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2011.06.17

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Remi

Homosexuality is going to be one of the major issues in the persecution coming to america. In the end, only Christians will be willing to call it a sin, and they will be hated because of it.

Many "christians" will not pay this price.

kim

Wow! I don't know what to say to Mohler's comments here. Homophobia?! What is that anyway? I as a Christian have never been, and never will be, afraid of a person practicing homosexual behavior. Isn't that what a phobia is?!

I hurt for them, I pray for them, I interact and give the Gospel to them, but it's still a sin, the Bible still says that, always has. We as Christians and Southern Baptists are just repeating the words our Lord has already said. There's no hate involved here, no phobia's! This homophobia label just grates on me everytime.

I would like to know specifics from Dr. Mohler what it has been, that the SBC has done in the past and now, that makes us homophobic! What actions is he attributing this to? Telling the truth from God's Word? Saying homosexuality is a sin mentioned in God's Word? Telling people that this is a sin and they need repentance and forgiveness? Telling them that God can and will make it possible for them to make it without this sin? Which of these has been homophobic? Is there others I'm unaware of?

What is he using to make a widespread, blanket statement that the SBC has been homophobic? Dr. Mohler, you have many confused folks out here.

Mary

Let's see how long before Don Lemon CNN's gay commentator or Thomas Roberts MSNBC's gay commentator picks up on Al Mohler's "moderation" toward homosexuality.

Mary

If anyone's interested here's Don Lemon at CNN, Personally I think Lemon will be the first to pickup Al Mohler's moderation on the issue of homosexuality as he seems to have an agenda against Southern Baptists.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/22/my-faith-how-i-learned-to-stop-praying-away-the-gay/

Mary

Oh my, Wade Burleson thinks he's helpling Al! I can see it now Wade and Al working to bring Broadway Baptist back into fellowship cause you know that's so homophobic disfellowshipping with them when we're all just sinners.

Jack Maddox

Mary

If you think that Al Mohler would advocate the accepting of BBC back into the SBC then your are misinformed at best or woefully biased at worse.

Disagree with his terminology or assertions, but leave the straw men alone.

Jack Maddox

Mary

Sorry Jack, it's Wade Burleson who is implying that Al's statements seem to indicate that the homophobia within our convention is in the SBC's constitution. Of course maybe it's Wade who is mistaken and Al needs to clarify his statements but since the one chance the mere peasents had to address Al is past I guess we'll all have to wait til next year's convention where maybe Al will insult the entire SBC as homophobic liars again who are taking his statements out of context. What's that definition for straw man again? Or maybe we'll dismiss Al's insults of the entire SBC as hyperbole.

But anyhoo Jack, Wadeo of Enid is pleased with Al Mohler's stance on the homophobic SBC and seems to think he has an ally in believing that the homophobia is within the SBC constitution itself. Since Al himself didn't actually tell us how or who the homophobic are and how the entire SBC are liars, I'd say Wadeo's guess is as good as anybody's.

Mary

And Jack, for someone who took delight in an employee of the SBC "smacking" down a duly appointed messenger's reasonable question to him your insult of bias is, how you say? pathetic. Peter can be the lowliest no good scum but a so-called Christian leader would be expected to act in a manner of humility and grace toward him in public or private for that matter, and the fact that you and others took such delight shows that he acted in anything but a Christ-like manner as one would expect. But some of us are not suprised that Al and Co are less than saintly and more concerned about scoring points.

Robin Foster

Mary

Jack apologized for his tweet. I believe we ought to let that one alone. Both Jack and Peter are friends of mine and I am glad all that was worked out. They are both honorable men.

Personally, I am confused by Dr. Mohler's statement concerning "homophobia" and the statement that we lied. I would like clarification on this, but I would find it hard to believe that Dr Mohler would be on the side to bring BBC back in the SBC fold.

Mary

Robin, I appreciate that Jack apologized for his tweet. I don't appreciate him trying to insult me with the word bias when he himself showed his bias in his tweets. Yes I have a bias born from experience of Al Mohler's influence over his "preacher boys." The point not to be missed here is that many besides Jack were very gleeful about Mohler's treatment of Peter which I think shows the spirit of those tweeter's and the attitude which Mohler himself displayed toward Peter.

As far as what Mohler actually means it seems there are conflicting views. I myself would have agreed that Mohler would in no way think that the disfellowshipping of BBC was homophobic. It would seem that others believe Mohler's definition of homophobia would perhaps include the disfellowshipping of BBC as homophobic.

One thing that seems to be certain is Mohler is not going to be held accountable for his treatment of a duly appointed messenger which led to less than steller actions by bloggers and tweeters. And then there is the hubris of a man declaring the SBC is homophobic and full of liars leading to Enid declaring that certain Pastors are of course homophobic and unable to minister to homosexuals. We expect nonsense from Enid. An employee of the SBC should be held accountable for his actions and his words. But Mohler has displayed his unwillingness to clarify his statements prior to this so unless some media outlet picks this up as a "moderation" of homosexual stance within the SBC as a whole, I think he'll just stay in his ivory tower and ignore the poor fool peasents who pay his salary all the while declaring anyone who doesn't bow down to him as "divisive."

Grosey

Peter, over the last 5 or 6 years I have read most of Dr. Mohler's statements on his blog. I don't think he answered your question unfairly or deceitfully. He used your question as a launch pad to address the vital issue of making sure our focus as Christians and as churches is "gospel focussed" to become "gospel churches". In the context of Dr. Mohler's ministry and his publications, that is the direction of "reform" to which Dr. Mohler is hoping SBC churches (and all other churches too I am sure) should be heading. His "attack", if indeed it could be called an "attack", is on churches and Christians who are satisfied with a superficiality that allows them to check the boxes, (am I SBC tick or cross? Do I believe the inerrancy of Scripture? tick or cross, Do I tithe? tick or cross, do I stand against worldiness in our culture? tick or cross Am I involved in the Public Square ? tick or cross and is this manifest in my diatribes against the militant homosexuals? tick or cross). Sadly when we just check the boxes we can become superficial in our understandings (and experience) of sin and salvation and in our experience retreat from personal engagement with the gospel (in sanctification, social ethics, witness and evangelism, relational church life etc)thus negating our actual witness as a church.
I think that Dr. Mohler was utilising your question as a launchpad that would propel SBC into MISSION rather than answering the question the way you wished it to be answered, or, by the way, Merritt wished it to be answered.
He answered your question as the Southern Baptist Statesman that he truly is, visionary and encouraging towards greater things in this present age.
Blessings from Australia Peter..
Steve Grose

peter lumpkins

Grosey,

Good to hear from you. Well, I think you are, in part, right--"I don't think he answered your question unfairly or deceitfully. He used your question as a launch pad to address the vital issue of making sure our focus as Christians and as churches is "gospel focused"

First, I think Mohler answered my question directly--yes the words I quoted were apparently his words and apparently accurate. JM did not skew the context and he was not wrong in the way he employed them. I think he made that perfectly clear

Second, I think he used my question to launch into addressing a concern I did not raise--being "gospel focused." Why would I be concerned about that, my Grosey? No one was disputing such.

Third, what Mohler failed to do is demonstrate how Southern Baptists have lied about the nature of homosexuality, practiced homophobia, and exploited the language of "choice" when homosexuality is not "merely" a choice. That's the web Dr. Mohler has spun himself into by conceding what I never thought he would concede--we're liars. And, by doing so, he's implicated us as deceivers, spiritual charlatans passing out lies and half-truths about homosexuality to the public.

I don't take kindly, Grosey, of my own denominational spokesman telling the world I am a liar and practice homophobia. If Dr. Mohler feels that way about himself, he needs to deal with it. He can begin with his 200+ articles and show us how he has lied. Or did he really mean "you've lied" about homosexuality when he said "we've lied"? If so, then he'd need to show, for example, how Richard Land and the ERLC has lied and written half-truths about homosexuality, our denominational propaganda machine we liars have funded to stand against the gay community--a community we've lied about. The point is, if Mohler's going to state in no uncertain terms about us all that "we've lied" and practiced "homophobia", he needs to put the goods on the table. Rhetoric stands absolutely insufficient at this point. Nor will it be sufficient so far as I am concerned.

Apparently the American Family Association is already calling for Mohler to clarify. How sad. A brilliant theologian-cultural critic caught in his own snare of confusion he created.

Lord bless you brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

Robin Foster

Steve

It could have possibly been a launching pad, but Dr. Mohler left a big enchilada without the sauce when he claimed that the SBC has lied and been homophobic. Other than that, I can not find anything with which he said I would disagree.

Good to hear from you my friend.

Robin

Jack Maddox

Mary

Scum? Wow! and by the way [ I said 'owned' not 'smackeddown' lol! I believe Dr. Mohler's response to Peter was well mannered, direct and honest. Peter asked the question, Dr. Mohler answered it with great civility and tact. Have you seen the stream? If so, how can you accuse either Dr. Mohler or Peter of 'unchristlike" behavior? Both were very civil and measured in both question and response

Now, you and obviously many may not be comfortable or even in agreement with Dr. Mohlers answer...but it just is not true that he was out of line or unchristlike in his response - at least in my opinion.

The issue as I understand it is with WHAT Mohler confirmed himself saying - not HOW he said it or his attitude in saying it.

My tweet was a poor attempt at humor in which I was drawing attention to Dr. Mohler's obvious preparation for the question and his 'out of the park' articulation in stating it. byw - he would have owned me also! But I offended Peter and I apologized and it is behind us. If you know anything of the wacky world of sb baptists blogs, you know Peter and I see eye to eye on a majority of issues.

To follow up your note = I did not accuse you of bias - I stated that it may be a possibility - after reading your posts it obvious you are not biased in the least (wink)
SInce it seems that you are not biased then i guess we can only say your just uninformed : )

Jack Maddox

Ron Hale

Peter,
You have the courage to stand alone and ask a question. I would have been shaking like Dorthy before the Wizard of Oz!

Blessings!

Robin Foster

Peter

Funny you should mention the AFA. I've already had a church member contact me over this very issue. This is only the beginning. If Dr. Mohler doesn't address this soon it will only get worse. I hope he clarifies soon.

Scott

In no way does Al Mohler say that homosexual actions are not sin. If you actually take the time to listen to his comments that he made in response to Peter's remarks and question at the convention, I believe that he made it pretty clear what he meant and he hit the nail on the head. We are all born with a sin nature. In other words, we are all born with the potential to have homosexual feelings in the same way we are born with selfish, prideful, greedy tendencies. Sin is sin. But, and I believe Mohler made it clear, that the fact that a homosexual person may say that they were born that way does not negate their free will. They choose to act on those feelings the same way that you and I may act on our lust, pride, arrogance, or greed. It's all wrong in God's eyes. Mohler was absolutely correct that many within the SBC and Christianity as a whole has practiced a form of homophobia. Whether you like the wording or not, it's absolutely correct. How often do Christians actually reach out with compassion to homosexuals? Too often we have whispered or complained if a homosexual has dared to walk in one of our churches. We do need to repent of the way that we have treated homosexuals and the lost community as a whole. We have bashed people over the head with their mistakes for far too long. I know...I can hear it now..."hate the sin, love the sinner". Great principle, but the majority of the people who say that are not practicing that principle. If you want to hear what Mohler said, find the audio or video which contains his explanation.

Matt

I am not sure why people are so surprised at the comments, especially about choice. Dr. Mohler is reformed. What is so surprising about his admission that people are born as sinners (totally depraved)? Who cares if people are "born that way?" That doesn't mean it is not sin.

peter lumpkins

Scott,

Have you read where I denied Mohler suggested homosexual behavior is sin? While he has certainly called into question his heretofore stance on homosexuality, he apparently still maintains it sinful.

The issue is, why Mohler thinks SBs have lied about the nature of homosexuality and practiced "homophobia," a politically-correct, gay advocate term routinely used to slander the evangelical church as hate-filled bigots. Mohler has absolutely no right to speak of SBs this way unless he puts the goods on the table. He did not. He simply did us the tarbaby act and walked away.

With that, I am...
Peter

Eric

Peter,

If you don't think Southern Baptist churches practice homophobia then you aren't paying attention. I have been a Southern Baptist all my life and I have listened to the statements, inuendos, and hatchet jobs done on gay believers. The worst offenders of all are preachers and I can assure you that I have sat in their groups and listened to their jokes and coarse rhetoric when it comes to gay people. I think Mohler was right on target when he pointed out the presence of homophobia. At the Cathedral of Hope (a gay church) in Dallas at least 80% of their members are former Southern Baptists so that tells you that something is going on in Baptist churches to cause them to leave. At least we haven't run off the fornicators and adulterers or we wouldn't have a congregation on Sunday.

The issue of whether someone is born gay or not will never be settled but I was pleased to read Mohler's comments. At least someone is facing reality and not pronouncing judgment everytime they open their mouth.

If nothing else, I hope Mohler's comments cause us as Southern Baptists to examine our hearts and attitudes when it comes to gay believers. Thank goodness that God's grace isn't as selective as a Southern Baptist.

Jack Maddox

Peter

I am curious to this idea that "AM is speaking for all SB but he does not speak for me" Who says he is speaking for all Southern Baptist? His position is HIS position alone. Like it, hate it, mad, glad or whatever, what does it matter? AM was speaking for himself. You say his wording will make the secular world attack us even more - really? Like they don't already? The argument that agency heads must be careful what they say because they represent all SB is a week assertion to me. I want my agency heads speaking freely and with conviction. Even if I disagree. I understand the line must be drawn between heresy and unbiblical rhetoric, however, they will be held accountable for what they say through our system. Wade B use t make the same argument concerning Dr. Hatley and Dr. Floyd as trustee heads. I just think it is weak position. Mohlers position is clear - If there is any issue it is with simple sematics - 2 words stand out to me - 'homophobia' and 'lie'. I would like to see him bring some clarification to these words, however to imply that he has in essence 'flip flopped' in weight of his greater body of work is real stretch to me

Jack Maddox.

peter lumpkins

Eric,

To the contrary, Eric, don't come back here slandering Southern Baptists unless you have evidence for it. "Homophobia" is a politically-correct, gay advocate term routinely used to slander the evangelical church as hate-filled bigots. Nor am I impressed with your unsubstantiated assertion that the Cathedral of Hope (a gay church) in Dallas has at least 80% of their members as former Southern Baptists. The same has been said about any number of cults. Are we now "Mormophobic"? This is rhetorical nonsense used to push guilt on others.

Now, if you believe you suffer from homophobia, get help. But don't project your disease onto all Southern Baptists.

With that, I am...
Peter

Jack Maddox

eric

I can assure you that as a SB pastor who has sat with literally hundreds of pastors in my 22 years of ministry - I have never heard or been a part of what you describe. Really? Just preachers sitting around bashing the gays" Brother- you do more with statements like that to enlarge the stereotype than any thing Peter or others may do by disagreeing with AM. The reason many in the METRO church your alluding to are from former SB churches is because lost man loves to be in a place where his sin can be placated. If unregenerate man can have a pseudo religion and still have his sin also he will choose that every time. Mohlers comments had nothing to do with anyone being 'born gay" he simply stated that it is much deeper than a simple choice. Sexual sin in general has a tremendous hold on people, it is like a cancer. This is true for the adulterer, the one addicted to pornography or the homosexual. As far as your assertion of how we should deal with 'gay believers' , we should deal with them the way we deal with any sin in the life of a believer - they must understand their need for repentance. Anyone who would profess or take part in homosexual behavior as a believer would fall under the need for biblical church discipline. As far as homosexuals who by their lifestyle and own testimony live a life which lacks the evidence of regeneration - they must repent and trust Christ to save and Christ alone - then the precious Spirit of God through regeneration and sanctification will begin the process of deliverance and holy living. This idea of an openly professing 'gay believer' lacks any scriptural support - as does any believer living in open, unrepentant sin.

peter lumpkins

Jack,

You ask, “Who says he is speaking for all Southern Baptist?”  He did.  He said, “we’ve lied,” Jack.  He didn’t qualify that by, “Look.  I’ve been dishonest and lied.” He was speaking to Southern Baptists about Southern Baptists.

And, while you rightly suggest “His position is HIS position alone” you wrongly conclude by suggesting Mohler’s position is moot so far as Southern Baptists are concerned—“what does it matter?” Come on, Jack. Good grief.  Mohler is the most powerful man in the SBC. And you query “what does it matter?” Please. Nor was he speaking “for himself”. He clearly indicated he was speaking authoritatively about what Southern Baptists must do—repent.  Only God can ultimately call us to repentance, Jack. Mohler was speaking for God (at least in his mind) when he called SBs to repent.

Jack: “You say his wording will make the secular world attack us even more – really? Like they don't already?” You miss the point entirely. Even so, to think Mohler’s statement did not placate to gay lobbyists is, in my view, naïve. Of course they’ll use his words as softening on gayness. And, they’d be right to do so. He said, “we’ve lied.”

Jack argues, “The argument that agency heads must be careful what they say because they represent all SB is a week assertion to me. I want my agency heads speaking freely and with conviction.” Really?  What if Mohler would have said, I think SBs need to have open church membership for practicing gays? I think you’d be singing a different song. The fact is, entity heads don’t need to sling unusual power around. They are our employees not visionaries for our convention. We hired Mohler to lead Southern seminary not to speak for all Southern Baptists.

So, Jack, you say “they will be held accountable for what they say through our system.” Really, Jack.  Well, I tried to hold Mohler accountable through our system and was ridiculed for it.  And, Mohler made the outrageous charge that Southern Baptists are liars, homophobic practitioners, and consequently deceivers to the American public in general and the gay community in particular without a shred of hard evidence at his command.  What do guys like you do?  Defend him and his rhetoric.  So how is Mohler held accountable for what he says through the system you have in mind, brother?

Finally, you may think both “homophobic” and “lie” are semantic if you wish. But let somebody stand up in one of your business conferences at your church and blurt out without the least bit of evidence—”Pastor, you’re lying about the nature of homosexuality and this church is guilty of practicing homophobia.” I’m sure, of course, you’d think it all just a matter of semantics and say to them, “what’s the big deal, anyway.”

With that, I am…

Peter     

Andy

Just in case anyone hasn't watched the question and answer being discussed, the video archive is now available at http://mediasuite.316networks.com/player.php?p=s9c3yg3a ("Wednesday Afternoon", "Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Report" at about 14:12). It might help some of you gain better context for the discussion.

Andy

Oh, I just noticed that the link is in your original post, Peter. My mistake. It just appeared to me that some were making comments without full knowledge of what was spoken by you and Dr. Mohler.

peter lumpkins

No problem, Andy. Thanks for your concern folks are getting the actual exchange...

Have a great Lord's Day weekend.

With that, I am...
Peter

Jack Maddox

Peter

Do not drive a wedge where there is no need for one brother : )

I concur that AM needs to clarify his wording and perhaps even apologize. I did not mean to imply that his platform does not carry with it the weight of presumed SB thought, especially for those who know not our polity.

I am simply putting forth the premise that if we expect our agency heads to only speak that which represents Southern Baptists then they need not speak at all for they could in no way represent the whole of thought in SB life. I understand your position that this is indeed what AM did and I concede it.

By the way - If Mohler would have said what you propose concerning gays and open membership, I would be the first in line with lantern and rope in hand ready to strng him form a Texas Oak, however - that is not what he said, not even close. Let's just deal with the reality of his statement and not a straw man which does not exist.

Mohlers position on homosexuality is very well known and I do not see where he has deviated. Again, I believe it is unfortunate and perhaps wrong to use the wording 'homophobic' and 'lie' - I have given you that - but as one who has mis spoken a time or two (or mis tweeted lol!) I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt in deference to his body of work and recognize that it is hardly a blip in comparison. Again, you disagree - fine

Peter, I could care one titter tat what the gay lobbyist think of Southern Baptists - we are not a very popular bunch with them anyway and we never will be - I know you do not believe because of AM nomenclature in regards to Southern Baptist and their past dealings with homosexuality that now they are going to trumpet us as champions of the GLTG community! I think not.

Look Peter - my point is really simple and there is no need to go back and forth with you because the line that separates us on this is EXTREMELY thin...

1) Mohlers position on the issue has not changed - he is clear in his stance that homosexual behavior is indeed sinful and MUST be dealt with in a biblical manner

2) His quote in the CSM and in answer to your question needs clarification and perhaps even an apology

Thats it in a nutshell for me. This is not heretical teaching and thought on homosexuality from a SB agency head. This is not a flip flop of position form AM. It is a poor choice of words and something in need of followup and clarification.

You ask what is the way to hold them accountable then seem to imply that you were ridiculed for attempting to do so, when you have stated before that really all you were intending on doing was giving AM a chance to clarify his position in light of the CSM article. I do not believe you to have been ridiculed as much as a recipient of a few juvenile tweets from either guys with an agenda (Burleson) or just a guy being sophomoric (Maddox)Y our question was well placed and it was answered - that is exactly the process. I am more troubled that AM did not respond to your earlier letters than any of this...to me that is far more egregious. My point is YOU ARE holding him accountable. The trustees, the convention and now the blogosphere hear his position. If it is as serious and offensive as you believe then it will be dealt with accordingly. Yet at the end of the day if it is not then perhaps just as you rightly state that AM does not speak for all SB, then perhaps we would agree that Peter (and Jack ) for that matter, does not speak for all SB as well...maybe not even a significant minority of them.

Peter, I love ya man - the grits and coffee are still on me and do be assured that this has caused me to look at the issue more closely, to examine AM's position more carefully and to keep my ear to the ground where perhaps it should have been all the while. This is still a evolving story - I reserve the right to recant at a later date : )

Jack Maddox

Bekah Mason

There are always exceptions to the rule, especially when discussing an entity as large and diverse as the SBC. But, as a general rule, the overall tone of most churches of most denominations (especially in the South) has been one of rejection and contempt toward those who practice or struggle with homosexuality. I appreciated the comment of someone above who stated that it's good that we haven't equally rejected adulterers and fornicators or we wouldn't have much of a church.

I believe that is the heart of Dr. Mohler's comments and has been my experience in attending and teaching in many churches: it's normal and even acceptable to struggle with heterosexual sin temptations (teens will do what they're going to do; boys will be boys...), but there's something more devious about "those people" who deal with same-sex attraction. The lie he refers to is the idea that, for many years, the majority of what was taught about homosexuality is that, yes, it's an abomination, it's a sin, which is choice, so just stop it. That is the "lie". It's the same lie that the pro-gay agenda accepts; that sex is "just sex" and you can just stop it. That reduces humanity to an animal state and sex to just a behavior, and we as humans are SO much more than that.

To participate in sex is to reflect the image of God (procreation); sexuality is much more than "just sex". It's part of our inherent identity, which is why there is much more to the conversation than just "it's an abomination; stop it or get out." It is more than a choice; one's identity, ability to relate to other people, and view of the world is altered by what they believe about their sexuality. That's not a softening or moderation on the stance of homosexuality as a sin; that's a biblical, psychological, relational truth.

Sometimes the lie and the homophobia is shown through a lack of ministry. There are several programs designed to teach teens about sexual purity and they can sign their "True Love Waits" cards and wear their purity rings. But if they break that vow, we just tell them, "Don't do that anymore," and think the conversation is over. But there are few conversations going on or ministries present or pastors trained to help the teen who is struggling with homosexuality. Few churches where people are willing or equipped to walk through the struggle with them, to help them understand their identity in Christ, to hold them accountable. In fact, more than once, when discussing with parents the heterosexual sin their teen is struggling with, I have heard parents declare in a relieved manner that they are glad their child was at least having sex with someone of the opposite sex. THAT is the lie Dr. Mohler was addressing; homosexual sin is not a worse sin than heterosexual sin, but it is a more complicated issue with more root struggles of deception and worldview and identity to work through.

If any of you have never thought such judgmental thoughts towards homosexuals, I applaud you, thank you, and encourage you to join us in educating the vast majority of Southern Baptists who are uninformed or close minded or truly homophobic.

Instead of spending time blowing up the Internet with critiques and corrections and calls for clarification, write about the love and mercy of Christ for the homosexual.

If you want to know if what your church says and what they really believe concerning homosexuality are aligned, try some of the following ministry tactics:

Go to a gay bar tonight and invite one of the drag queens to come to church with you tomorrow and see what kind of reaction you get when you walk into church with them.

Ask your pastor to join the Exodus International Church Network so that those seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle will know that your church is a safe place for people who are seeking Christ over their sin nature. Keep asking. Take him the paperwork already filled out. See if it ever gets turned in

Contact Bob Stith and begin speaking in your area for the Southern Baptist Task Force on Homosexuality.

That's one thing I've learned working in this area of ministry; those who have an accurate, Gospel-centered view of homosexuality tend to stay quiet and live their lives, but those who have judgmental and homophobic views are the ones who speak loudly and are heard the most. Be proactive and be a part of the growing work to change the environment in the Convention concerning this issue.

I did this very thing two years ago. I took my personal conviction and began asking my church to be intentional and proactive in this issue. We began discipleship and accountability groups for people seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle. "Those people" started coming to church, and people in my church talked a big talk about being loving and accepting of "those people"-- until "those people" actually started attending our church and learning and growing in Christ. Having to interact with them challenged some people's hearts and forced them to take a look at their own preconceived notions concerning homosexuals.

If you are the exception to the rule Dr. Mohler declared concerning lying homophobics, I would encourage you to stop having your feelings hurt about it, recognize that you are a grace-filled exception and go out and ACT in love toward both homosexuals and homophobics as loudly as you are talking about Dr. Mohler's statement.

Hopefully this conversation will be short and will be a launch pad to intentional action to prove that we are not, indeed, lying homophobics but are Christ followers who will seek out those living in myriad sexual sin, lead them to Jesus, love them, but also tell them to go and sin no more.

Jack Maddox

Bekah

Without responding to every point you made - some I believe accurate and some I believe as straw men - let me say that the outcry from Peter and others is not concerning AM position or theo/metho logy concerning homosexuality - it is the fact that he used the term "WE have lied" and "Homophobic" and ascribed it to Southern Baptists historic stance. I do not know if that was what he meant and I do not know that these were the best terms to utilize thus why I believe clarification is needed.
Although I understand in essence your position you seem to imply that to take issue with AM is to be homophobic or defensive to the point of being self indicting.

I have a question for you. Would you say the same things and have the same approach to pedophiles? What about habitual rapist? Both are sinful behavior born out of sexual deviancy. Both can often times be attributed to deep rooted psychosis and issues in the lives of those acting out and participating in such behavior. Please do not cite the issue being the law and those being illegal activities - there was a time in our nation when homosexuality was illegal (And technically still is in some places)

The bottom line is that sexual sin and deviancy are very difficult issues to deal with from the standpoint of acceptance. I every case, the sinner needs more than anything, including understanding and acceptance, TRUTH. That the only pathway to freedom is repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Thats a message most people caught up in sexual sin simply do not want to hear.

There is a sense of spiritual arrogance if you will from some that if you are not 'affirming' or 'accepting' or 'targeting' then your homophobic and you need to be more proactive.

I will assure you I need not go to my local gay bar and beckon to the drag queen to come to church with me to prove my love and capacity of mercy to homosexuals. I need to simply preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ - calling all men and women to faith in Christ for the forgiveness of all sin and that through repentance and faith He will save and transform. That is precisely why the drag queen probably will not take me up on my invite if I were to go, because he, like other sinners of every ilk, love their sin more than God and their willingness to simply trust him.

The gospel changes people. That why homosexuals and many GLTG affirming pseudo christian movements reject the biblical gospel - they do not want to change or be changed. Simply put - they love the darkness more than light.

btw - homosexuality should be defined as an act - not a disposition or preference. It is the same for the heterosexual - the sin is not the desire for sexual union but the actual act outside of biblical parameters - so in that sense - yes - it is a choice.

Don't you think?

Jack Maddox

Bekah Mason

Jack,

Excellent question and one I am happy to answer; in short, yes, I believe the grace of God applies to even the rapist and the pedophile, the porn addict, the habitual adulterer. I have seen with my own eyes men and women repent of their sins and through intense times of counseling, hard work, grappling with their own pasts, proclivities and sins have been redeemed from each of those sins as well. I have also seen, sadly, many try in their own power to be good moral people but never allow the Gospel to transform and renew their hearts and minds and have eventually returned to their sin.

You are right to set aside the legality issue; I believe that while sin is forgiven, there are still consequences, both spiritual and physical, for those sins, and if jail time is necessitated by a sin, then a believer should accept that consequence with grace and dignity and use that time and location as a mission field, sharing with others the Gospel that has transformed them.

The defensiveness on all sides of this discussion shows just how sensitive a subject sexuality is, simply because so much of our identity is connected to how we display the image of God through our gender. Any challenge to our own understanding or belief concerning sexuality is uncomfortable because the very subject moves to the core of who we are as image bearers of God.

Two things I would disagree with you about: One is the idea that those who are involved in the homosexual lifestyle stay there because they choose it and they like it. That is not always the case. Many are miserable in their sin, but feel trapped because they have believed the lie that they have no choice and cannot change. So maybe going to gay bar tonight may be an extreme example, but even Jesus occasionally left the synagogues and mountainsides and went to dine with tax collectors and prostitutes.

The belief that if we just faithfully preach the Gospel in the churches and people will flock to hear it if they "really" want to leave their sin is ignorant and unbiblical. I'm not saying that you necessarily believe that intentionally, and walking in on an evangelical "cold call" and issuing a blanket invitation to church will most likely get you laughed out of the bar-- but it's because most of the people there have been rejected in the church and found love and acceptance in that bar.

But perhaps you could go with your wife or several men from your Sunday school class before the bar in your town opens and, once a month, simply offer to pray with the servers and performers, get to know them. Share a meal with them. Ask about their families. Find out how they ended up there. Go to where they are and love them. Then invite them to church when they ask why someone like you, a good church going man, would ever take the time to reach out to someone like them, the rejected lowliest of the low. I know individuals, small groups, churches and parachurch ministries that do that. They don't go in with the "clobber verses" of truth and tell people how wrong their lifestyles are; most of them are well aware of that truth. They go like Jesus, with GRACE and Truth, remembering that it is the kindness of the Lord that leads us all to repentance. Trust me from personal experience; I knew all of the Bible verses that condemn homosexuals to Hell. I'd just never had anyone share with me that love covers a multitude of sins as well.

Was Dr. Mohler's statement a brash generalization? Yes. Has it served its purpose, which, I believe, was to open dialogue on the subject? Most definitely. When it comes down to it, I don't believe that most members of the SBC are intentionally hate filled homophobes. I believe most are just naively ignorant to both the complexity of sin and the scandalous grace that frees us from it. Most don't know many homosexuals and certainly know fewer who would like to leave the lifestyle and be free of the stronghold. Just taking the time to read testimonies and become educated would soften the hearts of many.

Second, as far as limiting the term "homosexuality" to just the sex act is not generally accepted. If Jesus expanded the definition of adultery to include lust of the heart, then attraction to people of the same sex goes beyond merely a sex act as well. I tend to stay away from the term "homosexuality" in my own ministry completely and prefer to use "same-sex attraction" or "gay identifying", but homosexual has been the term used in this comment thread as well as in previous, so I was simply being consistent for the sake of conversation and discussion.

So glad people are talking about this, educating themselves, asking hard questions and sharpening one another! I pray that this will continue and, as conversation continues, a much more open environment will begin to emerge in the church; not one that accepts the sin but one that is willing to walk alongside those who are brokenly and humbly attempting to walk away from it.

Blessings to you all.

Bekah

peter lumpkins

Jack,

First, you write, “Do not drive a wedge where there is no need for one brother.”  Excuse me?  Brother, I can’t read your mind. My comment addressed the words you wrote.

Second, you may may not have meant to imply his platform “the weight of presumed SB thought” but I think your words certainly tilted in that direction. Thanks for clearing that up.

Third, you are the one who explicitly said you thought it a “weak assertion” for agency heads to be “careful what they say” and that you wanted agency heads “speaking freely and with conviction.” Well, the illustration I offered is a perfectly good example of not being careful what one advocates and having the courage to speak freely with conviction. That Mohler did not do so is entirely irrelevant to the point, Jack. To have entity heads as loose guns does not serve Southern Baptists well. They are our employees, serving for a purpose. If Al Mohler wants to give us his vision for SBTS, fine. But he is not our visionary for the SBC, and frankly I think it’s dangerous to allow any entity head to assume such a role. And, please don’t pull the “straw-man” nonsense. I am very much aware of what a “straw-man” is, and I did not offer a “straw-man.” I took your assertion and offered a legitimate example to show how your assertion looks teased out. Not pretty.

Fourth, you suggest Mohler’s position on homosexuality is very well known and you do not see where he has deviated. Well, I am not sure about Mohler’s position now—at least like I was prior to this week.  Nor can you if you listen to what he says—“we’ve lied about the nature of homosexuality…” Unless you know precisely how to discern his position with that statement as the backdrop, I don’t see how you can confidently affirm you know what Mohler believes either—at least not until he helps us understand his obvious blunder.

Fifth, it’s not about “misspeaking” Jack.  He asserts very clearly what he meant.  “Those are not alleged words; those are my words” he indicated. And, no this is not a “blip” in comparison. Get it down—he implicated us as deceivers—intentional channels of wrong views on the nature of homosexuality. That’s not a blip, brother.

Sixth, I don’t know what your point is pertaining to the GLTG.

Seventh, no one can say what Mohler’s position is until he tells us where in the 200 + writings he’s been deceitful and practiced homophobia. And, yes, it strikes a flip flop, Jack, for the simple reason Mohler has never suggested such—ever. If you can find his speaking about evangelicals (SBs) lying and practicing homophobia, then produce it. Otherwise, we’ve got something Mohler has never articulated and something that goes against the grain of his other writings.

With that, I am…

Peter

Bekah Mason

Peter,

Your comments above bring me back to the question I have asked numerous times that you have yet to answer: What is it about Dr. Mohler's statement makes you believe that he has changed his position concerning homosexuality? I just watched your exchange with him again, and he quite clearly expresses that his stance is the same as it has always been: homosexuality is a sin; the Gospel frees us from the condemnation of sin; the church is not fulfilling its mission as the church until there are many more people sitting in church pews each week who have been freed from the stronghold of the sin of homosexuality.

You very clearly asked a question with two points, and he very clearly explained what he meant when meant when he used the terms "lied" and "homophobic".

The lie is old school legalism: behavior modification, "it's wrong, so stop it", simplistic moralism. He was even clear in the fact that we have proclaimed a half truth: We have loudly shouted about 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, making sure everyone knows homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of God, but we have not as equally proclaimed the glorious truth of verse 11: "And such were some of you. But you were washed..."

His "200 plus articles" have addressed homosexuality in general, in the political realm, from a theological standpoint; perhaps the reason that this is the first we've publicly heard about how Dr. Mohler assesses the church's treatment of the issue is that he's never publicly been asked before? Could it not be possible that the man has just never vocalized or published a critique of the church's mishandling of the issue of homosexuality?

While you may not like his commentary on the state of the church and her treatment of homosexuals, I still cannot figure out why you are confused about his stance on homosexuality itself.

Jack maddox

Peter

Thanks for your response. We just differ on this at this point and to go back and forth is really not necessary. Nor do I believe productive. However, as I said before, this story is evolving and I do hope AM clarifies his position.

Praying you have a fruitful Lords day preaching the wonderful gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Blessings my friend

Jack Maddox

Donald Holmes

I am very surprised that Dr. Mohler would say that we (and who are "we" if not the whole SBC?) lied and practice a form of homophobia. The adoption of the term "homophobia" itself is a cultural compromise.

While I basically agree with what Dr. Mohler said in answer to the question, I wish he would have actually answered the question.

What troubles me the most is the "rabid attack dog" response of certain folks. This reminds me of how these same people kept everything stirred up with the Ergan Caner / Liberty University thing a while back; and before that the intentional torpedoing of the Caner/White/Ascol debate that was supposed to happen and all than took place afterwards.

It all just seems wrong. There is some part of this picture that I am not seeing.

Donald

Eric

The bottom line is that Mohler was absolutely on target when he said there is homophobia in the church and that its wrong. He's also right when he points out that its much more than a choice that someone makes. I don't know a single gay person who would choose to be gay. Its time for the pastors and churches to wake up and start ministering instead of constantly condemning.

Nicole

As a person who was kicked out of a Southern Baptist Church for being gay I can say that it is full of homophobes. Why not try practicing the love you preach instead of ostracizing people despite their love for God.

Scott

I apologize for my previous comment. The link was not posted by accident. Everyone check out this link to an article written by Al Mohler in late 2010 concerning the topic of homosexuality and the "form" of homophobia that many Christians seem to practice. Mohler did not say that all Southern Baptists practiced this homophobia, but to deny that it exists is naive and reckless.

http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/10/04/between-the-boy-and-the-bridge-a-haunting-question/

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