In the wake of Joshua Harris’ apostasy — the Purity Culture pastor who divorced his wife, denounced Christianity, and embraced homosexuality — many people are wondering just exactly what went wrong. The apostasy follows a string of The Gospel Coalition contributors who have either been disqualified or have completely turned from their faith altogether.
From Tullian Tjividjian and Mark Driscoll to James MacDonald and C.J. Mahaney, many men that had been warned about by those “pesky discernment blogs” ultimately showed their true colors and were caught up in scams ranging from sex abuse cover-ups to bullying their staff at church.
The entire paradigm exemplifying The Gospel Coalition gave rise to a new breed of professing Christian — New Calvinism. While some, like Kevin DeYoung, ponder the reasoning behind the rampant apostasy at The Gospel Coalition, speculating that it is because they are too quick to “elevate gifted men,” I suspect the problem is much deeper than that. DeYoung writes,
What is worth exploring in this instance [Harris’ apostasy]—and, we can tell you, has already for years generated a great deal of soul searching—is why a number of young men who were at one time closely associated with The Gospel Coalition have been forced to leave the ministry. Our primary takeaway is that in years past our tribe was too quick to elevate gifted men who may not have had enough time to prove themselves faithful for the long haul. But even here, we would note that the public crises always get more attention than scores of young men who have quietly continued to serve the Lord with growing maturity.
The problem, you see, isn’t being “too quick” to “elevate gifted men.” The problem is elevating men who have a primary cause that fits the theme and narrative of The Gospel Coalition. The problem is, The Gospel Coalition isn’t really about the gospel — it’s about other things, like social justice, egalitarianism, LGBTQ activism, open borders and mass illegal immigration, theological liberalism, self-advancement, etc. The Gospel Coalition merely cloaks these causes in Christian-themed language, slaps the phrase “gospel-centered” on it, and brings aboard anyone who is willing to advance their cause — or at least act as a cloak for the gospel while The Gospel Coalition advances their own cause.
And the problem isn’t that just a few men have been officially disqualified — The Gospel Coalition continues to be wrought with unqualified, disqualified, and outright dangerous men and women. At The Gospel Coalition, the bad far outweigh the good. The Gospel Coalition still employs a massive number of homosexuals and LGBTQ activists, social justice warriors, and egalitarians. The Gospel Coalition employs people who are funded by leftist billionaires like George Soros, James Riady, and Zack Exley. The problem is The Gospel Coalition isn’t guided by the gospel, the Scriptures, or even basic Christian principles. It is guided by a leftist agenda whose primary purpose is to turn the Evangelical Church to the left politically and theologically.
Mark Driscoll wasn’t the problem. Tullian Tjividjian wasn’t the problem. C.J. Mahaney wasn’t the problem. James MacDonald wasn’t the problem. And no, Joshua Harris wasn’t the problem. All of these fallen men are merely symptoms of the problem. The problem is that The Gospel Coalition — and the (very few) good men who may be left — continue to give a platform to leftists, use complicit men like these to disguise their agenda, and allow the leftists at the organization to promote their agenda unfettered.
It’s time to kiss The Gospel Coalition goodbye.