This article addresses an issue arising from the Southern Baptist Convention's ERLC1 conference "The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage," held in Nashville, October 2014.
Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler addressed more than 1,000 evangelical pastors and others attending the three-day conference hosted by the SBC's Ethics & religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, stated that he was wrong years ago when he said same-sex attraction could be changed.2With Al Mohler's track record of movement toward New Evangelicalism* (see below) there is the possibility of another compromise of Scripture in the making. Does anybody sincerely believe that Mohler's statement that he was wrong about same-sex attraction could be changed will be as far as the SBC goes on the homosexuality issue?** In my opinion, this is simply the first of what will be a series of incremental steps, over a long period of time, toward increasing tolerance for homosexuality in the church.
In a previous article, from the Nashville convention, it was reported that,
"[Matthew] Vines met privately with Mohler, who had written an e-book response to Vines, titled "God and the Gay Christian?" Both men said the meeting was a cordial discussion of Scripture and they planned to stay in touch. Separately, about two dozen Christian advocates for gay acceptance and evangelical leaders who participated in the conference also met privately Monday night. Participants agreed they would not comment afterward."3Met privately, no comment afterward, more dialogue to come. The Bible is very explicit (1 Cor. 5:1-5; Rom. 1:26-28; Rom. 16:17-18; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thess. 4:3; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15). Yet, Al Mohler, as has been his pattern, will dismiss, ignore these God-given mandates. Instead Mohler will keep up a dialogue where there should be none other than to plead with the LGBT participants to recognize the authority of God, see their lifestyle as He does, and call on them to repent of it.
Why does this matter to Independent Fundamental Baptists?
Because there are men in IFB circles who for years have been "heaping lavish praise" on the so-called "conservative" evangelicals, especially Al Mohler. With essentially no warnings whatsoever of the serious doctrinal and practical pitfalls of the evangelicals Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran (among others) have encouraged learning from, attending the conferences of and cooperative ministry with "conservative" evangelicals, including, but not limited to Al Mohler, John Piper and Mark Dever. Instead of at least offering serious cautions along with their lavish praise for evangelicals Bauder, Doran and the pseudo-fundamentalist Sharper Iron site have ignored, tolerated, allowed for or excused virtually every doctrinal aberration, ecumenical compromise and cultural relativism.
Bauder and Doran hold up the star personalities of evangelicalism as examples to emulated. Under the guise of a so-called "separation in academic contexts" we have seen scores of younger men encouraged to neuter, water down or dismiss the doctrine of biblical separation for the sake of cooperation with compromising evangelicals. Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, et., al. have by their own example encouraged the next generation to cooperate with evangelicals, and thereby tragically put them on the road toward New Evangelicalism.
Pastors, Christians in leadership in the church, school, homes: The apostle Paul's admonition to the Ephesians elders is as practical and timely today as it was to the first century church, and I close with his admonition.
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears," (Acts 20:28-31).Yours faithfully,
Just days before the SBC's conference on homosexuality Al Mohler, on behalf of the SBC, received as a gift the former Northland Baptist Bible College (NIU). Very sad. See, Northland Joins Southern: Culmination of a Modern Day Tragedy.
*Al Mohler sat as Chairman for the 2001 Billy Graham Crusade in Louisville, KY.
Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration, and never repented of it
Al Mohler in Cooperative Ministry with Rick Warren
Al Mohler Joins Hands with the Mormon Church
**I have no dogmatic position on whether same-sex attraction can be changed, I don't know.
1) ERLC: Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
2) News Now: Where are Southern Baptist Leaders Headed re: Homosexuality?
3) News Now: Southern Baptists tell pastors: Hold Line on Gays