“I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.” Amos 5:21
Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie “Armani” Floyd is at it again. He’s attending yet another ecumenical conference; this one is advertised as “a solemn assembly”. It has been dubbed “The Gathering” and a gathering it is. It’s a whose who of evangelical outlaws, in-laws, crooks, and straights. Apparently, the main requirements to be apart of this “solemn assembly” are the ability to use “God” in a sentence and attract a million dollar following. The ability to use God’s name correctly is apparently optional. The website for the event, which is evocative of some new age, mystical conclave, can be seen HERE. By the time Floyd attends this event, which is scheduled for September 21, 2016, he will (thankfully) no longer be the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Yet his willing participation in this rogue’s gallery gathering brings great harm to the witness of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Mike Gendron, in a chapel message at The Masters Seminary (See it HERE or HERE) said, “Any believer who seeks unity with unbelievers will compromise the Gospel and their testimony”. One can look at the list of speakers committed to this event to quickly recognize individuals who do not adhere to the same faith that Baptists claim to hold. Seriously, Kenneth Copeland is going to be there. He’s as lost as Goose in a corn maze.
Christians should always remember that a “profession” of faith does not mean the “possession” of faith. Neither is the self-applied label “Christian” indicative of genuine, biblical repentance and belief. After all, those adhering to Roman Catholicism, the greatest apostate “church” on the planet, claim themselves to be Christian. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints claims to be the church of the original apostles restored.
Megachurch pastor Ronnie Floyd, who was nominated to a second term as SBC President by JD Greear, has chosen to completely disregard any modicum of discernment in his willing associations with evident false teachers (Don’t forget his IHOP/OneThing participation) and, at the same time, has chosen to openly defy Scriptural instruction.
Consider the following Scriptural commands:
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians 7:3
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” 2 John 10-11
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
“Watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17
There are many, many more warnings in the New Testament about false teachers and “other” gospels. In no case are believers to have fellowship with them, tolerate them in their midst, or give them respite in their homes. We’re told, instead, to avoid them, give them no greeting, and do not receive them.
Yet Ronnie Floyd is willing to share the stage and preach alongside the likes of Kenneth Copeland? What? Really? Are there any Southern Baptists paying attention?
Copeland is not a Christian. He does not preach the Gospel. Yet the speaker description from “The Gathering” website says this about him:
Since his earliest days of ministry, Kenneth Copeland has preached the uncompromised Word of God, continuing to fulfill his mission to declare from the top of the world to the bottom and all the way around that Jesus is Lord!
Now, that sounds all nice, doesn’t it? But Copeland’s “word of God” is not the church’s. Christ’s church does not preach, believe, or ascribe to the heretical prosperity gospel. It is clearly “another gospel.” False gospels, according to the Apostle, Paul are anathema. The “Jesus” that Copeland touts is not the Jesus of the Bible, but “another” Jesus proclaimed by Word of Faith false teachers. Copeland’s Jesus is not THE Jesus of the Bible.
Yet, again, Floyd shows no discernment in these things by the very fact that he is willing to participate with them. Floyd shows, by example, his own disregard – even contempt – for the commands of Scripture to avoid such false teachers.
Why? What possible reason could Floyd have for disregarding evident commands of Scripture? (There are no valid reasons…EVER.) What’s the purpose of this “solemn assembly?”
Their website states the following:
The Gathering is the Body of Christ coming together across racial, denominational and generational lines together to lift up the name of Jesus and to take responsibility for the condition of our nation. Pastors and lay leaders will join each other in Southlake, TX and across the country through LifeWay’s live-streaming service to focus on truly manifesting unity in our nation under God.
This agenda is absolutely in line with Floyd’s incessant pleas for an awakening in America. The theme of the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention’s meeting, Floyd’s last one at the helm of leadership, is “Awaken America”. Not only has Floyd agreed to participate in this event, giving implied endorsement to the false teachers who’ll join him there, LifeWay, an SBC affiliate, will be streaming the live event. (As we know from wandering their bookstores, LifeWay has zero concern for either discernment or the soundness of materials proffered to “Christian” consumers. If it’ll make a buck, there’s no almost no heresy too egregious for Rainer and pals to promote.)
Another quote from Mike Gendron’s presentation to The Masters Seminary:
Those who engage in spiritual enterprises with unbelievers, without confronting their errors, give credibility to their heresies. In doing so, they leave their own convictions and beliefs open to question.
Floyd vigorous pursuit of ecumenical unity arguably obliges other believers, in obedience to the Scriptures listed above, to “have nothing to do” with him! Floyd is misrepresenting the biblically faithful members of his own denomination. He is, by example, encouraging believers that discernment is not necessary, that unity with anyone claiming to be “Christian” is desirable, and that strict obedience to the commands of Scripture is not always necessary.
Is Ronnie Floyd (becoming) a wolf? And, if so, how many more are waiting in the wings to influence and lead his convention and its millions of dollars in assets?
Brethren, the Southern Baptist Convention and American evangelicalism as a whole needs another reformation. Discretion may be the better part of valor, but discernment is a Biblical directive, and Christians must point it at themselves, for correction, repentance, and obedience. The great irony of “The Gathering” is that people are ostensibly coming together to tell the Lord they are sorry. What could be sorrier than coming together with false teachers like Kenneth Copeland.
Charles Spurgeon’s words, spoken long ago, still apply today:
It is our solemn conviction that where there can be no real spiritual communion there should be no pretense of fellowship.
Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin.
Friends, the apostle warned against those who are divisive and create obstacles. But understand this, he didn’t mean those who called out those in error – he meant those who were teaching the error. Those with false teachings, with “other gospels,” are causing divisions. They must be called out, and avoided. It is a shame that the church must do so for leaders in its midst.
Unity in the church is a task only Christ will complete. Individual Christians cannot endeavor to achieve it for him, for some evidently will forsake all discernment and obedience to Scripture to achieve it. A faux unity created by man will fail, and will lead many astray.
One final quote from Gendron, that we ought well consider, “We may all be held accountable for the souls who are misled by our unwillingness to contend for the faith.”
[Contributed by Bud Alheim]
[Edited by Seth Dunn]
*Editor’s note: I am deeply disappointed to see that Kay Arthur has chosen to participate in this event. Kay seemed to be one of the only discerning female bible teachers out there.