Southern Baptists, Tear down that statue! The gospel matters most!

The gospel was prostituted this week, and I don’t mean by Joel Osteen, some overly pragmatic megachurch pastor, or some other prosperity gospel huckster. The gospel was prostituted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President, visited Billy Graham and his son Franklin, who heads up the BGEA, at Graham’s Montreat home last week while the former Massachusetts Governor was campaigning in the swing state of North Carolina. At the meeting, Graham told Romney that he would do anything he could to help support his election.

That apparently includes removing an article from its web site that lists Mormonism, Romney’s religion, as a cult. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that the BGEA said the article was removed “because [they] do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.”

That’s all well and good, not wanting to politicize something, but then I have to ask the BGEA why the Grahams would put themselves in that position by hosting the Republican nominee for President in the first place, then saying they’d support his election. The Grahams, if anyone, have taken the lead in politicizing their ministry. Of course, this is not a new thing. One of the things Billy Graham is most famous for during his ministry was being a counselor of sorts, or at least having an audience with, almost every President of the United States since the 1950s.

The fact of the matter is that even though this removed article wasn’t just about Mormonism, but also including references to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists, Scientologists, and others, what prompted this removal was the Grahams following through on doing what they could to get Mitt Romney elected. Quite simply, they compromised the gospel for the sake of the Republican Party. Continue reading “Southern Baptists, Tear down that statue! The gospel matters most!”

What about those who never hear the gospel?

It is necessary for us to examine a question which has far-reaching implications in what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, far-reaching implications for the church, and far-reaching implications for evangelism and missions. What about those who never hear the gospel?

You may have asked this question before. Maybe don’t really have an answer. On the other hand, you may already know the answer to the question. You may already believe correctly, that is to say, you may already believe what the Bible says about this question, but do you know how to defend the position from Scripture?

Believe it or not the answer to this question is one which has generated huge disagreement in the wider scope of the churches in America, even some who would contend they are conservative churches. So this question not only merits our time but it demands our time, because this does and will come up when you have an opportunity to proclaim the gospel, and our answer to the question says something about what we believe about God and the gospel.

My position, which I believe to be the clear biblical position, is that those who never hear the gospel die in their trespasses and sins, and are thus condemned to the wrath of God for all eternity. It isn’t the heartwarming position. It isn’t the position that gives you the warm and fuzzies. However, I believe it is what the Bible clearly teaches. Continue reading “What about those who never hear the gospel?”