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Jul 02, 2011

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CASEY

Tackling your "power hungry" statement more than anything else is our 'slide' towards arrogance and elitism. For years Conservatives fought "self-perpetuating" Boards on the SBC and state level(s). As a wise former SBC-Exec.Comm. once told me, "If I'm asked by a Nominating Committee to serve on a Board my human/personal obligation is to serve those they represent. If, on the other hand, I am asked by an Agency head(or college president) to serve on 'his Board' then my first human/personal inclination is to support him...rather than those who support that institution." Sadly, Southern included, is now in a position of 'choosing it's own Board members'...and thus, the Board feels an obligation to support Mohler first and Southern Baptist tithe givers second. Until this is corrected...Comm. on Nominations functioning the way it should, we have in essence a self-perpetuating Board(s) that is beholden to the Agency head. Conservatives, frankly, have slipped into an area of governance that they previously said they abhor. While it doesn't make the job of correction impossible it certainly makes it more difficult.
Having said all that...is it any wonder of the difficulties in getting Mohler to 'come clean'? If his Board was committed to Southern Baptist tithe givers first and the Institution/Institution Head second...would we have a clearer quicker response? I believe there is no doubt as to that answer...

Mary

Here's the thing that I think people are simply not comprehending. Jonathan Merritt and others like Jay Bakker seem to be pushing this idea that we should stop talking about homosexuality being a sin, that it's just like every other sin and we need to stop proclaiming that gay marriage is a bad thing. In short JM seems to be advocating that we shut up about homosexuality in America as a culture. Stop fighing for the sanctity of marriage. JM used the words of Al Mohler to push his agenda of a softening of a stance on homosexuality and gay rights. JM seems to think it's enough to say that yes homosexuality is a sin but let's stop talking about and let's stop offending people so we can give them the Gospel. JM used Al Mohler's words to push his agenda of a moderation of how we deal with a very real cultural fight.

When the article came out Al Mohler was asked to clarify his comments by many many people. He blantently refused to address these comment deciding instead to force a "showdown" at the SBC. He knew the question was coming, decided to play politics and appease his sycophants which ended up to not be an answer to the actual questions he's been asked raising even more questions.

So here's the question today, right now, that Al still hasn't made clear. Is he with Jonanthon Merrit and Jay Baker that Christians need to moderate their speech and try to be more politically correct so as not to offend the world or does he still believe everything he's written in the past. Yes we all can agree that Al Mohler is very clear that homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible. What we don't get is if he is taking the side of Jonathon Merrit and Jay Baker and claiming we should shut up about so we stop offending people like Jonathon Merritt and his young friends who are threatnening to live the SBC because we have a very definate stance on gay marriage. Al Mohler either needs to denounce the agenda of Jonathon Merrit and Jay Baker or embrace it so we all know where he stands. Enough with the coded language trying to appease his sycophants without looking like he messed up this whole thing royally. If he cannot take a clear stand on this then he isn't worth much as a leader.

And no for all the people who want to proclaim that homosexuality is just the same as any other sin - it's not. Please tell me of the church who allows an adulter to bring his girlfriend in to church while his wife's on vacation and they say "sure we'll cover for ya" or the church who helps the member who's about to get caught stealing from his company cover up his crime. It is not the same thing. Of course I'm still curious where are all these churches filled with homophobic liars.

Mary

And for the record it's not enough for a sycophant to come screeching in declaring that Al is most certainly clear and you all are so stupid that you don't get it. When you have pro-gay people delcaring that what Al's currently saying is great then there is a definate disconnect betweet what the sycophants of Al want to claim he's saying versus what the world is acturaly hearing. You would think Al, being the brillant man he's claimed to be could put together a very clear concise message and one has to wonder why he's now decided to parse his words. Who is it he's so worried about offending? Or is it that he doesn't want to lose his reputation for being able to Mohlerize his opponents?

Lee

Peter,

Well said brother!

Based on what we are seeing and not hearing, there is little evidence to point us any other direction than to assume Mohler has indeed shifted left. An article worth reading again, is Jonathan Merritt’s’ article written in relevant magazine last August.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/current-events/op-ed-blog/22593-why-our-generation-doesnt-care-about-prop-8

Jonathan makes a sweeping judgment regarding how the majority of Christians engage the topic of homosexuality. A real highlight of his article, is when he intimates the Bible is “tired rhetoric”

Al makes a sweeping judgment that the majority of southern Baptist have lied about homosexuality, practice homophobia and do not understand that it is “not a choice, but a deep inner struggle”

It appears both junior and Mohler are joined at the hip on this topic.

Eric

I just read Jonathan Merritt's article that Lee posted and thought it was really good and thought provoking. He's trying to say something and I think we should at least give him the courtesy of considering what he is saying instead of ridiculing him. There is a lot of truth in what he said even though we may not like hearing it.

CASEY

ERIC:
Be specific....and what would that "truth" be that Jonathan is trying to share with us?

Tim Rogers

Brother Peter,

Merritt, in his 2010 article on Prop 8 says

it seems the next generation will begin framing the debate differently with separate moral and legal categories as they rise into positions of ecclesial and political leadership.
looks as if Dr. Mohler may be positioning himself to lead in making these future changes.

Blessings,
Tim

Bryan

While I know I don't agree with Jonathan Merritt on everything, I would also say it is clear he agrees homosexual behavior is sinful, at least in the article in Relevant magazine. I am inclined to agree with much of what he says.

Yes, homosexual behavior is clearly sinful, it is condemned in Scripture as evidence of man's deep depravity. But, I think we need to be careful with choice terminology. Because, while the behavior is sinful, we need to realize that sexual orientation, while possibly not based in genetics, is nevertheless a deep part of one's identity. Thus, it is not as easily changed as other sinful tendencies might be.

I agree with previous comments that we cannot say homosexuality is like all sin. That's true. While it is just as dishonoring to God and just as worthy and deserving of His wrath as all other sin, it is different in the effects is has on one's self and other people. That said, we do need to realize something.

We can stick our heads in the sand all day long and pretend we have all always been as compassionate and gospel-centered in our response to homosexuals as we ought to have been. While that may be true for some of us, I know that almost all of us have observed in others and in our own hearts responses of disgust and self-righteousness toward homosexuals and have reacted to them in ways that are less than Christ-like.

We can say that homosexuals represent a small portion of the population. And while that is true, we need to remember the United States is not as homogenous as statistics would lead us to believe. For while 1 in 50 Americans might identify themselves as homosexuals, nearly 1 in 8 Atlantans identify themselves as homosexuals. And I guarantee that if you break Atlanta down, neighborhood by neighborhood, there will be some neighborhoods that are filled with many homosexuals while there will be others that have practically no homosexuals.

Therefore, I can see how we would stick our heads in the sand and pretend there isn't a problem with the way Christians have responded to homosexuality in the past, as we might see things differently in our neck of the woods. But we have to remember that we are easily blinded by self-righteousness. And while homosexuality is sinful and is a sign of our deep depravity and desperate need for a savior, it is also something human beings who need that savior struggle with, and we need to be better at engaging the homosexual community with the full gospel.

Thus, I think Mohler is right on with the vast majority of his responses to homosexuality. I would never describe myself as a sycophant (although, I'll admit most sycophants wouldn't describe themselves as such).

We really need to be careful bandying about phrases like, "shifted left." As I understand it, the left side of the philosophical/theological spectrum is best reflected by liberalism. Liberalism's biggest marker was its rejection of Scripture as the inspired Word of God. However, I do not see such a response coming from Mohler.

And I think we are also assuming Mohler is guilty by association by linking him with Jay Bakker. While I would agree Bakker's theology leans too close to liberalism to really reflect evangelicalism, we are kidding ourselves if we say Mohler's theology leans in that direction too.

Eric

I think one of the "truths" that Jonathan is trying to get across is that we need to love people in our churches regardless of their race, social position, or sexual orientation. Its time to quit trying to browbeat people into God's kingdom and let Him do the convicting and convincing. If we as Baptists are so hell bent on castigating gay people then for pete's sake, spend as much time going after the adulterers, fornicators, gossips, and liars.

But--then we would run off or offend some of our deacons and choir members. God forbid!

Just listen to Jonathan's heart and quit trying to pick apart everything he says. I don't agree with his theology but I do see a young man trying to share the Gospel with a lost and dying world.

Peter

Eric,

To make JM the victum in this discussion is absurd. Merritt is doing more than calling the church to witness to gays for crying out loud. He's attempting to frame the debate in different terms, leading to a shift in the church's understanding of homosexuality. He's for changing the laws which discriminate against gays as a protected ethnic group. So drop the nonsense he is the "good guy" who is loving and kind while we are all the "bad guys" who are mean and unloving.

With that, I am...
Peter

Eric

Peter,

I never said you were a "bad guy" so please don't accuse me of doing so. I also never said Jonathan is the victim because the real victims in all of this are gay people in our churches. To listen to pastors and preachers debate the way they are doing surely must grieve their hearts and also the heart of Jesus. I doubt seriously if He would participate in the kind of discussions we are seeing on blogs and Baptist articles today. Whether some are "mean and unloving" can only be determined by the words they write.

Peter

Eric,

You're correct. You did not "say" such. But you *are* implying such with your continued language about "picking" JM apart rather than listening to his "heart" which you judge as "trying to share the Gospel with a lost and dying world." Definitively this is not about evangelism. If that's all this were there'd be no debate. Nonetheless, the language you employ is classic victimization. On the one hand, JM has an innocent heart, and on the other, we are bent on "picking" apart everything he says. Implication: he is the victim, we are the victimizer.

Now whether or not you think you're doing such, I assure you it's coming across like that. Stick to the ideas of the post if you want to make further contribution.

With that, I am...
Peter

LMalone

" Thus, it is not as easily changed as other sinful tendencies might be. "

Can this really be substantiated? What about pedophilia?

What I am seeing from those who support Mohler's statements is a need to put homosexual sin into a special category. Why?

LMalone

As to Jonathan Merritt. This is not the only issue he is trying to reframe positions on. And, some well heeled leaders went along with him. Anyone remember the silly Environmental manifesto he got some SBC celebs to sign a few years back and passed off as offical SBC policy?

What is it with this guy? Perhaps the leaders of the SBC should stop doing favors for his daddy. It seems to get them in trouble.

And we do not have to know Merrit Jr's heart or motivations. we can simply look at his actions and writings and go from there....

LMalone

The WSJ article only goes to prove what a media darling Mohler is and his power. He wasted no time "plaining" himself by redefining using his PR machine . He has an international media outlet to redefine "homophobia" for evangelicals. Amazing.

Too bad he did not say that in AZ.

CASEY

Well...at least we found out where AL MOHLER was right after the SBC-PHOENIX Convention. He was in Palm Springs, Calif. speaking at a 'Reformed Conference' for about 3 days with an associate of John MacArthur's. As far as I can tell it was the 'Grace to You' crowd and not openly solicited to Southern Baptists for attendance. Al Mohler can speak anywhere he wants to...but when Southern Baptists are begging for clarifications and answers...I believe he really 'missed the train' on this one.

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