The former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, James Merritt has become a high level enforcer for the liberal drift of the SBC. At the annual Southern Baptist Convention of 2021, James Merritt played a key role in forwarding resolutions which undermined the once theologically conservative denomination. This included a resolution that affirmed the arguments of Critical Race Theorists.
Just as there are those who do not believe that Al Mohler is a villain, a man behind the scenes orchestrating the apostacy, there are those who believe that James Merritt is well-intentioned even after his performance at SBC2021. Those voices are left to contend with defending James Merritt after he promoted a sermon his homosexual son gave at an egalitarian interdenominational church in New York City.
Good Shepherd New York • 11.21.21 https://t.co/qPq5rpy0JH via @YouTube I don’t agree with my loved son @JonathanMerritt on everything to be sure. But I encourage you to listen to his message on Mark 13. It is both brilliant and faithful to the gospel and the coming of Jesus!— James Merritt (@drjamesmerritt) November 22, 2021
This sermons however was cringe and antithetical to the passage. In order to break it down, it’s worth starting at the ending where Jonathan Merritt presents what he believes in the gospel. He presents the gospel without mention of sin, as though we are putting hope in God without recognizing the reason why we need God in the first place. Prior to that the return of Christ is somewhat acknowledged as a secondary issue, probably given the fact that Good Shepherd NYC is a liberal church.
In the beginning of his sermon he presents Jesus as a buzzkill ruining the touristy mentality of His disciples. He interprets Mark 13 as Jesus teaching that all things in life are temporary as opposed, as though the 2nd temple was not built to last much longer than when it would be destroyed. Jesus was displaying the power and prophesy of God, and pronouncing a judgment. This was not a trite religious platitude, as Merritt teaches, about the temporal nature of creation.
James Merritt endorsed this sermon preached, at church that is opposed to Southern Baptist teachings, calling it “brilliant and faithful to the gospel and the coming of Jesus.” Evangelical Dark Web’s breakdown of the sermon shows just how far this is from the truth and exposes just how much further James and Jonathan Merritt will push Evangelicalism astray.