Adrian Rogers

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Adrian Rogers
Adrian Rogers.jpg
Adrian Rogers
Born (1931-09-12)September 12, 1931
West Palm Beach, Florida, United States
Died November 15, 2005(2005-11-15) (aged 74)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Pastor, Author, President of the Southern Baptist Convention
Religion Southern Baptist
Spouse(s) Joyce Rogers
Website
Love Worth Finding Ministries - LWF.org
- Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute

Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005) served three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979–1980 and 1986–1988). He was also a Southern Baptist pastor whose church services aired on television, and a conservative author.[1]

Rogers was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was called to the Christian ministry at the age of nineteen. He graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Rogers was ordained by Northwood Baptist Church (now known as The Village Baptist Church) in West Palm Beach. His first job as a senior pastor was at Fellsmere Baptist Church, a small congregation in Fellsmere, Florida. He performed his first baptism in the C-54 Canal near Fellsmere. In 1972, he became the senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, where he remained until March 2005. During this period, the church's membership grew from 9,000 to 29,000, and the church moved into a new, megachurch facility.[1] Rogers was named pastor emeritus after his retirement in March 2005.

Rogers was instrumental in the Southern Baptist denomination's shift towards the right that began in the late 1970s, as he was elected president of the denomination during a theological controversy within the denomination known as the Southern Baptist Convention Conservative resurgence.

He published eighteen books and his works are featured on the internationally available radio and television program, Love Worth Finding, which is broadcast in English and Spanish.[1] Rogers was also the founder of the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute for ministers, which is currently headed by his widow, two sons, and a granddaughter.

In November 2005, Rogers contracted pneumonia of both lungs as a complication of colon cancer treatments, and died following a period of mechanical ventilation at the age of seventy-four.

Southern Baptist Convention presidency[edit]

Rogers served three times as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest American Evangelical denomination with 16 million members. He was first elected to this post in 1979 on a platform of biblical inerrancy, and under his leadership, the denomination shifted to a theologically conservative stance. Soon liberal and moderate seminary professors were dismissed. All employees of SBC seminaries and the national office were required to affirm their adherence to the Baptist Faith and Message. The denomination has remained conservative since Rogers' tenure as president.

Rogers's election as SBC president at the 1979 convention held in Houston, Texas, launched the Conservative resurgence in the denomination, a movement pushed by the theologian Paige Patterson and the Houston judge Paul Pressler. In 2004, in a symposium at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, Pressler said that the real movers in the Conservative resurgence who elected Rogers and the subsequent presidents were not he and Patterson but the independent-minded laypersons who came for years to the annual conventions to be heard.[2]

On politics and social issues[edit]

Like many influential conservative pastors, Rogers participated in the advancement of a conservative political agenda in the United States. He stated that Christians have a duty to be involved in government, and that it is a sin for a Christian to abstain from voting in an election.

Familial dynamics was a recurrent issue for Rogers. He focused most closely on fathers that he labeled "drop-out dads." According to Rogers, since the Bible emphasizes the paternal role in a family, the father should be the primary source of teaching in the home. He was critical of fathers who do not fulfill this role: "We have dads today that are interested in sports, business, and sex. They've forgotten their God-given assignments to teach the Ten Commandments [2]." He went on to say that social problems, such as gun violence, are the consequences of fathers avoiding this responsibility.

On the topic of pastoral endorsement of political candidates, he wrote that it is a pastor's duty to influence the political decisions of the members of the pastor's congregation. A pastor need not, however, endorse a specific candidate (and, under Internal Revenue Service regulations, a church could lose its tax-exempt status for doing so). He wrote that "[i]f [a pastor] has done his job his members will prayerfully and correctly use the standard of God's Word to select the right candidate."[3]

In May 2003, Rogers, along with twenty-four other religious leaders and persons of influence, signed a letter sent from Gary Bauer's conservative organization American Values to President George W. Bush. The letter criticizes President Bush's proposed Road Map for Peace initiative as being too lax towards the Palestinians. The letter states in part, "Mr. President, it would be morally reprehensible for the United States to be 'evenhanded' between democratic Israel . . . and the terrorist infested Palestinian infrastructure." [4]

Cecil Sherman writes in his autobiography that he once questioned Rogers about biblical inerrancy with reference to New Testament passages that seem to support slavery. Sherman reports that Rogers replied: "I believe slavery is a much maligned institution; if we had slavery today, we would not have this welfare mess."[3][4] Though Rogers later signed up to a revised Baptist Faith and Message to the effect that all races are equal before the Lord.[5][6]

Rogers was an adamant supporter of the pro-life movement, had stated that the institution of capital punishment is spiritually ordained, and (along with other Southern Baptists) supported a boycott of Disney because of the company's perceived promotion of homosexuality.[5].

As a traditional Baptist, he opposed the use of alcohol and tobacco, frequently telling stories to warn of their dangers. One particular story tells of a father who learned that his daughter had died while driving drunk, vowed revenge towards whoever had sold her the alcohol, only to discover that she had taken the bottle from his own liquor cabinet.

"You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."[edit]

This quote appears frequently[7][8][9] on the Internet and is often attributed to Dr. Rogers with an incorrect date of 1931. In fact, the quotation is part of a longer sermon by Dr. Rogers' from 1984 in a larger series titled God’s Way to Health, Wealth and Wisdom (CDA107),[10] but it also appears as a passage in Dr. Rogers' 1996 work Ten Secrets for a Successful Family complaining that "by and large our young people do not know either the importance or the value of honest labor".[11]

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don't multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn't first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don't have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don't get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Selected works[edit]

  • Believe in Miracles but Trust in Jesus
  • Mastering Your Emotions
  • God's Way to Health, Wealth and Wisdom
  • The Power of His Presence
  • Ten Secrets for a Successful Family
  • Unveiling the End Times in Our Time
  • The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority
  • What Every Christian Ought to Know
  • Standing for Light and Truth
  • Adrianisms (posthumous collection of quotes)
  • Grace for the Widow (posthumous collection of unpublished material in appendix; book is written by his wife Joyce, to be published January 2009)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About Adrian Rogers". Love Worth Finding Ministries. 2010. 
  2. ^ "Jeff Robinson, Pressler: Conservative resurgence was grassroots movement, March 30, 2004". Baptist Press News. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sherman, Cecil E. (2008). By My Own Reckoning. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc. p. 189. ISBN 1-57312-506-7. 
  4. ^ Edward T. Babinski, ed., Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists (N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1995) ISBN 1-59102-217-7 p. 125 See [1]
  5. ^ The Telegraph,"Adrian Rogers", Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012>, November 19, 2005. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
  6. ^ Founders Journal, Issue 30, 1997. pp. 25-26.
  7. ^ “You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” blog posting by Tim Burt.
  8. ^ Adrian Rogers on Free Lunches blog posting by The Independent Institute.
  9. ^ Google Search results for the exact phrase most often quoted.
  10. ^ "Financial Quote from Adrian Rogers". Love Worth Finding Ministries. 2010. 
  11. ^ Rogers, Adrian (1996). Ten Secrets for a Successful Family. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books. p. 138. ISBN 1-58134-033-8. 

External links[edit]