"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Why Southern Baptist Cooperation through SBC Conventions, Associations and Entities Is In Trouble

Webster's Dictionary defines "cooperation" as "the action of association for a common effort or benefit." Southern Baptist churches have associated together for the common effort of missions since 1845. In fact, the "Southern" before Baptist identifies the cooperative nature we Baptists bring toward our mission efforts; otherwise, we would simply be a part of the tens of thousands of other independent Baptist churches in America. Jim Richards, the Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas, was recently quoted as saying, “I believe one of the greatest threats to the mission of today’s church among Southern Baptists is a departure from cooperation.

He's right; but he's also part of the reason cooperation in the SBC is unraveling.

Southern Baptist conservatives who demand absolute conformity on all doctrinal matters, or worse, tamper with broad doctrinal confessional statements by adding tertiary doctrines to them and then demand that all other Southern Baptists pledge allegience to them, are destroying the fabric of cooperation. Ironically, my conservative friends are intelligent enough to see that when thousands of Baptists ceased identifying with the SBC after passage of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, it became prudent not to tamper anymore with the BFM.

So conservative leadership decided to change, behind the scenes, the doctrinal statements that served as the standard for cooperation and service within individual SBC agencies. These changes in the doctrinal statements of SBC entities were approved and implemented without SBC convention wide approval. Designated trustees began changing the doctrinal statements to reflect the core of organized Fundamentalism (anti-spiritual gifts, Landmark, pre-millenial, etc.). There is nothing necessarily morally wrong with Fundamentalism if the adherents to that particular ideology love those who disagree with them. The problem with Fundamentalism, especially in the Southern Baptist Convention, is when people of cooperation become more interested in doctrinal conformity than missional cooperation. When that happens, Baptist people, pastors and churches who used to identify with the cooperative efforts of Southern Baptists will CEASE cooperating.

That seems to already be happening.

The Southern Baptist Convention is in trouble. Finances will continue to decline. Leadership may wish to point to the economy, but the truth is, until we stop giving lip service to cooperation, and actually treasure it, we have nowhere to go but down.

I am on my way to the meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Our cooperative efforts are important, but growing demands that all SBC churches identify with Fundamentalist ideology in order to cooperate in mission effforts must stop.

In His Grace,

Wade

71 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, for some reason the link you provided and the one Google provides is not working.

Here is the updated link:

Florida Baptist Witness > Point of View: BF&M Commentary 22: Cooperation by MARK RATHEL.

Robert said...

The Nebraska Cornhuskers were cooperating very well last night.

Go Big Red

NE 10 OU 3

Robert I Masters

Benji Ramsaur said...

Methinks I am in general agreement with this post.

I think it is very difficult for folks to get "excited' about something if folks have been disenfranchised.

I appreciate the SBC, but I'm not excited about it. I think the only thing I am excited about is the theology and theological influence of Tom Schreiner.

Stephen Pruett said...

The numbers support your conclusion, and they had started trending down quite some time before the economy crashed. Fundamentalists may get all their rules in place by stacking boards with their people, but they will find they are the captain of a sinking ship.

History will recall that the SBC wasted time, money, good will, and its public reputation over biblically disputable interpretations of tertiary doctrines. Perhaps more important than the fact that their interpretations can be effectively disputed is that there are many examples of Fundamentalist leaders being just plain mean in order to force their interpretation on others (ask Dr. Klouda, for example). This type of behavior does not help reach anyone for Christ, it drives anyone with a conscience and a sense of compassion away from the SBC and possibly from the gospel as well.

I think the best thing that could happen would be for the Fundamentalists to try disfellowshipping churches with Calvinist pastors or churches that practice open communion, or churches that allow women to teach Sunday School classes that include men. These three things would knock out about half the churches in the SBC (that's just my best guess based on churches with which I am familiar). That would cause the Fundamentalists to lose credibility and it would reveal their intentions clearly to those who have not noticed until now. I am beginning to believe that nothing less will mobilize the vast majority of members in SBC churches against this counterproductive leadership.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
You’re so right that Jim Richards is “part of the reason cooperation in the SBC is unraveling.”

Richards saying, “I believe one of the greatest threats to the mission of today’s church among Southern Baptists is a departure from cooperation” is hypocritical by him saying as reported in the Baptists Standard 11-18-98:

“Theological agreement will be the first foundation of the new Convention. Those who depart theologically will be identified and called to repent. To the foes of Southern Baptists [Convention] of Texas, we say, we’re not in competition with you, but we’ve been called to contrast you.”

Would you say that was a plea for cooperation or a declaration of war?

They started their ‘contrast” with their news journal ‘Plumbline’ 11-18-98 that offered no proof but stated the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship had leaders that:

1. Deny deity of Christ, need for His death, and the importance of His virgin birth.
2. Call for the ordination of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons.
3. Proclaim Bible does not condemn all forms of homosexual persons.
4. Call for the ordination of women as senior pastors.
5. Refer to God as “mother’.
6. Defended the reproduction and distribution of child pornography.

Miles Seaborn, president of this new convention (SBCT) that split from the 150 year old BGCT stated:

“Every one of us is a warrior to preserve God’s inerrant word and he would not give another nickel of his tithe to anywhere he thought was ungodly.”

Since then, he has been put on the board at Southwestern Theological Seminary, and Jim Richards became vice president of the SBC.

As ‘birds of a feather stick together’; they also sound the same.

Wade, your saying, “…demands that all SBC churches identify with Fundamentalist ideology in order to cooperate in missions efforts must stop”, reminds me of Paul saying:

“Many…say that ‘all Christians must obey the Jewish laws’…it must be stopped.” (Titus 1:10-11 Living)

I hope you have better luck than Paul.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Shootin’ from the hip on this one Wade...

The real problem is lazy men, gossipy women, power hungry solo pastors, lack of accountability in leadership (no plurality of eldership), 3 of history's most un-intellectual religious confessions (25, 63, 00 BFM's), local church autonomy, multi-duplicated bureaucracies, pathetic Sunday School literature, lack of a promotion of family worship and understanding of salvation through the covenant family blessing by instead continuing to promote decisional regeneration.

I find it a perfectly good thing to see the SBC break apart into more homogeneous and manageable pieces. May God bless the continuation of this process for the good of His Kingdom both now and forever. Amen.

Lydia said...

"The real problem is lazy men, gossipy women, power hungry solo pastors, ,,,"

So predictable. Why not gossipy men? Men do not gossip?

Besides, It is only comp women who gossip. It is all they have since no men listen to their opinions and they are not encouraged to be spiritually mature and doctrinally smart. Just the little doormat follower who must affirm his macho masculinity and make sure he thinks highly of himself. :o)

John Daly said...

When I see our prez speaking at the same conference WITH Rome then I'm pretty much done. I've recently been attending non-SBC and so far, so good.

Marvin Merriweather said...

Wade,

I agree ideologically that "big tent" Baptist cooperation is best for our collective support of missions. But you gave no factual evidence that Richards hindered this process.

I think highly of your courage and appreciate your opinions, but you can do much better than this.

Joe Blackmon said...

When I see our prez speaking at the same conference WITH Rome

Huh?

John Daly said...

Joe:

http://sbctoday.com/2009/10/22/what-gets-you-worked-up/

Joe Blackmon said...

Makes me even more glad I decided to get out of the SBC. The SBC is most certainly not too narrow. Quite obviously, it's not narrow enough.

Wade Burleson said...

Marvin

See Rex's comment above.

Wade

PC said...

Pastor Wade,

If I may mention a contemporary, political similarity:

Politically conservative Christians often charge that political liberalism uses the Judicial System to “make laws” outside the legislative branch and without any approval from the voters.

Many of these same politically conservative Christians (see the “Justice Sundays”) appear to fully support a similar strategy when used in the SBC with the trustee system.

Nic Gold

Christiane said...

Regarding concerns over the religion of Dinesh D'Souza, there is this to think about:

The following is from an interview of D'Souza by Heidi Benson, staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, concerning his book on Christianity:

Q: What religion do you practice?

A: I'm a Catholic by background. I was raised in Goa, a part of India that was visited by Portuguese missionaries a few hundred years ago, which explains my last name.

My wife, Dixie, is evangelical Christian. We met in the Reagan White House, when she was a student intern. We're members of the Horizon Christian Fellowship Church.

Dixie was born in Louisiana and grew up in San Diego. The issue of me being Catholic and her being Protestant made her parents a little grumpy, but the fact that I was Indian was a nonissue."



So, those who are concerned about D'Souza can relax. He is an 'ex-Catholic' who has become a member of an evangelical Church along with his wife.
And his politics are most definitely conservative right-wing.

His own definition of himself as a 'poorly-practicing Catholic' IS confusing to non-Catholics and has contributed to the confusion of many others in the media about his beliefs.

Caritas Christi,
L's

Denn said...

Kev,

Some seem upset that you seem to be implying that women cannot be lazy or power-hungry. Did you mean to insult them like that?

linda said...

Excellent post!

I'm one of those that left because of BFM2000. And yes, I was publically called a heretic for doing so by my former pastor.

He just didn't get it: I'm not liberal. I tend to be a comp woman. But I cherish the long held Baptist teaching of soul competency. No creed is going to come between my soul and Christ. No pastor will be allowed to do so.

I guess he just did not trust the Holy Spirit to do HIS job.

Marvin Merriweather said...

What's the problem with the BF&M? It seems to be broad enough to include several theological persuasions while not budging on Christ as the only way to heaven and on salvation by grace alone through faith alone. It may not allow room for non-inerrantists, but overall the statement of faith is a good one in my opinion.

Is it okay to cooperate in missions with Muslims, Hindus, or Buddhists? Catholics or orthodox Jews? Where does one draw the line?

I am all for cooperation, but Richards doesn't seem to justify this public renouncement. His statement that "we've been called to contrast you" rings as a statement of respectful restraint, NOT a call to war.

In any case, I've got a list of Calvinists on my October blog post that could use some public retribution. How about a blog post about intolerant idiots, Wade?

Debbie Kaufman said...

I guess he just did not trust the Holy Spirit to do HIS job

And this, I believe, is the whole heart of the matter.

Thy Peace said...

Interesting discussions ...

Ministry of Reconciliation [Debbie Kaufman] > Things Not Brought Out When Glorifying The Conservative Resurgence Pt. 2: Truth Or Fiction, Chronological Timeline Of The Takeover [November 6, 2009].

Ministry of Reconciliation [Debbie Kaufman] > Things That Are Not Brought Out When Glorifying The Conservative Resurgence [November 3, 2009].

Lydia said...

Some seem upset that you seem to be implying that women cannot be lazy or power-hungry. Did you mean to insult them like that?

Mon Nov 09, 02:03:00 PM 2009

I agree! Well, Kev....? Did you mean to imply there are no lazy SBC women? (It does not matter if they are power hungry since they can only have power through their celebrity husbands, anyway)

:o)

Lydia said...

I guess he just did not trust the Holy Spirit to do HIS job

And this, I believe, is the whole heart of the matter.

Mon Nov 09, 02:39:00 PM 2009

I second that

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Now, now ladies...

You should know me by now. Of course I know that [some] women in the SBC are lazy power mongers, it’s just that they have mastered those arts THROUGH their gossiping--so it goes without saying.

:)

Ed Goodman said...

The fact that we bitterly discuss WHAT'S WRONG with our convention in such pessimistic tones is why many upbeat, positive people stay away from us at all costs!

And then we pursue evangelistic efforts with minimal success. I just wish, at some point, that I could run across a blog that made me laugh or smile.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"And then we pursue evangelistic efforts with minimal success."

-You got a mouse in your pocket my good Ed man?

-Define success? I will rejoice if I could but attain minimal success along with my good friends of this blog. In reality the works that we have each attained are nothing more than maximum failure—except for the grace of God on our behalf.

-Finally, you post appeared to slam everyone on this blog. Wade's blog is a ministry of tremendous wealth for those of the Body who read and engage in a healthy manner. If nothing else it is a master's level class in communication. Communication will help each of us if we are to someday attain "minimal success.

K

Ed Goodman said...

Nothing wrong with communication, Kevin. I wish to "slam" no one, but rather to express my disappointment with the major elements of pessimism I encounter on blogs of all sorts. In any case, I agree that Wade's blog is more thought-provoking than many others. However, I find very little love expressed on blogs!

Darby Livingston said...

"I just wish, at some point, that I could run across a blog that made me laugh or smile."

Quit being so close-minded. I bet Joe Blackmon laughs every day at this blog. :)

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Goodman said...

You're right, Darby...Joe probably does laugh often. I do, too - it's therapeutic. ;-)

Tim G said...

Wade,
Simple observation and then question:

You seem to have re-entered SBC politics; so is it true that you are to be nominated as Prez of BGCT? Just asking. Seems to be the rumor of the day in many circles.

Rex Ray said...

Marvin,
The worst problem with the BFM is the way it was used by making it a creed. Demanding missionaries to sign a man-made paper changed them into employees.

No longer were missionaries accountable to the Holy Spirit since those in power didn’t trust Him to do His job.

Since the BFM does not mention ‘inerrancy’, why do you say it may not allow room for non-inerrantists?

You’re saying Richards’ statement “we’ve been called to contrast you” rings as a statement of respectful restraint, NOT a call to war.”

Richards and Seaborn statements were reported together. Seaborn saying, “Every one of us is a warrior… anywhere he thought was ungodly.”

And Richards saying, “Those who depart theologically [doesn’t believe like us?] will be identified [will they put 666 on our heads?] and called to repent” {and if we fail to repent, will they burn us at the stake?]

Their words don’t sound like “Love your brother as I have loved you.”

Their Plumbline actions of slander and lies don’t sound like it either.

Rex Ray said...

Marvin,
While you’re working on a reply :), I’ll ask a few more questions:

1. What date did fundamentalists start the ‘inerrancy business’?

I believe it was the early 1900’s.

3. Has the Gospel spread better with inerrancy or without inerrancy? Hint: Why is there a need for cooperation today?

4. Could it be because those in control consider those who will not accept inerrancy are considered as Seaborn said “… anywhere he thought was ungodly”?

5. I mean if one does not accept EVERY word in the Bible as true, they are considered a non-Bible believer, and why would Christians cooperate with people like that?

6. If inerrantists wrote the 1925 BFM, would it have read: ‘We believe the Bible has…truth, without any error for its matter’? (I’ll bet that’s the way your read it.)

7. The question is why does the 1925, 1968, and 2000 BFM’s read: “We believe the Bible has…truth, without any mixture of error for its matter”?

I believe the answer is because they were written by non-inerrantists who believe the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue.

That’s the way an inerrantist, Michael Whitehead, presiding lawyer for the SBC, explained it. He also said, “That’s why we added, “and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

8. Does a non-inerrantists accept “all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy”?

I believe he does because all Scripture is from God who cannot tell a lie, but the lies, ignorance, errors, and stupidity is not Scripture but is untruth that is recorded in the Bible.

9. Marvin, if you go by the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy as explained on page nine, do you see “illusions” where I see lies, ignorance, errors, and stupidity?

The bottom line is I believe due to confusion, angry, division, non-cooperation, rejection, and heartache that ‘inerrancy’ has caused, I pray ‘inerrancy’ would go back where it came from…the smiling lips of the devil.

Joe Blackmon said...

Rex Ray,

Thank you for being the poster child that proves why the CR was needed and that the CR obviously did not go far enough.

Tom Parker said...

Joe Blackmon:

You said to Rex Ray--"Rex Ray,

Thank you for being the poster child that proves why the CR was needed and that the CR obviously did not go far enough."

Do you ever realize when you post such things as above on a Christian Blog you are showing a side of Christians lost people do not need to be seeing? You are also showing almost a worship of the CR and I really do not believe you want to be doing that.

Also, please remind me the others thatbelong to a SB church if you belong to a SB church and why anything that goes on in the SB is of any consequence to you.

Joe Blackmon said...

Well, not belonging to an SB church doesn't mean that I don't love the SBC. I mean, there's a part of me that'll always want to skip the third verse of every hymn, eat fried chicken, and be tempted to want to vote the preacher out. As to why anything that happens in an SB church matters to me, there are people who will hear things like what Rex Ray has said and be confused or misled. I believe error should always be opposed wherever it is found.

John Daly said...

I used to live across the street from a Norman Rockwell museum in my hometown of Rutland, Vermont. And I believe I read one day where Mr. Rockwell said: "Everything you do is a reflection of you." How I treat my wife, kids, co-workers, and you guys on this blog reflects not only on me, but on the One who I say I believe in. I desire to live in such a manner that my life requires a Gospel explanation and unfortunately the desire doesn't always translate to action…but we press on still.

DC said...

As an "association" guy... let me throw this out.

I didn't see Wade saying anything like this in his post, but I have heard others say something to the effect that younger pastors and leaders just aren't into cooperation and partnership.

I see just the opposite. I meet with church planters in the St. Louis metro area monthly. Between our last two meetings, we have had about thirty guys attend representing about twenty different plants. Most of these plants are in our network. Some planters/potential planters are men from the metro area or surrounding towns that hold unwaveringly to the BF&M guys who are not officially part of the association but are considering it.

Yesterday for example, we met and there was great energy and spirit in the room. Bob Werner, now 77 years old, did a great job leading a discussion among men in their 20's and 30's on the importance of good preaching in a church be it plant or exisiting church.

These guys WANT to partner with other plants and existing churches. They want to work together, they want to share together, and pray together.

The great threat to SBC mission endeavors is NOT a departure from cooperation; the threat IS what denominational mission agencies have been led toward by their leaders and trustees...the narrowed set of parameters for cooperation.

There is a lot of great networking and cooperation going on out there; guys are just going where they are welcome.

Darren Casper
www.plantstlouis.com

Darby Livingston said...

"As to why anything that happens in an SB church matters to me, there are people who will hear things like what Rex Ray has said and be confused or misled. I believe error should always be opposed wherever it is found."

Which is why Joe also comments on Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, Independent Baptist, Wesleyan, Unitarian, Mormon, Pentecostal, Brethren, Congregational Christian,Jehovah's Witnesses, and Scientology blogs.

WTJeff said...

Tim G.,

Since I'm a resident of Texas and know the current BGCT president, let me say your scenario is really far fetched at this point. First of all, Emmanuel Enid is not a member of the BGCT. Since the BGCT annual meeting is next Monday, it's beyond a stretch to think they could gain membership and run someone for prez. Not to mention, the current president is very popular, bridges many of the divides between the BGCT and SBC effectively, and has been an outstanding ambassador for Hope 2010.

I'm not sure where these rumors come from, but a little fact checking shows they are baseless..

Rex Ray said...

Joe Blackmon,
If people are confused and misled by me, why don’t you tell them WHY I’m wrong?

By not proving I’m wrong, people may think you can’t and your criticism only proves what I said is true.

Daniel said...

Wade,

You seem to have quite a few problems with the SBC. I'm reminded of Ben Cole, who had similar problems and left. Are you planning to stay?

Joe Blackmon said...

Rex

There have been volumes of books, tons of books, and hours of sermons produced by people who have fogotten more about the Bible than I'll ever know. I don't have to reinvent the wheel. The doctrine of inerrancy does not rest on my rather pudgy shoulders. I'm content to know that people of your theological stripe were marginalized in the Conservative Resurrgence and that you are still denied a seat at the adults table.

Tom Parker said...

Joe B:

You are one hateful person!! Rex Ray has spent many of years in SBC life and you are not even a member of a SBC church. How dare you speak to him like you did.

You should be ashamed but that doesn't seem to be a part of your character.

linda said...

Just an aside: to reject BFM2000 is not to reject inerrancy or any point made in that document.

It may be simply the old Baptist habit of rejecting creedalism.

Darby Livingston said...

I agree with Joe on the issue of inerrancy. It is essential. Once it goes, so goes the Christian faith with it, because the inspired chronicle of redemptive history that is our Bible is the foundation and anchor of our faith. As I just preached this week, if the Bible is just a book that may or may not be true, may or may not be effectual, may or may not be inspired, I'm going back to partying until I die. I won't sacrifice my life for Santa Claus and I won't sacrifice it for any other fairy tale either.

I suggest reading "Ancient Word, Changing Worlds" by Stephen Nichols and Eric Brandt for basic insight into this issue.

Joe Blackmon said...

Darby

Found that book on Google books. I'm reading it right now because I'm broke. Heck of a good read. Refutes Rex Ray's position and those of his theological stripe quite nicely.

Scott said...

Joe,

You can't say you love something and then not be a part of it.

How can you say you love the SBC yet actively participate in a non-SBC church?

That's akin to saying: I love my wife, but I sleep over at my friend's house.

Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Joe Blackmon said...

Really?? I disagree. I love friends but I don't sleep over at their houses. I love churches I've been in during my life, but when I moved I left those churches. Thank you for your observation, though.

Christiane said...

from St. Matthew, Chapt.7

"15 ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.

21 ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” 23 Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.”

24 ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.
26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!’
28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching,

29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. "


Was it 'a deed of power in His Name' that caused so much harm to Dr. Klouda?

And who was it who 'prophesied in His Name and made the BF&M2K a way to cast out the 77 missionaries from their God-called service'? Were the missionaries demonized because they would not sign?

People can call the Bible 'inerrant', as though the word "Holy" were not enough.
But can calling the Bible 'inerrant' suddenly make their actions Christian?
What is it that the treatment of Sherri Klouda, her family, and the missionaries, bears witness to?

On the Day of the Lord, will the 'inerrant' Bible be held up as the reason for the evils done to these innocent people?
On the Day of the Lord, can the perpetrators hide their deeds behind a Bible, when they must answer for their actions in the Presence of the LIVING Word?

Dr. Klouda and the 77 missionaries were forced to partake of the 'fruit' of the doctrine of 'inerrancy' in the hands of the CR. They can give witness as to its bitterness.

Pax Christi, L's

Rex Ray said...

Darby,
You’re saying ‘inerrancy’ is essential reminds me of the ‘first BFM’ sent to the Gentiles saying, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit…these essentials:” (Acts 15:28 NAS)

Paul spent the rest of his life saying ‘food laws’ had nothing to do with salvation.

The early Christian Jews felt they were ‘better’ than the Christian Gentiles.

Do you feel the same way about the old conventions of Virginia and Texas that will not accept ‘inerrancy’ or the 2000 BFM?

Maybe that’s the reason there’s a problem with ‘cooperation’ in the SBC. They take our money but as Joe Blackmon described the situation very well, “…you are still denied a seat at the adults table.”

Wonder how Christianity survived 1900 years without ‘inerrancy’?

If you could party until you died after being saved, then you are as a hog returning to his wallow or a dog to his vomit.


Christiane,
Very well said.

Darby Livingston said...

Rex,

Here's how I'm hearing you: You're suggesting that because "Paul spent the rest of his life saying ‘food laws’ had nothing to do with salvation" that somehow the texts dealing with food laws were in error. Is that what you're saying?

That might be where we differ if that's what you're saying. When you see a person err about a biblical issue, you blame the Bible. When I see a person err about a biblical issue, I blame the person.

You also say you "Wonder how Christianity survived 1900 years without ‘inerrancy’?"

Have you ever stopped to think that maybe inerrancy wasn't an issue before the mid-1800's because it was also assumed and never systematically attacked by credible intellects before then? The "battle for inerrancy" didn't happen in a vacuum. It happened because doctors of theology started ripping the Bible to shreds in order to appease Darwinian-type modernist thinkers.

You can't rewrite history to make people think that for 1900 years Christians were happy not believing in inerrancy when along came these mean-spirited fundamentalists who demanded that everyone start believing in inerrancy.

Inerrancy was the default position and the liberals wandered from it. It's not the other way around.

Finally, if I could party till I die after being saved, I agree with you that it's returning to the vomit ONLY IF the Bible isn't wrong about the whole being saved thing. If the Bible is wrong about the whole being saved thing, then we are like Paul who said we are most to be pitied if it all turns out to be a fairy tale.

Joe Blackmon said...

Do you feel the same way about the old conventions of Virginia and Texas that will not accept ‘inerrancy’ or the 2000 BFM?

Well, I do consider those two conventions second class. If they ever decide to repent of their unbiblical beliefs that they cling to so tightly because, in their mind, they represent their oh so precious "Baptist heritage" then they should be allowed a voice. Until then, they're getting much better than they deserve.

Kerygma said...

I knew I had to leave the SBC when I heard the so-called moderates saying, "Let's go back to 1979" and the so-called conservatives saying, "Let's go back to 1959." No one appeared to be concerned about the future. When they stopped having a place to go forward to, they lost me.

Marvin Merriweather said...

Rex Ray,

I think you prove Ed Goodman's statement. People like you are why lost people stay away from our churches.

Scott said...

Joe,

So you consider Christians who disagree with you to be second class...

Yep. Thanks for personifying the Conservative Resurgence for me.

Tim G said...

WT,
Are you sure Emman is not giving to the BGCT? Just asking and actually was simply putting the question out there for it was being raised by people in the BGCT.

WTJeff said...

Tim,

Wow. Not sure who you're talking to but none of the guys I know have heard such a rumor. The last giving statement I saw was in Sept. and didn't list Emmanuel...and 11th hour candidates haven't fared so well in recent history. Well, there has only been one this decade and he got about 20% of the vote. Given the popularity of the current president and given the job hes doing, I just don't see it happening.

Tim G said...

WTJeff,
I could not see it happen either but was curious the more I heard. I had not been able to find the giving records and thus was/is somewhat skeptical.

The rumor has been floating for over 6 months.

Tom Parker said...

Tim G:

What would be your interest in this 6 month rumor?

Pastor Bobby T said...

Good post. It is my humble opinion that a few "theological idiots" and/or "denominational pundits" and/or "spiritual egomaniacs" decided once upon a time (going back to late 70's thru the 90's for sure and still even today to some extent) to throw away the baby with the bath water. It is like the story about the great castle that was made of beautiful stone. The people living in the castle became fearful of the supposed enemy that they said lurked outside the castle.

The enemy seemed to be threatening, or at least some of the paranoid idiots in the castle thought so. They convinced many others of this supposed enemy at least, and it became obvious over time that the castle dwellers thought more of themselves than anything else. So, what did they do? They went way over board to protect themselves! How did they do it? What did they do?Well, they decided to build a stone wall AROUND the castle to protect it from this supposed enemy. But, due to a lack of available stones in the surrounding fields which they could use to build a wall, they did what they felt necessary to build the protective wall ... they gradually tore down the castle section by section and used the stones to build the wall! HA! Well, after a certain amount of time, the wall was completed. But, at what cost? Well, the castle was totally dismantled and the stones used to build the wall they just had to have! LOL!

Yes, they got the desired wall around the castle, but they tore down the most important item they had to build it. They totally dismantled and tore down the castle to build the stone wall. So, now they had nothing of real value left.

Does this sound familiar? It is what I think the spiritual idiots I referred to above did. Here is they did in a nutshell:

1) They tore down the castle (the SBC)
2) To build a wall (their paranoid fundamentalist ways)
3) To keep out the enemy (what they named the moderates and a few other choice names).
4) And now what is left is a sad shell of what we once had (the seemingly dying SBC and all that makes it up).

** Folks, this is serious stuff if you still want a strong denomination or hope the SBC can be as strong as it was. It is not going to be for a long time, if ever! Maybe it is not God's plan to have a big denomination like the SBC any longer. Only the SAVIOR really knows.

But, let's give "credit" where "credit" is due (I mention "credit" totally tongue-in-cheek) as it is NOT a good thing to be among those who tore down the castle to build the wall. Yes, they got their wall, but look what they destroyed to get it.

Keep praying, as God is out only hope.
Adios

Marvin Merriweather said...

I doubt the theological Pharisees (read: Calvinists) who are engaging in their own "resurgence" will do much better at loving the unlovable than the agenda-driven Paige Patterson did. The way Christian people treat one another I want nothing to do with them...I hang out with pot smokers and coke dealers who are nicer than church folks. And they're more generous, too.

Rex Ray said...

Darby,
I’m saying as I said before, the Bible contains ‘untruth’, and every word in the Bible is NOT true.

It’s not the Bible that made a mistake in recording what was said. You’re right in blaming the person.

A person said he killed King Saul, but he was lying. My uncle would argue all day the man killed Saul… “It’s in the Bible! Don’t you believe the Bible?!”

It’s the same with Mark and Luke saying the man’s daughter was near death (Mark 5:13 Luke 8:42) while (Matthew 9:18) said. “My daughter is even now dead.”

I don’t blame the Bible; I blame Matthew for not getting the account straight. (Holman changed the translation of Matthew to agree with Mark and Luke.)

Back to James saying food laws were essential.

The subject of the church counsel was how were Gentiles saved? I’ll call that ‘Apples’. Peter answered the question correctly.

James changed the subject to ‘Oranges’ which was ‘How would Christian Gentiles be accepted by Christian Jews in order to have fellowship or was it cooperation :)?

Food laws and ‘doing good law’ were essential for Jews to eat with anyone.

Since Peter’s answer (Apples) was omitted from the BFM to the Gentiles, James’ Oranges were accepted as Apples by Christian Pharisees and Gentiles. That’s why Paul got so frustrated with Gentiles in Galatians.

“The battle for inerrancy” known as ‘the battle for the Bible’ wasn’t because there were hundreds of “doctors of theology started ripping the Bible to shreds.”

Paige Patterson had a list of these guys and they could all fit in one Volkswagen.

Long time missionary, Ron West gives his thoughts that I’ll print next.

Rex Ray said...

Darby,
Here’s what Ron West wrote on Wade’s blog Fri Dec 26, 10:07:00 AM 2008

Truth of Conservative Resurgence (CR)
I have lived in a country where the centralized authority was similar to that in Russia. There was a centralized authority that controlled everything, especially information. I have thought several times of some similarities with that authoritarian control and what we have seen in our convention. For example, one of the priorities for Pressler and his followers was to take control of the Baptist Press.

As far as the “nationwide organization of loyalists that was prepared to swat down those who challenge the ruling party,” in my home state of Arkansas at one time there was a network of loyalists with at least one in each association assigned to work with the pastors and one with the lay people. Then there was a district leader over several associations to receive the reports from the associational organizer. The district leader then reported to the state leaders. These men in the association would report names of those who could be counted on to be loyal to the CR organization and those who were not on board. From this report it was decided who was worthy to serve on SBC trustee boards and other convention appointed positions. It also allowed them to know who to keep off boards and to be prepared to call them liberals if necessary. They also let people know who they were to vote for and get out the vote at the state and national conventions.

You did not even have to be a dissenter to be considered dangerous. If you were not actively supporting the CR organization and calling those outside the organization liberals, you were under suspicion for not being sufficiently conservative.

The greatest sin would be to support an SBC presidential candidate not endorsed by the CR leadership. For example, Winfred Moore and Richard Jackson were strong theological conservatives who would have appointed conservatives to positions of responsibility in our convention. However, if you dared to vote for either of these men you were a disgrace to the CR organization. That is why I have always said, even though for some individuals the issue may have been theology, but for the CR organization the issue has always been power and control.
Fri Dec 26, 10:07:00 AM 2008

Rex Ray said...

Marvin Merriweather,
Let’s see – I asked you 9 questions and you’re only reply was: “People like you are why lost people stay away from our churches.”

Sorry you feel that way.

Rex Ray said...

Pastor Bobby T,
Enjoyed your castle – wall story. The sad part about the story is it’s all too true.

I might add the wall they built made them prisoners within.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

I saw this also: "“People like you are why lost people stay away from our churches.”

My goodness. 'Our churches'
I suppose we have come a long way from the times that people considered a Church as the 'House of the Lord'.
I wonder if the man who wrote this knows that you have worked with your own hands to build churches in foreign lands?
I imagine you ARE the reason that lost people in those lands have a church to come to.
The Lord will honor you for helping them, Rex. God Bless you.


I am praying for you and for Belle,
Be peaceful,
L's

Tim G said...

Tom,
Not much interest at all other than the fact that I keep hearing it. Truly an interesting subject if it were true just as anyone elected to an SBC post is an interesting subject.

Why do you ask?

Christiane said...

A teaching from the Russian Orthodox Christians:

" . . . if God bears with us while we are sinners and commit offences against Him, how much more is it right that we should bear with each other? "

Are we more 'proud' in our human weakness than we know? If our perfect Lord has patience and loving-kindness towards us 'while we were still sinners', how is it that we can be 'better than Him' to exclude from 'our midst' the very ones who need Him most?

Does our pride overwhelm our desire to be 'Christian', that we become so much less humane in our desire to be 'pure in doctrine'?

If we want to follow Christ, we must lay down our pride and accept His yoke: then the rejected 'others' will become objects of our love and compassion and the objects of our caring, in the Name of the Lord Christ.

Once we set down our pride, we will know that we are 'no better' than they, who are also made in the image of God, and deserving of the dignity and respect and the love we are asked by Him to give to any person.

Peace of Christ,
L's

Gene S said...

Man alive--this discussion is getting vicious--mostly on the part of the conservative participants.

Will you ever stop being mean?

Let's go back to 1979 when all this mess started. I was there and saw it with my own eyes. The basic observation was busloads of people coming up to the door, disgorging hundreds who flushed through the registration lines violating multiple rules giving no more than 10 messengers to any one church.

They departed with smiles on faces and tossing ballot packets all over the floor. They had accomplished their purpose while Patterson and Pressler smiled from their Skybox! They had won--and kept winning!

What troubles me is what was going on in the display area as we saw the viability of Bold Mission Thrust: that by the year 2000 every person on earth might, at least, hear the Gospel. This plan had been in the making for the same years Pressler / Patterson were making their takeover plan.

We had new satellite technology and Baptist TelNet which could broadcast that Gospel literally to everyone with a TV receiver on this planet. Matthew 28:19-20 could, for the first time, become a reality!

Now it is 30 years later and we are admitting to declining converts and declining giving. 600 are about to be deleted from our IMB ranks.

How much was heard about Bold Mission Thrust after 1979 and how much more was the total talk of Conservative Resurgence?

It was accompanied by massive firings in seminary and mission field ranks. It had more rumor than fact associated with it. I personally know the heads attached to the necks Pressler referred to in his statement: "We are going for the jugular!" None that I know could be honestly classified as "liberal."

I know whereof I speak because I was President of the Emory University BSU the year Altizer, et. al., declared "God Is Dead." Now, that could qualify as "liberal" and not one professor at SETBS who I knew and studied under was anywhere close to "liberal" as I attended the 3 years after Altizer did his thing.

In my mind, Satan smiled that day in 1979 and the skulldugery / back room politics-and-meetings leading up to the "great takeover." The SBC was about to do great things with proclaiming the Gospel---now they are fighting like cats and dogs! They continue to do so to this day--and are doing it in this blog!

Listen, God does not bless a mess! As long as we make a mess churches will continue to leave Baptist off their name and fail to support what used to truely be a Cooperative Program.

How can I say it more clearly???

Christiane said...

Hello GENE S.

It's me, L's
I'm in the dog house for having raised a 'fire storm' over at Debbie Kaufman's website. I suggested that those who perpetrated harm on missionaries and others should go to their victims to seek a Christian reconciliation.
I suggested that it might be in accordance with the ancient ways of the early Christians to make peace with one another before coming to the Table of the Lord.
I am horrified at what happened after I did that, because the people whose nerves I touched turned on Debbie, and I am heart-broken. All she ever tried to do was to be good to everyone who came to her blog, and now she has been attacked. This Advent Season, I will deeply repent of my thoughtlessness and the pain it has caused.
I will never believe that it 'doesn't matter now' what happened to those missionaries. They were victims of 'friendly fire' (?) and were left wounded on the CR battlefield, by their Christian brothers who claimed a strange 'victory'. I think you are right about 'Satan smiling'.
I don't understand why the missionaries 'had to be' harmed, and I never will. I don't understand the treatment of Dr. Klouda and the strange perverted 'biblical gospel' that allows men to be so 'mean-spirited' and inhumane to a Christian woman. Very, very painful to see. And incomprehensible.

Pax Christi,
L's

Gene S said...

L's--

I am 63 so I have quite a few stories from real life to share.

My good friend, Henry, told me of his religious--er, super-religious aunt. She would have joined right up with the CR group. She loved to be critical and to "put people in their place."

As she lay on her deathbed with my friend in the room he told of her last minutes on this earth. She lay there with a peaceful smile on her face and mumbled, "They're coming, They're coming, They're coming for me. They're getting closer to carry me home."

As she drew closer to her final breath she raised up on her elbows and screamed when he thought it impossible: "OH NO--the wrong ones!!!!" With that, she fell back dead.

Now, for all those who the little girl prayed, "Please make all good people nice," put that in your pipe and smoke it for a long while.

Jesus was quite clear in Matthew 23 about the righteous Pharasees being nothing more than whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones.

I personally know missionaries and seminary professors who were nothing but intelligent believers whose jugular veins were cut by the CR bunch with a righteous smile on their face. Too many of them were women--now told at Ridgecrest that God can't use women in places of ordaination.

God help their souls!

God bless you for telling the truth with the sweet spirit of a women who knows God and love!