I listened to some of Baker's sermon from tonight's service, which was about sexual sin.
After setting up the usual Adam and Eve reason for marriage between one man and one woman, no sex outside of it, and God being against fornication, he acknowledges that it's an embarrassing subject, and that they all feel awkward. But he says it needs to be preached, adding something about looking at his outline and thinking, "Really God?" So of course he is claiming that God wants him to preach this.
He goes on to talk about characters in the bible who committed "sexual sin." Then he gets to modern day issues. He claims "There are people that say independent, fundamental, Baptist churches have a problem with this, over everybody else. There have been multiple things, over the years, that have pushed and promoted that, ummmm, because," (he chuckles) "Satan looks at, OK, tell me, how many churches are trying to win souls, and show people how to go to heaven?"
He goes on for a few sentences about how other churches don't witness, don't show people how to get to heaven, and may not even believe it. He says the devil attacks the IFB churches so people will leave and stop saving souls.
Then he starts listing sexual scandals from other denominations. He says the recent list from the Southern Baptist churches found 703 abusers. But that doesn't mean they are worse than anyone else, just that "we are all flesh, and able to be tempted."
He lists pastors molesting people and having affairs, in non-denominational and Methodist churches, then a long recitation of statistics about abuse in Presbyterian churches. One of the things he says is that a pastor "confessed to abusing the men and boys in the congregation with sexual foot massages. I don't get that one. Ummmm, I'm sorry, I don't understand that."
After a break to read 1 Timothy 4:1 and the first few words of 4:3:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Forbidding to marry
He asks where do you find that? "They forbid their preachers to marry? What group is that?" He points out that forbidding preachers to marry is not in the bible.
"There's this old joke, and it's bad, but uh, I already started it, so uh . . . "
No, Dave, you haven't already started it.
"So anyway, so, this Catholic priest went to heaven - that's debatable - but anyway, Catholic priest went to heaven."
He blunders through the joke about the Catholic priest reading old scrolls in heaven's library, and screaming when he realized that a scribe made a mistake and it says "celebrate," not "celibate." He tells it incredibly badly.
He goes on about the many sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church, then on to teachers. This long list of people from non-IFB organizations sexually abusing people goes on for about 13 minutes.
We get it, Dave.
But he does acknowledge that even the saved can be "tempted," and that old age doesn't make it go away. He tells a story about a "faithful preacher" in his 70s who'd lived without TV while raising his kids, so they wouldn't be tempted, but finally got a TV and a cable package, to watch football. He goes on to say that the man was horrified at first by something he saw while scrolling through channels (something sexual, I assume), then kept lingering on that content more and more, until "he did something and they arrested him and he went to prison."
Well, that was vague.
He returns to the bible, reading various bits of advice about how to avoid temptation. He gives them many details about how he avoids any hint of scandal with the women of the church, in order to "flee fornication."
He tells a story about a woman, new to the congregation, who came to his office for counseling, acting "weird," who said she was too embarrassed to say what was on her mind, so he gave her a 3x5 card to write down what she was thinking, and he said that, on the card, she "propositioned me for an intimate sexual act. In my office. Written down on a card."
He says he yelled at her to get out, called for his secretary to take her out and never give her an appointment again, and called his wife to tell her what had happened. He never saw the woman again.
Yeah, but did you throw away the card, Dave?
When talking about trying to keep a pure mind, he tells them that his first paying job was as a lifeguard: "I got paid to look at girls who weren't dressed right. They paid me to do that. That's not a good thing to put up in your brain."
But, at bible college, he tried to clear his mind of all of those images, focus on God, and have nothing to do with girls. One day he prayed and told God he thought he was ready to meet the woman he would marry. And the next day he saw "a young lady," and "in my spirit God said, 'That's the one. That's her.'" And they've been married for 33 and a half years.
Citation needed, Dave.
He goes on with more advice from the bible that he claims will keep them from sexual sin. He warns them about friendships turning into affairs because couples got too close to other couples, or because women foolishly thought they could have a friendship with a man, "until the one day when you let your guard down, and he's looking for an opportunity."
Then comes a story about a man who worked for Lester Roloff (who Baker describes as "a wonderful man of God" 🤮 ), who backslid, got a secular job, fell in with the wrong crowd and left his wife and children. Because, I guess, that's what happens when you get a secular job. 🤷♀️
He never hugs women. "OK, sometimes I get accosted." He imitates how stiffly he stands, arms by his side, when someone hugs him, until they realize he's not hugging back. "OK, get the hint - I don't hug women."
He never flirts with women, except for old ladies at the nursing home, because his wife says it's OK. But he says it wasn't really flirting, but teasing them "mercilessly." His example: an old woman "80-85, in a wheelchair" asked him to say something nice to her (because he usually teased her mercilessly), and he said "You don't look near as bad today as you did yesterday." He says she and the ladies around her "busted out laughing."
He defends his practice of helping "fallen" men and their families, with a brief mention of how people should also help their victims.
During the altar call, he throws out more advice about staying pure in mind and fleeing fornication.
After the altar call and another round of explaining why he had to give this embarrassing sermon, he asks who thought that the temperature in church was comfortable. After they've raised their hands, he says "Tryin' t'see all the people with a cold heart, so we have to make it so hot so they can be comfortable."
He complains that it's so hot that "I'm dyin,'" then asks for a show of hands from those who thought it was too hot. Childishly, he says, "See, look around!" And then asks his son to dismiss them in prayer.
tl:dr - everyone accuses the IFB of having the most sexually abusive clergy, but that's the devil targeting them because they are saving souls, also whataboutism. Men are all tempted, because flesh and sin nature.