Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and arguably one of the most influential theologians in the Southern Baptist Convention has been repeatedly criticized for his failure to lead in a timely manner by conservative Christians. As a matter of fact, most of the time Mohler ends up landing on the right side of theological issues, from Ed Litton’s plagiarism to homosexuality in the Church—but his voice is always too little too late. The term coined to describe his leadership is “leading from behind.”
If you’ve been following the Andy Stanley saga on social media and the blogosphere, especially, here at The Dissenter, you’re probably aware by now that Stanley has been under fire by a small but vocal minority in Evangelicalism for his apparent shift toward affirming homosexuality over the past several months. In fact, this has been out in the open for over a year, yet very few theological names with large platforms have spoken to it. It’s been left to the little guys, like us, Protestia, and various names on Twitter.
Next week, Stanley is hosting a “gay Christianity” conference at his church, called Unconditional, which claims its purpose is to teach “parents of LGBTQ children” how to love their children. The theology behind the conference is heavily informed by what is known as “side A Christianity”—a movement that is fully affirming of homosexuality and active, practicing homosexual relationships. This is contrast to “side B,” which affirms that one can “identify” as a homosexual and experience attraction to and have intimate relationships with people of the same sex so long as they stop short of bodily penetration. “Side B” is synonymous with the Revoice movement prominent in Southern Baptist and Presbyterian (PCA) circles.
“Side A,” however, is synonymous with names like Matthew Vines and the Reformation Project, Brandan Robertson, a self-described “gay pastor,” and various spin-off organizations that are fully affirming. One of those names is a man named Justin Lee, who not only affirms homosexuality but is married to another man and actively living a practicing homosexual lifestyle while naming the name of Christ.
Join Us and Get These Perks:
✅ No Ads in Articles
✅ Access to Comments and Discussions
✅ Community Chats
✅ Full Article and Podcast Archive
✅ The Joy of Supporting Our Work 😉
In a recent article published at WNG, only one week before (again, too little too late) the upcoming Unconditional Conference where Lee will be speaking, Al Mohler criticized Andy Stanley and this conference, along with its speakers. The article, titled The train is leaving the station, Andy Stanley’s departure from Biblical Christianity, Mohler writes:
Scheduled speakers for the event include two men who are married to other men, at least according to current civil law. Biographical background on speakers Justin Lee and Brian Nietzel indicates that both men are in what are now described as “same-sex marriages.” Lee is well known as a platform speaker who argues for the legitimacy of “monogamous same-sex relationships.” Nietzel presents seminars on “restoring LGBTQ+ faith.” Just to be clear: This is not “the quieter middle space.”
Mohler then says that Andy Stanley, being one of the most influential pastors in the US, but his theological views on this issue are “clouded by confusion and the deliberate avoidance of clarity.” Of course, Mohler is right—Stanley has not come out and openly stated that he affirms homosexuality. But his actions, associations, and the people he platforms clearly demonstrates that he is. The question, of course, is why is Al Mohler just now speaking up? Why didn’t he say something when Russell Moore platformed him at an ERLC conference in 2016? But I digress—at least he finally said something.
But it wasn’t without retort, as Lee took to one of Evangelical’s “finest critics,” Julie Roys, to strike back at Mohler and tell him he had it all wrong. According to the Roys Report, in a statement he made to her publication, he said “I am not giving a talk to advocate for traditional churches to change their theology of sexual morality or marriage,” said Lee. “I have been speaking to conservative evangelical audiences (and others) for 25 years on the subject of how to show Christian love to someone even if you disagree with them or know them to be sinning in some way.”
He went on to say that he believes “it’s possible to love one another without compromising your beliefs or moral stands,” and that “In fact, I am well known for coming to the defense of conservative churches, ministries, and Christian colleges in staying true to their traditional beliefs—even on those rare issues where we may disagree.”
Right. So we’re supposed to believe that a man, who we have on video making out with another man in a church during his “gay wedding” ceremony, is out to defend conservative churches that are speaking biblical sexual ethics—and he isn’t out to sway them in any way. Justin Lee is the epitome of “gay Christian activism.” And that deepest level of the “gay Christian” movement is the Matthew Vines Reformation Project level that essentially takes all barriers off of homosexuality and encourages gay marriage and gay sexual relationships and inclusivity in the Church.
That movement is where Justin Lee falls. Lee is a part of Vines’ Reformation Project “gay Christian” movement and is heavily promoted on their website. Lee was the founder of the Gay Christian Network—an openly homosexual advocation group—but was ousted in 2017 since his views on homosexuality were even too extreme for this group. But yeah, we’re misunderstanding him, and he’s really out to defend conservative Christian views. Any church that would enlist Justin Lee to defend their view on sexual ethics has forfeited any right to be viewed as “conservative.”