The Gatekeepers Are Not Happy

TheGatekeeperWizardofOzOn Monday, I told you about the people who felt it was their Christian duty to stand outside my church and verbally harass members spread the love of God. Now, it’s possible that I’m still a little…, let’s say “sensitive” (mostly because I don’t want to say “butt-hurt”) over their protest, but I got a little irritated at a Christian Post article I read this morning. It seems that First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC is “now accepting of gay ordination and marriage.” Of course, the church couched their decision in much less douchy terms: “In all facets of the life and ministry of our church, including but not limited to membership, baptism, ordination, marriage, teaching and committee/organizational leadership, First Baptist Greenville will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” As you can imagine, this isn’t sitting well with the self-appointed gatekeepers of all things moral.

One of those gatekeepers is Al Mohler, who said the church’s decision puts it “at odds with Scripture, at odds with the history of the Christian church, and this is also significant, at odds with the denomination with which the church had so long been affiliated, the Southern Baptist Convention.” Oh, there is so much that’s wrong with this comment. First of all, as he usually does, Mohler assumes that his view of scripture is not just the right one, but the universally accepted one; it is neither. Second, he says FBC is “at odds with the history of the Christian church”. Yes, because the history of the Christian church is sooo wonderful. Seriously, falling back on a legacy of genocide, persecution and oppression really isn’t the selling point he thinks it is. And, then there’s the idea that it’s “at odds with the denomination with which the church had so long been affiliated, the Southern Baptist Convention.” I’m not sure why that’s even in there, as 1st Baptist left the convention in 1999 after hardliners like Mohler took over that organization. Much like the history of the church, being at odds with SBC isn’t such a bad thing, in my opinion. Finally, Mohler said that FBC’s decision was “not unexpected”, but it was “still tragic.” Following Jesus’ final commandment to his followers is tragic? That word must mean something different to me than it does to him.

Of course, Brother Al isn’t the only one with their knickers in a twist; Franklin Graham also had something to say on the subject (imagine that). According to Graham, “First Baptist Church of Greenville, S.C., has decided that it is going to not only accept same-sex couples, but they’re going to ordain gay and transgender ministers into their pulpit! This is disappointing and discouraging.” He followed that lovely sentiment up with this one, “… [T]hey said they are ’embracing the complexities of gender identity.’ According to God’s Word, what they are embracing is sin. The Bible says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness …’ (Isaiah 5:20).” Maybe it’s just me, but that may be the most unintentionally ironic use of scripture, ever.

Let’s be honest, here; the only difference between the people who stood outside my church the other Sunday with their ugly signs and their toxic theology and these guys isn’t the message, it’s the delivery. They’re all saying the same thing: that people who are just trying to live their lives as God created them aren’t beloved children of that same God; Mohler and his associates just aren’t as open about their feelings as our WBC wannabes are. In other words (stealing a line from The Bard), a turd by any other name still smells like shit.