Duke Kwon is a TGC author and is the lead pastor of the uber-woke Grace Meridian Hill, a PCA congregation in the GraceDC Network in Washington, D.C. He is a contributing author of Heal Us, Emmanuel: A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church. Kwon spends the vast majority of his time inciting racial division between whites and other ethnicities on social media while calling for such outlandish measures as slave reparations.
Kwon is a regular speaker with several Southern Baptist leaders including Russell Moore, David Platt, and Thabiti Anyabwile. Kwon also hired a lesbian who marched in gay pride marches a few years ago as his personal church assistant. So it should come as no surprise that Kwon’s understanding of the gospel, biblical theology, and the person and work of Christ is carnal rather than reflective of a regenerate, born again believer whose mind has been renewed by Christ.
In a recent Twitter thread, Kwon argued that the reason young people are being driven away from the Church is because of hypocrisy and that the world values “unvarnished self-expression” while it condemns hypocrisy.
While there is certainly hypocrisy that is rampant in the professing Church, this oversimplified reasoning doesn’t take into account the reality that those Kwon claims are being “driven away” by it are actually repulsed not by hypocrisy, but by Christ. If you really want to go with a simplified answer, it’s that they hate God.
Take Peter, for example. Was he not a hypocrite when he denied Christ three times? Jesus knew this about Peter before it even happened, yet, Jesus explains to the disciples that the real reason the people hate the Church is that they hate Christ:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…” —John 15:18-19
Jesus explains that the reason unbelievers hate the Church is that the Church is not of the world, therefore, the world hates us. Yet, Kwon would have you believe that the reason the world hates the Church is that the Church acts like the world. Clowns like Kwon give young people way too much credit. They are not these sophisticated deep-thinking philosophers who examine their surroundings and the people around them and come to well-reasoned conclusions about the way people act. Most of them just want to be able to indulge in their own sin without any accountability.
Think about it; how many of these young people that Kwon claims are being “driven away” by hypocrisy actually hold to sound, biblical orthodox Christian beliefs? How many of them have been born-again by hearing the gospel and responding to it with faith and repentance? I would submit to you, most likely none.
To be clear, what Kwon is referring to as “hypocrisy” isn’t the same hypocrisy that Jesus confronted in the gospels with the false teachers. If we use Jesus’s definition of “hypocrisy,” then Kwon would be one of the primary targets of his own ire. Kwon is a false teacher and he has replaced the true, biblical gospel with a gospel of works righteousness just like the false teacher hypocrites that Jesus confronted did. Kwon’s idea of “hypocrisy” is a church that isn’t given over to social justice, a church that rejects slave reparations, a church that doesn’t march in BLM riots or support a woman’s right to “choose.” In Kwon’s mind, this is the kind of “hypocrisy” that drives worldly kids away from the church. And although he’s technically correct, it isn’t for the right reasons. Kwon’s theology is extremely flawed and demonstrates that he does not understand the gospel.
Many of these kids have not been raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord by a faithful godly father as the head of a biblical and biblically functioning family unit. If they attend church at all, it’s a wishy-washy church at best that preaches a social gospel and distorts the biblical gospel.
For most professing Christians, church membership and attendance are merely components and features of a quaint traditional American life rather than the fulfillment of a divine command based upon a regenerate love of God, His word, and His people. Children grow up and are presented with choices. A person will choose whatever they love most in that moment. They have this eye-rolling drudgerous narrow and confined church life on one side, and the exciting temptations of the world on the other and the choice is pretty easy because they are unregenerate and their dead hearts love darkness and hate God.
They are confronted incessantly with the onslaught of the unbelieving world pounding them over the head with all the reasons why their stupid bronze age ancient outdated beliefs are not only unnecessary but are restraining their rightful ability to enjoy life—and may even be dangerous to the world. Again, not having been raised in a truly gospel environment, those choices are easy to make for them. Life looks like a blast over here in the world—or an unnecessary strangling burden over there in church.