Anticipating the termination at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez claimed that he was being terminated for publishing historically orthodox views on sexuality and sex abuse. This public statement made the rounds on social media and Evangelical Dark Web publications such as Capstone Report who broke the story. After the story gained much traction online, SWBTS released a statement, penned by Randy Stinson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Administration. The statement in full reads:
It is our standard practice not to publicly discuss personnel matters. Yesterday, however, Dr. Robert Lopez, a faculty member in Scarborough College, made public allegations about Southwestern Seminary that require a public, unambiguous response.
Recently, it became necessary for the seminary to notify Dr. Lopez that his position is being eliminated due to changing program needs in our college. In response, Dr. Lopez has engaged the services of a public relations firm, which has distributed a press release that makes defamatory claims about Southwestern Seminary that are categorically false.
Let me be absolutely clear: no faculty member, including Dr. Lopez, has been told, or would be told, they cannot discuss homosexuality. Southwestern Seminary is a confessional institution, which joyfully affirms the Baptist Faith and Message (2000), including each and every assertion about biblical sexuality. As such, the administration faithfully requires all faculty members to teach in accordance with and not contrary to these truth claims. Our faculty – including our president – regularly teach on God’s design for the family and marriage and the biblical sexual ethic, which homosexuality is in rebellion against. Our faculty also teach that all sinners can be changed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, any contrary teaching at the seminary would not be tolerated. As Southern Baptists should expect of their seminaries, we are committed to a biblical view of marriage and sexual ethics. Any claim that Southwestern Seminary has wavered on these longstanding commitments is either misinformed or intentionally deceptive.
Further, Dr. Lopez’s claims about what I have personally said about these matters are demonstrably false. I have given my entire academic and ministry career of more than two decades to addressing these matters from a biblical worldview. In light of the growing cultural confusion on sexuality and growing pressure to force Christians to conform to prevailing opinions, my resolve on these matters is stronger today than ever.The biblical sexual ethic is God’s plan for human flourishing and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s plan for redeeming all sinners. On these matters, I and Southwestern Seminary refuse to compromise.
Finally, although Dr. Lopez’s position is being eliminated due to changing program needs of our college, our decision was undergirded by his own actions, which included his failure to comply with basic administrative policies, his being the subject of regular complaints from students and faculty colleagues, and, in the end, his refusal even to attend meetings with his supervisors. While it is unfortunate when any institutional position must be eliminated, I am confident this decision is in the best interests of the students we are educating for Gospel ministry and this institution.
Shortly after this statement, Henry Anderson at Worldview Conversations published a bombshell containing original documents that debunk Randy Stinson’s statement. It would appear that Robert Lopez presents both audio and email files supporting his claim.
The evidence shows that the soured relationship between Robert Lopez and SWBTS had to do with his essay titled “To Affirm LGBT Ideology Is to Support Abuse” and was published under a pseudonym. The essay itself was extremely personal, a story we need to hear because to make his point that the lifestyle he was in was consistently abusive. It’s a core part of how he came to Christ.
The evidence shows that Dr. Lopez was pressured to remain silent on the issue of homosexuality and sex abuse since at least June of 2019. On September 11, 2019, Michael Wilkinson, Dean and Associate Professor of Theology at SWBTS, pressured Lopez to not speak out on issues without notifying the administration.
When Dr. Lopez notified but maintained that they could not stop him from sharing his testimony anyway, he published his essay under the guise of “Alex Aradanas” on September 13, 2019. On that same day, Michael Wilkinson raised the possibility of termination, should Lopez maintain his resolve.
On September 19, Randy Stinson addressed what in his statement would be the Lopez’s “failure to comply with basic administrative policies” by addressing how Lopez refused to let a college administrator, Colby Adams, grant approval of his essay prior to publish. Randy Stinson, according to the transcript pressures Robert Lopez to resign, challenging his integrity if he refuses. Robert Lopez refused to resign. When Lopez was absent in the spring 2020 semester, he knew the termination was coming.
SWBTS and Randy Stinson did not return request for comment.
This termination came at a time of shady activity at SWBTS. After Paige Patterson was missiled by feminists because he had a history of counseling against divorce, SWBTS terminated him and replaced him with Adam Greenway. Greenway began his term championing diversity, but fired much of the minority staff, replacing some of the casualties of alleged restructuring with white people, much of whom have ties to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Greenway came from.
Robert Lopez would consider himself a loyalist to Paige Patterson, the man who hired him. Lopez wrote on November 19th:
A new president took office—Adam Greenway—and fired 26 professors in 24 hours, sending a clear signal to all of us that we were eminently replaceable. Greenway told us this was due to budget cuts, then turned around and hired at least six new professors (all white) from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the place he had just left. My memos warning about the problems with the watered-down curriculum did not go over well.
The apparent restructuring of SWBTS comes with erasing the legacy of Paige Patterson, and Robert Lopez may must be a casualty of previous loyalties. Thus why Adam Greenway has apparently brought over individuals he believes will be loyal to him. Robert Lopez accuses the new administration of succumbing to the Social Justice Gospel. Enemies Within The Church, a documentary project on exposing the Social Justice Gospel, has worked with Lopez on the release of the evidence that support his claim that Adam Greenway and Randy Stinson are supportive of this movement within the church.
In addition to the evidence provided by Robert Lopez that has been released, it appears his termination is also part of larger theological issues and the church losing the resurgence it fought hard to achieve and preserve.
In ecclesiastical affairs, Lopez was active. He drafted two resolutions that addressed reparative therapy and protecting sex abuse victims from church retaliation. Both were rejected. In this rejection, the evidence provided by Lopez, through Anderson, show that the ERLC had a role to play in this. Lopez had a documented history of criticizing the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, who have as of late taken an interest in publishing pro-abortion arguments on their platform. The ERLC, helmed by Russell Moore, seems like a possible influence in this anti-orthodox shift we are seeing in SWBTS.
The evidence shows clear holes in Randy Stinson’s statement, specifically the words in support of the Christian sexual ethic which he pressured Robert Lopez not to write about. Because of this pressure, one can question Stinson and, by extension, SWBTS’s resolve in standing firm on key proxy issues of faith.
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