The By What Standards Documentary is a film angering many of the right people in Big Eva. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Council was particularly upset and not without reason. Their leader Russell Moore was depicted as a proponent of the wokeness infiltrating the church. His comment on Beth Moore was played multiple times. With Russell Moore having been called out, it’s rational that his underlings at the ERLC would respond. Ashley Unziker, a leadership council member at the ERLC responded to the documentary with this tweet:
Does anyone know the Bible reference for how to handle problems with other believers by making a documentary about them? You know the one instructing how to use people’s names & faces, sinister music, & hijacked video clips with the purpose of public shaming?
I can’t find it.
So the way I want to respond to this comment is in reverse. I can find some relevant verses on the subject.
1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Romans 12:1-4 NASB
By What Standard? is asking if the Church is willing to be transformed rather than conforming (verse 2).
3As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. 5But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 NASB
Timothy is instructed to oversee the church so that they do not teach false doctrines or tertiary speculations. Scripture goes on to say:
18This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.
1 Timothy 1:18-20 NASB
In the latter passage in 1 Timothy 1, Paul models excommunicating false teachers, showing the serious measures we need to take concerning false teaching.
6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9(for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:6-16 NASB
This passage is most relevant to Ashley Unziker’s initial question. Perhaps she is unaware of it. Fair enough. She couldn’t find it, but I could. It’s not surprising that the ERLC council member has trouble finding verses on false teaching, but I digress.
Second, we should address whether her claim was true that By What Standard, a film she refuses to name, took footage out of context. This is sort of like the media response to the Ilhan Omar “some people did something” comments. In my review of By What Standard, we found that the arguments in favor of much of the wokeness were presented favorably. Several footages contain long form argument or discussion in favor of egalitarianism and Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. The woke crowd had some compelling arguments made in the documentary. The documentary just zooms out so that the viewer has a larger understanding of the severity of the issues. So going back to the Ilhan Omar comparison, they may just be mad that the context makes the situation look worse. I will maintain that the footage used in By What Standard was fair. Sinister music? Who cares? That’s subjective.
Moving on, we should get into the issue of naming names and showing faces. To me, this is a singular issue of attaching names to arguments, specifically arguments that are unbiblical. This is highly illogical. By naming names, showing faces, By What Standard is not strawmanning their opponents. Philosophy 101, building up your opponent’s argument and knocking them down instead of taking on their actual argument is a Strawman Fallacy. She’s basically saying that she doesn’t what a documentary made for the church to accurately articulate the arguments their opponents are making. But Paul wrote a letter to Timothy and named names. “Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander,” is Paul naming names of theological enemies. The battle within the church is more intimate in present times. It doesn’t have the degrees of separation like Joel Osteen and Brian Houston. It’s full of infiltrators like Grant Hartley. At Evangelical Dark Web, we name names. We don’t have the ins with Big Eva like Ashley Unziker does, but unlike her, we have the desire to correct error within the church. By What Standard shines a lot of inner workings of the Southern Baptist Convention. A New Testament Church in meant to have a lot of transparency between the officers and the laity. More visibility is something we should welcome.
When the temple was selling sacrifices and exchanging currencies, Jesus flipped over the tables. When the Catholic Church was selling indulgences, Martin Luther used the vernacular language to fight false practices. The early reformers used the most advance technology available, the printing press. Protestantism owes its existence to those who named names and didn’t fight according to the practices of corrupt men. Likewise the Conservative Resurgence relied on a massive grassroots campaign to expose the heretics running the SBC.
The Southern Baptist Convention is in a cold war for its direction. Apostasy is at stake for the institution. We orthodox Christians cannot win this war by following the 11th Commandment. That unbiblical rule was crafted to prevent heretics from being exposed. We cannot win by playing the artificial rules of the corrupt. We win by shining light.
As for Ashley Unziker, I understand that she doesn’t want to lose, but I, along with Founders Ministry, are more concerned about exposing evil than protecting those who would promote the Social Justice Gospel.
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