Albert Mohler

Southern Baptist Leader Equates Homosexuality with Cancer

LifeSiteNews posted a column today by Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler in which he equated homosexuality with cancer: “They argue that to tell a homosexual he is a sinner is uncompassionate and intolerant. This is like arguing that a physician is intolerant because he tells a patient she has cancer.”

Mohler writes that “there is no compassion in such a deadly deception,” referring to attempts by some churches and schools to, in his words, “promote homosexuality as a legitimate and attractive lifestyle option.”

Other denominations are tottering on the brink, and without a massive conservative resistance, they are almost certain to abandon biblical truth and bless what the Bible condemns. Within a few short years, a major dividing line has become evident–with those churches endorsing homosexuality on one side, and those stubbornly resisting the cultural tide on the other. The homosexual rights movement understands that the evangelical church is one of the last resistance movements committed to a biblical morality. Because of this, the movement has adopted a strategy of isolating Christian opposition, and forcing change by political action and cultural pressure.

Can we count on evangelicals to remain steadfastly biblical on this issue? Not hardly. Scientific surveys and informal observation reveal that we have experienced a significant loss of conviction among youth and young adults. No moral revolution can succeed without shaping and changing the minds of young people and children.

Inevitably, the schools have become crucial battlegrounds for the culture war. The Christian worldview has been undermined by pervasive curricula that teach moral relativism, reduce moral commandments to personal values, and promote homosexuality as a legitimate and attractive lifestyle option.



The tragic fact is that every congregation is almost certain to include persons struggling with homosexual desire or even involved in homosexual acts. Outside the walls of the church, homosexuals are waiting to see if the Christian church has anything more to say, after we declare that homosexuality is a sin. Liberal churches have redefined compassion to mean that the church changes its message to meet modern demands.

They argue that to tell a homosexual he is a sinner is uncompassionate and intolerant. This is like arguing that a physician is intolerant because he tells a patient she has cancer. But, in the culture of political correctness, this argument holds a powerful attraction. Biblical Christians know that compassion requires telling the truth, and refusing to call sin something sinless. To hide or deny the sinfulness of sin is to lie, and there is no compassion in such a deadly deception.

Jim Daly Claims Satan is Behind Push for Same-Sex Marriage

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly hosted Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Focus on the Family board member, to discuss same-sex marriage and its supposed threat to religious freedom. Daly claimed that Satan himself is promoting same-sex marriage since “he hates marriage because it’s a reflection of God’s image.” “The Enemy hates that, it’s disgusting to him,” Daly said, “and with that, he wants to break it down, he wants to destroy it.” Later, Mohler maintained that “same-sex marriage is going to be the greatest challenge to religious liberty in our lifetimes” and will replace religious liberty with a more limited freedom of worship:

Daly: When you look at human sexuality, someone suggested to me the other day, they said, if you think about it, the Enemy of our soul, yes we refer to this entity as Satan, that he hates marriage because it’s a reflection of God’s image. In other words, in the Scripture it talks about us being made in God’s image, male and female, and when we come together in lifelong commitment to marriage we become one flesh, that the Enemy hates that, it’s disgusting to him and with that, he wants to break it down, he wants to destroy it.



Mohler: There’s no doubt that religious liberty is now very much on the line. As a matter of fact, same-sex marriage is going to be the greatest challenge to religious liberty in our lifetimes, and both sides on the controversy know it. You can look at the papers, the law articles, the kinds of things that are already on both sides of the argument. There’s a fundamental, shared understanding that this is going to be the big issue. You mentioned Christians running bed and breakfasts, Christians in any kind of employment situation or public services, photographers for weddings and frankly even churches are going to be very much on the line because what we’ve seen in recent political decisions is that religious liberty is really being reduced, and listen very carefully to what people are saying, is a freedom of worship. Religious liberty means much more than freedom of worship.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Matt Barber is not happy with Ann Coulter for joining GOProud's Advisory Council.
  • Speaking of GOProud, the groups is not happy about being tossed-out of CPAC.
  • PBS takes a look at Francis Schaeffer and his work, which had a big influence on Michele Bachmann.
  • Albert Mohler says the the biggest problem with marriage equality "is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins."
  • Finally, it seems that Focus on the Family is still angry about the American Family Association being labled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Maybe they should watch this.

AFA Writer Challenges Homophobia, Will Fischer Get The Message?

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently caused much controversy in the conservative world when he said that Southern Baptists need to repent for their “form of homophobia” and that many in the church have “lied about the nature of homosexuality and have practiced what can only be described as a form of homophobia.”

Mohler received support in an unexpected place last Friday, when American Family Association blogger Elijah Friedeman posted a blog entitled “Let’s be honest, a lot of Christians are guilty of homophobia.”

For some reason there is an irrational fear of and extreme aversion to homosexuals in a lot of churches. We may not come right out and say that we think homosexuals are nasty creatures, but if you read between the lines, it's pretty easy to pick up on. This is homophobia.

Despite this, Friedeman still called homosexuality a sin and a disorder of those with “addictive personalities.”

Maybe Friedeman should share this with his fellow-AFA blogger Bryan Fischer. Just hours before Friedeman’s posted his blog, Fischer released a statement rebutting everything that Mohler had said about the nature of homosexuality and homophobia in the Southern Baptist Church. Fischer claimed the church was “pander[ing] to the homosexual lobby” and was sending “disturbing signals” about homosexuality. This is rather tame language for Fischer, who is widely known for his anti-gay rhetoric, much of which can be seen in this “best of” Fischer hate rant compilation:

Youssef Calls On Christians To Leave The Presbyterian And Episcopal Churches And "Deliver These Institutions To Satan"

Writing for the American Family Association’s One News Now, Michael Youssef of Leading The Way ministries is urging Christians to quit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) after the denomination voted to allow the ordination of gay and lesbian ministers. Youssef, who previously declared that the Episcopal Church couldn’t be Christian because of its support of gay rights, is now insisting that Presbyterians and Episcopalians leave their churches because “these denominations have chosen darkness” and are committed to “the spread of apostasy.” Youssef lamented that the churches submitted to “this Chinese water torture method of homosexual lobbying,” they have sealed their own demise:

All true Christian believers, whether they are Presbyterians or not, must be weeping right now over the spread of apostasy. Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, accurately refers to it as "following Jesus while rejecting the Bible."

Many of us have seen this Chinese water torture method of homosexual lobbying in both denominations coming for many years. We have known that it's only a matter of time. And yet, when it becomes reality, it is so hard to comprehend.

Today, I'm appealing to all faithful Presbyterians in the PC(USA) and Episcopalians to vote with your feet and get out of these churches as fast as you can. As I mention in my latest book The Greatest Lie, this type of preaching is now invading many mainline and evangelical churches.

There can be no excuse.

No, you cannot stay and be a witness.

No, you cannot stay and try to change things.

No, you cannot stay and hope that you will be a light.

These denominations have chosen darkness, and they need to experience what true darkness is all about by not having any believers inside their walls.

To modify slightly the words of the apostle Paul, the faithful believers ought to deliver these institutions to Satan by walking out as fast as they can. (1 Corinthians 5:4-5)

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

AFA Writer Condemns Christians Who Practice Yoga

Writing for the American Family Association, Marsha West is insisting that Christians stop practicing yoga. West defends Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Convention and Douglas Groothuis of the Denver Seminary, who drew controversy for criticizing Christians who practiced yoga, lamenting that “we have blended into the dishonest, destructive and debase culture so thoroughly that it's near impossible to tell the difference between Christians and heathens!” West calls Buddhism and Hinduism “evil” religions and argues that yoga is “diametrically opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ”:

These people need to buy a Bible — and read it.

The professing Christian who practices yoga as a way to keep fit should heed the words of Mohler and Groothuis who both agree that yoga, even if it's labeled Christian, is diametrically opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Many Christians practice yoga for "relaxation and exercise" without realizing that classical yoga is intended to put you into an altered state of consciousness. Yoga is not "just exercising." Participants are being swept into a counterfeit religion. According to God's Word, pagan religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, are evil. The Bible clearly says that God's people are to have nothing to do with wicked customs. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14) Believers are instructed to, "Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." (Romans 12:90) Ever noticed how professing Christians are no longer uncomfortable in the face of evil? The reason is that we have been desensitized!

Sadly, Christians have become worldly. Instead of being beacons of light in a dark world we have become world-minded. In fact, we have blended into the dishonest, destructive and debase culture so thoroughly that it's near impossible to tell the difference between Christians and heathens!

Mohler: It's Inevitable That Marriage Equality Will Be "Normalized, Legalized, and Recognized"

Today, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, joined Focus on the Family's Jim Daly on his radio program to discuss the news that the Obama administration would no longer defend DOMA in court.

During the discussion, Mohler said that it is all but inevitable that day is coming when marriage equality will "become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture" and that Christians had better be prepared for living in a nation where they find themselves in the minority:

Daly: Do you think, as we look at those demographics and the polling data and all the other things, as the Christian community, is this something that is inevitable? I know this is a tough question here on Christian radio but I think it's time to start talking about what if.

Mohler: Well Jim I appreciate your candor in that because I think a lot of Christian conservatives are going to try to deny the obvious. I mean, when we're talking about same-sex marriage, we're talking about something that is already legal in one form or another in basically twelve states. So whether they call it marriage, as they do in a few states, or marriage lite as they have now in twelve states, the reality is that a good number of Americans are living where they're already facing not just the inevitably, but the reality, of same-sex marriage. I think it's clear that something like same-sex marriage - indeed, almost exactly what we would envision by that - is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture. It's time for Christians to start thinking about how we're going to deal with that.

I think in the United States, Evangelical Christians in particular, have kind of grown accustomed to having our beliefs and moral convictions and ways of life supported by the state, by the larger culture and we're going to have to learn what it means to live faithfully as Christians when we do not have those supports. You know, it's one thing to live believing that you're in the majority position - everything comes pretty easy that way ...

Daly: A Christian nation.

Mohler: That's right. But when you live in a situation where we're clearly a minority holding to certain convictions that the larger culture either doesn't hold or doesn't hold tenaciously or as very important, we're going to find out just where we stand as Christians.

Mohler: It's Inevitable That Marriage Equality Will Be "Normalized, Legalized, and Recognized"

Today, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, joined Focus on the Family's Jim Daly on his radio program to discuss the news that the Obama administration would no longer defend DOMA in court.

During the discussion, Mohler said that it is all but inevitable that day is coming when marriage equality will "become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture" and that Christians had better be prepared for living in a nation where they find themselves in the minority:

Daly: Do you think, as we look at those demographics and the polling data and all the other things, as the Christian community, is this something that is inevitable? I know this is a tough question here on Christian radio but I think it's time to start talking about what if.

Mohler: Well Jim I appreciate your candor in that because I think a lot of Christian conservatives are going to try to deny the obvious. I mean, when we're talking about same-sex marriage, we're talking about something that is already legal in one form or another in basically twelve states. So whether they call it marriage, as they do in a few states, or marriage lite as they have now in twelve states, the reality is that a good number of Americans are living where they're already facing not just the inevitably, but the reality, of same-sex marriage. I think it's clear that something like same-sex marriage - indeed, almost exactly what we would envision by that - is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture. It's time for Christians to start thinking about how we're going to deal with that.

I think in the United States, Evangelical Christians in particular, have kind of grown accustomed to having our beliefs and moral convictions and ways of life supported by the state, by the larger culture and we're going to have to learn what it means to live faithfully as Christians when we do not have those supports. You know, it's one thing to live believing that you're in the majority position - everything comes pretty easy that way ...

Daly: A Christian nation.

Mohler: That's right. But when you live in a situation where we're clearly a minority holding to certain convictions that the larger culture either doesn't hold or doesn't hold tenaciously or as very important, we're going to find out just where we stand as Christians.

The Rise of Al Mohler: From D. James Kennedy to Seminary President

Christianity Today has a long profile of Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, that focuses largely on theological battles within the denomination, but also contains some interesting information ... like the fact that at the age of 15, he was taken under the wing of D. James Kennedy:

At age 15, R. Albert Mohler Jr. had a crisis of faith. Two years earlier, his family had moved from the conservative idyll of Lakeland, Florida, to the other end of the world: Pompano Beach, 200 miles south ... In Pompano Beach, torn from everything he knew, Mohler found himself in class sitting next to the children of rabbis and Roman Catholics, the high-school honors curriculum stirring in his mind the biggest questions of existence.

The curious teen's youth pastor offered the diversions of his megachurch's bowling alley and gymnasium, but had no answers to his questions. He took the boy to meet the minister of a fast-growing congregation down the highway in Fort Lauderdale: Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. D. James Kennedy listened to Mohler and knew just the antidote to his anxieties. Francis Schaeffer's He is Not Silent "had an absolutely determinative impact on my life as a young teenager," Mohler says. "Not that I understood everything that Schaeffer was saying, but it came with incredible assurance that there were legitimate Christian answers to these questions." Schaeffer became a hero; Kennedy, a lifelong mentor. At 15, Mohler was already a friend of culture warriors and a citizen of the wider evangelical world—yet still a born-and-bred member of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBC), where the culture wars seemed remote and evangelical was a "Yankee word."

The article also explains how, in the early 1990s, Mohler became head of the SBC as conservatives were solidifying their control after the bruising battles of the 1980s. At the time, some were hopeful that Mohler would be a moderating influence because "in 1984 lent his signature to a full-page ad in the Louisville Courier-Journal protesting the SBC's recent resolution condemning female ordination" ... but they were quickly disappointed, as Mohler had become heavily influenced by "presuppositionalism" and set about purging the moderates from the faculty: 

Presuppositionalism is a system of thought that boils down to the slogans advocated by that other prominent presuppositionalist, Francis Schaeffer: There is no such thing as neutrality. Every worldview is predicated on certain founding assumptions, and those of Christianity are incompatible with those undergirding the secular humanist worldview. Studying Barth's effort to mediate between the presuppositions of Christianity and those of secular modernity hardened Mohler's conviction that "mediating between modernity and Christian orthodoxy doesn't work."

After graduation, Mohler's stint covering SBC news at the Christian Index convinced him that the battle between conservatives and moderates was not a matter of politics or personalities but of presuppositions. He saw that "these are two fundamentally different understandings of the Baptist faith, Baptist identity, and the future of the SBC," he says. When he took office at Southern Seminary in 1993, compromise and accommodation were not strategies he had in mind.

Within three years of Mohler's inauguration, Southern Seminary's faculty and administration had turned over almost completely. He asserted control over the seminary's hiring and tenure processes, insisting that even inerrantist evangelicals hired as compromise candidates were unacceptable if they supported women's ordination. "It was like John Grisham's The Firm," says Carey Newman, director of Baylor University Press, who joined Southern's faculty in 1993 but left after five tense years. "Al recruited young lieutenants, students who were spies in the classes who would report back to him what was being said in every classroom."

The seminary's Abstract of Principles did not address women's ordination, but Mohler and the trustees believed that faculty should conform to what they considered the prevailing sentiment among Southern Baptist laypeople. Through a combination of forced resignations and "golden parachute" retirement packages, Mohler purged the School of Theology, closed the School of Social Work, and replaced moderates with inerrantist faculty who agreed with him on abortion, homosexuality, women's ordination, and his brand of Reformed theology.

Of course, this sort of hard-line stance doesn't come as much of a surprise given that Mohler is equally opposed to Christians who practice yoga or associate with Mormons.

Why God Hates Haiti

The Southern Baptist Convention's Albert Mohler outdoes Pat Robertson by declaring that God does, in fact, hate Haiti in his blog post entitled "Does God Hate Haiti?" in which he explains that God is judging the nation, just as he judges every nation on Earth so that they may all come to know Jesus Christ:

In truth, it is hard not to describe the earthquake as a disaster of biblical proportions. It certainly looks as if the wrath of God has fallen upon the Caribbean nation. Add to this the fact that Haiti is well known for its history of religious syncretism -- mixing elements of various faiths, including occult practices. The nation is known for voodoo, sorcery, and a Catholic tradition that has been greatly influenced by the occult.

Haiti's history is a catalog of political disasters, one after the other. In one account of the nation's fight for independence from the French in the late 18th century, representatives of the nation are said to have made a pact with the Devil to throw off the French. According to this account, the Haitians considered the French as Catholics and wanted to side with whomever would oppose the French. Thus, some would use that tradition to explain all that has marked the tragedy of Haitian history -- including now the earthquake of January 12, 2010.

Does God hate Haiti? That is the conclusion reached by many, who point to the earthquake as a sign of God's direct and observable judgment.

God does judge the nations -- all of them -- and God will judge the nations. His judgment is perfect and his justice is sure. He rules over all the nations and his sovereign will is demonstrated in the rising and falling of nations and empires and peoples ... Does God hate Haiti? God hates sin, and will punish both individual sinners and nations ... The earthquake in Haiti, like every other earthly disaster, reminds us that creation groans under the weight of sin and the judgment of God ... In other words, the earthquake reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real message of hope.

The Right's New Manhattan Project

It seems that Chuck Colson has gathered together a group of right-wing activists and clergy for something called the "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" in order to create a unified front in fighting the culture war

The manifesto, to be released on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, is an effort to rejuvenate the political alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelicals that dominated the religious debate during the administration of President George W. Bush. The signers include nine Roman Catholic archbishops and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

They want to signal to the Obama administration and to Congress that they are still a formidable force that will not compromise on abortion, stem-cell research or gay marriage. They hope to influence current debates over health care reform, the same-sex marriage bill in Washington, D.C., and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

They say they also want to speak to younger Christians who have become engaged in issues like climate change and global poverty, and who are more accepting of homosexuality than their elders. They say they want to remind them that abortion, homosexuality and religious freedom are still paramount issues.

For some reason, the headline of the New York Times article is "Christian Leaders Unite on Political Issues" instead of "Right Wing Activists Unite On Political Issues," which would have been far more accurate considering that a significant number of those who signed on to this declaration are standard Religious Right political activists:

Chuck Colson Founder, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

Jim Daly President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Marjorie Dannenfelser President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, VA)

Dr. James Dobson Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Dr. William Donohue President, Catholic League (New York, NY)

Dinesh D’Souza Writer & Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, CA)

Rev. Jonathan Falwell Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, VA)

Maggie Gallagher President, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a co-author of The Case for Marriage (Manassas, VA)

Dr. Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Rev. Ken Hutcherson Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, WA)

Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville, MD)

Dr. Richard Land President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC (Washington, DC)

Rev. Herb Lusk Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia, PA)

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY)

Tony Perkins President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)

Alan Sears President, CEO, & General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, AZ)

Mark Tooley President, Institute for Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.)

The Declaration can be found here:

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.

"Loose Forth the Blood-Drenched Sword of Jesus Christ"

In the post I wrote last week featuring audio excerpts from the right-wing anti-Islam conference call organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Lou Engle, and Tony Perkins, there was an exchange near the end that I didn't manage to record due to technical problems. 

The exchange came when Cindy Jacobs was leading the prayers near the end of the call, and fortunately Beliefnet caught it

On Thursday evening, officials from the Family Research Council and the National Day of Prayer Task Force hosted a national call-in prayer-a-thon in which one woman prayed, "We take together (God's) sword and break the sword of Islam over this nation, and we loose forth the blood-drenched sword of Jesus Christ."

On a related note, I thought this article about Al Mohler warning that Christians should not recognize or honor Muslim holidays was rather interesting, especially his claim that Muslims do not really understand Islam:

On a recent radio broadcast, Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. tackled the issue, saying it is dangerous and confusing when Christians adopt the practices of other religious beliefs which do not acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord. Instead, Mohler said Christians must focus on Christ and sharing the gospel with Muslims.

"It is the love of Christ that leads us to love our neighbor enough to share the gospel with them, which takes on the very tangible expression of seeking to have them, by means of the gospel, come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. That is love, in that God loved us so also we love our neighbor -- and love of neighbor is not just in terms of living peaceably among our neighbors," he contends.

"From a Christian perspective, from a New Testament perspective, loving our neighbor is not just not putting our grass clippings on his lawn; it's loving our neighbor enough to share the gospel with him, to be motivated to share the gospel."

Mohler said many Muslims do not understand the true nature of Islam.

I don't know about you, but when I am looking for someone to explain the "true nature of Islam," the first place I turn is to the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Southern Baptists Must Change or Risk Dying Out

So says Al Mohler:

The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary says at least two-thirds of Southern Baptist youths are leaving the church between adolescence and adulthood.

In a speech at the seminary in Louisville, Ky., the Reverend R. Albert Mohler warned that the Southern Baptist Convention will die out unless that trend is reversed.

The problem, he said, is that many of today's young people have reduced Christianity to a vague belief that God just wants them "to do well, and to do right and to be happy." Mohler said Southern Baptists have an image problem, coming across as "cranky" instead of joyful.

But he added, "If we stand by the Scriptures, we are going to have to say hard things to a culture around us that will consider us backward, unloving, intolerant."

Mohler's Lament: The Right is Losing the Culture War Along with the Next Generation

In the past, I have taken issue with the conventional wisdom that there is some sort of “new breed” of evangelicals emerging on the political scene led by figures such as Mike Huckabee or Rick Warren. As we’ve tried to point out repeatedly, just because there might be a new batch of conservative religious leaders on the scene who talk about issues like poverty or human rights, that doesn’t mean that they are any less opposed to equality or reproductive rights.

As such, I have tended to dismiss such stories and will continue to do so until there emerges a bona fide movement or organization that can demonstrate an ability to get a significant number of traditionally conservative sectors of the electorate to start embracing more moderate positions on contentious political issues.  

I don’t have much faith that this is anything we are going to be seeing any time soon … but then again, I don’t work with traditionally conservative students on a daily basis, whereas Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary most certainly does.  And in this discussion with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Mohler seems downright scared that the Religious Right is on the verge of losing the next generation of evangelicals and, along with it, the culture war:

AM: I’ll tell you, the older Evangelical leadership is in danger right now of looking really old, and old not just in chronological terms, but more or less, kind of acting as if the game hasn’t changed, as if we’re not looking at a brand new cultural challenge, and a new political reality. And so I would say that the younger Evangelicals that I look at every single day, and they are so deeply committed, so convictional, they’re basically wondering if a lot of the older Evangelical leaders are really looking to the future, or are really just kind of living in the 80s while the 80s are long gone. So I think there’s a crucial credibility issue there.

HH: Okay, now having…I want to skip back again, focusing on this younger generation of Evangelical leaders. Do they esteem the old leadership, and by esteem, I don’t mean merely honor, but listen to them? And in this regard, well, there are usual suspects. I’m not going to run down them, we all know who they are. Do they still listen?

AM: You know, I think the honest answer to that is they listen occasionally. And you know, when you look at some of the older names, it’s just amazing what kind of generational transition we’re looking at now. Jerry Falwell has now been dead for as long as some of these people have been adults. It happens so quickly. And then you start looking at some of the other big names, they love so many of the big names. They love John McArthur and John Piper and so many others. But when it comes to many of the people who have been deeply involved in the issues that you and I are talking about, the reality is that they are not listening to them in the same way.

HH: Do they care about them? Do they care about abortion?

AM: They care deeply about abortion. And looking at the students on my campus, they are passionately concerned about abortion. They’re not just concerned about not having abortions, they’re concerned about having babies. This is a generation ready to have a much larger family than the average Evangelical family of the last twenty or thirty years. They’re pretty comprehensively pro-life. They’re afraid, however, that just being anti-abortion sends a signal that’s just not enough. And so I’m glad to say that they’re very, very pro-life, and I must give a word of warning, that among some younger Evangelicals, that’s just not true. So the ones who come here, they know where we stand on these issues. But the reality is that especially on the issue of homosexuality, even more than the issue of abortion, this is a generation that is thinking in different terms. Not necessarily about the theological or Biblical status of homosexuality, but about how we should respond to it in the culture.

HH: Well, I’ve had that said to me many, many times at the Prop 8 referendum in California, may have been the last victory for a pro-marriage agenda, because the rising age cohort just doesn’t care. Are you confirming that, Albert Mohler?

AM: I’m definitely confirming that, but not…I wouldn’t put it in the fact they don’t care. I wouldn’t say that. I would say that what you have is a group of younger Evangelicals, and I disagree with them on this, Hugh, and they know it, a group of younger Evangelicals, many of whom simply don’t think that’s the right fight to fight.

HH: Wow.

I don’t know how much of this is real and how much is just your typical right-wing “the sky is falling” rhetoric, but I am inclined to believe Mohler when he says they are losing many of these battles, especially as it pertains to homosexuality.

Granted, there could be a myriad of explanations, caveats, and rebuttals to Mohler’s assessment of what sort of transformation is taking place, if any at all.  But Hewitt and Mohler don’t seem to have any idea why this is happening, as evidenced by the fact that “they kids today are expecting the End Times and so they don’t care” is the best explanation they could come up with:  

HH: Let me ask you about a pretty controversial proposition. I’m not sure if I believe it or not. Dispensationalism, in other words, End Times theory, for those who are not in this world. Do you think that’s sapped some of the energy and purposefulness out of the commitment of Christians to politics in the here and now?

AM: Well, I think it’s part of it. I don’t think that’s a ridiculous argument at all. I think if you are focuses on the fact that you are absolutely certain that the Lord’s going to be coming imminently, very soon, and that this age is going to come to a conclusion very soon, then you’re not going to give much to investment in building a culture for the future. And I really think that is a matter of Evangelical concern.    

Actually, I suspect that it is exactly that sort of answer that is leading the current generation to ignore the “old leadership.”

When Did “Believer” Start Meaning “Evangelical”?

Earlier this week, The God-O-Meter noted that the Obama campaign was unveiling a new line of faith merchandise:

And so, of course, the Religious Right felt compelled to weigh in and dismiss the entire idea that people who don’t subscribe to their right-wing views can have any sort of faith at all:

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a member of the Focus on the Family board, called the move "symbolism and style over substance."

"This generic reach-out to people of 'faith' is going to be pretty quickly seen for what it is: more advertising than substance," he told CitizenLink. "This became abundantly clear in the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, when Barack Obama, having declared that he and his campaign were going to be reaching out to evangelicals, seemed to be completely out of touch with what evangelicals were concerned about, especially on issues of human life and marriage."

Mohler said he doesn't expect most Americans to fall for the "clever packaging."

"To put out a button that says 'Pro-Family, Pro-Obama' says basically nothing, other than a very clear attempt to use the language," he said. “‘Believers for Barack' is very interesting, but believers in what? Believers in whom?"

First of all, the term “believer” is not synonymous with “evangelical” and, try as they might, the Right does not own the terms “family” and "believer," and it does not get to decide who can and cannot use them.

Religious Right Rejects Outreach to Muslims

In October, a group of 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals came together to issue an open letter entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You,” a statement that sought to declare common ground between Christianity and Islam.

A short time later, the Yale Center for Faith and Culture issued a response that was signed by 100 Christian theologians and ministers that welcomed the effort, stating:

Given the deep fissures in the relations between Christians and Muslims today, the task before us is daunting. And the stakes are great. The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.

We are persuaded that our next step should be for our leaders at every level to meet together and begin the earnest work of determining how God would have us fulfill the requirement that we love God and one another. It is with humility and hope that we receive your generous letter, and we commit ourselves to labor together in heart, soul, mind and strength for the objectives you so appropriately propose.

Guess who is not happy about it?

An attempt by leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) to win friends and influence Muslims is alienating another group — evangelical Christians.

Reactions have been negative and strong. Islam expert Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo has called it a “betrayal” and a “sellout.” Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Seminary (Southern Baptist), termed it “naiveté that borders on dishonesty.”

Mohler said the agreement “sends the wrong signal” and contains basic theological problems, especially in “marginalizing” Jesus Christ. He also condemned the apology for the Crusades.

“I just have to wonder how intellectually honest this is,” he said. “Are these people suggesting that they wish the military conflict with Islam had ended differently — that Islam had conquered Europe?”

Gary Bauer, president of the Campaign for Working Families, told CitizenLink the NAE leaders “have left the (card) table without their pants — that is, they’ve been taken and may not even realize they’ve been taken.”

Sookhdeo called for Christian leaders who signed the letter to withdraw their names, saying the confession of guilt puts Christian communities in Muslim areas of the world at risk.

“I find it difficult to understand how senior evangelical leaders in the West can join hands with other Christians who actually are betraying the Christian faith (and) their Christian brothers and sisters in the Muslim world,” he said.

No word yet on whether this right-wing leaders will try to get Richard Cizik fired from his position with NEA for signing this letter, as they did a while back when he dared to care about the environment.  

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