Voddie Baucham accuses ER2 defenders of cult-like ‘Ethnic Gnosticism’

As the fallout from The Elephant Room 2 (ER2) continues to spread, Dr. James White, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, has interviewed Dr. Voddie Baucham on White’s The Dividing Line programme. Baucham is a black pastor of Southern Baptist Grace Family Baptist Church in the Houston area of Texas. He declined an invitation to ER2 because of Jakes’ presence.

The insightful discussion centred upon the accusations of racism made by Brian Crawford Loritts and others towards those who have spoken out against T.D. Jakes and his presence at The Elephant Room. Baucham had earlier characterized Jakes as ‘an example of the worst the black church has to offer’.

During the hour-long interview, Baucham identified the position of those trying to silence ER2’s critics as Ethnic Gnosticism, accusing them of engaging in cult-like behaviour. The term Ethnic Gnosticism refers to some hidden or secret knowledge known only to a select ethnic group. Baucham explained:

Here’s one of the things that happens. And this is the great irony: it’s almost cult like. On the one hand you can say to a person, ‘You can’t say that because you don’t understand the black community and the black experience.’

Well, then somebody like myself, or Anthony Carter, or [garbled], or [garbled], or somebody like us, comes out and says, ‘Oh, actually, I agree that there are these problems with T.D. Jakes.’ Then the immediate response is ‘Well, you’re just a sell out. You’re just an Uncle Tom. You’re just trying to curry favour with white people. And the bottom line is that you’re not really black.’

And, so, that’s what the cults do. [They say:] ‘If you can’t answer my question, it’s because you’re ignorant. If you can answer my question, then I’ll find another way around.’ And that’s why I say it’s Ethnic Gnosticism.

Baucham went on to explain how cultural filters prevented some in the black community from calling out gross sin, criminal behaviour, and even heresy. Alluding to the claims of James MacDonald, who said that he did not press Jakes further because ‘the issue was not as essential, or because the relationship was not ready’, Baucham then continued:

And so, open sin being tolerated in the name of Ethnic Gnosticism, it’s got to be dragged out into the light. If people do things that are racist, they need to be called on it, because it’s sin. But if people do things that are, you know, other areas of sin, they need to be called out on that as well.

And we can’t say that because of our fear of being accused of the sin of racism, when that’s not our motivation, that we’ll refuse to call out other things. That’s just wrong. That’s just wrong.

And the idea that our relationship has to be at a certain place before you can call that out, that’s just, that’s just not Bible. And it’s not loving the brother. If you love someone, you have to confront them in their sin. You have to confront them in their error. That’s the height of love.

Both White and Baucham cited Galatians 3:28 as evidence that particular topics should not be off-limits for Christians due to fear of accusations of racism. In context, this verse teaches that the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection for sinners transcends and breaks down all ethnic and cultural barriers:

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

(Gal. 3:26–29)

The entire interview is required listening for anyone wishing to understand how ER2’s defenders are trying to use race to silence their critics. It can be found here:


Apprising Ministries offers a transcript of another section of the interview:

Further reading

4 thoughts on “Voddie Baucham accuses ER2 defenders of cult-like ‘Ethnic Gnosticism’”

  1. Wow. Fantastic. Baucham understands a great deal of this matter and has cut to the core. I have written a 5 part series, “An Examination of Protestant/Evangelical Race Based-Special Interest Theology” and part one is at my blog with next, Monday-Friday, being used to post parts 2-5. It echoes this very understanding and I am explicitly happy to hear this.

    1. oooh, reading your blog post. I like.

      I have been thinking the same thing. I have always hated the emphasis on having to have a certain number of any color people in the church. What if God doesn’t call those people till later? Do we have to do something to get them in the door? Why does color of skin even matter in all this? Shall we start dividing along hair color and eye color, freckles or no freckles, tall people or short people?

      The visual object lesson that was told to me as a child, about how dumb sheep are, keeps coming into my head. The idea that if sheep are running in a herd and one sheep jumps over something, even if it is only jumping because it THOUGHT it needed to, all the other sheep will jump over it too, thinking there was a real obstacle there. The prison door is open, all you have to do is walk out. The people stuck inside will resent you for it, but oh well!

      If you keep treating that race boundary as if it exists, IT WILL KEEP EXISTING. Ignore it, walk right over it, if people get mad because you are shattering their illusion (on either side) so what? It should be your joy to ignore and thus break down such bondage producing lies.

  2. This whole thing is just mind boggling, how ideas such as those spouted by Loritts and son, Eric Mason, Charles Jenkins, and by extension and nodding agreement, James Macdonald, have gotten to be so mainstream. Thankful for Dr Voddie being so willing to be straight on this issue. I am sure it is going to be hard on him to speak out. All who stand for unpopular truth will suffer and be put outside the camp – but they did this to our Lord as well.

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