Jim Smyrl is the “Executive-Pastor of Education” at the 28,000-member First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. FBC Jacksonville is the third-largest church in the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest megachurches in America. As Executive -Pastor of Education, Smyrl is no lowly staff member. He’s been dubbed “Second in Command” at FBC as Pastor Mac Brunson’s “right-hand man.”
Over on the Official Blog of FBC Jacksonville, has announced a series of upcoming posts on the “Catholic Cult.”
Here’s the announcement:
This series will examine the cultish nature of Catholicism. The primary reasons we are unwilling to consider Catholicism as a cult include: we have good friends that are Catholics, the history of the Catholicism makes it difficult to perceive them as a cult since most people view cults as quick up starts with a charismatic leader, and the lack of understanding of the one true grid by which to measure the validity of a movement.
Today, Monday – November 24, Smyrl posted the first installment in this “Catholic Cult” series.
Here’s a snippet:
Why even address the issue of Catholicism? Doesn’t such a critical view of a particular religious group bring greater division among moral people in a society? Won’t I have a difficult time witnessing to Catholics if we refer to them as a cult? All are questions that represent a myriad of interrogatives that will no doubt be leveled against this series. However, isn’t it the historical precedence of evangelicals, coming from a biblical mandate (I John 4:1-3), to examine the culture, even religious groups, under the light of Scripture? And how will you ever lead a Catholic out of his sin and into the only sufficient grace of Christ if you do not clearly point out his sin? Surely we do not believe that we can lead anyone to Christ by generalizing or minimizing his sin.
Smyrl concludes his post by laying the foundation for his definition of a cult, based on a four-criteria test cult test. Read the rest here.
This isn’t the first time that Smyrl has referred to the Catholic Church as a Cult. On November 14, Smyrl described a Catholic Priest from South Carolina as a “Cult Leader.”
Not really sure how a reasonable, educated person responds to kooks like Smyrl.
But, we’ll keep an eye on his Catholic Cult blog series throughout the week.