With Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) research fellows (who have recently lectured at Southern Seminary’s Fuller Center) endorsing the LGBT Revoice Conference, and with Russell Moore defending her decision to endorse the conference at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, Albert Mohler very carefully stuck his wet finger to the wind to determine which way it was blowing and spoke out against Revoice the day it began.
In related news, Dr. Mohler would probably like to warn us that the Japanese will be bombing Pearl Harbor and that we should drop our Enron stock.
While polemicists and discernment ministries have been warning about Revoice for months, Southern Baptist officials, graduates, professors, and popular figures have been endorsing the conference, leading to what amounts to a warning from Dr. Mohler that is a day late and more than a few dollars short. In reality, much of the ideological foundation for Revoice was laid at the 2014 ERLC “Breaking Bread with Homosexuals” conference in which Mohler himself was present and changed his own position on sexual orientation. Likewise, only after public pressure began to mount did the ERLC post a disapproving article from one of its staff members, Andrew Walker, on its blog and only on the day Revoice began did Russell Moore claim that Walker’s post officially represented the ERLC’s position. One would think that the “ethics” organization of the SBC would be the first – and not literally the last – to speak up on the issue of Revoice. Both Mohler and Moore have been tremendous examples of the lack of courage it takes to lead from behind.
The reason for the delay in Mohler and Moore to speak out on the issue of Revoice should be clear. The normalizing of Same-Sex Attraction (SSA) and the division of LGBTQ professed “Christians” into a “Sexual Minority” identity group is the logical progression of the Cultural Marxism and Critical Race Theory that undergirds the Social Justice ideology so heavily promoted by Southern Seminary and the ERLC over the course of the last year. In short, Mohler, Moore, and the Social Justice Latte Mafia helped to create the evangelical milieu in which Revoice would happen.
There is one interesting bit of information provided in the Baptist Press article from yesterday, entitled LGBT Christians Conference Draws SBTS, ERLC Responses (other than that the title is a misnomer; it was the Baptist Press that finally and reluctantly drew an official response from the ERLC, and not the conference itself). That bit of information is an acknowledgment that Karen Swallow Prior – an ERLC research fellow – is gay-affirming.
We first told the world that the ERLC had a gay-affirming research fellow in an article from July of 2015 entitled, Gay Affirming Research Fellow at ERLC, Shocking Liberalism. We were heavily criticized at the time, even though Dr. James White himself agreed that Karen Swallow Prior had used “gay affirming language” on his Dividing Line podcast and the evidence was overwhelming. Chris Bolt and other internet denizens attacked Pulpit & Pen for reporting the truth regarding Prior, claiming we were grossly in error for our characterization. In fact, Pulpit & Pen had a contributor resign due to the pressure of his elder board, and issue an apology to Prior for considering her less than stellar on the topic of homosexuality. History and Prior’s continued words, however, have removed all doubt as to who was right and who was wrong on whether or not Prior is gay-affirming. The Baptist Press has forever settled that (as though it wasn’t already settled).
Karen Swallow Prior, an English professor at Liberty University and an ERLC research fellow, has endorsed the stated goals of the conference. Research fellows meet once a year for a two-day meeting and do not speak for the organization, according to the ERLC.
The stated goals of the conference include, “Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.” The conference’s main theme seems to be that so long as homosexuals don’t commit physical acts of sodomy, they are free to keep their LGBT identity and are not pressed to repent of Same-Sex Attraction.
Swallow Prior’s continued endorsement of the LGBT-affirming conference is in stark contrast to the belated positions of Dr. Mohler and Dr. Moore, who seem to reluctantly realize that Revoice is what we have said it is all along.
The Baptist Press, as the PR outlet for the SBC, tried to put some distance between the ERLC and Prior, stating, “Research fellows meet once a year for a two-day meeting and do not speak for the organization, according to the ERLC.”
Of course, Prior has used the status as an ERLC research fellow to publicly bolster her credentials in hundreds upon hundreds of her writings and has used it to lend her credibility in Southern Baptist circles, such as when she spoke at the SBTS Andrew Fuller Center. Likewise, the Research Fellows are regularly used as a cohesive unit at the bequest of Russell Moore, such as when they unilaterally went “all-in” for Marco Rubio, serving as his faith advisory council in the 2016 presidential primaries. They are much more active than simply meeting for brunch once a year; that characterization is disingenuous.
Furthermore, it was Russell Moore who said that he wished he had “one thousand more Karen Swallow Priors.”
Southern Baptists are right to wonder why.
[Editor’s Note: Contributed by JD Hall]
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