The SBC Waltzes Down Apostasy Lane
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36
When the Apostle Paul, putting pen to parchment, pauses to ink a doxology of praise, in reverence and awe, it’s a powerful moment in Scripture. The wonder of this man’s relationship with our God is always encouraging, if not sometimes, as Peter himself notes (2 Peter 3:16), theologically confounding. Yet such are the depths of Paul’s knowledge of Truth. I thank God that, by the illuminating aid of the Holy Spirit, I can not only ride the waves of Paul’s teaching but try to dive ever deeper into what he prays for the Colossians … to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Colossians 1:9)
Sadly, however, when I put that Book down and look at what proclaims itself to be His church these days – especially the SBC version of it – I discover a vast chasm between what Christ teaches and commands in His Word and what is actually being done in His Name. Sometimes it seems that this gulf is as impassable as the one restricting Lazarus from delivering a dipped finger’s worth of water to the Hades-parched lips of the tormented rich man. (Luke 16:19-31)
Is this gulf between Truth and obedience now impassable for us? Where are the shepherds who dip their finger into the depths of written Truth and quench the needs of a thirsting flock? Where are those who will offer the Living Bread to the depraved, starving, and Truth-less world, despite that world’s certain rebukes and ridicule as it blindly denies the reality of its own imminent perishing?
It seems there are fewer and fewer such shepherds. The SBC is rife with leaders who are racing away from Truth with the vigor of a Pharisaical mob ready to stone an adulterous woman. Only in the SBC’s case, rather than rebuking one for sin, we’ve moved to just disregard sin entirely. There is no need for repentance for there isn’t really any sin. Here, repeat this prayer. And where there is no sin, there’s no need for the real Gospel.
The most recent example comes on the heels of the singular greatest testimony to a false gospel that has been corporately, publicly, offered by the SBC. Departing SBC President Ronnie Floyd, on the Tuesday evening program of the 2016 annual meeting, chose to use the televised opportunity to promote “another gospel.” (You can watch the epic and egregious unbiblical goings-on HERE. Presume there’s an invisible “Warning: Apostasy Ahead” banner scrolling the screen as you do. You can read about it HERE.)
This charade of faux piety and emotions-laden appeals to the Divine, televised between the Joel Osteen and Rod Parsley shows on the DayStar channel, was nothing short of an embarrassing presentation of our convention’s collective waltz down the wide path of apostasy. Floyd’s “name it and claim it” false gospel fit nicely, however, with his fellow charlatans on false faith TV.
On the heels of that, though, came David Uth, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Orlando, a mega-church of some 14,000 members. His pulpit proclamation, and those he allowed to be proclaimed from it, in the aftermath of the most deadly mass shooting in American history – the assault by a jihadist on the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando – represent a further perpetuation of the blasphemous false gospel that’s taken the SBC by storm. (Read more about it HERE. See the full-blown worship of the false “Jesus loves everybody” idol HERE.) Uth took a decided, public, stand for the false “Jesus loves everybody regardless” gospel that is the denominationally-approved flavor of heresy. Such a proclamation is borne not of Scripture, but of an erroneous theology eager to baptize and declare as born again those who don’t yet even know they are dead.
Please understand something that is particularly true for what the Southern Baptist Convention has been becoming – and that equally represents much of the wider evangelical church – what is proclaimed as “Christianity” is not, in fact, Christianity. So few pew sitters know this, though, because our pastors have become nothing more than branch managing CEO’s whose primary mission is a return on investment in the idolatrous worship of the god of church growth.
That hard, yet true, teaching of Christ that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword will not fill the pews. Of course, it is His divisive Gospel – alone – that will actually save, actually give ultimate, eternal peace, and is actually the one we’re told to proclaim. But for the SBC, “that dawg don’t hunt.” Instead, we sell love and tolerance because that will fill the pews.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:34-39
In the aftermath of the Orlando event, Uth opened his church building to host a memorial service, a vigil, for the dead. It was a unified, televised show of solidarity – including religious and secular persuasions – for the beleaguered and persecuted LGBTQ “community.” While calling it “vulnerable,” complete disregard is given to the fact that community is authentically based on shared values, not on shared sin. Were a group of self-proclaimed murderers or rapists similarly targeted for violence, it’s unlikely we’d call them a “community” nor acknowledge them as “vulnerable.” Sin doesn’t make you vulnerable; it makes you – apart from Christ – hell-bound.
But Uth decided to proclaim an un-saving, unhelpful, and unloving “other” gospel to the sexually immoral he’d ushered into his church in the name of “Jesus’ love.” A clear presentation of the Gospel with a corresponding call to repentance was not to be heard. To be sure, no one left that vigil convicted of sin, aware of the clarity of Christ’s salvific sacrifice, nor of the singular possible assurance of authentic hope, now or eternally, to be found in Christ alone. You don’t get those things from Uth’s gospel, which is, by the way, the SBC’s “gospel.” That is not the Gospel that saves; that is a gospel that damns.
“We know God values and loves all people, as do we at First Baptist Orlando,” Uth said. “We condemn this horrible and unjustified act of violence against the Orlando community. We hurt and pray for our friends and neighbors, especially in the LGBT community, and we extend our deepest expressions of sympathy to all the loved ones experiencing grief today.” Pastor David Uth (Source: Christian Examiner)
The underlying theological problem with Uth’s warm condolences is it reflects zero underlying Scriptural foundation. Far from being Scripturally valid, this is the theology devised by the enemy of Christ. Instead of whispering temptations in a wilderness, that enemy is now proclaiming a counterfeit gospel from Southern Baptist pulpits – most recently First Baptist Orlando.
While mankind is indeed created imago dei – in the image of God – our depraved, fallen condition is helpless apart from God’s gracious Gospel. His image alone will not save us. But that Gospel did not cross Uth’s lips as he gave implicit divine absolution of universal love to a crowd gathered in his pews that desperately needed to instead hear the Truth. The gospel Uth uttered was designed “mentem a diabolo” – from the mind of the devil.
Scripture does not teach that God hates sin, but loves the sinner. Though it’s a pithy statement whipped out by the Scripturally-inept as though it were John 3:16 part B, and they do so with frequent fervency when faced with delicate situations of sin – and particularly with regards to the LGBTQ situation of sin – the truth of the quip is undeniably non-Biblical. God not only hates sin, He also hates those who practice sin. How do we know? Well, He doesn’t condemn the sin to hell, does He? No. He sends the sinner there.
The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalm 11:5
Churches and pastors, like Uth, that promote this false gospel from their heretical “it’s all about you” theology are following the “god of this world” as he leads many down the apostate road to destruction. Until they arrive, of course, some of those “many” may occupy a pew, having been given false assurance under the opaque, deceptive promise of God’s universal love. This, though, is a damnable evil within the church. And, in the SBC, where we love any pew-filling heresy, we tolerate it being broadcast on a television channel of charlatans (We have found the charlatans and they are us?) and proclaimed from the pulpit of a megachurch.
While the love of God is a sure and certain fact (1 John 4:8), we are equally certain that His love is not indiscriminate. While it may be a difficult truth from Scripture for the pew sitting false converts of this false theology, it is nevertheless the fact that Jesus Himself, in His high priestly prayer to the Father, intentionally did not lovingly pray “for the world.” He prayed for those “you have given me.” As the true believer will know, the Father gave to Christ only “those” who had been regenerated by His Holy Spirit through the hearing of the authentic Gospel. Because of His Son, it is upon those souls where the Father’s lavish love is bestowed.
When we see pastors or churches, or, as in the case of the SBC, whole denominations, proclaim “another gospel,” we must remember the twice repeated apostolic curse of Paul about such proclaimers:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8-9
Viewing the tragic Orlando event through the lens of Scripture, what is seen is no different than what may be seen on any day when one sees God’s hand at work in any other place across His globe. God is seen, as Paul says in Romans 1, “giving them up” to their sin. This is His divine judgment. (If that seems too harsh, just too “unloving” for you, take it up with God. He sets the rules; it’s our job to understand and abide by them.)
The most unloving thing we can do, then, is to proclaim a false gospel of “Jesus loves everybody” to these lost souls, whether they are lost in sexual sin or in any other sin. To tell them “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” is to earn the apostle’s anathema upon ourselves while we unbiblically judge the hearer as unworthy to hear the full Truth and nothing but the Truth. God judges the world; we don’t. Our task, divinely assigned, is to share the truth of the Gospel with everyone, not judge whom ought to receive it in its fullness.
In our failure to disclose the full truth of the Gospel, in love, to the dying world, we are effectively, and illicitly, judging them unworthy to hear it. It’s evidence not of Christian love, but of our sinful disobedience born of some other wicked impetus – perhaps the wicked motivation generated by the idol of church growth and ecumenism.
It’s noteworthy to recognize, in the list of sins which prompted God to “give them up” in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, sexual immorality is the first mentioned. We can intra-murally argue about the severity of one sin over another, but as all sin leads to eternal death, all sinners equally need to hear the call for repentance and belief. They need the real Gospel regardless of the sin which will most certainly damn them.
We don’t see the selfless good Samaritan first asking the bloody and beaten traveler what caused his injuries. Before giving aid, he didn’t first ask, “what sin did you commit that brought this injury upon you?” Neither should the Christian. As A.W. Tozer said, we are always called to bless the world, but we are never told to compromise with it. To be sure, neither are we to compromise the Gospel with it, for it, or, in judgment of it. God’s the judge; we’re merely the process servers of His Gospel.
The unrepentant homosexual sinner will as certainly be damned as will the unrepentant heterosexual liar. We should be ministering to, praying for, and pleading for repentance from all sinners, the sexually immoral included. But we should never, ever, ever fail to minister to them apart from the Gospel. We should never condone any sin. And we must never feed them the damnable heresy of a gospel that is not to be found in Scripture.
What David Uth’s “Jesus loves everybody” gospel and Ronnie Floyd’s “name it and claim it” gospel and “other” gospels proclaimed by so much of the SBC demands is nothing short of an apostolic anathema. We have the Gospel; we ought not be afraid to share it.
Those still in the SBC need to stand NOW to defend Truth in our ranks, from our pulpits, and from our leadership. We must demand repentance from those proclaiming intentional, unbiblical, and damning erroneous gospels. Failing their repentance, we must demand their departure. If you are not in the SBC, please pray for us.
Authentic Christians across the broad spectrum of the “evangelical” world must be aware that the volume of false gospels is growing louder from pulpits, the evil spirit of faux unity is being driven ever more powerfully by the devilish god of ecumenism, and Truth itself is being targeted for silencing. We are the voices of His Truth. Let us be vocal. Let us be clear.
Souls are in peril … and it’s obvious we can’t trust them to many of the pulpits of the church today – especially those of the SBC … they’re simply too busy waltzing down apostasy lane.
Contributed by Bud Ahlheim