An Open Letter to Tom Ascol and Founders Ministries

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Dear Founders Ministries and particularly Tom Ascol,

You don’t know me and have probably not heard of me. Therefore, what I write to you will probably be of little importance — if you even read it. That’s okay. But I want to write this to you not only as encouragement but as an exhortation to continue with your hand on the plow. Jesus tells us that anyone who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is not worthy of the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). Like it or not, you have put your hand on the plow.

You have entered a fight that, by any discernible standard, is not going to be an easy fight to win — if it’s winnable at all. Make no mistake, the battle has already been won at the cross. I fully believe that. However, we, as followers of Christ are called to lay down our lives and livelihoods for the cause of the gospel — including, contending for the faith. Very few throughout history have actually been able to do this.

Speaking as one who has been involved in this fight against social justice for years, I can assure you that you will make enemies. It’s the nature of the game. You will face backlash from those you thought were your friends and allies — you have already experienced this. Make no mistake about it, you will not be a well-liked popular man while you are on the frontlines of this fight. You will be an outcast. You will be shunned by other Christians; you will be shunned by your friends. If at any level, you believe your friendships will hinder your ability to continue in this fight, you are in the wrong fight.

In your letter regarding the resignations of three of your board members, you wrote,



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Founders Ministries is continuing with the film project unabated, convinced that the issues we are confronting are of vital importance.

I hope, with all of my heart and soul, that you mean this. I have no reason to believe that you don’t. From your letter, it appears that you have placed the importance of following Christ and defending the gospel above those relationships. Not that those relationships were not important or meaningful, but that you are placing God above all else, desiring to please him rather than man. Jesus tells us that “if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Of course, this does not mean bear unrighteous hatred in your heart toward these men, but that in comparison to your affection for God and His truth, your relationships with people bear no weight.

Gentlemen, be prepared to face the wrath of the progressive Evangelical machine — they are no joke. The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel, the ERLC … they will not back down. And anyone involved in these organizations will not only shun you but likely be required to disavow you. You will not be invited to speak at their churches or conferences. Many churches will disassociate from Founders. It will happen.

The battle that we are in, however, as you have stated, is of vital importance. You do have allies. Many allies. Besides having the advantage of being on the side of biblical truth, there are people who will be willing to stand with you if you prove that you are unwilling to cave to the pressures of the machine. I urge you not to — the results of doing so would be devastating.

The infiltration of the social justice gospel is, as has been stated over and over, the largest modern-day threat to the gospel we have seen. An entire statement was drafted and signed affirming this. Yet, so many who have placed their name on this statement have wavered in their efforts to fight this battle. In one breath, it’s the greatest threat to the gospel today and in another breath, “I’m not going to fight my friends.” Many leaders have distanced themselves from the battle in order to preserve relationships. It’s sad. It’s sad that we have to have this battle, but it’s even sadder that God’s people back down so easily. We all have our weaknesses, but this is not a stand we can afford to back down from.

So many of these same people have taken a strong stand against other gospel threats. We wage unwavering wars against the prosperity gospel and the seeker-sensitive movement. Yet the same ones waging war against these gospel threats either back down from the war against the social justice threat or worse, partake in it.

My encouragement and exhortation to you are this. Do not back down. Do not take your hand off the plow. And do not cave to the demands of those seeking to perpetuate this heresy. The social justice gospel is heresy. Contend for the faith and be willing to lose all that you have. God will be glorified!

In Christ,

Jeff Maples,
Reformation Charlotte

If you were to die today, where would you go? Heaven? Hell? Not sure?