Southern Baptist Youth Pastor Fired for Questioning Near-Death Experience Teachings

The Southern Baptist Convention recently voted to adopt a resolution to “reaffirm the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one’s understand of the truth about heaven and hell.” Oddly, a resolution to keep Lifeway from peddling Heaven is For Real went nowhere, affirming the old adage that “Your money’s where your mouth is.”

My friend and RefMT 2014 Conference speaker (you might know him from his presentations at Strange Fire), Justin Peters, has recently interviewed a Southern Baptist youth pastor who was fired for questioning his leadership regarding the very subject approved by the majority of messengers at the SBC. The Southern Baptist  expressed his concerns when his church invited to speak Don Piper, author of “Ninety Minutes in Heaven.”

Sadly, church leadership dismissed his concerns and then dismissed him, reasoning with him that if Lifeway sells it, it must be solid. Listen to Justin’s interview with recently-fired Southern Baptist minister, Jim Hamond, below.


Maybe Lifeway ought to focus on substance rather than profit. Crazy, I know.

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5 Responses

  1. mbwoodside says:

    Hang in there Jim, I’ve been in shoes similar to yours. Mine was back in 1998 when the church where I was youth pastor brought in Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames, this emotional over the top drama where members of the church are cast as the characters in the show. I got assigned to play a demon who dragged people into hell. I refused. That quickly led to my exit for not being a team player. I have lost jobs for trying to enact church discipline, trying to hold students and admin accountable to doctrinal and confessional standards and lost friendships for pointing out that there is heresy in the praise and worship that we sing.

    One thing always come back to me is something the late Jim Boice said about evangelicalism. He said, “we won the battle for the authority of Scripture, but now we fight for the sufficiency.” The SBC is very good about touting the authority and inerrancy of the Bible on moral and social issues, but it is more than willing to sacrifice it’s sufficiency when it comes to the methods and means of ecclesiology and evangelism and especially music. Pragmatism is the calling card of the SBC.

  2. Janice says:

    The end of the SBC is coming faster than Sharia Law is coming to the good old USA.

  3. michelle says:

    why don’t we focus on reaching people for Christ and salvation instead of picking at movies and books. If you take Heaven is For Real away then you need to take other books and authors away that give there opinion about the gospel. What if someone is saved by watching this movie. It seems that souls are not being saved by the gospel in your average church. What are we doing wrong. Let’s get real. Salvation is our may concern for sinners.

    • JD Hall says:

      1) Pointing out doctrinal error is necessary because if we don’t, we’re not “reaching people for Jesus,” but reaching them with apostate heresy. (2) I’m fine taking away other books that also teach direct, divine revelation contrary to Scripture. In fact, I encourage it. (3) People might be saved in a car wreck. We shouldn’t be handing out, endorsing, or selling car wrecks. God doesn’t need heresy to save people (4) If souls aren’t saved by the Gospel, they’re not being saved at all.

  1. June 20, 2014

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