Posts Tagged ‘SBC’

James A. ThM

Is Karen Swallow Prior demon possessed?

There’s no other (or better) explanation for why Karen Swallow Prior (“KSP”), professor at Liberty University, and Research Fellow of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics Committee (“ERLC”), consistently endorses LGBTism and Roman Catholicism then that she is demon possessed. Prior recently published a statement on the LGBT website, Level Ground, excusing her sin explaining why she supports Level Ground’s “brave vision” (bravery is an oft used “buzz word” of the LGBT community for “coming out” or as applied to “Caitlyn” Jenner, attempting to convert oneself into a different gender).

TONE

Before I discuss her excuse, I’m going to defer to the Pulpit & Pen website for a comprehensive list of documentation against KSP that stems from support of socialist animal rights activism, feminism, and a constant endorsement of other LGBT causes and Catholicism. And we need to say a word about “tone”.

Much of what JD Hall and contributors at Pulpit & Pen have written on this matter are largely ignored because of his “tone”. Sometimes those with discernment and good common sense try to warn others about a problem, and the caveats get brushed off. Sometimes satire and sarcasm are used to make a point (See Elisha’s treatment of the men at Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings chapter 18-19, Paul confronting Peter to the face in Galatians 2:11-13, and naming names of his detractors, 1 Tim 1:18-19, 2 Tim 2:17 ).

It’s unfortunate that JD Hall, nor many of the rest of us who see the problems with KSP, don’t have the kind of grace that our critics have. I apologize for not being as pious as my self-righteous fans, most of whom consist of anonymous accounts that harass me all day long from literally hundreds of accounts, all to complain about tone and tactics. I have great theological differences with JD Hall, and writers at P&P, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that he has discovered some malware in the SBC infrastructure, and folks are using “tone” to avoid addressing the issues merely because they dislike him personally. I have seen some of the most ridiculous defenses  of KSP and SBC leaders over issues Hall and others have raised. When studying trial strategies in law school, we learned about the “Twinkie Defense” which sought to exonerate a defendant’s actions based on the sugar buzz obtained from a Twinkie. Essentially, the Twinkie made him do it. Defenders of KSP, Russ Moore, Rick Warren, Ed Stetzer, Thom Rainer, Ronnie Floyd, et al, are offering Twinkie Defenses to clear and obvious cases of theological brutality and compromise.  I have seen some of the most relativistic rationalizing from professing Christians that I’ve ever witnessed, and it’s pathetic that people care more about their idols in SBC leadership and their blog reputations than standing for Biblical truth.

Let’s just be honest and frank, it wouldn’t make a difference what “tone” is used when confronting (or trying to) leaders in the SBC. This evangelical intelligentsia is not to be questioned. Any challenge to their royal and imperial elitism risks having the Southern Baptist KGB snuff out the trouble making proletariat with an endless barrage of funeral mourners crying about tone. After all, these “good, godly men” couldn’t possibly have any motive  ($$$$) to deceive anyone despite the fact they are millions of dollars in unexplained debt, and maintain a book selling business that profits off of heresy.

So JD Hall is a jerk. OK, we get it. It’s been emphasized thousands of times. He’s a jerk, I’m a jerk, everyone that opposes the SBC is a jerk. Duly Noted. Our tone is rotten, and we should work on it. Check. Thanks for praying for our “bad attitudes” and pointing out our flaws every minute of the day for the sole purpose of enabling your idols to continue chipping away at churches in preparation for the greatest ecumenical siege to date (Daniel 9-11, Revelation 13-18). We’re not as loving as we could be, not as soft-spoken as Mrs Cleaver, and perhaps sometimes have the tact of an elephant, but that doesn’t excuse these people from leaving it in the middle of the room. But we all know that “tone” is a buzz word for “you have a critical spirit for disagreeing with anything my hero says or does”. Yes, sometimes we get in bad moods, maybe even more often than not, but some of us genuinely care about all of you and see the dangers ahead. If a homeless drunk is yelling that a shark is in the water, I’m not going to just laugh at him because he’s inebriated. I’d at least want to make sure I’m not about to get my foot eaten off. The SBC has some sharks in their midst, and if you get your eaten alive because you were more concerned about the watchmen’s appearance and form than WHAT HE SAYS, it’s your own fault.

KSP’S LOUSY EXCUSE FOR ENDORSING LEVEL GROUND

From the very outset of the article, after affirming that “we all have divisions”, Karen offers the following bullets as justification for her support of Level Ground, 

This is why I share Level Ground’s passionate commitment to its extraordinarily brave vision to:

  • Help communities foster relationships between people of differing positions (within and outside the church walls)
  • Elevate the public discourse in the midst of disagreement
  • Encourage reconciliation instead of division
  • Embody Christian discipleship as we encounter a diversity of beliefs

Elevate Public Discourse?

This is the “death by dialogue” discussed by Kevin DeYoung in his book on homosexuality [Unfortunately, Kevin has been silent about KSP even though many attempted to get a response from him when The Gospel Coalition began publishing articles by KSP]. Gay advocates seek to neutralize theological rhetoric against the abomination of homosexual practice by harmonizing our languages in a univocal voice of dialogue over “issues” (always a relative term) turning it into equivocal banter. If we can just somehow “talk” we’ll all get along without the “unnecessary” division. It’s a stall tactic of the LGBT community to put Bible believers asleep while LGBTs chip away at our laws, morals, and foundational beliefs.

Reconciliation?

The only reconciliation to be had is the LGBT’s repentance before the cross of Christ. What KSP is doing to promoting a social reconciliation that allows a person to be comfortable in their sin while living among other Christians without division, and perhaps through your generosity in not describing their lifestyle as sin that needs to be repented of they’ll eventually come to your way of thinking and convert after the ten thousandth “conversation”. Division is precisely what Scripture intended: “I came not to bring peace, but  a sword” Matthew 10:34; “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” Romans 16:17: see also 2 Cor 6:14-17, 1 Cor 5:11.

Embody Christian Discipleship?

Again, embody Christian discipleship? On what planet did KSP get this notion that a person living in unrepentant kingdom excluding sin (1 Cor 6:9-11) can possibly “embody Christian discipleship”? Karen Prior has to give Level Ground an apriori grant that they are even Christian in order to make this bold and heretical statement.

Remember when we were kids and mom and dad or the teacher questioned us about something bad, we could “truthfully” tell them what they wanted to hear to keep us out of trouble and it wasn’t a lie as long as we kept our fingers crossed behind our backs! That is precisely what Karen Swallow Prior is doing. She is telling those watching that she opposes homosexuality, while her fingers are crossed behind her back endorsing not only homosexual activist groups, but speaking engagements at Jesuit colleges endorsing Catholic ideas (KSP is an admitted Jesuit teacher). More people have come out of the closet affirming their gayness, then I have seen turn from their sin (one of her students wrote an article about his coming out in the Atlanta after a long “conversation” with Karen Prior). Karen is setting the tone for the homosexual community to use her as the face of the church’s views on LGBTism, which helps the LGBT community avoid having these conversations with apologists who force them to confront the contradictions between their lifestyle and the Bible.

When KSP attends these events, she is not addressing homosexuality as an abomination (or even sinful), she is not discussing Genesis 2, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Judges 19, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Cor 6:9-11, 1 Cor 5:9-11, 1 Cor 7, 1 Tim 1:10-11. Not at all. Her premise for discourse of sexuality is Pope John Paul’s “theology of the body”. With trembling hands and quivering voice, she whispers that it’s not perhaps the healthiest choice and says “my church views it as prohibited” (which is not the same as making an argument as to why you believe that). But as we’ve seen with the capitulating of Pope Francis on a plethora of issues, any theological  positions from the Roman Catholic Church can change with the next Pope (as “infallible” as he is!), and we’ll give it a few more years (maybe even shorter) before KSP follows in the footsteps of David Gushee and Julie Rodgers, those who once professed to believe in Biblical marriage and slowly began compromising (like KSP is doing now) until eventually coming all the way out of the closet. We believe this is by design. Call it conspiracy theory if you must, but there’s just far too many “coincidences” of professors entering conservative Christian colleges, gaining the trust of Bible believing Christians, and then capitulating for such a pattern as this to not be considered someone’s deliberate and calculated conniving (and its interesting that KSP is at Liberty University, once a staunch defender of morality with its “Moral Majority”. Anymore, you rarely hear it’s legal arm, American Center for Law and Justice, discussing the LGBT agenda. We even reached out to Jay Alan Sekulow for comment on this and received no reply).

And let’s face it, if Level Ground was really interested in encouraging meaningful and truthful “dialogue” about homosexuality, they would have invited the “go-to” men like Dr. Robert Gagnon , Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. James White, and a host of many other popular authors with a recognizable polemic against homosexual practice.

The kind of compromise we see from KSP, and those like Russ Moore who enable her, is exactly what leads to doctrinal degradation which ultimately has a destructive effect on our entire culture. The LGBT community does not set the standard for civility, discourse, dialogue, or theology. In the face of clear and convincing evidence that KSP and her loyal sycophants are making Catholicism and LGBTism more palatable to conservative Christians, it’s painfully obvious that they are either grossly incompetent at best, or demon possessed at worst.

My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among other Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence, to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope;” Part of  The Jesuit Oath.

 

J/A and Dr. James Ach

On July 22, 2015, we wrote an article supporting the accusations that Pulpit & Pen had made against Karen Swallow Prior, noting that while she claims to oppose homosexuality and the LGBT agenda, her actions show quite another thing (we have expanded those allegations to include her associations with the Roman Catholic Church). Many wrote against her, and some wrote in her defense, although those defending her have yet to answer the 2 questions below, or address our contentions that she is endorsing Romanism in a Baptist environment.

The two burning questions we had that were never answered: 1) what did she mean by “different kinds of love” when she attempted to defend her comment that “gay marriage is an act rooted in love”, and 2) what injustices has the church inflicted on the “gay community”? (a question raised by James White).

We will, again, post our question to Karen Prior at the end of this article, but first want to point readers to an excerpt from Kevin DeYoung’s book, What Does The Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? because there is a section that discusses “A Third Way” in how the church is addressing the problem of homosexuality among Christians, and we think DeYoung has hit the nail on the head as to why this “third way” is destructive and ineffective, and is precisely the reason that most discerning Christians have a problem with the “approach” of Karen Swallow Prior and her ilk on these issues, and are angry about the failure -or simply downright deliberate refusal- of so-called leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention to hold these figures accountable.


A Third Way~Kevin DeYoung

When the Bible uniformly and unequivocally says the same thing about a serious sin, it seems unwise to find a third way which allows for some people to promote this sin. Of course, there could be a third way if the other two ways are “perform same-sex weddings” or “be an obnoxious jerk and shun those who disagree.” No doubt, many on the traditional side must grow in asking questions, listening patiently, and demonstrating Christlike love. But those advocating for a third way usually mean more than this. They want churches and denominations and institutions to come to an “agree to disagree” compromise. They want a moratorium on making definitive pronouncements until we’ve all had the chance to mull things over a good deal longer. With so many emotions and so many other things to learn, shouldn’t we keep talking to each other? [Emphasis ours]

Talking is not the problem. The problem is when incessant talking becomes a cover for indecision or even cowardice. As one who has pastored for more than a dozen years in a mainline denomination, I have seen this far too often. It’s DEATH BY DIALOGUE. The conversation never stops after reaffirming the historic position. There will always be another paper, another symposium, and another round of conversation. The moratorium on making pronouncements will only be lifted once the revisionist position has won out. Every doctrine central to the Christian faith and precious to you as a  Christians has been hotly debated and disputed. If the “conversation” about the resurrection or the Trinity or the two natures of Christ continued as long as smart people on both sides disagreed, we would have lost orthodoxy long ago. [Emphasis ours]

All of these third ways end up the same way: a behavior the Bible does not accept is treated as acceptable. “Agree to disagree” sounds like a humble “meet you in the middle compromise, but it is a subtle way of telling conservative Christians that homosexuality is not a make-or-break issue and we are wrong to make it so. No one would think of proposing a third way if the sin were racism or human trafficking. To countenance such a move would be a sign of moral bankruptcy. [If you want to finish the chapter, buy the book cheapskate!] [End of Excerpt]


What can be discussed is perhaps the attitudes of many of us toward homosexuals. Christians can be unkind toward the homeless, drug addicts, and even each other. However, the issue of  whether same-sex relationships are sinful is not and should not be up for discussion. The only thing to discuss is repentance from homosexual behavior, not any possible alternatives regarding the meaning of marriage, or how the church and Israel could have missed something in the last 4000 years that is just now coming to light in the latter days to justify a paradigm shift on homosexual behavior. Same-sex sin is not like slavery, or other oppressive practices. Slavery was as wrong then as it is now. It was never an issue THAT it was wrong. It was only an issue that others saw it as an opportunity to gain immense profit while experiencing minimal physical fatigue, and ignored what they knew was right. Homosexual advocates are not asking us to recognize a sinful practice of which Biblical proscriptions against such treatment were ignored, they are asking us to reconsider making a sinful practice acceptable. Homosexuality will never be an issue where we realize that our prohibiting it in the church was a sin that needed to be repented of, like slavery. What the LGBTs are doing is asking us to make slavery an acceptable practice, to call something evil, good, all the while giving the appearance that the argument from slavery supports their position. It’s exactly the opposite.

Using this criteria, we could eventually allow a handful of dissenters to change church doctrines altogether. What if someone has a “revelation” that Christ was not God, gains a following, and prompts the church to consider that it could have been wrong all these years on the Trinity? After all, since some of the church got it wrong on slavery and eventually changed, then the church should be willing to “dialogue” about whether the Trinity should remain a relevant doctrine of the church. Or perhaps homosexual advocates will now argue that there should be no restrictions on age, e.g., if a homosexual “loves” a 9 year old boy than we should keep the lines of dialogue open to consider that perhaps the church has been wrong all these years about its view of sexual relations with minor children. After all, the church got it wrong on slavery, and there are other cultures where marrying minors is perfectly acceptable (as under Sharia Law in many Muslim countries).

Perish the thought.

It becomes death by dialogue where the church gives ear to “fairness” and the humanistic, philosophical relativism that mark today’s social progressives, and the social consensus becomes the standard in the church instead of authority of Scripture. The Bible message is NOT fair: THAT’S THE POINT. It cuts through what is accepted by the world as normal, and demands that the reader conform to the Absolute Moral Law Giver, not make the subject of Biblical proscriptions a matter of arbitration.

God has spoken on the matter of marriage, and homosexual behavior. There is no third way, there is no compromise. God said it, THAT SETTLES IT, whether you believe it or not. End of discussion.


QUESTIONS UNANSWERED BY KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR

Question 1: What “injustices” has the church inflicted on the “gay community” that we need to repent of?

Question 2: Which version of “love” did you mean? (reposting question and arguments from previous article).

 Karen has responded on another blog about what she meant by “gay marriage is rooted in love”. Although her defense is still gay-affirming, this is her excuse explanation:

As far as what I meant about gay marriage being rooted in love, I never imagined that anyone who has even a mild interest in Christian theology and doctrine would be unaware of the different kinds of love. I honestly did not know that pastors (let alone so-called discernment bloggers) existed who do not know this:

First of all, if Karen wanted others to understand her sentiment as a reference to “other” kinds of love, why didn’t she just say so? I mean, if she expects theologians to understand there are different kinds of love, shouldn’t we expect an English professor to make her statements clear? Moreover, was her target audience theologians? I mean, come on, if this information is something known to theologians, must we assume that everybody is aware of the four distinctions in Greek of love? So either her target audience consisted of theologians, or she’s being rhetorically dishonest. We have to assume that as an English professor she would expect her target audience to interpret her intent in the manner in which every day English speakers would read it, not how a theologian knowledgeable in Greek would construe it.

However, even giving her the benefit of a doubt (which we are not wont to do here), which love is she referring to? because all of the “other” loves in the Bible that are related to sexual relationships are always in the context of a 1-man-1-woman relationship. So was Prior claiming that she meant gay marriage is rooted in agape (ἀγάπη) love? I would hardly think that if Karen knows anything about Greek, and the various types of love that she pawns this excuse off on, she would at least have the decency not to attribute the strongest expression of love to homosexual relationships.

Did she mean philia (φιλία) love? If that were the case, then she couldn’t have qualified a conversation about sexual relationships among gays, not even same SEX attraction, because phileo is never intended to convey the concept of attraction, not even toward male toward female and vise versa. So we know she couldn’t have meant phileo love. Plus, the comment was about MARRIAGE which kind of rules of mere friendship and “celibate committed same-sex relationships” altogether.

Did she mean storge (στοργή)? the kind of affection shown in a parent/child relationship? Awk-ward!! [squeaky voice]

And finally, eros (ἔρως), used mostly to describe passionate and sexual love, between a male and female. However, if she means eros, is she granting homosexuals permission to claim their “love” is rooted in a Biblical expression of eros? She couldn’t have meant a perverted expression of eros because that just simply doesn’t exist in the Bible. Why didn’t she clarify that she meant to express that “their acts are rooted in a misguided and misunderstood version of love”? Wouldn’t something along those lines been a little less ambiguous than “gay marriage IS an act ROOTED IN LOVE”?

Karen has shot herself in the foot with her excuse. Even taking her explanation at face value, it doesn’t clarify her position any better than it did the first time she said it without the qualification. In fact, if anything, it makes her statement even worse. However, given that she deferred to this excuse, isn’t she then obligated to state which one she meant instead of just leaving us hanging waiting for the sequel?

Nevertheless, don’t believe for a second that she really intended to say “Oh, I really meant different kinds of love”. She had every opportunity to clarify her statement the first time. She said exactly what she wanted to say by using the rhetoric of the “gay community” which is kind of obvious by the fact she also used their condemnations (that the church needs to repent of its injustices toward them, another unqualified quip).

But let’s give her a chance to clarify this blunder. Tell us Karen, if you meant “different kinds of love”, WHICH ONE?