Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Open Letter of Apology to Dr. Johnny Hunt from Scott Morgan

When I began this blog 3 years ago I decided to follow a rather liberal policy on comments. That approach has allowed for some "over-the-top" statements to be made by folks from various perspectives. This approach has allowed for "heated and offensives comments to be posted." Let me restate my rationale for allowing such comments to be posted here.
I choose to leave such comments up because I think that by doing so a more accurate picture is portrayed about current thoughts on an issue than would otherwise be the case. One thing a blog does is provide opportunity for almost immediate feedback. Within the parameters stated above, I want that feedback to be an honest assessment of what readers of this blog are thinking--even when I may disagree strongly with the content, perspective or tone of those thoughts. What this necessitates, then, is allowing certain things to be said or to be said in ways that I personally do not condone.
One brother who has expressed himself here in the past in very strong language is my friend, Scott Morgan. Recently the Lord has convicted him of some of the things he has written. Scott is a church planter and pastor in Georgia. Scott contacted me earlier this week and asked if I would consider posting this letter of apology that he has written to his former pastor, Johnny Hunt. I am happy to do so. Dr. Hunt has already received this letter is and aware that it is being made public.

Christians live by God's grace which means that we must live in repentance and faith. Our hope is not in our performance but in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Jesus died for our sins of pride, sinful speech and lack of love. When we are thinking properly about the cross, we cannot help but deal honestly and humbly with our sins.

In this letter, Scott is putting the fruits of repentance on display. Since many of the things for which he has repented were recorded here in the comments section, it is appropriate that his letter be printed here, as well.

Though no Christian ever rejoices in sin, we all should rejoice in displays of repentance and pray that the Lord will make each of us willing repenters as well as believers.


An Open Apology to Dr. Johnny Hunt,
Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock

By: Scott Morgan, Pastor of Fellowship Community Church

It is with a sincere heart and contrite spirit that I write this post. The reason for this apology is to bring glory to Christ and to make peace with a fellow brother. A few years ago on this website, I wrote some very unchristlike remarks concerning the ministry of Dr. Johnny Hunt. The Lord has brought deep conviction upon my spirit. Tom Ascol has granted me permission to post this blog; Dr. Hunt has not requested this letter, but the Lord has laid it upon my heart through His Word.

When I began to serve the Lord's Supper on a monthly basis, the Lord began to convict my spirit. As you know, the Scripture commands us to examine ourselves to determine if we are eligible to partake of the Lord's Supper. Recently, the Lord overwhelmed me of my personal sin against a fellow believer in Christ. I recognize that I have offended a fellow brother with my ungodly words and bitter spirit. Of course, the Bible commands us to have peace with one another. Because of Christ's atoning death for His people, He has bestowed the gift of reconciliation and commanded us to live in harmony with each other.

In 1999-2002, I had the privilege of serving on staff at FBCW in the capacity of Minister to Young Married Adults and Discipleship. I resigned from my position due to theological disagreements with Dr. Hunt. Because I felt like I was correct, I spent many years battling bitterness and resentment. I often said unkind things that were unwarranted. Pastor Johnny was always kind to my family and never retaliated or said unkind things publicly about me personally. During my tenure under Pastor Johnny, I can say that he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and a devoted Christian who loved his church and pursued the things of God. He exemplifies a forgiving spirit and always extended a helping hand to those in need. Although we disagree on Calvinistic theology, Pastor Johnny diligently seeks to preach the Scriptures in love. Though we may have different methodology, I sincerely believe that Dr. Hunt loves Christ and seeks to glorify God. I neglected to follow the commands of Matthew 18; I sinned against the Lord and against Pastor Johnny.

I encourage those who embrace the Calvinistic theology of our Baptist forefathers to recognize that we are not perfect; in fact, even those that do not embrace these doctrines must realize that if we have not love for one another, then what do we have?

Thank you, Tom Ascol, for allowing me to post this blog. Dr. Hunt is my brother in Christ and deserves better than this. I ask that he, his family, and the members of First Baptist Church of Woodstock forgive me for my sinful behavior and words. Thankfully, I have been in contact with Pastor Johnny; he has forgiven me and we are in the process of setting up a meeting.

In His Service,
Pastor Scott Morgan

15 comments:

Jerry said...

e need to see this example multiplied.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35, ESV)

Jerry said...

My earlier comment had some words dropped. It should have begun:

Thank you brother, we need to see...

SelahV said...

what a beautiful picture of humility. thank you. selahV

Micah said...

I understand the need for apologies... but when will Hunt apologize for misrepresenting the views of Calvinists and preaching falsely that which Scripture so clearly states?

Jesse said...

A lesson we all need to remember and perhaps learn.

Jesse

The Cooke Family said...

Thank you Scott for sharing your repentant heart with the rest of us. I, for one, was convicted of my attitude towards people who differ with me Theologically as well. I think it is an important reminder to all of us, that while having correct theology is crucial, the bible doesn't say that they will know us by our theology, but: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:35

Again, thank you for your submissiveness to Christ, and your transparency. May we all take this to heart, and act accordingly.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Baptist Theology said...

Surely, if we air our dirty laundry publicly, it is good to clean it in public, too. Thank you, Rev. Morgan, for your display of Christian repentance.

Tom, good to see you are doing better.

Aaron Turner said...

Scott,

Thank you for your example of humility and repentance.

Tom,
Thank you for allowing this, it should be an encouragement to both camps.

xfrmdxrenewal said...

Pastor Morgan thank you for your humility and the tone of your letter. On particular statement struck a cord: "I encourage those who embrace the Calvinistic theology of our Baptist forefathers to recognize that we are not perfect; in fact, even those that do not embrace these doctrines must realize that if we have not love for one another, then what do we have?"
I found this statement very powerful and it can be applied beyond the debates that swirl around the doctrine of election that Calvin supported and wrote extensively on but my no means created.

J.D. Rector said...

Tom:
It is good to have you posting inspirational blogs and comments such as this from a dear brother! Welcome back!!

Micah:
It is not for us to "demand" apologies. The Spirit of the Lord is at work in Scott Morgan's life! I thank God for the grace given to Scott to humble himself.

Scott:
You are an encouragement to so many of us. Thank you dear brother for obeying God!

chadwick said...

In my opinion, a five-point Calvinist has no business working for Johnny Hunt (or any Calvinist-basher).

chadwick

Joe Blackmon said...

It's one thing to do something wrong. Anyone can do that. A real man admits when he's wrong and appologizes for it. Thanks for this example.

Brian said...

It's very possible for a "Calvinist Carl" type of Reformed believer to emerge within us, (Calvinist Carl is a phrase us young folks sometimes use to describe the young college-aged Calvinist wanting to debate everybody and show them wrong) and it does more harm than good. My current fiance calls them "TULIP boys," with negative connotation, because they were quite unfriendly concerning their doctrine. It's a shame that even a beautiful thing such as the doctrines of grace can be perverted by our sin, but thanks be to Jesus that he will set this world right when He returns.

Thomas Clay said...

"It's very possible for a "Calvinist Carl" type of Reformed believer to emerge within us, (Calvinist Carl is a phrase us young folks sometimes use to describe the young college-aged Calvinist wanting to debate everybody and show them wrong) and it does more harm than good. My current fiance calls them "TULIP boys," with negative connotation, because they were quite unfriendly concerning their doctrine. It's a shame that even a beautiful thing such as the doctrines of grace can be perverted by our sin, but thanks be to Jesus that he will set this world right when He returns."

You fiance's concerns are very real. Our church, Grace Life Church (formerly First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals), prefers the term "Doctrines of Grace" because of that very vitriol that is spewed in the name of Christ. I love how my good friend, Cliff Easter, says it: "I'm a Calvinist; I'm just not angry about it!"

Jack said...

Follow the money.