Teaching that Jesus can change sinners including homosexuals put professor ‘In the Crosshairs’ of the Southern Baptist Convention, it is alleged.
Political and Theological shift happening at SBC seminaries and entities, former professor details.
Lopez reveals how ERLC blacklisted him.
On today’s Focal Point with Bryan Fischer the unfolding Crisis at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was examined. Fischer interviewed former SWBTS professor Robert Lopez. Lopez and Fischer examined the chances the Southern Baptist Convention will flip on homosexuality and how SWBTS allegedly fired Lopez over the professor’s strong stand on LGBTQ issues. (Listen at the American Family Radio website to the show titled: Southern Baptists Getting Ready to Flip on Homosexuality.)
Lopez appeared on the show following the public revelations that the new leadership at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth pressured him to resign and ultimately fired him. Lopez claims the administration told him the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (an organization led by Never Trumper Russell Moore) had a low opinion of Lopez. Also, Lopez claims the administration told him to stop publishing and talking about sexuality and sex abuse. The administration denied that in a press release today. (Read the entire statement from SWBTS here.) (Read the statement from Lopez that started it all.)
On Focal Point, Lopez explained his view of the power of Christ to change sinners.
Lopez said, “I’ve long maintained in my ministry that people in the church can help people to take their thoughts captive,” Lopez said. “Jesus Christ can deliver you from these things, and we as the church can help people to get out of it. And that is the part of my ministry that caused all the controversy.”
Why is this controversial? Lopez thinks it is politics.
“A lot of people in the Southern Baptist Convention are trying to come up with a middle position on homosexuality where they pay lip service to the idea that it is a sin and there can’t be gay marriage, but they want to say people can’t change their orientation or they just have to passively wait for God to change them.”
Lopez said that the SWBTS administration took issue with his writings about subjects ranging from the Equality Act to sexual abuse.
Lopez was told by his dean that “it was not about the process, but about the content.”
Lopez rejected the demands and conditions that would silence him.
“You are asking me to disobey God,” Lopez told the administration, according to his interview on American Family Radio’s Focal Point. (You really should listen to the entire interview.)
Lopez also details how the university administration in a Sept. 19 meeting raised the issue of the ERLC. The ERLC had a low opinion of Lopez, the former professor claims he was told.
Why would the ERLC talk to the SWBTS Provost about Lopez? And why would it matter how the ERLC viewed the professor?
Lopez also suggested in his talk with Focal Point host Fischer that the convention is quietly and slowly changing its view of homosexuality to embrace this third way–where it will appear orthodox to donors, but be more acceptable to liberal political elites.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary responded in a strongly worded statement denying the claims and attacking Lopez.
According to the release attributed to SWBTS Provost Randy L. Stinson, “Let me be absolutely clear: no faculty member, including Dr. Lopez, has been told, or would be told, they cannot discuss homosexuality…Our faculty – including our president – regularly teach on God’s design for the family and marriage and the biblical sexual ethic, which homosexuality is in rebellion against. Our faculty also teach that all sinners can be changed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, any contrary teaching at the seminary would not be tolerated. As Southern Baptists should expect of their seminaries, we are committed to a biblical view of marriage and sexual ethics. Any claim that Southwestern Seminary has wavered on these longstanding commitments is either misinformed or intentionally deceptive.”
In other words, the seminary leadership claims Lopez is a liar.
Unless there are other forms of evidence, this is a he-said/he-said situation. However, there is good reason to believe other evidence will emerge and vindicate one side or the other in this process.
Trust me. Developing.