Bud Ahlheim begins with a quote from Justin Peters:
What happened at First Baptist Church Orlando the night of June 14 was the theological equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a day of infamy. It was the day that a flagship church of the Southern Baptist Convention, quite literally, sold its soul to the devil and “trampled under foot the Son of God.”
In this hard-hitting series, Ahlheim demonstrates that FBC Pastor David Uth is apostate. What egregious act did the pastor commit to bring this charge from Peters, Ahlheim and others? In part 2, Ahlheim reveals that the shepherd of the sheep invited “Pulse nightclub survivors, friends and relatives of those killed, and the ‘persecuted LGBTQ community’ at large to a prayer service. Pay particular attention to this point … he hosted a prayer service … not for them … but with them.”
An array of guest speakers – some pastors, others lay leaders – from Orlando area churches were invited to take turns at the pulpit of First Baptist Orlando to offer spiritual encouragement to the “LGBTQ community,” offer a (Gospel-void) message of hope, and to pray with them for healing, hope, and peace. And that they did, to a large audience gathered in FBC’s 4,500 seat main sanctuary, an audience comprised largely of members of that unregenerate “community.”
Justin Peters aptly noted that what Uth did in defiance to clear Scriptural commands, especially one that should be known and obeyed by a pastor of Uth’s prominence, was nothing less than “an absolute capitulation to today’s culture.”
With this background in mind, following is part 1 of Ahlheim’s piece…
“What happened at First Baptist Church Orlando the night of June 14 was the theological equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a day of infamy. It was the day that a flagship church of the Southern Baptist Convention, quite literally, sold its soul to the devil and “trampled under foot the Son of God.” (Hebrews 10:29) Justin Peters
Most believers, perhaps even those who “abide in my word” less than they ought to, will recognize Jesus’ words from Matthew 7:13-14:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
The authentically regenerate Christian will know that the only way to find that narrow path is through solus Christus, Christ alone. That path is attainable, though, only through the right Jesus, not the one so popularly proclaimed from pulpits today. He must be the Jesus of Scripture.
Indeed, we realize that we don’t even look for that narrow path until, first, He has found us. Once found, we understand His grace. We understand who God is, who we are, and revel in the glorious reality that we have been chosen to be, with the apostle Paul, “a slave of Christ.” Our eyes are opened. We see things as they truly are. And we embrace the singular mission given to us by the God who became incarnate, lived, died, and rose again as a ransom for our souls – we get to be His ambassadors sharing His glorious Gospel.
Our understanding of the narrow gate is divinely emphasized with perhaps the most frightening words uttered by our Lord just a few verses later in Matthew’s Gospel.
“On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” Matthew 7:22
Even the grace granted believer trembles at the eternal consequences of Christ’s decisive response to His rhetorically-posed, but certain to come to pass, question:
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:23
Before that day of eternal judgment arrives when “many” will hear those final, wrath-sentencing words of Christ, believers have been given the dutiful, solemn, yet glorious task of stewardship over His Gospel of grace. The message of Christ, foretold through the millennia by Old Testament prophets, coming to fruition in His incarnation, death, and resurrection, and explained by the rich, revelatory theology of the apostles – His Gospel, the “power of God for salvation” – is the mechanism employed by the Holy Spirit to place chosen souls on that narrow path of life.
The New Testament is replete with warnings to protect that Gospel, defend it, contend for it. We are warned that many will come, diabolically motivated, who will twist it, conceal it, augment it, or outright deny it. False messiahs, false teachers, false prophets will be employed by the enemy of our God to keep the masses traveling on the wide path that “leads to destruction.”
Since the fiercest fighting in spiritual warfare occurs, not in the world, but in the church, some of those who are pointing souls down the wide path stand in pulpits, where they offer an accomodating, though damnable, counterfeit gospel. They are ones who will one day stand before Him and plead, “Lord, Lord, did we not …?”
Some of these “other gospel” proclaimers stand, ever increasingly, in pulpits of Southern Baptist Churches. The astute student of Scripture will know this to be a certain truth, warned about it as we are by the Word.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 4
What may be shocking, though, is that some of those who “pervert the grace of our God” don’t simply creep in unnoticed. Some are intentionally, knowingly invited to the pulpit as was done by Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Orlando, on June 14, 2016, effectively trampling under foot the Son of God.
When a minister of the Gospel of the caliber of Justin Peters makes such a statement as cited at the opening of this article, the subject of his rebuke – in this case, most directly Uth, but also FBC Orlando and the entire Southern Baptist Convention – ought to take serious heed. They should follow the apostolic command appropriate to this very situation, “Examine yourself, to see if you are in the faith,” (2 Corinthians 13:5) to be followed, hopefully, by their confession and repentance.