Earlier this year, Grace Point Church, a Southern Baptist church in Bentonville, AR, apologized to his congregation after a speaker from the Creation ministry, Answers in Genesis preached a sermon defending the biblical order of creation and how it applies to sexual immorality in our day. During the sermon, Answers in Genesis speaker, Dr. Terry Mortenson defended the literal view of creation as taught in Genesis and said that it is foundational to our understanding of God’s creative order.
Further, Mortenson argued that disbelief in the literal understanding of Genesis ultimately leads to a disbelief in other important literal doctrines, such as the resurrection and the virgin birth. That sermon can be viewed at this link.
The following week, during a sermon, the pastor of the church, McDaniel, apologized to the congregation for Answers in Genesis’ Mortenson “mishandling” of the subject of transgenderism.
… in this gender confusion world which we live — which is called, has been medically called “gender dysphoria” — we struggle with, again, our identity sexually. And, um, it’s a touchy situation, and I want to handle all of those topics delicately, and if they’re not handled delicately — and I’ll refer back to last Sunday a little bit. The first gathering, especially. I don’t believe it was handled delicately, and so I apologize if you were offended in any way, um, with some of those comments… There is a right and a wrong, but there’s a right and a wrong way to do things, and talk about things, and address things…
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Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis wrote in a blog post that he had essentially been “de-platformed” at a church. After the sermon that Answers’ Mortensen preached, the pastor, McDaniel took him to a back room to scold him. Mortensen said, according to Ken Ham,
During the last song, the pastor asked me to go backstage to a room. He told me that what I said about the moral issues (especially my brief LGBT comment) was not what he wanted and that I needed to change the message before the second service and essentially replace that marriage section with comments about God’s greatness and design in creation.
Then after lunch the pastor and assistant pastor called me to say that a number of people were upset with my first message feeling that I indicated that anyone who rejected young-earth creation could not be saved. I told the pastors that I neither said nor implied that, for neither I nor AiG believe that. They asked me to state that at the beginning of the evening service—which I happily did.
I found out that the next week in his sermon, the pastor apologized for what I had presented the previous Sunday morning. And all my presentations had also been removed from the church’s website and Facebook page.
This molly-coddling of the unbelieving world is a growing epidemic in Evangelical churches. If we can’t speak the truth in love–even in the pulpits of supposedly like-minded believers–then we have a serious problem to face.