The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) – Progressive Ideologists of the SBC?

By | October 14, 2016

Machen wrote to his mother in 1915, his first year as an attendee at a General Assembly:

“Dreadful things seem to be going on at the General Assembly, the “liberal” candidate for moderator having been elected by a large majority. Of course a good many brethren did not know how bad he is. He posed as a “moderate conservative.” But I fear the Union Seminary men, with their deceitful phrases, and their contempt for the Christian faith, will go quite unmolested. I trust the Southern Church will keep quite separate. If things get much worse in the North, I should hardly like to continue making contributions to the foreign missions fund, for example, of the Northern Church. Our Southern Board may continue to provide for the preaching of the gospel, and it will be well for those who believe in the gospel to have some faithful administrators of their funds. The mass of the Church here is still conservative-but conservative in an ignorant, non-polemic, sweetness-and-light kind of way which is just meat for the wolves.”

“Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church” by Gary North, page 862

 

In a recent revelation from WikiLeaks, “John Podesta assures Newman to rest easy for he and his progressive pals have already created organizations explicitly designed to infiltrate the Catholic Church with progressive ideology, though he cautions that the time may not be right for full revolution — just yet.

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up,” Podesta writes.

The conversation further reveals the contempt with which radical progressives view Catholics and the Catholic Church. On Monday, WikiLeaks published an email showing Democratic operatives mocking conservative Catholics.

A scholar at the Left-wing Center for American Progress emailed Podesta in 2011 bashing then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for his Catholic Faith.

“It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith,” John Halpin wrote to Podesta, and Jennifer Palmieri, now the communications director of the Clinton campaign. “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

Palmieri, agreed.

“I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion,” she wrote. “Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.””

 

Based on the above quote, is it much of a stretch to believe radical progressives have also undertaken such measures to infiltrate the Evangelical church with progressive idealogy? I think not

Last week 9Marx came out with their Summer/Fall 2016 edition of the Journal.  9Marx has consistently pummeled their faithful followers with the one-two punch of authority and church discipline, so it should come as no surprise that the theme of their latest Journal is “Authority: God’s Good and Dangerous Gift.

While reviewing the 9Marx Journal I found several articles that warrant their own blog articles; I may not get around to writing reviews on all of them, but suffice it to say that many of the authors display an obvious need to occasionally get out in the world. Spending all their time in their church office, in staff meetings, and attending 9Marx conferences has seriously skewed their vision of reality.

I did come across one article I actually agreed with. It was penned by Travis Wussow, a newcomer to the 9Marx website. Wussow writes in a clear and straightforward manner on the necessity of clergy to report sexual abuse to law enforcement. Here is a quote from his article:

“And so part of what we need to recognize in this is that if the church decides to treat abuse as an internal matter and not report the abuse to the authorities, the church has effectively picked up the sword given to the state. They have hidden the wrong and delayed justice. Determining guilt and innocence before the law is not a matter God has entrusted to the church.”

Right on Mr. Wusso! It was great to see this article on the 9Marx website, I can only hope that pastors who read it will take it to heart, but unfortunately I have my doubts that much will change in the neo-Calvinist crowd. After all, most of the celebrity leaders in TGC and T4G have strongly supported C.J. Mahaney, while doing nothing for the victims of sexual abuse that Mahaney covered-up in his Sovereign Grace Ministries (now Sovereign Grace Churches) denomination.  (See here, here, and here.)

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While impressed with Wussow’s article, I was left to wonder if he is familiar with the controversy surrounding Mark Dever and Al Mohler giving aid and comfort to C.J. Mahaney?  You may recall that following the Penn State sex abuse scandal, Dr. Albert Mohler penned a similar article to Wussow’s. Shortly thereafter Dr. Mohler’s BFF, C.J. Mahaney became embroiled in what some have termed the biggest sexual abuse scandal to hit the Evangelical church. Mahaney was credibly accused of blackmail and covering up sexual abuse in the Sovereign Grace Churches denomination, which he presided over at the time.  Mohler ignored his own counsel and he, along with Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Thabiti Anyabwile, Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Matt Chandler, JohnMacArthur, Kevin DeYoung, D.A. Carson, David Platt and other celebrity pastors, firmly stood by their man, C.J.Mahaney.

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C.J. Mahaney supporters, L to R -Platt, Anyabwile, Duncan, DeYoung, Chandler, Mahaney, Piper, Mohler, Dever

The celebrity leaders listed above have paid lip-service to articles such as Mohler’s, many have even added policies at their churches aimed at implementing Mohler’s suggestions, but when it comes to actually carrying out these policies we have seen, at least when it comes to a fellow celebrity preacher, they side with the enabler/abuser and have no time for the victims of sexual abuse.

Therefore, one may rightly ask why Mark Dever allowed Wussow’s article to be printed on his 9Marx website?  Clearly, Dever’s actions indicate he doesn’t concur with Wurrow’s article.  Below is a tweet Wussow made, linking to his 9Marx article. I responded by linking to an excellent article by Nate Sparks which highlights Dr. Albert Mohler’s hypocrisy. I highly recommend you read Spark’s article, which can be found here.

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Who is Travis Wussow?

The 9Marx parachurch organization appears to be interested in promoting Travis Wussow. Why? Previously a virtual unknown in the interconnected world of 9Marx, Together 4 the Go$pel, The Go$pel Corporation, and The Men are Better than Women Club, one can safely surmise that 9Marx  interests are deeper than merely publishing an article by Wussow which, judging by their past practice, they don’t even agree with.

Curious to discover the reason why Dever, and by extension, Mohler and the Gospelly Celebrity Club desire to promote Wussow, I began earnest research on him. What I found may shock you.

Born in 1982, Wussow, now thirty-four years old, is an eighth-generation Texan. He attended Plano Senior High School in Plano, TX, a  northern suburb of  Dallas, and graduated in 2001.  After high school, Wussow attended the University of Texas from 2001-2005. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. Wussow then went on to the University of Texas School of Law, where he obtained a Juris Doctor, graduating in 2008. He successfully passed the Texas Bar Exam in the summer of 2008.

Married in 2007, Wussow now has 2 daughters.

Travis Wussow’s Church Life

Wussow was very active in “The Austin Stone,” a “community church” that was planted in December of 2002. The church appears to have great appeal among the 20-30-year-old crowd who are abundant in the college town of Austin. The Austin Stone now has five campuses. Although The Austin Stone labels themselves a “community church,” they are actually a Southern Baptist church plant. The Southern Baptist moniker is not conducive to attracting the younger crowd, therefore many SBC churches tend to shy away from that label. I searched The Austin Stone website in vain to find any mention of a connection to the SBC, so I went to the SBC website to find the evidence.

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One is also able to deduct that The Austin Stone is Southern Baptist Church and Calvinist in their theology by examing who has spoken at their church.  Here is a partial list of speakers:

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It would appear that The Austin Stone subscribes to all the latest church growth methods. Their members are called “partners.”  I read about this ploy a few years ago in a church growth publication. Labeling the laity “partners” rather than “members” has proven beneficial to church growth because the laity will subconsciously desires to take more ownership in the church if they are a “partner.” This plays out in increased financial support and more volunteers for church ministries.  Nearly all the pastor’s bios are free of any information concerning their education. They keep their bios light and fluffy, steering clear of tedious scholarly qualifications. This is a growing trend among church growth proponents. Outsiders generally are not concerned with doctrine or the pastor’s education, rather they want to find a church that demonstrates a concern for their life situation.

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The Austin Stone also appears to have adopted some of the 9Marx policies, specifically as it relates to membership contracts. (I am not sure why The Austin Stone doesn’t label  “Covenant Membership,” “Covenant Partnership.” If I were to venture a guess, I would say a “Covenant Partnership” would cause “partners” to question why only their role of the “partnership” is described in great detail in the covenant, while the role of the other “Partner,” that being the pastors, is never delineated.

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At any rate, Travis Wussow and his wife Katie were both active “partners” in The Austin Stone. I am guessing they started attending shortly after the church began in December of 2002. Wussow became an elder and started working full time for the Austin Stone in July 2011. His initial role was Minister of Equipping. In May 2012, his role shifted to Executive Director of Central Ministries. and his wife was a deacon. In February of 2011, the Wussow family moved to a home on the east side of Austin. A poor neighborhood, the Wussow’s took the commendable action of putting their belief in social justice into action by intentionally living and ministering among Austin’s poor.

 

Travis Wussow’s Work Experience

I saw Wussow’s tweet below and in an email exchange, I questioned him about his work with the International Justice Mission (IJM). Wussow responded that he worked for IJM for about a year and a half in two primary areas. He served in Nairobi, Kenya, for about 6 weeks to help facilitate two training programs for Kenyan prosecutors focused on criminal procedure, child protection issues, and rule of law. Wussow also worked with their (IJM’s) church mobilization team from Austin.

 

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Wussow didn’t supply me with the dates he worked for IJM, but I would guess it was during the summers of 2006 and 2007.  I found this bio of Wussow where he states he is a Fellow for IJM. I am slightly confused by this because, as you will see later, Wussow began working for the Jackson Walker law firm in 2008. His work with this firm continued until he was hired to work full time for the Austin Stone in 2011. Wussow’s oldest daughter was not born until June 2011, so this would mean that this bio could not have been published prior to 2012. I checked the IJM website andWussow is not listed as a Fellow. Perhaps Wussow meant to say he is a former fellow? Or perhaps he is an inactive Fellow?

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What is the International Justice Mission (IJM)?

According to Wikipedia, Gary A. Haugen is an American attorney who is the Founder, CEO, and former President of International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. International Justice Mission partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. Haugen founded the organization in 1999.”

Wikipedia further reveals that “In the mid-1980s, Haugen served on the executive committee of the National Initiative for Reconciliation in South Africa. Chaired by then-Bishop Desmond Tutu and Michael Cassidy of African Enterprise, the NIR consisted of Christian leaders proactively devoted to political reform and racial reconciliation.

Upon his departure from South Africa, Haugen began work for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, based in New York City. In the late 1980s, Haugen conducted a structural examination of the Philippine government’s prosecution of human rights abuses committed by its military and police. Haugen investigated multiple murders and other violent abuses by the Philippine military and police, and participated in the exhumations of victims and the provision of protection services for witnesses. In analysis of his investigations, Haugen authored a book published by the Lawyers Committee entitled Impunity: Human Rights Prosecutions in the Philippines.

After working with the Lawyers Committee, Haugen began a career with the United States Department of Justice. In 1994, Haugen was put on loan from the Department of Justice to the United Nation’s Center for Human Rights to serve as Officer In Charge of its genocide investigation in Rwanda. In this capacity, Haugen directed an international team of lawyers in the gathering of evidence against the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Haugen developed the investigative strategy, protocols and field methodology for gathering eye-witness testimony and physical evidence from nearly 100 mass grave and massacre sites across Rwanda. Haugen personally conducted and directed field investigations at various sites.

Until April 1997, when he left the Department of Justice to found International Justice Mission, Haugen worked as a senior trial attorney with the Police Misconduct Task Force of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on police misconduct cases, and on cases involving various forms of human rights abuses. When Congress granted the Attorney General new authority to pursue enforcement action against police departments with patterns or practices of misconduct, Haugen was selected to serve on a small task force with national enforcement authority.

Haugen currently serves on the Human Rights Executive Directors Working Group, the Board of the Overseers of the Berkeley Journal of International Law, and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Justice.

The International Justice Mission is a United Nations NGO (non-governmental organization). A NGO is a not-for-profit organization that is independent from states and international governmental organizations.

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The responsibilities of a United Nations NGO are listed below.

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Promoting the work of the United Nations?  Does the UN want work like this promoted? Or this? Or perhaps this? Maybe this? Or how about this? I think you get the picture.  If the blue-helmeted United Nations troops show up in your neighborhood to “protect you,” I suggest you head for the hills! Women and children, those the United Nations especially claim they want to help, are at the greatest risk.

So anyway, Travis Wussow spent a year and a half working for the United Nations NGO International Justice Mission. I can only guess that while he gained experience fighting for justice he obtained some contacts which would serve useful in his not-to-distant future.

In December 2007, Wussow was hired by the prestigious Jackson Walker law firm in Austin. He completed Law School in the spring of 2008 and passed the Texas Bar shortly after that. In August of 2008 Wussow and his wife took a trip to celebrate the completion of  Law School and passing the Bar. They visited the east coast, stopping in Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

After 3 years of practicing law, Wussow resigned from Jackson Walker in July 2011 and went to work full-time for The Austin Stone. Wussow’s initial position was Minister of Equipping. In May 2012, he changed job titles and became the Executive Director of Central Ministries.

On June 17, 2015, The Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention announced they were going to establish an international religious freedom office in the Middle East. They also announced the appointment of Travis Wussow to serve as ERLC director of international justice and religious liberty, working out of the Middle East office.

Russell Moore, ERLC President, spoke of all the strategic strategizing the ERLC did to establish this office and then mentioned Wussow was the strategic man for the job because of his convictional leadership which strategically melds with his Gospel courage. (O.K., I am making some of that up, but not the part about Gospel courage! I am not exactly sure what Gospel courage is, but I think it’s something like Peter displayed when he cut off the right ear of Malchus in the Garden of Gethsemane.)

David Platt, never one to miss a Radical moment, and perhaps reminiscing on his Radical simulcast from a dangerous, undisclosed location in the Middle East of a few years back, uttered some Radical encouragement to his teammates. Platt reminded his faithful that they are surrounded, but driven, and therefore must act. You can read the flowery press release for yourself, found below.

 

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On several occasions in the past, I have noted how Baptist preachers find it profitable to come to Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is a wealthy, stable, safe location in the Middle East. Dubai is a safer city than nearly any large city in the USA, but let’s keep that our little secret. Folks back in the USA hear “Middle East” and they think of deserts teeming with terrorists ready to slit your throat. Many Christian fund-raisers have seen an advantage in fostering this image; giving units (church members, or “partners” as The Austin Stone calls them) in the United States, impressed with the “Gospel courage” of their preachers who have traveled to the Middle East, tend to dig a little deeper when the offering plate is passed. John Piper, Mark Dever, Jonathan Leeman, Thomas Schreiner, Bruce Ware, Thabiti Anyabwile, Greg Gilbert, Kevin DeYoung and D.A. Carson, among others, have all displayed “Gospel courage” and traveled to Dubai.

Skeptic that I am, I can’t help wonder if the ERLC’s purpose of establishing an office in the Middle East is not at least partially related to the fact that it is a “strategic” move for fund-raising. I have noticed that the ERLC makes frequent comments about their Middle East location, and Travis Wussow does play the “danger card” in a podcast that I have partially reproduced below. Yet the exact location of the ERLC Middle East office remains a well-guarded secret.

Below is a thirteen-minute excerpt from a fifty-minute ERLC podcast. Travis Wussow is interviewed about his work in the Middle East by Matthew Hawkins. You will find the complete interview here.

My able assistant, Janna, highly skilled in all things having to do with computers and technology, and I set about to discover where the ERLC Middle East office was located.  All our research indicated Israel was the country the ERLC has chosen to set up their offices and where Travis Wussow lives. If you listen to the full podcast I believe this also backs up our findings.  At one point Wussow gets sidetracked into a rather lengthy discussion about anti-Semitism.  His passion for the Jewish people is evident. Having spent a few weeks in Israel myself, I easily understand Wussow’s feelings.

When I began researching this article I emailed Wussow some questions. He was kind enough to respond and I must admit I was surprised that he answered me. Most in his crowd not only decline to respond, but they generally block me from all their social media sites.

One of the questions I posed was whether ERLC’s office was in Jerusalem. His response was: “The ERLC’s Middle East office is located in Nicosia, Cyprus.” I have good reasons to doubt the honesty of his answer. (I was correct, see the update at the end of this article.) I understand ERLC not wanting this information public, Arab countries in the Middle East will have reservations dealing with a Christian organization based in Israel. Some Arab nations will not grant you entry if your passport has an Israeli visa stamped on it, thus Israel allows tourists to insert a piece of paper with the Israeli visa stamped on it, and after you exit the country you simply dispose of the paper.

I actually found Wussow’s response rather silly.  First of all, for a well-educated man who has traveled the world it is hard for me to believe that he considers Cyprus is part of the Middle East, or that he would think I wouldn’t call him on this.  Let’s remember that every communication the ERLC has refers to establishing an office in the Middle East, not near the Middle East.  I searched the internet and did not find a single list of Middle East countries that included Cyprus.  Below was the list which contained the most countries.

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Secondly, I have vacationed in Cyprus. It is a peaceful, laid back country of rare beauty.  There was nothing “freaky” about it. It is a prime holiday destination and many British people choose to retire there.  The Turks attacked the Greeks on Cyprus in 1974 and the country is now divided in two. Since then there has been peace. You may see men armed with machine guns at the border, but I did not see any men with arms. Possibly there may have been some at the airport, but I don’t remember any.   Also in the podcast Wussow talks about living among the Arabs; while this is entirely possible in Israel, though not likely, you could not claim to be living among Arabs if you resided in Cyprus.

Desiring to give Wussow another shot at it, I emailed him these follow-up questions:

“Do you and your family currently reside in Cyprus? If not, have you and your family ever resided in Cyprus? If so, do you/did you reside in the Turkish or Greek section?
Have you and your family ever resided in Israel?
Do you and, by extension, those working in the ERLC consider Cyprus to be a country in the Middle East?”
 I haven’t received a response.
Last month it was announced that Travis Wussow has been appointed as ERLC Vice President for Public Policy & General Counsel. He will assume his job in January 2017 and will be based in Washington, D.C.
So, after having served for slightly over one year in the Middle East, Travis Wussow has been promoted to a very influential position in Washington, D.C. The man is a fast climber. I believe those in power within the SBC have great plans for him, and this at least partially answers the question I posed at the top of this article, which is, why is 9Marx suddenly featuring Wussow’s article on their website?
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I wanted to feature the following ERLC press release to show you the power 9Marx has among the power brokers of the SBC. You will notice 9Marx president Mark Dever and his good friend, Thabiti Anyabwile made favorable comments on the selection of Steven Harris. Anyabwile is frequently featured on the 9Marx blog and is a part of the “Gospel Celebrity Club,” appearing on stage at numerous conferences, including the latest T4G conference in April of 2016, where C.J. Mahaney made his official return to the spotlight.

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Now that I have covered who Travis Wussow is, I believe I need to delve into a little information about the ERLC. The organization is relatively small by SBC standards, but it is made up of some bright minds, many of whom I think have elitist/globalist political viewpoints which are out of step with mainline Southern Baptists. In my experience, the globalists generally think of themselves as smarter than the masses and believe they know what is best for everyone. They realize much of their agenda would not meet with the approval of proletariat who pay their salaries, so they generally share as little as possible of their actual goals and plans.

 

Amid plummeting Southern Baptist membership and budget cuts, the ERLC has been able to increase their yearly budget for the last 4 years. The ERLC budget comes from the SBC’s Cooperative Program (CP). This program pools voluntary contributions from the approximately 40,000 Southern Baptist Churches in the United States.  Here are the totals the ERLC was allocated from the CP funds for the last four years:

2016-17     $4.099 Million
2015-16     $4.080 Million
2014-15     $3.53   Million
2013-14     $3.19   Million

Meanwhile, the IMB (International Mission Board), led by David Platt, faced a $23 Million defecit in 2016.  Platt’s long term goal to bring stability to the IMB involved asking missionaries to accept voluntary early retirements. He was hopeful that 600-800 would accept the offer. But 1132 missionaries and stateside staff accepted the offer, catching the IMB by surprise, but they “can likely sustain the higher one-time expenditures.”

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So who is the ERLC?

 

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In the company description above the ERLC, you see that they are among the supporting organizations for the “We Get It!” campaign. This campaign is modeled after the Cornwall  Alliance approach which, among other things affirms humanity’s  responsibility to protect the environment. Let’s take a look at who the Cornwall Alliance is; you may be shocked to see who has signed on!

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In my research I came across several older documents that stated the ERLC is an United Nations NGO.  After much searching and ultimately some help from a well known Christian who shall remain anonymous, I located this document that  shows the ERLC has been granted Special consultative status as an NGO to the United Nations! You can read further up in this article to see just what an NGO is and some of the horrible crimes the United Nations have perpetrated on people. There are also some links to negative stories about the UN at the end of this article. The United Nations is no friend of freedom. Their elitist/globalist agenda includes plans for the disarmament of citizens, a one world religion and a one world governnment. I do not have the time or space to document this here, but anyone can search this information out for themselves.

I doubt there are many SBC members who are aware of the ERLC’s  status as a UN NGO, and I believe most average members would not approve of this activity if they were aware of it.

 

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I believe many so-called conservative leaders in the SBC are aware of this information, including Albert Mohler.  Mohler is friends with Richard Land, the previous President of the ERLC.  Land served as President for many years and is a globalist. He was forced out of his position in 2012 because of racist remarks on his radio program and plagiarism. However, the SBC has seen fit to name Richard Land the President Emeritus of the ERLC and give out awards in his name.

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There are some voices out there who are doing their best to alert the average SBC member to the dangers of the ERLC, but there needs to be many more.

 

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Below is another very troubling program the ERLC and other SBC leaders are involved in! This article may be viewed in its complete form at the Juicy Ecumenism blog.

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For a complete listing of Influential Signatories see the Evangelical Immigration Table website.

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While conducting research on Travis Wussow I noticed he obtains much of his information from Foreignpolicy.com

Foreign Policy used to just be a magazine back in the day, now of course they have taken to social media. FP used to be owned by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, long thought to be a communist front organizaton.  In 2008, Foreign Policy was bought by the Washington Post Company (now Graham Holdings Company). I am unsure of Graham Holdings political bent, but Foreign Policy is still considered a must read magazine by elitists/globalists. In my opinion, at least one of the reasons Travis Wussow so often links to it (besides perhaps agreeing with the content) is it sends an unspoken message to those in his circle of  acquaintences that he thinks as they do.

 

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To sum up, I think the SBC, like the Roman Catholic church mentioned at the top of this article, has been successfully infiltrated by progressive ideologists. This has been taking place for years. Evangelicalism is in a dangerous place. At this point I don’t see much hope of righting the ship, but if it does happen it would have to begin by cutting off groups like the ERLC. It doesn’t take much common sense to realize that when the SBC has shed itself of 1,000 experienced missionaries, while increasing the ERLC budget (even though it is only a small segment of the overall SBC budget) priorities are seriously skewed.

I would also like to add a word about budgets and funding from a Southern Baptist friend of mine.He and his wife have been faithful workers for the SBC Disaster Relief program for years. After reading this article he stated:

“It is very frustrating to attend task force meetings for AZ. DR and be told yet again our budget has been cut. We spend a lot of money out of own pocket because the state doesn’t have any. Every year that we have been serving, our budget has been cut. Last year we couldn’t even offer training. Helping others in real time is what we should be doing, not paying the salaries of men that promote an agenda that is at times, is not Biblical. The convention is in Phoenix this year (2017) and I posted your article on our FB. Maybe it will wake sleeping saints up.”

I offer a hearty amen to my friend’s words.  I am not a Southern Baptist, though at one point in my life I was, but I would much prefer my hard earned money go to  support disaster relief than a pack of globalists in the ERLC who are a disaster!

 

Update 1-10-2017:

As mentioned above, Travis Wussow told me the ERLC Middle East office is located in Cyprus. I doubted the validity of that statement (while researching the article I came across solid information indicating Wussow was living in Jerusalem) and it has now been shown to be a lie.  This is reprehensible behavior and totally unacceptable for one of the top men in the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

I emailed Travis Wussow last week to see if he wantetd to explain his behavior. He has not replied.

For further reading:

George Soros’s Evangelicals Meet Richard Cizik, head of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Religious Freedom on Shaky Ground at the United Nations

Resolutions on Defamation of Religions Do Not Belong at United Nations, Organizations Say” (Signed by ERLC)

Recent Blunders of the United Nations:

There’s long been ample evidence that cholera was introduced to the nation’s biggest river by inadequately treated sewage from a UN peacekeeping base about 10 months after Haiti’s devastating earthquake.

The secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has been chastised by five of the UN’s own human rights experts who accuse him of undermining the world body’s credibility and reputation by denying responsibility for the devastating outbreak of cholera in Haiti.

UN will not compensate Haiti cholera victims, Ban Ki-moon tells president. World body invokes legal immunity to rebuff claims despite studies identifying UN peacekeepers as source of the outbreak.

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Melody

I neither understand the point of the ERLC nor the fear of things “globalist”.

Lydia

One more thought on the ERLC as a UN NGO. I can’t help but think there will be an effort to organize and compete with the biggies like Catholic Charities who settle refugees. I know most people think non profits are benign but they aren’t. It is huge money. In my years volunteering with them I have been astounded. Just one example. The feds pay them 100 bucks an hour for interpreters. Catholic charities payss the interpreter 20 bucks an hour. And on it goes. The amount of federal money flowing into their coffers is staggering. Yet the local economies have to pay for the strain on infrastructure as in health care, education, etc. But have no say in where Catholic charities and the Feds settle people. The NGO’s are under no legal requirement to share information with the FBI or Homeland Security. The UN vets them.

I have seen a lot of activity locally out of SBTS and the Neo Cals locally to become very involved in refugee ministries not as volunteers but as local board members and such.

something to watch. Will the SBC get into the refugee settlement business in a big way like CC?

I agree 100% and religious non-profits are even more shielded from scrutiny about possible misconduct than their secular counter-parts. I think that expecting any entity, that needs money in order to exist in a capitalist world, to be truly non-profit is ridiculous. In that sense, there’s an inherent problem with the system in which non-profits exist.

We can blame some of the problem on Emperor Constantine, who first gave Christian Churches tax-exempt status. (I’m just showing how far back this issue goes).

At the same time, I would not support completely eliminating the practice of giving tax breaks to charities because some of them do great work. I increasingly primarily give money to local charities that’s activities I can understand and vet better than those of big international ones. At the same time, if I want to help refugees with a big crisis, my best bets probably are the UNHCR and Red Cross.

The concept of economies of scale does make it easier for large organizations to provide critical care, at times.

Lydia

The change in non profit strategies comes straight from the efforts of Peter Drucker years ago . I was actually a fan of the non profit entrepreneurial approach back then as a board member of a non profit. This is not a categorical black or white problem. But encroachment is key.

However, Druckers strategy began the “non profit director as a highly paid CEO” movement that has mushroomed to major branding/PR/lobbying strategies across the board for all sorts of non profits. We see the non profit officers jet setting around the world and living lifestyles of the rich and famous.

It is big money. Not just from donors like multinationals but governments.

That’s a very interesting point, Lydia. I’m 37, so I have no personal knowledge of what things were like before Peter Drucker, whose work I don’t particularly care for because it’s simplistic. He was also dead wrong about the values several of the companies he featured in Good to Great.

And some non-profits are low-key and spend their money very wisely. Life is complicated. 😉

Lydia

Btw, I really appreciate the work you guys put into this blog. The research is outstanding! And I know how time consuming it is for an unpaid gig!

Thanks!

Lydia

“What’s puzzling to me is that the ERLC seems to be playing both sides of the political aisle. Yes, they have at least indirect ties to organizations that might be considered liberal yet there’s also a lot of evidence that the organization is affiliated with so-called “dominionist” groups and individuals.”People who adhere to the concept of dominionism appear to believe that it’s the ultimate duty of all Christians to over-throw the secular United States government, which promotes freedom of religion through its Constitution, and institute a Christian theocracy in its place.”

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions out there. They might change their names but underneath, socialists (progressives) and fascists (dominion it’s) are more alike than different when you look at the endgame. Both want a strong central government of social engineering.

The problem we have is we have been trained to think in groupthink. We constantly compare and contrast groups of people and movements instead of individuals.

If the focus is individual civil rights, choices and responsibility, neither group fits. Both are Totalists who believe they know best for others. They use different issues and tactics to get there. Right now, the progressives have real political power and are using it. They tend to be global elitists.

With either side, Moore and Mohler can’t loose. They are NOT ideologues. They are power opportunists. I see this going back many years. Mohler consolidated power in the SBC as a culture warrior. He was in Time mag in the 90s at age 34 as up and coming evangelical. He made the rounds on TV, radio, etc. But the whole time his Calvinism was stealth. The SBC had no real clue he had a much bigger agenda. He wielded power at SBTS with the backing of non Cals and completely realigned the seminary getting rid of any dissenters and hiring only loyalists like Moore. Most of them now head SBC entities. He controls almost all the resources of the SBC.

Moore made his bones on Patriarchy at SBTS. But now? It is not an issue that plays well with the NYT but the UN agenda does. The hypocrisy of Moore is legendary. He had no problem working and supporting within the Founders pro slavery SBC paradigm at SBTS after Mohler took over. Even naming a college( as late as 1994 )after a notorious confederate chaplain, Boyce. He was given an expensive portrait of pro slaver Broaddus (read his bio of Boyce, it is chilling on race) by the Trustees. Yet! Yet! Moore goes to the ERLC and makes “racism” his new media pet issue. He gets ink in the NYT, Wapo and the pundits love him. He was unable to see it all around him at SBTS with the pro Founders agenda?

These are men in search of power and building their national brands. They want seats in the political establishment. That is why either Totalist side will do.

Hi Lydia:

I agree with what you’ve said and actually addressed a lot of your points in later comments on this article. Mohler, in particular, is a Machiavellian pragmatist who also has no interest in anything other than trying to make himself more of a player on the global scene. I say that because contrary to popular conceptions about him, Machiavelli encouraged leaders to have values other than promoting their sheer self-interests.

However, I would point out that Moore and Mohler publicly disown so-called liberal groups addressing globalization, which poses a problem regarding the ERLC’s advertised agenda.

Thus if I were an SBC member picking up the tab for this SBC political lobbying organization, I would question why it appear to be supporting these groups behind the scenes.

And that’s really the point of this blog, in my opinion. Just getting people to think is a great accomplishment for which I give Todd credit!

Lydia

“However, I would point out that Moore and Mohler publicly disown so-called liberal groups addressing globalization, which poses a problem regarding the ERLC’s advertised agenda.”

Why is it hard to believe they say publicly what they work against privately? They can’t afford for the SBC to start defunding so they play to their donors? I would be interested to hear what groups you are referring to.

If there is one issue that will rally the pew sitter SBC troops, it is abortion. They have the inability to see past it to other agendas lurking in the shadows. If one claims publicly they are anti abortion, they must be good in every other area. So it goes. It has to be a perpetual agenda item. It is the ultimate litmus test. And it is a shame because like globalization, abortion is going no where, legally.

Thanks, Lydia.

“I would be interested to hear what groups you are referring to.”

I should probably scratch the comment about specific groups, because I know little about Moore’s beliefs and much of my perception about Al Mohler’s advocacy work is based on listening to his old radio show episodes, which I can’t reference easily or at all, perhaps.

And maybe I’ve just stereotyped Mohler and Moore inappropriately by assuming that they don’t like liberal globalist groups. 😉

Let me do some research on this subject. Thanks.

Lydia

“should probably scratch the comment about specific groups, because I know little about Moore’s beliefs and much of my perception about Al Mohler’s advocacy work is based on listening to his old radio show episodes, which I can’t reference”
easily or at all, perhaps.”

But you are right. The radio Mohler minute is exactly how most people know him. He has used that platform to keep the conservative faithful in his side. He mainly deals in social issues that many are concerned about.

He does not promote his staunch religious determinism or more globalist issues because it would not work for that audience.

He uses that platform to secure that audience support. They would never believe he is a globalist.

And when the screws were recently turned on ESS at SBTS, suddenly Mohler was publicly neutral. Only saying it is an orthodox choice but he does not subscribe to it. That is classic Mohler. He has supported ESS for years making Grudem ST the backbone if SBTS teaching.

Actions. Not words.
.

“They might change their names but underneath, socialists (progressives) and fascists (dominion it’s) are more alike than different when you look at the endgame. Both want a strong central government of social engineering.”

I agree yet think that statement applies to extremists, whereas most individuals can and do find a middle ground between advocating for their beliefs and insisting that everyone else believe exactly what they believe.

Just my opinion, of course. 😉

Hi All:

I just want to add my two cents on the United Nations. I understand why many people are distrustful of what is often labeled as its “new world order” agenda regarding globalization. Certainly, I don’t agree with everything the U.N. does.

For example, the whole concept of having a “peace-keeping force” seems odd to me. But I don’t want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water regarding the U.N. either.

I actually admire a lot of of the humanitarian work that U.N. groups do, which is often not controversial.

In my indirect interactions with the organization as a diplomat’s daughter abroad, I met many wonderful people working for the U.N. who were very respectful of people’s individual religious beliefs, as opposed to being disdainful of them or trying to impose some type of ultra-secular global philosophy on anyone.

In addition, the U.N. has some great programs for major global issues such as the refugee crisis that is only going to get worse as the effects of climate change manifest themselves in bigger and bigger ways.

Globalization is a phenomenon that is here to stay, whether we like it or not.

Certainly, the UNHCR is my go-to charity when I want to donate to a specific refugee crisis:

http://www.unhcr.org/en-us

Thus, I don’t automatically take a dim view of any organization that is affiliated with the United Nations, even though I agree that many of its values to not seem aligned with what the Southern Baptist Convention directly or indirectly preaches.

Thanks!

Lydia

“Globalization is a phenomenon that is here to stay, whether we like it or not.”

Perhaps but there are also moves to restrict its reach as there is with the EU and its global reach. It is telling that the woman filling pudding cups at the hospital works for a foreign multinational corporation. I don’t see that as a good thing, either. I don’t think a nations Sovereignty is as inherently evil as many globalists think. Or that globalism is as cool as some seem to think when China owns much of our debt. How do such things affect UN votes? We would be fools to think such things don’t make a difference on the world stage. And why doesn’t the UN make nations safe instead of routing their citizens all over Europe and the US? Why aren’t they interested in democracy for those displaced citizens. Yes, I think there is a larger agenda for the power brokers. Globalists always think people are ignorant and must be socially engineered.

Sadly, The UN promotes and protects a lot of horrible evil, too. Not to mention Soros who is guilty of creating poverty to get even richer and has a globalist agenda for currency speculations. We would be wise not to host the UN anymore.

I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying on a theoretical level, Lydia. I’m just mindful about your comments regarding group think, because that can affect how we view an organization like the U.N., an entity that most of us have little contact with on a day-to-day level. I think it’s important to avoid stereotyping the members of any group, including the U.N.

“I don’t think a nations Sovereignty is as inherently evil as many globalists think.”

I’ve never met anyone working for the U.N. who thinks that the concept of a nation state is inherently evil. It is called the United Nations, not “let’s get rid of nations.” 😉

“Not to mention Soros who is guilty of creating poverty to get even richer and has a globalist agenda for currency speculations. ”

Perhaps, but Soros was once famous for advocating that the concept of the nation state continue to exist when that view was not considered trendy at all.

http://human-nature.com/nibbs/04/soros.html

In other words, things are seldom as they seem, like my favorite philosophy professor used to say.

Lydia

As to “things are seldom what they seem”… so true!

I make it a practice to look at patterns of actions or behaviors, not words, when it comes to such people and groups. It is amazing how often words and actions don’t match over time. I always “believe” the actions.

Melody

“Globalists always think people are ignorant and must be socially engineered.”
Wow. What a generalization. Akin to suggesting something like “nationalists always think themselves superior to people in other countries”.
Might want to rethink that. Truth is usually far more nuanced than such stereotypes.

Lydia

Melody, here is a nuance or two. :o) Globalism will always be around because of trade.

So, Are you speaking of global governance?

An example of the type of globalism run amok I was thinking of is akin to the EU banana standards for the UK as to what size they are allowed to sell down to the millimeter.. Or my Brit friend who developed an organic dog food he wanted to market regionally. He was retired from the food business and old enough to remember the stringent UK standards for such. The EU requirements not only made no sense but were cost prohibitive to a start up. Globalism is great for the multinationals but not the little guy with sufficient capital to manufacture and market regionally.

If that is nationalism and considered negative or arrogant, I doubt we will agree on much. Bureaucrats in DC regulating our lives are bad enough but from non citizen bureacrats? It is a disaster.

Lydia

In the past, I learned to get a sense of where things were headed based on young SBC Neo Cal pastor comments and blog articles. They are shrill and lacking in common sense when discussing immigration, climate change, etc. This well researched article shows me why that has been so the last few years.

Moore is not always forthcoming with his agenda or direction. He, Mohler and others tend to lay the groundwork and it is presented as a fait accompli and anyone who disagrees hates people, the Gospel, etc.

I was stunned to see the ERLC description include climate change. I was also surprised to see links to George Soros who is actually responsible for a lot of global poverty with his currency speculations that make him rich and others destitute.

Totally agree about the UN. It bothers me we host an organization that despises individual freedom for the masses. Thank you for this hard work to get the word out.

Thanks, Lydia. Always great to see you here.

fiveonly

Todd, your comments about Land attempting to deceive the elect are understandable, but I do know the man personally (or did know him) and spent a fair amount of time with him in my seminary days. He was my graduate advisor and at the time (31 years ago) he was a kind, caring man who seemed quite sincere and who challenged me to think for myself. One of his mentors was Judge Paul Pressler, who was also one of my mentors and Judge Pressler was/is a man who loves the Gospel and taught me much about grace that I never understood before I met him. I know you only have his public record, but you might want to take a step back before draw that kind of conclusion. Has he possible changed since those days? Sure. Has he possibly become deluded? Sure, it’s possible, but I have to temper my opinion of his motives based on my personal interaction with him.

fiveonly

Interesting stuff, Todd, most people are living with their head in the sand about the left wing agenda of folks like Dr. Moore, Richard Land, et al. Just as an FYI, the U.S. Muslim Engagement Project website doesn’t exist anymore but if you try hard enough you can find some of the offshoot organizations such as http://www.convergencepolicy.org which has similar goals, including re-educating our children. Richard Land just happens to be on the Leadership council of that organization now, so if there are any doubts about this based on the USMEP site no longer existing, here is additional evidence: http://www.convergencepolicy.org/about-convergence/board-advisors/leadership-council/

Thanks, fiveonly, I appreciate the information, as well. What’s puzzling to me is that the ERLC seems to be playing both sides of the political aisle. Yes, they have at least indirect ties to organizations that might be considered liberal yet there’s also a lot of evidence that the organization is affiliated with so-called “dominionist” groups and individuals.

People who adhere to the concept of dominionism appear to believe that it’s the ultimate duty of all Christians to over-throw the secular United States government, which promotes freedom of religion through its Constitution, and institute a Christian theocracy in its place.

To me, dominionism represents an extremely conservative philosophical and political belief system that is at odds with any creed that an organization such as the United Nations would adhere to. This begs the question, does the ERLC and by extension the Southern Baptist Convention, simply want to have ties to any powerful entity or group of individuals irrespective of their beliefs and priorities?

The Bigger Point

The broader point to all this may pertain to the Southern Baptist Convention’s financial priorities. Why is the SBC financing and engaging in clandestine political advocacy overseas when it has just fired a large number of missionaries? due to perceived funding constraints?

What are the true intentions of SBC leaders such as Russell Moore and Al Mohler?

fiveonly

Here is where my opinions may diverge from others, but I believe that their intentions are relatively good, i.e. do whatever they can to bring about conditions to promote the Gospel, I just think that they’ve bought into the false notion that they must advance politically correct, progressive ideas in order to be culturally relevant and be like Paul states in 1 Cor 9:22 “…all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” The problem lies in that they believe that promoting narratives that make certain groups feel better about themselves falls in line with this passage. The reality is that Paul never even implies that this should include promoting false narratives to be culturally relevant. In fact, Paul did just the opposite, he challenged the culture every opportunity he had in order to reform the culture or, in other words, conform the culture to God’s standards. I base this on several examples, but one that comes to mind right off the top of my head is Matt Chandler’s rush to call out white privilege as the problem when the Trayvon Martin case first occurred, even though it was proven in court that the guy was defending himself from getting his head pounded into the pavement. In order to justify this narrative, Chandler performed one of the worst cases of proof texting I’ve ever seen, taking the concept of the curtain of the temple being wrent as somehow being about tearing down racism rather than the end of the shadow or type of mediator (Israel, the hight priest & the Holy of Holies) because the true mediator and high priest, Jesus, had performed the actual, acceptable sacrifice to which all those things were pointing. In my opinion, instead of reaching the culture for Christ and reforming the culture, they end up being conformed to the culture and water down the Gospel as a result, mishandling scripture and losing credibility. Of course, these opinions are my own, so they’re worth exactly what was paid for them. 🙂

Janna L. Chan (team member)

Thanks for your thoughts. Lots to consider here.

I do mean to respond more, fiveonly. I just want to think more about what you’ve said.

In particular, my bias and knee-jerk reaction is thinking that Russell Moore and Al Moore care much more about their own power plays than they do about the Gospel or religious issues of any kind, for that matter, yet I’m trying to get past that perception because I could be wrong.

Thanks. Janna

fiveonly

I understand your dilemma about Moore/Mohler’s, et al, motivation so maybe it would be helpful to say that I believe that they have deluded themselves into thinking that this is their motivation in order to justify being accepted by the intelligentsia. These love their credentials because they want the elitists to think they’re smart guys too. Look at Land: Princeton, Oxford, I don’t think he attended those institutions because he thought that they were bastions of conservative, theological scholarship. Thoughts?

I don’t know much about Land or Moore but I am familiar with Al Mohler’s work and career, as it pertains to his decision to outright cover-up (at least indirectly) child sexual abuse in both the SBC and denominations/Church groups closely affiliated with the SBC.

So in my view, Mohler is a completely unprincipled person entirely motivated by ego-driven considerations pertaining to impressing the secular intelligentsia and wielding his considerable power and influence generally.

I think that many other Evangelical leaders may be subscribing to an “end justifies the means” philosophy regarding their belief in some form of dominionism, and are therefore deluding themselves into thinking that it’s okay to talk out of both sides of their mouths.

Wilt

Could it be that both sides of the political aisle might be largely dominated by only slightly different strands of the same globalists/progressives/elitists?

That idea possibly supports my theory that the SBC leaders are after power in any form in which it appears, as opposed to caring much about ideology.

Lydia

“So in my view, Mohler is a completely unprincipled person entirely motivated by ego-driven considerations pertaining to impressing the secular intelligentsia and wielding his considerable power and influence generally.”

Yes. You have nailed it. He is totally unprincipled. He was given way too much power, too young. He stuck his finger in the wind to see where it was blowing. He is still doing that as he tries to deflect from his disaster of Neo Calvinism and the band of vulgarian partners in the SBC by changing the subject. He knows nothing else but power.

It is considered blasphemous to dare speak of him in such a way in the SBC. He has everyone cowed and scared to dare dissent. They do their deceptive best to ruin people with no fingerprints. People want their pensions. He is a Pope.

The pew sitters have no clue. They pay little attention to convention politics. So they keep paying for it all.

I’d also like to comment on the article about reporting child sexual abuse that Mr. Wussow printed on the 9marks.org site here:

https://9marks.org/article/the-sword-and-the-shepherds-staff-reporting-sexual-abuse-to-the-authorities/

While I applaud Mr. Wussow for caring about people’s ethical and legal obligations to report child sexual abuse to the police or other appropriate civil authorities, the following statement is patently untrue:

“Let’s get the easy part out of the way up front: In almost every American state, you do not have a choice whether to report information about abuse or neglect of a child; you must report. To take the Texas formulation (I happen to be licensed to practice law there), if you have “cause to believe” that “a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect,” you must immediately make a report. And this is true for every “person,” from friends to childcare workers to pastors.” Emphasis Mine

The laws are complicated and subject to interpretation but from what I can determine, according to the following source, only four out of fifty States in the U.S. require Clergy to report child sexual abuse in absolutely any circumstance.

The other forty six States appear to have mandatory reporting exceptions, of some sort, for Clergy. That means that contrary to what Mr. Wussow has stated in his article, Pastors of most Churches in the U.S. can likely try to maintain that they shouldn’t have to report known (e.g. a perpetrator has confessed to a crime) instances of child sexual abuse.

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/clergymandated.pdf

And there have been many instances in both lawsuits and criminal cases in which Clergy have tried to invoked their supposed rights to avoid reporting child sexual abuse to the police or other civil authorities. That was certainly true during the scandal the Catholic Church found itself in 15-20 years ago.

Therefore, given the information above, I would expect Mr. Wussow, who is a qualified attorney capable of researching what he talks about responsibly and accurately, to re-write his article on the 9Marks.org site to reflect the truth, as opposed to continuing to disseminate mis-information about mandatory reporting requirements for reporting child sexual abuse in the United States.

Thanks!

Hi All, Janna here.

I’d just like to spin my take on a couple things Todd said in this wonderful article. One, he’s very kind yet I’m not a true tech expert in anything even though I wish I had the natural aptitude to be a real computer/internet guru. Instead, I simply have lots of experience researching subjects on the web. 😉

I do also want to note that all of the strategies Todd and I use to find information about our blog topics are both legal and ethical. As you can see from the article above, 95% of the material we use is actually publicly available (or it was until someone erased it). Any material that’s not publicly available we’ve gleaned from legitimate sources.

As for our perception that the subject of this article lives and works in Israel, we do have some publicly available evidence indicating that is the case which we’ve chosen note to post because doing so might affect the privacy of his family.

Again, the material in question was publicly posted so there would be nothing wrong with printing it . Todd and I are simply trying to find a balance between backing up what we say with as much evidence as possible while also preserving the privacy of people’s families whenever possible.

Thanks! Janna L. Chan