Posts Tagged ‘critics’

The past couple of months have been relatively quiet in BlogDumb. Tim Rogers has been on a self-imposed sabbatical (until yesterday) which was doubtless the answer to innumerable prayers in bowls at the feet of Jesus. Peter Lumpkins, following misstep after misstep, finally started blogging on matters where lies are less frequently required: the history of Calvinism.

It was a welcome relief that these two were not spreading the lies and innuendo which they are accustomed to.

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

This week, Waco, Georgia, pastor Peter Lumpkins, went far beyond anything resembling good taste, etiquette, ethics or righteousness. Based on the assertion of a single gay blogger Plumpkins threw a young Southern Baptist writer under the bus and spun the tires on his squirming torso.

Jonathan Merritt is a writer of quite some renown for one so young. According to varies bios he has written more than 300 articles for a large quantity of secular and Christian media outlets. He is often heralded by young Christians as a needed melody of faithful reason in the cacophony of civil discordance. Merritt, unmarried, has long been the target of Plumpkins’ venom.

The gay blogger, Azariah Southworth, was responding to Merritt’s writing about a proposed boycott of Chick-fil-A by the gay community. All of this was in response to some comments the company’s president made on a radio show or some such thing. Southworth claimed Merritt was being less than authentic because Merritt is actually gay, only keeping it closeted for personal gain in his religious community, the Southern Baptist Convention.

Plumpkins, rolling in freedom away from home in Indianapolis, quickly published a post of such deplorable sewage it would have been appropriate to call the city works department to full alert. Under the charged title, “Jonathan Merritt Outed as Gay? by Peter Lumpkins,” the west Georgia resident strung together a flurry of questions, hypotheticals, hair-width thin connections, and faux concern in his rambling, accusatory post.

For Peter Lumpkins no lie is too bold, not assertion too brazen, no slander off limits so long as it is couched in a hypothetical or ended with a question mark. He simply blogs without fear since he had a ready made commenting audience standing at the guard to affirm every inane thing he writes. No matter how grotesque, Lydia, Mary, CASEY, and a couple of others are more than willing to lick the vomit he projects onto the internet.

There are several problems with what Peter is doing. He presents speculation as facts. When he writes on July 24,

Perhaps now it’s been revealed why Merritt was so adamant about not condemning the gay community–at least that’s what’s claimed by a purported long-time friend. According to a prominent “gay evangelical” Merritt himself is gay…

and

Southworth goes on to make this stunning claim:
I feel though what has led Jonathan to this thoughtful and effective approach is his hope for a future where people like me and him, gay people, are no longer excluded but included in every aspect of society” (embolden added).

then finally

It sounds like this dude has the goods. Even so, we’d hope (and pray) Southworth is bluffing and the young Merritt can make his assertion into mere gossip. The untold damage this can and will do, if true, remains incalculable. Merritt routinely speaks for Baptist colleges, universities, and is a frequent speaker at Lifeway’s events. In addition, two seminary presidents–Danny Akin and Al Mohler–have in the past supported Merritt’s views on various social issues.

In fact, Al Mohler told Jonathan Merritt in an interview last year that evangelicals have “lied about the nature of homosexuality” and have practiced what can only be called a “form of homophobia.” Does this alleged new revelation we hear from the gay community concerning Merritt’s supposed gayness shed new light on Mohler’s disturbing words a year ago? We’re not sure yet, but intend to probe more thoroughly.

Note Plumpkins’ questioning tone, his puffery of Southworth’s accusations, his use of modifiers to plant doubt.

Plumpkins was immediately called out in the comments by multiple people. In his demented mind, though, he has done nothing wrong. His argument is always the same, “I didn’t say _______.” No, but you implied, questioned, speculated, and presented it as if it was the only real option.

The fact here is that Peter, without two or three witnesses, took the word of an acknowledged agnostic, not “gay evangelical” as Plumpkins states, and made a pubic accusation. Was Merritt contacted and given an opportunity to respond? No. When challenged on this point, Peter responded, “What do you think a blog is for? If he wants to comment here, he can” (paraphrase). What do you think the Bible is for, Plumpkins? We know, you don’t think about it that often.

Once again we see that pastor Peter Lumpkins is the type of person who will take headlines and blog hits over integrity and ministry. One wonders just how long his church will continue to put up with this? It is time to call him to account.