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2011.06.20

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Ron Phillips, Sr.

Peter,

You just posted this while I posted on your previous article. So I will post only part here. Feel free not to post the other one.

If I'm reading all of this correctly, and after just watching all of the video of this from the SBC, I think I like about 99.9% of what Dr. Mohler said. But to say Southern Baptists are practicing a form of homophobia or that we have not been honest is disquieting.

However, the use of the word homophobia is largely considered a pejorative term in the evangelical community. Whether Dr. Mohler intentionally meant to use such a disparaging term towards Southern Baptists is perplexing. There is no mistake in what that term means culturally today. As a culture warrior he should know this. I hope he clarifies and chooses to withdraw the use of that term. The clear meaning of that word as it is has been used for more than 10 years is undeniable. For example, from Wikipedia: "In a 1998 address, author, activist, and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King stated that "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood."" So are Southern Baptists seeking to dehumanize people? NO! Is this like racism or anti-Semitism? Absolutely not! I hope this was just a poor choice of a word and upon further reflection decides to retract.

I too would like clarification on how Southern Baptists have lied. I have not, nor has my church, nor association, or state convention, or the SBC as far as I know. So who has lied? Again, I'm hoping for a poor choice of words here that he realizes is unhelpful in this discussion.

Blessings,

Ron P.

peter lumpkins

Ron,

I could not agree more. Some seem to think it's "parsing words" to insist he come clean on what he meant by "we've lied." I gave Mohler every opportunity to correct any false impression of his words, going so far as to inquire if Merritt was mistaken or were his words not clearly communicated given the context in which the words were spoken. By-passing all opportunities to clarify, Dr. Mohler insisted "those are my words...they are not alleged words, they are actual words."

Hence, if Mohler meant something other than we've been intentionally deceitful--which is exactly what lying involves--he allowed no indication at all such was the case.

Grace, brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

PastorPitman

Thanks for your efforts to clarify this matter. Tangentially, I was wondering if the characterization of your encounter with Dr Mohler ("even my critics insist I was verbally "spanked" and "Mohlerized" while getting my linguistic "beatdown.") is typical of reactions at the convention? Did anyone characterize the success of the Overton resolution, a clear rebuke to the committee and to Dr.Moore as its spokesman, as some kind of "smackdown" or the like? It seemed the delegates overwhelmingly spoke on that issue. I know this is off-topic in a way, but I think the reactions are indicative. Understand if you do not want to comment or even post this.

Praying for you

Jim Upchurch

Peter,

From hearing Mohler's comments and reading his words, here's what I think he meant (and since I'm not Mohler, I could be completely wrong):

Re the lying about the nature of homosexuality: He's saying we have made it merely about choice, when it's much more complex than that. There is a choice involved, but there are other factors as well. By and large, it seems, Christians haven't faced up to that reality. To the extent that we have naively held onto the idea that it's just a choice, we have lied.

Re the homophobia: I agree that this is a poor choice of words. I'm not really sure what it actually means. But I think what he meant by that is that we have dealt with homosexuals with a lot of truth and, for the most part, withheld the grace. Maybe a broad brush statement, but it rings true of people I know (myself included, whom I know very well).

Grace and Peace,

Jim

Donald

Jim,
I can see where you get your thoughts on what Mohler meant. However, if we "lied", that means that we intentionally advocated ideas that we know to be wrong. This is simply not true. Unless Dr. Mohler can show where we have lied, then he lied when he made the original statement and need to repent.

Donald

peter lumpkins

Pastor Pitman,

Thank you for your contribution. The answer is no, at least to the ones with whom I spoke. People were cordial to me after the question. It took the twitter-boys and attack blogs to raise a stink about the question I asked. And so far as I know, I know of no one who twittered any demeaning insults toward those raising questions about the amnesty resolution, NNIV resolution, Lifeway, or Danny Akin's question. Some felt Akin's questioner was a "plant" but I don't know anything about that.

Jim,

Glad to hear from you. Though I take a different avenue in understanding Mohler's response than do you, you have some points very much worth considering. Thank you...

Donald,

I appreciate your logging on. And, you have the proper focus in leaning hard on Mohler's unequivocal usage of "lied". Had Mohler suggested Southern Baptists have been mistaken about the nature of homosexuality, while he would still need to clarify, it would not have conjured up such reprehensible outrage because it would not have been a moral issue but a matter of ignorance. One can be sincerely mistaken without being a liar. But one cannot be a liar without intending to deceive. This is the crux of the issue for me. By claiming "we've lied", he claimed Southern Baptists intentionally deceived, hardly a proposition worth clapping about.

Consider, however, if we are correct about this, then your final statement may need to be clarified: "Unless Dr. Mohler can show where we have lied, then he lied..." Perhaps it's better to say, Unless Dr. Mohler can show where we have lied, then presumably he's mistaken..."--unless we can show how he intentionally deceived the public about Southern Baptists. I do not think either of us want to fall for that. Thanks, Donald for your encouraging contribution. You hit the nail squarely in focusing on "we've lied."

Grace all.
With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Ron,

I think you are dead on: Mohler has served Southern Baptists well for several years on socio-ethical issues in the larger culture. Now, he's made a major gaff which deserves the closest attention. Will he clarify? I don't know. His friends are probably telling him he'll finally survive the fallout since we've a short memory. Perhaps they are right. If Mohler does not respond and offer clarity, the real losers will be Southern Baptists. If an entity head can get away with propagating an uncertain sound on a key issue of cultural import, then it may be indicative that Southern Baptists are turning back into the very thing we forsook beginning in 1979.

With that, I am...
Peter

volfan007

Peter,

I agree with Ron. I agreed with much of Dr. Mohler's response to your question, but was left scratching my head about SB's lying and being homophobes. I was wondering how the SBC has done this? I could've gone with him saying that "some SB's" have lied....I could've amened that "some SB's" have been homophobes...but, the all of us? or, the SBC in general?

David

Ed Goodman

Peter,

I can't speak for Mohler on this issue, but I agree that homosexuality is not merely a matter of choice. It is undoubtedly, as I see it, a deep-seated struggle.

Let me explain. Some people are born with a stronger proclivity than other people toward sins such as drugs, alcohol, overeating, or pornography. I think that some people are also born with a greater urge than others toward homosexual behavior.

This is a very real struggle in today's society, and I agree with Mohler that the switch can't simply be turned on or off. Certainly, the ultimate issue of the sinful act is a matter of choice, but the proclivity itself can't be simply turned on or off. As somone who has, in the past, battled things like alcohol and overeating, I can attest that the urge to engage in those sinful behaviors recurs in my life occasionally. I see no reason to classify homosexuality in a separate category from those sins I listed.

I don't believe Mohler was completely dismissing the element of choice in the matter of homosexuality, but was inferring that the proclivity itself is something that should be taken into account when examining this issue. If we look at the struggle not just in terms of choice, but also in terms of proclivity (i.e. the urge, or inclination, to commit the act), we can perhaps be more compassionate and successful in ministering to those who need Jesus to break free from their homosexual bondage.

Love in Christ,

Ed Goodman
Isaiah 10:27

peter lumpkins

Ed,

I did not write this piece as an explanation of what makes homosexuals homosexual. Hence, your understanding is interesting but irrelevant to this discussion.

Fundamentally, the post-SBC issue which concerns me is, Dr. Mohler has categorically judged Southern Baptists as intentionally deceiving the public about the nature of homosexuality, a moral charge which no amount of accusations toward me or others about so-called "word-parsing" is going ease, Ed. Mohler did not say we were mistaken about the nature of homosexuality. Instead he said we were lying about the nature of homosexuality.

Furthermore, Dr. Mohler cast injurious and even needless ad hominem insult toward both Southern Baptists and evangelicals as practicing "homophobia" without the least qualification or description, not to mention any type of hard evidence. He had every opportunity to explain himself. He chose not to explain but preach a sermonette, a sermonette about which few, if any, would disagree with 99% of his talk.

This is the issue here, my brother Ed. Please contribute toward this point next time round.

With that, I am...
Peter

Steve Evans

One wonders if a call to clarify with AM about his over-reaching comments would be answered or not. I, for one, will make such a call because I don't want him to speak for me. Just because he serves as our employee does not give him carte blanche. Or is he speaking ex cathedra?

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Steve,

It is my understanding that this was the exact reason Peter asked the question from the floor of the SBC as he never got a response before the SBC. He wanted to give Dr. Mohler an opportunity to distance himself or clarify that Southern Baptists have lied about the nature of homosexuality and that Southern Baptists are practicing a form of homophobia as quoted by Jonathan Merritt. He didn't clarify those two remarks. He emphatically embraced them. Again, I liked everything else he said but those two issues are two things that I think the majority of Southern Baptists would disagree.

Maybe Ed Stetzer could do a poll of Southern Baptist pastors that simply asked if they agree or disagree with those two statements. I would speculate that the numbers of that poll would be well above 90% that disagreed with Dr. Mohler.

Blessings,

Ron P.

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