Home Christian News ‘Enemies Within the Church’ Targets Christian Institutions as Marxist, Names SBC Leaders

‘Enemies Within the Church’ Targets Christian Institutions as Marxist, Names SBC Leaders

Identifying Enemies

Throughout the film, Gordon and others identified myriad “enemies” within the church, claiming that they enable and promote Marxism, which will eventually bring down both the church and western civilization. 

The Christian institutions the filmed named as enemies included: Biola University, Wheaton College, Trinity International University, Azusa Pacific University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Fuller Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, the North American Mission Board, Send Network, ERLC, CRU, The Gospel Coalition, World Council of Churches, and Evangelical Immigration Table.

The individuals that the film identified as enemies included: pastors David Platt, Tim Keller, James T Roberson, Bill Johnson, Eric Mason, Dwight McKissic, J.D. Greear, Rick Warren, Dhati Lewis, Andy Stanley, Albert Tate, and Charlie Dates; theologians Chanequa Walker, Jarvis Williams, Danny Akin, Russell Moore, Sam Allberry, and Walter Strickland; activists John Perkins and Justin Giboney; and authors Beth Moore, Jemar Tisby and Jackie Hill Perry. Neither of these two lists is exhaustive. 

Marxism in the SBC

The film dedicates a fair portion of its runtime to exploring claims of Marxism regarding influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention, mostly through interviews of former employees of the denominations educational institutions.

Russell Fuller, a former professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, alleged that the seminary’s president Albert Mohler (who was one of the key architects of the SBC’s “conservative resurgence”) had knowingly hired a professor who denied the inerrancy and historicity of the entire Old Testament, adding that this sort of thing happens “all the time” and that the school has recently been shifting “toward the left.”

Robert Lopez, former professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, claims that SWBTS has begun to change curriculum to align with a postmodern worldview and critical race theory. Saying that the school deprives students of knowledge about history and literature, Lopez alleged that the school then encourages students to be critical of historical narratives.

Gordon jeered at Al Mohler for having “repented” of denying the reality of same-sex attraction in a speech at an ERLC event. Lopez shared that Mohler’s view on same-sex attraction is part of what precipitated his departure from SBWTS. Lopez explained that he lived an openly gay lifestyle when he was younger, but didn’t believe he was “born that way,” claiming the idea of inborn same-sex attraction is harmful and untrue. Lopez also claims that he was forced out of SBWTS for trying to speak the truth. 

Gordon gave no indication that he had reached out to Mohler or any representative from SBTS or SWBTS for comment, or followed up to check the veracity of the claims made by the interviewees.

The documentary was also critical of Russell Moore for his leadership in the ERLC and the role the committee played in defending the religious liberty of American Muslims, despite the fact that affirming religious liberty regardless of religion has long been a hallmark of American evangelical ethics. 

CBN Stands by ‘Enemies Within the Church’

“Enemies Within the Church” has been widely criticized by evangelicals of all stripes, and particularly Southern Baptists.

Pastor Matt Carr tweeted, “Imagine making a trailer for a movie called ‘ENEMIES Within the Church’ and in that trailer you have a clip decrying how people are making it ‘us’ vs. ‘them.’ Doesn’t the entire concept of the film do just that?”

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Dale Chamberlain (M.Div) is the Content Manager for ChurchLeaders.com. He is also a blogger and podcaster who is passionate about helping people tackle ancient truths in everyday settings. He lives in Southern California with his wife Tamara and their two sons.