In the official 'Book of Reports' of the Southern Baptist Convention, received by every Southern Baptist who registers as a messenger for the SBC 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland, there are 'official' reports from the various entities of the SBC. I spent the afternoon reading all the reports and the one from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary struck me as peculiar, odd, and quite strange. Before I comment on what struck me as odd about the report, let me give it to you in toto from paragraph 2 through paragraph 4, highlighting the bizarre language in bold:
"Southern Baptists have a seminary in Fort Worth, Texas that is determined to recover the Anabaptist and New Testament vision. While appreciating the compromised theology of the Reformers, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary refuses to truncate the everlasting gospel. Confident with the Anabaptists that we can say to every man, "God loves you individually and died for your sins," Southwestern presses on in the intensity of a campaign to get the good news of salvation in Christ to all seven billion on this globe. While allowing no discrimination against our Reformed cousins who come to us, we continue to sound the trumpet of leading people to Christ, baptizing them by immersion in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and gathering them into free churches with congregational governments.
To that end, this year Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted a Homemaking Conference that drew more than a thousand women. This continues our accentuation on biblical gender roles and on the critical importance of the home in the plan and purpose of God. Our biblical homemaking degree is growing and exercising increasing influence."
(1). "the compromised theology of the Reformers" - if you are a Calvinist in the SBC, you are a 'compromised' Christian, believing a 'compromised' theology.
(2). "to truncate the everlasting gospel" - any teaching of the gospel that is contrary to what they teach at Southwestern is a 'truncated' gospel because they possess the truth.
(3). "against our Reformed cousins" - if you believe differently than we do on the subject of soteriology, then you are not even our brothers, you are our cousins. Even Vatican II did not stoop to separate from Muslims and Jews with the language of 'cousins.' Now we have Southern Baptists separating from other Southern Baptists by calling those who disagree 'cousins' and not 'brothers.'
(4). "congregational governments" - if you are in a church with 'elders' or another form of government than 'congregational,' you better prepare yourself to defend why you believe you are not in violation of the convention wide adopted confession of faith.
(5). "hosted a Homemaking Conference" - not only will we accept Muslims, we will teach Muslim women how to cook.
(6). "our accentuation on biblical gender roles" - Translation: Women, stay at home and take care of your man. We will teach you how.
(7). "the critical importance of the home in the plan and purpose of God" - if you work outside the home, woman, you are violating the will of God.
(8). "Our biblical homemaking degree is growing and exercising increasing influence." We are excited to teach women how to sew, cook, and care for the home. Forget training men and women to study the Scriptures, preach the gospel, and share Christ around the world; we are excited that our homemaking program is growing.
Conclusion: The fact that there are very few voices registering their opposition to the continuing downgrade of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary makes me wonder if the Southern Baptist Convention has so radically changed that people no longer think for themselves, or it is possibly that I am so out of lockstep with who the SBC has become that I no longer should participate in the SBC.
Honestly, this SWBTS report is bizarre. Nothing is said of accepting practicing Muslims, but the seminary toots its horn about keeping women in their 'God-given role' of homemaking, and has no problem 'separating' from fellow Southern Baptist 'cousins' who believe differently about salvation than they. The slide toward neo-fundamentalism continues unabated.