Open Letter of Apology to Dr. Johnny Hunt from Scott Morgan

When I began this blog 3 years ago I decided to follow a rather liberal policy on comments. That approach has allowed for some “over-the-top” statements to be made by folks from various perspectives. This approach has allowed for “heated and offensives comments to be posted.” Let me restate my rationale for allowing such comments to be posted here.

I choose to leave such comments up because I think that by doing so a more accurate picture is portrayed about current thoughts on an issue than would otherwise be the case. One thing a blog does is provide opportunity for almost immediate feedback. Within the parameters stated above, I want that feedback to be an honest assessment of what readers of this blog are thinking–even when I may disagree strongly with the content, perspective or tone of those thoughts. What this necessitates, then, is allowing certain things to be said or to be said in ways that I personally do not condone.

One brother who has expressed himself here in the past in very strong language is my friend, Scott Morgan. Recently the Lord has convicted him of some of the things he has written. Scott is a church planter and pastor in Georgia. Scott contacted me earlier this week and asked if I would consider posting this letter of apology that he has written to his former pastor, Johnny Hunt. I am happy to do so. Dr. Hunt has already received this letter is and aware that it is being made public.

Christians live by God’s grace which means that we must live in repentance and faith. Our hope is not in our performance but in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Jesus died for our sins of pride, sinful speech and lack of love. When we are thinking properly about the cross, we cannot help but deal honestly and humbly with our sins.

In this letter, Scott is putting the fruits of repentance on display. Since many of the things for which he has repented were recorded here in the comments section, it is appropriate that his letter be printed here, as well.

Though no Christian ever rejoices in sin, we all should rejoice in displays of repentance and pray that the Lord will make each of us willing repenters as well as believers.

An Open Apology to Dr. Johnny Hunt,
Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock

By: Scott Morgan, Pastor of Fellowship Community Church

It is with a sincere heart and contrite spirit that I write this post. The reason for this apology is to bring glory to Christ and to make peace with a fellow brother. A few years ago on this website, I wrote some very unchristlike remarks concerning the ministry of Dr. Johnny Hunt. The Lord has brought deep conviction upon my spirit. Tom Ascol has granted me permission to post this blog; Dr. Hunt has not requested this letter, but the Lord has laid it upon my heart through His Word.

When I began to serve the Lord’s Supper on a monthly basis, the Lord began to convict my spirit. As you know, the Scripture commands us to examine ourselves to determine if we are eligible to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Recently, the Lord overwhelmed me of my personal sin against a fellow believer in Christ. I recognize that I have offended a fellow brother with my ungodly words and bitter spirit. Of course, the Bible commands us to have peace with one another. Because of Christ’s atoning death for His people, He has bestowed the gift of reconciliation and commanded us to live in harmony with each other.

In 1999-2002, I had the privilege of serving on staff at FBCW in the capacity of Minister to Young Married Adults and Discipleship. I resigned from my position due to theological disagreements with Dr. Hunt. Because I felt like I was correct, I spent many years battling bitterness and resentment. I often said unkind things that were unwarranted. Pastor Johnny was always kind to my family and never retaliated or said unkind things publicly about me personally. During my tenure under Pastor Johnny, I can say that he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and a devoted Christian who loved his church and pursued the things of God. He exemplifies a forgiving spirit and always extended a helping hand to those in need. Although we disagree on Calvinistic theology, Pastor Johnny diligently seeks to preach the Scriptures in love. Though we may have different methodology, I sincerely believe that Dr. Hunt loves Christ and seeks to glorify God. I neglected to follow the commands of Matthew 18; I sinned against the Lord and against Pastor Johnny.

I encourage those who embrace the Calvinistic theology of our Baptist forefathers to recognize that we are not perfect; in fact, even those that do not embrace these doctrines must realize that if we have not love for one another, then what do we have?

Thank you, Tom Ascol, for allowing me to post this blog. Dr. Hunt is my brother in Christ and deserves better than this. I ask that he, his family, and the members of First Baptist Church of Woodstock forgive me for my sinful behavior and words. Thankfully, I have been in contact with Pastor Johnny; he has forgiven me and we are in the process of setting up a meeting.

In His Service,
Pastor Scott Morgan

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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