Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jonathan Merritt is Right! Unfair Attacks from Baptist Bloggers

It is my opinion that Jonathan Merritt has been the subject of unfair and unwarranted attacks by a few Baptist bloggers. He drew their ire, and subsequently their “friendly fire” because of an article he wrote that was printed in USA Today on April 20, 2009. In that article, he called evangelical Christians to task for their unloving, dismissive and un-Christlike treatment of homosexuals. He was careful to state that he regarded homosexual behavior as sinful and did not support gay marriage. He advocated loving actions to demonstrate to homosexuals the love that we Christians claim to have when we say that we “hate the sin and love the sinner.”

I only read the article after I had read a couple of blogs that had dealt pretty harshly with his article. I was disappointed that the son of a respected SBC leader would write the kind of compromising, unbiblical things that he evidently wrote. Then, I read his article. It is my opinion that what Jonathan Merritt wrote is godly, biblical and true. It is my further assertion that his rebukers (one in particular) have either willfully or negligently misread his statements and have leveled unwarranted and unfair attacks on him. I believe they should honestly and openly reread what Mr. Merritt has written, revise their false statements and apologize to him for misrepresenting what he said.

I do not know Jonathan Merritt and have certainly do not speak for him. I suspect he is well capable of defending himself. However, I have seen the tendency among some bloggers to attack without understanding, to fail to understand doctrinal or ethical subtlety and to level false charges based on their misunderstandings. I believe that such has happened here.

We cannot avoid the subject of homosexuality. We must deal with it biblically – both in our stand for the truth and in our response to those who are tempted by this sin.

One thing I found particularly interesting is that Jonathan Merritt’s view is very similar to Tim Guthrie’s (Welcome to SBC Today) and to Wes Kenney’s (SBC Today) viewpoints. They all expressed essentially the same thing. I share the viewpoints that all three expressed. We believe that homosexual behavior is a sin. We all believe that we must learn to stand for truth clearly and without compromise while demonstrating love to those who struggle with this sin. The only reason that Mr. Guthrie and Mr. Kenney leveled charges against Mr. Merritt is because they misread and misunderstood what he said. They are, essentially, attacking Mr. Merritt for holding the same viewpoint that they have, because they did not read what he wrote carefully, misunderstood, and jump to condemnatory conclusions based on their misunderstandings.

I would like to examine what all three have said. By the time I get this up, perhaps others will have weighed in. But I will deal first of all with what Jonathan Merritt said, then with what Tim and Wes said about his review. Each title will be linked to the original article. I would encourage you to read the originals, to see that I am fairly representing the thought as I make my points.

“An Evangelical’s Plea: Love the Sinner” by Jonathan Merritt

The offending article appeared in the Opinion section of USA on Monday. Mr. Merritt is described as a faith and culture writer and as a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative. Tim Guthrie rightly states that it would have been helpful if Mr. Merritt had made it clear that he did not represent or speak for Southern Baptists, an impression that his designation as a spokesman for an organization with the words Southern Baptist in the title could falsely give.

He makes the following major points:

1) That older evangelicals leaders engaged in harsh, even unkind rhetoric toward homosexuals. He asserts that evangelical opposition to the homosexual agenda has been “vitriolic and unbalanced by a message of love for our gay neighbors.”

2) He asserts that the rhetoric and behavior of American Christians is in stark contrast to that of Jesus Christ, who was a “friend of sinners.” He states that many Christians “live in opposition to the teachings of our Lord.” He uses 1 Corinthians 13 as a definition of love and claims that our actions toward homosexuals have often not met that standard.

3) He makes it very clear that he does not and will not compromise biblical truth. He believes that homosexual behavior is sin and that he opposes redefinition of marriage to accommodate homosexual marriage.

4) He does advocate non-discrimination against homosexuals in legal matters not involving marriage. Should secular workplaces be allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians? Should homosexual partners have visitation and inheritance rights? Merritt would say yes.

His point, I think, is that we have put homosexuality into a special class of sin. We would not discriminate on the basis of heterosexual immorality in these things. Why should we make homosexual orientation a special class?

It is this point (and, I believe, the misunderstanding of his point) that opened the door to many of the attacks against his position.

5) He makes the point that younger Christians, more likely to have homosexual friends than older Christians, also demonstrate a greater tendency to show love to homosexuals.

His concluding paragraph includes these words: “Now is the time for those who bear the name of Jesus Christ to stop merely talking about love and start showing love to our gay and lesbian neighbors. It must be concrete and tangible. It must love beyond cheap rhetoric.”

It is clear that he is challenging evangelicals to a new attitude toward the homosexual community, but that he does not advocate changing our basic beliefs about homosexual behavior being a sin.

“SBC Today” Hate the Spin, by Wes Kenney

Wes Kenney wrote an article professing to hate the “spin” that Mr. Merritt put on the issue, while still loving the “spinner.” I always respect a good play on words, but I am afraid that Wes demonstrates a tendency (also seen in Tim’s articles) to misinterpret what was written and to draw false inferences from that misinterpretation, then to criticize Merritt based on his own misunderstanding of Merritt’s points.

Wes writes a forthright criticism, written in a graceful spirit, with one exception. My biggest problem with him is that I think he fails to understand what was written. He just needs to make an effort to read and understand before he criticizes.

I would point out the following about Wes’ article.

1) Again, he affirms the same view of homosexuality as Jonathan Merritt. His criticisms are directed more against his own misunderstandings than against what Merritt wrote.

2) Wes engages in pejorative in an unacceptable way. He describes Merritt’s writing as “spin.” That implies, deceit, false presentation of facts, designed to lead people away from truth. That is a harsh criticism. He also accuses Merritt of a willingness to “compromise biblical definitions of sin and salvation.” That is serious!

3) He criticizes Merritt for the quotes of evangelical luminaries.

4) He bases his second criticism on a factual error. Merritt quotes a Barna statistic that 80% of Christians are confusing. Kenney adds the words, “on this issue” to the statistic, then criticizes on that basis. This is, to me, indicative of his tendency here to jump to conclusions and not to read carefully. His criticism can only be described as spin, on that basis.

5) He insinuates serious and significant heresy (or doctrinal failure, at least) on Merritt’s part because he advocates non-discrimination against homosexuals in employment and other issues. He calls that normalization and implies that Merritt is helping to make the commission of homosexual sin easier by his viewpoint.

I would ask some questions of Wes Kenney. Do you believe that it will help our mission to homosexuals to maintain laws that would discriminate against homosexuals in matters of employment, housing, visitation rights, etc? Should we apply those same principles to heterosexual immorality?

I believe that anyone who reads Merritt and clearly understands him will read Kenney’s criticism and recognize it as unfair.

Again, I state that if you gave a series of questions about homosexuality to Kenney and Merritt, their answers would be very similar. Their viewpoints are remarkably similar. Kenney misunderstandings led to false inferences and unfair accusations.

“Welcome to SBC Today” Merritt and ACLU on the Same Page, by Tim Guthrie

The graceful spirit of Wes Kenney is largely absent in Tim’s post. He grossly misrepresents Merritt’s position and engages in a common tactic, “guilt by association.” It is not a post worthy of a preacher of Tim’s quality. Tim levels four specific charges against Merritt. Again, I make the following points about the article.

1) The whole “Merritt and the ACLU agree” argument is ridiculous, absurd, even shameful. The ACLU would in no way support Jonathan Merritt’s viewpoint that homosexuality is a sin. This is guilt by association at its worst. It is a shameful smear. Enough said. He also tends to engage in pejorative, labeling Merritt’s views as “dangerous” in terms of biblical understanding and application.

2) The first charge, again, is a complete misunderstanding of Merritt on Guthrie’s part. He criticizes Merritt for something he just does not say. He accuses Merritt of advocating that “Love should cause us to defend the normalization of the homosexual agenda.” Merritt doesn’t say that. Again, all he says is that gays and lesbians should receive basic protections under the law, something I imagine that Guthrie would support if he was willing to understand what Merritt was saying.

3) His second criticism is of Merritt’s view of the law. It is another misunderstanding of what Merritt was saying. I suspect that Merritt would agree with Tim’s point about Jesus fulfilling the law, not negating it.

4) Tim’s third criticism is a blatant misquote and factual misrepresentation (I will assume it is based on misunderstanding, not intentional deceit.) Tim says, “He seems to equate our command to love with a mandate to ‘affirm or endorse.’” He leaves the idea that Merritt advocates the affirmation of the gay agenda. That is simply not true. All you have to do is read the quote that follows to see that Tim got it wrong.

Merritt advocates that we “begin looking for ways to affirm, rather than undermine, our claims to love our gay neighbors.” He is not talking about affirming the gay lifestyle, but letting our actions affirm our claim to love gays.

Tim’s criticism therefore is unfair because his analysis is flawed.

5) His last criticism is of the byline I mentioned above, which might give the idea that Merritt represents the SBC in his opinions. I wish that Merritt’s opinion was universally held in the SBC, but Tim is right that the byline might give a false impression. All of us should be careful to make issues like this clear.

Again, I consider Tim’s use of the ACLU article inaccurate and a shameful smear of a brother in Christ, one that cries out for repentance, not critique.


Again, I think if you had Tim Guthrie, Wes Kenney, Jonathan Merritt and Dave Miller in one room and asked us a series of questions about homosexuality, we would give the same answers in unison.

Is homosexual behavior a sin? Four voices answer yes in unison.
Should the church treat homosexuals with love? Four voices answer yes in unison.
Should Christians be mean, demeaning to homosexuals? Four voices answer no in unison.
Should the church uphold truth even in the face of cultural opposition? Four voices answer yes in unison.
Should gays and lesbians be singled out for discrimination in matters of employment and other basic civil rights? Four voices answer no in unison.
Should we redefine marriage to include two men or two women? Four voices answer no in unison.

Why, then, do we have this debate? Because Wes and Tim failed to read carefully and understand what a brother wrote. They jumped to false conclusions and therefore made false accusations.

NOTE: I just noticed another voice chiming in to criticize Merritt (again, for the nomenclature issue). At some point, aren’t we just piling on?

That’s my read. What say you?


chadwick said...


Do you believe that "many homosexuals were born that way"?


Dave Miller said...


I do not know what causes homosexuality. In a fallen world, sin comes naturally. I think I can safely say that I have never had a homosexual desire in my life. I do not understand it at all. I do not know the source or origin.

What I have read seems to indicate it to be a combination of environmental and relational causes.

The issue, to me, is not what comes naturally, but what we choose to do about it.

Do I choose to act on my sinful impulses?

Do I choose to seek God and his power to overcome?

That is the issue to me.

Tim G said...

chadwick just asked a major question pertaining to the, one of many, disagreements, that I have with the article young Merritt wrote.

He does leave wide open the door for homosexuals to be born as such - contrary to the Bible.

He also embraces accepting of benefits equal to that of marriage which is contradictory from being against same sex marriage.

His love is absent the tough aspect of the truth of God's Word - thus I disagree with him and your assessment.

Not mentioned also in the attack on Godly men. If one disagrees - FINE! But to attack them - he knows better or should.

I emailed him and find that he leaves no room for discussion. That is disturbing.

If you will carefully read the article again, you will see what I have pointed out. I did not misunderstand him. I actually aknowledged some agreement on the love part.

In my follow up post you will see that I have added to the reasoning and presented what I practice today and have always practiced.

In my opinion he GIVES AWAY too much!

I still respect him! I wonder if he does me?

Dave Miller said...


Is that a quote from the essay?

Dave Miller said...


I read your second article before I wrote this, but did not comment on it as it seemed as misdirected as the first one and added little new.

chadwick said...



The issue at hand is this:
1)Are your impulses to sin caused by "genetic corruption"?
2) Or, are your impulses to sin caused by "moral corruption"?

This is the issue.

Jonathan Merritt stated on his blog:

"Yes, I do belief that many homosexuals are born that way . . ." (Jonathan Merritt)

I cordially asked Merritt to explain to me his reasoning. He is yet to respond.


Dave Miller said...


I also think you erred in invoking "respect for elders" here. Falwell, Kennedy et al were good men whom I respect. They are not beyond criticism.

I think Merritt is precisely correct when he says that our response to homosexuality has been marked by "vitriol" more than it has by love.

I have seen it (probably been guilty of it). I still see it today.

The Iowa supreme court decision has provoked an anger here in Iowa that, while understandable, still is ungodly and unhelpful.

We have to respond with both truth (that it is sin) and grace.

Dave Miller said...


With respect, that is NOT the issue at hand. I don't care what causes homosexuality. I don't really know, and I suspect that you do not either.

Much study has been done on all sides of this issue and no one has come up with a clear definition of what causes homosexual behavior.

The issue is what you do in response. When tempted, do you sin?

Tim G said...

Maybe this will shed some light. The comments made at times by a few does not negate a lifetime of loving ministry by those same few and many others - including you and me. He paints with a broad brush and negates that the men he mentions had and have a lifetime of ministry to the gay community and seeing many accept Christ and come out of the gay lifestyle. He writes as if all have done this.

I disagree. Media and sound bites do not give the 360 perspective that many of these men have faithfully fulfilled in ministry.

Dave Miller said...

Tim, I would like to ask some questions here. (Chadwick, if you want to answer, I'd love that too)

1) Is it not true that the general evangelical response toward homosexuals has tended more toward the vitriolic and bitter than the loving (Merritt's main point).

2) In my last section, I listed questions and said we would all answer them identically. Do you agree with that section?

Jonathan Merritt said...


I appreciate your kind words. I suspect that the other two bloggers and I would probably agree on this issue. This post takes the words right out of my mouth.



Dave Miller said...

Thank you, Jonathan.

I am glad you feel I represented your viewpoint accurately, and sorry that so many bloggers have done the opposite.

Wally said...


I see the great spin pastor wes kenney has now spun another one of his spins and it is now in the obituary (Baptist press). You can read about his greatest spin here

chadwick said...


You can read my comments over at Tim G's place.

Every word and statement penned in the USA Today is a main issue. If many young Southern Baptists have the same belief as Jonathan, concerning a homosexual being born that way, the SBC's future looks pretty bleak; the ramifications are unthinkable.

You and Jonathan may not think my question is a big deal. You may also refuse to address it. However, it is a question that must be addressed sooner or later.


Tim G said...

The problem is Merrit opens the door in the civil arena that takes this to a normalizing. That is different from discrimination.

Benji Ramsaur said...

1. I think we need the doctrine of original sin to come into play on this issue.

We sinned because we were born sinners.

Hence, folks lied because they were born liars.

Stole because they were born thieves.

Committed homosexual acts because they were...

We all need the life giving New Covenant ministry of the Holy Spirit [2 Cor. 3:6-8] that comes through faith in Christ's finished work of salvation.

And it is the "kindness" of the Lord that leads us to repentance [Rom. 2:4].

2. If we experience some serious hate from the [lost] homosexual sphere, we must not respond in kind [Rom. 12:17].

Tit for tat is not the way to go and my suspicion is that the nature of the culture war might tempt us fall into that trap.

Buy them a Coke.

And don't put arsenic in it, but do squirt a little cherry syrup.

God Bless,


Dave Miller said...

Well-stated Benji.

I maintain that the issue is not the source of homosexual desire, but whether the person chooses to act on them. That is where choice comes in - beyond doubt biblically.

Tim, your "slippery slope" argument is not well-taken. Merritt is clear - we should NOT redefine marriage. We should NOT accept homosexual behavior as okay.

We SHOULD affirm them as people and protect them from ridicule and from unnecessary discrimination.

Tim and chadwick, neither of you has answered my question.

Do you think that homosexuals should be discriminated against in matters of employment, housing, etc?

Should they be ostracized from normal society?

Merritt says no. I say no. What say you?

chadwick said...


Your question puzzles me.

Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. Therefore, the issue should be left totally and entirely to the owner of the business.

Here is a hypothetical example:
Do you think a (non-religious) "boys camp" director would want some "tinkerbell" as a cabin director?

Do you think the parents of the boys would want some "tinkerbell" getting close to their boys?

Why would the Miss USA pageant powers-that-be even want a radical sodomite like Perez Hilton to judge a group of WOMEN?

Bottome line:
Employment for homosexuals should be at the owner's discretion.


Dave Miller said...

Please be aware that our disagreement on homosexuality is so small. We agree on almost everything about it.

Our only disagreements, as I see it, are:

1) Do homosexuals choose to have homosexual desires, or is it something more innate to them?

2) Should homosexuals be discriminated against in matters like housing, employment, etc, in the secular realm.

I agree that churches should be able to "discriminate" on the basis of their religious convictions.

I agree that homosexuality is contrary to God's will.

i agree that marriage is between a man and woman alone.

My problem is that Tim, Chadwick, Jonathan and Dave are in essential AGREEMENT on the sinfulness of homosexuality. But, I believe, that you guys are magnifying disagreement on peripheral issues as if it cast aspertions on our true commitment to a biblical view of homosexuality.

chadwick said...


Jonathan answered my question over at his place. You should go on over and check it out.


Dave Miller said...


You seem completely convinced that homosexuals choose homosexual desire, and seem to imply that all who disagree are choosing experience over scripture.

As Benji said above, lust comes naturally to me, but is still sin.
No one had to teach me to lie. It was part of my fallen nature.
Gossip, anger, greed, pride - these are all a part of my nature.

Homosexuality is not natural to me. But on what scriptural evidence do you hang the view that homosexuality is always a conscious choice.

In a fallen world, sin comes naturally to us. I know that Romans 1 tells us that God's did not create homosexuality as a natural expression of love.

But since sin marred the intent of God, why is it the only biblical viewpoint to say that homosexuality is a choice?

My theory is that it is not so much genetic, as a product of sinful influences in childhood - abuse, messed up same-sex parent relationship, etc.

Why is it so important to you that homosexuality be seen as a conscious choice? You seem fixated on this point and I am wondering why.

Can you show me the verses to back that up?

Bill said...

I think some feel that acknowledging that same-sex attraction might be innate somehow suggests that homosexual behavior is somehow not immoral. I think this is faulty reasoning. As has been mentioned, we are all born inclined to sin. But to give in to the temptation to sin is still sin, regardless of our inborn propensity for it. Why would one particular sin be any different? I don't know what "causes" same sex attraction, whether it is genetic or developmental. It doesn't matter. The act is sin. I am unconvinced that heterosexual people simply "choose" to go in the other direction and become homosexuals. I do believe that fulfilling that desire in acts that the bible clearly condemns is sin. Why isn't that enough?

chadwick said...


I will gladly give you Scripture to back up my stance. Here it is:

****(I gleaned from Jay Adams with my response.)****

The Bible describes homosexuality and drunkenness as SINS. Most of the "experience-driven" preachers & counselors label them as "sicknesses" or "diseases."

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.(Rom 1:26-27)

Paul's emphasis in Romans 1 is upon the "perversion" of sexuality. According to Paul, homosexuality is is said to be "against nature" (which, incidentally, militates against any genetically/hormonally determined view).

Homosexuality is a sin that comes from a sin nature, not a sin sickness (Brother, there is a big difference between sin nature and sin sickness). Homosexual desires come not from a genetic/hormonal sickness, but a corrupt sin nature. Paul, in Romans, does not mention that homosexuality is a sickness.

Paul's words, "against nature" (V26), plainly teach that labeling homosexuality as a sickness is wrong. Homosexual desires are not the result of some innate (genetical/hormonal/inherited) need; homosexual desires are SECONDARY, LEARNED DRIVES associated with habitual perversion growing out of a sinful way of life.

Verse 27 labels homosexuality as an "error." In all of Scripture, there is only one God-given solution to the problem of sexual desire: "it is better to marry [someone of the opposite sex] than to burn" (1 Cor. 7:9)

Marriage [to someone of the opposite sex] is God's answer to immorality (even homosexuality: "because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband." The old sinful pattern of homosexuality must be broken and replaced by the new Godly one.

The basic goals, ways and means for counseling homosexuals are found in: 1 Cor.7. Cf. also Gen 19:1-10; Lev. 18:22; Judges 19:22-26; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10.

It is just as misleading to speak of "homosexual needs" as it is to speak of "adulterous needs" or "intoxicating needs".

Here is the advice a "experience-based" counselor gives to sodomites:
"You are born gay. You will have to endure homosexuality for the rest of your life. Just don't act upon it."

Dave, is there any hope in that stoic message?

If a sodomite thinks he is born that way, he has NO HOPE. However, if a sodomite believes the Bible teaches that his condition is sinful, he has hope.

The Bible is clear: homosexuality is a sin; it is not a sickness. And that is why there is hope. What hope is there of changing genes? But God is in the business of dealing with sin.

And such were some of you [sodomites]: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.(1 Cor 6:11)


Dave Miller said...

I respect your interpretation of that passage.

Here's my only issue. I am not sure that it is definitive enough to essentially question the biblical bona fides of those who would disagree. That was really why I got involved in this subject. I saw Tim and Wes questioning the biblical integrity of a man who essentially agreed with them, because he did not agree on what I consider to be secondary issues (what causes homosexuality, should we discriminate on employment issues, etc.)

To me, the baseline is: do you believe that homosexual behavior is biblically acceptable, or that homosexual marriage is an acceptable thing?

The other issues, to me, are secondary.

I would also advance one more idea for your consideration.

Say I am a wicked, dishonest man who sends my sons out to steal from an early age. Are they responsible for their sins later? Of course. Have I predisposed them to being thiefs? I say yes.

Now, put this into the current arena. A boy is raised in a home where dad is distant and mom is overbearing (as some say is contributory). When the boy is young, a trusted uncle brutally and repeatedly molests him.

These are factors said to contribute to the development of homosexuality. They may have happened even before the boy really understood his sexual nature.

To him, his homosexuality may seem inborn, while it is really the result of another's sin.

Here's my point; a parent's sin can have horrible effects on a child. Can we rule out a parent's evil actions contributing to the development of homosexual desire in a child?

Dave Miller said...


I may write a lengthier response to what you have written later, but a couple of points before I'm off to my evening service.

I read Tim first (both posts), then Wes. Then I read Jonathan. It was reading Jonathan's original statement that I realized that Wes and Tim were either misunderstanding or misinterpreting what he was saying. What he said is not what they said he said.

I think anyone who was unbiased (as I think I am in this - I have no axed to grind with Wes, have never met Jonathan) would realize that they were not fully understanding what he said.

Tim and Wes wrote public rebukes to a brother (whom I do not know.) I thought those were unfair. I wrote a defense of his writing (which he evidently thinks fairly represented him) and admittedly was critical of Wes and Tim's methodology and style.

I tried to be fair and not include derogatory language. I could not describe their error (as I saw it) without speaking words of criticism. I engaged with Tim and we both stated our points without any offense that I could see. Tim disagrees with me as much as I disagree with him.

You will note that I had a lengthy exchange with Chadwick and I believe we disagreed cordially.

I hope any debate we would have would be marked by that same kind of charity of words.

I will read your missive a little more completely after services and perhaps give a point by point response, if that seems appropriate.

Tim G said...

I will try to clarify for you some of what Peter is pointing out.

You took issue with the posts that I and Wes wrote. We took issue with the article Merritt wrote.

What is the difference?

I see Merritt falling for the Homosexual trap in public opinion and policy. He does not. I see him open the door to the possibility that people are born gay - the Bible does not allow for this position.

I did not rebuke Merritt - I disagreed in the same manner he disagreed with others in his article.

You chided me and Wes for tone but did not Merritt for the same tone. If ours was wrong, so was his.

Dave, I think maybe you have a hard time with bloggers disagreeing but do not see the same disagreements in other forms of media in the same way.

Merritt was extremely disrespectful of fellow men of God.

I read all posts tonight in church and asked for responses. 100% saw Merritts position as watering down and caving in to the Homosexual agenda. And remember, we have homosexuals who attend, who are children of members etc.. Not an easy crowd to take the position I took with - yet Biblically they know the TRUTH.

Dave Miller said...

Peter, I don't play the kind of games you seem to think people play. I just don't.

When I asked for clarity on some of your points, it was because I did not understand what you were saying.

Whether it was the fault of your communication or my understanding is irrelevant. I did not understand what you were saying. I asked for clarification. You chose insult instead.

Peter, it is clear that you will not be convinced and I think I have given an unbiased reader would say is an honest attempt to deal with your concerns in a cordial and direct way.

I think our conversation here, unless you have something new to bring up, has passed the point where there is anything positive to be gained.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dave Miller said...


thanks for coming back again.

You said, "You took issue with the posts that I and Wes wrote. We took issue with the article Merritt wrote.What is the difference?"

Two things:

1) You are exactly right. that's how it works in public discourse. You say something, someone else disagrees.

I wrote what I wrote because I disagreed with you. You write here to defend what you said or to clarify. that is the nature of blogging - the exchange of ideas - hopefully geared toward greater understanding.

2) My concern was that I believe you misunderstood Merritt and therefore your public charges against him were false.

I happened to read your article first. Then, I read Wes'. I thought it might be nice to read what Merritt wrote. I did. I realized then that your charges were false.

Tim, if you would read my blog here, or at SBC Impact, you would see that I do not as you said, "have a problem with bloggers disagreeing." I encourage it. Those are the facts.

I write a post, then encourage others to comment. Read above. Chadwick and I had a lengthy discussion. We disagreed but the discussion was cordial and to me at least, enlightening.

Read my earlier discussion with Ron West about the CR - cordial disagreement. It is my favorite thing to do in blogging - engage someone who disagrees with me and discuss it.

I do not defend everything Merritt said. In fact, in my essay, I agreed with one of your criticisms of his essay. And, I guess, I could wish that he had not aired the church's dirty laundry in USA Today.

But as must as we respect these men (my son is about to graduate Liberty) we do not accord the older generation sainthood status. Where they were wrong, we need to correct it.

Tim, honestly, the fact that your church agreed with you on this is not exactly surprising, is it?

Tim, I would love to continue this discussion with you if we can use it to reach greater understanding of one another.

Wayne Smith said...


Thanks for the fair and balanced post in regard to the Spin that gets thrown about by the BI group. AS I have commented before that your view of Scripture and Interpretation are right on. You never try to Add to or Take away from what God’s Word says.


Dave Miller said...

To all,

The purpose this blog is to discuss issues that pertain
I will permit anyone on this site to challenge my views (I'm a fallible, imperfect person). In fact, I love to debate and discuss. As I said to Tim above, I think the comment streams on this site and at SBC Impact would say demonstrate that I am willing to debate those who disagree and to discuss ideas.

I certainly sometimes fail in that, getting upset or being petty. But my goal is to be forthright. Sometimes I am critical - that's kind of the point of blogs. I try not to be pejorative or ad-hominem, though the person whose ideas I criticize might question that.

However, as the administrator of this blog, I have the unique power to delete comments that are silly, ungodly, personal attacks, etc.

I just want commenters to know that I will use that.

Let's talk. Let's argue. Let's debate - I actually enjoy that.

But there are several sites that specialize in silliness. Leave the silliness there, please.

Dave Miller said...


I wish you were in my church. Always an encouragement!


Tim G said...

Where you and I disagree is fairly simple. You think some of us "piled on" and misread. I think you are piling on those of us you thought were piling on. :)

I cannot favor anything that when read, runs the same path that the homosexual agenda trods. Merritt article is too much like what politicans are saying.

As for my church agreeing - for you to not realize how huge that was on this specific issue is for you to totally miss what I said about where we are located and who attends. Dave it was huge!!!!!

I do thank you for the email that made sure I knew your previous rebuke was not aimed at me. It did and still does look that way but such is blogging I guess.

Dave Miller said...

On the contrary, Tim - while we have not come to agreement on this discussion, I have enjoyed the debate and did not direct the previous comment against you at all.

The person whose comment I deleted (and to whom my comment was directed) is going to call me soon and we will discuss this and work it all out in such a way that we understand each other - that is my hope.