There is no shortage of money and celebrity capital promulgating the Social Justice Gospel into evangelical culture. The many wolves within the church are happily one with the world as it embraces Critical Race Theory and Cultural Marxism. The largest church in the United States is Life.Church, which has over 100,000 attendees across thirty-five locations. It’s CEO, Craig Groeschel, has an untold influence on American Christianity: championing the Emergent Church Movement, being the spiritual mentor to the like of Steven Furtick, and being a face behind the popular Youversion Bible App.
But beneath the surface is a man who has skillfully combined marketing prowess with woke theology. Whereas too many within the church have taken to throwing around terms like white privilege, antiracism, and systemic racism, Craig Groeschel takes a different approach to proselytize his large audience with this heretical world view. He employs the same arguments without many of the buzzwords that are easily detected.
In this video, I perform a deep dive into Craig Groeschel’s beliefs and teachings that I can only summarize in writing. The first portion of the video focuses on his denominational background. Life.Church is a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church, an egalitarian denomination that embraced Critical Race Theory in a 2008 resolution titled “Racial Righteousness” which laments that the evangelical church has embraced an incomplete gospel.
For a season of our history we succumbed to a larger evangelical trend that truncated the gospel, limiting the good news to personal salvation at the expense of reaching out to our neighbor, allowing us to largely exempt ourselves from the struggle for racial justice and equality.
In 2019, the Evangelical Covenant Church would adopt an additional resolution calling on white clergy to sign a “Racial Covenant.” The same resolution also implies that maintaining biblical sexuality within the denomination is the result of white supremacy. Given his Methodist background, it must be emphasized that Craig Groeschel chose this denomination and has remained within following their widespread adoption of Critical Theory.
The video then shifts to material regarding race found on the Life.Church website. At a very elementary level, Life.Church teaches that Christians should champion political slogans like “Black lives matter” and that we should not be “color-blind” an attitude towards race that became prominent because of Martin Luther King Jr. Their material falsely assumes that George Floyd was killed because of racism, which is slander.
I then dive into Craig Groeschel’s actual sermons. The first is “How to Neighbor: Part 1 Races Reconciled” delivered on May 2nd, 2016. This sermon contains many foundations of someone who has been converted to the woke religion. Craig Groeschel emphasizes his limited experience to speak on race because he is white. He never cites empirical data, only anecdotes to prove his narrative. The reliance on unprovable anecdotes comes from postmodernism, an ideology that prioritizes experience and rejects objective truth. But Groeschel’s assessment that his perspective is limited because of his race is Intersectionality, the practice within postmodernism that creates a hierarchy of experience by ranking them according to their intersections of “oppression.” Thus, we saw a large emphasis following George Floyd’s death on the imaginary demographic of “black trans women,” the current gold standard of Intersectionality. The most alarming line in his flagship sermon on race is where Craig Groeschel claims that racism is not the presence of hate but the absence of love. This is a repackaged way of say “it’s not enough to not be racist; you have to be antiracist.” It reinvents the definition of racism to indict those who practice impartiality, just as the Social Justice Warriors do.
I then walk-through clips from his sermon following George Floyd’s death titled “Racism and the Responsibility of the Church.” Delivered June 7th, 2020, there was zero evidence at the time that George Floyd’s death had anything to do with racism. Yet Craig Groeschel would claim that his death was not about the police, it’s about all of us. The implication is meant as an indictment on white people for Floyd’s death where we would later uncover exonerating information with regards to the officers involved, but Groeschel claims he would never want to watch the longer video. Much of the material on his website was reinforced in this sermon.
I then walk through the following sermon on national division. “Stop the Division – God, Help Us Unite” was delivered a week later, June 14, 2020, and we got a look at Groeschel’s views on Satan. Goreschel consistently conflates national division with division in the church. He then states that the only enemy of Christians is Satan, which is patently false. The Bible says that we wrestle with principalities and powers, both plural. In addition, the enemies of God (Romans 5:10) should be our enemies if we are to grow in being Christlike. That does not mean that we should not love our enemies. But ignoring the fact that our enemies are legion not only elevates Satan to undeserved levels but ignores the wickedness of man. Just as Cain did not need Satan’s assistance to murder his brother, neither do we in order to sin.
In a church built on tickling ears, teaching a theology where human nature is good and Satan is the reason for evil in the world is great for growth. When you run a church like a corporation, the practices of corporate America can drive the ecclesiology of the church. In an era where corporate America has embraced Cultural Marxism, Craig Groeschel has joined them in embracing this woke religion.
If he were not a believer in Cultural Marxism, he would not be in a Cultural Marxist denomination. However, Groeschel is undoubtedly smart enough not to speak like Beth Moore as to risk hemorrhaging white people or political conservatives. Instead, his vast empire is far more subtle. It embraces the same ideology without using the same language that would be recognized by the Fox News viewers that attend his church.
The teachings of Critical Race Theory are generally not hard to identify. However, Craig Groeschel is far craftier in the presentation of these teachings. And while we can expect a false teacher to teach false teachings, we must guard ourselves and our churches from his sales approach of Critical Race Theory.