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Why Some Pastors Are Not Called By God: Pastor Apologizes For Condemning Abortion Because Standing For The Bible Is Unpopular In Opinion Polls

Posted by Job on March 30, 2008

Gwinnett minister to apologize to those condemned by Christians

Just as the Christian
church has done many wonderful things throughout history, says the Rev.
Richard Mark Lee, it also has done many terrible things, such as
targeting, judging and condemning various individuals and groups.

On Sunday, Lee plans to apologize for these past wrongs in a sermon
at his church, Sugar Hill Baptist, known as The Family Church. Some of
the groups Lee said he’ll apologize to include gays, women seeking
abortions and couples who live together outside of marriage.

“For too long, we’re been known for the issues we’re against, not for the God we’re for,” said Lee, 38.

Lee makes it clear he’s not speaking for, or against, the
conservative Southern Baptist Convention, to which his church belongs.
He doesn’t know if there will be some fallout from his sermon.

One religious scholar is heartened by the gesture.

“If this is an evangelical church with roots in the Southern Baptist
Convention, this is a bold and distinctive move, and one that I would
honor and respect,” said Tom Ogletree, professor of theological ethics
at Yale Divinity School.

The “bumpersticker mentality” that seems to govern how people
identify themselves clearly isn’t benefiting anyone, said Lee, who has
led the church for seven years and has a doctorate from the Southern
Baptist Theological Convention in Louisville, Ky.

Some people in the Christian church are more interested in promoting
their political and personal interests than their Christian values, he
said.

Some churchgoers have condemned gay people, picketed abortion
clinics or ignored the poor and homeless, Lee said. If Jesus were alive
today, he would minister to these groups, Lee says.

“Why is the gospel of love dividing America? The unchurched world
views us as judgmental and homophobic,” says Lee. “I don’t think God is
going to ask what label we wore. He’s going to ask what did we do for
Jesus.”

Hoschton resident Jimmy Wilson has been attending the Family Church
with his wife Diane for five years. He says he’s not surprised his
pastor would tackle such a difficult topic as apologizing.

“His message is it’s not about us, it’s about God,” Wilson says. “We
need to be changing lives, and that’s what our church’s ministry is
about. It’s about reaching out to other people.”

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3 Responses to “Why Some Pastors Are Not Called By God: Pastor Apologizes For Condemning Abortion Because Standing For The Bible Is Unpopular In Opinion Polls”

  1. I’m not against a man saying he won’t judge those who don’t have Christ and he seeks to tell them about Jesus, but what does he say to the person who claims Christ and claims it’s OK to be homosexual? Or the person who accepts Christ? Will he then inform them that they need to turn from wickedness?

    He’s being very vague. And this sounds like the results of Rick Warren being accepted by SBC denomination heads.

    See video of Lee here.

    He’s apologizing for speaking out against babies being murdered. I’m not getting a good feeling about the direction he’s heading in. Although I can say saints are to judge within the church and not worry with trying to judge the world, 1 Corinthians 5:12-13.

    I think this statement from him is telling:

    If Jesus were alive today…

    He feels Jesus is dead. Regardless of all else he believes, that right there shows he’s got an issue of the highest order.

  2. Job said

    IC:

    “I’m not against a man saying he won’t judge those who don’t have Christ and he seeks to tell them about Jesus … Although I can say saints are to judge within the church and not worry with trying to judge the world …”

    In general terms your statements are true. However, there is some context here that you may need to be aware of. Evangelicals are reacting to a recent public opinion survey by the Barna Group that claims that most people have a negative opinion of Christians, namely that we are judgemental, hypocritical, bigoted against homosexuals, and do not care about the poor. Of course, this public opinion is in the minds of people that do not go to church (or attend apostate ones) and have had their view of evangelical Christians shaped by a combination of the media, popular entertainment, and liberal preachers. Of course. your typical movie or ABC News item or newspaper article that deals with evangelicals never discuss why evangelicals feel the way they do (i.e. it is in the Bible!), it just talks about ill or extremely indigent women seeking “women’s health services” or “gays being discriminated against because of the way they are born.”

    You have to understand … the evangelical movement itself is basically a reaction against the fundamentalist churches. The only reason why they exist was to put a kinder, gentler face on the Bible – thumping fire and brimstone preachers that years ago were the ones being depicted as hateful and narrow – minded by the media. So … evangelicals completely ingested the notion that it was “those fundamentalists” that were the ones making Christianity and Christians look bad, driving people from the faith, spiritually harming people, etc. and took pride in how they were more open – minded in their doctrines, more laid – back and relaxed in their practices, more rational/philosophical, intellectual, etc. I do not know if you have noticed, but some of the biggest critics on this website have not been people that reject Christianity or even liberal Christians, but evangelicals that constantly claim that I am too harsh, too brash, too proud, etc. and need to tone it down and be more positive. So, when I follow their trackbacks, it is like they are bashing the hated “fundamentalists”, FELLOW CHRISTIANS!, more than apostates and sinners. It is like being viewed as being more progressive, compassionate, and SMARTER than the knuckle – draggers is a big thing for them. Modern popular evangelicalism defines themselves not primarily by what the Bible says or against the negative example of sinners and apostates, BUT BY NOT BEING FUNDAMENTALISTS!

    And believe you me … it took them a long way in terms of mainstream acceptance. From Billy Graham back in the day to the megachurches where there are no crosses or pulpits, the pastor wears blue jeans or other casual wear (and the members dressing basically any way they want to, from the guys going from grungy to street thugs and the women, well remember that Jaci Velasquez video, and Virtue, Mary Mary, Trinity – Five – Seven, Barlow Girl, etc. dress pretty much the same … only about 5 years behind whatever they are wearing on BET, MTV, or VH-1), the “sermons” are self – help New Agey stuff that only deals with spiritual things by abstraction, the emphasis on praise and worship to the point where people are basically coming to attend a weekly Christian rock concert, etc. and yes all of the various scandals … it is all OK so long as they aren’t fundamentalist! A lot of these folks get a big kick out of how open they are to and willing to consider pretty much any apostate nonsense that any philosopher or so – called scientist can pull out of his rebrobate mind merely because rejecting it out of hand because it opposes the Bible and the 2000 years of the Christian tradition of doctrine makes you “fundamentalist.” They pride themselves over their ability to take that absolute junk, use the Bible to support it, and get away with preaching it on Sunday. I kid you not … some of the major evangelical Bible colleges and seminaries have actually found limited ways of accommodating evolution, feminism, and liberation theology. “We don’t want to be rigid fundamentalists here, so we have to at least listen to and consider the direction the rest of the world is taking so that we can construct orthodox doctrines and interpretations that allow us to remain relevant in this current age.” I am not making this up, but that is what you will find in any typical evangelical “using philosophy in theology” type of pronouncement.

    But now, the worm is turning. The spotlight is going away from how nice, open, tolerant, and ecumenical people like Billy Graham, J.I. Packer, Ted Haggard, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, etc. are to how hateful evangelicals are for not having “progressed” to the point where they have declared homosexuality and abortion to be OK. I mean, you can go to any of the leading evangelical media outlets, Christianity Today on down, and you will see that this Barna survey has them panicking. Oh no! Our reputation as the “nice” orthodox Christians is going down the tubes! They are talking about us as if we are – gasp! – FUNDAMENTALIST!

    So this “pastor” is just one of the guys that has stuck his finger in the air to see which way the winds are blowing so he can follow it, and lead the rest of his denomination the same way. This guy is the groundhog sticking his head out to see how hot, cold, or LUKEWARM it is. See, they want the best of both worlds. They want to be recognized as being orthodox Christian on one hand, while not suffering the rejection that comes with actually following Jesus Christ on the other. These are the folks that wouldn’t last five minutes in a nation that wasn’t majority Christian and didn’t have a strong Christian tradition. These are the folks that 20 years from now, despite their evangelical name, aren’t going to be out spreading the gospel because the multicultural pluralistic mindset that claims that evangelizing because “my religion is true and yours is not” is discriminatory and divisive. This is already how it is in Europe and to a lesser degree Canada. Go trying to launch a major evangelistic effort in one of those countries … they will accuse you of trying to start a holy war by offending the Muslims. I read an article the other day that states that the churches aren’t even trying to evangelize the huge – and growing – contingent of Muslims in England, and that was why the leader of the Anglican church came out supporting sharia law in England to accommodate the very people that he knows he has no intention of laying hands on and commissioning evangelists to go out and reach. Robinson is so “civilized” that he is beyond the need for evangelism, and preaches primarily about social justice, tolerance, and global warming these days.

    Again, 20 years from now, the American evangelical church will be just like the scene in France, England, Germany, and Canada. There will be more of them, sure, but the going mode will either be the Joel Osteen model, the Rick Warren model, or the TBN model, and this is among the people that will not be openly apostate. They won’t deny the existence of sin, they just won’t preach against it. Their excuse will be “Well, we want to talk about what Christianity is for, to transform people’s lives with the message of God’s Son that died and rose again … we do not deny sin and eternal punishment, we are a Bible – based church, and all of those things are in the Bible, and anyone who wants to learn about those things we will help them read and understand it … we just think that the public face of our ministry will be positive.”

    In other words, their sermons will be determined by what those that have rejected Christ have deemed it acceptable to publicly preach. But again, that is now. Soon and very soon, these same “evangelicals” will be under heavy pressure to deny the exclusivity of the gospel and the reality of sin and final punishment. If they will stop talking about the truth today, they will reject the truth tomorrow. I mean, we have already been down this path before. The mainline denominational churches, the Episcopals, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. were not that long ago legitimate Reformed Christian bodies with only a small (but fast growing) minority of liberal theologians. Look at them now. Even the ones that are leaving the worst of these bunches and are called “ultraconservative” as a result have severe problems with the truth. The evangelical church in America will be no different from what the apostate homosexual – ordaining ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and Jeremiah Wright’s (and Barry Lynn’s) United Church of Christ by the time our kids will be looking for churches for their kids.

    That is why I have been seeking out and putting more ministers on here that are not afraid to call themselves “fundamentalist” … Sharper Iron, Chuck Baldwin, etc. I do not use that name myself (for some of those guys do have problems I admit) but put it this way … it was my frustration with all of those “evangelicals” that kept coming by here telling me I was too judgmental (even to the point of defending oneness pentecostals and Mormons) that moved me to start investigating predestination. So I guess I have them to thank for that at least! 🙂

  3. Well said brother.

    I don’t see in scripture where one saint went “apologizing” to heathens for the actions of saints.

    It does appear that Lee is giving some glossy public statements, while actually taking a major shift from speaking against sin.

    And he just happened to get in the news with it. I wonder how that happened?

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