Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Southern Baptists reject (Broadway Baptist) Church

This is from Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn's "Under God" feature in The Washington Post:

Southern Baptists Reject Church
The slowly shrinking Southern Baptist Convention voted on Tuesday to sever 125-year-old ties with a Texas church that allowed homosexual members to have their photos in the church directory.

The overwhelming majority of Southern Baptist church directories have photos of gays and lesbians. Ours is apparently the first one that anyone noticed. Note to Broadway Baptist Church members: Save your church directory ! I get a feeling it will be a collectible, just like Rosa Parks' bus seat.

Messengers (delegates) to the SBC's annual meeting voted overwhelmingly to disassociate from Forth Worth's Broadway Baptist Church, following an executive committee ruling Monday that the congregation "failed to establish its compliance" with the SBC rules that ban churches that "act to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior."

I'm delighted with this decision, but isn't "failure to establish compliance" kind of like "guilty until proven innocent" ? Just wondering.

According to the Associated Baptist Press, "it was the first time the SBC has ejected a church simply because denominational officials perceive that the congregation is in violation of a policy prohibiting affiliation with pro-gay churches."

(Sigh....) Once again, Broadway Baptist is not pro-gay. It isn't pro-straight. It's pro-tolerance, pro-ministry, and pro-King Ranch Casserole.

Since doctrinal conservatives took control of the Southern Baptist Convention in the early 1980s, the association has been getting smaller and more exclusive, at various times rejecting Baptist liberals and moderates, women clergy, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Mormons and Muslims and Jews, public schools and Walt Disney, and, in 1993, churches that are welcoming and affirming of gays.

Somewhere my friend Dr Ralph is gleefully rubbing his hands together and laughing. I now have something in common with Clinton, Carter, Mitt Romney, Osama Bin Laden, Rahm Emmanuel, and the public school system. We've all been condemned by the Southern Baptist Convention.

This year, for the fourth year in a row, Southern Baptist churches baptized fewer people than last year. The number of annual baptisms per church member -- a key indicator of church growth -- has dropped sharply in the past 50 years. Southern Baptists baptized one person for every 19 church members in 1950, a ratio that dropped to 1 baptism for every 47 church members in 2008. in Salt Lake City where th
I've been reading more and more about the Mormon concept of Baptism For The Dead. They do a ceremony at the temple in Salt Lake City where they baptize people as stand-ins for people who have already died. I don't know if it's effective, but it would help get the numbers back up.

Two years ago, then-SBC president Frank Page said the declining numbers can be blamed, in part, on a perception that Baptists are "mean-spirited, hurtful and angry people" and that the denomination has been known too much in recent years for "what we're against" than "what we're for," Page said.


But....but....but....why would anyone ever think that?

"Our culture is increasingly antagonistic and sometimes adverse to a conversation about a faith in Christ. Sometimes that's our fault because we have not always presented a winsome Christian life that would engender trust and a desire on the part of many people to engage in a conversation on the Gospel," he said.

Gandhi said it better, and without any preacher-speak: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

"All Southern Baptists should recommit to a life of loving people and ministering to people without strings attached so people will be more open to hearing the Gospel message."
That's apparently the approach Broadway Baptist tried to take in 2007, when gay couples who were attending Broadway asked to have their portraits in the church directory. Rather than reject the request, the congregation voted to publish a directory with candid snapshots and group shots rather than with traditional individual or family photos.

That was just a compromise to keep the Southern Baptists in Nashville from running for the smelling salts and ammonia capsules in a homophobic panic. Now that they've kicked us out, in the next directory I want to be photographed with the cast and crew of "A Chorus Line".

"We are disappointed with the decision of the Southern Baptist Convention," said Kathy Madeja, the church's deacon chair, in a statement released shortly after Tuesday's vote. "Our mission at Broadway is and will continue to be consistent with the SBC's stated enterprise of reaching the world for Christ....

The Aggie and I are driving up I-35 toward Fort Worth as I'm writing this. The Aggie and I are fully agreed on this issue: Kathy Madeja is a great lady, a great deacon chair, and she has put up with more crap in the last two years than anyone should ever have to tolerate. Kathy is the best argument against the ridiculous prohibitions against female deacons in Southern Baptist churches.

"We do not believe Broadway has taken any action which would justify its being deemed not in friendly cooperation with the SBC. It is unfortunate that the Southern Baptist Convention decided otherwise and has severed its affiliation with Broadway Baptist Church."

Yeah, especially since we were the ones giving THEM money !

Broadway might not be the only Southern Baptist congregation facing an ouster this week. Influential Southern Baptist pastor and blogger Wade Burleson predicts that the Convention also will be asked to disassociate from First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga., which recently called a woman to be its lead pastor. The SBC's Faith and Message, revised in 2000, clearly states that "the office of pastor is limited to men."

Go back to the first paragraphs about declining membership. Read them carefully. How many non-Christians do you know who would consider an organization that discriminates against women? Charlie Johnson, Broadway's interim pastor, predicts that women are going to dominate ministerial positions in the next 50 years. Why? 1) women are good at it, and 2) there's going to be a shortage of applicants. Charlie speaks the truth.

"The world may not understand our firm view on homosexuality. So be it," Burleson wrote. "But when half of conservative evangelical Christianity doesn't understand why we would disassociate from churches that call women as pastors, then we lose as a Convention. Let's debate the women in ministry issue. Let's disagree with one another amicably. But for heaven's sake, let's not make fools of ourselves by equating women preaching the gospel with homosexual sin."

It's a little late for that.

Ok, here's the best quote of the entire piece. This is the zinger, and it's brilliant. If you're drinking Coke or coffee or water, put it down, swallow, and back away from your keyboard.

By the way, the theme for this year's Southern Baptist Convention: "Love Loud: Actions Speak Louder Than Words."

26 comments:

fembuttx said...

I-35 towards Aggie land or I-35 towards the casinos.....Come be a Methodist....

Jason T. Glen said...

Very interesting piece. I was wondering, however, why you did not explain why the SBC believes what they believe about homosexuality. Also, why didn't you spell out the implications of what disassociating from a church means. Does it mean that church is destined for purgatory? Does it mean that church is destined to HELL??? Or, does it mean something less sinister, like not wanting to inadvertently validate a lifestyle inconsistent with a standard Biblical hermeneutic? You cleverly make fun of these people but in so doing you show how shallow you swim in the pool of thought. Try going a little deeper so us racist, sexist, stupid people can keep up with the thoughts you gathered from Derrida, Foucault, and McLaren :)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Fem,
My mother has left the Baptists to join you inside the Wesleyan tent. Don't know if there would be room for all three of us.

Jason T. Glen,
You can hit the Gays And Lesbians tag at the bottom of any of the recent posts, and get the jist of why the SBC believes what they do about homosexuality. But here's another angle....Gays and Lesbians are a minority. Their attractions are bewildering and offensive to heterosexuals. The Bible condemns their behavior. When we go down the buffet of admonitions and prohibitions we find that we are to take up serpents, drink poison, avoid collecting firewood on Sunday if we don't want God to strike us down, go into all nations, avoid blended fabrics, pray silently and privately, avoid shellfish, go through a troublesome cleansing process after coming in contact with anyone who is menstruating, avoid bacon, and take all we have, sell it, and give the proceeds to the poor.
Let's assume that you're trying to get your followers into an "us vs. them" mode. You want your followers scared to death that the kids are going to hell if they don't follow your commands. Are you going to insist that they sell all they've got and give the money to the poor?
Heck no. Who wants a bunch of broke followers?
You're going to turn them against the gays and lesbians. They're not hurting anybody, but they make a great wedge issue. (Plus, we rationalized our way out of all the other commands and prohibitions centuries ago.) I hope this is clear.

There's only one implication of disassociating from Broadway Baptist Church - they won't get any more of our money. I hope this is clear.

Not only is there no such thing as a "standard" Biblical hermeneutic, there's no such thing as a standard Bible. I hate it when people send me off to a website in mid-debate, but this chart shows the variety of books, chapters, volumes and verses quicker than I could ever explain it. What you call "Bible" depends on where you grew up. And I'm not even touching on all the various branches of Christianity that were killed off (literally) in the early years of the church. What we call Orthodoxy is what others call "the faction that won the battles". If the Marcionites, Gnostics, or Pelagians had been allowed to survive and prosper, your world would be a much different place. There's no telling what the Louisville Baptists would be calling heresy.

I don't think that you're a racist if you disagree with me, but I don't see how anyone can read the Old Testament and not see that it's a racist book.

I don't think you're a sexist, but I don't see how anyone can read the letters attributed to Paul, and not see them as sexist.

I don't think you're stupid, but read the books of Numbers and Leviticus and get back to me.

The academic parlor games of Derrida and Foucault make my head hurt. If by Mclaren, you mean Brian McLaren, I can kinda get into his idea that faith generally exists without being grounded in objective truth. That's his way of getting around the difficulties I outlined above.

Most of my thoughts were gathered from Marcus Borg (inspiration and theology), John Shelby Spong (History and spirituality) and Bart Ehrman (pulling everything up by the roots to explain how it grew and evolved. esp. "Jesus, Interrupted")

Thanks for the comments and questions. Hope this helps.

Dr Ralph said...

Jason T Glen: not to presume to speak for my friend the Whited Sepulchre, but if asked, I'd say he didn't initially explain why the SBC believes what they do about homosexuality out of a sense of pity, and a desire not to hold them up to further, much deserved ridicule.

I have no such compunction.

The SBC believes because:

1. They've been taught to fear and mistrust anyone "not like them"
2. Some closeted gay Baptists are filled with self-loathing and think screaming more loudly will deflect suspicion from them
3. Preaching hate attracts the haters and builds a political base
4. They choose to read only the parts of the Bible that supports their prejudices (see 1, 2 and 3)
5. Being anti-gay is an easy way to feel self-righteous as long as 2 doesn't apply.

What does disassociating a church mean? It means on the off-chance someone actually designated funds to the SBC, the SBC would send the check back with a haughty note.

Period.

Jason, I wouldn't presume to make any assumptions about you other than you took exception to the Whited's post. If however, the shoe fits...

WS: rarely do you write something that I can agree with without reservation.

And Broadway *does* make a mean King Ranch casserole.

Kathy Madeja has done an amazing job as deacon chair. I thank God that Broadway, as a congregation, chose to place her in that leadership role.

The Ghandi: that's the money quote in my eyes.

What I feel is not so much glee as a sense of finally jerking a dirty bandage off a long healed wound.

As to gloating that you now have something in common with Jimmy, Bill and Osama -- well, hell, it's no trick to get the Baptists pissed at you. It's easier than getting a club membership to buy beer in dry townships.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Jason, my pastor painted a great analogy one time. He said, churches (like the SBC churches - he wouldn't say that specifically since he's the product of one) "...are creating a 'holy huddle', where all of the 'righteous' all huddle up, with their heads close together where they can whisper and pass judgement more easily. But what they're really doing is turning their backs on the rest of the world, flipping everyone off and telling the world to 'GO TO HELL!' He really said that - and that's why I like him. He tells the truth.

The decrease in church growth is truly telling, with decreases in baptisms (the most revealing statistic in Baptist church growth). And I agree that previous doctrinal issues have been rationalized away as modern life finally was catching up with SBC churces... But the gay issue is an easy one to keep going since homosexuality is a sin that most guys find distasteful (no pun intended) and it's easier to keep out people when you find their 'sin' unappealing vs. kick out big tithing divorcees, or people who like dancing, or drink scotch, or cheat on taxes...

But again, like Dr. Ralph says...maybe some Baptist Pastors doth protest too much...

Jason T. Glen said...

Great responses guys. I appreciate the banter. WS...I should have read more of your blog before commenting...but I am tired of bloggers assaulting conservative or liberal ideas with sarcasm rather than with substantive thought. If you want to throw some sarcasm into your substantive thought then great...just be gracious when doing so. It sounds as though you have it all figured out and can easily summarize which parts of the Bible God cares about and which parts He does not. That must be a comfortable position to be in as you pass judgment on those that still believe that God hates divorce or that God still views homosexual behavior as sinful. It must be nice to smugly drop your load of knowledge on the SBC and say, "there you go...I'm smarter than the lot of you because I believe in the works of Bart Ehrman." That's what I am getting here. I just go done listening to a lecture from an old Rhetoric professor from Berkley who essentially said that truth does not exist and that the proper way of life is to not hold to any belief system, except one's self. In the end you may feel better about bashing an institution that has individuals in it that bash gays, but what right do you have to do that? Where do you find your foundation? The Bible? No, can't get it there because everything in it is up for debate. From other religions? No, because they are all in the same boat the Bible is. So, from what I hear you saying you have chosen to find your philosophical/theological foundation in public consensus...or what makes you feel good as you interact with the community that you are in. I grew up in the SBC but no longer view myself as a member of that denomination. I disagree with much of how their ecclesiology is structured and with how they have interacted with a non believing world. But at the end of the day I still think they have stuck to their theology better than any major denomination their size has in the last century. Justify to me your right to criticize this denomination. Can you give any foundation that you believe is specifically attached to revelation from God that you hold to that is not compromised by your relative view of sources? Surely you can understand how faulty the principle is of the blind telling the blind where to go? Thanks again for the interaction.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Jason,
One quick apology....I noticed when reading your comment that I had neglected to put in the link of the Biblical Canons, broken out by religion and denomination.

http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/interactive/canon/

There's no such thing as THE bible. There are tons of variations, both contemporary, and in the oldest texts.

I no longer have much of an opinion about what parts of the Bible God cares about. I can also say that I don't care what God thinks of the Koran, or Allah thinks of The Book of Mormon, or Zeus thinks of the I Ching, or what Lord Valdemort thinks of "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard.

I have absolutely no way of knowing. God/Allah/etc doesn't reveal herself in that way.

Many people believe that God spoke to the Council of Hippo, around the year 400, when they established something close to the current Biblical arrangement.

Ever heard of The Gospel of Thomas, the book of 3rd Corinthians, the Shepherd of Hermes, of the book of Tobit? 1st and 2nd Esdras? The apocalypse of Peter? Not many other people have either, but they were all out there at one time.

The council of Hippo decided which ones were legit for church use. The same council also decided that it would be best if priests/preachers remained celibate. What percentage of the time was God inspiring them?

So I don't think I'm smarter than the SBC when it comes to Biblical matters. But I also don't believe that they're smarter than I am. I think each party knows just as much about the mind of God/Allah/Apollo on this issue.

Not very much.

In the meantime, the old "to thine own self be true" concept works pretty well. Do you feel guilt over eating pork, wearing a wedding ring, failing to eat fish on Friday, cutting your hair, or wearing clothing with buttons?

Me neither. But these things matter to a lot of people, and they feel an incredible amount of guilt for any lapses.

If you are proposing that the Bible lays out a consistent, coherent moral code, I believe you are mistaken. The two testaments have little to do with each other, esp. as volumes claiming to be inspired from start to finish.

In the end you may feel better about bashing an institution that has individuals in it that bash gays, but what right do you have to do that? Where do you find your foundation?

There's an idea called the Golden Rule that has been succesfully tried in most cultures. Plus there's Martin Luther King's quote that's posted at the top of my site today. Plus, as a libertarian, I believe that if someone isn't harming me, what they do in bed is none of my business.

Can you honestly look back at the last 2,000 years of Christian history at the Crusades, Inquisitions, Holocausts, Holy Wars, etc., and say that they were inspired by a coherent moral guide? (This is what I like about Broadway Baptist. We're going further and further from the idea of BIBLE.)

But at the end of the day I still think they have stuck to their theology better than any major denomination their size has in the last century.

You say that like it's a good thing. Do you commend the Mormons, Muslims, Mennonites or Marcionites for the same faithfulness?

(continued below)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

CONTINUED
Surely you can understand how faulty the principle is of the blind telling the blind where to go?

Tell me, what was so special about Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, Jack Hyles, Warren Jeffs, Jimmy Swaggart, or Oral Roberts? Robert Tilton? What's so special about the pedophile priests who ran the children's homes in Ireland? Or the popes with more kids than a mormon bishop?

I've been around for 47 years, and am starting to see less and less that is special about Christian doctrine as it's now interpreted. It probably does more harm than good.

Do yourself a favor and read "Jesus" by Borg, "Why Christianity Must Change Or Die" by Spong, and "Jesus, Interrupted" by Ehrman. You'll see that there were a lot of different paths Christianity could've taken in the early years.
There still are a lot of new paths that Christianity can take. I hope Broadway Baptist finds one of them.

David Petersen said...

It's disturbing to know that a church actually does this. What kind of god discriminates against certain types of people? It must not be a loving god if his disciples tolerate this type of judgment. From what I know about the Lord, He still leaves His children with the freedom of choice at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

What's all the fuss about?

Has no one told Broadway that the SBC is a fundamentalist organization with a fundamentalist constitution?

I do feel for those members who teach at SWBTS; but come on, they've known this day was coming for at least 15 years.

Broadway doesn't need the SBC. Good riddance.

Jason T. Glen said...

The issue, "Anonymous," is that some seek to tear down what they once were a party to or took an interest in because they no longer agree with the bones of that structure. If they truly lived by their own philosophy they would simply go join others in "loving" and let those who want to live a more "fundamental" lifestyle do so without trying to criminalize their opinions. So, ya, I agree with you. Broadway doesn't need the SBC...nobody needs the SBC. Churches "CHOSE" to connect themselves to the SBC at one point when they found agreement with each other. So when churches no longer find agreement with one another on key issues then disassociate...don't burn the SBC in effigy because some of their teachings make you uncomfortable. Be a big girl or boy and state your disagreement with the tenets of what they believe utilizing a standard that you hold to and then go on your way. Like fembuttx said, "Come be a Methodist." There are plenty of mainline protestant churches you can attach yourself to that have declining numbers of their own...so they can probably use your membership to make themselves feel better about remaining a denomination.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Ah, Jason, glad to have you back with us.
There used to be a concept called "the autonomy of the local church". SBC churches went merrily down whatever paths they wanted to take.
Then came controversies about "The Baptist Faith and Message". People started defining everything and trying to make everything fit into a Nashville-defined box. Then the BFAM became a wedge issue, much like the gay/lesbian is now. Next thing you know, Herschel Hobbs (author of the 1960's BFAM) is booed at the SBC annual meeting.
(If I remember right, it was because he wouldn't present his pamphlet as a definitive creed.)
Southern Baptists used to be distinctively non-creedal and non-hierarchical. It was a Baptist distinctive.
So who moved?

athenainaminivan said...

I agree with you that Kathy Medeja is a great lady! She is one of the reasons I am the woman I am today as she taught me at BBC in my youth!!

Chicago Jim said...

Copy to Washington Post
Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth is the church that Van Cliburn, probably a gay man, attends. The organ in this church is named the "Cliburn Organ" after his mother and first piano teacher, Rildia Bee Cliburn. What a total shame that the hateful, ignorant, bigoted, and very un-Christian Southern Baptist Convention would oust a church of such quality exemplifying such reasoned behavior. My grandmother, a baptist, had a red-letter edition of the so-called New Testament of the Bible. In it, the words attributed to Jesus Christ were in red font. Back in the late 70's, when Anita Bryant was fomenting hatred toward gays, I scanned the red print to see what Jesus had to say about men loving men and women loving women. Well, he said nothing negative whatsoever. The writings attributed to Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul) began the gay-bashing. The term "homosexual" did not even come into existence until the late 1890's. I grew up in a small town in Georgia where the Southern Baptists reigned supreme. I remember well the fine example of the "sanctity of marriage" that the wiry little pastor of the local church exemplified. His extra-marital affair did not cause his picture to be removed from the church's directory. How ironic that the religious right uses protection of the "sanctity of marriage" to justify bashing gays by trying to deny them the human right to marry whomever they choose. Given the examples of the Republicans Sanford, Ensign, Gingrich, Craig, etc. etc. ad nauseum, I find this tactic deliciously ironic. I wish the Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth all the best in its growth and development toward justice for all human beings. If ever I'm there on a Sunday, I will be at your church, listening to the Cliburn Organ.

Anonymous said...

From reading the church web page, perhaps the church "organ" is getting too much attention. Church is not about the "Cliburn Organ" or about how many unrepentant sinners are welcomed members of the congregation. Nor is it about "the liturgical traditions as old as the old and new Testaments." Church is about Jesus Christ and following Him as LORD, and He is about turning from your sin in repentance and faith and living in obedience to God's word. When that begins to slip in a congregation, then the rest follows.

The problems discussed in this blog go far beyond the actions of the SBC at convention this June. These problems are as old as the Church at Corineth who were critized by Paul for being accepting of a man who was having relations with his father's wife. Paul said (Chapter 5:2-6) "2And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6Your glorying is not good." The sins they got removed for "glorying in," and any others, are no different to God. We all need to change our mind and agree with God on the subject.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for commenting, but please read my response to Jason T. Glen. It covers the same territory as anything I would write in response to your post.

One thing I've got to point out, though. In the American Southeast, church is somewhat about "following Jesus" and following him as Lord, meaning "boss". This generally means gathering with the like-minded on Sundays, singing for a couple of hours, listening to someone explain things you already know for a couple of hours, and abstaining from strong drink.
It generally does NOT mean taking all that you have, selling it, and giving the money to the poor. It generally does NOT mean "let the dead bury their dead". Very few go into all nations.
In the American Northeast, following Jesus involves going to confession. Plus it helps to have a priest on hand immediately before you die (to administer the last rites).
In Eastern Europe, following Jesus as Lord involves taking communion from someone who has been properly ordained through apostolic succession.
In Utah, it's another story altogether. There's a different Bible.
Ditto for the Coptic church.
There are tens of thousands of streams and tributaries for followers of Jesus. Your particular tributary is but one of them.

Jason T. Glen said...

Man...it amazes me how well you guys have this all worked out. Whitie..you are truly a genius. It looks like you are a follower of a religion that you have no basis for because you have devalued the content of the text that you learned it from and now you simply make of your own foundation from what sounds culturally clever. DANG...where can I get a load of that. They be selling it on the street corner and you be buying it.

"So who moved?"
It doesn't matter who moved because it was formulated through a consensus of communities in the first place. Don't lecture people on how their reading of the text is faulty when you can't back up your own. And don't lecture people on what the SBC should be when all you seem to care about is the ability to tell somebody that they should still be following your relative perspective on things...NICE. But hey...what the heck do I know...You've been watching this stuff for years from your lofty position atop some academic ship that is sailing to wherever you want it to go. Please Philosopher...educate me.

Jason T. Glen said...

smartly gategaurding your posts now...that's good :)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Jason,
Comment Moderation is turned on for all posts older than two weeks. Spammers like to attack the older ones, and it takes HOURS to clear that mess up, and this site is finally getting enough traffic to attract the little buggers.
Anyway, thanks for coming back for more.
Sorry it took a while to get back to you.
"Man...it amazes me how well you guys have this all worked out."

I don't have it all worked out. And I don't trust anyone who claims to.

"Whitie..you are truly a genius."

Gracias.

"It looks like you are a follower of a religion that you have no basis for because you have devalued the content of the text that you learned it from and now you simply make of your own foundation from what sounds culturally clever."

This is where we part company. The broader culture doesn't give a whit about my religious foundations. Anytime the "culture" has to listen to me talk about it, their eyes glaze over. Very few people know, or care, why The Gospel Of Thomas didn't make the cut but Revelation did.

"DANG...where can I get a load of that. They be selling it on the street corner and you be buying it."

I've referenced most of the authors above. You can buy their stuff at B&N, Borders, and most of the Episcopalian and Presbyterian bookstores. No street corners necessary.

"So who moved? It doesn't matter who moved because it was formulated through a consensus of communities in the first place."

Jason, you're leaving out a major detail here. What was the concensus of communities that birthed the Southern Baptist Church (as opposed to Northern)?

"Don't lecture people on how their reading of the text is faulty when you can't back up your own."

You're getting closer. Please define what you mean by "the text". What text, whose version, and why.

"And don't lecture people on what the SBC should be when all you seem to care about is the ability to tell somebody that they should still be following your relative perspective on things...NICE."

Jason, the SBC has a relative perspective on things. BBC has a relative perspective on things. There was room for everybody until the fundamentalist takeover. My current perspective is that getting shet of the huge unwieldy parent organization that doesn't do much but consume resources - this has been a good thing.

"But hey...what the heck do I know...You've been watching this stuff for years from your lofty position atop some academic ship that is sailing to wherever you want it to go."

The idea of me in a lofty position on an academic ship is funnier than you'll ever know.

"Please Philosopher...educate me."

Ok, the schooling will now begin.

Look at the four traditional gospels. Start with Mark. If your bible was printed in the last 20 years, you'll see that the last eight verses of Mark aren't found in the oldest manuscripts. The book ends with the women leaving the tomb and telling no one about their encounter. Remember, they told no one.

Why do you think the oldest Gospel ends this way? (Your response to the next few questions is going to be part of a future blog post, as long as you can keep it brief and to the point.)

Once again, thanks for commenting.

Dr Ralph said...

When I read "your lofty position atop some academic ship" I blew coffee out my nose.

Jason T. Glen, you owe me a new keyboard.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you'll even allow this to post.

If you don't believe in the Bible then what do you believe in. If you believe that God is love then why do you believe that. If you think God is ok with homosexuality, what about drunkeness, fornication, adultery, theft? The list could go on and on. I am no a baptist, I am a bible believing Christian. I've never been rasied in a baptist church but I believe we should have right and wrong.

You have no standard apart from yourself and those that agree with you.

The bible is the absolute word of God. Do you know why the books you mentioned are not in scripture, why they wheren't cannonized? God have mercy on your soul for spreading lies and affirming those who are lost and without hope. It's like refusing to wake a sleeping person in a burning house because you are afraid they will be offended.

I'm not writing to say I'm right and your wrong. it isn't about my opinion. God is right. His word is the standard. Please don't try to come back with the fact that there are grey areas in the bible because there certainly are. But that doesn't negate the black and white ones such as Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but through him.

My prayer is that this church repents and turns back to God or in His mercy he strikes it down rather than allowing you to continue in your self deception. It happened to Israel over and over again. May God shake you to your very core that your souls may be saved!

I did not read all the replies. I do not have time to cover everything addressed here but I could not pass by without saying something.

I'm glad some preachers had the decency to go by and preach in front of your church as a graceful warning to turn and repent!

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Sir,
Were you disappointed in the total lack of media coverage of your protest?

Hey, it was Super Bowl weekend, and you should have picked a better time.

I don't believe that there are gray areas of the Bible. I believe that the authors meant and intended exactly what they said.

But they were wrong.

They were not speaking for God. No one ever has, and no one ever will. Some stuff, some authors, and some stories are better than others. But no one has ever spoken for God.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't about media coverage. It was about caring enough for the people in that church to let them know if they don't repent they will be cast into hell. God's grace is extended to all who repent. We all deserve hell but by God's grace we can be forgiven but we must turn away from our sin and turn to God. If people refuse to do this then only hell awaits them. It is due punishment for wickedness and sin. No just homosexual sin but all sin. i don't deserve Heaven but I am assured of it because I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ and repented of my sin and he has made me new. This church needs to understand they must do the same. By their obstinate refusal to call sin for what it is, they show their love for wickedness and their hatred for God. You can not love God and love sin at the same time. Jesus Christ told men to repent and believe. Without repentance it shows people don't really believe and without belief people can not repent. They go together. We can not say we believe and yet not follow in obedience. This is an unbeliving church, a feel good social club, where you prop up dead people and act like you have life but you are just empty, lifeless, corpses. You are truly whited sepulchres outside you have the appearance of being tolerant and loving but inwardly you are full of death and affirming people right into the flames of hell. You are the hateful ones condemning people by refusing to hold up the mirror of truth so people can see themselves for what they are. Wicked vile people full of selfish fleshly lusts that hate God and pursue their own purposes. This isn't a special definition reserved for your church. This is the definition of all of mankind without God. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It's time to stop lying to yourself and others. Stop hating God. Repent and believe in Jesus Christ the savior of the world.

Anonymous said...

BBC may be pro-whatever, but aparently they are not pro-bible.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

But WHICH Bible? The original King James version with the books of Tobit, Judith, the "Additions to Esther", Wisdom, Ben Sira, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasses, 2 Esdras etc etc etc?
Or the potential version favored by Martin Luther, which wouldn't have included Hebrews, James or Revelation (and possibly would've excluded Job or Ecclesiastes)?
Or the current Catholic version, which is different from the most popular Protestant editions?
What, excatly, do you mean by "Bible", and why?

Dr Ralph said...

Maybe the "bible" his daddy scrawled out in crayon on several dozen yellowing legal pads.