Southern Seminary, ACBC to refute protesters’ claims in morning news conference
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Leaders of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors will hold a news conference Monday at 10:30 a.m. on the seminary’s campus to refute the claims of an announced protest of ACBC’s conference at the seminary.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, and Heath Lambert, executive director of ACBC, will hold the news conference to respond to the Fairness Campaign’s false claim that the ACBC conference promotes reparative therapy when the group announced its plans Friday, Oct. 2, to protest near the seminary. Lambert said in a Sept. 14 news release he rejects reparative therapy and that the conference will explore an evangelical perspective of homosexual change.
The news conference will be held on the seminary campus at 2825 Lexington Road in W.O. Carver Hall (building #26 on the attached campus map) in the room Ingram Hall.
“We stand on the authority of the Bible and the consistent witness of Christianity for 2,000 years in defining sexuality as God’s gift to be received on his terms and gender — as assigned by the Creator — as a part of the goodness of God's creation,” Mohler said. “This is controversial only in light of a very modern concept of sexuality and gender that is increasingly pervasive in the culture to which the church must respond with biblical conviction.”
Answering several false claims made by critics, Mohler added, “We do not believe that homosexuals are to be converted to heterosexuality and that would not solve the deepest problem. We believe that all same-sex sexual activity is sin and that marriage can only be the conjugal union of a man and a woman. We believe that no one has the right (or even the ability) to ‘change’ gender. But we are not calling the LGBT community to be converted to heterosexuality. Rather, we are calling everyone, regardless of sexual or gender identity, to be converted to new life in Christ — a new life that begins in conversion and leads to a life of wholeness and holiness as defined by the Bible in obedience to Christ.”
Further, Mohler asserted, “We do not believe that love can be fulfilled in a lie, and the great lie of the sexual revolution is that we are self-defining autonomous beings who are competent to know our identity on our own. This conference, and the preconference, is all about helping Christians to respond with both love and truth in the midst of a moral revolution. We have sinned against the LGBT community by ignoring their presence among us, by remaining silent when we should speak the truth, and by reducing a massive human struggle to simplistic explanations. This conference is an attempt to think seriously as believing Christians about what this moral revolution will demand of us and how we can respond with the full wisdom of the Christian faith and in the full power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Lambert flatly rejects the claim that his organization supports reparative therapy.
“As an organization we are adamantly opposed to reparative therapy, and we reject that homosexuals must become heterosexuals,” Lambert said. “We reject that because we are Christians. The Christian message as revealed in the Bible is that transgender and homosexual lifestyles are sinful. The Bible teaches that God forgives sins and provides power to live a life that honors God for all persons who repent of their sin and trust in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Repentant faith in Jesus Christ that leads to holiness is the goal for all people, not just homosexual and transgender persons.
“We are using this conference to demonstrate how counseling that is uniquely biblical can lead to repentance, holiness, and joy for all who leave their life of sin to follow Jesus Christ,” Lambert said.
ACBC is holding a “first-ever” conference by evangelicals on the subject of transgenderism Oct. 5 on the seminary campus. “Transgender Confusion and Transformational Christianity” is a preconference to ACBC’s annual conference, “Homosexuality: Compassion, Care, and Counsel for Struggling People,” Oct. 5-7. The sold-out conference is expected to draw 2,000 participants from across the nation, according to ACBC.
Among others, Mohler and Lambert will be speaking at both the ACBC preconference and its main conference, both of which will be livestreamed at www.sbts.edu/live.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, who is one of the speakers at the ACBC main conference, may be available for interviews Monday afternoon. Butterfield, a former lesbian activist, was a tenured faculty member at Syracuse University where she taught English and Women’s Studies, and published in the fields of 19th-century British literature and culture, feminist and queer theory and psychoanalysis. She is the author of Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert and Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ.
Only credentialed members of the press will be permitted access to the news conference.
The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors has certified counselors across the United States and in 29 countries across the globe that are committed to the Bible as the authority for all of life and committed to the Bible as the standard for counseling theory and practice. Heath Lambert is the executive director of ACBC and associate professor biblical counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
Rosario Champagne Butterfield
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