Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Al Mohler: Restates His Case, This Time Without "Homophobia"

At his blog, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, writes on Reparative Therapy, Homosexuality, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What is of significance is the contrast of this most recent article to the somewhat disconcerting acquiescence by Mohler back in June to the language of the aggressive homosexual lobby in his use (thereby legitimatizing) of the term homophobia. Mohler described some in the SBC of being guilty of homophobia. A rather strong reaction since then has ensued and no doubt much of it landed at Mohler's email, snail mail, telephone and in person doorstep(s).

The word, homophobia, is a weapon in the hands of pro-active homosexuals who have constructed and employ a meaning to the word that is foreign to either its parts or the sum of its parts. Homophobia to this sub-culture and its sympathizers (mostly to those on the social/political/religious left but unfortunately to gullible and naive do gooders on the right as well) is not a clinical term as it pretends itself to be or as those using it feign in their application, rather it is a derogatory term that seeks to produce a context of claims whereby others are charged with some form of bigotry or social hatred. It seeks to induce, to those listening, the view that homophobes are hate-filled bigots.  In reality, of course, the word itself should only refer to someone with an irrational fear of homosexuals. But it is never used that way because that is not the intent.

Later, Al Mohler attempted to qualify his use by stating that his actuation of the word homophobia was not based on the definition and use of those described above but another meaning, more in line with what it would or should be by its construct. Which brings me to and his most recent article.

Perhaps Dr. Mohler has had time to consider all things on the matter because his current rendering on the issue reflects a far more thoughtful treatment and possible adjustment on the use of homophobia or homophobic to describe some of his Southern Baptist brothers and sisters that may have failed to exhibit the highest order of biblical protocol on the issue and those involved. And specifically here is a statement from the article that I suspect is intended to speak volumes and address this (bold mine):
Christians cannot avoid the debate over reparative therapy, nor can we enter the debate on secular terms. We must bring to this conversation everything we know from God’s Word about our sin and God’s provision for sinners in Christ.
This is a strong articulation and a needed one.

Al Mohler, though demonstrating a tendency toward improvidence recently in the handling of a public issue concerning one of his co-ministers from T4G, as well as having a disappointing record of heavy politcs, is nevertheless a very exceptional teacher. His grasp of not just basic doctrines but intermediate and advanced issues is wonderfully complimented by his skill as a writer in which he is able to transfer his theological mastery to paper and manage to do so in a manner which allows all spiritual pedestrians the full strength of his observations and teaching without suffering through the very complex processes that no doubt takes place in his mind. Clearly this does not mean everything you will always read by Al Mohler will be to your satisfaction but his giftedness cannot be denied and this article is an example of his thoroughness and thoughtfulness.


Khanh said...

Do you think it is wrong to have temptation? If someone is oriented homosexually but doesn't act on it is it wrong?
I suppose my interpretation of Mohler's term "orientation / desire" is more like temptation. Like some might have leanings to be tempted towards alcohol. So is the temptation wrong or just the acting out of the addiction? Hope my question makes sense.

Alex Guggenheim said...

We all have sinful desires. The Bible never presents such desires being completely eradicated but lessening as we mature though they can be revived to their full strength at any point in our walk. Whatever your areas of temptation are they should be dealt with through prayer and yielding to God's Word and Spirit. You cannot stop the body of sin in which you live from its desires but you can yield to God's Holy Spirit which will be a different desire. Over time this is to become our predominate way of living.

Having temptations, just themselves, are not acts of sin though they can result in sinful thoughts and though you may not act on them you still should confess your sinful thoughts to God. If you don't believe you have had a sinful thought though you recognize the temptation and instead immediately yield to God's Word and Spirit then you have nothing to confess. Hope that helps.