Monday, January 19, 2009

So. Baptist R. Albert Mohler Calls +Robinson, Others, Atheists and Idolotors

UPDATE: You can see some video and hear +Gene Robinson giving his convocation prayer here at Pam's House Blend.

UPDATE 2: Bruce Wilson has an excellent article on Huff Post here. Warren, as we well know, has more problems than Obama's team knew or, apparently, bothered to research. Talk about political hypocrisy!

James, over at The Three Legged Stool, presents, today, a very interesting piece on recent schizmo actions. But what I found the most fascinating, actually, is the apparent intervention in TEC affairs by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr (Ph.D.).

In case you don't know who Mohler is, he is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. So first we have Warren, now Mohler, playing in the TEC schizmo sandbox.

And least you think Mohler, whose theological differences with Warren are more aesthetic than fundamental, you'd be right. They are both led by the dogma of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Among other things, Mohler maintains a blog and broadcasts a weekday one-hour radio show. He is also frequently called upon to dispense vitriol (and lies) on shows with James Dobson and others on the uber religious right and mainstream (MSM) media.

In contrast to the more large tent less dogmatic version of Christianity found in TEC, Mohler, like Warren, maintains an apparent list of "qualifications" to be Christian and penned this caustic statement (also found on his blog, linked above) on TEC's Bishop Gene Robinson and other TEC Bishops January 16th of this year:

We can be fairly sure that, for Bishop Robinson, "specifically" and "aggressively" mean more or less the same thing. A review of most recent inaugural prayers reveals virtually nothing that could be fairly described as "aggressive" and remarkably little that can be described as "specific." The last two inaugurations have included prayers with greater specificity, to be sure.

The bishop's comments reveal just about everything one needs to know about his theology. He pledges that "this will not be a Christian prayer" and he "won't be quoting Scripture or anything like that." No, nothing like that.

Recent controversies over praying in the name of Jesus Christ will not be a factor here. Instead, the bishop said he might address his prayer to "the God of our many understandings" - an expression calculated to be vague. Bishop Robinson says that he learned the language in a 12-step program he attended after developing an alcohol addiction.

"The crisis in the Church of England," wrote Clive James in The Dreaming Swimmer, "is that too many of its bishops, and some would say of its archbishops, don't quite realize that they are atheists, but have begun to suspect it."

Lets be clear about what Mohler is saying here: Mohler is clearly supporting the notion that Bishop Gene Robinson and other Bishops in the CoE are atheists.

I have no doubt I wouldn't fit into his tiny-minded box which defines Christian, either. Having been an atheist/agnostic for a good part of my life, I can only conclude that he more enjoys wielding the hatchet than seeking understanding since he overtly denies the meaning of the word atheist: one who believes that there is no deity.

One could easily suggest that Mohler is just conflating his opinion of others' religious views, or one can just flat out call it straight: Mohler is lying.

Interestingly, on January 15 and 16 of this year, while in Southern Carolina at the "Mere Anglicanism" conference where Mohler was asked to speak, Mohler broadcast two radio shows one on the life and opinions of Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali (January 16th), and the second on "Mere Anglicanism" (whatever that is) (January 15th).

Nazir-Ali's discussion on Anglicanism, Bishop Gene Robinson and the current situation begins at about 26:30. Nazir-Ali says he doesn't know what "God of our many understandings" means. Nazir-Ali--led enthusiastically by Mohler--calls the use of the above term "intentional idolotry". So not only is Bishop Robinson an atheist, he is also an idolotor.

They discussion moves on to embryonic stem cell research/use, abortion and euthanasia which Mohler calls [euthanasia] "a liberal death wish". At 34:45 they move on to the issue of African evangelism, as they call it.

The previous radio show on "Mere Anglicanism" is described this way:

As the Episcopalian Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) has moved further into theological liberalism and away from biblical fidelity, many evangelical American Anglicans have ventured out in search of faithful church structures. In a special broadcast from the Mere Anglicanism Conference in Charleston (SC), Dr. Mohler welcomes Rev. Dr. William Dickson—rector of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Forth Worth, TX--to the program to discuss the significance of these developments not only for Anglicans, but for evangelicals at large.

Mohler mentions CA Proposition 8, Rick Warren, Obama, Bishop Robinson and "homosexual activists". Mohler says, outright, that "Bishop Robinson is NOT a Christian Bishop." Mohler takes on Warren a bit, but not much, and takes on the term "nation's pastor", executive orders issuable by the U.S. President and backs again into embryonic stem cell use, and DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell as it pertains to gays in the military).

At about 12:25 Mohler begins to discuss Mere Anglicanism and the North American Anglican Province. Dickerson enters about 13:25. Dickerson goes back to (sigh) the 1960s and Pike saying that is where it started and that it did not start with the issue of "homosexuality". Gads, cannot they EVER get over Pike?

Dickerson defines the term "Mere Anglicanism" as primacy of the scriptures and the Thirty Nine Articles.

Dickson explains what has "happened" to the TEC as beginning with Pike and others who abandoned the Episcopal faith. Dickson said that Bishop John Spong expressly denied the presence of God and Mohler goes back to Spong's heresy. It's the battle of the literalists.

Mohler then goes back to the 1549 Book of Common Prayer and saying that there are people that read these words (and the Bible) and don't believe them. Enter the dinos and exit modern theology. Mohler calls the overall problem a "comprehensive collapse of Christianity" while Dickson calls this an exciting time to be an Anglican. Exciting? Not the term I would use by any means.


I undoubtedly needn't voice how I feel about this kind of interference both from Mohler and Warren, how I feel about the rather vicious name calling, and it should make the motivation for Warren's offer to St. James crystal clear though Warren, as ever, has backed into and out of that issue, as usual. Some call it tap dancing.