Most people know my opinion on Homosexuality. I believe that a persons sexuality is their own business. I support homosexual marriage.
That said, the persecution of the Southern Baptist Convention because of the actions of one man is not fair. Many bloggers have labelled this an example of “Endemic Christian Hypocrisy” some sites claiming that this just one in a “long list of examples of hypocrisy” Sorry but there are hypocrites everywhere and from what I’ve noticed neither side has a monopoly on hypocrisy. I had a gay friend who slept with his ex-partner’s lover (female) to get back at his ex. Does this make all gays amoral? No, this makes him amoral, not every gay. The following AP news article highlights the Latham case.
Okla. Pastor Arrested on Lewdness Charge
The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 4, 2006; 11:14 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY — A pastor who has spoken out against homosexuality was arrested after propositioning a male undercover police officer outside a hotel, authorities said. As the Rev. Lonnie Latham, 59, left jail Wednesday, he said “I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police.” Lonnie Latham, shown in this photo provided by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church and an executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention, was booked into Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night, Jan. 3, 2006, after being arrested on a lewdness charge for propositioning a plainclothes policeman outside a hotel, police said. Latham, who has spoken out against homosexuality, allegedly asked the officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex.(AP Photo/Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office)
Lonnie Latham, shown in this photo provided by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church and an executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention, was booked into Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night, Jan. 3, 2006, after being arrested on a lewdness charge for propositioning a plainclothes policeman outside a hotel, police said. Latham, who has spoken out against homosexuality, allegedly asked the officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex.(AP Photo/Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office) (AP)
Latham, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, was arrested Tuesday and charged with offering to engage in an act of lewdness, Capt. Jeffrey Becker said.
Calls to Latham and his South Tulsa Baptist Church were not returned for comment. Latham has supported a convention directive urging members to befriend gays and lesbians and try to convince them that they can become heterosexual “if they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and reject their ‘sinful, destructive lifestyle.'” The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Messages left for the convention were not returned.
In response to this news the Southern Baptist Convention responded honestly, and this is something I can respect regardless of the fact that I do not support their position on Homosexuality.
The Hypocrisy of a Messenger Does Not Compromise The Integrity of The Message.
Morris H. Chapman, Chief Executive Officer
Southern Baptist Convention
“We’re all saddened by Lonnie Latham’s alleged actions along with the subsequent charge against him. Our heartfelt concern goes out to Lonnie, his family, church, and community in South Tulsa. The emotional anguish must be agonizing for these who know him best. They are on our hearts and in our prayers. While saddened, we also are faced with the truth of God’s Word that disobeying God always brings consequences. This is a principle of God’s Word that Lonnie has preached and fully understands. As a result he has done the proper thing by resigning as pastor of his church and as a member of both the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Executive Board and the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). We have been praying that Lonnie would understand the importance of acknowledging his moral failure, the need for repentance, the consequences of his sin, and a willingness to seek help. Already God has begun to answer our prayers and we are grateful. The news services have flashed the news around the world with each article mentioning that Lonnie was serving as a member of the SBC Executive Committee. Obviously, this news has brought negative attention to the Southern Baptist Convention and Baptists in Oklahoma. It has opened the door for those who seem to relish the failure of any Christian. It has given an opportunity for those who will to seize the moment to mock the Christian heritage to which Lonnie has testified through the years. Of course, Christians are human and among 16 million Southern Baptists there will be moral lapses. When it happens, we grieve for the family, the church, the denomination, and God’s Kingdom and we pray for complete rehabilitation of the one(s) who has fallen. Regardless of what others may say, the failure of one does not negate the witness of many faithful Christians to the power of Jesus Christ in their lives. The hypocrisy of a messenger does not compromise the integrity of the message. The Bible is no less true than it was a week ago or years ago. It continues to offer hope to all who will believe, including Lonnie and the rest of us.”
Personally much as I might disagree with their stance on homosexuality, I can respect the way they handled this. They did not condemn Mr Latham or condone his actions. They stood by their beliefs (wrong as I may think they are), and offered Mr Latham help for what they believed to be a “moral lapse.” However, I am not sure if to some degree The hypocrisy of a messenger does not compromise the integrity of the message, if the hypocrisy is endemic. That said, in this case it is not. I think that a more appropriate stick could have been chosen to beat the Southern Baptist Convention.
Beat them with the stick of intolerance (of homosexuals), this would be more appropriate.