Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock has deleted an Easter tweet that downplayed the significance of the crucifixion of Jesus, saying we can “save ourselves.”
The lawmaker’s tweet was immediately flooded with responses from Christians calling out the heretical nature of his post, which flies in the face of the repeated and resounding message of the Gospel, which is that — no matter how hard we try or how diligently we work — salvation is forever beyond our reach, outside the person and sacrifice of Jesus. If human beings could earn their way into right relationship with God, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross would have been for naught.
Warnock deleted his heretical tweet.
He should delete Reverend in front of his name too. pic.twitter.com/6FYNG6LFZ1
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) April 5, 2021
Warnock (D-GA), an ordained minister who pastored Martin Luther King Jr.’s church in Atlanta, claimed on Sunday that the holiday transcends the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that both Christians and non-Christians can save themselves by doing good.
“The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves,” Warnock tweeted, who once described Jesus as “a poor Palestinian prophet.”
Allie Stuckey, an author and host of the podcast “Relatable,” stated, “There is nothing more transcendent than the resurrection of the God-man, Jesus. Literally: His resurrection transcends our finite conceptions of science and]rationality, that the Word became flesh, dwelt among us, then was slain for our sins only to conquer death three days later.”
Sports Spectrum’s Jason Romano wrote, “With all due respect, this is literally the opposite of what the gospel says. Ephesians 2 states that clearly. Faith alone, Christ alone.”
Andrew Walker, an ethics and public theology professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said Warnock’s tweet is an example of “basic theological liberalism” that is “completely at odds with the direct witness and essence of the New Testament,” adding, “There is no salvation in [the senator’s tweet] whatsoever.”
Warnock’s tweet was met with backlash from some Twitter users who accused the minister of heresy and preaching a false gospel.
“This is what the heresy of liberation theology does—reduces the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to self-salvific moralism and thereby making ourselves God,” wrote radio host Darrell B. Harrison, who works at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Los Angeles.
This is what the heresy of liberation theology does—reduces the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to self-salvific moralism and thereby making ourselves God. https://t.co/6gShUluWI6
— Darrell B. Harrison (@D_B_Harrison) April 4, 2021
“This is a false gospel and heresy,” wrote attorney Jenna Ellis, who is representing Grace Community Church in its legal battles with Los Angeles County. “We cannot save ourselves. The absolute truth and only meaning of Easter that matters is the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we must accept Him as Lord and Savior. Read Romans, ‘Reverend’ Warnock. You are a false teacher.”
This is a false gospel and heresy. We cannot save ourselves.
The absolute truth and only meaning of Easter that matters is the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we must accept Him as Lord and Savior.
Read Romans, “Reverend” Warnock. You are a false teacher. https://t.co/dRVz0LdKGu
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) April 4, 2021
“You’re a heretic,” Republican strategist Caleb Hull tweeted simply.
The College Republicans at Georgia State University tweeted Ephesians 2:8-10 in response to Warnock, which says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them[.]”
Warnock received his theological instruction at Union Theological Seminary, which became the nation’s first independent seminary when it broke off from its founding denomination in 1893. When the Presbyterian Church tried to oust one of its professors for claiming the Bible is not the Word of God, the school cut its ties.
As the Washington Examiner reported:
German pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer was among the school’s more famous alumni, who left after escaping the Third Reich to teach there briefly in 1939. Appalled by the liberalism of its students, Bonhoeffer wrote they “are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They are not familiar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, are amused at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.”
Bonhoeffer remembered that students “openly [laughed]” at a lecture on sin and forgiveness, and accused the seminary of having “forgotten what Christian theology in its very essence stands for.” Disillusioned, he decided to return to Germany to resist the Nazi regime, where he was executed at the Flossenbürg concentration camp in 1945 for his role in the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
Union made headlines in 2019 when pictures went viral that showed their students kneeling before plants in the school chapel to confess their climate sins.
Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.
What do you confess to the plants in your life? pic.twitter.com/tEs3Vm8oU4
— Union Seminary (@UnionSeminary) September 17, 2019
Warnock was defended by controversial MSNBC host Joy Reid, who took issue with a Christian attorney referring to the senator as a “heretic.”
“This lady is literally calling the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s church — a heretic,” Reid wrote. “This actually happened today. Madame, I’m gonna take [Warnock’s] take, as a pastor and a scholar on the word, over yours, if you don’t mind.”
Warnock joins a growing list of Democrat members of Congress who, while claiming to be pastors, hold views far outside that of Christianity. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) opened Congress this year by praying to the Hindu God and ended the prayer with “Awomen,” twisting the meaning of the word “Amen” and inserting a gender where none has ever existed before.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice and The Daily Wire.