Saturday, January 12, 2013


Have You No Sense of Decency?

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is whining about Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio withdrawing and/or being disinvited from giving the benediction at President Obama's second Inaugural.
The imbroglio over Louie Giglio is the clearest evidence of the new Moral McCarthyism of our sexually "tolerant" age. During the infamous McCarthy hearings, witnesses would be asked, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?"

In the version now to be employed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the question will be: "Are you now or have you ever been one who believes that homosexuality (or bisexuality, or transsexualism, etc.) is anything less than morally acceptable and worthy of celebration?"
Of course, the analogy is ridiculous. Giglio is in no danger of being blackballed from his chosen profession or being held in contempt of Congress if he doesn't rat on other pastors who think LGBT people are not "morally acceptable." The Inauguration is a political event and the President has every right to insist that the speakers reflect his personal and political objectives. As the Inaugural Committee stated concerning whoever eventually delivers the benediction, "we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration's vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans." If Mohler thinks that's wrong, I'm sure he'll demonstrate his commitment to inclusiveness by inviting Dan Savage to give the next commencement speech at the SBTS.

But it's not like Mohler is any great admirer of Giglio. Quoting Giglio's withdrawal statement, Mohler says:
"Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ."
A fair-minded reading of that statement indicates that Pastor Giglio has strategically avoided any confrontation with the issue of homosexuality for at least fifteen years. The issue "has not been in the range of my priorities," he said. Given the Bible's insistance that sexual morality is inseparable from our "ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ," this must have been a difficult strategy. It is also a strategy that is very attractive to those who want to avoid being castigated as intolerant or homophobic. As this controversy makes abundantly clear, it is a failed strategy. Louie Giglio was cast out of the circle of the acceptable simply because a liberal watchdog group found one sermon he preached almost twenty years ago. If a preacher has ever taken a stand on biblical conviction, he risks being exposed decades after the fact. Anyone who teaches at any time, to any degree, that homosexual behavior is a sin is now to be cast out. ...

That is the quintessential Christian Gospel. That is undiluted biblical truth. Those words are the consensus of the Church for over 2,000 years, and the firm belief held by the vast majority of Christians around the world today.
Not so fast! A new poll from LifeWay Research, which was founded by the Southern Baptist Convention itself, shows that just over a third of Americans view homosexuality as a sin, down from 44 percent just a year ago.
LifeWay's survey in November found 37 percent said they believe homosexual behavior is a sin, down from 44 percent in September 2011.

The percentage of Americans who do not believe homosexuality is a sin remained nearly the same, at 43 percent in September 2011 and 45 percent in November 2012. There was an increase in the percentage of those who said they were unsure of what they believe.
The "vast majority" of Americans identify as "Christians" and they do not agree that homosexuality is, in fact, a sin as a matter of "undiluted biblical truth." Now, Mohler may equivocate about "True ChristiansTM" the way McCarthy talked about "True AmericansTM," but the poll shows that Mohler's real complaint is that he knows the power of conservative Christians to demonize whoever they despise is slipping away and that, instead, Americans are now turning their collective backs on those who would demonize others.

It must be uncomfortable to realize that people are turning against your attempts to turn people against those who have done them no harm.

Update: Jason Rosenhouse has more on the Righteous Right's pearl clutching over their homophobia not being accepted across the board.

I wonder how many of those fine Christians who are so insistent about upholding Old Testament morality observe this injunction:

The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.' (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

I wonder what Albert Mohler does on his Sundays.
I'm sure he sits around in the dark or hires a heathen to turn on the lights.
Saturday, not Sunday, is what the Bible says. So you can watch your NFL (except for problems with the playoffs).
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