"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

One of the Main Reasons I Respect Dr. Mohler

Bryant Owens is campus staff minister for INTERVARSITY Christian Fellowship and a student at Southern Seminary. In his blog last week, Bryant told this interesting antecdote about a visit to the campus by Soulforce, and Dr. Mohler's response.

Tuesday March 27, 2007 did not see a normal chapel service for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Naturally, due to the events of the day before, security was heavy and Dr. Albert Mohler addressed the student body about the Gay Rights demonstration. What is striking about his comments was the humility shown in his words. There was no hint of revenge, no anger or shock. Only compassion and grace.

After the service when the public broadcast had ended, Dr. Mohler led the student body in a concert of loving prayer for the protesters. Students sitting in various places in Alumni Chapel sent up prayers for the campus and the homosexual activists. There was no condemnation. There was only heartfelt love for the protesters as people. Yes, it was made clear that their choices were wrong, but that God loves them as well. It is rare to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in a place as strongly as was represented that day.

Prayers were also lifted up on behalf of the Seminary community asking for God's grace that we would NOT become cynical or boastful in our attitudes toward those who would do us harm. We were reminded that even seminarians are sinners. We come to God with repentant hearts as well and our sin is no less insulting to God than those suffering in homosexuality.

I left chapel that day with a greater respect for Dr. Mohler and Southern Seminary. I thank God for allowing me to come to this place to experience loving examples of Christianity.

What transpired at chapel that day will never make it to the news media. It was neither negative nor confrontational. The homosexual lifestyle is biblically wrong. We will not deny that fact. But Evangelical Christians prayed for people as people, not enemies.

I agree with Bryant. One of the main reasons I respect Dr. Mohler is because of his humility and grace toward those who disagree with him. There are a number of Southern Baptist pastors, professors, and leaders who should follow his example.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...


Perhaps your "respect" for Dr. Mohler has something to do with your own previous meetings with Soulforce?


Anonymous said...

If Mohler is acting gracious towards anyone, perhaps it is a direct result his near death experience. As in eye witness of his "graciousness" over a decade ago - I still don't know what the poor clerk in Mall St. Matthews did to deserve his wrath - it is great to see that he has matured in his humility.

Anonymous said...

Hello: I am a NOBTS graduate, and retired from Federal Law Enforcement, my last position with Bureau of Prisons as Staff Chaplain. I have worked four years as a Social Worker at a Baptist Chidren's Home.

In the early 90's I walked by Dr. Mohler at the SBC convention in Atlanta and spoke to him; he never gave me a nod.

It is kinda funny, you know of what life experiences will do to get your attention. While in the federal prison as Chaplain I knew Fallwell, Graham, and other "big names" had visited a certain high profile fellow who was a former inmate there. I made a few calls to the select names, and others in the Atlanta area, and they did not have the time to even call back, about coming to visit the "regular" inmates. All of that to say is, working where the rubber meets the road daily gives a respect for tolerance, not condoning, but at least trying to have a civil understanding of "where a person is coming from." Who knows..what the Lord said to Dr. Mohler in his time of need?

I guess what I am trying to say, is I hope you will give him a little Grace..as God gave us...through his Son...Blessings to you...Dave Fox

Clay said...

When Dr. Mohler came to SBTS there was a spirit of hatred towards him. When he announced the closing of the Carver School of Social Work, there was a sit-in protest outside his office. Instead of getting angry or just ignoring it like I would have, Dr. Mohler personally paid to have pizza delivered to those who were participating in the sit in.

Anonymous - it is unfortunate that Dr. Mohler showed his humanity at the mall when you happened to be around. Let us not judge those on their weak moments that we might not be judged on our own weak times.

I don't think we will ever know how much stress and abuse Dr. Mohler took during his first 10 years as president. I don't think we will ever know how much stress it takes when you are in the spotlight as much as he is.

Trigun said...

Though my admittingly few experiences with Dr. Mohler have not been amazing, props to him for doing what he did.

Yeah, I think if were all honest with ourselves we all have our moments of weakness and frustration and it's best to give the benefit of the doubt.

Praise God for any minister who doesn't just preach something but DOES something about it.

Anonymous said...

One of Southern Baptist best speakers dealing with homosexual issues is Tim Wilkins. Tim is a former homosexual, a graduate of Southwestern Seminary, and is now traveling the country spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. His web address is: http://www.crossministry.org
Gene Price
Gleason, Tennessee

Stephen Pruett said...

Finding a way to oppose sin while actively loving sinners is one of the most difficult balancing acts Christians face. Unfortunately, the media do not report cases like this, when a well known Baptist leader gets the balance just right. Perhaps we should all contact some media outlets asking them why they don't report things like this or comment on blogs frequented by media types?

Lee said...

I wonder what might happen if Southern Baptists, and Evangelical Christians everywhere, held prayer meetings to ask for God's grace and mercy in the lives of sinners, and in particular the people who must be suffering as a result of being prisoners of sin in a homosexual lifestyle? What would happen if we took a person we knew was trapped in that lifestyle by the hand and just asked them, as many times as we had the opportunity, if we could pray for them?

Dr. Mohler is not perfect. He's in a high profile position, he's somewhat of a controversial person both inside and outside of Southern Baptist life. I don't always agree with his actions or with some of the things he has to say. But then, I'm not perfect. I'm not a high profile person anywhere except, perhaps, in my church, because I am on staff, and I'm sure there are people there who don't always agree with me or with my actions. I certainly appreciate encouragement over judgement, and praise over criticism. I imagine Dr. Mohler does, too.

Anonymous said...

When Mohler was new as president at SBTS, a common occurrence at graduation was the refusal of some graduates to shake hands with him. I observed this and, while agreeing with the sentiments of those who did this, recognized that it made Mohler look mature and the graduate look childish.

Mohler then took steps to get even with at least some of those graduates. (I heard that he reviewed the tapes of the graduation ceremony, and the statement came from a reliable source, but I do not know that for a fact.) In at least one instance, a doctoral graduate was being interviewed for a teaching position and trustees asked specifically if she had refused to shake his hand--not exactly an everyday question for a trustee to ask. She was asked specific questions regarding her dissertation -- something that would have required specific information. Later, when I looked at it on the shelf, it still contained the name of a aide to Mohler (as a signature was required to remove it from the library in the pre-electronic check out days). Perhaps it wasn't Mohler's attempt to punish this graduate -- I'm pretty sure it was.

I also witnessed an exchange between Mohler and his wife when they debated whether to have police or, at least campus security, remove a former professor from the chapel when she came to observe her former students graduate.

I agree with the second anonymous poster who suggested if he was acting graciously it was because of his near death experience. I'm also skeptical enough that I think I'll leave myself as an anonymous poster just in case he hasn't become gracious.

Cole said...

Do you honestly believe that Dr. Mohler has enough time to review the tapes of graduation ceremonies?? What a shame that you accept his graciousness as merely an out of character response that is only the result of a recent health crisis. Mohler has not changed his tune in any way since his hospitalization, but merely has expressed a greater appreciation for many things, as he continues to stand firm for Biblical authority in today's culture. I suggest you read his excellent commentary on his website where he reflects back on that situation and the lessons he learned. Perhaps you should read that primary source material rather than accept outlandish ideas from "reliable sources."

Anonymous said...


Since Mohler rarely goes to bed at night (check his commentary for posting times of 1 AM and later), yes, I do think he has time to review videotapes. I also think he has plenty of people who are willing to assist him in that little task. (Maybe you thought that everything that happened at SBTS happened because he did it--he's got plenty of helpers.)

I knew Al Mohler when he was a moderate and when his wife was a blond who hypenated her name and they collected money for an ad in the Courier-Journal opposing an SBC resolution that opposed women in the pastorate.

If I had made my post without saying "reliable sources say..." you'd have asked me for my sources.

I think Mohler is genuine in his conservative theology, but I also believe that if the conservative resurgence had never taken place, he'd be working at SBTS today.

I'll stand by my story, but I'll also remain anonymous.

Robbie Sagers said...

Dear Anonymous #1, #2, and every other anonymous commenter here,

I read your anecdotes on Albert Mohler with great interest. Sadly, gossip always generates interest!

Over the years, Dr. Mohler has spoken publically to his, as you say, "moderate" time as a student at Southern Seminary, and his changes of heart on many issues.

Of all the factual inaccuracies you all purport to be true in regards to Dr. Mohler, I did want to take issue more specifically with one thing: Mrs. Mary Mohler has never had a hyphenated name. Never. And she has never had blond hair. Never.

Of course, these falsities should cause those reading your rubbish to call into question everything else you write about Dr. Mohler, apart from the fact that all you are doing is spreading gossip -- and anonymously at that. Hopefully they will do just that.

But, Jesus promises us that someday none of us will be able to hide behind "anonymous" when called to give an account for our every word (Matt. 12:36).

I will pray for you, Anonymi.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Robbie for your prayers...

If the most serious errors I made were the color of Mary Kahler Mohler's hair and the fact that there was no hyphen (which by the way is pretty difficult to do in Kentucky... it requires a court order) then I did a pretty good job. You are right Mary didn't hyphenate her name, she always printed it as Mary Kahler Mohler.

I'll bet you wish you could make the advertisement supporting women in all areas of ministry in the Courier Journal go away though.

I don't wish Al ill. I just wish he would be honest about his past. I'm sure Dr. Honeycutt would not have retired when he did if he had known the direction Al would take the seminary. He trusted Al to keep the seminary healthy--not eliminate all the faculty that had been called over the years.

The fact of the matter is that the winners get to write the history. That is true at SBTS as well. So you can go ahead and talk about how everyone at SBTS prior to 1993 was a pagan or a heretic or both. Just remember, that's where Albert Mohler got his education and the faculty that he ran off are the ones who educated him.