On January 24, Thabiti Anyabwile was invited to deliver the chapel service at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Anyabwile began the sermon with a historical comparison of abortion to various other holocausts such as the African slave trade and the Jewish holocaust, rightly marginalizing abortion as having a far greater death toll than any of these events. Further, he rightly acknowledges that abortions have impacted African Americans at an inordinate rate.
As sensible as this historical analysis may have been, it’s where the sound reason of this sermon ended.
The crux of his message was centered around a poor exegesis of Proverbs 31:1-9. For brevity, I’ll quote verses 8-9, the main point.
8 Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.[c]
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
He then spent the remainder of his service attempting to persuade his audience that this passage is a call for Christians to take up the cause of social justice–particularly the cause of the current movement that’s redefining the gospel in the evangelical church.
Anyabwile then explains that “the first thing we see from this text is the creation of advocates,” proclaiming that good advocates come from good mothers. But here’s where it gets crazy. Remember now, he just got finished talking about the horrors of abortion, especially the impact it’s had in the black community. He goes on to quote Eleanor Roosevelt, a close friend of Margaret Sanger–the founder of Planned Parenthood–as a “champion of human rights.”
Eleanor Roosevelt was not only a friend of Margaret Sanger, but she was also a staunch supporter of abortion rights and endorsed what Planned Parenthood calls the Negro Project–a eugenics project designed to place infant slaughterhouses primarily in black communities.
You see, the point of Anyabwile’s sermon wasn’t to proclaim the horrors of abortion and rightly divide the text exhorting people to truly take up the cause of injustices for those who truly can’t speak–it’s to redefine what it means to be pro-life, removing the term from the hands of the anti-abortion movement and into the hands of the cultural Marxist social justice movement.
According to the social justice critical race theory Marxist elites, being pro-life no longer just means advocating for the life of the unborn. Unless you take up the cause of social justice for the “poor” too, and, according to Anyabwile, the “the widowed, the abused, the immigrant, the hurting and the needy,” you have no rights to the term “pro-life.”
Okay, sure, whatever. But he then goes on to glean from this that we, as Christians, should be actively petitioning the government to take up these social justice causes–and to actively look for leaders who promise to do so.
We learn [from this passage] a couple things about the role of government according to the Bible, don’t we? First, government should protect the rights of the people, especially the vulnerable and the poor. The highest leaders are meant by God to protect the lowest citizens. Powerful kings should advocate for weak people, notice not pervert the rights of the afflicted. Secondly, we should look for leaders, then, with the character that suggests that they would indeed protect the vulnerable in society.
Of course, we know that Anyabwile doesn’t just have abortion on his mind now. It’s a fact that Donald Trump has been one of the most anti-abortion presidents we’ve had in decades, yet, Anyabwile has instead pushed for black Americans and others to reject Donald Trump in favor of pro-abortion presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders. In fact, if you want to see how anti-Trump Anyabwile is, just peruse his Twitter account, and he continues this sentiment throughout his sermon. But I digress.
The issue at hand here is that Anyabwile has used his platform at a Southern Baptist Seminary to not promote biblical theology and a right understanding of biblical justice and mercy, but to push a cultural man-centered ideology that creates an entitlement sentiment among minorities through an intersectional approach that is not only unbiblical, but racist at its core.
Thabiti is a strong proponent of reparations, holding that by the very virtue of being a white American, one is guilty of systemic racism and complicity in the slave trade. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if your ancestors took any part in American slavery, your guilt is derived solely from the color of your skin and emanates from you like a badge of dishonor. There is no forgiveness in this movement.
Quoting Matthew 12:36-37, he insists that by not taking up this social justice cause that he presents, one will be condemned, not by his words, but by his lack of words. The overarching point of his entire sermon was to call Christians to seek left-wing partisan politics as the answer to issues facing the black community instead of the gospel, and he has hi-jacked that pro-life movement to push this agenda.
It’s only when we advocate for all who are destitute, when our pro-life vision is womb-to-tomb, that we really do join God in what he’s doing in the world.
Beginning at around the 19:40 mark, he subtly slips all of this into a presentation of the gospel, by using the phrase “the words that justify,” suggesting that by confessing our faith to Christ, we are confessing our call to take up this politically active cause of social justice, adding works to the gospel of grace alone.
Update: The video below has been removed, but the audio of this sermon can still be heard below.