I have no objection with Baptist Identity people being a part of the Southern Baptist Convention. I can fellowship with them at any time, and on any occasion. But I have discovered that when doctrinal questions come up, or heaven forbid, doctrinal disagreement arises, Baptist Identity adherents have a tendency to ridicule those who disagree. If the ridiculing doesn't stop the challenge, then there are overt attempts to shut down comments. In the IMB committee process while we were attempting to debate whether missionary candidates should be baptized in a "Baptist Identity" church, or whether an SBC missionary candidate could possess real "Baptist Identity" if he or she could never possess a private prayer language. I experienced this kind of tactic first hand. Dr. Floyd refused to allow questions to be asked of the professional IMB staff about their thoughts on the policies, and then he would at times marginalize the ones asking the questions or challenging the "Baptist Idenity" policies.
The worst example of Dr. Floyd's tactics was seen in the letter Dr. Rankin wrote challenging the new Baptist Identity policies of the IMB. When Dr. Floyd eventually got around to giving all trustees Dr. Rankin's letter, only after being forced through parliamentary procedures, it was delivered to trustees with Dr. Floyd's handwritten notes and scribbles all over the letter. Dr. Floyd wrote words like "ridiculous," "unscriptural," "illogical," all over Dr. Rankin's letter as he commented on Dr. Rankin's objections to the policies. Dr. Floyd has rightfully been excoriated for his conduct, but the effect upon Baptist Identity people being vigorously challenged by Southern Baptists for both their beliefs and tactics is far reaching.
They shut down the ability for others to either comment upon or, heaven forbid, criticize their actions.
Now, the premier Baptist Identity blog, SBC Today, has chosen to terminate all comments. They may have found it difficult to biblically defend their Baptist Identity positions or they could have possibly felt embarrassed for one their own being exposed in his attempts to marginalize and ridicule challengers through using a false identity, but regardless of their motives, they have shut down comments. Again, I have found that on the whole, it is difficult for Baptist Identity adherents to graciously argue points or positions. It usually denigrates into name calling. One of these days Southern Baptists will awake to the fact that Christian unity and cooperation in the midst of debate and disagreement is a sign of health. But for some reason, Baptist Identity folks don't like being challenged.
Shame on them. The late President Truman once said "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." It seems that when our Baptist Identity friends can't stand the heat, they refuse to get out of the kitchen because they want to keep cooking, so they just bar Southern Baptists from the table of fellowship. Jim Champion, a frequent blog commenter with an excellent spirit and sharp mind, wrote this about SBC Today's decision to shut down comments:
I have thought of them (SBC Today) as the best Baptist Identity blog going. I enjoy their posts and the interaction. However, if they refuse to defend their arguments they are nothing more than a print editorial that happens to be on line.
Once upon a time Jeremy Green allowed comments, but because he got slaughtered by his commenters - and could not adequately defend his stances he stopped taking comments. I essentially stopped going to his "blog". Peter, Wade, Volfie, SBC Impact, Tim Guthrie and Tom Ascoll stand behind their blogs. I may or may not agree with any of them on one particular issue or another, but I will keep going back to them because they have the courage to take the hits.
If I want editorials I'll go to print media.
Well stated Jim. I made known to my Baptist Identity friends my intentions to call them out on shutting down the comment section last week. I expect them to open them up soon. If not, we should follow the example of Jim and simply read print media for the editorial comments.
In His Grace,