A Tale of Two Baptists

In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, two very different reactions were reported by Baptists groups.

Chick-fil-A in Orlando was open the following day-a Sunday-to provide chicken and lemonade to blood donors wishing to help wounded victims. Just because Chick-fil-A is supportive of traditional marriage does not mean that they turn a blind eye to their community in a time of extra ordinary need.
Chick-fil-A responds to Orlando massacre

Photo from Washington Times

Meanwhile, here in northern California, KCRA-TV was featuring a local pastor that was preaching a different message on the very same Sunday. Here are parts of their story.

During a portion of his teaching, Pastor Roger Jimenez, of Verity Baptist Church on Northgate Boulevard, was talking about sodomites, saying that it is “unnatural to want to be with some of the same sex.”

“People say, ‘Well, aren’t you sad that 50 sodomites died?’ Here’s the problem with that, it’s like the equivalent of asking me, ‘Well, aren’t you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?’” Jimenez said. “No, I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think that Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.”

“The point that I was making is if God puts the death penalty on it, God says they deserve to die, and they die, this is not something that we, as Christians, need to be mourning,” Jimenez said. “In the same way that this gunman who went in there and killed all these people, he violated Scripture. God says that he deserves to die for taking their lives. We don’t need to be mourning his death either.”

Jimenez went on to say that the main focus of his sermon was about how the government and media is going to use this even to push their agenda, which is to take away gun rights and limit freedom of speech.

KCRA: Pastor upset more didn’t die

Pastor Jimenez is mixing Scripture with current events and some of his own ideas and the whole combination is falling short. I would like to try to separate some of the threads in this story into components that can be more easily analyzed.

I’m going to look at the subject of this news story thru a worldview influenced by a Reformed point of view. As such, let’s begin with the first point of Calvinism, Total Depravity.

The short version of Total Depravity is that men are spiritually dead.  We are all sinners separated from God.

Some sins; however, are condemned in both Testaments; among these are murder and homosexuality. The Bible is clear that murders and homosexuals will not go to heaven or inherit the kingdom of God.

One word used in the New Testament that includes homosexuality is Pornia which is defined as: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
—Strong’s Concordance, Word 4202

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

That all sinners are separated from God is a given, but clearly some sins are the result of the rebellion of a people under God’s judgment. This was true when Paul wrote it back in the days of ancient Rome and is again true of the West.

It is true that homosexuality is a sin that is worthy of death under the Old Testament system established by Moses. However, there is no warrant for belief that a vigilante that goes around killing notorious sinners is allowed by Scripture. A sinner killing other sinners is still a sin and not something worthy of celebrating.

Sorry but The Punisher and Death Wish are both entertainment and not meant as guides on social reform for willing citizens.

Only government is allowed to use the sword to punish evil doers. Yes self-defense is also biblical but anyone that says playing judge, jury, and executioner is wonderful is not speaking in accord with Scripture.

Pastor Jimenez somehow thinks two wrongs make a right action. On this point I dissent.

I think that Chick-fil-A giving folks food and drink is a much more biblical approach. Jesus said it is ok to do good on the Sabbath.

“Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?”
—Luke 6:9

As I dug deeper into Verity Baptist Church, I found enough to do a blog on their group but I will let that wait for another day. I would like to close on a quotation from their website so you can get a flavor of what Pastor Jimenez has to say about the “rainbow people”.

We believe that sodomy (homosexuality) is a sin and an abomination before God which God punishes with the death penalty. No sodomite (homosexual will be allowed to attend or join Verity Baptist Church.
Verity Baptist Church-what we believe