Friday, July 18, 2008

Byron McWilliams: Not Ashamed of the Gospel

A lot of people talk about young leaders in the SBC today (usually connected to the assertion that they are all abandoning the horrible SBC for something other). Well, let me introduce you to one of the young leaders in today's SBC. Let me introduce you to a man who is committed to the gospel, a man who is unflinching for biblical truth, a man with a fervent passion for the winning of souls.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Odessa, Texas, pastor Byron McWilliams

Click here.

Learn the name. Learn the face. You'll be seeing him again, I predict.


Doug said...

I am not in any way endorsing or defending George Carlin. Like McWilliams, I do not know him and I will not be his Judge. Yet, I was more impressed with the thoughtful and probing questions of the interviewer than with the pastor. Too bad he hadn't have stuck with preaching the Gospel and stayed out of the judging business. Was this a publicity stunt? Why "name names"? It smacks of arrogance and sensationalism. I hope the SBC has better to offer in the future.

CB Scott said...


What was Jesus doing in Luke 16:19-31?

Was he being arrogant and using sensationalism? Or was He warning people of the terror of hell using a natural illustration?

I do agree with you in hoping the SBC has better to offer in the future.

More of this kind of preaching would be far more helpful in the future than what is happening in some many pulpits today.

What kind of preaching is coming from your pulpit?


Bart Barber said...


Twelve minutes? Man, you didn't give me much of an opportunity to say the same thing.

Chris Johnson said...


It was good to see that Odessa has someone that cares.... (West Texas is a great place). Byron missed a good opportunity to tell the interviewer of another death that is used in his sermons. But then again, he probably did and it was edited out.....


CB Scott said...


I bet that Death, Burial, and Resurrection did get edited out of the interview.

The sad thing is that Death (especially the bloodiness of that Death), Burial and Resurrection is being edited out of many sermons from pulpits all over America today.

Now, that is really the saddest reality of all.


selahV said...

Bart, makes me wonder how God may have used this interview to reach a people group that doesn't go to church but watches the news. May God reinforce the illustration and strength of Bro. McWilliams' sermon snippet and edited interview with other folks. At least people know that Bro. McWilliams rightly divides the Word. Truth is that way. selahV

Todd Benkert said...

It has been a long time since I have heard a sermon that mentioned hell at all. When hell is mentioned, it is in such an abstract way that it loses much of its significance and convicting truth. If more Christians understood and believed that their unsaved friends and loved ones where headed for God's judgment, perhaps they would make a more concerted effort to share the good news of redemption in Christ.


Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. -- John 3:18

volfan007 said...

May God give all the Pastors in the SBC the wisdom and the courage of this fella.


Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

Just got back from camping with my family and scanning the blogs. Boy, I bet Brother Byron sat up the other week and thought; "What can I say that will get me on the evening news?" NOT!!!.

Let me tell you all about this arrogant person. Do you know where he was during the convention? Oh, he was in Indianapolis. He was the one that made certain your ballots were taken up and counted. He was one that passed those buckets and then went out to help count them. No, he did not mind serving in that capacity. He told me he counted it as an honor.

May his tribe increase!!


James Heffington Jr said...

It is so inspiring to hear someone make comment about a person's life based on their body of work and then in the next sentence say he hasn't even listened to the man's material (sarcasm off)! People like this pastor make folks of conscience and faith look bad. He may be correct in his estimation of Carlin but why not take some time to be educated before you speak?

Anonymous said...


I doubt that the SBC will find brother Byron acceptable for office in the SBC. I looked for the 1st Baptist church of Odessa Texas up on the SBTC web site, alas they are not listed. Evidently he pastors a church in the horribly liberal BGCT and is thus not eligible for service (sarcasm off)

Jim Champion

Anonymous said...

My bad - they are dually affiliated (doubt that makes him any more acceptable). Guess they couldnt pick a side :)

CB Scott said...


It is due to the fact that he is "educated" and very theologically sound that he did speak. He spoke rather well.

Go thou and do likewise.


volfan007 said...


I have listened to Carlin a few times. He was every bit as bad as a lost man who hates God can be. Bro. McWilliams called it straight, which you cant seem to stomach. So, maybe Joel Osteen, or Schuler, would be more to your liking.

As for me, give me good, solid, sound Bible preachers and teachers who really love Byron McWilliams. Let all the ear ticklers who deny the faith either repent, or quit claiming to be Christians.

One thing that I do wish that he had said, or else he did say it and the news chose to not include it in the news piece, would have been a statement like..."I hope that Mr. Carlin got saved before he breathed his last breath. I truly do hope that he put his faith in Christ before he died."


John Mann said...

I had the opportunity to visit with Byron briefly in Indy. It was my privilege to get to know such a man who demonstrates courageous humility.

John Mann said...

Doug and James,

Since when did saying someone who doesn't even believe in God is going to hell becoming judging?

CB Scott said...

John Mann,

I think it started with the Devil back when he told Eve; "Ye shall not surely die."


Bart Barber said...

Fernando Rios will be "judged" by a jury of his peers under the supervision of a robed jurist. When I tell you that he is utterly guilty, I do so not because I am judgmental, but because the facts of the case are particularly plain. And in no way am I attempting to usurp the authority of the court upon such matters or to assert myself as the trier of fact or the controlling legal authority for the matter.

I'm just doing what seems to cause consternation from time to time: Using the head God gave me for something other than a hat-rack.

George Carlin, up to the end of his life, would have been the first to offer to punch in the nose anyone suggesting that he might ultimately be saved by the Christian God. God will judge Him, but God has already told us plainly the standards of His judgment, and we do the entire world a HUGE disservice when we pretend that the fate of folks like Carlin is a matter left unclear by God's Word.

Todd Benkert said...

Good illustration, Bart.

Tim G said...

I liked the fact that he did the interview in casual attire! :) It still is shocking that some would call this Pastor judgemental? CB, I need to go to your school of "quickfire in the trenches" - you are spot on in your comments.

Speak on Byron! May more hear!

NativeVermonter said...

First, it must be nice to get a news job at sixteen. And I'm sure Byron would agree that this is no big deal, we act like he should get an award...he's just being Christian. It's funny how the ordinary becomes newsworthy.

Pastor Mike said...

I agree that Byron was and is just being Christian, but what makes that so news worthy is the fact that it is so rare in our society as a whole these days. And with the turning of this country away from our founding it will only get worse. It sounded to me like the point of the interviewer was to highlight what is generally perceived as judgmental and exclusive the facts of the gospel, all the while promoting an inclusive and universalistic religious experience. (Why would a loving God send anyone to hell?) Sounds like another prime example of "itching ears" to me (not Byron but the one who called to complain about the truth of the message.)

James Heffington said...

My point was that the pastor should have listened to Carlin's material before making his statement. It is fine to say someone is in hell because they hated God but you should never get before a camera and say you didn't listen to the man's material and in the next sentence say he is in hell based on what you know of his material.

DMP1994 said...

I'm new here, but want to share a few comments about McWilliams. Thanks!

Some preachers feel they need to scream against culture by making controversial statements. I think McWilliams wants the attention his comments have brought. He wants to attract like-minded people.

Your suggestion that McWilliams is "not ashamed of the gospel" does not fit with his method. He seems negative, pessimistic, and harsh. The Apostle Paul was "not ashamed of the gospel" in a different sense than McWilliams. Paul was unashamed because the gospel he proclaimed did what God said it would do--rescue people from eternal separation from him. Paul's tone is optimistic and celebratory in Rom. 1:16, while McWilliam's is negative and pessimistic. The two tones indicate that McWilliams is perhaps modeling something other than Paul's excitement about the power of the gospel. McWilliams is angry, unlike Paul.

I would suggest that McWilliams feels he needs to vent judgment about George Carlin, but that kind of judgment is best left in God's hands. We never know for certain about the condition of another person's heart when that person dies. God is the judge of the eternal destiny of every human being, and we all too often judge people. A thief died on the cross next to Jesus after having been saved, but the world didn't know about that conversion. We can't say with absolute certainty that we know exactly what will happen to a particular person when that person dies, so it's best that we not over-extend ourselves.

John Mann said...


Have you ever met McWilliams?

Bart Barber said...


Welcome to Praisegod Barebones! Thanks for stopping by. Thanks also for opining. What keeps a blog interesting and refreshing is the contribution of opinion from the readers. Everyone who blogs is a person looking for conversation. My thanks to you for fulfilling that purpose.

The fact that your opinion is 180-degrees dead-wrong and reveals ipso facto that you do not, in fact, know Byron McWilliams does not at all diminish my gratitude for your taking the effort to join our conversation.

DMP1994 said...

Thanks for welcoming me....

You seem to dismiss me awfully quickly without saying WHY I'm wrong about McWilliams. I saw the video of his preaching and commented on what he said in the interview. No, I don't know him personally, but his comments were made in public, and are therefore all I have to go with. I'm sharing my impressions. I'd like to know why you think my impressions of him are mistaken.

Do you think he reflects Paul's optimistic attitude? You chose to entitle this thread "not ashamed of the gospel," but I don't see McWilliams's method as the same as Paul's. Did Paul ever say someone who had just died was now in hell? Did Jesus ever say that about anyone?

Do you think we can be certain about the eternal destiny of a partcular person? Is it wise to state that we know that destiny, when in fact we might be wrong?

Thanks for the chance to dialogue.

Anonymous said...

I attend FBC Odessa. I am the son of an imb missionary, and pray that I will be able to serve in missions when I finish grad school. I just wanted to say that if there is such a thing as a modern day pharisee, many of them have posted on this wall. So many people throwing stones at Byron McWilliams... He is an excellent pastor, preacher, and leader of FBC Odessa. Shame on you.