Another day, another terrible article over at The Gospel Coalition undermining the gospel to concede to contemporary culture. For an institution that brands itself as a cultural apologetic, they do little apart from selling out against the culture, even with their international content.
On March 31st, TGC correspondent John Stevens touts the United Kingdom as an example to the benefits of mass migration. John Stevens is a pastor of Christchurch Market Harborough, a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) in the UK. Stevens serves as the National Director of the FIEC and was a major Branch Covidian in support of lockdowns and the poisonous vaccines. The FIEC is woke and focused on its diversity agenda, which is driven by Stevens.
It is unsurprising given his resume that he would pen the column “How Immigration Can Revive a Christian Nation.”
The last 80 years have seen a radical transformation of the U.K. Although the British Empire once ruled 23 percent of the world’s population, in 1951 only 0.1 percent of the nation’s population was nonwhite. Today, of the 65 million U.K. residents, 12.9 percent are from an ethnic minority.
Racial statistics aside, would one look at 1951, America or Britain, compared to 2023 and say that apart from technology, the nations have improved morally? Are they more hostile towards God or less? Stevens contrasts the diverse empire of many nations across the globe with the diverse mainland Britain now has as if this is an improvement from 80 years ago.
In the last 20 years, many migrants have come from Europe. More than a sixth of the current population was born outside the U.K. Despite Brexit and public concern about asylum seekers, migration continues apace. In 2022, net migration was 504,000 people.
As would be expected, mass migration has changed the life of the nation. The U.K. is now a multiracial and multifaith country. This has generated tensions over the years as the reality of racism has been revealed and the understanding of national identity has had to evolve. Some, especially those of an older generation, have found this difficult. Today, many Christians fear the growth of other religions, especially Islam.
According to Stevens, multiculturalism and multifaith nations are a positive, and those who disapprove harbor racism. He trivializes crime and violence despite ample evidence the migrants, mainly those from the Middle East of Africa, commit within their countries. He treats the loss of national identity, of which Britain has a distinct history, as having had to evolve with the times. And it is not a surprise that the multicultural thrust of Britain has correlated with increased depravity, government incursion, and secularization.
Stevens then argues that this has benefited the evangelical church in four ways. The first of which is that “Migration has greatly strengthened the evangelical church” which is redundant to his thesis.
For several decades, the U.K. has been in a period of dramatic church decline, as cultural Christianity has given way to secular liberal progressivism. In 2021, only 46 percent of British citizens described themselves as “Christian.” It’s estimated that no more than 2 or 3 percent of the population are evangelical believers. Many of the historic mainline denominations are experiencing catastrophic, potentially terminal, decline.
Evangelicalism would have declined similarly if it weren’t for the migration of many born-again believers to the U.K. There has been an explosion in the number of black and ethnic minority churches, which are among the largest and most vibrant congregations in the country. A recent Evangelical Alliance survey found 25 percent of practicing Christians in the U.K. are people of color.
Basically, he is stating that immigrants make up a disproportionate amount of the church and hedge against the church’s decline in Britain, of which there are several problems with this claim. First, the 46% Christian identification statistic is unreliable and does not take into account correct doctrine or attendance, which is around or under 5% for the population. Basically, only 10% of those who identify as Christian attend church weekly. This represents a steady statistical decline over the same decades Stevens opens his article with. It also should be noted that Pentecostals bucked this trend, which could entail its own theological concerns. Second, he does not account for whether the increase in Hindus or Muslims amongst the immigrants outpaces the percentage of Christians. That is not bolstering Christianity, but hedging Muslims and other faiths against atheists.
While white Christianity is declining in the U.K., migration has meant true gospel Christianity is not. In the last year, some 123,000 people migrated to the U.K. from Hong Kong, including many Christians. Over 600 churches have welcomed them. This influx of committed believers is greatly strengthening the British church.
The reason those people migrated was because the British government forsook those people when they ceded Hong Kong to the Communist Chinese Government. It is to the detriment of the entire city that the British did this, and no, a one hundred year old treaty with a nation (Qing China) that no longer exists should not be honored. It is because of decolonization that they had to seek refuge in Britain in the first place.
His second argument is that “Migration is undermining the assumptions of secular liberal progressivism.” This argument is an “own the libs” style in pointing out that a diverse London is more “conservative” than the rest of the population.
Londoners’ values were also more conservative. Same-sex marriage is regarded as at least sometimes wrong by 29 percent of Londoners, compared to 23 percent nationally, and 24 percent regarded sex outside of marriage as at least sometimes wrong, compared to 13 percent nationally.
The effect of mass migration is that London is home to populations that are highly progressive and populations that are highly conservative. This challenges the dominant intersectional narrative, which presupposes that allegedly oppressed minority groups will stand together to support the extension of the liberal progressive agenda. The values of ethnic minority groups cannot be written off as white prejudice that needs to be overcome. This suggests white Christians will be able to make common cause with ethnic minority communities on many issues.
Multiculturalism does not combat liberalism. What Hinduism, Islam, Atheists, and the Rainbow Jihad all have in common is that they are against God. The secular progressives are not concerning themselves with the Islamic communities as much as they are arresting pastors for hate speech. Since “Islamophobia” is considered hate speech, Muslims have an incentive to support these laws. Therefore, we should not automatically assume that an increase in Muslims, who so happen to have a more conservative sexual ethic, would engender a more Christian society or a society more conducive to the Gospel. A century ago, almost every society viewed homosexuality as a blight, so that alone means nothing. Stevens just advocates diluting atheists with pagans as if that could muster a political coalition to support mutual interests, yet there is no major social conservative party in Britain. They all are secular progressives regardless of the population.
If one looked at California, mass migration from south of the border resulted in a Hispanic population of 4.54 million (19.2%) in 1980 to 15.6 million (39.4%) by 2020 per the US Census. Contrary to Stevens or Joel Berry’s assumptions, these migrants did not bring their Christian or Catholic values with them. California did not become more conservative; it only became more progressive. Mass migration was responsible for making California a progressive cesspool, which seeps its rot upon all Americans.
His third argument is “Migration has forced the British church to confront its racism,” which is basically a British version of Critical Race Theory.
Growing ethnic diversity has exposed underlying assumptions of racial and cultural superiority. The failure of the church to welcome the first immigrants from the Caribbean in the 1940s and ’50s showed attitudes that were essentially segregationist. The church has had to recognize and repent of its sin. Increasingly, the church has purged racist views and rendered them unacceptable.
This is a revisionist version of history that probably simplifies more complex situations. He is also referencing a time where 99.9% of England was white. America deals with the same accusations that the “church was silent during the Civil Rights Movement.” These arguments are cherrypicked and overlook the prevailing issues within the church at the times. Throughout the twentieth century, the debates consuming the church were that concerning the inerrancy of scripture and Darwinian Evolution, the latter of which led to the racism he decries. In America, institutions like the Southern Baptist Convention were retaken after the civil rights movement from those who denied the inerrancy of scripture. Other denominations fell, which would include the Church of England.
Imperialist models of world mission have had to give way to a humbler attitude, which recognizes the U.K. needs reverse-mission, that is, missionary work from the Majority World to the West. The presence of a large ethnic minority Christian community has opened our eyes to the reality that Christianity isn’t a white or Western religion and the U.K. is no longer a major leader of world Christianity. We’ve seen that many of our church practices and traditions weren’t as biblical as we might have thought; they were merely cultural.
There is an acknowledgment that Europe is “post-Christian” but little in the way of an evangelism strategy to re-Christianize the West, unless it means importing Christians from third world nations. Yet even if there are a bunch of African Christians in London, it does nothing in the long term spiritual condition of the nation if their children succumb to the underlying secular culture. As Voddie Baucham says, “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” The same applies to the children of these immigrants, who will be brought up in a secular education system, a welfare state, and subjected to Hollywood/British entertainment.
His final point is that “Migration has enabled the church to manifest the reconciling power of the gospel.”
The glory of the gospel is that it reconciles the divisions among humanity resulting from the fall. The church community is meant to display to the world of the power of the gospel and the saving plan of God. Of course, reconciliation can be demonstrated within a monoethnic community, for example, between those of different classes, ages, or genders. However ethnic reconciliation between those who were historically hostile to each other is even more obvious.
Yes, the Gospel is to go forth to all nations, yet the Church in Britain is the weakest and smallest it has been since the Roman Empire. If one took American worship statistics, then it is possible that churches are segregated by race in Britain as they are America. There is nothing inherently wrong or sinful about ethnic worship preferences, whether they be language, traditions, music, or other customs. For example, Koreans should be allowed to worship in a Church that speaks primarily Korean. There is a beauty in the variance different ethnicities have in their worship of Christ that is lost if homogenized, and the reality is, only the predominately “white” churches are targeted by such calls for diversity and instructed of their need for reconciliation.
There are still immense challenges to face. Individual U.K. churches remain overwhelmingly monoethnic, and we need to overcome this functional segregation and foster genuinely multiethnic congregations. Slow progress is being made on this front. We need to overcome prejudices, misunderstandings, and sensitivities, recognize our past injustices and failings, and share power with our minority brothers and sisters. Mass migration makes this both necessary and possible.
Migration has irrevocably changed the nature of the U.K. Some still hanker for a past era of greater homogeneity. However, in my view, mass migration has been a providential blessing of God, both for the nation and the church. The U.K. church is richer as a result, and my prayer is that God will use our growing ethnic diversity both to conform it more closely to the likeness of Christ and to bring gospel growth, even revival, to the nation.
Stevens treats the end goal of the gospel as racial reconciliation with ebony and ivory living together in perfect harmony. It is paired with CRT understandings of racism in a nation that was white as milk, historically speaking. Stevens should be seeking a more obedient church during times of increasing secularism and liberalism. He should be calling for the church to stand firm on God’s word pertaining to homosexuality, abortion, and the inerrancy of scripture. Instead, its social justice.
Multiculturalism has destroyed the British population, and mass migration is having its effects all across Europe and even in America. Mass Migration will not improve the morality of a nation nor better aid its prosperity, only create a nation more compliant to tyranny. Replacement Theory creates a democratized tyranny whereby governments ignore the populace because they import the votes they require to sustain the status quo or use identity politics to divide the populace. The people cannot resist tyrants because they lack the political means to resist.
If the Britons want to be lectured about “their racism,” they can simply turn on the BBC and get all the CRT their hearts desire. The church cannot be salt and light in a secular world if it echoes the same ideologies but with “Christianese.” Then again, that is what The Gospel Coalition is both within America and overseas. With men like John Stevens helming the Christian institutions, its no wonder why the church in Britain is in ruins.