Christian college president: Sorry I let a man with long hair present at a Creationism seminar
John Wilkerson, chancellor of Hyles-Anderson College, wants you to know this mistake will NEVER happen again
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You’re about to watch the strangest apology video you’ll ever see because it’s just so completely unnecessary… which is also what makes it so damn hilarious.
The speaker is John Wilkerson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana and chancellor of Hyles-Anderson College. Those roles make him one of the most powerful voices within the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement. As if to prove just how anti-reality they are, Wilkerson recently hosted a weekend-long seminar promoting Creationism:
As far as IFB events go, there’s nothing unusual about any of this. The event went off without a hitch. It was several days after the event when Wilkerson made the following video to explain how things went so wrong.
… Recently, we had a Creation seminar hosted here at First Baptist Church of Hammond. With all my heart, what I wanted to do is to educate and equip and empower God’s people to face and to give ammunition for the fallacies of evolution and humanism that permeates our society.
Though that was my goal, I grieve to tell you that I probably did not make the best decisions in many arenas. I failed to screen properly what was gonna be said or shown in some ways, and I think I hurt many people.
I grieve that I embarrassed the First Baptist Church family [who] for 136 years have been serving Christ and [staying] by this stuff. I think for the Hyles-Anderson College students and the men and women who have sent their students here, if I sent an uncertain sound, I apologize and I sincerely ask for forgiveness. I don’t want to cause a distraction. And I certainly don’t want to be divisive…
And I would like to just say, please forgive me, but also, I want to say “thank you,” for the many folks who have loved us and stayed faithful to pray that God would give us wisdom and help and strength to keep going. I plead with you: pray that God will help me make good decisions…
Wow. He made poor decisions. He failed to screen the speakers. He hurt people. He embarrassed his church. He wants God’s help to make good decisions in the future.
What the hell could possibly have happened during a Creationism Expo that sent him down this spiral?!
It had to be pretty awful, right? Did someone acknowledge that the Earth was older than a few thousand years old? Did a speaker inadvertently affirm science? Was a woman accidentally allowed to speak?
Turns out the answer is even more damning than all of that.
You see, some of the Creationists who presented at the event were the wrong kind of Christians… and one of them had long hair… and they even cited the NIV Bible (which IFB Christians reject wholeheartedly because it’s not the King James Bible, a.k.a. the “inspired” word of God ).
Truly the worst kinds of blasphemy.
Writing for the even-more-fundamentalist “Old Paths Journal,” a publication that promotes “old-fashioned Christianity,” Pastor Allen Domelle denounced the church and Hyles-Anderson College for allowing such heretics to speak to IFB students:
… These men were not Baptists and do not claim to be Baptists. In fact, one is a member of a Reformed church, and another claimed from their pulpit that he is a Methodist.
On Sunday evening, I received a text from a pastor with a picture that showed a long haired hippie teaching in the pulpit of FBC Hammond.
Then I received multiple calls from preachers about how they were told that the NIV was used on slides, and indecency in some of the slides.
I am sickened by this as I am not for compromise of any sort…
… a long haired hippie teaching in the pulpit is in direct contradiction to Scripture... I don't know anything about this man, but I do know that to have long hair is a shame. It does not matter what he was going to teach, the fact that he blatantly disobeys God’s Word should have alerted anyone to his spiritual discernment and that he is to be disqualified to teach people.
A member of a reformed church has no business teaching in a Baptist pulpit. A self-proclaimed Methodist obviously is doctrinally wrong on baptism, the local church, and likely on salvation. It doesn't matter if these men are “good” men, they are doctrinally wrong and have no right to speak in a Baptist pulpit.
… Not only should these men not have been allowed to teach because of their doctrine, but also because of their practice. We practice dressing with our best for church because God deserves our best. To allow these men to teach in blue jeans and polo shirts as if this is a golf club is simply a total disrespect of God’s Word, His church, and His way.
Issuing a preemptive response to anyone suggesting this was an innocent mistake, Domelle said, “HOGWASH!” He even included a picture of the heresy in action. I mean, just look at this Creationist’s hair!
(No one show them paintings of Jesus. They might not survive the shock.)
This is what the IFB crowd is concerned about. Not accuracy. Not truth. Just image and labels. It made no difference to Domelle or Wilkerson that the speakers were biblical literalists pushing Creationism because the way they did it wasn’t proper. Everything would have been just fine if fellow IFB members with short hair and suits were the ones lying to everybody instead.
Of all the things IFB leaders need to apologize for, this ain’t one of them.
Not that it matters, but after Wilkerson’s apology video came out, Domelle said “I respect the apology and hope it is sincere.” The Great Schism has finally been resolved. You may sleep soundly now.