By now, most know that the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Georgia, in June 2019, passed Resolution 9 that promoted using critical race theory (CRT) and intersectionality (IN) as analytical tools. The premise to legitimize their use was to use them as analytical tools and thereby separate them from their Marxian origin, influence, and usage. To wit, being used as merely analytical tools, we could neutralize or possibly even Christianize them for good. The problem with the premise is that the leading critical race theorists refer to them as analytical tools, and Marxists refer to Marxism as an analytical tool. That is to say, seeing them as analytical tools does not ipso facto sanctify them. Continue reading →
As many know, I am adamantly against Calvinism’s soteriology and have written numerous articles and three books laying out my reasons. I am an Extensivist, which means I believe God’s salvational love extends to every person. Accordingly, he has provided salvation for every person, which they can receive by faith, something that he desires every person would do. Nevertheless, I heartily support Dr. Tom Ascol for President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Continue reading →
Presidential candidate Mike Stone, along with fifty other original signers, will jointly present the following Resolution against the use of critical race theory and intersectionality (CRT/I) at the Southern Baptist Convention, June 13-16, Nashville, Tenn. This Resolution is to be presented in order to repudiate and lessen the damage done by the 2019 Resolution 9, which affirmed CRT/I as supplemental and helpful “analytical tools” to be used along with the Bible in dealing with the race issues of our day.
I am thankful to have been one of the original signatories of this Resolution, and I am grateful for Mike Stone’s biblical, clear, and courageous leadership.
On November 30, 2020, SBC Seminary presidents affirmed that critical race theory (CRT) is incompatible with the Baptist Faith and Message.  While I appreciate their declaration, the message has been inconsistent, particularly from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) where Dr. Moler serves as president, and South Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) where Danny Akin serves as president. I mention only two of my concerns in this article. First, Jarvis Williams, a professor at SBTS, and Curtis A. Woods, a former professor at SBTS, endorse critical race theory. Continue reading →
Dr. Albert Mohler is the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Some of us who have agreed with and supported Dr. Mohler for many years now see an unsettling inconsistency in some of his positions. One is regarding Critical Race Theory (See my bookÂ A Corruption of Consequence,Â chapters 9 and 10), and the other relates to homosexuality. This article addresses what I believe is his dangerous accommodation to homosexuality. Let me first and clearly say that I believe Dr. Mohler emphatically regards homosexuality as a sin. I have seen this expressed in his writings, and I hear this when he speaks as well.
For example, The Nashville Statement, A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality, was drafted in August 2017 as a joint venture of theÂ Council on Biblical Manhood and WomanhoodÂ and theÂ Ethics and Religious Liberty CommissionÂ (ERLC) during an ERLC national conference. Dr. Mohler was an initial signatory along with Denny Burk. Denny Burk commended the 2017 Nashville Statement on biblical sexuality as expressing a more faithful, biblical vision than that of Revoice. Among the Nashville Statementâ€™s affirmations: The adoption of a homosexual or transgender self-conception is inconsistent with Godâ€™s purposes. â€œIn October 2017, Southernâ€™s trustees made The Nashville Statement one of the seminaryâ€™s confessional documents, which all professors are required to affirm.â€
My concerns and questions do not relate to whether Mohler believes homosexuality is a sin, but rather to his unnecessary and confusing language that many homosexuals see as accommodations, a sentiment with which I agree. His message at the 2014 ERLC conference â€œThe Gospel, Homosexuality, and The Future of Marriageâ€ demonstrates excessive hospitality to homosexuality.
Mohler said, â€œI have to say that on a couple of points, I got that wrong, and we have to go back and correct it, correct it by Scripture. Early in this controversy, I felt it quite necessary to make clear the gospel to deny anything like sexual orientation . . . I repent of that. I believe a biblical theological understanding, a robust theological understanding, would point to us that human sexual affective profiles of who we are sexually is far more deeply rooted than just the will if that were so easy. But Genesis 3 explains that, helps us to understand that this complex of same-sex challenges coming to us is deeply rooted in the biblical story itself. Something that we need to take with far greater seriousness than we have taken in the past. Understanding that requires a far more robust gospel response than anything the church has come up with heretofore.â€
His repentance and disavowal of â€œanything like a sexual orientationâ€ garnered such a backlash that he felt compelled to write an article explaining what he meant. On November 13, 2014, Dr. Mohler wrote an article entitled,Â Sexual Orientation and The Gospel of Jesus Christ, in which he said, â€œSubsequent to the conference, it became clear that the vast coverage of the conference in the national press raised some issues that need to be considered further. One of these issues is sexual orientation. As I explained in my address, I had previously denied the existence of sexual orientation. I, along with many other evangelicals, did so because we did not want to accept the sexual identity structure that so often goes with sexual orientation. I still reject that notion of sexual identity. But I repented of denying the existence of sexual orientation because denying it was deeply confusing to people struggling with same-sex attraction.â€
Following are some of my reasons for concern:
For the sake of clarity, notice what he repented of. At the conference, he repented of denying â€œanythingÂ likeÂ a sexual orientationâ€(italics added), whereas, in his article, he said he â€œdenied the existence of sexual orientation.â€ The critical difference lies in the word â€œlike,â€ which makes the actual thing he repented of to be â€œthe existence of sexual orientationâ€ or â€œanything likeâ€ it. To wit, it was more broadly stated than the articleâ€™s phrase indicates. If he provides more clarity on which one he meant, I will accept his word since they are both similarly problematic. For now, I will consider most heavily what heÂ actuallyÂ said in his repentance statement. He deemed that his retraction of a clearly stated six-word position of denying anything like a sexual orientation required a twenty-six-hundred-word article to explain how his reversal did not mean what it seems. That left me wondering what he meant.
Maybe the need for a twenty-six-hundred-word article to explain that what he meant is substantially different than what the homosexuals mean by the term orientation might suggest he has been too hospitable and accommodating to the homosexuals. I wonder if he is willing to repeat this article with his extensive qualification each time he uses the word orientation to avoid confusion and distinguish it from the way it is commonly understood by the homosexual promoters of the concept. Because the understanding of this concept by the homosexual community is the same as virtually all people who are aware of these discussions. For example, the same can be said of the word â€œgay.â€ To repent of saying being gay is sinful according to the Bible would mean that one repented for saying being homosexual is sinful according to the Bible; to argue otherwise breeds confusion, not clarity.
If Dr. Mohler is repentant about denying the concept of sexual orientation as understood by the homosexual community and virtually everyone else, then the clarifying article seems superfluous at best and misleading at worst. If, on the other hand, he did not mean sexual orientation as understood by the homosexual community, then why did he repent over his previous position? What was there to repent of if he meant something entirely different than what the homosexual community means?
Why is there even a need to adopt their termÂ sexual orientationÂ in any sense when the more biblical and unambiguous phrase seems to be that they suffer fromÂ an early onset of homosexual temptation? The Bible uses words such as sin and enslaved (John 8:34), but it does not endorse orientation as understood by homosexuals. It seems the twenty-six-hundred-word article would not have been needed if he had corrected his position as he said he needed to correct it by Scripture. Why even use the words sexual orientation, which is the battle cry of homosexuals, rather than the clear biblical terms related to the grotesqueness of homosexuality such as sin, abomination, detestable, unrighteousness, degrading passions, unnatural, indecent, and enslaved. They would not require a twenty-six-hundred-word clarifier to explain what he meant, which for me was unsuccessful. Maybe it was not because the Bible led to his decision to repent, but rather as he says, â€œBut I repented of denying the existence of sexual orientationÂ because denying it was deeply confusing to people struggling with same-sex attraction,â€ (italics added).
To bolster his case for his adoption ofÂ orientation, he denigrates the idea of homosexuality being a will problem as he seems to have held before his repentance by saying it would point to us that human sexual affective profiles of who we are sexually is far more deeply rooted than just the will if that were so easy. Apparently, he believesÂ orientationÂ (a non-biblical word) makes the issue of homosexuality deeper-seated than if it were a will problem.
From a biblical perspective, this argument does not make sense because man cannot make a spiritually restorative decision or do spiritually good work without Godâ€™s grace since the entirety of man, including his will, is corrupted by the fall (Rom 3:10-18). While man still has libertarian free will, his range of options is less than before the fall. We all recognize that every person is sinful, practices sin, and some sins affect some people more severely than others. Some sins may even affect us from an early age. However, they are still biblically understood as early-onset sinful temptations of a particular sin rather than anÂ orientation. The use of the biblical term, sin, caters to none of the homosexual agenda, nuances, and confusion.
It seems biblical Christianityâ€™s total dependence upon the grace of God teaches us that making righteous choices to move from sin to holiness is not so easy because if it were, we would not need the grace of God to overcome the power of sin. Moreover, remember thatÂ orientationÂ does not connote an inherent deficiency, sinfulness, or need for repentance, whereas the wordÂ sinÂ most certainly does. Why choose such a culturally nondescript word of accommodation like orientation when the biblical words are much clearer? To wit, replacing same-sex attraction or orientation with the biblical concept of sin or early-onset sinful desire does not require an article of clarification, much less one over twenty-six-hundred-words. Moreover, the descriptiveÂ early-onset sinful desiresÂ lead directly to the gospel, whereas orientation leads to human justification, and, therefore, no need for the gospel.
Knowing that Dr. Mohler is a Calvinist makes his repentance seem indefensible and even more confusing. The Calvinist perspective believes in compatible moral freedom, where determinism and moral responsibility are compatible. And man is responsible for his decision if he freely chooses according to his greatest desire even though he cannot choose otherwise in the moral moment of decisionÂ (see my article comparing libertarian and compatible moral freedom)
How can anything become more entrenched than that which God has predetermined a person can only will? It cannot, even though the particular sins with which an individual struggles can most surely be different (1 Cor 6:9-11). Mohler, being a Calvinist and compatibilist, argues for the enslavement of the will, which requires a direct, sovereign, irresistible act of God to liberate, and, therefore, should not be considered something that would be as he says in his repentance, so easy. When he acknowledged being wrong about sexual orientation, he said, We have to correct it by Scripture, but he gave none.
He said in his article, I still reject that notion of sexual identity. But I repented of denying the existence of sexual orientation because denying it was deeply confusing to people struggling with same-sex attraction. Was the change based on Scriptureâ€™s clear support of orientation, or was it to stop the confusion? It seems it was to stop the confusion. Because it seems far better to explain the biblical concept of the will that is corrupted by the fall and under the stronghold of sin, so much so that freedom requires Godâ€™s grace to be set free from the enslavement of sin that eternally separates one from Godâ€™s grace. That message could be given more briefly and biblically than twenty-six-hundred-words (Rom 7:14; 8:13), as I just illustrated. My suggested alternative does not discount the reality of a spiritual battle between the flesh (fallen humanity) and spirit (Rom 7:14-15; Gal 5:16-26). It is to say God has given us the provision of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, and his transforming Word so that we can walk in victory over any sin (Rom 13:14; Eph 1:3; 5:18; Col 1:27).
Dr. Mohler contends that who we are sexually (sexual orientation) â€œis far more deeply rooted than just the will if that were so easy.â€ In his message, he says, â€œBut Genesis 3 explains that, helps us to understand that this complex of same-sex challenges coming to us is deeply rooted in the biblical story itself.â€ This reference to Genesis is not further defined. Nor does he give Scripture, which may have been because of time constraints. But more troubling are these questions: Is not the corruption of the will something deeply rooted in the biblical story? Where is the scriptural reference allowing for the replacement of sin temptation with orientation? Does not the Scripture lay out from start to finish that sin enslaves, all struggle with sin, some struggle with a particular sin, oneâ€™s battle with a particular sin may be greater than another personâ€™s battle with the same sin, and all of us were conceived in sin (Ps 51:5)?
Regarding these â€œsame-sex challenges,â€ he says they are â€œdeeply rooted in the biblical story itself.â€ I agree. Then he says this is something we need to take with far greater seriousness than we have taken in the past. Understanding that requires a far more robust gospel response than anything the church has come up with heretofore. I am baffled. When has the church not understood homosexuality to be deeply embedded in the biblical story, particularly in Genesis 3? We find it embedded in the fall and at various junctures throughout Scripture, always regarded as a sin and yet forgivable (John 3:16). When has the church not been serious about homosexuality? Is this supposed to refer to seeing it as a will problem? If so, I do not think that is not taking it seriously if the corruption of the will, as depicted in Scripture, is understood.
I contend the church has taken it seriously according to Scripture, at least, until the modern-day advancement and successes of the homosexual agenda gaining a foothold. In some places like conservative evangelicalism and the SBC, it has gained a throne. I suggest Dr. Mohler is contributing to this advancement by his acquiescence in adopting the battle cry of homosexuality and transgenderism. Why repent of a scripturally sound position to accommodate homosexual terminology? The biblically weak position of the homosexual agenda is no match for the theologically sound designation that uses language like sin, enslave, unrighteous, and unnatural.
Paulâ€™s words are illuminating. He says, â€œOr do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the Kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our Godâ€ (1 Cor 6:9-11).
First, the sins mentioned are of such seriousness that they keep those who practice them out of the Kingdom. Those whose identity is wrapped up in their sins are included in this list. Second, these particular sins plagued some of the Corinthians, but not all. Others were tormented by different sins not mentioned in Paulâ€™s list, as seen by his words, â€œand such were some of you.â€ Third, verse 11 makes it clear that Godâ€™s grace and salvation can deliver completely, â€œSuch were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.â€ That some do not experience complete freedom is not because of the impotence of Godâ€™s grace and salvation, but rather manâ€™s unwillingness to appropriate Godâ€™s grace and provision (Rom 6:19; Eph 6:10-18). If anyone desires to identify with, live like, or be known for homosexuality, that is sin (Rom 1:24-28).
When we choose to use culturally devised words or words sinners use to euphemize their sins and distance their practice from sin as depicted in Scripture, we have sacrificed a necessary component of speaking the truth in love. We have accommodated their sinful agenda and undermined the Scripture and the gospel. We have thickened their human shield against the sinfulness of their sin. Such is the case with Dr. Mohlerâ€™s compromise in this area, regardless of how vociferously he speaks against homosexuality elsewhere.
 http://www.bpnews.net/51341/lgbt-christians-conf-draws-sbts-erlc-responsesÂ accessed 7/28/18.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx4w6zcuNew&feature=youtu.beÂ accessed 2/21/20.
 https://albertmohler.com/2014/11/13/sexual-orientation-and-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ/Â accessed 2-20-20.
 https://albertmohler.com/2014/11/13/sexual-orientation-and-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ/Â accessed 2-20-20
Dr. JD Greear serves as pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Greear promotes the use of transgender preferred pronouns. He said, “When we apply Paul’s linguistic approach to the pronouns we use about transgender people, I believe we arrive at a posture of pronoun hospitality: a willingness to accommodate the pronouns of our transgender neighbors regardless of our own views about the Christian ethics of gender identity.” He based this on Acts 17.
On January 19, 2019, he preached a sermon entitled How The Fall Affects Us. While he did speak about homosexuality in a manner that leaves him able to defend himself against charges of not believing homosexuality is sin, we can say he worked arduously, both directly and indirectly, at minimizing homosexuality’s sinfulness as depicted in Scripture. (See my blog, Subjective Transgenderism Contradicts Scripture.) Continue reading →
This is the first article in this series on The Homosexual Compromise.
Some of our leaders and well-known Bible teachers in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) display an excessive, and I believe, unbiblical willingness to accommodate the homosexual agenda. This unwise adjustment in their language and position furthers the quest of homosexuals, which is ultimately to be accepted into conservative Christianity. Their significant inroads into cultural normalcy and notable acceptance within Christianity have been gained by sheer tenacity, as they press toward their goals incrementally. I think some of our leaders are either wittingly or unwittingly facilitating the full acceptance of homosexuality. I do need to say, at the time I am writing this article, those I mention do in various places either emphatically proclaim homosexuality as a sin or maintain that sexual relations are only permissible in a heterosexual marriage.
Homosexuals journey to full acceptance by conservative Christianity can be seen in the work of Revoice. Revoiceâ€™s vision says, â€œRevoice exists because we want to see gay, lesbian, bisexual, and other same-sex-attracted people who adhere to historic, Christian teaching about marriage and sexual expression flourish in their local faith communities. We envision a unified Church where these individuals can be transparent with their faith communities about their orientation and experience; where local churches utilize and celebrate the unique opportunities that lifelong celibate people have to serve others; where Christian leaders boast about the faith of people who are living a sacrificial obedience for the sake of the Kingdom; and where all people regardless of their orientation or experience are welcomed into the lives of families so that all can experience the joys, benefits, and responsibilities of kinship.â€
I am grateful that Revoiceâ€™s website recognizes marriage is between a man and a woman for life, sex is only right between a husband and wife, and those who are not in such a relationship are to live celibate lives. Nevertheless, we cannot let those affirmations mask the dangers posed by Revoice. What is (among other things) particularly troubling and unacceptable is Revoiceâ€™s frequent use ofÂ sexual orientationÂ to characterize the desire for same-sex relationships, and their constant emphasis on those with such desires (orientation) finding their identity in their sin and Christ.
For example, on Revoiceâ€™s website, under the section,Â Statement on Sexual Ethics and Christian Obedience,Â they say, â€œWhile discussions about terminology can be fruitful, we believe they can also cause unnecessary division within the family of God and needless pain for many non-straight Christians. Whether individuals choose gay or same-sex-attracted to describe their orientation and experience is a matter of wisdom and liberty and should not divide believers who otherwise share a commitment to historic Christian teaching about marriage and sexuality. (2 Tim. 2:14)â€Â But the reality is that their chosen descriptors have significant differences in meaning and connotation than the biblical terms. The evidence that they know this too is obvious in their choice of terms such as â€œgayâ€ or â€œsame-sex-attractedâ€ and â€œorientation.â€ If they were not seeking to distance their desires and behaviors from Scripture, why not use biblical designations like homosexual, sin, enslavement, or early-onset sin rather than orientation?
In contrast to â€œgayâ€ or â€œsame-sex-attracted,â€ the biblical word homosexuality captures the constellation of sinful desires and actions. It immediately exposes the sinfulness of seeking toÂ identify with oneâ€™s sexual sin rather than with the Savior alone. Any attempt to identify as a Christian as well as with oneâ€™s sin conflicts with Scripture.Â It seems that terms such as â€œgay,â€ â€œsame-sex-attracted,â€ and â€œsexual orientationâ€ are so far from the message of Scripture (Gen 19:1-29; Lev 18:2-3; 18:24; 20:23; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10), that adopting such terms to replace biblical terms immediately raises the question, Why? I can think of no sound biblical reasons. Regarding what seems to be obvious, Nathaniel Sullivan warns, â€œRevoice is a movement to merge a gay identity with a Christian identity and to urge the church to accept and appreciate same-sex attracted or â€œgayâ€ Christians and the contributions they can make as â€œgay Christiansâ€ to the body of Christ.â€
I accept the claims of each of the people in this series of articles regarding their belief in the sinfulness of homosexuality, transgenderism, or their stated biblical views of marriage. I am not disputing the truthfulness of their direct claims. I take them at their word as Christian brothers and sisters. I am, however, challenging the wisdom of their adoption of the positions and language homosexuals use to advance a homosexual agenda. Particularly since the biblical message speaks clearly about the sinfulness of homosexuality rather than masking it with terms like â€œgay,â€ â€œsame-sex-attracted,â€ and â€œorientation.â€
I also challenge the legitimacy and helpfulness to the cause of Christ when some give indirect answers to precise questions regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality. I contend these leaders have made biblically unwarranted concessions to the homosexual community. These accommodations encourage homosexuals and facilitate their quest for full acceptance within evangelicalism generally and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in particular while also spiritually harming them by a lack of biblical clarity.
I will include the following people in these articles: Beth Moore, a well-known Bible teacher, Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, Dr. J.D. Greear, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
 Revoice 2020 conference under â€œAboutâ€Â https://revoice.usÂ accessed 2-23-20; PCA Presbytery rejects Revoice Conference,Â https://www.christianpost.com/news/pca-presbytery-rejects-revoice-conference-not-safe-guide-gender-sex.htmlÂ accessed 2-23-20.
 https://revoice.us/about/our-beliefs/statements-of-conviction/statement-on-sexual-ethics-and-christian-obedience/Â accessed 3-20-20.
 See Article 10, 12, and 13 of the Nashville Statement,Â https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement, accessed 3-21-20.
 A Course Change that Always Will Lead to Disaster, Part 3, accessed2/20/20.
I intend for this article to take some difficult concepts of Critical Theory (CT), Critical Race Theory (CRT), and Intersectionality (IN) under the rubric of Cultural Marxism (CM) and to briefly make them a little more understandable. We must seek to understand these deadly concepts because they have moved from secular academia and the identity politics of Democrats to evangelicalism and the SBC.
Here are a couple of emphases and outcomes of these ideas. Continue reading →
I have written and spoken about the many fruits that still exist from Godâ€™s Conservative Resurgence which restored the primacy of the inerrant Scripture in and throughout all of our Southern Baptist entities. I have also written and spoken in a series In Defense of Godâ€™s Order and the Gospelâ€”about the present peddling of destructive ideas such as social justice, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, feminism, women preachers and prophetesses in the local church, Me Too excessive right by might, reducing biblical complementarianism to soft complementarianism (or one could say soft egalitarianism) and obscuring the unambiguous message and language regarding homosexuality and gender fluidity. Continue reading →
On February 2, I will start a Sunday morning sermon series entitled In Defense of God’s Order and the Gospel. I am an expositor in both heart and practice. For the past three years, I have been preaching through Matthew, and we are starting chapter 17. But I believe the current direction of the SBC presents a clear and present danger to God’s divine order and the purity of the gospel; therefore, as a shepherd charged by the Great Shepherd with protecting the flock, I must speak (Acts 20:28-30; 1 Tim 1:18-20). Continue reading →