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

Al Mohler's Unbiblical Belief that New Testament Gender Equality Means Affirming Homosexuality

Recently Dr. Al Mohler released an article entitled All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand: A Portrait of Theological Disaster.

Dr. Mohler, President of Southern Theological Seminary, writes that he believes the numerical decline of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is due to that denomination's affirmation of homosexual behavior. Mohler believes that the CBF leadership is caught in the trap of being forced to affirm homosexuality by "millennials" in the CBF while at the same time attempting to prevent "the loss of support from (CBF) churches outraged by any policy condoning homosexuality."

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship broke off from the Southern Baptist Convention in 1991. Interestingly, many of the conservative/moderate churches in the CBF are opposed to any affirmation of homosexuality, believing homosexual behavior is categorized as sin in Scripture.

The CBF has recently released a report entitled Honoring Autonomy and Reflecting the Fellowship which has, according to Mohler, "infuriated LGBT proponents and alienated more conservative CBF churches."

Mohler's thesis in his article is that the problems in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are "the inevitable result of the abandonment of the full truthfulness and authority of Scripture."

I happen to agree with Mohler that those of us who believe the Bible to be truthful, inspired, and authoritative also believe that homosexual behavior is a sin against God.

However, Al Mohler goes on to make this statement:
"This (eg. 'affirming homosexuality') is also the logical consequence of adopting a hermeneutic that allows for the service of women as pastors — for many Cooperative Baptist Fellowship congregations, the key issue of outrage at the Southern Baptist Convention. The same negotiation and “reinterpretation” of the biblical text that allows for the service of women pastors will logically lead to the acceptance of the LGBT revolution. How can it not? Individuals and congregations may refuse to take this next step, but they have surrendered the only binding argument that would offer an objective truth claim. Eventually, the revolutionaries will win, and they know it. Clearly, some appear unwilling to wait."
Sorry, Dr. Mohler.

You don't get a pass on this one.

Many Bible-believing, Christ-honoring people, pastors, and denominations see the New Testament Scriptures to teach that followers of Christ serve according to their giftedness, not their gender.

And these same Christians believe the New Covenant Scriptures also portray homosexuality - as well as other sexual acts outside of a marriage between one man and one woman - as sin.

Catherine Clark Kroeger has written an insightful article entitled Does Belief in Women's Equality Lead to an Acceptance of Homosexual Practice?

No Bible-believing, Christ-honoring follower of Jesus can read Catherine's article and arrive at Mohler's illogical and unbiblical conclusion that affirmation of New Testament gender equality - with distinctions of service based on giftedness - ever equates to an affirmation of homosexuality.

I would encourage Dr. Mohler and others like him to be careful of painting theological constructs with such a broad brush.

21 comments:

Scott Shaver said...

Since his days as a fundamentalist newspaper editor to his present role, Mohler has criticized everbody but himself and cronies as enemies of The Bible. Expect nothing less from the man as this is his stock and trade.

Christiane said...

seems that some in the faith have a problem understanding from where comes our human dignity as persons . . . and have got tangled up in over-emphasizing the wrong things

In Christ, the Scriptures tell us, there is no 'male' or 'female', so my take is that our genders are a subset of our personhood made in imago Dei, not the main criterion from which we are defined.

People and theologians get 'lost' in their 'own' understandings sometimes,
but it helps to keep focused on Christ, especially in matters of the dignity and worth of human persons, as we know that Our Lord took to Himself our wounded humanity in order to heal it at the time of the Incarnation when He assumed our humanity to Himself.

We have been blessed. Let us give thanks to the Lord.

Philip Miller said...

Christiane, How does your church handle that problem of understanding? Does your church ordain women to ministry? Or does it restrict where women can serve? And if so, on what basis?

Christiane said...

Hello Philip Miller,
I have read some detailed info that I will share with you that helped me to understand something of the Church's teaching:

https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1988/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_19880815_mulieris-dignitatem.html

At the present time, we do not ordain female priests. My hope is that this will someday be changed. Women serve as Eucharistic ministers.

I recommend reading that link from section III forward and I think you can get the jist of the salient points concerning 'the dignity of the human person' as not being something inferior or 'sub' any sort of gender identification, and yet the gifts of women are celebrated. Hope this helps you.

Mulieris Dignetatum does discuss the error of going full patriarchy that overrides the dignity of the human person , yes, so I found that part most informative. It's detailed reading but worth the effort. Thank you for you questions . . . I'm post hospital and on oxygen so forgive my lack of clarity. Ask more if you need to, and I will do my best to answer and help you. God Bless!

Aussie John said...

Wade,
I liken Dr Mohler' position as trying to straddle a picket fence whilst walking forward. Impossible with causing damage!

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

You said “more coming” about Patterson, but I’m glad you posted about Al Mohler.

Over all, “birds of a feather flock together” with Mohler and Patterson. I wrote on your blog June 13, 10:56 AM 2017: “...Paige Patterson and Albert Mohler presented to the IMB that women could not be in positions that were over men.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_Baptist_Fellowship states:
“The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is supported by 1,900 churches.”

The SBC withdrew fellowship with the BWA for accepting the CBF. Patterson was the last to speak before the vote. I heard him say (without proof) BWA was gay friendly.

The BWA started in 1905. The CBF gave them more money than the SBC ever did.

I asked a man why they hated the CBF: “Because they’re getting money that should be coming to us!”

Wade, do you think that Mohler may have the same problem as the man above?

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I think Al Mohler and Paige Patterson truly believe they are on "the Lord's side." Unfortunately, their actions toward those who disagree with their interpretations of the sacred text are not conducive to attracting more people to the SBC. Rather, just the opposite.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

You nailed it!

I forgot to say the BWA is short for “Baptist World Alliance” that started in 1905. The SBC withdrew fellowship in 2004.

The BWA has more ‘power’ than the SBC. When Castro would not allow U.S. money into Cuba, our missionaries there could not be paid. Castro allowed the BWA to pay our missionaries. Of course, the IMB gave their money to BWA.

Christiane said...

Hello to all dear people .... please take time to get flu shots and pneumonia vaccines and whatever other coverage you can to protect yourselves and your families from sickness ..... I just returned from hospital after a bout of bilateral pneumonia and take it from one who knows, you don't need that happening if it can be prevented.

God Bless you all during these sad days of so much grieving and sickness. We are in His Hands and we need Our Lord daily and even moment to moment. Be Blessed and take care of yourselves. Love to all.

Anonymous said...

Flu shots? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt9rdznYsLI

Christiane said...

Yes, flu shots. New strain is coming round, and children have been dying.

YES, flu shots . . . . forget the conspiracy theories and get covered so you don't suffer.

I have a brother, a nephew, and a cousin who are MD's.
They are pro-flu shots. And, my goodness, if you qualify for a pneumonia vaccine, get that too.

YES!!!!!!

right now I am so over conspiracy theories that lead good people to poor decisions, especially the ones where they will not properly care for their infants and children through what is available for their protection

My brother: pediatrician, and believes in vaccinations for children

At least protect your children through the advice of sound medical physicians. Please.

Scott Shaver said...

No flu shots and no flu in 2017. I'm good, thank you.

Victorious said...

Associating female equality with sexual sin is nothing more than an effort at intimidating women. If a fear of being in the same category as homosexual and/or LGBT sin can be instilled, the end result is achieved....keeping her in her place. The same intimidation is used to associate strong, gifted Christian women with feminism. It's portrayed in as extremely negative light without noting that some feminists are behind women's freedom to own property, vote, work outside the home, pursue higher education and other advances that benefit them.

I, for one, have absolutely no problem with being labeled a feminist if it means I strive for the same freedom Jesus did when He came to set us free from oppression, shame, guilt, and discrimination.

Christiane said...

"I, for one, have absolutely no problem with being labeled a feminist if it means I strive for the same freedom Jesus did when He came to set us free from oppression, shame, guilt, and discrimination."

Victorious, I'm standing and cheering in approval of your comment.

When people keep their eyes on Jesus, they can't go wrong. The 'patriarchy' people got lost along the way because they worshiped their own 'male-ness' instead of trusting to Our Lord's example.

Loved your comment, Victorious.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I have sat in both UMC and ELCA meetings where the argument WAS made that "the same interpretive practices that allow for the ordination of women will destroy opposition to gay marriage."

Whether that is logically so or not it is a sad fact that there are those in the "pro homosexual activity being normalized as not sin" group that DO make the same case as Dr. Mohler.

So sad.

Yes, we are all of equal worth. But not all actions we can take are of equal worth.

Anonymous said...

Forgot my moniker: Above post re UMC and ELCA by Linda

Victorious said...

"the same interpretive practices that allow for the ordination of women will destroy opposition to gay marriage."

Interpretive practices?? Do they mean correctly interpreting scripture by examining the
grammar, history, context, cultural norms of the day and/or how the hearers would have understood it? Or are they practicing incorrect eisegesis by erroneously reading something in the text that simply isn't there? Or perhaps making sweeping assumptions from a very small premise?

Any method of interpretation that apparently equates sins of homosexuality and/or LGBT with either gender is absurd to say the least. Homosexuality is a sin; being male or female is not. The logic escapes me.

Whether that is logically so or not it is a sad fact that there are those in the "pro homosexual activity being normalized as not sin" group that DO make the same case as Dr. Mohler.

Perhaps....just perhaps there are those who are discriminated against are reluctant to discriminate against others. Perhaps there are those who believe in treating others as they want others to treat them. Perhaps they want to extend the same love Jesus did in associating with tax gatherers, prostitutes, and gasp....women.

Actually, these are the behaviors we should emulate, not intimidation, erroneous comparisons, and incorrect scriptural understanding.

Mary Ann

Jackie Newton said...

Wade,

I feel a good example of a conservative, evangelical, Bible believing church that would not equate gender equality with a slippery slope of affirmating homosexuality would be Bill Hybels and Willow Creek Church. Not only is Heather Larson the new Lead Pastor a few years ago Willow gave women a seat at the leadership table by allowing some to serve as elders.

Richard said...

Our CBF church was organized 50 yrs ago, partly because other churches had their members patrolling the parking lot to keep out African-Americans. We have not changed in those 50 years. We have a biracial congregation, we have women deacons, and, I suspect, a few of our members may be gay, but we feel that we are all absolved of our sin by Christ, so we don't ask people to name their sins. We have experienced healthy growth, solid financial support for the mission works we support, including inner city ministry projects that continue to thrive. We are known for traditional, even liturgical worship practices. In all of this, someone(not a church member) placed our name on a "gay church" website. The state baptist convention stopped receiving our substantial gifts and kicked us out six months ago. We have never affirmed anything, but we practice gender equality if our ID. Mohler is chasing rabbits to support his "Biblical" male and female roles. His twisted theology is a detriment to the SBC that was the cradle of my faith.

Anonymous said...

Victorious, I am in a denomination that does ordain women. They have since it was formed in 1907. And they strongly oppose normalizing gay sex as "not sin."

That doesn't change the fact that some in the UMC and some in the ELCA use poor logic and try to make the case that "since we ordain women now we can use the same interpretive methods to change the historic view of marriage." I did not say I agree with them any more than I agree with Dr. Mohler's reasoning. But like it or not both fundamentalist right wingers AND liberal left wingers are using that "logic".

The denom I now belong to treats all persons with dignity and respect, but still calls fornication, bestiality, adultery, pornography, sexual harassment, sex abuse, sex trafficking, and homosexual sex as sinful. We have folks of both genders, of all orientations who take offense at that. But it is the truth, just as sloth and gluttony are also sins of the flesh, as are what used to be called vices and are now called addictions. And those who are not tempted by or caught up in sins of the flesh often have worse sins such as lying, stealing, legalism, judgmentalism, pride, and probably the worst sin of all, believing because we do something it cannot be sin.

Forming our worldview by the scripture is deeply counter cultural and certainly never popular. Look what happened to Jesus and the disciples: they were totally unsuccessful by today's standards of "works well with others" and "never offends anyone."

We believe it is possible to be Biblically faithful without unnecessary offense, but speaking the truth may offend.

Linda

Prinxess said...

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