Thursday, January 20, 2011

AL Gov. Apologizes for Christian-speak

When the new Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley made an appeal at church that he desires everyone to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, the media pounced on him, declaring that once elected to office, Americans are not permitted to speak as Christians, even within the church.
"Dr. Bentley has a great reputation as a legislator. This is no indication that he would treat people anything other than equal. I have great confidence that he will treat everyone fair as governor."
Steve Scoggins, pastor, First Baptist Church of Opelika

-- From "Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley Apologizes for Christian-Only Comments" by Russell Goldman, ABC News 1/19/11

Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama met with religious leaders and issued an apology today for saying after his inauguration Monday that he wished non-Christians would become his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Several civil rights groups said the comments Bentley, a Republican, made at church service following his inauguration were offensive and tantamount to proselytizing.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Alabama Governor Apologizes for Controversial Religious Remarks" posted at 1/19/11

Bentley, a Republican, told a crowd at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church on Monday that if they haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, they are not his brother or his sister.

"There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said during his speech. "But if you have been adopted in God's family like I have, and like you have if you're a Christian and if you're saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister."

On Wednesday afternoon, Bentley issued a public apology: "If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way."

. . . Joey Kennedy, an opinion writer for The Birmingham News [said] . . . the fact Bentley chose to deliver his remarks in a church doesn’t make it appropriate. “The forum doesn’t matter. Look at the forum, it was a commemoration of Martin Luther King Day to honor the legacy of Dr. King, which was anything but exclusionary,” he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Local religious leaders react to Bentley controversy" by Joe Mcadory, Opelika Auburn News 1/19/11

“… So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,” Bentley told a crowd inside Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.

Mark Dougherty, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Auburn Islamic Center, said . . . “The term he’s using, and I’m a former Christian, is the ‘brother in faith’ use. I take it that way knowing his background.”

. . . Rev. Steve Scoggins, pastor at First Baptist Church of Opelika . . . defended Bentley’s remark because “that is what we evangelical Christians believe. But we also believe God loves everyone on the planet. Only Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ. I would not disagree (with Bentley’s remark), but we also believe that everyone is God’s creation and loved by God and deserves equal respect. I am sure the governor believes that as well.”

Scoggins referred to John 1:12, which reads, “But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, to them that believe on His name.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.