Last year, on February 9, 2012, Gerald Harris Editor of the Georgia Baptist state paper–The Christian Index–penned an article that Baptist Press (BP) used to allow various people to respond. The article at Baptist Press, along with those who responded, seemed to take issue with the Georgia Editor’s charge of New Calvinism being the focus in various entities of the SBC.
The BP journalist appears to have directly spoken with only, Dr. Al Mohler, Dr. Danny Akin, and Marty King. The rest of her sources were from written statements sent to her or blogs on the Internet.
Dr. Ed Stetzer’s blog is quoted in the BP article and he charges Harris with falling into the trap of using Calvinism as “the new Baptist bogeyman”
Marty King is quoted concerning the Gospel Project when he charges that Harris gave “false accusations without offering any evidence of their truthfulness.”
Posted by Tim Rogers on February 5, 2013
Posted in Announcement
When March comes around I look forward to attending this conference at North Metro First Baptist Church, Atlanta. What a great line-up of speakers. Notice the mix of young and older men of the faith. Not only that but notice the scholarship that is representative. One thing I appreciate about Dr. Vines conference’s is that he mixes scholarship with the passion of preaching. Not one of these speakers will deliver “a talk”. These speakers will be bringing the Word of God from a heart of passion for the Word they are delivering.
I think I have only had one post in the past of my predictions for the upcoming year. They were so bad that year that I decided myself and predictions did not have that much in common. Well, after a hiatus of predictions I have decided to give it another shot.
SBC Predictions–We have seen much in the past that really is shocking and some other things that is not so shocking.
Fred Luter will be re-elected in Houston. I know that was easy but I have to start with something that is a sure thing.
Dr. Al Mohler will either be the main author or a co-author of the statement that will come from the Page Commission on Calvinism. Read more
Christmas every year provides for me and huge struggle. I do not know what to get for the staff that faithfully serves along with me and the deacons that honor me in allowing me to minster. This year I found something that will be a great gift. With that said I encourage each one who reads this blog to consider this devotion book by Dr Vines. Dr. Vines is one that has led us faithfully and we certainly are grateful for his leadership. I ordered 15 of these books as they are certainly a great gift to distribute to those that desire that little extra that many do not have. Dr. Vines book will not disappoint. I praise God for Dr. Vines and his ministry as it continues in his winter years but he also has the heart of a spring chicken as he still burns hot to see the lost come to know the Savior.
For David Green, Founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, the fight is on to protect his conscious when it comes to the unborn of his employees. He is not fighting to keep his employees from having health care, he is fighting to keep from paying for his employees to prematurely end the life of a child by providing the morning-after and week-after abortifacient as part of his federal government employer mandated health care. On November 19, 2012 a Federal Judge denied his request to halt the federal mandate. You can read the rest of the story.
For Immediate Release: November 19, 2012 Media Contact: Emily Hardman, email@example.com, 202.349.7224
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a federal court denied a request to halt enforcement of the abortion pill mandate which forces the Christian-owned-and-operated Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., to providethe “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to $1.3 million dollars per day.
“We disagree with this decision and we will immediately appeal it,” says Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs. The Green family needs relief now and we will seek it immediately from the federal appeals court in Denver.”
The court did not question that the Green family has sincere religious beliefs forbidding them from participating in abortion. The court ruled, however, that those beliefs were only “indirectly” burdened by the mandate’s requirement that they provide free coverage for specific, abortion-inducing drugs in Hobby Lobby’s self-funded insurance plan.
Founded in an Oklahoma City garage in 1972, the Green family has grown Hobby Lobby from one 300-square-foot retail space into more than 500 stores in 41 states. “It is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured,” said David Green, Founder and CEO. “Therefore we seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
Hobby Lobby is the largest and first non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the HHS mandate. The Green family has no moral objection to the use of preventive contraceptives and will continue covering preventive contraceptives for its employees. However, the Green family’s religious convictions prohibit them from providing or paying for the abortion-inducing drugs, the “morning after” and “week after” pills, which would violate their most deeply held religious belief that life begins at conception.
The business’s lawsuit acts to preserve its right to carry out its mission free from government coercion.
There are now 40 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate, and along with Hobby Lobby represents: Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, and Ave Maria University.
While I am not interested in allowing a Donald Trump to make the decisions of the country, I feel we are witnessing a huge socialization of America. If a company decides it is not going to provide a service for its employees let the public decide about the goods and services of the company. It is funny that pro-choice leaders want to limit the choices of others.
The Hobby Lobby owners are taking the bible serious and it is refreshing to see another company stand on biblical principles. David Green, Founder and CEO, has written an open letter and placed it on FaceBook. He encouraged the social media to pass it around as his company is challenging the Obama administration requiring companies to provide abortifacient drugs in their health insurance plans. You can read the USA Today coverage of this along with the 139 comments from their readers. Or you can read the open letter in its entirety below.
A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word. From there,Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.
We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage. Read more
This past election results revealed the slippery slope concerning the moderate use of the legal drug alcohol. According to some a principle of interpretation for scripture depends on if the bible prohibits it. If there is no prohibition of scripture then a Christian is able to take part in the activity.
Dr. Al Mohler is on record advocating the scriptures do not advocate abstinence. Dr. Danny Akin has also advocated the scripture does not advocate abstinence to beverage alcohol, but makes a scriptural argument for abstinence based on wisdom. Dr. JD Grear also advocates the Bible does not prohibit the social use of beverage alcohol but takes the same abstinence position as Dr.Akin. The arguments for those who usually advocate the biblical allowance for the social use of beverage alcohol is a simple one. John the Baptist was one who was a teetotaler while Jesus was one that imbibed in the social use of beverage alcohol.
Enter the new laws passed in this past election concerning the use of cannabis–for recreational use in Colorado and Washington–for medicinal use in Massachusetts. Ed Gogek has an editorial in the New York Times that reveals interesting statistics concerning this “medical” use of cannabis. Gogek gives clear indication that “medical” cannabis is not used primarily for treating those with cancer to enable them to eat more, but to anyone that claims pain. Gogek elaborates:
Almost all marijuana cardholders claim they need it for various kinds of pain, but pain is easy to fake and almost impossible to disprove. In Oregon and Colorado, 94 percent of cardholders get their pot for pain. In Arizona, it’s 90 percent. Serious illnesses barely register.
We in North Carolina feel immune to such issues however, something that slid under the radar of many North Carolinian’s was the Democratic state party in June. Fresh off defeat of the Democrat Party’s push to defeat a constitutional amendment to define marriage the Democratic party met in June, 2012 and placed a number of resolutions before the group. There was a resolution to repeal the constitutional amendment but there was another resolution that really did not get that much coverage in North Carolina. The other resolution that passed was one concerning medical cannabis.
After reading various blogs by Southern Baptists and trying to follow the stances of various others it is clear, I believe, that we are about to lose our stand on the truths of Mormonism. As a matter of full disclosure I want to begin this article by saying two things. First, I voted for Mitt Romney in our Presidential Elections. This is a matter of personal preference not a stance as the pastor of the church I serve. Second, one of my uncles, after his first wife died, married a woman who was a Mormon. Thus, I have been exposed to their doctrine on a personal level as well as on a theological level in my studies and research.
After following these exchanges I began to contemplate the position that we should take as a convention. I believe Brother Peter along with Dr. Stetzer gave us truth concerning the direction we need to be moving but I believe they concede too much. Brother Peter concedes the use of the term cult because of the nuanced language that is being used. Dr. Stetzer concedes using the term for what seems to be pragmatic reasons. However, elements from both Lumpkins and Stetzer should be taken into consideration as we move forward in this debate and ultimately as a convention. Dr. Stetzer presents us with foundational truths that are theologically pragmatic in his blog article. While Dr. Barber would agree with Stetzer concerning winning people to Christ and he would also caution against a softer, kinder, gentler language with dealing with false doctrine.
Having said that I spoke with Dr. Dwight McKissic concerning the 2013 convention in Houston. It seems that a resolution would be the appropriate response to this in the convention. Certainly no one would say that Mormonism and the Branch Davidians are the same. However, they are still a cult. Thus, we need to clearly be on record expressing the heretical views of the Mormons but without lumping them in with the Cultist leaders of David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson.
While Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) is not part of the Southern Baptist Convention it seems by the way their issues are proceeding there are questions that need answers for Southern Baptists. If the Trustees at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) do not get answers and publicly assure Southern Baptists that our mother seminary has no affiliation with SGM then questions will come during Dr. Mohler’s report. Why are answers needed? Just a cursory glance at the moves made by SGM in the last year call into question the relationship with SBTS and if the lawsuits already in place will extend into SBTS and her faculty.
One thing, I am told, the legal system looks for is the deepest pockets. Lawyers will identify those involved around various legal issues, not by looking at personal involvement, but looking at bank accounts. If the bank account is deep enough then the personal involvement is looked at and determined if a link can be made. According to the following video Dr. Al Mohler is certainly involved with and supporting C.J. Mahaney.
Dr. Mohler is not just heaping praises but is in total support even after charges were leveled against C.J. Mahaney. If it can be proven that Mahaney is making decisions based on counsel and the advice of Dr. Mohler then it is “Katie bar the door”.
If I were a trustee at SBTS I would start by bringing a motion before the trustees. That motion would direct our President, through SBTS’s legal counsel, to contact Susan Burke informing her there was neither counsel nor connection with SGM. SBTS needs to get in front of this issue. SGM moved its headquarters to Louisville, Kentucky in order to affiliate in some ways with SBTS. Notice the statement SGM made in their public announcement about their move:(link)
The proximity to Southern Seminary allows us to upgrade our academic offerings, including opportunities for collaboration and potential transfer credit toward a Masters degree….
As noted above, we are excited about opportunities this will afford us to collaborate with Southern Seminary, which will only enhance our program and facilitate further training for our students and pastors. The Leadership Team will communicate more details in coming weeks…..
SGM has repeatedly denied the allegations being made but as the allegations continue to come forth it is time for SBTS to implement damage control. SBTS needs to distance itself from Mahaney and SGM until this smoke settles. From the blog posts of former SGM board member and Covenant Life Church staff member, Brent Detwiler, the smoke will not settle because it it an indication of fire. You can read the charges legally presented here.
If the allegations are proven true, then Dr. Mohler must be reprimanded by the Trustees for publicly defending Mahaney. If the allegations are proven false, then we need to affirm Mahaney and publicly encourage him in his ministry. However, until these charges are resolved, SBTS needs to do all she can to distance herself from SGM.