An Inappropriate Stick.


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
Executive Committee
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.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “An Inappropriate Stick.

  1. I’m not opposed to gay marriage either. It’s not our job to be the keepers of everyone else. I believe that entertainers/ celebs do a much better job of trashing the sanctity of marriage than homosexuals.
    Anyhoo,
    I did a post on prayer today and I invite you to participate!

  2. intolerance
    n 1….; 2: unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs [ant: tolerance]”
    Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

    We cousins use words differently, I thoroughly realize, and yet in searching through the five definitions of “intolerance” found on dictionary.com, (a word that Bill seems to ascribe to many Christians, or at least the SBC), definition number 2 above was the closest usage I could find making any sense.

    Nothing in the definition states one must change one’s own beliefs, just recognize and respect the fact someone else has a belief at variance with the reader’s.

    I recognize and respect the fact some football fans love The Oakland Raiders, and some love the Montreal Impact – and they’re not even playing the same sport! I recognize and respect the fact some voters chose John Kerry and others chose George Bush. I recognize and respect the fact some individuals believe they were born or created with an inbred sexual preference at variance with what at first glance would seem to be a more traditional method, and some believe they were not.

    The mere fact I could prefer one or the other side in each of the three contrasts presented above does not make me intolerant of the other. Unless, of course, anybody who disagrees with the writer of a post is ipso facto intolerant. And from the tone of this post, Bill, that is not how you seem to reason.

    Accordingly, I challenge your (dare I say?) ‘intolerant’ use of that word in your closing paragraph. If, when Christians display true intolerance, and you choose to hold their (our) feet to the fire for it, you would be doing them – and others – a service. When you fall into the habit of using the word as a perjorative adjective, without attribution or explanation, you are close to displaying intolerance – which, as I’ve heard, is not a very Canadian thing to do.

    Cheers

  3. 49erDweet

    Sorry, your right a vast majority of Canadians do use the term Intolerance as a perjorative adjective, to a large degree because we see our selves as a multicultural diverse society accepting of all.

    Sorry if I came off as Critical of all Christians (which would include myself) but the majority of the post was about how the SBC was being persecuted because of the hypocrisy of one man. If I am saying through out the posting that the SBC are being unduly accused of hypocrisy then am I really attacking Christians?

    I do note, as you pointed out, that SBC like many Christian organizations is intolerant of homosexuals, or are unwillingness to recognize and respect the opinion , that it is acceptable to love, even sexually, a person of the same sex or believe that biblical references on sexuality are misinterpreted or applicable for a different age.

    Now I didn’t intend to debate the beliefs of some Christian groups or even the SBC in particular.
    However, the intolerance I see is that many churches do not accept homosexuality in society, and not only vilify Homosexuals but those that would support them.

    My stance on homosexuality has distanced me from some of my so called Christian friends.
    I have been called Non-Christian, accused of perverting biblical teachings, satanic, and “in league with those that would destroy the church of Jesus Christ.” If a church does not believe that a Christian can be, or accept, a homosexual that is fine, I may not agree with them but that is there choice. I do not tell them that they are non-Christian, or perverted.

    While the Southern Baptist Conference states the following;

    That we call on Southern Baptists not only to stand against same-sex unions, but to demonstrate our love for those practising homosexuality by sharing with them the forgiving and transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.(SBC Resolution On Same-Sex Marriage
    June 2003 )

    They also are pressuring legislators and law makers to disenfranchise Homosexuals ,or at least continue the disenfranchization of them, by “support[ing] legislative and legal efforts to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions.”(SBC Resolution On Same-Sex Marriage
    June 2003 )

    I can accept the idea that they do not accept homosexuality, but to try to legislate it out of existence, by denying homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals is an attempt to enshrine that same unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs in the law of the country.

    I can accept the statement that “our church does not believe in Homosexual behaviour and will not perform same sex marriages” that is their right, but not “we will support legislation that opposes homosexuality in a society made of members that do not attend our church.” (These last two quotes are my own paraphrases, feel free to correct me if I am wrong in my interpretation)

    The problem I see is that as a Christian or a Christian church that does not believe in Homosexuality it is your job to convince people to reject it and accept your point of view.

    To use legislation over those that do not accept you view is to support a theocratic style of government. If, in the west, we are to maintain that we are a tolerant society, we must allow difference in life styles, even if we disagree with them.

  4. Thank you for your comments concerning the SBC. Unfortunately the fall of one has a negative impact on many. I appreciate your balanced analysis of the Latham scandal.

    As a Southern Baptist pastor I would like to point out one thing. As a denomination of relatively like-minded churches, we feel that we have a biblical mandate to have a moral and spiritual impact on our culture. This is not meant to brow-beat others into conformity. But in a democratic society, we have the freedom and the right to use our voice and vote for the sake of effecting such an impact.
    We do not attempt to hijack legislation, neither do we attempt to influence lawmakers in an unethical manner. We simply use the means at our disposal to promote our values. Not only do we lobby for legislation in this area, but for gambling, right to life, and other moral areas.

    We do not hate those who hold a different view. Some extremists may come across that way, but the vast majority view all people as equal. We simply believe that there are lines that were never meant to be crossed.

    If nothing is sacred, soon everything will become profane.

  5. Very True, Gordon, “in a democratic society, we have the freedom and the right to use our voice and vote for the sake of effecting such an impact.”

    I guess I am very anti-lobbying and lobby groups because I think it degrades the democratic process, it jumps the voters and goes to the politicians.

    Lobbying in my view often accesses fine cracks in the democratic system ,not that SBC would do so, but walking on muck is likely to leave some on your shoes.

    That said I should be leaving the SBC alone as, although they/you have a position at variance to mine, your church is not the worst offender . (lobbying aside) (-:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s