Black Lives Matter Movement: The Anathema of a Different Gospel

By Matt Auxt

Introduction

Imagine for a moment that you are back in the good old days of 1912. It’s early April and you decide to take a well-earned vacation to feel the cool breeze of the North Atlantic. You step onto the most advanced luxury ship of the century, the RMS Titanic. In the early hours of the morning, you suddenly wake up in your cabin due to a loud crashing sound and blood curdling screams of passengers and crew members shouting abandon ship! As you head to the life boats, hundreds of people flock ahead of you, scrambling to save themselves. Panic and chaos grow increasingly. Fear takes hold of every soul as the ship slowly sinks into the cold black sea. You know that not everyone will make it off the ship. You know that people will die today. What do you do? Do you clean the handrails? Do you start preparing meals for the passengers? Do you give someone your job? No! You point the people who are perishing to the lifeboats. In this post, my goal is to show you that the world is sinking. People are on the broad path to Hell, and as Christians what should we do? Yes, we do good things for others in Christian love, but ultimately, the only thing that does any eternal good, is to share the Gospel with those who are perishing. Giving people money, power, and washing their feet are humble actions, but those actions are not the Gospel. Here, I plan to show those who will listen, why the Black Lives Matter Movement is a different gospel, adding, and thus subtracting from what the Bible declares is the true Gospel. People are saying, “If you don’t do social justice you don’t do the Gospel.” Adding to the Gospel as portrayed in this phrase is in every sense the sinking of, and anathema to, the Church.

Galatians 1:6-10

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” [1]

The Gospel

The foundation of the Gospel, simply put, is that God is holy; man is not. This is understood through the Mosaic Law (1 Sam. 2:2, Rom. 3:23, 7:7). Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth and died in our place to save us from our sins and the righteous wrath of the Father (Lk. 4:41, 2 Cor. 5:21, Rom. 5:9). It was Jesus Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice that satisfied God’s wrath which was bent toward us (1 Pet. 2:24). It was our sins that nailed Jesus to the cross. To understand the cross, we must first understand that it was done by us before we can understand that it was done for us (Isa. 53:6). The Gospel is coming to that reality, repenting of sins, confessing that Jesus is Lord, and then living in such a manner that is worthy of the calling (1 Jn 1:9, Rom. 10:10, Eph. 4:1).

Worthy of the calling is straight from the book of Ephesians and many other epistles. It is where many people misunderstand the Biblical text. For those of us who are saved, we see that the effectual calling in our life was done while we were completely dead in our sins. Only after that moment are we even capable of living worthy of the calling (2 Cor 4:6, Eph 2:1-5, Acts 28:26-27, 1 Thess. 2:11-14). Living worthy of the calling happens after the Gospel has already accomplished its task. It is displayed in seeking to forsake sin. We do not completely stop sinning, but we hate the sin that we do commit.

In Galatians 1, Paul expressed that he was saddened that the church of Galatia was leaving the true Gospel for another. For what were they forsaking it? The rest of the book describes in great detail that many of the Gentile believers where being drawn to the law of circumcision in an effort to mend their lives. This was a misuse of the Mosaic Law. The law is like a mirror where we see our sin (Rom. 7:7). Who takes that mirror off the wall and tries to floss their teeth with it? That is ridiculous! The mirror is a tool to see the problem, not fix the problem. The Gospel fixes the problem! The Galatians were confusing the musts with the shoulds. What do I mean by that? They were depending on certain actions, such as circumcision, as a “must do” to be saved. They were placing that action on the same level of importance as justification through faith alone. They were substituting Christian doctrine for Christian liberty, and in this, they were seeking another way to justification rather than depending supremely on Jesus.[2]

Paul continues to share that the Gospel is supreme, saying that if even I, Paul, or even an angel says that you are saved by ANY OTHER MEANS, do not believe them! Paul is saying, that even if he messes up the Gospel, that he needs to be corrected because nothing is more important than the purity of the Gospel. In Galatians, Paul says that if anyone, himself included, brings a false Gospel to the Church under the pretense of the true saving Gospel, consider them anathema. Anathema is devoting someone to the destruction of flesh and soul to the eternal fires of hell.[3] Paul is uttering

damnation upon false teachers who 
purposefully teach the detraction of the Gospel being the supreme focus of one’s life. These Jews were being accursed by Paul for eternity. The Church needs to hold fast to the importance of the clarity, superiority, and purposefulness of the Gospel. If anyone, myself included, preached that someone can be reconciled to a Holy God by any other means than the central love for Jesus Christ crucified, we are committing high treason toward God Almighty. If we get the Gospel wrong, there is no difference between the Church and the pagans! If it weren’t for the Gospel, there would be no difference between the sheep and the goats. The Gospel must remain untainted by the world; it must remain pure and must reflect the Scriptures to the letter.

Paul concludes this section by saying that he exists to please God and not the world. The Gospel teaches that God is the singular focus of all things, and people despise His authority. People do not want to hear that they are corrupt and require God for salvation, but that is what they need to hear, and that is what the Church is commanded to teach regularly (2 Tim. 3:16, Lk. 6:40). The Church is called to preach the Gospel, not serve people dinner as they die.

Black Lives Matter Movement: The Detraction of the Gospel

What part does this movement called Black Lives Matter have to do with the Church? What part does social justice have to do with the Gospel? The Black Lives Matter Movement has one job in the Church: to anathematize, or to damn the members of the Church as it corrupts the Gospel. This movement is adding to the Gospel of Christ, commanding everyone to take part in it or be accused of being the problem. This is a false idolatry of thinking that people can fix the problem of sin through a gospel of works. Racism is a sin that began at the Fall when sin entered the world, and it is not fixed through education or redistribution, but by the Gospel of Christ! Social justice is not about justice but it is about pride, selfishness, covetousness, because it says that their way is better than God’s way. “Professing to be wise they have become fools.” (Rom. 1:22). In their worldly wisdom they are creating stumbling blocks for the Church.

Some Christians are buying into this lie that the Church is racist unless it agrees with this agenda. There are problems with the world that need to be addressed; however, this issue is not solved through the redistribution of power or money. The only thing that can save people from the injustice of the world is to be set apart from the world. The only thing that answers the problem of injustice is the cross! The biblical message of reconciliation is the only thing that can save us from social injustice, not protests, and certainly not riots in the streets. All of that is petty in comparison to the Gospel. Sure, protests might give them what they want in the moment… for what? The lost will still burn in hell for eternity if they do not repent of their sins. The Gospel is the only thing that will solve the true need of the human race. “Be about the eternal business of your master and stop rearranging the furniture while focusing on issues that have a temporary effect, when we have the eternal solution for their damnation problem.”[4] It is not works or acts of social justice that will solve the heart of the issue. It is confessing and repenting of sins and faith in Christ that provides the eternal solution that the Church needs to be focused on.

To make it even more problematic, many pastors are falling into the trap of feeling broken for not diversifying their church enough. Revelation 7:9 talks about heaven being filled with all nations. It is true, the Church on earth should reflect heaven, but we must remember as a church, we have one job, “feed my sheep” (Jn. 21:15-17). Our job, as the Church, is to nourish each other with the Gospel. Our job is not to poach people of different ethnic churches because it makes us feel better about our own congregation’s ethnic status. Our job is to preach the Word of God, and let God bring the sheep to the Church. The true Gospel nourishes the sheep, while preaching the social gospel will only tickle the ears of the goats.

The Church is made to be separate from the world. Therefore, we need to preach what the Bible says, to be called out of the world and not be of the world. God will fill His Church with His sheep (Acts 20:27). What we win people with is what we win them to. Preaching anything other than Sola Scritpura, may fill seats and let people feel comfortable in their sins, but will not change lives for eternity. There is no verse that says, one must join the world in the march against systemic racism to be saved. Jesus says, I am the way… no one comes to the Father except through me (Jn. 14:6). Jesus is very exclusive, and He has called the Church to follow Him. We must live in a manner that is worthy to be considered different from the world. Jesus said that no friend of mine can be a friend of the world (Mat. 6:24, 1 Jn. 2:15, Jn. 15:19). If you are brushing shoulders with the world and do not feel uncomfortable, you have a bigger problem than being politically correct, you must search yourself to be sure you are not suffering from the lack of regeneration.

Let us reform the Church, not through teaching worldly remedies, but through teaching both law and grace. Let us edify the Church not through promoting protests, but preaching the Word regularly. Let us replace these lies with the truth of the Gospel.  



[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ga 1:6–10.

[2] Matthew Henry, 2294

[3] MacArthur, 1658

[4] Todd Friel, https://wretched.org/07-17-2020/ 45 minutes, accessed 7/21/20.


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