Yes. Peter Lumpkins Got a Time-Out

Baptist Peter Lumpkins Blog

I usually defend Peter’s blog as an interesting side-note to the Baptist conversation. Other times, I call him our weird cousin from Georgia.

Either way, I think SBC Voices should be a place where outliers find their place.

He earned a brief time-out the Jonathan Merritt posts. That seems over except for a few private grudges.

Peter, welcome back.

Any protests are welcome in the comments. Watch below if you are still upset.


  1. Greg Harvey says

    I’m not sure which was the more amusing part of clicking the link: the 2:58 seconds of the primary content (hilarious, btw) or the ad that preceded it that talked about stopping digging when you’re in a hole…

  2. says

    Wow…it’s your blog…but I just read his article on Stetzer and some of the shots that are being taken there wouldn’t be allowed here….it’s ultimately your call, so….I’ll go rub some bacon on it….

  3. Dave Miller says

    Tony, you should seriously consider donating your brain to science someday – it works in ways that pretty much no one else’s does.

    Or, you could just rub some bacon on it.

  4. volfan007 says

    Listen, I dont always agree with Peter on everything he says, or that he chooses to post; but Peter is a good man, who loves the Lord. And, for you to allude to him as our “wierd cousin from Georgia,” or as a “side note to the Baptist conversation,” just shows, once again, how Voices is the “un-Unity” blog sight…. not the sight on unity that it falsely claims to be. I mean, you might disagree with him. You might not like what he chooses to post. But, to ridicule?

    This is pathetic.


    • Dave Miller says

      David, I am well aware of your intent to insult me. I’ve got the point. But let me clarify.

      I am guessing either you did not read my post from Saturday night, or you ignored it because it didn’t fit your agenda, or you simply didn’t understand it.

      This is NOT my site. It’s Tony’s. He does what he wants.

      This site is NOT designed to reflect my viewpoints. Often, I disagree wtih posts here.

      I have an agenda. No other writer here has to agree with or advance my agenda.

      So, if you want to insult me about articles I write, feel free.

      • volfan007 says


        My comment was not about you, personally. It’s about Voices, and all the post writers and commenters in Voices, who think that they are the champions of unity. Then, we come to Voices and read ridicule of the ones, who “the writers and commenters” dont agree with.

        It kind of smacks of hypocrisy.


          • volfan007 says


            There’s a huge difference in disagreeing and ridicule. If you cant see the difference, then I just know what else to say.


          • Donald says

            I would love to hear what you consider “unity”. It is very hard to reconcile your comments before the convention to the Florida Baptist Press, and your comments since the TS came out.

          • Donald says

            “Unity does not preclude disagreement.”

            No argument here 😛 (on this at least)

            But, once again, you dodge the point to make another point. Tell us how your online presence since the TS matches with what you told the Florida Baptist press before the convention. In particular, your hubris-laden insistency that everyone accept your particular definition of semi-Pelagian and admit that you know what we mean, even better than we do.

        • volfan007 says


          What you say goes beyond disagreement. You have consistently said that Traditionalists believe things that are Semi Pelagian(heresy). That is not gonna bring unity.


  5. Tim Raccine says


    You did the right thing taking him off and I am disappointed you added him back.

    Peter’s most recent post is MORE bizarre, connecting Merritt’s confession of a homosexual encounter with a sexual abuse of a minor by a 54-year old man!!!! They should not even be in the same post and it is shocking that a pastor would not see the obvious difference.


    Tim Raccine

    • says

      “You did the right thing taking him off and I am disappointed you added him back.”

      This is how I feel as well. This is why I no longer link to SBC Voices on my blog. As long as Voices promotes, and yes, linking to Lumpkins’ gossip and sinful posts on the front page of Voices is promoting, then I will no longer link to Voices. I’m sure this means very little but it is a matter of principle for me. Lumpkins has been aided and abetted for too long by people who know better. Surely his “voice” is one that need not be promoted as helpful or edifying for the church.

      • volfan007 says


        The same thing could be said of you that you said of Peter. Pot meet kettle.


        • says


          Mere assertion does not make something true. I understand you don’t like Calvinism and you probably don’t like me, but to say that my blog is somehow equal with Lumpkins’ site is laughable. Have you read my blog? Where is the gossip? The libel? The condemning innuendo? It isn’t there.

          • volfan007 says


            I have read enough of your blog posts and your comments to know that you are very blunt, abrasive, and come across as very angry and mean spirited, at times.

            Also, why do you say that I dont like Calvinism?


          • says


            I’m sorry if I have ever been mean-spirited toward you. That is never my goal and a fruit of the flesh that I always want to battle in the Spirit. Please forgive me if I have ever sinned against you in this manner.

          • volfan007 says


            I do forgive you, and I ask you to forgive me for the times when I’ve failed in this area, as well. In fact, all’s good between you and me. I enjoyed meeting you at the SBC, BTW. I didnt realize how young you are….I have children older than you….in fact, my youngest son is a Soph. in college.


          • says


            Glad to sow peace whenever we can. It was a pleasure meeting you as well. I’m younger than most of the guys around the SBC blog-world for sure. I’m 26.

      • Dave Miller says

        Josh, you are welcome to link to us or not – that’s your choice. But I would challenge a couple of things you are saying.

        1) You obviously do not understand the purpose of the aggregator. It is not, “blogs we like” (as your personal listing might be. It is not “blogs we approve of.” It is influential Baptist blogs.

        To be a part of it, you have to be Baptist and your blog has to be one that is “influential.” That is obviously a difficult word to define. But there is nothing there that gives the idea that we vet the blogroll according to our personal preferences.

        It’s Tony’s decision, but on that basis, it is hard to argue against SBC Tomorrow being on the aggregator.

        2) To place blame on us as promoting Peter’s blog or being complicit somehow in whatever you perceive as Peter’s sins seems grossly unfair to me.

        Once we start down the road of eliminating blogs from the roll because people are upset by them, we will have to hire a full-time assistant to field complaints about this blog or that blog.

        We make this simple. There are two questions that matter.

        Is the blog Baptist?
        Is the blog influential? (the more subjective of the two)

        If the answer to both questions is yes, then it goes on the list.

        I’m sorry you don’t like that, but that is how we roll (pun intended).

        • says


          To answer your points:

          1. If a SBC blog is receiving thousands of page views a month and contains constantly sinful and destructive material, then perhaps it is receiving those thousands of hits per month because of its carnality. Also, linking to a blog may not be endorsing its views, but it is proliferating the content and if the content is harmful to Christians or dishonors Christ then we are responsible in proliferating such material. I understand you guys don’t endorse Lumpkins, but if he started posting images of nude women on his blog I bet you would stop linking to him even though he gets traffic and is influential. Yet, he posts gossip and libel and Voices (Tony, or whoever) finds no qualms linking to him. This is a glaring inconsistency.

          2. This is nothing personal at all. I think you do a great job here and I’m sure Tony is a great guy. This is also not about something that merely “upsets people.” This is about a blog that sows discord and division by speaking with a poisonous tongue and outright gossiping and making light of fellow Christians’ sin and troubles. Surely you can discern the nature of Lumpkins’ writings compared to civil and Christ honoring discourse. His writings are not in the Spirit of a man merely disagreeing and upsetting people.

          Does Lumpkins’ blog get hits? LOTS!

          Is his blog influential? I guess, it gets read a lot. That doesn’t mean people pay much attention to what he says.

          Is his blog sinful and evil by sowing discord and disunity among the brethren? Yes, and because of this, those who promote his site are participating in his ungodly acts.

          Again, this is nothing personal and I am sorry if you think this is unfair to you. As I understand, you have nothing to do with the aggregator. So this is all directed at Tony, I suppose. Thanks for giving me the floor to voice this concern.

          • John K says

            Something you may want to consider when sites are in the aggregator it allows people to view and discern for themselves over time if a Blog site shines light or just throws heat. I have been reading a sight lately called The Daily Bleat and enjoy most of the writing over there. I have read Peter’s site also and I can say the word enjoy has never come to mind but it sure gives insight to the back rooms of the SBC. Each blog may had different value to readers, a different purpose for the aggregator aggravation if you catch my drift.

            PS. Just my opinion: you went one step to far saying “participating in his ungodly acts.” That sounds Lumpkinesk to me, the blogger at the Daily Bleat is above that. From what I have read he avoids the easy cheap shots and shows respect even to those blatantly sowing discord and disunity. In my opinion neither Dave nor Tony would ever be involved in ungodly acts intentionally. Although Dave and the Yankees(never mind).

          • says


            Thanks for the comments. I consider posting links to Lumpkins’ site at the top of a blog the same as printing out and handing Lumpkins’ posts to those sitting in the pew. That’s participating in sin in my mind.

            Maybe I am wrong for viewing the situation this way, but I can’t read the Apostle Paul and ever dream of him linking to Lumpkins and explaining his doing so by saying that Lumpkins gets hits and is influential. Paul cared too much for the church to promote those who sow discord and hurt the church.

          • John K says

            As you say the Apostle Paul never would but he was an Apostle. I can look to Christ and Paul for guidance knowing I will fall short of both. Although I can strive to be better than Saul in all his legalism. Keep up the great work Joshua you may end up being one of the great ones. Learn from the Tony’s and Dave’s of the world that you encounter and there is something you can also learn from the Lumpkin in this world. There is an expression of learning more from failures than from success, that I am sure you are aware of. I learn a lot from the dots SBCVoices links to, and with your discernment I know you can also. You already know not to pass it out in the pews. If you did not know it existed maybe someone in the congregation would have passed it out and you may not have known what a Lumpkin was but thanks to SBCVoices and others you know Lumpkin gets time-out and according to volfan007:
            Lumpkin and Dr. Vines are good friends. Gossip or fact I do not know but it is an interesting dot.

  6. Ron Hale says

    Peter didn’t grow up in the era of time-outs and everyone getting a trophy; I don’t think the time- out will stifle any opinions in the future. However, thanks for restoring his valuable link to the greater SBC community!

    • Dave Miller says

      On that, Ron, we agree completely. No one or nothing is going to stop Peter from saying what he wants to say.

  7. says


    I don’t really have an opinion on whether his blog should have been pulled or not, or now whether it should be restored. What bothered me about his post was that the info had not been confirmed at that time. It was based on what seemed like a credible source. He says that was deemed later to be true.

    That seems like a rumor to me. Made me think of that exchange in “O Brother Where Art Thou?” between Everette and Pete, after Everette had stolen from Pete’s kin.

    “Pete: You miserable little snake! You stole from my kin!
    Ulysses Everett McGill: Who was fixin’ to betray us.

    Pete: You didn’t know that at the time.
    Ulysses Everett McGill: So I borrowed it until I did know.

    Pete: That don’t make no sense!
    Ulysses Everett McGill: Pete, it’s a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.”

    • Dave Miller says

      It is my understanding that Peter does work for Jerry Vines. I am not aware whether he is an employee or a contract worker. But, that is my understanding.

      • Tim Raccine says


        I encourage someone reading who is on Twitter to send Dr. Vines a message with a link here… I’d love to know if he is comfortable with the character and approach of a man like Peter Lumpkins.


  8. Christiane says

    Peter has always been polite to me when I commented or asked questions on his blog . . . not that I see things the way he does, nor does he seem to be offended when I see things in my own way.

    I’m sure you all realize that the Body of Christ is big enough for a lot of diversity in personalities . . . just take a look among yourselves and you can see it is true . . .

    and Peter is a unique individual in the SBC, among many unique and interesting people.
    He has his own voice, which is a good thing in its way.
    I hope, even when SBC folks most disagree with him, they will still allow a place for him to have a voice among them.

    • Fred Johnson says

      He does have a place. It’s called the Internet. No other blog is obligated to give him a voice beyond his own blog.

      Don’t fear for Peter. He will have opportunities to contribute at sbcthedaybetweenyesterdayandtomorrow it’s all but certain.

  9. Jim says

    The main issue I see with including him here is the way this site is run down at his site. Being included here is a privilege, not a right. The way this site is talked about on his site should be put to a halt or his feed should be removed until he can reign in his commenters.

    What he chooses to write is his business, but if the conversation rere cannot be productive or uplifting, it should not be associated with this site. Legitimate concerns should be expressed from time to time, but the consistent disparagement of this site and its moderators shouldn’t be condoned.

  10. Tim Raccine says

    I created a twitter and did it myself:

    Maybe Dr. Vines and Dr. Harris are OK with how Peter Lumkins acts. Maybe they think that what he did to Jonathan is OK (or what he continues to do, now connecting Jonathan with a child molester), but if you don’t, I encourage you to share with Jerry and Gerald.

    I am fed up with people who support this worst kind of blogging. Again, Mr. Kummer, I think you should take that blog down from your list. You took it down because of how low Lumpkins went. You know he will go there again!!!

    Shame on Peter and those who support him like Jerry Vines and Gerald Harris.

    They have hurt our church and hide behind Peter Lumpkins.


  11. says

    I was glad to see Peter’s site removed. I’m disappointed to see it back in the aggregator. I think he spread a rumor about Merritt that ended up being true. The ends doesn’t justify the means. Gossip is gossip.

    This site, however, belongs to Tony. He can do what he wants.

    • says


      And as it goes, the rumor is not true. The claim was that Merritt is gay. Peter wondered if Merritt’s true inclinations had been “outed”. Merritt himself said he is not gay, though he has sinned (without getting specific) in the past. Thus, what Lumpkins suggested turned out to be untrue.

  12. says


    Peter posted an op-Ed on an article that basically accused Jonathan Merritt of having a homosexual relationship. Peter stated specifically in his post that he did not want to believe the post but it the author stated he had the evidence if he was challenged. Ken Silva of Apprissing Ministries blog posted an op-ED about the same thing but there was no “Time-Out” for him. However, this “speculation” on Merritt’s downtown Chicago liaison was proven correct when Stetzer informed the world that Merritt was a broken person over a childhood sexual abuse by an “older man” in his neighborhood.

    Now, you state that is was Peter’s handling of Jonathan Merritt’s moral failure that earned him the “Time-Out”. If that is consistency then it is certainly apparent that the consistency here at SBC Voices is placing people in “Time-Out” for revealing the truth. Even that isn’t consistent as Silva was never placed in “Time-Out”.

    • Fred Johnson says

      In order to be in “Time Out” you had to have been in play time to begin with. It could just be hidden, but the blogroll here lists nothing under “Apprising Ministries,” “,” “Ken Silva,” or under New Hampshire where Silva’s church is located. How, pray tell, are you supposed to put someone in time-out if they are not even a part?

      You think Tony should shut down the Internet across all of New England?

    • says

      Tim Rogers,

      See my “O Brother Where Art Thou” quote above for the same kind of thing.

      At the time of his posting, it was merely hearsay and gossip. We’re all guilty sometimes of engaging in gossip. But that does not excuse his.


        • says

          Tim Rogers,

          “Your name is not Tony and as such I have nothing to say to you.”

          I know. No problem. I didn’t ask you to say anything to me anyway. I was just pointing something out for you.


          • says


            Your very response to me here proves your penchant for dishonesty. I never said you “asked” me anything. You responded to me as if I were in a conversation with you. I merely pointed out this was a “taco/burrito” conversation and as such it was “nacho” conversation.

          • says


            “Your very response to me here proves your penchant for dishonesty. I never said you “asked” me anything. You responded to me as if I were in a conversation with you. I merely pointed out this was a “taco/burrito” conversation and as such it was “nacho” conversation.”

            What in the world are you doing? “Penchant for dishonesty?” What do you mean by that?

            Look Tim. I realize I’m not considered “one of you” since I’m not in a SB church at present. I get the feeling that some here would rather I not be here. And you and I have never met.

            But your response to me “Your name is not Tony and as such I have nothing to say to you” was just so childish. I replied the best way I could to such juvenile words by you. If you’d rather not ever have any dialogue on these blogs with me just say so. I’ll not comment to you nor ask you anything. Just give the word.

            But accusing me of dishonesty is going a little too far brother.


    • Tim Raccine says


      Are you the same Tim Rogers that once posted on your blog that Jonathan was once arrested?

      Tim Raccine

      • says


        Your name is not Tony. Now you have lied about what I have posted on my blog. That is the reason I have nothing to say to you either. For the record, you will not find anyplace on my blog where I said Jonathan was arrested.

  13. Rick Patrick says

    SBC Voices,

    In journalism, the first person to report a story accurately is said to have gotten a “scoop” rather than to have spread gossip. I don’t think we should be too quick to excuse the fact that Peter got the story right, not wrong. Peter’s source was correct. Peter told the truth. We need to give him that.

    When Azariah outed Jonathan, it started a chain reaction. Peter reported the charge. Frankly, this happens all the time, in virtually every scandal or crime. Can you imagine if the news waited to report allegations until they were proven in a court of law? That just doesn’t happen. The charge itself is news.

    Now, if we’re talking about some unknown person in our churches, then I would say, “You’re right–that’s gossip, not news.” But once you accept that Jonathan Merritt is a Christian Celebrity (maybe not Amy Grant, but more famous than my fellow basement dwellers wearing housecoats), then you have some sure enough news. If Dave wears the neon jacket, it’s not news. If Obama does it, it leads the network broadcast on every channel: “What in the world got into President Obama today?”

    Two questions emerge: (1) Do we apply church rules to Christian celebrity scandals? And (2) Is the blogosphere the new CNN?

    Maybe you should replace the photo of that dorky kid at the top with one of Walter Cronkite, for at the end of the day, Peter could honestly say, “And that’s the way it is.” Please consider the possibility that your rage is misplaced. Jonathan is the one whose sin started all this. Azariah is the one who outed him. Peter Lumpkins is simply the messenger, and as is so often the case, the most convenient course of action is to shoot the messenger.

    • Dave Miller says

      I would think that our standard would be different than those of journalism. The question we need to ask is not just “is it true?” but “Will the publishing of this information edify those who hear it?”

      I do not know how we are built up by knowing of the private struggle a brother in Christ had a couple of years ago. He is a “private citizen” – not an employee of the SBC. He is not a part of my church or association.

      The “people-have-a-right-to-know” ethic is not one I see buttressed in scripture.

      I may know something that will interest people. That which I know may be perfectly true. But if there is no purpose of edification for the Body, then it is information I should keep to myself.

      I’ve not told anyone those secrets I know about you, have I?

      • TRB says


        Would you characterize Ed Stetzer’s tweet about Schaap the same way?

        The question we need to ask is not just “is it true?” but “Will the publishing of this information edify those who hear it?” “I do not know how we are built up by knowing of the private struggle a brother in Christ had a couple of years ago. He is a “private citizen” – not an employee of the SBC. He is not a part of my church or association.”


        • Dave Miller says

          I was in Taiwan when all this went down. I don’t know anything about Ed’s text.

        • Tim Raccine says

          Wow. You mean that calling out a child molesting pastor should be seen in the “same way” (your words) as spreading hurtful information (with glee) about Jonathan Merritt.

          It was already out and was going to be dealt with at the church– but Peter had to act like he did. This is why so many (including the moderator here) saw his deeds with such revulsion. Peter loves to spread such things and I plan to speak out about it.

          You and Peter must be confused about what a child molester is– let me encourage you to look that up. Child molesters need to be called what they are. Don’t you dare compare Jonathan Merritt’s struggle to a child molester. You should be ashamed.


          • TRB says


            Please read Dave’s words–the specific ones I included in my question:

            “The question we need to ask is not just “is it true?” but “Will the publishing of this information edify those who hear it?” “I do not know how we are built up by knowing of the private struggle a brother in Christ had a couple of years ago. He is a “private citizen” – not an employee of the SBC. He is not a part of my church or association.”

            Now tell me how what Ed Stetzer did fits Dave’s criteria.

            You said “It was already out and was going to be dealt with at the church”.

            Was that not also true in the Schaap case? And please give me the courtesy of noting I said nothing about the criminality of either example–that was your conjecture.


          • Dave Miller says

            Okay, wait, I think I know what you are talking about – apples and oranges.

            There is a difference between REVEALING information that was previously public and COMMENTING on information that has already been put in the public domain.

            For instance, I recently wrote a strong rebuke of the Crystal Springs church for their racist actions. I did not reveal the information. It was already public and I simply commented on it.

            You may agree or disagree, but those are two very different things. If Ed had gone public with information he’d received and announced that this pastor was involved in an affair (or child molestation – however one states it) I would think he was wrong.

            Ed was commenting on something that was already in the national news.

            There was one other factor. Peter has been a vocal and constant critic of Jonathan and his father. To my knowledge, Ed had no ax to grind with FBC Hammond. Clearly, many suspect that Peter’s prior criticisms of Merritt were involved here.

            All that to say that these are two completely different situations, in my mind.

      • Rick Patrick says

        “Will the publishing of this information edify those who hear it?”

        Have we edified Peter Lumpkins with this very post? How about the photo of the dorky kid purporting to be Peter Lumpkins?

        • Dave Miller says

          First of all, using a kid’s picture from the internet is a ridiculous association, Rick. I think (hope) you were trying to be absurd there.

          But, the question here is whether Peter should be on our blogroll. I have gone through and deleted comments (those I found) that simply insulted Peter.

    • Fred Johnson says

      You are a pastor. What if this happened to you:

      One of your deacons heard a derogatory story about you in a store in town.

      He did not know the person who was telling the story.

      Without giving you any chance to respond, and without your knowledge, he posted posters all over town with the derogatory story in big letters.

      At the bottom he wrote, “I pray this is not true and you should too.”

      When confronted about not coming to you, he said, “He knows where I live. He can call me.”

      Are you telling me with a straight face you would defend his behavior even if the derogatory story about you turned out to be true?

      • Rick Patrick says


        If the derogatory story turned out to be true, I would have much bigger problems than worrying about the person who repeated the information shared by the individual who exposed my sin.

        Again, though, I think we’re talking apples and oranges. If I get drunk and spend the night in jail, a few people will hear about it, I will be held accountable, and it will be a relatively small issue publicity wise. On the other hand, if Chris Tomlin or Beth Moore commit the very same sin, it will be covered widely in the newspapers and on the websites.

        • says

          Rick, if a news agency publishes a story, they have evidence to back it up, don’t they? It’s more than just a claim by a random blogger, right?

          How do you define “rumor”? Am I understanding you that it’s ok to spread and believe rumors as long as it’s about a celebrity?

          • Rick Patrick says


            Let me illustrate with a story reported in USA Today, linked below. According to the article, the gunman in the Sikh temple shooting was a known white supremacist. At least a part of this must be considered an unproven rumor, although I believe it still news.

            While it can be proven that Wade Michael Page is indeed a white supremacist, he has not yet been convicted in a court of law as guilty of the crime. It is not yet proven that he is the killer. It is, however, a public accusation made against him. I believe it is news.


          • says


            First, I don’t understand why you’re defending Lumpkins. He blatantly spread a rumor. Any other situation in your church, and you’re not going to justify someone spreading a rumor. . . especially if it’s about you or a family member. Someone spreads that you may be an adulterer based on someone who says, “I have proof,” but they don’t provide it, is a rumor.

            Second, you’re comparing apples to oranges. This man was a “known white supremacist.” Jonathan Merritt was not a “known homosexual.” What Merritt’s accuser claimed was not common knowledge. It’s evidently common knowledge this man is a white supremacist. (For the record, Merritt is not a homosexual. He’s possibly a former homosexual, but not a present one. Same sex attraction is a real struggle if your first sexual experiences in your developmental years were with someone of the same sex.)

            Third, the ends doesn’t justify the means. Just because Peter got lucky doesn’t mean that he didn’t gossip. If you spread something negative about a brother or sister in Christ that can or will disparage their reputation, you’d better have evidence that it’s true. If you don’t have evidence, you spreading the accusation is not neutral. It’s sin. Peter sinned.

    • says


      “The source” claimed that Merritt is gay, a claim Merritt denied. How was “the source” correct? His big story wasn’t that Merritt had sinned at some point in the past, but that Merritt is a gay person. Again, Merritt himself denied this.

      • says


        Is your name Tony? I addressed my comment to Tony. When he responds I will reply to him. Until that time you need to keep your nose firmly planted to Dave’s backside.

          • says


            The issue is you and I had a conversation along with Peter at the convention. You sat there in dialogue with us and we had, what I thought, was an enjoyable conversation. You were explained time and again, to a point you could not answer, the reason the Trad statement was not a semi-Pelagian document. Within a week you come back and are accusing us of heresy. Your duplicitous attitude along with your snide comments gets you the “brown-nosing” award of the year.

          • Donald says

            “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was talking to the boy in the picture at the top of the page.”

            Chris, have you considered dressing in motley full-time instead of just on these blogs?

          • says


            I erased my longer response because what you say has nothing to do with the Merritt situation. Whatever may or may not have happened in New Orleans, my point here is that the accusation made against Merritt was wrong since Merritt is not gay.

  14. says

    I have refrained from commenting on the underlying issues which apparently led to Peter’s “time-out.” That includes the substance of what Peter reported and the subsequent reaction among some in the blogosphere as to the propriety of Peter actually reporting on the matter in the first place. If we are going to go back to the original story to support our arguments — pro and con — for why Peter should or should not be banned from SBC Voices, then so be it. I’ll continue to refrain from commenting, even though I most assuredly have my own thoughts on all that transpired.

    In general, I support the free and unfettered exchange of ideas, whether in the public at large or within the SBC blogosphere. I believe we are capable of discerning the credibility of bloggers without others telling us what is and is not legitimate discourse. I would support Peter’s right to publish whatever he sees fit. That does not mean that I always agree with everything that Peter posts. I would likewise support Tony’s right to give Peter a time-out or completely ban him from the aggregator if he sees fit, although I may not agree with his decision to do so. It is Tony’s blog and he has that right.

    What I will continue to oppose is the idea that we should ban a fellow Southern Baptist blogger because we do not like his or her ideas or do not like that blogger personally. And, make no mistake. That is the underlying reason why some would be comfortable with Peter not only being banned from Voices, but also shut down altogether. If you don’t want to read Peter or any other blogger, then no one is forcing you to type in their web address. Ignore them. But, do not try to marginalize those who you disagree with. After all, it could be you on the receiving end when someone else objects to what you have written. Thanks and God bless,


    • Dave Miller says

      I will agree with you, Howell, and I think Tony would as well. Neither of us are members of the SBC Tomorrow fan club, but Peter, whatever anyone thinks of him, is a voice in the SBC blogosphere.

      Obviously, Tony can put whomever he wishes on his aggregator. But (I don’t know if he wants me to say this) Tony gets pleas all the time from people begging to have Peter removed from the aggregator. He resists.

      Here’s the thing I don’t understand. I am not obligated to go to any site on the internet. Peter could write 25 posts a day that would roll across our screen. No one is obligated to click on any of them.

      If you don’t like Peter, don’t go there. That seems incredibly simple to me.

  15. Bill Mac says

    Everyone: This is unseemly. This post does not warrant 10 comments, let alone over 60. It is simply becoming a pile-on.

    • Dave Miller says

      I actually think you are right, Bill.

      I’ve deleted a few comments and will delete others that are simply insults of Peter.

      There is a topic here that seems worthy of discussion – should we populate the aggregator on the basis of content or on the basis of blog-influence.

      • Doug Hibbard says

        Therein lies a good question for Tony to wrestle with:

        Is presence in the aggregator endorsement of content or people? Or is it simply a recognition of influence and reach?

        Because if it’s fully endorsement, then he’s going to be real busy trying to police that. I’d suggest that it be about influence, and let people decide on their own. If someone truly goes off the deep end, then cut them from the list and leave them off.

        I am waiting, though, for someone to come up with an “SBCYesterday” site. We’ve got Today and Tomorrow, but we live so far in the past that our current events would fit with that title.

  16. Donald says

    Would someone please explain exactly how Peter was out of line? The use of scripture would be very helpful.

  17. Rick Patrick says


    You Calvinists get everything backwards. I tell you, faith comes before regeneration, sin comes before condemnation, and the person who told the truth has acted more honorably than the one who was living a lie.

    That you write attack articles on Peter while defending Jonathan is just par for the course.

    • says

      Gill, Gano, White (1803, circular letter of the Philadelphia Assn.), Boyce, Dargan, all held that regeneration preceded faith which makes sense as conception comes before the delivery of a child at birth (Jn.3 & Jas.1:18) Anagennao, conception from above, and anakuew, delivery at birth. How can one get the ability to believe and repent? Through receiving new life.

  18. Tim Raccine says


    I disagree, but I would not seek to tell the world about your sexual sin because I do– that’s the point, isn’t it? That’s what happened here.

    Even if I considered you a really bad person, I would not do that to you. No one deserves that.

    Now, Mr. Lumpkin claims (on his own blog moments ago) that he “was vindicated by Jonathan Merritt’s own quivering lips.”

    “Quivering lips.” Wow. I would simply say that a man who speaks of a hurting person in this way does not deserve to be in any blog list. In my opinion, I think your blog would be a better place if you were not connected in any way to someone like that.

    I will stop now, but I hope to hear what his employer, Jerry Vines, thinks about those “quivering lips.” I hope Dr. Vines is a better man.

    Thanks for letting me have my say. Jonathan has a church that loves him and he will be fine, but I just hope that people will speak out against such bloggers and people that empower them.


  19. says

    Could it be we have focused on the initial PL post to the exclusion of the follow-up wherein said blogger decides to leap from his scoop desk and on the back of JM’s interview he directs his effusive keyboard to scold Ed Stetzer? Mabe it is just me, but having interacted with Peter in the distant past the crossed line was using Merritt to impugn Stetzer is only equaled by repeating the same on the back of a sexually abused girl under the rubric of adultery to do the same. Peter never, that I recall, needed to use the misfortunes nor brokenness of others to speak his air tight truth when wanting to educate me in philosophy and logic back in the good old days. I am not sure what happened but I am hoping that when I reach his level of maturity and stoop to such they will take away my Internet access.

  20. says

    Let me be clear here. This issue is not that Peter wrote about Merritt. The issue is when he wrote about Merritt. He wrote his first article prior to evidence being provided and prior to Merritt’s confession. I don’t see anyone defending Merritt on here. There’s no doubt that Merritt sinned; he’s also repented. Peter hasn’t repented. Peter will do this again if a similar situation arises. That’s the issue here.

    • says

      Let me be clear here. The issue is that Peter wrote about Merritt. Peter pointed to an article and even decried the events spelled out in the article. He gave Merritt the benefit of the doubt and even stated he was hoping an praying it was not so. Stetzer questions Peter’s Christianity and no one seems to call attention to that on this “unity is our mantra” blog. But, now you are saying that Merritt repented? I think charging an UN-named older man with sex abuse is not repenting but excusing ungodly acts. Yes, he said he was responsible for the texts, but did he say anything about imbibing on the night of these actions that “went further” than friendly touching? So, what exactly does he need to repent of if he is in the shape he is in as a result of this older man’s abuse? What exactly does that mean?

      • says

        Tim, spreading a rumor is not “giving someone the benefit of the doubt.” What Merritt’s accuser said, was not neutral. Thus, spreading the unsubstantiated claim was not neutral either. If in a prayer meeting, I said, “I heard from a credible source that Bob is gay. Now, I cannot confirm or deny this accusation, but let’s pray for Bob.” That’s not a neutral prayer request. It’s the spreading of a rumor.

        Concerning unity, I want to be united with Peter Lumpkins in reaching the nations, but I’m not going to throw out Scripture to do so. Gossip by any other name is still gossip. What Peter did wasn’t very Christ-like. That’s what Ed meant by using the term “Christian,” it seems.

        I still don’t understand why anyone is defending Lumpkins. He spread a rumor. Call him on it, so we can all move on, and so he doesn’t do it again.

        Concerning Merritt’s repentance, he specifically says what he did was sin, that he was guilty, that he sought accountability, etc.?

        Finally, why was Merritt’s accuser deemed “credible”? He hadn’t provided any evidence. Why was he considered credible? Lumpkins didn’t even know this guy.

      • Chief Katie says


        The question is WHY??? Why does Peter feel the need to conduct Christian business in a way that only the National Enquirer could approve of. What motivates this kind of action? How was Christ’s church edified?

        This is his hypocrisy. He was so angry (as were you) when Ergun Caner was revealed to be less than truthful that it was almost palpable. To sum it up, he was furious.

        My conclusion is that if Peter likes you, he’ll champion you, but if he doesn’t, he’ll dig for dirt and then print it because quite simply he must enjoy hurting people.

        What makes me shake my head in dismay is that unbelievers read these blogs. What must they think about a man who claims to love Jesus Christ, but purposely tries to hurt another Christian.

        In a sort of back-handed way, this affirms the comments of Al Mohler regarding our treatment of homosexuals.

        Shameful, just shameful.

        • volfan007 says

          Chief Katie,

          And, what’s more surprising is to see you make a comment like this, which is very similar to what you’re accusing Peter of being so bad of doing. Your personal attacks against Peter look just as bad to me, as what you accuse Peter of doing.

          Oh, the irony.


          • Chief Katie says

            Peter’s behavior should be classified as a method to hurt someone he doesn’t agree with. There is no other reason for him to print this kind of information. Unless you can answer ‘why’ then your comments are of no concern to me.

            Peter does this often. Why David, why David, why David? What does he gain?

            Peter behaves like a hypocrite. That’s it. He’s quick to find fault with someone he doesn’t agree with, but for someone who has been guilty of repeated, documented lies, he makes excuses for.

            The real irony here is that the lies of Ergun Caner can be proven, and Peter’s running to his aid, only proves my point.

  21. says

    I personaly don’t believe Peter Lumpkins did anything wrong related to Johnathan M. If your a public writer for well known publications on controversial issues and someone makes a credible accusation that turns out to be true to me that is journalism. Blogs are whether people like it or not a source of news and it seems that the allegations were true as both sides affirm it.

    • Rick Patrick says

      Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Congratulations, Jeremy, you got the right answer.

    • says


      I’m not sure your following statement makes logical sense [emphasis mine].

      If your a public writer for well known publications on controversial issues and someone makes a credible accusation that turns out to be true to me that is journalism.

      A credible accusation should not have to “turn out to be true”. It seems you are judging the accuracy on said accusation before it is actually found to be true; therefore, putting the cart before the horse. The initial credibility of the accusation would not exist since the truth of that accusation had not yet turned out to be true.

      Is that how Christians point out sin in others? Do we make an accusation waiting for it to turn out to be true that we may vindicate our charges?

      Also, can you point me to a school of journalism that uses this method?

      Why does it matter if the person is well-known or unknown? How well-known must someone be before it’s okay to level unproven charges?

      • says


        If Peter would have linked to the Southworth blog and stated that Merritt was a homosexual based on the outing, everyone here would have a point. However, that is not the case. Also, as I pointed out in a comment to Tony, Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries also linked to the blog. Now I am told that Apprising Ministries is not on the blog roll and this is what the post is about. Ok, I will accept that and concede that Apprising Ministries is not on the aggregate here. However, the comment stream and the reasoning behind Peter’s removal all point to Peter posting a blog that was true.

        If you want to say that Peter was wrong in doing that be my guest. But, was Ken Silva wrong in doing it also? While he may not be on the aggregate here he is a SB pastor and certainly has a following from many here on this blog. Also, where is the “calling out” of Ed Stetzer for questioning the Christianity of Peter? That is a much more grievous charge that Peter linking to a post that was true.

          • Donald says

            “Peter’s post was not true…”

            So, would you quote the “not true” part of Peter’s post?

        • says

          Tim, do you like apples?

          I am wondering if my response to you should be: Your name is not Jeremy. I have nothing to say to you.

          But I’m just not sure if I should go that low.

          Hint: I was answering Jeremy on his own grounds.

        • says


          I was just giving you a ribbing. My answer to your question was that I was answering/asking Jeremy on his own grounds. That is, the grounds in which he based the question.

      • says

        A person didn’t just say that Merritt had been with another man. A person said it was him and said they had proof. Peter Lumpkins didn’t go around hunting for people that would make accusations against Merritt. He found that a person made this claim and linked to it on a Baptist blog. Peter’s blog features often News of interest to Baptists well if a well known Baptist writer is being accused then it’s news. A blog is not a court of law it’s not designed to investigate or prove if something is true. All it can do is post the allegation and raise questions. It’s up to the accused and the those making the accusations to state a case with people left to judge which side they believe. I think Merritt was wronged here but not by Peter Lumpkins he was wronged by the man who exposed him. He put his trust in someone who betrayed him and it is a sad situation. We all make mistakes, commit sins, and trust the wrong people it’s all sadly part of being human.

    • says


      The accusation was not that Merritt had sinned in the past, the accusation was that Merritt is gay and is hiding it. That accusation is false.

      The accusation was made in response to Merritt’s stance that homosexuality is sin, and his voicing support for Chick-fil-A. What Peter did was side with the people who oppose Merritt’s stance. There’s nothing wrong with that?

      • Donald says

        “What Peter did was side with the people who oppose Merritt’s stance. There’s nothing wrong with that?”

        Do you ever go back and read the stuff you post?

      • says

        My point is regardless of who is on who’s side or who’s team the fact remains Peter Lumpkins has a Baptist blog. As such he posts items that are of news value to Baptists or people that want to read about Baptists. Johnathan Merritt as a writer in major publications is a public fiqure by definition and a blogger claimed that Merritt had a homosexual relationship with him. Peter Lumpkins felt it was news worth sharing so he linked to it and it is nothing more complicated than that. Merritt was right to support Chik-Fil-A (my town doesn’t have one but had my first date with my wife at one) and it is terrible how he was outed by the original blogger and I have sympathy for Merritt for being exposed like this. However once it got on the web it was free for anyone to read and is legitamate news. I can’t fault Peter Lumpkins for serving his readers with news. Also Merritt in the end did commit what he was accused of and thus it is even more News worthy in retrospect. I feel bad for people who have pictures in my local Newspaper for writing bad checks to the local grocery store to feed there families. However I don’t demand the Newspaper stop the practice or impunge motives for doing it.

  22. Carter says

    Peter Lumkin is an interesting voice and and represents a point of view that deserves to be included in baptist life. My objections to Peter is how he choses to represent his point of view. Lumkin has been a past master of slander by association, the slap and skate and other rhetorical tricks that are simply beneath any reasonable standard. In the Merritt case he moved past discerning to mean and deserves the exhortation that has come his way.
    I doubt that he will change as a result.

  23. says

    It seems to me this post is ridiculing Peter Lumpkins, and then saying if anyone doesn’t like it, we’ll make fun of you too.

    Anyway, I’m glad you have him back.
    David R. Brumbelow

  24. says

    As a bit of an aside, I’ll share something I sent via email to someone who asked me about my argument that Merritt isn’t gay, and thus the accusation was false.

    I said:

    My comments on that have been because of the accusation. Lumpkins spread Southworth’s claim that Merritt is gay. Southworth’s post was “Jonathan Merritt: Come Out” with Southworth asserting that Merritt is gay. Southworth made reference to past events with Merritt, but what Merritt did in the past wasn’t really the point. Southworth was claiming that Merritt needs to own up to who and what he is and publicly come out of the closet as a gay man. Southworth wrote to expose “this truth of Jonathan’s sexual orientation”. Lumpkins repeated the claim on his own blog.

    Merritt’s response owned up to past sin but he specifically denied being gay, saying, “I don’t identify as “gay” because I believe there can be a difference between what one experiences and the life that God offers.” He clearly acknowledges his past actions were sinful, notes his repentance and how he sought counseling to help deal with sin and temptation. Thus he rejects Southworth’s claims about his sexual orientation.

    I think the distinction is important since it affirms that sin does not get the final say on who a Christian is. Southworth believes that since Merritt has struggled with homosexual desires, Merritt must be gay. Merritt says that despite his struggle, he is not gay and what God has for him goes beyond his previous sinful experiences. Merritt’s example is that homosexual desires, rather than defining a person, can be overcome and are not automatically defining. I think that siding with Southworth (and Peter) gives a lot of ground to the homosexual argument, essentially saying that the struggle with homosexual sin is the same as being gay. I believe what Merritt says offers a much more redemptive picture, essentially saying that God will overcome homosexual desire.

    In short, I think that giving ground to Peter’s and Southworth’s accusation is giving ground to the homosexual argument.

    • says

      I read a thought-provoking post on this topic the other day from the (not familiar with the website, so don’t know the author).

      Here are a couple parts that captured my attention:

      “Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it; Jonathan Merritt kissed (maybe?) a boy and is a closet case.”

      ““Gay” is a cultural identity. It’s a political strategy. And despite the insistence otherwise on the part of so many who claim it, it’s disturbingly conservative. “Gay” insists on a narrow range of sexual narratives—it holds “orientation” in such high regard that all sexual acts and desires are evidence of core of one’s identity. Jonathan Merritt is not gay, or at least hasn’t identified as such. As far as I’m concerned he’s the only one who can make that call. Even if one argues that acts committed in private that are out of integrity with public statements are worthy of scrutiny, we’ve got no right to determine for someone else what those acts mean.”

      All people – Christian and non-Christian alike – who share some basic common very basic moral principles ought to have very serious ethical issues with outing someone. Outing is reprehensible.

      The journalistic/ethical standards that Peter has invoked here are no different than the National Enquirer. The National Enquirer – by the way – gets things right sometimes too. John Edwards anybody?

      There’s a reason why RNS, Christianity Today, ABP, Associated Press and other news outlets did not “report” on the story based on Azariah Southworth’s assertions alone….

      • says

        Since I am not privy to the inside operations of those outlets, and do not know the “reason why RNS, Christianity Today, ABP, Associated Press and other news outlets did not “report” on the story based on Azariah Southworth’s assertions alone”, could it be because they did not read or know of Azariah Southworth’s claims? Is it possible, Aaron?

  25. Donald says

    “Southworth wrote to expose “this truth of Jonathan’s sexual orientation”. Lumpkins repeated the claim on his own blog.”

    I’m sure your intention here is to say that Lumpkins “repeated” the fact that Southworth made the claim, rather than to say that Lumpkins himself made the same claim.

    But then, that really brings into question your last sentence: “…Peter’s and Southworth’s accusation…”. Hmmmmmm.

    Where did Peter accuse Merritt of being gay? Can you please quote that part of Peter’s post?

    • says


      Peter repeated an untrue accusation and never acknowledged that the accusation was wrong. Instead, he defended his actions as being vindicated by Merritt’s response.

      • Donald says

        Chris said, “Peter repeated an untrue accusation and never acknowledged that the accusation was wrong. Instead, he defended his actions as being vindicated by Merritt’s response.”

        LOL. Chris, this is not the same thing as what you just accused Peter of.

        Seriously now, where did Peter accuse Merritt of being gay and can you please quote that part of Peter’s post?

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          Donald: The title of Peter’s post was “Jonathan Merritt, Outed as Gay?”

          • Donald says

            “Donald: The title of Peter’s post was “Jonathan Merritt, Outed as Gay?””


          • says

            Well, since he was writing that someone had outed Merritt as gay, that seems like a logical post title. He didn’t say “Johnathon Merritt is gay”.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            And… wanted a quote. There is your quote. The title speaks for itself.

          • Donald says

            “And… wanted a quote. There is your quote. The title speaks for itself.”

            Wow! Ok, then. You think that asking a question is the same as making an accusation.


      • says

        No, Peter repeated what Azariah said about Merrit. He didn’t say Merrit was gay. He said that Azariah (or however you spell his name) said Merrit was gay.

      • Donald says

        So, Chris….what do you plan to do about your own “untrue accusation” that Peter co-accused Merrit of being gay? Will you ever acknowledge that your accusation was wrong?

        It’s really simple. If you are right then show us where Peter accused Merritt of being gay by simply quoting that part of Peter’s post? If you are wrong, then do what you are calling Peter to do.

  26. says

    I’m not especially concerned with whether Peter commented on Azariah’s article and reposted parts of it. I have no problem with it, but I don’t have any argument with those who do.

    I would bet real money or a Hardee’s thickburger and a double-thick chocolate milk shake, however, that if Azariah had not posted his article that Merrit would NEVER have publically admitted to what he did. Can I prove that? No. I would feel completely comfortable betting on it though.

    • says

      You are probably correct.

      But how many Christian leaders take to the internet to confess their specific sins (prior to being exposed)?

      Sometimes we get a “leave of absence” explanation that alludes to unspecific marital issues which could mean just about anything.

      That’s about it.

      • says

        BDW…or they write a book and explain how they suffered and how they struggled and how they came to a point where God fixed them and this is how everyone else can fix themselves. Then they go on tour and have conferences and share their ideas and revelations with crowds at 35.00 a pop like Mark Driscoll did with his Real Marriage book. Oh, wait a minute, it wasn’t Mark who had the problems. It was his wife. Same scenario fits though. selahV

    • says

      “if Azariah had not posted his article that Merrit would NEVER have publically admitted to what he did.”

      Yes? And? So? Who cares? This was something that happened a few years ago, something which he already repented of and sought counseling for. He was not hiding in the dark hoping no one knew this secret sin in his life, it was something already being dealt with. There was no need for public exposure to bring him to accountability, he was already being held accountable. There is no justifiable reason why this particular sin ever needed to become public in the first place.

      • Donald says

        I am very happy that Merritt repented and is seeking God’s direction for his life.

        Now, back to a previous thought; you accused Peter of being a co-accuser with Azariah. So once again I ask: Where did Peter accuse Merritt of being gay and please quote that part of Peter’s post?

      • says

        Actually, in the interview with Stezer, Merrit said he had intended to go public with this. My point is that he never intended to go public with this but rather hhis hand was forced. So, I guess in the end I’m saying I have no problem with Azzariah posting what he did where he embarrassed Merrit and forced him to discuss their sexual encounter publicly.

          • says

            I don’t expect him to. What I do expect is that he not sit there and pretend “Anyone who knows me knows I was planning to come out and talk about this” when he knows for a fact that he wasn’t. If Azzariah had not written what he wrote and Merrit had never breathed a word about what he’d done, so what? Merit doesn’t answer to me. But don’t claim that you were going to open up about this anyway and all this Azariah guy did was push up your time table.

          • says

            This is what Jonathan wrote:

            “Those close to me know I have actually been planning to share the story of my brokenness for some time.”

            While I doubt that Jonathan had plans to detail specifically what happened between him and Azariah, I don’t have any reason to doubt what he said above.

            His story of “brokenness” is more than the one evening with Southworth. He did put his story in the larger context of his childhood abuse and other past sin.

          • says


            I also think when he said he intended to discuss his “brokenness” in the interview with he meant his abuse and his one known homosexual liason. I don’t believe he would have ever publicly discussed either of them if Azarriah hadn’t written what he wrote.

  27. Carter says

    This splitting of hairs of what did Lumpkin actually say is part of the problem with Peter and is why I find him deeply offensive. He is quite clever at getting right to the edge of acutally saying something and the skating away with a distinction that is not a real difference. It’s a shameful tactic.
    And one of several such rhetorical tricks that Peter uses to make his points, punish his “enemies and dishonor his point of view.

    • Donald says


      I would love for you to show me an example. I have only recently started reading Peter’s page this year, but he seems pretty straightforward and seems to say exactly what he means. You are assuming motive. How can you know his heart?

  28. Cal says

    I would support pulling Peter’s blog completely because I believe his initial post about Merritt was gossip. Also, if anyone has the audacity to disagree with him, he and his female lieutenants attack. As for me, I’ve grown tired of it all.

    • says

      Cal, it’s that cute little mullet he has, that’s what makes those “female lieutenants attack”. :)
      Actually if you ask those “female lieutenants” why they allegedly “attack”, you will find that it is because of what those people who have “the audacity to disagree with him” say, not because they like his mullet. Those “lieutenants” are voluntarily sending in air support, that’s all. :)

  29. Donald says

    ” he and his female lieutenants attack”

    😛 I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!!!

    Gossip – idle talk or rumor. So, Nope!

    But…if the ladies have handled you too roughly then certainly stay away.

    • says

      Donald, I’m going to tell those “female lieutenants” to go easy on Cal if he ever shows up to comment. I’m sure they will. They’re both mothers, you know. :)

  30. Donald says

    Hey Chris,

    Where did Peter accuse Merritt of being gay and can you please quote that part of Peter’s post?

    • says

      Donald, I have read and re-read and re-read again, but can’t find it. However, Chris sometimes reads into things what others cannot see. He sees “semi-pelagianism” in Eric Hankins words, too.

    • Donald says

      So…it seems Chris Roberts cannot back up his accusation against Peter Lumpkins. I guess that on SBCVoices (for the faithful, at least) this is not required. Truly sad all around.