Seth Udinski, FISM News
A former president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has resigned from his position as a visiting professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary amidst controversy surrounding his homosexual son.
Dr. James Merritt, lead pastor of Cross Pointe Church of Duluth, Georgia, willingly stepped down as a visiting lecturer at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary on Monday after he shared an online video of his son, Jonothan Merritt, speaking at a church in New York City. The younger Merritt is a practicing homosexual, and his father came under criticism for promoting a message spoken by a man living in a lifestyle of unrepentant sin.
On November 22, Dr. Merritt shared the video link to his son’s message and said,
I don’t agree with my loved son @JonathanMerritt on everything to be sure. But I encourage you to listen to his message on Mark 13. It is both brilliant and faithful to the gospel and the coming of Jesus!
After coming under initial criticism, Merritt said in response,
Regardless of who preaches Jesus or speaks truth I rejoice when they do because I love Jesus and truth. I can approve a message even when I have disagreements with the messenger.
Pastor Merritt’s voluntary resignation was made public by Southeastern’s president Daniel Akin, who defended the pastor’s integrity:
Today my dear friend @drjamesmerritt asked me to allow him to decline serving as a visiting professor @SEBTS, not wanting to be a distraction to the school. I have honored his request. His integrity, character & love for the gospel is a model for us all. A great man & friend!
— Daniel Akin (@DannyAkin) November 29, 2021
Others were angered at this former SBC president for his act of support for a practicing homosexual. The Conservative Baptist Network (CBN) said after the fact:
For one who is employed by a Southern Baptist seminary receiving Cooperative Program tithe dollars to promote an unrepentant sinner — no matter whose son he is — as a trustworthy preaching source is a betrayal of trusting Southern Baptists.