The Pen

Tim Rogers and the Arminian Defense of the Indefensible

Tim Rogers, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Indian Trail, North Carolina has posted an article (re-posted at Synergism Today), claiming that Baptists outside of Alabama shouldn’t be commenting on the recent scandal concerning Bob Terry’s article in the Alabama Baptist. Yes, you read that right. North Carolina pastor, Tim Rogers, said you’ve no right to comment on this scandal if you’re not from Alabama. I’ll write a obituary for irony later.

Tim says, “First, a seminary president first responded with a childish remark about the editor and how all Baptists should be ashamed…”

I would ask, how is that childish? That’s accurate. When the editor of a state Baptist publication molests the gospel in defense of the PCUSA removing wrath from the hymnal – and he, himself refusing to sing the words “the wrath of God was satisfied – that’s embarrassing. In fact, that’s shameful. But Rogers goes on to defend Terry, saying:

“An editor and his editorial is like a pastor and his pulpit.  God called a Baptist editor to lead a news entity just as he called a pastor to lead a church.  For the editor the editorial piece ls like the sermon for the pastor.  As with pastors in other pulpits the harsh rhetoric and childish antics should come from within that congregation.  No one outside that congregation has the spiritual clout to call what is said–sad, or suggest that others outside the congregation should be “embarrassed”. Those types of statements should be left to those within the congregation or in this case to Alabama Baptists.”

Step 1 in defending the indefensible: Claim the man was appointed by God. In this case, claim the man was appointed by God to serve a newspaper the same way a man is appointed by God as pastor of the local church. Conjure to mind graphic images of Korah’s rebellion or she-bears devouring anyone who challenges the Lord’s anointed.

Step 2 in defending the indefensible: Claim that anyone challenging the heresy doesn’t have the right because (A) they don’t live within the geographical boundaries of a particular state (B) they weren’t in the room at the time (C) they don’t know the man personally or any other number of irrelevant details. In fact, Rogers says, “First, this particular matter is not one that Baptists should be weighing in on.” Yeah…it’s only the atonement of Christ.

Step 3 in defending the indefensible: Claim that anyone pointing out the heresy or error is ‘childish.’ Look over the irony that by the same standard, rebuking someone for rebuking someone would have to be equally as childish. Claim that any uproar of defaming the cross or smearing the Gospel is overblown, unnecessary, or exaggerated.

Step 4 in defending the indefensible: Blame Calvinists. Rogers says:

“The authors are Reformed in their religious beliefs and the denomination formulating the new hymnal is Reformed.  Thus, we have a Presbyterian disagreement that has spilled over into the Baptist world in general and Southern Baptist in particular.”

The atonement of Christ and the concept of propitiation is Reformed issue? This is a Presbyterian discussion, Rogers argues. If you’ve ever doubted that semi-Pelagianism is a departure from orthodoxy, look no further than Tim Rogers and Bob Terry. Amazingly, Rogers argues that there’s room for a difference of opinions on the atonement of Christ:

“Second, we need to allow for differing positions as long as it is within the parameters of the Baptist Faith and Message. Terry expressed his opinion concerning the use of the phrase along with his reasoning for not singing that particular phrase.  His opinion is strictly that, his opinion.”

Um, how about “no.” Are Baptists allowing room for interpretation concerning whether or not Christ satisfied the wrath of God? There’s not room for this. And by that, I don’t mean within the Southern Baptist Convention. I mean within Christianity.

You can read the rest of the article yourself (hyperlink above). It’s a sad day for Baptists in America. The theological Downgrade is as pervasive as ever. Did you ever think you would see the day that a Southern Baptist newspaper editor could deny propitiation so clearly (a half-hearted non-retraction “clarification” aside) and yet be defended by other Southern Baptists?