By Akin Ojumu
Meet Karri Turner, D.Min, M.Div., assistant pastor at the New Birth Baptist Missionary Church, located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Her official title in the Church is Pastor of Cardiology. Don’t bother asking me what that means. I have no clue. What I do know is, she’s neither a medical doctor nor a cardiologist.
In the profile on her personal website, Pastor Karri describes herself as one of the nation’s most vibrant, promising, and emerging leaders. She is, and I quote, “passionate about women and girls and her life’s pursuit is to use every single part of who she is to love, inspire, motivate and draw women to Christ!”
Karri Turner epitomizes everything that’s wrong with contemporary Christianity. The churches are packed full of unregenerate men and women whose brand of Christianity is totally foreign to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles.
This “Whatever-I-Feel-Like” Christianity favors experience over reason, subjectivity over objectivity, pseudo-spirituality over sound theology, symbols over words, outward over inward, feelings over truth. The good folks at Got Questions describe this type of freewheeling Christianity as follows:
“Because experience is valued more highly than reason, truth becomes relative. Relativism opens up all kinds of problems, as it destroys the standard that the Bible contains absolute truth, negating the belief that biblical truth can be absolute. If the Bible is not our source for absolute truth, and personal experience is allowed to define and interpret what truth actually is, a saving faith in Jesus Christ is rendered meaningless.”
Cold, hard fact Christianity based on precise expositional teaching, proper exegesis, and sound doctrine has given way to warm and fuzzy pseudo-profound subjectivity. To these people, Biblical truth is in the eyes of the beholder. Scripture is open to individual’s interpretation. You can make Bible passages mean whatever it is you want them to mean.
Karri Turner professes to want to “use every single part of who she is to love, inspire, motivate and draw women to Christ!” You’d be hard pressed to tell that from her social media posts. Take for instance her Instagram page. With all the sexually provocative photos she has on there, you’d think you are on the social media page belonging to a priestess of the temple of Aphrodite, the Greek’s goddess of sensuality. The page is a Christianized eroticism that’ll give Beyonce’s and Taylor Swift’s Instagram pages a run for their money.
That this same individual is a pastor of a Christian Church and a shepherd of souls is indicative of the deplorable state of the Church in general and the type of Church that would even consider ordaining her a pastor specifically.
Yet, it shouldn’t surprise you that the Church in question, the New Birth Baptist Missionary Church, is one with a tawdry past and an equally sordid present. This was Eddie Long’s ministry. Yes, the same Eddie Long who groomed young men into his sexual playthings. The church is now pastored by Jamal Bryant, who is an LGBTQ-affirming, open marriage-supporting, and extramarital sex-promoting preacher.
And it isn’t that the Bible is ambiguous about the qualifications that must be met before someone is ordained a pastor. Apostle Paul spelt it out in his letters to Timothy and Titus.
“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7).
“The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:5-9).
Whenever the Church deviates from these clear instructions, the result is predictable. What this apostasy gives birth to are self-indulgent Christians indistinguishable from the world and masses of people on the broad road that leads to destruction.