Dear Editor: I am writing to respond to Dick Yarbrough’s recent article "Seminary President’s Views Need a Stretch." The article was an attack on several of the views of Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Mohler uses his platform as seminary president to help the church think through tough issues from a biblical worldview. On his web page, www.albertmohler.com, you can find daily updates to his blog, a daily news analysis called "The Briefing," and many other resources to help the Christian think through the issues of the day. Mr. Yarbrough condemned Mohler for commenting on yoga, female pastors, and for not commenting on the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., and the members’ demonstration at the funerals of deceased military.
In terms of Mohler’s comments about yoga, he had written an article in September concerning this issue. This was written to educate the church on this matter as in this postmodern age spiritual disciplines of varying religious groups are often confused. In case you were unaware, yoga is not an invention of your local YMCA; it is an ancient spiritual discipline or sum total of the disciplines in Hinduism with the aim of becoming one with the "divine." For a Christian hoping in Christ alone this is not an appropriate practice. Mohler does a good job making this point, with the aim of keeping the church strong.
To the female pastors, in 2007 when the First Baptist Church of Decatur called Julie Pennington Russell as pastor of their church, Mohler explained the biblical position that the office of pastor is an office for men. This position, held by most conservative evangelicals, is not a position of hate for women. It does not say that women have no role in the church; it is a conviction that in scripture God defines the role of pastor as a role for men (1 Timothy 2:11-12, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1).
Finally, Yarbrough condemned Mohler for not speaking out against the horrible acts of the Westboro Baptist Church. I admit I am not aware of a blog post, or article of Dr. Mohler’s that does such. However, knowing anything about Dr. Mohler, it is obvious that he condemns the acts of Westboro: I don’t know anyone that doesn’t condemn them. Their acts were deplorable and in no way served the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Just because Dr. Moher has not written a blog post or issued a podcast condemning these acts is not reason to attack him. It is obvious where Mohler, and for that matter where Southern Baptists in general, stand on this issue. He spends his time focusing on more difficult issues, issues that Christians are actually confused about and need help in thinking through biblically.
With all due respect to Mr. Yarbrough, his article was condescending, ill-informed, and not helpful. In the future I would advise The Covington News to use greater caution when publishing his articles.