Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Southern Baptist Convention & Homosexuality


Recently, the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission met in Nashville TN. I was not at the meetings and therefore can only comment on the reports and quotes that are subsequently being published by those who were there. I must confess that I am not just disappointed by many of the statements that were made, but I want to bring it up a level and ask why such a conference, or dicussion or event if you will, was necessary in the first place. Why should the Church spend time, money, and resoures discussing an issue that has been forever settled (and that without ambiguity) with men who have been busy doing everything they can to completely destroy the very gospel we are supposed to love and are sworn to uphold? Let's establish this truth before we even get into the discussion. And "this truth" is the fact that not every question is morally neutral. Some questions are by nature out of bounds. The proof that I shall offer is located in Romans 9:19. The forbidden question is, "Why does God find fault if no one can resist His decretive will?" Paul informs us that this is a forbidden question because it calls into question the very right of God to carry out his purpose. In other words, the question challenges God's sovereignty. Some questions are simply not permitted. But we are not dealing here with questions are we? No, we are not. We are dealing with men like Matthew Vines who do not have questions.

The "gay-christian" movement does not have questions. One article put it this way when it comes to the disagreement between Southern Baptists and Homosexuals: "No concessions were made, but leaders on both sides expressed surprise at how the two agreed to coexist. Put another way: The old emphasis on “Love the sinner, hate the sin” has become more a version of simply “Love all sinners. Ask questions later.” If you think that those in the "gay-christian" movement are sincere people with sincere questions about the Christian teaching on the subject of gay sex, you are either incredibly naive or woefully deluded. Matthew Vines has written a book on the subject that supposedly answers all the questions anyone ever had and he has set out, all by himself and his massive experience of oh, 25 years living or so to reverse thousands of years of Jewish and Christian sholarship.

“I do want to apologize to the gay and lesbian community on behalf of my community and me for not standing up against abuse and discrimination directed towards you. That was wrong and we need your forgiveness,” said North Carolina megachurch pastor J.D. Greear, drawing applause. Statements like this are just incredibly silly. Apparently, Mr. Greear thinks that his gesture will effect gays enough to make them more open to the gospel and perhaps more likely to repent. Or, perhaps Mr. Greear does not have a biblical view of gay sex? One thing is certain, we can't tell based off statements like this where he stands on the issue of gay sex. It is a red herring statement that seeks avoid the hard issue in the room. What is that issue? What does the Church do with "gay-christians?"

Greear statement may sound pious, and charitible. At a minimum, Mr. Greear's comment has nothing to do with the supposed question facing the committee. Greear went on to say, “We have to love our gay neighbor more than our position on sexual morality.” This is one of the most disturbing statements coming out of the conference. First of all, the Christian position on sexual morality is a position on divine truth. It is a position on the authority of Scripture. It is a position indelibly related to the gospel. It is a position touching of the very nature of the very God Who Himself has redeemed us by the blood of His Son. Mr. Greear seems to think this is a political issue and his theological ignorance and inability to reason from A to B is nothing short of scandelous. Gay sex is revealed in Scripture to be an abomination before God as well as a violation of nature. To use this kind of language with people who are insistent on stubbornly rejecting the revelation of divine Scripture cannt help but reduce and downgrade the vile nature of sexual behavior that even led to the supernatural destruction of cities at the hand of God Himself.

"Even the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., the veteran culture warrior and president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., seemed to have a change in tune, if not an outright change of heart." I cannot judge anything that Dr. Mohler said, but clearly the reporter observed something noticeably different about Mohler's disposition toward homosexuality. That is even more disturbing than Mr. Greear's comments because I would expect a mega-church pastor like Greear to make remarks just like that. Mohler is quoted as saying, “Early in this controversy, I felt it quite necessary, in order to make clear the gospel, to deny anything like a sexual orientation,” Mohler told the crowd. “I repent of that.” To call this sexual orientation is to lend crediblity to the gay argument and to bolster their agenda, not to mention, it does not serve to encouarge those Christians who are still courageous enough to stand firm against the movement. Sexual orientation is nothing more than a sophisticated way of referencing homosexuals who have perverted and unnatural sexual urges. 

Christian ministers should not be in the business of dressing up sin so that our language is less offensive to the offender. Our interest is to accurately describe sin to be precisely what it is, not to soften it up or make it more sophisticated. Are some people born with the unnatural sexual urge of homosexuality? Maybe. I am not a scientist. As a theologian I say the question is irrevelant. It doesn't really matter. That fact does not change the fact that homosexual sex is described is an abomination and a perversion of nature by Scripture. And Scripture's definition and description of homosexual sex is really all that matters. This is why Mohler's comments are so very disappointing and disturbing.

Justin Lee's tweet is the most revealing and very likely reflects the strategy of most of the gay attendees at the conference: Justin Lee Tweet - Frustrated LGBT people at home, please know that I am at #ERLC2014 having as many conversations as I can to bring nuance behind the scenes. 4:05 PM - 27 Oct 2014

Lee's tweet indicates that he had a strategy for attending this conference as is likely the case with most gays. The homosexual does not enter these discussions with pure interests of searching for truth. The homosexual is not interested in the truth because Scripture defines them as natural born enemies of God. They will pervert the truth of God everywhere they come into contact with it. That is what the unregenerate do. Lee was there to influence people, as many as possible, to support the "gay-christian" idea. That was his purpose for being there. That was Matthew Vines purpose for being at the conference. 

The apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." 

Would Paul have invited us to have a conversation on this topic? Do we think any one of the apostles would have been open to a conference that brought together Christians and false believers? Is it okay for us to extend such hospitality to people whose passion, whose number one focus is to change the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ top to bottom by perverting and corrupting the gospel and Christian doctrine and including in the Church a form of sexual behavior that has been recognized by centuries through divine revelation to be an abomination and that, without ambiguity? Paul called them savage wolves. Would a shepherd ever invite savage wolves in among the flock for a discussion about their diet? 

John wrote, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." Homosexual sex is not an issue that is open for discussion. Homosexual marriage is not an issue that is open for discussion. The Church's only response to these quibblers is found in Matt. 18:15-18. They are to be rebuked openly, sharply, and continuously until they repent. They are not part of the Christian community and have no business participating in a discussion that should be between Christians.




5 comments:

  1. Thank you for this, brother. The evangelical mega-church complex realizes that their stance on "gay marriage" or "gay sex" (if they hold to a Biblical viewpoint) is becoming a increasingly hostile position to take in our American culture. SO, many of these mega-churches are going to follow Hillsongs blueprint on how to handle this issue "don't talk about it". Compromise. I imagine that's where most evangelical mega-churches will be in the next 10 years as our culture overwhelmingly embraces this abomination.

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    1. I really love and respect Dr. Mohler. But I fail to see why this conversation is even necessary. I have interacted with numerous gay Christian wannabes. They are not interested in what Scripture has to say. Look at Justin Lee and Matthew Vines. These guys are not ignorant of Scripture. They have rejected it openly, in blasphemous fashion and yet, there we are having private conversations with them...unwittingly granting a level of respectability that they do not deserve. Very troubling. You can bet that John MacArthur, my favorite spokesman for the kingdom would never have done this.

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  2. Interesting blog post!

    You portray the conference as a 'discussion'. Why? My understanding is that it was largely comprised of conservative speakers on a stage, who presented to a mixed audience.

    You ask "Why should the Church spend time, money, and resoures discussing an issue that has been forever settled". Forever settled? Where? How? How can churches support those who have left a gay lifestyle? Where is that question settled? Should someone who has left a gay lifestyle be encouraged to marry someone of the opposite gender? Where is that question settled? Is it a good idea for those who have left a gay lifestyle, to meet together in a support group? Where is that question settled?

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    1. The ambiguity of the conference is as much a problem as the conference. What was the purpose of the conference? Why where Justin Lee and Matthew Vines acknowledged? Why did Mohler meet with Vines in private? Why did a group of gay theology proponents meet in private? The whole idea sends mixed and confusing signals at a time when the Church needs clear direction. That is my criticism. The church can support those who left the gay lifestyle the same as they can support anyone else who left a sinful lifestyle. Why do you lend credence to this notion that same-sex attraction is a different category of sinner? Where is the power of God to provide the power to resist every temptation that we face? Many of the gays at the conference have NO interest in anything but gaining credibility and acceptance within the Church. At a minimum the leaders need to be forthcoming about the purpose of the conference. What is the issue? Gay Christianity is the issue and that question is not one the Church has any business discussing. It's like discussing Islamic Christianity. It is an oxymoron.

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  3. PS - it's unwise to rely on secular media reports about the conference. Be informed from an unbiased source, EG:
    http://erlc.com/conference/liveblog/

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