We’ve all known for years that Jonathan Merritt, the son of the former Southern Baptist Convention president, James Merritt, was a flaming homosexual. And though he was “outed” for having a gay encounter with another man at a Christian conference several years ago, he’s never actually openly and fully admitted that he is gay.
Today, that changes.
In a post on Instagram, Jonathan Merritt comes completely out of the closet admitting that the life he lives publicly is “disconnected” from his private life, and that he wants to set the record straight before he turns 40. In the post, he writes, “Some of you may not know this part of my story. I have learned to live authentically in my personal life, sharing with friends the fullness of who I am. But the experience of being outed left me bruised and untrusting and dead dog afraid to offer these vulnerable parts of myself for public consumption and critique. So, I haven’t really written about my identity online.”
While we’ve covered this before, Merritt is correct here stating that he’s never publicly admitted this. He says it’s because he doesn’t “want to live fearful of the opinions of strangers or the venom of bigots.” Of course, everyone knows those “bigots” are simply people who actually believe the Word of God to be true.
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Merritt continues to describe himself as a Christian and says that he’s had to “learn to love the delightful human that God made when God made me.”
Clearly, God is not responsible for his sin–and he continues to live in open rebellion to God and is enabled by his father as seen in his social media post below:
He continues, “So today, I’m raising a glass to my full and complete self—a gay man, beloved by God, who has endured the worst the world could throw at him and fought his way to health and wholeness.”
Hershael York, the Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary offered the following sentiments:
While Merritt is a false teacher who leads people away from Christ, mollycoddling these people is not the biblical way to treat them. Not that York agrees with him–he does not. But we don’t have the authority to hold a different disposition toward false teachers than the Scriptures demand. Paul and the Apostles treated false teachers who “bear the name of Christ” yet live in open immorality like dogs–he said to cast them out and purge them, not to even eat with them (1 Corinthians 5:11).
This modern invasion of friendship theology that creates deep friendships between pagans and Christians is a modern invention of the Church and terrible theology. It is rooted in the pragmatic view of “hospitality” advanced by people like Rosaria Butterfield and Sam Allberry that “the gospel comes with a house key.” It is, however, nonsense.
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. –Romans 16:17
So this is how Merritt wants to celebrate his 39th birthday–with a middle finger to God. Let’s not forget how many Southern Baptists have elevated this man, including Beth Moore, who often partners with him for “Christian” enterprises.