(1). We have claimed to believe in the inerrant Word but have failed to practice its teachings.
When an inerrantist can be hostile, bitter, angry, conniving, self-serving and vindictive toward fellow Christians, then no matter how much we claim to believe in the inerrant word, our conduct contradicts our profession. Jesus said His disciples would be known by their love, but it seems we Southern Baptists are sometimes more concerned to be known for our inerrancy initiatives than our loving lives.
(2). We have succombed to the particular dangerous sin of arrogance, believing we know the mind of God on all matters unrelated to the primary doctrines of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
It used to be that Southern Baptists could interpret the Bible in freedom, defend their different views, and cooperate in spite of our differences. But now we are in an age when we inerrantists have lost sight of what it means to give freedom to fellow inerrantists being able to interpret Scripture differently. The Southern Baptists at The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood believe that men and women should be restricted to very different roles within the family, church organizations, and the rest of society. Typically, members of CBMW view positions of leadership and authority to be reserved for males only.
Christians for Biblical Equality teach that men and women were both created in the image of God, and that the Bible intends that they function in a full and equal partnership. Talents, including the ability to preach, teach and to lead, exist throughout both genders.
Both CBMW and CBE are conservative Christian groups. Both believe that the Bible is the authoritative, inspired and inerrant Word of God. Both groups are staffed with honorable, devout, intelligent, thoughtful, rational people. One of the problems with we inerrantists is that we have lost the ability to be humble and simply say, "I could be wrong. I will hold to my position, because I believe it is the right one, but I will never sever fellowship, relationship or cooperative ministry with you because we have the same Father and are part of His family."
(3). We have at times acted as if we worship the Bible more than we do the God revealed in the Bible.
Bibliolatry is as off base as the religion of Islam. The Islamic belief system is based on a superstitious view of the Koran, with orthodox radicals believing it can only be read in the original language of Arabic, that it cannot touch the ground or lie underneath any other book, and that the Koran itself is holy and sacred and should be revered. True Christianity has never had such a view of the Bible. When we inerrantists forget that it is the God that the Scriptures reveal who we are to worship and not the Scripture itself, then we will come to the place where the gospel of Jesus Christ is superceded by religious fanaticism.
(4). We have turned to signing creeds as the measure of inerrancy, and have forgotten that the definition of inerrancy revolves around what the Bible is, not the forced acceptance of specific interpretations of what the Bible says.
I read where William Thornton pointed out that Tony Cartledge has reported the following:
"At a recent orientation session, my friend [who had been a field supervisor for SEBTS students] was told that he not only had to agree to work within the guidelines of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement, but he had to sign an affirmation that he supported it.
But that's not all. He would also have been required to sign a statement indicating his support for the Abstract of Principles, the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, and the "Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood."
One of these days, unless the course is corrected, Southern Baptists at the annual Southern Baptist Convention will have to have pins stapled to their badges identifying all the documents they have signed, with the very real possibility that the number of pins needed for verification shall hang as far to the floor as the badge of that poor soul from the 1960's who was pinned with his ninetieth year of perfect Sunday School attendance.
(5). We inerrantist argue more about the Bible than we talk about Jesus.
A Great Commission Resurgence is needed because what our world needs is Jesus. Whether they understand or appreciate inerrancy is irrelevant. Whether they understand and appreciate Jesus determines their future destiny.
The world is on fire and we are putting it out with the gasoline of inerrancy. It's time we focused on dousing the fire with the water of the gospel. Next time you read an article about the problems caused by people who don't hold to inerrancy, you remember these problems caused by some of us who do.
In His Grace,