Biblical conviction provokes mockery, Mohler says during Southern Seminary Heritage Week
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Christians must resolve to preach the Word of God even as a secular culture rejoices over perceived victory in the sexual revolution, said R. Albert Mohler Jr. president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in an Oct. 14 message during the institution’s annual Heritage Week.
“We’ve got to prepare a generation of ministers who are going to be able to keep their conviction and keep their message and open their mouths and speak and not be silent,” said Mohler, whose book We Cannot Be Silent releases Oct. 27. “They know that when they open their mouth there will be rejoicing and mockery.”
Preaching from 2 Samuel 1:17-27, Mohler explained how David lamented for Saul’s death because Gath, a major city of Israel’s opponent the Philistines, would rejoice and ridicule God’s people. In a similar way, he said, American culture today mocks Christianity when leading news agencies will report on 40 LGBT activists protesting a conference on homosexuality Oct. 5 at Southern Seminary but ignore the record 2,300 people attending the event.
Mohler said it is further proof of “living in really strange days” that he appeared on the front page of the Oct. 14 issue of Louisville’s Courier-Journal for merely stating “obvious” biblical convictions on same-sex marriage. Two days after he spoke, on Oct. 16, the same newspaper ran an editorial cartoon falsely accusing Mohler of holding to “conversion therapy” and saying, “Your bigotry is a choice, Dr. Mohler.”
“We are living in a day in which there is widespread, pervasive, eager, effusive happiness in Gath,” said Mohler. “We’ve got to be prepared for the fact that we’re going to be hearing the celebration of those in Gath for the rest of our lives.”
Southern Seminary’s Heritage Week this year included the fall trustee meeting, Southern Seminary Foundation meeting, Preview Day for prospective students, and the Great Commission Race for mission trip fundraising.
Following the Oct. 14 special service, Mohler presented the Bruce W. Benton Sr. Distinguished Service Award on behalf of the Southern Seminary Foundation to Bill and Connie Jenkins. The “longtime friends” of Southern Seminary have been associates for the foundation since 2011 and provided the financial resources to establish the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam in February 2014. The couple also sponsored the Aiming High clay shoot event to raise money for the seminary’s tuition fund.
In an Oct. 13 message, Mohler said Heritage Week is a reminder of the legacy of faithfulness that defines Southern Seminary, a stewardship that “goes all the way back to Christ and the apostles.”
“With thankfulness, we celebrate a heritage” dating to the seminary’s founding in 1859, he said, “but we can’t stop there because we have to place ourselves, we have to place the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have to place our times in God’s eternal purposes as he has revealed them throughout history in Scripture.”
Preaching from Hebrews 13:20-21, Mohler explained that this passage emphasizes Jesus Christ as “the great shepherd of the sheep” who provides access to the God of peace.
“No resurrection, no peace. If Christ didn’t have his victory, there would be no peace,” Mohler said. “The atonement was not just by Christ on the cross that is the grounds of our peace with God, it is the fact that this is the God who showed himself to be the God of peace by raising our Jesus Christ up from the dead.
“When it comes to sin and death and the devil, we have a great high priest who has accomplished our salvation who is that great shepherd of the sheep,” he added.
Also speaking during Heritage Week was Michael Pohlman, assistant professor of Christian preaching at Southern, who examined the death of pride through the servanthood of Jesus in an Oct. 15 message.
Preaching on James and John’s request in Mark 10:35-45 to be seated with Jesus in glory, Pohlman compared the passage to a four-part majestic symphony leading to a crescendo of what it means to be a true disciple: an audacious request; a sobering response; a kingdom not of this world; and the glorious servanthood of Jesus.
“Pride is just always hungry for glory and it needs to be fed; oh, it is a monster that needs to be fed,” Pohlman said. “But still worse, that is the human plane, still worse pride challenges the throne of God by inserting us as the most important reality of the universe; a position God will never vacate.”
At the heart of his sermon, Pohlman challenged his audience to examine their hearts for pride and encouraged them that the way of Jesus is through sacrifice and suffering.
“The Lord of glory came not to be served — that’s crazy! But that’s the gospel.”
Audio and video of chapel messages are available at sbts.edu/resources.
Andrew White contributed to this report.