Reformation Charlotte broke the story last week of James Merritt who endorsed the preaching of his openly homosexual son, Jonathan. Earlier this year, Jonathan came publicly out of the closet–despite the fact that we already knew he was gay–and embraced his new proclaimed status as a “gay Christian man.”
Despite the fact that Jonathan is open about his sexuality, and has identified himself wholly with the LGBTQ movement, his father, James, endorsed him anyway, calling his preaching “faithful to the gospel.”
After enduring the sermon that James insisted was faithful to the gospel, it was clear that, despite his open homosexuality, his sermon was nothing close to “faithful to the gospel” and was, instead, a twisting of the Scriptures to push a social justice agenda–something he and his father have in common.
James doesn’t just have this agenda in common with his son, though. Much of the Southern Baptist Convention’s leadership have embraced the heretical social gospel and used it to advance secular ideologies that align more with Marxism than with biblical theology.
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Nonetheless, a handful of conservatives who still remain in the Southern Baptist Convention raised red flags about James’ endorsement of his son as he formerly served as the Southern Baptist Convention president and was, until today, a faculty member at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
SEBTS is presided over by Danny Akin, another social gospel adherent who is largely willing to overlook minor details–like embracing homosexual preachers–in favor of those who are willing to help him advance his social agenda. But the conservatives kept pushing, and today, Akin announced that Merritt had resigned citing becoming a “distraction” to the school.
In this announcement, Akin says that James Merritt “asked him to allow James to decline” his post at the school, to which we replied: he shouldn’t have had to ask. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, which is the standard statement of faith for the Southern Baptist Convention, clearly states that homosexuality is sin and that the framework for intimacy is “the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.”
Jonathan has defied that biblical standard by openly embracing his sexual expression as a “gay Christian man.”
This leads one to ask; is the Southern Baptist Convention sincere about upholding these standards? James Merritt is still the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church. James Merritt–upon publicly endorsing the preaching of his gay son–has not publicly repented of this sin. Instead, in the midst of church politics, it was swept under the rug and disguised as merely a “distraction.” The sin itself has not been dealt with.