One Southern Baptist Pastor’s Response To
Dr. Thomas White’s Sermon On Psalm 127
Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.
I certainly agree with the tenor, tone, thrust and thesis of the message of Dr. White that children are a blessing to God and should be to us as well. I commend Dr. White for being an example of what he preaches by adopting a child.
I am from a family of nine children and my mother was 36 years old when I was born and she graduated from college the same year. I am certainly grateful that my parents did not consider abortion, nor did they practice birth control – to the best of my knowledge – when I was conceived. Thank God abortion was illegal in 1956 and I wish it were illegal today.
My concern with Dr. White’s message is that he taught taking birth control pills is sinful and wrong. He preached this message as if it was a mandate from God or a position in Scripture, that to take birth control pills is absolutely wrong for all Baptist believers. That, to me, is an extremely problematic, over simplistic, and unscriptural position. For this professor to preach a personal opinion as if it was the inerrant and infallible Word of God is to disallow diversity of thought and critical thinking skills to be applied to this subject matter without one scintilla of Scriptural backing for this extreme position.
I am concerned because I see a pattern developing at SWBTS of adopting views not supported by Scripture, but preached as if they are in line with Scripture. Such as:
· Placing restrictions as to how Baptists can pray in private and disqualifying them from missionary service and seminary employment based on their private prayers.
· Preaching that women cannot teach Hebrew or church history when previous conservative, inerrantist Presidents and Trustee Boards have approved women teaching Hebrew and church history.
· Disqualifying Baptist believers from service as missionaries because they were not baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, although their personal baptism experience met biblical qualifications.
· And now, practicing birth control/taking the pill, is sinful and wrong
This is bizarre to me. This is Fundamentalism run amuck. These views don’t represent all nor the majority of Southern Baptists. I don’t want the world to get the wrong impression of Southern Baptist based on the views of SWBTS that lack Scriptural support or SBC adoption and approval.
I am concerned that this great Baptist seminary is slowly degenerating into a Fundamentalist indoctrination camp. These views represent a radical shift in Baptist life in the past few years. You would expect this kind of thinking to have come from Bob Jones University or some independent fundamentalist Baptist seminary, but not SWBTS. All of these aberrant views explain why the SBC is a denomination in decline.
Dr. White has a right to his opinion. But to communicate his opinion as a mandate of God is totally wrong. Unfortunately, these non-biblical views are communicated from a podium financed by cooperative program dollars. I think the seminary should release a statement distinguishing between Dr. White’s view and the views of SWBTS and the Southern Baptist Convention. My question is, does Dr. White’s viewpoint on this subject matter represent the views of SWBTS? Are his views taught in the classrooms of SWBTS? As a Southern Baptist, I would like to know.
I agree that the primary role of parenting is to lead children to a saving grace and salvation through the Lord, Jesus Christ and to pass on a godly heritage. However, I don’t believe the seminary needs to intrude into the bedrooms of Baptist couples to determine their method of birth control or to declare taking birth control pills is wrong without clear biblical instruction.
Again, I commend Dr. White’s strong conviction that children are a heritage from the Lord and I share that conviction.