A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is Dwight McKissic The AntiChrist???

Of course not!

But Dwight thinks that a gay man is the AntiChrist....

In late September, the Rev. Dwight McKissic made this assertion at a Values Voter Summit attended by other prominent Religious Right figures.

Rob Boston reports...
McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, put forth slim evidence for the assertion, citing a murky passage in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Daniel. Interestingly, the verse in question, Daniel 11:37, does not mention the Antichrist by name. It talks instead about a prophecy concerning a Persian king who will amass great power and oppress God’s people.

This monarch, the King James Version of the Bible says, will not share “the desire of women.”

Although other translations of the scripture differ radically, to McKissic, the KJV text is proof enough. He asked the crowd, “Could it be that the Antichrist himself may be homosexual?” Read more here.

McKissic has a history of making reprehensible Falwellian-like statements...

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, McKissic wondered out-loud if God sent Katrina "to purify our nation."

In the latest installment of his 13-part series entitled Possible Solutions for What Ails The SBC, popular blogger Nathan Finn writes....

Southern Baptists are not evangelistic because of the culture war....Seriously, Southern Baptists are not evangelistic because the last couple of decades our passion for lost souls has been weakened by our passion for politics. Not that Christians should retreat from politics. And not that Christians should fail to engage the culture. But Southern Baptists in particular seem to be under the corporate impression that marriage amendments, more pro-life judges, more Ten Commandments displays, government-sponsored school prayer and Bible reading, and ignoring the environment (you know, the platform of the Religious Right) will somehow soften the heart of our lost culture and make it easier to share the gospel. Whatever. I know that many probably take umbrage with this reason, but the fact remains that the people in our pews are much more concerned with gay marriage than with their lost neighbors. And so are our pastors. And so are our seminary and college students. What a terrible tragedy if conservative Christians actually “wins” America for the Religious Right while failing to truly share the gospel with lost Americans. Quit inviting politicians with vague commitments to Jesus to speak at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. Quit holding Justice Sunday rallies at churches.

Quit passing out those obnoxious voter guides at churches; you know, the ones that not-so-subtly inform people they will incur the wrath of the Almighty if they don’t vote for the candidate with a “higher” rating. Quit preaching sermon series and writing books and articles that imply the highest calling of the Christian it to elect the right politicians so they can pick the right judges. Be an evangelist for Jesus instead of an evangelist for the Republicans, and no, they are not the same thing. And they never will be the same thing (no matter how many times a Republican politician lies to you and tells you he supports your values).

Wow. I couldn't agree more...

Following that same line of thought, I propose that Partisan Personalities like the Rev. Dwight McKissic are what truly AILS the Southern Baptist Convention.

Evangelist for Jesus or Evangelist for the Republican Party?

Further, why has a faction of Southern Baptists (i.e. Memphis Declaration supporters) aligned themselves with a man who sounds more like Jerry Falwell than an "irenic conservative"???

Southern Baptists who desire reform and wish to stop their tee-pee sized "Big Tent" from shrinking should think twice before jumping in bed with a man who has become a leader in the radical Religious Right.

Unfortunately, I believe that mistake has already been made...


Blogger D.R. said...

Wouldn't a "big tent" philosophy require that those who agree with McKissic theologically (on a view that tongues should not being a theologically divisive issue) not dismiss him because they disagree with him politically? It seems that you are implying that at some point (or in some instances) the "big tent" should be exclusive. Isn't that contradictory on your part?

That seemed to be a problem at Southern Seminary as well in the 80's. Liberals there refused to appoint conservative professors, yet complained when they were ousted. One professor told me directly that had the liberals played ball, like a few moderates did (one of whom still remains at Southern today and one who left to go to a sister institution), then it is likely that the resurgence at Southern would not have been nearly as drastic.

I am just wondering why conservatives, it seems, must expand their tent toward moderates, but liberals (or even moderates themselves) don't have to extend it toward more conservative views?

8:45 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

No big tent philosophy exists in the SBC. Your tent is a tee-pee. And McKissic is an extremist.

Denounce implicitly or explicitly the Paige Pattersons of the SBC but yet embrace Dwight McKissic??

People should pick their leaders wisely. After the Roundtable, Wade Burleson and Dwight McKissic will be seen throughout the South (if not already) as the leaders of some type of movement for reform within the SBC. Why McKissic?

And yes, I do believe extreme personalities should be marginalized not put in a visible leadership roles.

Is that a contradiction? no.

There is room in the tee-pee or at the table for those who share McKissic's view on PPL. But to make McKissic the face of a plea for reform???

I'm interested in your response to Nathan Finn's excerpt on politics??? I assume you would differ with him ?

10:58 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

On a Church-State note, I wonder if McKissic has endorsed a candidate from the pulpit or how close he comes to endorsing candidates. Clearly, he endorses the Republican Party

11:20 PM

Anonymous Lee said...

I don't know much about McKissic, other than that he preached a sermon at Southwestern earlier this year that set some people on their ear.

As far as the culture wars go, I blogged on that today at
My comments were more centered around the commercial world's use of Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas but I think you can get the point.

10:33 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

First, why is McKissic an extremist? Because he holds to premillenial dispensationalism or because he believes homosexuality is wrong. I disagree with his use of the OT text here, but I don't think it is extreme to suggest that an anti-Christ figure would be homosexual. If anything an anti-Christ would embody all of the sin of the world and certainly I think that would include homosexuality, one of the major sins in the law (thus incurring a punishment of death).

Now, as for leadership - I think that McKissic's comments on this do not amount to anything Falwell-like, nor do they disqualify him from partaking in a group that wants to bring together Southern Baptists. Disqualification from leadership is clearly outlined in Scripture and making silly statements doesn't seem to fit the bill. Sexual sin? Yes. Bad manager of household? Yes. But stupid statements? No. Of course I would wonder on what basis besides this comment would you conclude he is an "extremist" or "an extreme personality". After all, wasn't Jesus pretty extreme? Didn't He made outlandish statements? Didn't He offend everyone from the Syrophoenician woman to the rich young ruler? I am obviously not trying to compare McKissic to Christ, but your standard here is not based on the Bible, but on your own sensibilities, which makes great fodder for personel committee meetings, but unfortunately does little to actually assess one's character or ability to lead.

As for Nathan's comments, I generally agree with him. I am tired of the partisan politics (especially when the parties will never be able to follow through with all their promises), but I don't think Nathan would say that we should turn off our brains when it comes to political issues, or that we should not bring out theology to the voting booth.

5:22 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Why would a group that is tired of the partisan politics join ranks with an up-and-coming star of the Radical Religious Right.

How are McKissic's comments not Falwellian? To most everyone else, his rhetoric sounded EXTREME.

Further, I believe every word that comes out of McKissics mouth is intentional. His words serve a purpose. With the gay antichrist comment, he's merely adopting the inflammatory rhetoric of the RR. At SWBTS, he brought up PPL to stir up the pot, essentially giving Patterson the Holy Middle Finger. After the sermon was censored, folks pitied McKissic and demonized Patterson. McKissic did not deserve the pity. He's a smart guy. He knew what he was doing. Again, everything that comes out of his mouth is intentional. McKissic knows how to get media attention and clearly must enjoy it.

Can you not name another extreme personality that this group of Baptists has also aligned with??? I can.

10:00 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

First, there is nothing wrong with separating McKissic's political aspirations with his SBC ones. After all, don't you claim that pro-lifers should work with pro-abortionists to reduce the number of abortions? Yet, as a pro-lifer, I see many of these people as extremists. Yet, you claim that I shouldn't disqualify one for office based on them being pro-life. Right? So why should the group behind the Memphis declaration disqualify someone from their group simply because they disagree with him both politically and theologically on NON-ESSENTIAL issues (as opposed to my understanding of abortion as an essential issue)? You have failed to show how McKissic's comments disqualify him from working with the Memphis Declaration folks.

Second, on what basis do you charge that his words are extreme? Certainly you cannot cite a Biblical argument and thus it comes down to one of sensibility. You note that others would say the same thing, but this argument only amounts to a logical fallacy of Appeal to Widespread Belief. That simply does not prove that McKissic should be disqualified from participation in the Memphis Declaration or the SBC for that matter. I could likely produce just as many, if not more, who would say the opposite. Does that make my argument true? Of course not!

And while his comments might have been stupid or based on a misinterpretation of Scripture, God forbid that we should be disqualified every time we were guilty of such. As for his comments being Falwellian, I beg to differ. McKissic did not assert that homosexuality = the anti-Christ (if that were the case then you might have an argument), but rather, that based on his misinterpretation of Daniel, the anti-Christ might be a homosexual. This is a far cry from Falwell's comments on tinky-winky (which were not based on anything but his own reasoning) or on 9-11 (which were again not an attempt to interpret Scripture). In the end, while I disagree with McKissic and find the comment rather ridiculous, I think you have a long way to go to prove that one comment makes the man an "extreme personality." If that was the case, then I could charge that half of you guys who post on the Mainstream Baptist site are extremists because all of you seem to make ridiculous statements at times. Or, you could charge that I am an extremist because I believe that homosexuality is wrong and that women shouldn't be elders (though you might already believe so, even though I do represent the historical position of the Church on these matters).

Finally, I think you should be careful in pidgeon-holling a man like McKissic based on a couple of incidents that you only read about in a newspaper. Making claims about a man based on limited experience really only amounts to gossip and slander (or in this case, libel), both of which I believe to be beneath you. McKissic's intentions and motives are something you cannot judge, nor can I. Maybe you need to take a step back here and look at why you are taking such a hard line on a man you honestly know little about.

11:42 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

It's slightly hard to argue this point with a person who does not find the rhetoric of Falwell & Co. to be extreme. The language of the RR is extreme. Time and time again you have failed to acknowledge that point. McKissic's latest comment (among many other comments, Remember Katrina???, etc.) falls within the Falwellian category. Any sensible nonfundamentalist recognizes the role of rhetoric in the Religious Right movement. Period.

Again, McKissic is an extreme personality (as is Wiley Drake). Why align yourself with a person whose outrageous comments can detract from the "goal" (whatever that is exactly)??? It's just bad decision-making and frankly bad politics. And yes, its all politics - all these denominational squabbles have a strong political nature.

If room exists in the SBC for Wiley Drake, surely room exists for Dwight McKissic. But is it smart to make McKissic the poster-boy of a movement?

Each time I dog a SBC character - you come to their rescue. Nathan Finn wrote a 14-part series on what ails the SBC and possible solutions to those problems. I do wonder if you're capable of critiquing your own "house." I know I am.

As for the charge of libel, I have enough law school under my belt to know you don't have a clue. McKissic is at minimum a limited purpose public figure. He's fair game for any critique. Asking me to step back is absurd. A PUBLIC FIGURE (who by the way is getting a good deal of press). But my post is not "pidgeon-holling." One SBC Blogger wrote earlier today that McKissic's comments were "immature and inappropriate." Surely, he was judging McKissics motives and intentions as well. However, I doubt you would criticize him as you have me.

10:45 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

First, I never said that I didn't think the rhetoric of Falwell was extreme. Please point me to some evidence that suggests that I believe this. I do think that many, many statements that Falwell has made are extreme, but mostly, I believe they are simply foolish. As far as the RR using language that is extreme, I can agree that is the case at times, just as long as you can acknowledge the same thing about much of the left, including Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL, and yes, even Barry Lynn and AU. Everyone makes extreme statements at times. That was part of my point here. Disqualifying someone from leadership on the basis of these remarks is where I differ strongly from you. And that is where this discussion should be going, not to the merits of who knows more about law (which I will get to in a moment). As for McKissic's comment being Falwellian, I still disagree on the same basis as I did in my last comment. If you care to actually discuss my rationale, then that would be great, but Appeal to a Widespread Belief and Appeal to False or Anonymous Authority are both logical fallacies and surely your law school training has taught you do dismiss such and more on to legitimate arguments.

Now, as for aligning one's self with someone that makes silly statements. As I said before and you ignored, God help us if we were all ignored or disqualified from leadership for making dumb statements. You might find it to be bad decision making, but I think the problem is that you are missing the point of the marriage here. The Memphis Declaration folks aren't appealing necessarily to those who believe homosexuality is acceptable within Christianity, nor are they appealing to those who would deem abortion as merely a "tough choice" and not a sin. My initial problem with your post is your reasoning. I don't believe we should have a "big tent" in the SBC (at least not as big as would be able to accomodate practicing homosexuals, deniers of the outright authority of Scripture, and people who would overlook abortion as merely a social ill. What the Memphis Declaration is ultimately trying to do is not to bring back all who have left the SBC, but rather to foster a culture in the SBC that excludes only when absolutely necessary and only when Scripture clearly delineates, as in the case of homosexuality and abortion. Thus, in that atmosphere, both Drake's and McKissic's comments are not nearly so extreme (at least not such that would deem them disqualified for leadership or participation), though they are clearly silly and (I would agree with the SBC blogger) "immature and inappropriate."

Now, on to our legal discussion, which was never intended to be such. I realize that soon-to-be lawyers like yourself are immersed in a sea of legal-ese and that you live, breathe, eat, and sleep the stuff. I did the same thing with Greek and theology while I was in seminary and I guess I could crassly say you don't have a clue about what you are talking about when you deal with anything from a Biblical perpective, but I think that would only be a diversion from the real discussion (not to mention an ad hominem attack - look out! - another logical fallacy!). When I said the word "libel" I didn't mean it in a legal sense, but rather in an ethical sense. And for us Christians ethics trumps law every time.

You see, I think it is unethical to demean this man's (McKissic's) character on the basis of this one comment about a hypothetical homosexual anti-Christ. You don't know the man, nor do I really. But you are making an assumption based on limited facts. This isn't poker or stock trading (two things I do know a little something about). As Christians we shouldn't jump to conclusions about a man's character based on one or two statements and absolutely no personal contact. I find it problematic that you wrote about this man's character on your website, and while you may not have violated a "law" per se, I think you did something that borders on the unethical here in making an assumption based on limited exposure to a subject you really know little about.

Now, BDW, you can assume that I cannot criticize any member of the RR if you want (though there are several times when I have not come to the rescue of conservative leaders who I didn't think deserved rescuing on both your site and many, many others that I post on), but the real story here is whether or not this man deserves the extent of criticism that you have heaped upon him. I clearly have stated that I didn't like what he said and in fact think it is rather ridiculous, but I disagree with your assessment of his character based on those remarks and your criticism of the Memphis Declaration for not outright dismissing him from their "group" (though it is not nearly as organized as you have made it out to be here, nor is McKissic nearly as influential in it as you have made out either - though Drake might be, but that is another story that you have unneccessarily tied to this one, though the two have limited connectivity).

In the end, I would like for you to deal with the arguments I made, not with your beliefs about my beliefs (which are again based on assumption and no real substantial facts - I think you call that "speculation" in the law business and you have to be an expert to get away with that). Deal with the arguments please and maybe we will make some headway here.

8:59 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker