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posted in July of 2002 on Garbage Truck


June-July 2004

Here is the story of Jerry Vines’ message at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting, held in St. Louis, Missouri the first week of June, 2002:

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) — The new head of the Southern Baptist Convention has rejected calls to repudiate what a Muslim group is calling “bigoted” and “hate-filled” statements made by one of its pastors.

The Rev. Jack Graham, elected the convention’s president on Tuesday, said the Rev. Jerry Vines’ comments about Islam were “accurate.”

Vines, a former convention president, told conventioners at a pastors’ conference Monday that many of this country’s problems can be blamed on religious pluralism.

Pluralists “would have us to believe that Islam is just as good as Christianity, but I’m here to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that Islam is not just as good as Christianity,” Vines, pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, told several thousand delegates at the gathering in St. Louis.

“Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives — and his last one was a 9-year-old girl. And I will tell you Allah is not Jehovah either. Jehovah’s not going to turn you into a terrorist that’ll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people.”

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the comments were outrageous.

“It’s really unfortunate that a top leader in a mainstream Christian church … would use such hate-filled and bigoted language in describing the faith of one-fifth of the world’s population,” Hooper said Tuesday. “This is the level of bigotry that requires a clear statement from the top leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Graham, of Plano, Texas, said Vines’ statement “is an accurate statement” and that he would not condemn his colleague.

“I will not respond to Dr. Vines’ statement, other than to say that anyone who follows any path who wants to go to heaven should look carefully at who they’re following and what they believe,” he told reporters.

William Merrell, a spokesman for the SBC executive committee, said the comments were made outside the actual meeting, and that it was not the SBC’s place to comment.

Ingrid Mattson, vice president of the Islamic Society of North America and a professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, called the comments “medieval.” She said statements like this from such high-placed religious leaders can lead to violence against Muslims.

“It makes me wonder what’s the hateful religion right now that we should be worried about,” she said. 

Well, friends, I am not a Southern Baptist, but I have to admire Jerry Vines public preaching against that infamous person of history the “beloved” Mohammed. It is about time the truth was told. I couldn’t care less who it offends. Truth is truth. Thank God for Jerry Vines.

What followed Vines’ discourse is what alarms me. There is a problem with all of Christianity and particularly with Baptist people to be so afraid of offending people. Oh friends, I am glad that Whitefield, Stearns, Marshall, Mercer, Furman, Judson, Backus and A. J. Gordon were not afraid of offending people. It is true that we should not offend by being uncharitable, but we will never seem charitable when we tell the truth.

Denominational Baptists and Protestants have gone the way of pleasing the world I am afraid, due to our unscriptural desire to be liked, to be accepted. Note please the solemn warning given to our Baptist brethren by the venerable John Leland over 140 years ago:

“In observing the course that Christianity is now taking, it reminds me of past events, At the close of the apostolic age, and the age of miracles, philosophy was resorted to for a substitute, and every art and science was called into requisition to make Christianity appear honorable in the eyes of worldly men. Schools and teachers, of various descriptions, were set on motion to weld cold iron and hot together. The persecutions against Jews and Christians, for denying the divinity of the Pagan gods, and the worship of idols, did not stop the gradual and ruinous assimilation of church and world together.–John Leland, 1830.

Leland’s observations have proven to be true. John Leland opposed formal education for preachers of the gospel, not because he was for ignorance, but because he thought (rightly) that any educational system rooted in social acceptance would create “a ruinous assimilation of church and world together.

Vines’ Southern Baptist educational system was honored by Time magazine:

Monday, September 03, 2001

For immediate release>>>
TIME Magazine has named William Jewell (Southern Baptist)  its liberal arts “College of the Year.”

The September 10 edition of the magazine cites colleges nationwide in four categories: master college, research university, liberal arts college and community college, naming William Jewell as its top pick in the liberal arts division.

“We are gratified that the work we are doing has received national recognition,” says William Jewell College president Dr. David Sallee. “The ‘College of the Year’ distinction provides important validation of Jewell’s student-centered approach to providing a superior liberal arts education.”

I wonder what John Leland would have thought of this?