Dr. Tommy Kelly, the new President of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, which is in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention, has issued A Statement by the SCBC President Regarding ‘Problematic Positions and Statements’ by NewSpring Church Pastor. discern.org has been covering the events that precipitated this statement.
Writing in the South Carolina Baptist Courier, Kelly states that, notwithstanding Noble’s apology, ‘his 2014 Christmas Eve message and his theological position in that message are evidence of continued problematic positions and statements that are inconsistent with the beliefs of South Carolina Baptists’.
Kelly goes on to exhort SCBC ministers ‘to treat their individual ministry settings as a sacred trust void of coarse, profane language as well as choosing music that is sacred in content’, to ‘engage in accountability groups’ that will ‘hold them to a higher standard morally, ethically and biblically’, and to renew ‘themselves to more sound exegetical study and expository preaching and teaching of God’s word’. Kelly’s exhortations go to the heart of problems exhibited by Perry Noble and NewSpring over many years.
Kelly further elaborates on the responsibility that all ‘church leaders’ have to ‘present well-thought and biblically based sermons and teaching that come from God’s infallible, inerrant Word and lead the lost to Christ’, before issuing a clear warning to NewSpring:
Therefore, we as South Carolina Baptists must publicly state and remove ourselves from these positions and problematic statements and call for NewSpring to correct these positions if it chooses to say that it affiliates with South Carolina Baptist churches.
Noble has notably not apologised for his false claim that God expressly told him to preach the Christmas Eve sermon, nor for the general content of that sermon (which he seems still to be defending). He also gives the appearance of attempting to evade the full measure of his culpability by saying that he unwittingly entered a ‘debate in which godly people are on both sides of the issue’. As has been amply demonstrated, the facts are abundantly clear.
Nevertheless, Noble’s apology is to be welcomed. Also to be welcomed is his acknowledgement that he fully understands and feels ‘the weight of James 3:1 that clearly says that people who teach God’s Word will be judged more strictly’.
Since this apology represents a significant change in tone from his attempt to redirect attention away from the main issue just the day before, James Duncan’s brief pause to see how matters develop would seem to be a good example to follow. Let us continue to pray for Noble’s full repentance.
We have already covered Perry Noble’s claim that there is no word in Hebrew for ‘commandment’, and his subsequent doubling-down on that error. However, there have been further rebuttals of Noble’s dangerous false teaching and, since he is lead pastor of NewSpring, the largest church in the Southern Baptist Convention, Nobel’s errors propagate widely. A round-up of the best responses may therefore prove helpful.
Responses to Noble’s original claims:
- James Duncan – Noble rescinds the Ten Commandments for 2015
- Pastor Chris Rosebrough – Jesus Called Them Commandments, Mr. Noble
- Pastor Chris Rosebrough – Perry Noble’s False Hebrew Information (audio, segment discussing Noble starts at 32:50)
- Dr. James R. White, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries – Yes, Perry, Hebrew Has Multiple Words that Mean “Command” (video and audio)
Further discussion, and responses to Noble’s subsequent spin and obfuscation:
- James Duncan – Noble departs Christian orthodoxy, announces he’s staying put
- Pastor Chris Rosebrough – Perry Noble’s Explanation (audio, segment discussing Noble starts at 45:15)
- Pastor Kevin Boling, host of the Knowing the Truth radio programme, interviews James Duncan – Perry Noble’s Problem with God (audio)
- Janet Mefferd interviews James Duncan – Janet Mefferd Radio Show (audio)
Photo credit: Detail from Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law, Rembrandt, 1659.
Here’s some good advice for Noble: when you make a mistake in the pulpit, repent and put it right. The shed blood of Christ is sufficient to atone even for such sins. When you instead spin, obfuscate and attack your critics, you demonstrate that you do not love the Truth.