Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Why Celebrate America this Sunday in Church?

Oh, wonderful July! Fireworks, barbecues, and community parties welcome this hot summer month. My heart beats with pride as I listen to patriotic music. I recently added two new CD’s to my patriotic collection: American Jubilee by the Cincinnati Pops and For God and Country by Dolly Parton. How wonderful to be an American and live in the land of the free.

My wife and I try to instill in our children a taste of the incredible heritage we have as citizens of the United States of America. That heritage is one to be embraced and valued. A careful look at our Founding Fathers and their documents reveal an overwhelming bias toward biblical Christianity.

Fifty-five delegates attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which produced the Constitution of the United States. The religious sympathies of this core group of men shaped the foundations of our republic: 28 Episcopalians, eight Presbyterians, seven Congregationalists, two Lutherans, two Dutch Reformed, two Methodists, two Roman Catholics, one unknown, and only three deists. So, 93 percent of the attendees were self-proclaimed Christians.

The American Patriot’s Bible shares, “While much has been written in recent years to try to dismiss the fact that America was founded upon the biblical principles of Judeo-Christianity, all the revisionism in the world cannot change the facts. Anyone who examines the original writings, personal correspondence, biographies, and public statements of the individuals who were instrumental in the founding of America will find an abundance of quotations showing the profound extent to which their thinking and lives were influenced by a Christian worldview.”

High View of God

America’s Founders shared a high view of the Lord.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, “With us, Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people our institutions did not presuppose Christianity and did not often refer to it and exhibit relations with it.” 

And U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote, “One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations.”

Strong Belief in the Bible

The New England Primer, America’s first textbook, taught the ABCs to children by memorizing basic biblical truths and lessons about life: "A. In Adam’s fall, we sinned all. B. Heaven to find, the Bible mind. C. Christ crucified for sinners died. The Founding Fathers stressed the relationship between a sound education based upon biblical absolutes and the future of the nation." 

Noah Webster wrote, “The moral principles and precepts found in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.” 

In 1791, Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration and Constitution, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, and leading educator, argued why the Bible should never be removed from public education: “In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them.” 

In his Essays, Literary, Moral & Philosophical, he wrote, “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.”

George Washington, addressing the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1789 shared that national morality could not prevail without religious principle.  To try and remove the religious influence is to “shake the foundation of the fabric” of our country.

Chief Justice John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Vice-President of the American Bible Society, understood this reality.  He wrote, Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. 

Many years later, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, shares in his book A Nation Like No Other, “The Founders’ distinctively Christian faith is well documented, as is their conviction that government must be infused with Christian principles.”

Judeo-Christian Ethic

The Founding Fathers’ documents shaped the genesis of this nation, springing from a common understanding, or what we today call “worldview,” of how the Creator designed life to work. This approach to life is known  as the Seven Principles of the Judeo- Christian Ethic, rooted in values from the Old and New Testaments.

1. The dignity of human life. God made every person in His image, and thus every human has certain “unalienable rights.”

2. The traditional monogamous marriage. The biblical family unit is the basic building block of our society.

3. A national work ethic. Working hard represents dignity, and our free enterprise system encourages it.

4. The right to a God-centered education. Our forefathers intended an education system that taught the Bible, Creationism, and moral obligation.

5. The Abrahamic Covenant. Covenantal theology understands that obedience to God yields blessing for a nation or individual.

6. Common decency. America is great when her people follow the Golden Rule, treating others as they want to be treated.

7. Divinely ordained establishments. God established the home, civil government, and the church.

The founders of America understood the constitutions, laws, and agreements of federal and state governments depended on the acceptance of these basic ethics.


Remember Correctly

It grieves me the more I hear pastors who do not want to include patriotism in their churches. 

I believe the church is the best place to celebrate and remember our national heritage. To let our great American special days pass by hardly recognized by the local church is an opportunity lost.

In years past, Baptist congregations celebrated our nation’s birthday with gusto. Churches like First Baptist Jacksonville, Florida, Belleview Baptist Church in Memphis, First Baptist Columbia, SC, First Baptist Atlanta, First Baptist Dallas, TX, and Thomas Road Baptist Church enjoyed extravagant God and Country services, recognizing our Armed Forces, saluting the flag, and singing good old American songs.

You can watch the "Look Up, America" celebration from First Jacksonville in July, 1986, here.

Today, some Christians call such celebrations bordering on idolatry, and a growing number of pastors shy away from including God and Country in our worship gatherings.

The Old Testament Law and Prophets repeatedly warned of the tendency to forget – or to not remember correctly. In different eras, generations arose that forgot their heritage and did not remember what God had said or done.

Today in America, we face a growing tendency to forget our godly, Chrisitan heritage – and to not remember our history correctly. The Left consistently libels America as fundamentally flawed, racist, and in need of massive change. They perpetuate the lie that to remember our Founding Fathers is "structural racism" - another attempt from the Left to reshape our thinking. And I believe the Left is not only influencing the world wrongly – but parts of the church.

July 4th, among other American holidays like Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day, are opportunities ripe for teaching and remembering correctly. It is a time to remind ourselves and our congregations of the Christian foundation upon which we stand. Take the time to remind people that Christianity is one of the main reasons America became great.

And, it's a time to call God's people to return to God on behalf of the nation in repentance and faith.

David Lane recently wrote, “Secularism was inaugurated as America’s official religion by eight U.S. Supreme Court Justices in the mid-20th century. And with that they tore down the American Founders’ Christian bulwark of liberty and autonomy that had been responsible for 350 remarkable years of American history.”

If the church refuses to celebrate our covenantal national heritage and leaves it to the secular world, we abdicate our responsibility and privilege to remember and pass on those foundational concepts to others. And the country will continue remembering incorrectly.

As Christian parents, pastors, and Americans, may we instill in our children a love and respect for our nation. And may we proudly proclaim together, “In God we trust!

The Family Research Council and their Watchmen on the Wall ministry offer excellent resources for pastors to do what I suggest in this article - lead your people to remember our godly heritage. See Stand Courageous here and  Call 2 Fall here.

Here is a resource specifically about the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

See related resources:

Three Cs That Made America Great: Christianity, Capitalism and the Constitution  Mike Huckabee

America's Godly Heritage

The American Heritage Series

Building on the American Heritage Series

The American Patriot's Bible from Thomas Nelson

A Nation Like No Other by Newt Gingrich

Christians: Engage Politics and the Public Square

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Systemic Con Behind Wokeism


"There are lots of reasons why wokeism spread like wildfire once America lost its collective mind during the pandemic, quarantine, self-induced recession, and rioting of 2020.

Wokeism was never really about racism, sexism, or other isms. For some, it illustrated a psychological pathology of projection: transferring one’s own prejudices onto others in order to alleviate or mask them.

So should we laugh or cry that Black Lives Matter’s self-described Marxist co-founder might be a corporate grifter? According to a New York Post report, Patrisse Khan-Cullors has accumulated several upscale homes, and one of her foundations failed to report significant donations to the IRS. Is it the case that the more Khan-Cullors professes Marxist ideology and damns toxic whiteness, the more she feels comfortable living in a $1.4 million home in Southern California’s ritzy Topanga Canyon area?"

Read the entire article by Victor Davis Hanson here at The Epoch Times.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Big-Tent Baptists: 5 Steps Forward for the SBC

Last week's annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Nashville, Tennessee, what some people call “the world’s largest business meeting,” is now one for the books. With the largest gathering of messengers in 25 years, the meeting drew an abundance of attention from within and without the SBC.

As a lifelong Southern Baptist, when I think of the SBC, I think of it somewhat as the nation of Israel, united in greater purpose yet divided into twelve tribes. Each one enjoyed a distinct heritage, strengths, and specific futures promised by the Lord. Yet they were all linked by broad truths, like the Torah and Shema. When necessary, they joined forces to accomplish purposes too big for an individual tribe. As long as they stayed true to the Law of Moses and the vision to love the Lord Jehovah with all of their mind, strength, and soul, they found individual fulfillment in existing as the tribe of Benjamin, Judah, Levi, etc.

In the New Testament, Paul used a human body to illustrate Christ’s church. We have many parts, and they do not all serve the same function. As we develop and use our spiritual gifts, though varied, God’s grace will be displayed – the “multifaceted grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10 NASB). As long as they stay connected to the body and the head, remembering their place in the larger purpose of the unit, their differences actually reflect the awesome power of their Creator.

I told our congregation last Wednesday night, “When you get 100 Christians together who love the Lord and believe the Bible, you are going to have varying opinions about how to get stuff done. Imagine how many more ideas you will have when 16,000 Baptists come together for a business meeting!”

As with any large gathering, various subgroups who see some things differently desire to influence the SBC in their own ways. Moving forward, I believe Southern Baptists will be wise to remember five things.

1. Baptists need to agree on the essentials of the BFM 2000.

The last 25 years included theological erosion in most American mainline denominations. Baptist conservatives saw the need several decades ago to secure our own denomination to avoid a similar disintegration.

Our denominational confession of faith is called The Baptist Faith and Message 2000. The committee who reviewed this confession in 1999-2000, reported the following:

“Baptists are a people of deep beliefs and cherished doctrines. Throughout our history we have been a confessional people, adopting statements of faith as a witness to our beliefs and a pledge of our faithfulness to the doctrines revealed in Holy Scripture.

Our confessions of faith are rooted in historical precedent, as the church in every age has been called upon to define and defend its beliefs. It is the purpose of this statement of faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe. ”

Every trustee serving our SBC national institutions, state conventions, and teaching at our colleges and seminaries must agree with this confessional statement. I was a messenger to the 2000 Atlanta meeting when we adopted the revised statement of faith.

In a day abounding in false teaching and error, the BFM 2000 keeps us from the slippery slope of “progressive Christianity” and ties us to historical, theological orthodoxy.

See my article, Theological Liberalism in the SBC?


2. Baptists need to agree to disagree over other matters of practice, polity, and politics that stretch beyond the BFM.

At times we each would like everyone to agree with our particular views on – well, on everything.

The narrower one's focus, the more you start banning people who don't agree with you. Here’s one example.  Billy Graham announced he would hold a crusade in Greenville, South Carolina, home of Bob Jones University, at the new Textile Hall.  In response, Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., ordered the students to not attend the meeting.  He wrote The Position of Bob Jones University in Regard to the Proposed Billy Graham Crusade in Greenville, A Chapel Talk by Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., on February 8, 1965. ” 

It proclaimed, “The Bible commands that false teachers and men who deny the fundamentals of the faith should be accursed; that is, they shall be criticized and condemned. Billy approves them, Billy condones them, Billy recommends them… I think that Dr. Graham is doing more harm in the cause of Jesus Christ than any living man; that he is leading foolish and untaught Christians, simple people that do not know the Word of God, into disobedience to the Word of God.”  

That’s called majoring on minors and missing the point.

And where does that end? What if they hold a different view of eschatology? Soteriology? Pneumatology? How complementarianism is to be applied in a multitude of situations? The age of the earth? Convictions on alcohol, education of children, or birth control? Whether or not I believe God speaks through the Holy Spirit today? Whether or not you voted  – or did not vote – for Donald Trump? Before long, I can back myself in a corner where my distinct filter becomes the only theological camp with which I identify.

I see Baptists today taking aim at other Baptists who still believe in basic orthodoxy but come to different conclusions and practices about secondary matters. Social media creats "experts" behind every laptop or smart phone. A caustic, critical spirit has taken over our culture and keeps influencing the way believers relate to one another.

When Christians move into their “theological tribes” or “camps,” how easy it becomes to narrow our vision of Christian theology. Suddenly our tribe (whether that is Reformed or non-Reformed;  God speaks today, God doesn’t speak today; women can teach men in Sunday School or lead music, women can’t do that in my church; pre-mill, post-mill; and dozens of other categories) becomes the one that is “right.” Our tribe is the one correctly dividing the word of truth.

My wife serves as the Minister of Music at a Southern Baptist church. She does so with my full blessing – and under the leadership of her senior pastor and leadership council – all male. My mother taught men in Sunday School and discipleship training classes for decades. I realize that for some in the SBC, they would never allow those practices in their churches. However, I believe the Southern Baptist tent is plenty large enough for all of us.

I appreciate what our new President Ed Litton, recently said: "We are a complementarian convention. I am complementarian. And yet there’s a broadness in our BFM 2000: We believe that a pastor should be a qualified and called-out male. That’s in line with Scripture. But women play a critical function in our churches, and some feel like they are being told what they can’t do instead of what women are called to do."

While it is good and necessary to come to our theological convictions and conclusions over secondary matters, it is always wise and good to give grace to others in the Body who affirm basic orthodoxy but disagree with me and my tribe over non-essentials.

In our zeal, sometimes we shoot the wrong people. It’s kind of like going to a big family reunion and shooting your third cousins.

When we can agree on the BFM, we must not make secondary matters a litmus test for whether or not someone else is truly orthodox.


3. Baptists can find agreement and momentum in smaller networks around non-BFM 2000-specific matters.

I am a bivocational pastor, and due to my full-time job was unable to attend this year’s convention. However, my wife and daughter attended. Had I voted, I would have cast my lot for Mike Stone or Albert Mohler. However, neither of “my guys” won!

I’ve appreciated Mohler’s stand on orthodoxy, his love for the SBC, and his steady statesmanship for many years.

Recently, I’ve come to appreciate the Conservative Baptist Network (CBN), which Stone represents. Many of the passions of that “tribe” represent “my kind of Baptist.”

For example, I wholeheartedly agree with their following statement: The Network affirms religious liberty and encourages Christian individuals and churches to influence the culture by engaging in the public policy process and demonstrating their patriotism. 

I believe America is historically a covenantal nation – not just like ancient Israel – but covenantal nonetheless. Documents reveal our forefathers saw this country as an experiment with the God of the Bible. I believe we should encourage patriotism, we should have great big God and Country celebrations in our churches, and we should salute the American flag and teach our churches about America’s godly heritage. It grieves me to hear people in the SBC who equate those things with idolatry.

I am saddened and troubled over the lack of SBC pastors and entities speaking out into the modern culture. I see a hesitancy to rock the cultural narrative on many social issues. I thoroughly agreed with Dennis Prager, a Jew, who wrote an article last year called “America’s Jews and Christians Are Failing the Test of their Lives.”

America is being taken over by violent mobs; a vast amount of destruction and stealing has taken place (with little police intervention and the apathy of our political leaders). Why aren’t all clergy delivering thundering sermons about the Seventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal”? Does it now come with an asterisk?

A central part of a major American city has been seized and occupied by people who hate America and its values, including its Judeo-Christian values. Heard any clergy (aside from some evangelical Christians) speaking out against it?

The freest, least racist, most opportunity-providing country in history — “the last best hope of earth,” in Abraham Lincoln’s words — is smeared as “systemically racist”; all white people are declared “racist”; and the statues of the greatest Americans, including George Washington and even Abraham Lincoln, are toppled and/or defaced. And all we get from most American religious leaders is either agreement or silence.

So, why the silence? Why aren’t all rabbis, priests and pastors telling their congregations and telling America — in tweets, on Facebook, in letters to the editor, on television and radio, in opinion pieces — that there is one race, the human race, and that the only antidote to racism is to deny that race determines our worth, not to affirm its significance?

It grieved me for years to read Russel Moore’s never-Trump rhetoric. And it pleased me when Albert Mohler wrote in 2020 that he changed his mind from not voting for him in 2016 to supporting him in 2020, seeing the bigger picture and what was - and is -  at stake.

I believe our culture hangs by a thread. The church faces monumental threats coming from the Left, which embraces Marxism and Communism, both of which are enemies of religion.  Many Baptists are afraid to speak up and speak out because they don’t want to rock the boat – or they fear it may hurt our evangelism.

I would love to see the SBC on a national level strategize how to get Southern Baptist pastors elected in every state and every county. I think that should be one of the vision statements Ronnie Floyd shared in his Vision 2025 presentation. I agree with the late Chuck Colson, also a Southern Baptist, who said when he heard churches talk about the five purposes of the church (worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, and missions), he wanted to say, “And a sixth! The redemption of culture.” I am afraid Southern Baptists have historically ignored The Cultural Mandate of Genesis 1-2, and today we pay the price for the neglect.

The necessity to take seriously the call to build, influence, and redeem culture is rooted in the glory and image of God.

Navigating these issues, I have found like-mindedness among networks such as The American Renewal Project, headed by David Lane, the Family Research Council, led by Tony Perkins, and the Conservative Baptist Network, with men like Mike Stone and Tom Phillips, and Mike Huckabee on the Steering Council.

I know enough about evangelicals and Southern Baptists to know not everyone in the SBC is going to agree with “my tribe” over everything. That’s ok. I’m a big boy. I know that the SBC can agree on the BFM 2000 – and agree to disagree over secondary matters, which are many.

I’m not going to insist that we take all of my secondary issues and write them into the BFM, and I’m not going to pull out of the SBC just because every tribe doesn’t think just like mine.

See my article, Seven Lies Americans are Believing.


4. Baptists need to embrace a big-tent mentality when it comes to the convention.

The SBC is a very big tabernacle, with tent pegs cemented into orthodoxy.

I’ve enjoyed many smaller tents in my Christian and Baptist pilgrimage:

·      Attending numerous Johnny Hunt Men’s Conferences and visiting First Baptist Woodstock, Georgia, for training events.

·      Working for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

·      Participating in some of David Lane’s American Renewal Project meetings, where he tries to influence pastors to engage in the public square.

·      Using numerous resources from the Family Research Council to influence others in social matters.

·      Finding tremendous help through the years through the teaching ministries of Charles Swindoll, Charles Stanley, Tony Evans, Henry Blackaby, Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz, and Jim Cymbala.

I know every Southern Baptist will not go to these same smaller tents. Some will link arms with the Founders Ministry, others flock to conferences at John MacArthur’s church, and others follow the 9 Marks ministry.

But when we come together on the national level, we need to leave our smaller tents and enjoy the fellowship, purpose, and power of the big one, without expecting every smaller tent to look like ours.


5. Baptists need to love each other.

Even with those with whom we disagree over secondary matters.

And loving each other includes talking to each other. Albert Mohler, who I believe may go down as the greatest Baptist statesman of this generation, recently wrote,

For some reason, it seems that Southern Baptists have developed an allergy to talking to each other, openly and honestly, about difficult issues. How would that work for your family or your church? The times in which we live make certain that difficult issues will arise. I intend to put Southern Baptists in rooms with each other, talking to each other. I mean putting people who may disagree on some issues talking about how to move forward. This process will not be easy, but we are much better when we are working together in a room than when we are shouting at each other from afar. . . .

I will do my best to convince Southern Baptists to talk to each other rather than to tweet at each other. Social media have their place, but media platforms invite a snarky and angry discourse that poisons our ability to work together. Let's not communicate on Twitter any differently than we would communicate face-to-face. And, where possible, let's communicate with each other before we communicate at each other.”

And the CBN recently put the following on their facebook page:

“Where there are unresolved matters, the healthy way forward lies in God-honoring, Bible-mandated, Holy-Spirit guided, Christ-emulating discussion with brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are here for that, and we are excited about the ways that unity around doctrinal soundness can make Southern Baptists a more effective witness to the world than perhaps ever before.”

I remember a magnet my mother had on our refrigerator when I was a teenager. It said, “Where there is love, there is understanding.”

Nancy Pearcy aptly shares in her book Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity, “We may preach a God of love, but if nonbelievers do not observe visible love within those ministries or churches and Christian organizations, then we undermine the credibility of our message.

A prayer time at the 2021 annual meeting
of the SBC

‘The medium is the message,’ to use Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase. And for Christians, the medium is the way we treat one another. . . .

In every age, the most persuasive evidence for the gospel is not words or arguments but a living demonstration of God’s character through Christians’ love for one another, expressed in both their words and their actions.” ()

When a Baptist brother or sister affirms the BFM 2000, we already have A WHOLE LOT MORE in common with each other than not. Let’s act that way and love each other.

See Dr. Albert Mohler's Common Conviction, Cooperative Commitment, and Common Sense — The Southern Baptist Convention and the Future


- Pictures used from Pixabay and the Southern Baptist Convention / Baptist Press.

The Left's Myth Interpretation of Critical Theory


"A handful of woke leaders are driving a Marxist agenda that's tearing apart American schools. Teachers like Dana Stangel-Plowe are walking away from classrooms full of children that need her, just because she can't stomach the extremism that's destroying her students' education. 'Today, I am resigning from a job I love,' she said in a video that alarmed parents everywhere. 'Last fall, administrators told [the faculty] we were not allowed to question the school's ideological programming." If it were possible, the headmaster said, he would fire the staff "and replace them with people of color.' . . .

Apparently, the same party that didn't bother asking Americans how they felt about transgender sports or voter ID laws didn't run radical race theory by them either. It's just another example of how wildly out-of-touch the Democrats are with real people. The same real people, incidentally, who are launching recall efforts in a record-high 50 school boards this year. The Left can call this a manufactured controversy all they want. But we'll see how phony it feels next election day."

Read the entire article by Tony Perkins here at the FRC.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Biden Divides Us. Here Are 12 Principles That Can Unite Us.

 "Americans are woke. They woke-up and realized President Joe Biden is no moderate. He is spearheading the most radical policies in modern history, policies that would transform this nation into an unrecognizable country—far less safe, more impoverished, and more unfree.

Nevertheless, the vital issues of the day pull us together. Conservatives share a common vision for maximizing human freedom and opportunity. They are primed to unite and fight. What’s more, many Americans who do not identify as conservatives share these goals. Any national leader who champions this unifying vision will win the support of a vast swath of centrist America, and will energize conservatives in the process.

Here are 12 issues that conservatives have answers for. Together, they make up a platform that a majority of Americans can rally around."

Read the entire article by various authors here at The Heritage Foundation.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Agree - Salute the Flag!


"If you’re competing in the Olympics to represent the USA and you disrespect our country by disrespecting the flag or our national anthem, that should automatically disqualify you from the team. No ifs, ands, or buts. Gwen Berry is a self-defined athlete activist who turned her back on the American flag when the national anthem began playing after her qualifying trials this Saturday. This is not the way, the time, or the place, for activists to protest. Most athletes are deeply honored to represent the United States of America, still the greatest nation on
earth to live in."

- Rev. Franklin Graham

Activist Gwen Berry was standing on the podium after receiving her bronze medal in the hammer throw when she turned to face the stands, not the flag. Read the article here at Fox News.

Picture used by permission by Pixabay.

Monomaniacal Pressure Groups Slice Away at Our Freedom


"George Orwell in his book 1984 grasped an essential point about totalitarian propaganda: The more outrageously false it was, the better it served its purpose, which wasn’t to inform or persuade, but to humiliate and subdue.

In totalitarian states, it isn’t enough to lie low and keep silent: You have to join in as if you enthusiastically believe the lies that you are obliged to repeat on pain of social ostracism at best and of severe punishment at worst.

If you can make people assent in public to what everyone knows to be false, you destroy their probity and, consequently, their moral authority to resist."

Read the entire article by Theodore Dalrymple here at The Epoch Times.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

How Things Change: Defacing George Floyd Statue a Crime, Removing Teddy Roosevelt Statue Progress


"The statue of Teddy Roosevelt that has stood in front of the American Museum of Natural History for decades is finally, at last, being carted away.

All those delicate denizens of the Upper West Side can untwist their knickers.

Teddy, flanked by an Indian and a black man, will soon be gone. That source of palpitations will be removed.

The universe will have taken more steps toward the sort of unanimity and historical vacuousness that the Taliban embraces and its American crybullies emulate.

Read the entire article by Roger Kimball here at The Epoch Times.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

FIRST-PERSON: Theological liberalism in the SBC?

Baptist Press, the news arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, published my article, "Theological Liberalism in the SBC," yesterday in their First-Person section.

I attended a liberal religious college.

Though a fourth-generation Southern Baptist and grandson of a Southern Baptist pastor, a scholarship and my best friend convinced me to go to a school associated with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America [PC(USA)]. The previous summer, at a Jericho Missions Conference at Glorieta Conference Center, I sensed a calling to pursue vocational ministry, and I entered my collegiate studies with that intent.

It did not take long to realize that, theologically, I was not in Kansas anymore.

View the article here at Baptist Press.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

What is State-Sanctioned Racism?

"The current push for state-sanctioned racism in public education is passed off under the idealistic and unrealistic name of Critical Race Theory. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for the simple reason that secularism was inaugurated as America’s official religion by eight U.S. Supreme Court Justices in the mid-20th century. And with that they tore down the American Founders’ Christian bulwark of liberty and autonomy that had been responsible for 350 remarkable years of American history.

For now, America’s meteoric rise is a thing of the past. In Matthew 11:19, Jesus observed that “wisdom is known by her children,” just as a tree is known by its fruits. Whereas true wisdom shows itself in its providential and favorable effects, secularism is recognized by the dark stain it leaves behind in the culture and daily life.

This stain becomes darker and darker with the sexualization of America’s youth, the mindless vacuity of public schooling, and the immoral grooming of junior high 13 and 14-year-old girls being taught that 'oral sex, anal sex, sexual fantasy, masturbation, touching each other’s genitals, and vaginal intercourse, is like saying, ‘I like you’. '1

If we won’t put a stop to this, the stain will soon become indelible."

Read the entire article by David Lane here at The American Renewal Project.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Theological Liberalism in the SBC?

I attended a liberal religious college.

Though a fourth-generation Southern Baptist and grandson of an SBC pastor, a scholarship and my best friend convinced me to go to a school associated with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America PC(USA). The previous summer, at a Jericho Missions Conference at Glorieta Conference Center, I sensed a calling to pursue vocational ministry, and I entered my collegiate studies with that intent.

It did not take long to realize that, theologically, I was not in Kansas anymore.

During freshman Bible, the Old Testament professor, a long-time Presbyterian pastor, taught us the Red Sea was actually only two feet deep, three different Isaiahs wrote the prophetic book, and Moses did not write the Pentateuch, explaining the JEPD theory – that it was actually written by many people over a vast period of time. The New Testament teacher, an Episcopal priest, taught the book of Revelation was a symbolic commentary on first century Rome. I sat in the back of those classrooms as a 19-year old saying, “What in the world? I know that’s not right, but I don’t know how to defend it.”

My second year, moving into a Christian Education major, I learned the lead professor was a universalist. He wrote a book explaining how evangelicals like Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ had the most uneducated view of salvation, actually believing that people who died without Christ were separated from God in a literal place called hell.

Around the same time our school choir sang at a large PC(USA) church in Atlanta. During the service, the pastor mocked the idea of conversion salvation associated with evangelist Billy Graham. I later talked with my choir director about it, and he suggested we meet with the chairman of the religion department, who years earlier was brought before his local denominational hierarchy on charges of heresy.

During our meeting, this senior professor explained from John 3:16 how God chose to save the entire world, and every human experiences salvation. I challenged him to read vs. 18, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the Son of God” (NKJV). When this twenty-year old told him the Bible clearly says anyone who rejects Christ will be condemned, he had no answer and blankly stared as if to say, “You ignorant Southern Baptist.” Later that year I switched to an English major.

Solid Roots

My home church stood solidly in the tradition of biblical, Christian orthodoxy. We believed the Bible was the Word of God – it did not just contain God’s words nor man’s good ideas, we invited people to repent of their sins and invite Jesus Christ into their lives to become their Lord and Savior, we embraced traditional marriage and gender, and we welcomed Jesus’ Great Commandment and Great Commission as marching orders.

Though I had no historical-theological perspective at the time, the PC(USA) denomination, like most American mainline ones, was undergoing a major, seismic theological shift from orthodoxy, to neo-orthodoxy (a fancy way of saying liberalism), to the current state of Leftism. The key to this shift, heavily influenced by the theory of higher criticism of the Scriptures, boiled down to one succinct idea to accept or reject: the authority of the Bible.

Liberal German theologians like Albert Schweitzer and Rudolf Bultmann led the way to question the veracity of the Scriptures, asking the same question as did the serpent in the Garden of Eden: “Did God really say that?”  Bultmann “argued that the New Testament presents a mythological worldview that modern men and women simply cannot accept as real. The virgin birth is simply a part of this mythological structure and Bultmann urged his program of ‘demythologization’ in order to construct a faith liberated from miracles and all vestiges of the supernatural. Jesus was reduced to an enlightened teacher and existentialist model.”[i]

In the first half of the twentieth-century, this divide led American Christianity into different camps: liberals who rejected the Bible’s authority and fundamentalists and evangelicals who believed in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures but embraced different paths to social engagement.


The southern Presbyterian school I attended in the early 1990’s included a rich spiritual-biblical-theological heritage dating back into the 1800’s. However, by the latter part of the 1900’s they, like their denomination, were embracing universalism, the theory of evolution, rejecting a traditional view of marriage, and distancing itself from the basic belief system held by most fundamentalist and evangelical Christians. They were kind and good in many ways, but they embraced the growing tendency of American religious groups to dismiss historical Christian orthodoxy.

When it came time to choose a seminary, I had one criteria: they must believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. I heard of the strong stand Dr. Albert Mohler, the young seminary President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was taking on the Bible’s authority, and I packed up my 1979 Buick Regal and headed to Louisville for three years. How refreshing to attend a school that embraced a biblical worldview. Years later, I completed my doctoral work at another evangelical school, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, which also adheres to biblical inerrancy.

Fast-forward a quarter of a century. Mainline denominations like the PC(USA), The United Methodist Church, and The Episcopal Church, including some smaller groups like the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, have jettisoned traditional teaching, many fully affirming the LGBTQ movement, performing same-sex ceremonies, rejecting conversion theology, and offering question marks instead of absolutes. As Mohler writes, “This is the inevitable result of the abandonment of the full truthfulness and authority of Scripture. . . .  This is what happens when autonomy trumps biblical authority. ”[ii]

How shocking for me in the past year to hear numerous accusations, many coming from young pastors and theologues with blogs, claiming the SBC is becoming “liberal.” I’ve read statements that men like Danny Akin, Albert Mohler, Thom Rainer, and other notable SBC statesmen are “liberals.”

After the shock wears off and I stop chuckling, I want to say to these accusers, “Let’s get some perspective.” Sometimes labels depend on your context and comparisons.

I went to college under theological liberals.  Many and most professors at mainline denominational seminaries – and most publicly-funded colleges and universities - are liberals or Leftists. They do not believe the Bible is God-breathed. They do not believe Jesus is necessary for salvation. They do not call people to repent and be born again. They do not teach personal holiness, how to walk in a Spirit-filled life, or the  Second Coming of Jesus Christ. They embrace the social justice movement and reject any traditional view of marriage or gender as definitive.

Liberals do not lead the Southern Baptist Convention today. Men and women fought that battle years ago. If you don’t know our history, I encourage you to read Jerry Sutton’s The Baptist Reformation or Paul Pressler’s A Hill on Which to Die for historical perspective.  Without that movement, today’s SBC would resemble other mainline denominations. Billy Baptist would leave his Baptist church and go to a Baptist college where he, too, would be taught the crossing of the Red Sea amounted to two feet of water, Jesus may not have been born of a virgin nor raised from the dead, and yes, it actually may have been Adam and Steve – not Adam and Eve.

But thank God, we are not there. Yes, Johnny Hunt may have a different understanding of soteriology than Tom Nettles. First Baptist Jacksonville, Florida, may approach evangelism differently than Capitol Hill Baptist Church in D.C. Women may teach men in Sunday School or serve as music and worship leaders at one rural church in Fort Payne, Alabama, and not allowed to in another in Benton Harbor, Michigan. A professor at SEBTS may be a premillennialist and one at SBTS a postmillennialist. One SBC pastor learns from Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, and Tony Evans while another listens to John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and Alistair Begg. A Tennessee SBC church appreciates a Sandy Creek revivalism heritage while a Virginia one embraces the Charlestonian Baptist stream. A SBC pastor joins The Founders Ministry while another links arms with the Conservative Baptist Network. Churches may disagree over various issues of polity and practice. We have different ideas about how to respond to racial issues, Critical Race Theory, Donald Trump, or Joe Biden - but the people who lead our denominational entities, teach at our seminaries, and serve as trustees in our institutions are no theological liberals.

“Let us love our God supremely. Let us love each other too. Let us love and pray for sinners, ‘till our God makes all things new.”[iii]

See Southern Baptist Convention: A First-Hand Perspective

- Dr. Rhett Wilson, Sr., is Senior Writer for The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and a bi-vocational pastor for Spring Hill Baptist Church in Lancaster, South Carolina. See his site at


Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

[i] Albert Mohler, Can A Christian Deny the Virgin Birth?

[ii] Albert Mohler, All Other Ground is Sinking Sand: A Portrait of Theological Disaster.

[iii] George Atkins, Brethren, We Have Met to Worship. The Baptist Hymnal 1991, 379.