Al Mohler is the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention). Mohler writes; Homosexuality as Dividing Line — The Inescapable Issue. This is all about the vote of the SBC executive committee to declare that the New Heart Community Church of La Mirada, California “does not presently meet the definition of a cooperating church.”
Being a conservative Christian means that you allow others (and their interpretation of scripture) to make a number of decisions for you about how you should think and what you should do. One willingly cedes any critical thinking that they might do to a third party. One willingly surrenders their intellect to a group of pastors who relinquish their intelligence to what they believe is a literal interpretation of scripture. All of the their thinking is done within predetermined (and arbitrary) boundaries. Mohler’s “dividing line” is nothing more than the opinions of others.
The pastor of New Heart Community Church, Danny Cortez, reached a conclusion: “I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality.” When he told his 15-year old son, the kid came out to him. His church became LGBT affirming which caused some of his parishioners to leave. Those who stayed were free to decide for themselves how they felt about homosexuality. Imagine that. They could now think for themselves.
For the first time in their lives, some of these people enjoyed some intellectual curiosity and an analysis of the available information regarding sexual orientation. Mohler calls this a “third way.” Allowing parishioners to think for themselves is a seismic event in Mohler-world.
Al Mohler likes simplistic absolutes:
Consider this — the only way to construct a “third way” is to suggest
that one can allow for the affirmation of homosexuality without
affirming it. That simply does not work. To allow the affirmation is to
The third way disappears very quickly when the church has to decide
if it will recognize or celebrate a same-sex marriage. There is no third
way when that decision arrives, and there are limitless decisions that
will eventually have to be made.
How did we get from accepting gay people to marriage equality? Welcoming gay parishioners and not damning them as evil perverts does not mean that the church has to consecrate same-sex marriages. It would be nice if they did but these are two separate issues.
Again, Mohler resorts to the simplistic:
The issue is now inescapable for every congregation, every
denomination, every seminary, and every Christian organization. The
question will be asked and some answer will be given. When the question
is asked, any answer that is not completely consistent with the church’s
historical understanding of sexual morality and the full affirmation of
biblical authority will mean a full embrace of same-sex behaviors and
same-sex relationships. There is no third way, and there never was.
It never dawns on Mohler, not for a second, that Pastor Cortez might be on the correct path. Mohler lacks the intellectual introspection to come to any conclusions on his own. In his case he surrenders his intellectual independence to the Southern Baptist Convention. This is how imbeciles like Paul Cameron get traction. Elsewhere, Cameron is relegated to the status of crackpot.
At its fundamental fundamentalist core is the idea that their god created only male and female heterosexuals. The scientific fact that gender and sexual orientation are both continua is irrelevant. Gay people simply have a bad habit. Transgender people are confused. They seem to have gotten past the belief that Earth is the center of the universe. Yet many of these folks believe that Earth has only existed for about 6,000 years. They also stopped stoning insolent children and brides who aren’t virgins a few years ago. Nor do they sell their daughters into slavery, at least not that I know of.
It is the logical fallacy of ignoring evidence that does not support their point of view and it amounts to selective observation. Mohler lives in a world without certain variables. If nothing else, the slavish devotion to ancient texts creates a rather uninteresting way to live. Take away those texts and it becomes patently obvious that these are ignorant fools.
Meanwhile, in other news today an Oklahoma pastor was given a second chance by his congregation after they met Wednesday night to vote on allowing him to stay as senior leader despite being accused of allegedly embezzling nearly $1 million from church funds. Reverend Willard Jones, pastor of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in Tulsa and founder of the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project , is charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return. Despite the allegations, the majority still want him on the pulpit.
I cannot be the only person to recognize the hypocrisy. The SBC will take no adverse action against this church.