“What happened at First Baptist Church Orlando the night of June 14 was the theological equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a day of infamy. It was the day that a flagship church of the Southern Baptist Convention, quite literally, sold its soul to the devil and “trampled under foot the Son of God.” (Hebrews 10:29) Justin Peters
Most believers, perhaps even those who “abide in my word” less than they ought to, will recognize Jesus’ words from Matthew 7:13-14:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
The authentically regenerate Christian will know that the only way to find that narrow path is through solus Christus, Christ alone. That path is attainable, though, only through the right Jesus, not the one so popularly proclaimed from pulpits today. He must be the Jesus of Scripture.
Indeed, we realize that we don’t even look for that narrow path until, first, He has found us. Once found, we understand His grace. We understand who God is, who we are, and revel in the glorious reality that we have been chosen to be, with the apostle Paul, “a slave of Christ.” Our eyes are opened. We see things as they truly are. And we embrace the singular mission given to us by the God who became incarnate, lived, died, and rose again as a ransom for our souls – we get to be His ambassadors sharing His glorious Gospel.
Our understanding of the narrow gate is divinely emphasized with perhaps the most frightening words uttered by our Lord just a few verses later in Matthew’s Gospel.
“On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” Matthew 7:22
Even the grace granted believer trembles at the eternal consequences of Christ’s decisive response to His rhetorically-posed, but certain to come to pass, question:
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:23
Before that day of eternal judgment arrives when “many” will hear those final, wrath-sentencing words of Christ, believers have been given the dutiful, solemn, yet glorious task of stewardship over His Gospel of grace. The message of Christ, foretold through the millennia by Old Testament prophets, coming to fruition in His incarnation, death, and resurrection, and explained by the rich, revelatory theology of the apostles – His Gospel, the “power of God for salvation” – is the mechanism employed by the Holy Spirit to place chosen souls on that narrow path of life.
The New Testament is replete with warnings to protect that Gospel, defend it, contend for it. We are warned that many will come, diabolically motivated, who will twist it, conceal it, augment it, or outright deny it. False messiahs, false teachers, false prophets will be employed by the enemy of our God to keep the masses traveling on the wide path that “leads to destruction.”
Since the fiercest fighting in spiritual warfare occurs, not in the world, but in the church, some of those who are pointing souls down the wide path stand in pulpits, where they offer an accomodating, though damnable, counterfeit gospel. They are ones who will one day stand before Him and plead, “Lord, Lord, did we not …?”
Some of these “other gospel” proclaimers stand, ever increasingly, in pulpits of Southern Baptist Churches. The astute student of Scripture will know this to be a certain truth, warned about it as we are by the Word.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 4
What may be shocking, though, is that some of those who “pervert the grace of our God” don’t simply creep in unnoticed. Some are intentionally, knowingly invited to the pulpit as was done by Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Orlando, on June 14, 2016, effectively trampling under foot the Son of God.
When a minister of the Gospel of the caliber of Justin Peters makes such a statement as cited at the opening of this article, the subject of his rebuke – in this case, most directly Uth, but also FBC Orlando and the entire Southern Baptist Convention – ought to take serious heed. They should follow the apostolic command appropriate to this very situation, “Examine yourself, to see if you are in the faith,” (2 Corinthians 13:5) to be followed, hopefully, by their confession and repentance.
In what should be a ministry category that is crowded with capable defenders of the faith, Peters is one of merely a few whose discernment and polemics ministry serves well the body of Christ. While the church today is facing an onslaught of counterfeit gospels and false doctrines, the number of devoted, Scripture-focused defenders and contenders for the faith are few. Calling out the false teachers, correcting erroneous doctrines, and serving to help keep clear that narrow path, there are yet not many ministers who will take on the task. Peters does.
Over three upcoming articles, we will examine the specifics of the apostasy introduced by Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida, and the cadre of other “ministers” and speakers invited by him to speak at a Biblically-illicit spiritual enterprise in the wake of the mass-murder at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. (See embedded video below.) We will examine their words compared to Scriptural orthodoxy, showing why all evangelicals, particularly Southern Baptists, should be outraged at the Gospel denial and “other Jesus” proclaimed from this pulpit.
We will be aided by the Scripture-compliant, discerning observation of Rev. Justin Peters culled, with his permission, from three episodes of his radio program that focused on the Orlando heresy. (Links to his broadcasts are provided in the footnotes.)
Peters incisively observes the egregious spiritual fraud perpetrated by Uth at this flagship church of the Southern Baptist Convention, done, though it was, under the auspices of showing love to a grieving homosexual community. The absence of an authentic presentation of the Gospel is merely one major flaw. There are multiple examples of apostasy invited, tolerated, and proclaimed from this Baptist pulpit.
A call, therefore, is being made to Southern Baptist Convention leadership, to the leadership of the Florida Baptist Convention, to believing members in the body of FBC Orlando, and to Biblically-obedient Southern Baptists convention-wide to demand from Uth an apology, his repentance, and a visible reaffirmation of the true Gospel to which Southern Baptists adhere and which Scripture clearly teaches. The Gospel was conspicuously absent from the blasphemous charade of a prayer service with intentionally-invited and unregenerate souls who were, under Uth’s oversight and by his invitation, given a false, damning “other” gospel.
Failing Uth’s apology, repentance, and reaffirmation of Truth, the Convention must move decisively to eject First Baptist Church Orlando from its association with the SBC.
Indeed, it is likely that Uth, by failing to intervene as a minister of the Gospel to bring an end to the blasphemous commentary being uttered from First Baptist’s pulpit, has disqualified himself from serving as a shepherd of any Christian church, much less a Southern Baptist one.
As Peters commented, “If the Southern Baptist Convention, the leadership, doesn’t take action, then it [The SBC] should shutter its doors.”
Echoing him is Brannon Howse who observed, in reference to the First Baptist Orlando event, “This is a denomination that seems to be in fast, fast decline and apostasy.”
Biblically-literate believers understand there will always be tares among the wheat, goats among the sheep. That should, however, not justify tolerance for allowing, by invitation, goats in the pulpits. Yet, perhaps we should recognize that these things must come to pass. Scripture has made it clear.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, HCSB, emphasis added)
In the event you presume this is much ado about nothing, be assured that Dr. Uth isn’t viewing it as such. He anticipated, rightly so, criticism to be hurled at him and his church. While the silence from the ranks of the SBC on the heresy allowed in this church has been shocking, what you might find even more shocking is that Uth, anticipating kickback, suggested, during a Sunday morning service, an appropriate response:
The critics should die.
“I mean, I know they’re probably saved and going to heaven … and so it’d probably be better if God would go ahead and take them … get them out of the way.” Dr. David Uth (Source)
That a Southern Baptist pastor, seeking to show “love” by unbiblically uniting with a known unregenerate, but “persecuted community,” in a spiritual enterprise, while simultaneously suggesting that authentic believers who would question him should die sounds hardly pastoral, biblical, or well-advised. What it sounds like is apostasy.
“Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” I Corinthians 5:12
When it comes to Uth and the goings-on at First Baptist Orlando, sadly, there is much to judge. Southern Baptists and fellow evangelicals should take note because the heterodoxy embarked upon by Uth and FBC Orlando – while it demands an apology and repentance – is what we expect to see … because …“…the apostasy comes first …” and it is being welcomed to the pulpit by the SBC …
For further review, please see the following sources:
[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]