Pray that members of protest group find Christ, Mohler tells SBTS community

Communications Staff — March 28, 2007

Students should pray that the members of Soulforce—a gay activist group that staged a protested at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Monday—find salvation in Christ, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. during Tuesday’s chapel service.

Mohler led students and faculty members in prayer for the salvation of members of Soulforce some 24 hours after 22 of its members staged a sit-in in the lobby of the president’s office. Soulforce is an activist group that employs nonviolent means to call religious groups who view homosexuality as sin to accept as normal the gay, lesbian and transgender lifestyle.

The group is on a two-month bus tour across the nation protesting on the campuses of conservative religious schools. According to its website, the tour was scheduled to visit Union University in Jackson, Tenn., on Monday, but detoured to Louisville to protest a March 2 weblog in which Mohler discussed homosexuality and biology.

Members of the group demanded to meet with Mohler. Seminary officials refused their request, but received an official statement from a Soulforce spokesman. Afterwards, 10 protesters filed out of Norton Hall and remained for a time on a public sidewalk, while a dozen refused to leave seminary property and were arrested on charges of criminal trespassing.

Mohler explained to students the seminary’s response to the activists, adding that the protest was purposefully orchestrated to gain media attention. Any institution that seeks to faithfully proclaim the Word of God should expect to meet with strong opposition from the secular culture, he said.

“These are difficult days and they are only likely to get more difficult,” he said “We are given every once in a while a foretaste of what is likely to come. I can only say that I believe any ministry that stands upon biblical authority and actually applies the whole counsel of God to all of life is going to confront moments like these.”

Mohler said such challenges should not deter Christians from speaking the truth.

“We should always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. We should always be ready to speak on behalf of Christian truth, on behalf of the truth of God’s Word. We should always, above all things, be ready to speak about the Gospel.”

During the chapel service, a number of students and faculty prayed aloud for the salvation of Soulforce members.

Mohler encouraged the seminary community to continue to pray for Soulforce and admonished students and faculty to remember the sinfulness out of which Christ has saved each of them.

“The only way we have come to Christ is that we have come to desire something far more than we desire our sin,” he said. “We need to pray for their salvation, not merely their salvation from homosexuality, but their salvation from sin and death, the salvation by God’s grace that we have come to know—a salvation from sin equally as ugly, equally as deadly.”

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