Tensions over 'liberal' direction of David Platt’s McLean Bible Church erupt in lawsuit

"'That we would change our stance on abortion and sexuality, that we will allow critical race theory, Black Lives Matter and defunding the police to drive our agenda as a church,' he continued, noting that all those claims are 'unquestionably untrue.'" - C.Post

Related at BPNews: Lawsuit opposes Platt, McLean elder election

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Christianity Today digging into it...  Platt’s McLean Bible Church Hit With Attempted Takeover, Lawsuit from Opposition

There's no church split like a mega-church split. It does look like a "disgruntled faction attempts hostile takeover" scenario.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

WallyMorris's picture

The Baptist Press article says that "inactive members" allowed to vote by "provision ballot" after the first vote failed. If true, I wonder why.

No matter who is right or wrong, it's a very public mess.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Mark_Smith's picture

Platt is certainly theologically conservative. No doubt about that. Politically? Socially? Missionarily? Not as much. If you love your $650,000 suburban DC home with the 2 flashy new SUVs parked in your spacious driveway that you use to drive your 2.5 kids to that elite private school... yeah, Platt is going to rub you the wrong way. His books are all about sacrificing it all for the kingdom of God. You can't do that with the typical upper-middle-class American attitude and lifestyle. That is why Platt is running into trouble here. 

Mark_Smith's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

The Baptist Press article says that "inactive members" allowed to vote by "provision ballot" after the first vote failed. If true, I wonder why.

No matter who is right or wrong, it's a very public mess.

Because according to the articles I've read many of the "more conservative" former members have already left and are mad at Platt for destroying "their church." The team seeking to overturn Platt want these ex-members to vote so they can get rid of Platt. You see this a lot when things break up in large churches.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Mark_Smith wrote:

Platt is certainly theologically conservative. No doubt about that. Politically? Socially? Missionarily? Not as much. If you love your $650,000 suburban DC home with the 2 flashy new SUVs parked in your spacious driveway that you use to drive your 2.5 kids to that elite private school... yeah, Platt is going to rub you the wrong way. His books are all about sacrificing it all for the kingdom of God. You can't do that with the typical upper-middle-class American attitude and lifestyle. That is why Platt is running into trouble here. 

That's overly simplistic and completely ignores his turn towards "social justice," as laid out in his own course on "The Gospel, The Church, Justice and Race."  If it were only about "sacrificing it all for the kingdom of God," then why did the major drop in attendance NOT start when he wrote "Radical," the very purpose of which was to talk about how we have "manipulated the Gospel to fit our social preferences?"

I stopped attending conferences that featured Thabiti Anyabwile, as well as not caring to listen to sermons by him any longer when he started injecting more politics and racism into his writings.  It's not at all shocking to me that people don't want to have more of that in their church and are either leaving or trying to vote against more leadership that wants to go that direction.

Dave Barnhart

Mark_Smith's picture

dcbii wrote:

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Platt is certainly theologically conservative. No doubt about that. Politically? Socially? Missionarily? Not as much. If you love your $650,000 suburban DC home with the 2 flashy new SUVs parked in your spacious driveway that you use to drive your 2.5 kids to that elite private school... yeah, Platt is going to rub you the wrong way. His books are all about sacrificing it all for the kingdom of God. You can't do that with the typical upper-middle-class American attitude and lifestyle. That is why Platt is running into trouble here. 

 

 

That's overly simplistic and completely ignores his turn towards "social justice," as laid out in his own course on "The Gospel, The Church, Justice and Race."  If it were only about "sacrificing it all for the kingdom of God," then why did the major drop in attendance NOT start when he wrote "Radical," the very purpose of which was to talk about how we have "manipulated the Gospel to fit our social preferences?"

I stopped attending conferences that featured Thabiti Anyabwile, as well as not caring to listen to sermons by him any longer when he started injecting more politics and racism into his writings.  It's not at all shocking to me that people don't want to have more of that in their church and are either leaving or trying to vote against more leadership that wants to go that direction.

I doubt these guys liked the Radical stuff either.

John E.'s picture

I get your point, Mark, but I would like to point out that a $650,000 D.C. area house is not much house (unless, maybe, you live down near Quantico and have a 2 hour commute each way). Our 1,500 square foot house in Arlington was $800,000, bringing me to my point: when discussing finances and ministry in the DMV, it's hard for people who haven't lived there to grasp the numbers because the numbers are so outlandish compared to much of the rest of the country.  (side note: the cost of living in DC is why members of Congress, and especially their staff, are underpaid. It's next to impossible on a Congressperson's salary - including the Senate - to keep a residence back home and have a residence in DC that allows Congresspeople's families to be with them while Congress is session. Many in congress sleep in their office because they can't afford to rent an apartment.)

Speaking to the article, knowing what I know about the makeup of the congregation, Platt at MBC never made sense to me from the get-go. Considering how far to the right many Republicans have shifted over the years since he took the job, it makes even less sense now.  

Jonathan Charles's picture

The term "social justice" is spoiled.  The Bible is clear that there is a social aspect to justice: how you treat neighbors, orphans, widows, foreigners, the exploitable, and defenseless.  But when Christians hear the term "social justice," they think of what it means to Nancy Pelosi and AOC not what it means to David Platt and others like him.  I know they define it differently, but the term is spoiled.  Call it something else, like just "justice."

 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

The term "social justice" is hardly spoiled.  Those who use it know exactly what it means, and take advantage of the fact that the word "justice" is included to confuse the issue and push their agenda and version of social change.  And yes, that includes the way that popular evangelical pastors use it.

Justice, as used in the Bible, is blind to race, nationality, and economic status, and applies equally to all.  Yes, the Bible points out that we should be doing our best to make sure that the orphans, widows, foreigners and others that are relatively defenseless actually get justice, and that they are not taken advantage of by those with more money, power, status, etc.  However, the concept of making up for past injustice by being unjust to others in the present (or even making "adjustments" to weight the poverty, race, or nationality of the downtrodden as being worth more than that of others) is not one the Bible would support.

"Social justice" is always different from actual justice, no matter how it's twisted and obfuscated to be otherwise.  David Platt knows better, and any suggestion that someone with his education and career "really doesn't mean it that way" or doesn't understand the term as well as commenters on SI is insulting to both us and him, not to mention the former members/regular attenders of McLean Bible Church.

Dave Barnhart