Casey B. Hough Needs to be Fired from Several Jobs

On December 16, 2016 the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC) published an article entitled “The Diversity in Our Christmas Story.” This week, it was reshared via the ERLC Twitter feed. The article was penned by Casey B. Hough, whose Twitter profile lists him as the following:

Disciple, Husband of @hanelise, Father, PhD @NOBTS, Lead Pastor @CopperfChurch, Assistant Professor @Luther_Rice, @ERLC Research Fellow, & @CenPasTheo Fellow

Dr. Hough’s article highlighted the genealogy of Jesus as listed in Matthew and pointed out that Jesus was a “Mixed-Race Savior”. Hough pointed out that several of Jesus’ distant female ancestors (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba) were not Jewish women but various types of Canaanites. To Hough, this is somehow relevant to the Christmas story and should make us all think long hard about what the incarnation and the gospel can teach us about “diversity”. To Hough, the color of Jesus’ skin (I’m no geneticist but I think Canaanites and Hebrews were the same color) should make us consider the importance of “seeing color” in the Kingdom.

Of course, Matthew includes the genealogy of Joseph and Jesus is not a genetic descendant of Joseph. Joseph was the adoptive father of the Lord. Jesus was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit. I’m not a geneticist but I am a theologian. If races do in fact exist, the Holy Spirit doesn’t have one. I do not know if Mary had mixed race ancestry (anyone descended of David would according to Hough’s observation). Franky, I don’t care. She was culturally Jewish, as were Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba.

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

Ruth 1:16

As interesting as the subjects of genetics and cultural anthropology may be, these are not the subjects upon which I dwell at Christmastime. I dwell upon the incarnation itself. Jesus came to Earth and lived as a man so that he could bear my sin. This enabled me to be adopted into the family of God as his brother. Nothing about genetics brought me into the nation of Israel, it was all the grace of God. Racial differences, especially genetic ones, couldn’t be further from my mind.

This was not the case for Casey B. Hough. He took the opportunity granted to him by the ERLC to publish an article about “diversity” which claims that scriptures teaches a lesson about the importance of Jesus’ “mixed-race”. That’s the kind of thing you need a PhD to make up because normal pew-sitters just don’t manufacturer those kinds of absurdities. Of course, I don’t want to impugn higher theological education. Hough’s PhD is from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I graduated from that institution and I don’t remember the school teaching me such stupid things. Neither did the school teach me that females could be pastors…and this is where to we get why Casey B. Hough needs to be fired from several jobs.

Hough has a female discipleship “pastor” and a female kids “pastor” on the leadership team at his church. Yet, the Baptist Faith and Message states:

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Hough needs to be fired from his church. The Baptist Faith and Message, and, more importantly, the Scriptures are clear that women are not to be pastors. No man who believes and practices otherwise is qualified to lead a church as its pastor. Hough does. So, Copperfield Church should fire him.

Hough needs to be fired from the ERLC. It is a Southern Baptist Institution. Hough flouts the official Southern Baptist position on the church. So, the ERLC should fire him.

Hough needs to be fired from the faculty of Luther Rich College and Seminary. This is an institution which trains pastors. It’s doctrinal statement reads, ” Where consistent with the doctrinal and position statements, Luther Rice is committed to the Baptist Faith and Message.” Yet, Hough flouts it.

How did Hough graduate from a Southern Baptist school, get a job at a Southern Baptist Church, and find employment at a Southern Baptist entity (as well as an independent Baptist Seminary) while outright rejecting the teachings of Scripture and the Baptist Faith and Message?

It’s simple. Few leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention care about doctrinal integrity. More care about numbers, (diverse) money, and power. That’s how progressives like Hough become employed at the ERLC and publish stupid articles. I think the chances of Hough getting fired from any of the jobs listed above are slim to none. Listen, it’s not the exception for the ERLC to have stupid stuff like this is, it’s the rule. I could write a book about how progressive and unrepresentative of Southern Baptists the Convention’s leadership is. In fact, I did write a book. If you are a Southern Baptist, you pay for unqualified men and women to write dumb articles like the one Hough published…and you are in no position to fire him.

You are, however, in a position to fire the ERLC and the Southern Baptist Convention. Don’t give them another dime through your church…unless of course you like paying for lady “pastors” and ridiculous articles about Jesus’ genetics.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant