity we have all of that in the gospel.

Jon Benzinger:

We have all of that in the gospel but if we respond to them in anger and vitriol, if we respond in that way, like person to person I'm not talking about the ideology, I'm talking person to person if we don't respond with love and grace and prayer and those kinds of things and show them the power of the gospel in our love for them, but we respond in kind, we're in trouble because that's exactly what they want, because they will do it with a camera watching and then they will post that on social media and that will go viral and conflict will rage.

Jon Benzinger:

Just like it did in 2020. They want to do it again and again, and again and again to marginalize us, to put up, to make our voice so small and marginalize that everything we say is automatically dismissed because we said it, and elevate them from this minority, crazy, weird movement who believes this nonsense, to elevate them into the place of influence in our culture. And that's how they do it. Yeah, and then we're so afraid that's people are going to get mad at us that we don't say you know what? I love you, but what you're saying is wrong.

Jon Benzinger:

I love you, but what you're saying is unbiblical jesus, that jesus does not support that kind of thing. And, like you said, none of this stuff comes from the exegesis of a text. None of this comes down from breaking down sentences, words and context, large portions, small, that none of it comes from that. This is a, an atheistic ideology being inserted into christianity, baptizes christian because it has some ideas that sound christian, but all those things are redefined and then it comes in. What it actually does. Is it guts, christianity, the gospel? So then it's a zombie. It looks like it's alive but it's actually dead, but it continues to move until it eventually just dies, which is what's happening with the mainline churches and has been happening with the mainline churches for 120 years. It's a zombie. It's not real. It's a cut flower. Might look great on.

Jon Benzinger:

Well, those things don't even look great on the outside. They're buildings, these massive buildings with no crowds. Here I've got this little tiny building with a massive crowd and it's like why? Because we have the gospel, we have god's truth. They don't. And so here they, they. They are on their way to completely being extinct and uh, and at the same time they're like this is that this is the direction we're going to go? Like no, this is not the direction we're going to that. That movement is already extinct. You're making the same moves now, embracing atheistic ideology and trying to baptize it as christian, and and no way. No thanks. We already saw this movie.

Luke Allen:

We're not going to make a sequel yeah, when I was preparing for this podcast today, I was a little worried that some people listening to this might be like you're still talking about this. This was so three years ago, you know. And yet you're absolutely right. Like well, you mentioned rules for radicals and in the new version, what was that called? Again, beautiful trouble, beautiful trouble. Yeah, go read rules for radicals, read beautiful trouble. And it's not. It hasn't gone anywhere. It's still here. It's going to come up again. Uh, and not to mention that this whole, this ideology, when you get back to its idea, roots is, it's, it's all around us in in other ways, it will. For one, it's in academia, um, but it's also, you know, the transgender movement that we've seen in big ways this last summer.

Luke Allen:

That's, that's a branch coming from the same tree um, so it's still around us, and that's why it's so important for us to understand this and um amen, seek the bibles, seek the bible's wisdom.

Jon Benzinger:

No, I think marxism wants to destroy every aspect of our society. That is its goal, that's its stated goal, and when it moved from the financial to the social through the frankfort school, that was the idea. We pit races against each other, we pit genders against each other, we pit men versus women, we we pit old versus young. We create conflict everywhere. We do not bring anybody together because when they are brought together, they resist the revolution. So we have to fracture everything in society, and once we fracture everything, then the marxist revolution can take over, and so that's what's happening right now. This is nothing to do with trans identity and and homosexual marriage, and all that's not what it's about. It is about the destruction of the, the core of civilization, and that keeps civilization together, which is the family men and women, families with children and the church. You destroy those things and then your revolution can take place, and these people are willing I mean marxists are willing to kill millions in order to try it. And we're going to do it right this time? We're going to get it right this time? No, you're not. There is no getting this right, because it goes against the fundamental realities that god has built into reality, goes against all of it, and so it's not going to go. Well, people are going to rebel. And then what do you do with those who rebel? Well, we, we know, we know from history what we do. We put them down in in tens of millions. We put them down so that we can get this thing going. And so it's like. This is why I'm so adamant and so fired up about it. We already know where this ideology leads. We already know what. We know what happens to this. And we just got out of in the at the end of the 1980s, we got free of this marxist movement, this communist movement. We got freedom from that, and now, 20, 40 years later, we're going right back into it.

Jon Benzinger:

When we were tearing down the burlin wall and we were cheering about freedom, freedom spreading all over the world and all the marxists hated that. Because they hate freedom, they hate the things that are built into reality. They got built into reality by the god of the bible. They hate that stuff and so they want they, they believe it's unjust and all of that stuff. Where I'm just going, man, we, we are in trouble because we already know where this goes and if we don't stop it, if christians do not fight this in their own little spheres of influence. Whatever that is around a coffee table or the, or at the lunch tables at school or at work, or or with your family at Easter, like whatever it is like. If you don't say I'm going to fight this, you we're in trouble.

Jon Benzinger:

The days of coasting are over. The the battle has now come to us and we can't retreat anymore. They are coming after our, our kids. They're coming after our schools. They're coming after our churches. This is not um. The sky is falling. This is not alarmist. Read their writings. This is what they want and they're not going to stop until they get it yeah, no, I think I agree, john.

Scott Allen:

I think we are living in revolutionary times and it's out in the open at this point. And um, you know, I just had a thought as you're talking and I, I, I, I I'd love to get your reaction to it as well. I thought you know the talk of marxism, I think you know the um, let's say, the original version of marx which had you know it, had the concept of oppressor, oppressed. You know, there is no god, everything devolves into power, etc. These ideas were present, but it's focus was largely economic and it had to do with um, you know, a fight against capitalism and against the capitalists and the property owners, against the workers. That was largely the division and that revolution. It took root in Russia in 1914, of course, north Korea and China, many places around the world, but it largely kind of ran out of steam with the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1980s.

Scott Allen:

I would say, and I think what I haven't quite seen as clearly as this, just even talking to you right now, is that the Frankfurt School, those were folks in the 1950s who saw that that version of Marxism was running out of steam, it wasn't going to be successful in the revolution that they wanted. So they did need to tinker with it and kind of change it, and they did, and it took root in the universities in the West, this kind of cultural Marxism that had to do now with not so much economic divides but other divides sex and gender and race and, like you say, it's really not about those issues. It's about a revolution, a Marxist revolution by other means. But this revolution this is now where it hasn't played itself out. It's actually broken out now into kind of the broader culture in a very significant way over the last 10 years, and so it is not spent. The other one, is it kind of spent itself and burned itself out? This one hasn't. This one still could be successful and I do think it just depends on what happens actually right now to your point that this is really a critical time. So what are your thoughts on that? Do you agree that we're you know that this is kind of we're yet back into another round of Marxist revolutionary fervor.

Scott Allen:

That I didn't expect. Honestly, I didn't see that five, 10 years ago. I thought it was spent. But now I realize, okay, what I didn't see as clearly as I should have is that there were academics and theorists rebooting it and it, you know, originally it was kind of playing itself out in universities and places that were kind of out of sight and out of mind, but now it's blown out of the universities into every aspect of culture, including the church, and we're in a revolutionary moment again. And what the outcome of that is going to be we don't know, because we're in it right. So thoughts on that are just reaction to we yeah, we absolutely are.

Jon Benzinger:

And see, the things that we didn't have back then, that we have now is the ability to track every single person on the face of the earth.

Jon Benzinger:

And now we can tell them this is what is approved and this is what is not. And if you don't buy this approval, then we will hurt you. We will make sure that you can't buy things, you can't sell things, you can't, your kids won't go to the right schools, you won't get the right jobs. They are able to do that now. They're doing it in that large Asian country on the other side of the Pacific. I've been there twice. That's how it is. There you are tracked 24, seven. You are you. Your. Your score allows you to do certain things or not do certain things, and so they want to bring that to the West.

Jon Benzinger:

China is the model for the kind of control that the elites think that they should have over the populace, because there's too many of us and we're just stupid. We just don't go along with them. They truly believe that they are smarter than we are and that they know better what's good for us than we know, and so this is a neo feudalism that they are now trying to reimpose onto the West, after we fought against it in 1776. Our ancestors fought against that to give us this freedom that the monarchy spirit never, ever gave up. It just went dormant for about 400 years. But now it's coming back and that monarchy is revolting against the American revolution and saying no, no, no, you're going to submit to us. And if you don't, if you don't buy into DEI and social justice and pride month and all of that, then you're going to suffer for it. And so we got a reprieve because we fought back so much in 2021. But it's coming back. It's coming back with a vengeance here in the next month this month actually, it's going to try to come back over to the over into next year. The lockdowns, the mandates, the COVID nonsense all of that stuff is going to come back. And then what's going to happen is that we are going to be forced like the communists, like the people in communist Russia.

Jon Benzinger:

Alexander Solzhenitsyn would say that everybody knew that we were being told lies and everybody knew that we had to embrace the lie or else it would be trouble for us. So we all told lies, we all said things that we knew were false in order to get along and be okay. And that's coming again. Everybody knows that all of this stuff is garbage. The stuff that they're trying to push on us, the sustainability goals and the COVID lockdown nonsense. We all know the stuff doesn't work. We all know that it's all lies. We all know it, and yet we're all going to come to a moment where we're going to pretend, forced to choose whether or not we're going to pretend, if this is really something we should all be afraid of and something we should all change our entire economy, entire world over, or something that we're going to go. We all know this is a lie and we're just not going to live by lies anymore.

Scott Allen:

Well, what do you think Are we? Are we is there enough there to make that stand? Do you think, john, there's there enough? In the church and in the culture to do that. You know, I think often, I think that the moment that we're in in the West is somewhat similar to Germany in the 1930s, when you had another really powerful, very dangerous non-Christian ideology just sweeping over universities and then into the culture and the church wasn't strong enough, there wasn't enough there in Germany at that time to resist it. What, what, what are you?

Jon Benzinger:

so I I named my book stand because that is my hope is that we will stand. But if I'm if I'm honest, I am, I'm mostly a half glass full kind of person. But because Christianity has been infiltrated and fractured, we are not united. So what's happening right now, scott, is that within Christian circles, we're fighting about everything. We're fighting about things even that used to be just settled, just totally settled, for centuries. Now we're fighting about all of these things and, and the thing about it is, while we're shooting at each other, the enemy just keeps advancing. The Marxist Cultural Revolution keeps advancing every day, and so while we fight each other, that's able to advance. And here's the thing about it. This is classic, classic intellectual warfare. This is how it works. This is how you get the.

Jon Benzinger:

This was the evangelical church was the one bulwark against the revolution, once everything else was stripped away. It was the evangelical church that that fought for the ideals of the Constitution, that then the economic system, the, the, the, the political system, and then within the culture, the, the kindness and the charity, all of that, the, the in the, and primarily the commitment to truth. That was the evangelical bulwark against revolution. And so what people realized? If we're going to get the revolution to happen, we have to infiltrate the evangelical church, and that is what has happened. So you have groups like the gospel coalition and together for the gospel and others that start out very conservative, very normal, but then over time they started saying well, you know, we can. Here's the classic view of an errantcy, but here's a new view of an errantcy and it's different than the old one, but it's still evangelical. Well, no, no, it's not, but anyway it's still evangelical. And then what? And then what does something like T4G do? Or or really gospel coalition? What do they do? They bring the guy in to write the mediating position and shift everything to the left. And so now we do it again and we just keep shifting evangelicalism getting us.

Jon Benzinger:

Now we took a settled. This is what it means to be an evangelical. You believe in an errancy of scripture that was settled, rock solid ICBI 1980s settled, not anymore. And then what do you do once you do that Now the classical people are fighting with the progressive people on this issue of of an errantcy. Now we're not together, and now we're separated. And you just keep introducing conflict over and over and over. And so now there's Christian nationalism, there's the chosen, there's the nature of revival, there's there's critical race theory, there's critical, there's me to movement, there's female pastors, there's homosexuality, there's transgender, there's just over and over. We're constantly on edge, fighting everything, and that is the goal. That's the goal. That's the goal. I mean I can't remember the name of the, of the, of the Harvard professor right now, but he coined the phrase.

Jon Benzinger:

Cognitive infiltration Like this is how you get people who believe a settled idea to fracture that idea. This is how you do it. You infiltrate a group of people, saying that you are one thing when you're really not. So the example he gives is he said we did this during the height of the Islamic terror movement. He said we took people, arabic speakers, we would send them into chat rooms and they would talk about, they would present themselves as radical Muslims, but then they would change the narrative and move, try to move people away from that. They'd cognitively infiltrate the dark web in order to do those kinds of things, and then people are realizing wait a minute, we could do this in anything that is not approved by the elites, which the number one thing not approved by the elites is Christianity.

Scott Allen:

Yeah, I think, I think the way I see what's happening in terms of just this ongoing you know revolution. You know, one after another, even after they fail. Why is it back again? Because, without God as a source of hope for positive change, what are you left with? You have to just keep trying in human strength, with human wisdom, to do something. You know that's gonna create this better society that you want. You know so, but we just keep cycling back on these same old ideas. Well, yeah, so I'm, I'm, I'm picking up some notes that aren't particularly hopeful or positive from you, john, right now.

Luke Allen:

God knows, God knows right. No, we do, we do.

Scott Allen:

That's a good message. I think that's where I'd like to go next, john, is just what? How do we respond? What are some practical things we can do, and you've already said some that I appreciate. You know we need to be, we need to be understanding what's going on, as many people say, kind of understand the times, you know, be eyes wide open to where we're at, what's going on in the culture, and we need to understand the ideas behind it. At some level, there needs to be some awareness and we need to engage, and I liked what you said, too, john, about you know, wherever you have opportunity, around the kitchen table with your children or whatever, just be, don't you know? Be. You were just saying we were at each other's throats and in conflict. So this is, I'm like, okay, well, this is also going to create conflict, but we have to stand for the truth, don't we, you know, against this?

Jon Benzinger:

Yeah, yes and so, for I know that I'm very passionate and fired up and and all of that, but when? When Christians can marry truth and love in their apologetic endeavors? That it's not either or. So what I'm talking about, what I get frustrated about, is the so called Christian, the wolf in shepherd's clothing. That's what gets me fired up. I expect the world to be the world.

Jon Benzinger:

I expect the world. The world is going to world, so I'm not surprised by that. So in my interaction with that, with the world, I need to marry truth and love and I need to keep both intention. And I have to live in that tension because it's not loving to compromise the truth and it's not truthful for me to then to, in love, not preach the truth. So, either way I go, I have to have them both. I can't be unloving and say, well, I just spoke the truth, you know like no, it's not okay. We have to do both in this world.

Scott Allen:

We have just a quick thing that I think is really hopeful. On that too, john, I read a book called the Madness of the Crowds by a gentleman named Douglas Murray. Some folks might be familiar with him. He's an academic from England and he's I think he's he's gay and he's not a Christian and he's openly, you know he says I'm not a Christian, but he's he's.

Scott Allen:

He looked at this ideology of critical theory closely and he said just what you said it's completely divisive, it just does nothing but divide and tear things down.

Scott Allen:

And it got him reflecting on what's a society like where there is nothing that unites and where there is no grace and there is no forgiveness. Because he loves those things, as we all do. And then he got thinking and this is all in this book where did those things come from in our society Grace, mercy, forgiveness they came from Christianity. So I thought you know, good for him, you know. And so here's this non-Christian saying I never really appreciated that we were able to hang together as a society and live largely at peace with one another because of these ideas that were in, that came into our culture through Christianity, like you know, a human unity that we're all people that God created and made in his image and that God is a God of mercy and grace and forgiveness, even though we are his enemies, he treats us graciously and he forgives us, and we're to do the same, and so I find that to be incredibly hopeful that even non-Christians go.

Scott Allen:

These ideas are so powerful and we're on the verge of losing them Because, as you rightly said, this new ideology has no grounding for any of it none. So yeah, I do think kind of making common cause with people that are rediscovering the beauty of Christianity is part of the solution here right now.

Jon Benzinger:

So yeah, I'll go one step beyond that. I think God is raising up people like James Lindsay and Douglas Murray and Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson and others, specifically because Christian leaders are silent, and he is shaming Christian leaders into speaking, because these non-Christians are speaking and we're not.

Scott Allen:

They're seeing the truth more clearly and speaking it more courageously. That's right. Yeah, I agree with you.

Jon Benzinger:

I agree with you, the prophetic role that the church is supposed to have of speaking the truth into the culture. The church is abdicating because it's so afraid what the culture is going to think of us, that these other voices, joe Rogan even sometimes, and Tucker Carlson I don't know if he's a believer or not, but you know all of these people they're being elevated in our culture right now and God is sovereign.

Scott Allen:

This brings us back to God. This is actually the true example of common grace, isn't it here? Absolutely, that's exactly right.

Jon Benzinger:

And so that's where I look at that, and God is raising those people up sovereignly, providentially, and I think part of it is to shame the church for being silent.

Scott Allen:

Yeah Well, john, we live in exciting times, don't we? And I always take comfort in the fact that it's not an accident, right, we don't live in these times by accident, and God is sovereign over the affairs of human history, and, again, we know how it's going to end. And so there's all sorts of reasons for us to be hopeful and to be engaged, you know. But what we can't do is just sit back passively. I think the times don't call for that. We have to be active, we have to be engaged in the culture and we have to be engaged in our families and our churches. We have to be speaking and living truthfully right now, don't?

Jon Benzinger:

you Amen.

Scott Allen:

So thank you for what you're doing to do that in your church and in your family and in the Phoenix area and beyond.

Jon Benzinger:

Thank you. Yeah, the Lord has blessed, has entrusted used that word, that's the better word has entrusted me with the care of my family and then, on top of that, the souls of the people at the church, redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert. So with that it's like okay, I'm either going to be found faithful or I'm going to. I'm going to get in trouble when I stand before the Lord and he's going to chastise me. I want to hear well done and so it's. And I don't get to choose the time that I live in. I can only choose to be faithful in that time, and so that's what it's worth trying to do by His grace before His glory.

Scott Allen:

I, you know, there's so many things I could say. I think, as many others have said this, I think that the Lord of the Rings is such a parable for our times, and one of the things that I get hope in, you know, by looking at that story as a parable, is that while all of these mighty swings were going back and forth by the powerful, you know, sauron and these mighty men and mighty creatures, god was at work in these really unexpected ways that were getting no attention right. They weren't these little hobbits who weren't in the media, who weren't powerful, and yet God was raising them up to do the work that needed to be done to bring it down. And I just think there's something like that happening right now, that there's people that nobody's paying attention to, not just in the United States, around the world, in places like China even, and they're going to be very instrumental, you know, by God's grace, in shaping the course of history, you know, in ways that we're not even aware of right now. I just think that there's something to that.

Jon Benzinger:

I agree. I pray that that's the case, because I true me too.

Scott Allen:

Yeah Well, listen everybody. Thanks for listening, and I do want to once again encourage you to go out and to get John's book, pastor John's book Stand Christianity versus Social Justice. It'll help you. It'll help you to sharpen your own thinking about this ideology and give you some really practical ideas on how you can respond to it in your own personal life. John, thanks again for writing that book. What's the best way for people to get that book, john?

Jon Benzinger:

So a couple ways. Number one G3 ministries, g3 Press is the press they're selling it for. The hardback is cheaper there than on Amazon, but Amazon has the audio version. I actually read it, so it's actually the author reading his own book on audible. And then the electronic version G3 is G3. And my endorg slash stand and you know you can just look for the title or my name and then what I would say is that my book is 90 pages long, so it's very short. It's very readable. Again, it's written for the everyday person in mind and but if people want to go deeper, I have 20 pages of appendix, recommended resources, books, videos where people can dig deeper into these ideas if they want to.

Scott Allen:

Awesome, and if you're looking for a church home in Gilbert, arizona or anywhere in the Phoenix area, I recommend Redeemer, bible and John, thank you. Thank you, scott, thanks again for being with us and thank you all for tuning in to another episode of ideas have consequences. This is the podcast of the Disciple Nations Alliance.

Luke Allen:

Thank you for listening to this interview with Pastor John Benzinger. This episode actually has a special bonus episode which we'll be publishing in a couple of days, so keep an eye out for that. During that bonus discussion, we take time to specifically lay out why we at the Disciple Nations Alliance choose to unpack topics like neomarksism, crt the new social justice movement, more broadly known as wokeism and so forth. You may be wondering what all this has to do with Discipling Nations and if that's you, I hope you take time to also listen to the bonus episode which will be out this week, most likely on Thursday the 14th. Ideas have consequences is brought to you by the Disciple Nations Alliance. To learn more about our ministry, you can find us on Instagram, facebook, twitter and YouTube, or on our website, which is DiscipleNationsorg. Thanks again for listening and we hope you're able to join us next week here on Ideas have Consequences.

The silence from prominent leaders in the face of social justice
How the church has been discipled by its nation
Misapplication of common grace doctrine
Divergent perspectives on CRT and issues
The destructive impact of Marxist ideology
Marxism's plan to fracture the church
So what's next?