Phil Vischer, best known for creating Veggie Tales has long taken up the Social Justice Gospel and otherwise been compromised by worldly ambitions. In a Twitter rant that went viral, Phil Vischer argued against orthodox and historic Christian teaching on soteriology, the study of salvation. In doing so, Phil Vischer argued that Christians standing against transgenderism is unloving. The thread in its entirety reads:
We’ve got to get rid of the “us vs. them” mentality that pervades so much of evangelicalism. How can we love “them” if we’re so focused on how “them” is against “us?”
I’ve been listening to stories of people who have left the Church or left their faith entirely, and so often it comes down to a point where they just wanted to be loved, but we couldn’t love them because…
… they asked the wrong question or doubted the wrong tenet of our faith or reconsidered their own gender or sexual identity and for us, it was a bridge too far. This child of God…
.. was no longer “us.” They were now “them.” And because they were “them,” we now denied they were ever TRULY “us.” Because how could “us” become “them?” And that idea…
… that one of “us” could become one of “them” is so threatening, that we cannot love. We can only oppose. For fear that others of “us” could become “them” if we don’t take a stand against the “them-ness” of the one that was once “us.”
Sorry for the ramble. Not saying doctrine doesn’t matter. Just saying love over all. These stories hurt my heart.
Phil Vischer communicates that there is a false dichotomy between “us” and “them” in suggesting that this framework is harmful. But ultimately this dichotomy is a true dichotomy established by Jesus several times in the gospels. Sheep and goats. wheat and chaff. These are dichotomies Jesus speaks of metaphorically to speak on the judgement of the lost and the salvation of the saved.
Moreover, there exist a continual struggle between the sanctification and our fallen nature. This struggle is manifested in the culture at large as well.
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.1 John 2:15-17 NASB1995
Vischer goes into greater detail on how this dichotomy drives people from the church and their faith. This is where the bad soteriology intensifies. People who leave the church or the faith were not saved. And it would not be biblical, in a generic sense to blame the church for the state of an individual’s salvation or lack thereof, as Vischer does. It is God who regenerates people’s hearts.
There are two groups that Vischer’s words apply too, though I believe the latter is more likely his focus. The first are people who grow up in Christian homes and leave the church. Prodigal children are not saved but may indeed become saved later in life. Such were some of you, members of God’s elect on God’s timing. The second group deals in apostacy. These are people who have been enlightened by the faith (Hebrews 6:4) but have left the faith. The Bible says these people were never saved (1 John 2:19). In either case, Vischer is in error to call them children of God, a term used to describe those who are saved. Vischer argues against both the Reformed and Traditional view of salvation with regards to people who depart the faith.
Moreover, Phil Vischer argues that the church’s stance against, most specifically mentioned, transgenderism is wrong, ultimately unloving. I return to the previously referenced passage of 1 John 2:15-17 and rest my case.