Fundamentalist fence building is a never-ending task

Parents whose sons and daughters go to Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., can rest assured that soon every faculty member will have expressed allegiance to the narrow doctrinal confines of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement.

According to an article in Georgia Baptist Convention-controlled newspaper, The Christian Index, the trustees and president at the Georgia Baptist Convention-controlled small college in the North Georgia mountains are eager for their campus to “be the first Southern Baptist college to require a signature to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message in a public forum.”

Wow! How comforting to know that even the person teaching mathematics or the chemistry professor handling those explosive components will adhere to fundamentalist teachings such as women being excluded from certain church leadership positions and the need for a wife to “submit herself graciously” to her husband’s authority.

Can you imagine the recruiting of even semi-competent faculty? Imagine a gifted and experienced foreign language professor moving into the North Georgia mountains due to a spouse’s job transfer but not being offered a teaching position at Truett-McConnell because of this policy that the majority of Christians and a whole bunch of Baptists would find objectionable.

Revised in 2000, the confession (first adopted in 1925) went from being an umbrella of widely held beliefs to being a theological sledgehammer used to enforce uniform fundamentalist thought. Proponents swore that the new statement would not be used as a creed, yet its required affirmation soon resulted in about 60 loyal Southern Baptist missionaries being forced off the field.

The fact that this ever-narrowing stranglehold of Southern Baptist fundamentalism is playing out at Truett-McConnell is no surprise. Just look at the cast of players.

Evangelist and former SBC president Bailey Smith — famous for convincing church members of their need to be rebaptized and for his assertion that God doesn’t hear the prayers of Jews — is the trustee who made the motion. And TMC’s new president, Emir Craner (above), a former Muslim turned Baptist fundamentalist, is the protege of SBC powerbroker Paige Patterson.

Fundamentalist fence builders never stop digging holes, setting posted and nailing stringers. Creating a smaller pasture open to only those who think just like them is always the goal.

For some parents, this will be exactly the kind of place where they will want their kids to go to school — safely away from any thought that might challenge them. It is their choice.

Southern Baptist education (at all six SBC seminaries and a growing number of state convention colleges) has greatly changed over the past couple of decades. Today they resemble an independent fundamentalist approach to isolation and indoctrination.

Churches that continue to send so-called “mission money” (out of habit or ignorance) to the Southern Baptist and Georgia Baptist conventions should be aware that this is the kind of fundamentalism they are helping to advance. Churches have choices too.

144 Comments

  1. How dare those Georgia Baptists refuse to pay infidels to teach their children….HOW DARE THEY!!!

    LOL!!!

    You do have one thing right, fundamentalist fence building is a never ending task because the infidel modernists, like a opossum, will crawl up in the butt of dead cow if it means getting a bite to eat.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  2. Stunned. Simply stunned that Mark would not agree with my assessment. Being called an infidel by a pharisee. Imagine that too!

  3. "Can you imagine the recruiting of even semi-competent faculty?"

    So Emir Caner isn't a competent member of TM's faculty?

    He has published several best sellers.

    He got the College at Southwestern off the ground with a Great Books/ History of Ideas program.

    He recruited a world class faculty at the same institution, including 2 Rhodes scholars.

    He is a historian.

    He is a churchman and soul-winner.

    He loves students and is popular with them, an increasing number of them, I might add.

    He is in demand in popular and academic venues.

    If your notion of competence is something other than this, I do not believe I want it.

    Reminds me of a Scottish preacher's retort:

    You say that I'm not with it.
    My friend, I do not doubt it.
    But when I see what I'm not with,
    I'd rather be without it.

  4. Wow, David. Hope he can also teach chemistry, biology, French, computer science and everything else. Oh, I forgot. Right doctrine is all that matters to fundamentalists.

  5. He has demonstrated that he can assemble a competent faculty. He's got cattle to go with that hat he carries.

  6. David Mills: Caner may be a smart and competent fellow, but he has lashed himself to the BF&M 2000, a document that betrays and denigrates the heritage of Baptists for a porridge bowl of theological and political correctness.

  7. Bruce Gourley: Seems we are all on board with Dr. Caner’s ability to build a competent faculty. If not, let’s continue the conversation.

    Caner has applied the Southern Baptist heritage to TM. That Southern Baptist scholars since the mid 19th century have affirmed the governing documents of their institutions, even doctrinal statements, is not debatable. Some may not appreciate the Southern Baptist heritage, but that this has been the Southern Baptist practice for 150 years is beyond dispute.

    The BF&M departs from the European and American (northern) Baptist heritage, to be sure, but it represents the Southern Baptist heritage. Unless you dismiss that heritage, I am not sure I understand your problem.

    I did not know the BF&M was politically correct. I wish you would inform the media, because someone forgot to tell them.

  8. David Mills: You are referring to SBTS, the one Southern Baptist institution of the 19th century that required written doctrinal affirmation. Of course, the early SBTS leaders were Princeton Presbyterian theologians, and the Abstract of Principles was a mixture of Princeton Presbyterian theology (and creedalism) with some Baptististness thrown in.

    That you root Southern Baptist heritage in Princeton Presbyterian theology reflects your lack of understanding of Southern Baptist heritage.

    As to the BF&M 2000, we both know it is politically correct – on the fundamentalist political side of things, of course.

  9. I'm curious to know what best-sellers Emir Caner has published? Maybe he's popular in fundamentalist circles but not sure that qualifies him as a best-selling author!!

    Not sure what Caner has proved either, regardless of what David Mills asserts. Caner has been President at TMC for how long now? How many "hires" has he even made? 2? 3? The faculty was already "assembled" long before Caner arrived.

    The question is: how many people will Caner have to fire to bring about change? And will TMC cross-swords with SACS and ultimately run into accreditation problems because of this BFM2000 requirement.

    I have a feeling that SACS will have something to say about an Administration forcing an already tenured prof to sign such a creed (or face termination). Can't go changing the rules of the game after the game has already begun….

    Then again, the question also begs whether any tenured faculty members have the integrity to stand up to Caner or perhaps TMC is already thoroughly fundamentalist and will fall-in-line neatly and nicely.

  10. Bruce:

    Did the Presbyterians require faculty members to sign the doctrinal statement of thier academic institutions? I do not believe Presbyterian practices are the sources from which Boyce derived the idea. I do not recall that his inaugural address credits the Presbyterians with that requirement for the faculty at Southern.

    Be careful of parallelomania. If you cannot establish literary dependence between Boyce's administration of SBTS and the Presyterians, your thesis crumbles beneath the weight of the need for documentation.

    Did you notice what you said about the roots of the Southern Baptist heritage? You stated that SBTS founders were Princeton Presbyterian theologians, then accuse me of rooting Southern Baptist heritage in Princeton Presbyterians. Actually, you rooted Baptist heritage in the Presbyterians, not me.

    You put those words in my mouth, and if you will look away for a moment and close your ears, I'd like to spit them out.

    Finally, why did you get personal? We were having such a good time and you accused me of not understanding Baptist heritage.

  11. David Mills: Just to assist you in your reading comprehension, Princeton Presbyterianism (as I clearly noted) refers to the early "theology" of SBTS (not to mention that it is also the root of biblical inerrancy), not the practice of utilizing doctrinal documents (although the Abstract of Principles content is drawn from Princeton Presbyterianism).

    Comprendo?

    Now, where were we?

    Yes, you are defending a rather odd version of Baptist heritage. I've noticed a lot of that in the past 30 years or so, however.

    Oh, almost forget, we started talking about Caner. The man may be your hero (it seems as such, anyway), but the effectiveness of his leadership of Truett-McConnell has yet to be determined. That he values contemporary theological correctness over academic excellence does not bode well for the school.

  12. Bruce,

    I'd like to continue the conversation, but I think private e-mail exchanges might be better. E-mail me at dmills@swbts.edu if you'd like. I'll be happy to reply.

  13. I read the article and realized how naive I have been. For some reason I thought that SBC and GBC fundamentalism would not be forced downward into supported institutions. Surely not into the world of academia! Wait! Now I remember – Paige Patterson and the Sheri Klouda episode. Get ready for more of this type of activity. Before long, it will creep into the associational level and will present a problem for some local churches. The only defense we have against it is that many people neither know nor care what the "leadership" does. We just continue to serve God and Christ.

  14. LOL!

    You guys just can't get over being deprived of a place at the SBC slop trough, can you?

    LOL!

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  15. Bruce Gourley:

    You brought up the Presbyterian theology, a worthy subject, to be sure. The subject I addressed consisted of the Southern Baptist heritage of administering SBC institutions. While your subject is worthy of research, it is off the point.

    Again, it is the SBC heritage for administrators to require the signing of doctrinal statements as a condition for employment. Boyce, Broadus, Carroll, Scarborough, Mullins all insisted on this, and they can hardly be considered Presbyterians. Even moderate Baptists signed the Abstract of Principles and BF&M.

    To your point regarding inerrancy. Princeton theologians no more invented inerrancy than Luther invented justification by faith. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Smyth, Helwys, Fuller, Carey, and a multitude of 19th and early 20th century SBCer’s advocated the inerrancy of Scripture. Your Roger’s and McKim hypothesis is not credible. Carson, Woodbridge, Wenham, Blum, Bush, and Nettles have overthrown it with excellent historical research. More importantly, and more authoritatively, the Scripture attests to its own inerrancy.

    I have another issue to address, but would rather do so via e-mail. Let me know if it is OK to contact you via e-mail, and where.

  16. David Mills said:

    "Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Smyth, Helwys, Fuller, Carey, and a multitude of 19th and early 20th century SBCer’s advocated the inerrancy of Scripture."

    Yeah, and Mr. Gourley once said that there is a concept of inerrancy that he can accept. That is when he was teaching at Yellowstone Baptist College which bills itself as a school which holds to inerrancy!

    LOL!

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave when once we practice to get money out of Baptist churches!

    LOL!

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  17. I suggest the Caner Brothers and Truett McConnell have a film festival and devote it to Marge Gunderson and the Coen Brothers.
    Cut and paste here and Make a Poster:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121610159

    Two more thoughts; a travesty as I think Aaron Weaver will agree, the college bears George Truett's name.

    2nd, it ain't nothing but a short thip from Cleveland over to Babs Taylor's righteous courses at Piedmont. Maybe they could work out an enlightenment bus schedule or something and some fee schedules where Caner Students could audit Babs Taylor's courses.

    Or have me and Aaron Weaver up for panel with Babs and the Caner Brothers, Kimball and the roll call.
    I would give my testimony and then let them talk.
    Anybody at Caner McConnell; hear the Word of the Lord for the People of God.
    Sunday I was reading again Marilynne Robinson on Bonhoeffer, in her Sublime The Death of Adam collection of essays.
    Good place to start to get away from bogus Canerism

  18. John–

    Your title is so appropriate. Long ago I pastored the Noonday Baptist Church in N. Metro Atlanta. It was early 80's and that association along with most of the GBC was pretty fundy.

    In 1986 I moved to NC and found the old spirit of the SBC alive and well—sadly, for not that many years to come. For about the last 5 years we are now gone. How sad.

    As we assess things these days I share the verse of Carl Sandburg who enjoyed the mountainside view near Hendersonville. Since Oral Roberts was laid to rest today, Carl's words are appropriate:

    TO A CONTEMPORARY BUNKSHOOTER

    You come along. . . tearing your shirt. . . yelling about
    Jesus.
    Where do you get that stuff?
    What do you know about Jesus?
    Jesus had a way of talking soft and outside of a few
    bankers and higher-ups among the con men of Jerusalem
    everybody liked to have this Jesus around because
    he never made any fake passes and everything
    he said went and he helped the sick and gave the
    people hope.

    You come along squirting words at us, shaking your fist
    and calling us all damn fools so fierce the froth slobbers
    over your lips. . . always blabbing we're all
    going to hell straight off and you know all about it.

    I've read Jesus' words. I know what he said. You don't
    throw any scare into me. I've got your number. I
    know how much you know about Jesus.
    He never came near clean people or dirty people but
    they felt cleaner because he came along. It was your
    crowd of bankers and business men and lawyers
    hired the sluggers and murderers who put Jesus out
    of the running.

    I say the same bunch backing you nailed the nails into
    the hands of this Jesus of Nazareth. He had lined
    up against him the same crooks and strong-arm men
    now lined up with you paying your way.

    This Jesus was good to look at, smelled good, listened
    good. He threw out something fresh and beautiful
    from the skin of his body and the touch of his hands
    wherever he passed along.
    You slimy bunkshooter, you put a smut on every human
    blossom in reach of your rotten breath belching
    about hell-fire and hiccupping about this Man who
    lived a clean life in Galilee.

    When are you going to quit making the carpenters build
    emergency hospitals for women and girls driven
    crazy with wrecked nerves from your gibberish about
    Jesus–I put it to you again: Where do you get that
    stuff; what do you know about Jesus?

  19. (cont.) "To A Contemporary Bunkshooter"

    Go ahead and bust all the chairs you want to. Smash
    a whole wagon load of furniture at every performance.
    Turn sixty somersaults and stand on your
    nutty head. If it wasn't for the way you scare the
    women and kids I'd feel sorry for you and pass the hat.
    I like to watch a good four-flusher work, but not when
    he starts people puking and calling for the doctors.
    I like a man that's got nerve and can pull off a great
    original performance, but you–you're only a bug-
    house peddler of second-hand gospel–you're only
    shoving out a phoney imitation of the goods this
    Jesus wanted free as air and sunlight.

    You tell people living in shanties Jesus is going to fix it
    up all right with them by giving them mansions in
    the skies after they're dead and the worms have
    eaten 'em.
    You tell $6 a week department store girls all they need
    is Jesus; you take a steel trust wop, dead without
    having lived, gray and shrunken at forty years of
    age, and you tell him to look at Jesus on the cross
    and he'll be all right.
    You tell poor people they don't need any more money
    on pay day and even if it's fierce to be out of a job,
    Jesus'll fix that up all right, all right–all they gotta
    do is take Jesus the way you say.
    I'm telling you Jesus wouldn't stand for the stuff you're
    handing out. Jesus played it different. The bankers
    and lawyers of Jerusalem got their sluggers and
    murderers to go after Jesus just because Jesus
    wouldn't play their game. He didn't sit in with
    the big thieves.

    I don't want a lot of gab from a bunkshooter in my religion.
    I won't take my religion from any man who never works
    except with his mouth and never cherishes any memory
    except the face of the woman on the American
    silver dollar.

    I ask you to come through and show me where you're
    pouring out the blood of your life.

    I've been to this suburb of Jerusalem they call Golgotha,
    where they nailed Him, and I know if the story is
    straight it was real blood ran from His hands and
    the nail-holes, and it was real blood spurted in red
    drops where the spear of the Roman soldier rammed
    in between the ribs of this Jesus of Nazareth.

  20. Obviously "GeneS" either hasn't read the New Testament or, in typical modernist fashion, has constructed his own "Geezuz" and claimed him as the real standard of what Jesus will be.

    What an fool!

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  21. What else would I expect from an Arkansas Baptist. My brother married a girl from Magnolia. All I can say is the church was—-very different.

    The words are from Carl Sandburg and not me, but I will agree with him until the end of time:

    Jesus was the "real deal" and not like so many contemporary bunkshooters!

    If we quit some of the pretending, maybe people won't have to take Baptist off the church sign for people to have an interest in church.

  22. Gene-Thanks for the timely Sandburg words.

  23. Thanks, John!

    Give old Jack Harwell a Christmas "Hello" from me. It has been many years since we rode back from the BSU convention at Rock Eagle and discussed, along with Bill Lancaster, the need for intelligent and committed young people to enter the ministry.

    The question was: "What is going to happen to the church if some of you dedicated and intelligent young college people don't take responsibility for it???"

    I wish they hadn't asked me that! I was on MY way to be a good layman and PhD Psychologist so the Baptist church would not hurt me and my family as it did my honest and caring preacher father.

    I answered, met bunkshooters in 2 large churches, didn't stop preaching the Bible honestly, got fired—BUT, oh how marvelous the "Road Less Taken" has turned out to be.

  24. Bruce, where are you?

  25. Lest you neglect that Truett-McConnell has also turned its science department inside out with the "Creation Research Center." From the T-Mc website: "The center will build a community of scholars dedicated to providing a conservative Christian voice within the field of science. Through research, conferences, and academics, the center aspires to reverse the great divorce between science and theology by incorporating science within a Christian worldview." So much for real science being taught there.

  26. Georgia Moutian Man: How ironic you dwell (I presume) in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia, and object to a Christian university looking to science to study creation.

    BTW, would you be willing to debate some of their science faculty on the issue?

  27. BTW, I did some digging, and found some facts that might substantiate my original claim of Dr. Caner's competent administration and ministry at TM.

    More than 350,000 of his books have sold. Unveiling Islam won the ECPA Book of the Year Award.

    He has hired a dozen faculty and administrators since coming to TM, some with degrees from Harvard and William and Mary.

    One final thing, TM does not have tenure, so there are no tenured faculty at TM.

    At this piont, I consider the original thesis of John's blog against TM and Dr. Caner to be overthrown.

    Thanks for the mostly pleasant discussion, (aside from a few predictable insults from Montana way) but I am still waiting for Bruce to e-mail me.

  28. If tightening the stranglehold of Fundamentalism is you kind of victory, then enjoy another triumph in the hills of North Ga. But none of that deadly stuff for me, thanks.
    And Merry Christmas!

  29. Have a Merry Christmas, too, John.

  30. I have a relative who teaches science at a small Baptist college. The college is slowly dying, and he fears that soon he will be dropped by a fundamentalist administration that invests little in the science dept.

  31. BTW, Mr. Mills, why would you ask if I would like to debate some of the science faculty on the "issue?" There are some very strange comments on this "issue." I suppose Mr. Osgatharp is insinuating that a science teacher who does not subscribe to a fundamentalist view is an "infidel." Same terminology that the Muslim fundamentalists use. Funny. They are all alike.

  32. "Same terminology that the Muslim fundamentalists use. Funny. They are all alike."

    Never used the word infidel to describe anyone. That is your word, and from the blood I see down by your feet, I regret to inform you that I fear you stabbed yourself with your own sword. You called me a Muslim fundamentalist, but neither Mark nor I labeled anyone an infidel.

    BTW, Muslim Fundamentalists do not advocate debates, but Jihad. Southern Baptist's and Christians through history and around the world encourage intelligent debate. The difference may not impress you, but I believe it is significant.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe a caution is in order. When we use outrageous rhetoric, we run the risk of quenching the Spirit, and in such a condition, we are not likely to win anyone to Jesus today. If we mischaracterize other Christians, how will the lost believe us when we try to win souls to the new birth?

    BTW, I am sorry to hear of your cousin. These are tough times for Baptist colleges. I will pray for him today, but I will not compare him to Muslim fundamentalists or infidels.

    Please pray for me, too, for I am about to leave for last minute Christmas shopping, and I hope to win someone to Christ as I shop. Can't think of a better season for soul-winning.

  33. Mr. Mills, apparently you didn't read the first comment on this post to which I referred, thus you didn't really read mine. Either that or you need to work on your reading comprehension. I didn't refer to you as an infidel, nor a Muslim fundamentalist. I simply said that fundamentalists are much alike no matter the religion. Remember the Puritans…or maybe you don't want to? Remember the Southern Baptists who have prayed for the Presidents death? Then there are the Christian fundamentalists in Africa who want to execute gays. I could go on, but I won't. Not much debate among these folks.

  34. Actually, I did label modernists as infidels. An infidel is an unbeliever and, from a gospel perspective, modernists are unbelievers, regardless of how much rhetoric they use in regard to their "faith".

    That does not make me in any way analogous to a Muslim Fundamentalist any more than some atheist college professor in America is analogous to a Chinese atheist communist who wants persecute Bible believing Christians.

    Theoretically, as Americans we respect the civil right of our fellow American to believe, teach and propagate damnable heresies. But what some liberals just can't through their little pea brains is that having the civil right to teach their philosophies does not exempt them from criticism nor grant them a platform form in other men's schools and churches. And the fact that some school rejects a man because of his aberrant teaching does not mean they are something akin to a Muslim terrorist.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  35. This is absolutely hilarious! I think I have hit a nerve here. I haven't compared any of you to a Muslim fundamentalist. All I have said is that religious fundamentalism is often the same regardless of the religion. Religious fundamentalists typically fear anyone who believes differently or thinks rationally. They force their beliefs on others through intimidation and fear. If parents want to pay to send their kids to be taught science at a "creationist" institution that is their choice. Just don't try to force it on all of us. Those Christian fundamentalists today, who pray for the death of the president and would use laws and brute force to force their religious beliefs on others are no different from Muslim fundamentalists. They are also no different from the colonial Puritans, who used the law to control their followers and the rope and fire to kill those whom they didn't understand, feared, or with whom they disagreed theologically.

  36. Georgia Mountain Man,

    You said,

    "This is absolutely hilarious! I think I have hit a nerve here. I haven't compared any of you to a Muslim fundamentalist. All I have said is that religious fundamentalism is often the same regardless of the religion."

    So you aren't comaparing anyone to a Muslim fundamentalist but you hit a raw nerve because I'm really comparable to a Muslim fundamentalist?

    LOL! And who is hilarious? LOL!

    Hell hath no fury like an infidel deprived of his spot at the Southern Baptist slop trough! LOL!

    If someone blows up Mercer or Furman or attempts to get a man thrown in jail for being an infidel, then I will denounce him as exactly the same thing as a Muslim terrorist and nothing akin to a Bible believing Baptist.

    So long as the Southern Baptists are refusing to hire infidel modernists in their schools, they are merely exercising their God given American right to their own religion and any many who compares them to Muslim fundamentalists is either a blithering idiot or a bare faced liar.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  37. You are making my point for me. I never called or compared anyone to an infidel, yet you persist in comparing me and others to Muslim killers.

    And you do not seem to be able to weigh your information. One Southern Baptist prayed for Obama's death, an evil thing to do to be sure, not all 8 million of us who attend church each Sunday. Some Anglicans in Africa are in support of that evil law that calls for the execution of gays, and a Southern Baptist (Rick Warren) has gone public with his condemnation of it.

    Shall I call 911 and report your self inflicted wound? Put away your sword. You gonna kill yourself before long. Like Peter, you are probably better handling nets.

  38. I think I can rest my case. Neither of you have mastered reading comprehension, so there is no need to continue this debate.

  39. Georiga Mountain Man:

    That is what people say when they have lost the debate. They avoid arguing facts and get personal. Mark is capable of responding on his own, too.

    Back to the original point, Dr. Caner is qualified to assemble a faculty, and has done an excellent job doing so at both Southwestern and TM. Besides that, I believe he knows what Muslim fundamentalist is–former Muslim himself, he has had several of them issue fatwas against him.

  40. Gentlemen—

    My Grandaddy had a favorite saying: "The higher the monkey climbs the tree, the more you see his tail."

    Just as California seems to lead the country in wild and crazy left-wing thinking, Georgia and its college are leading the SBC in "let's get on the fundamentalist bandwagon and make all fundies happy!"

    It was this way in GA when I pastored there in the early 80's and it hasn't changed apparantly. The metro Atlanta area is full of high dollar achievers who want "simple religion full of smoke and glitter" over a servant religion full of ministry, sacrifice, and intelligence. I know whereof I speak because I have an Generation X sister who is all caught up in trading her informed Baptist upbringing for a "glory to God hand waving" kind of "improved" religion.

    She is most naive and a social achiever par excellant!!! She lives in a $500,000 house, teaches school, and play tennis to be with the "in" crowd in her neighborhood within eyesight of Stone Mountain.

    It it's popular, it will be parcticed in GA first for it is a melting pot of all things traditional / modern / liberal-conservative and all things in between.

    Why can't the college realize you don't have to choose between Darwin and the Bible?? Both are theories of "how we came to be here." If you read the progression of Creation from the most simple to the most complex, it is almost identical with Darwin's natural selection and evolution from single cell amoeba to human.

    What is wrong with a "both / and" approach to science and biology realizing, again, that any theory taught is just that: a theory!

    I don't think the college will contribute a single thing to the progress of understanding–be it religious or scientific! Any student or professor buying into an "either / or" approach is less than circumspect and far less than an informed intelligent understanding of either, in my opinion.

    Besides, Creationist textbooks are a money-making business!!! Fundies always go for the gold!

  41. Gene S:

    "Why can't the college realize you don't have to choose between Darwin and the Bible?"

    You do have to choose between Darwin and Christ's Bible and the modernists have chosen Darwin over Christ and His Bible.

    Gene S: "….it is almost identical with Darwin's natural selection and evolution from single cell amoeba to human."

    Since its totally off the subject of this thread, I will ask you to answer this privately: please explain how, in the Darwinian religion, things jumped from splitting amoebas to sexually reproducing humans. My email address is markosgatharp@hughes.net and I'll await your learned dissertation.

    Gene S: "I don't think the college will contribute a single thing to the progress of understanding–be it religious or scientific! Any student or professor buying into an 'either / or' approach is less than circumspect and far less than an informed intelligent understanding of either, in my opinion."

    So its EITHER accept Darwinianism OR be labeled an ignoramus? LOL!

    Gene S: "Creationist textbooks are a money-making business!!! Fundies always go for the gold!"

    To which I respond:

    A. LOL!

    B. Darwinian textbooks have made far more money than Creationist's, and the Darwinians control almost all of the schools and colleges in the country. Surely you don't begrudge the Southern Baptists one little Bible college in Georgia when the infidels already stole Mercer along with a host of other schools from the Southern Baptists.

    C. The Southern Baptist Convention was about making money on religion and getting money out of churches from the day it was incorporated in the state of Georgia over 150 years ago.

    D. People like you are just jealous because the SBC, being the second biggest religious institution in the country, has vast amounts of money and are being more and more selective in who they let in on their lucrative business.

    E. LOL!!!!

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  42. Mark–

    You are fighting a battle which ended long ago when intelligence showed that fundamentalism was just–mostly stupid!

    I'll forgive you since you are from Arkansas.

    Before working Hurricaine Katrina in Mobile, ALA, I would accuse myself of being prejudiced—BUT I learned better when seeing the pretense of churches well attended and honest people being put in jail for—just being honest!

    You live in a different world where the description of Conservatives as "My contemporary ancestors" (H.L. Menkin) was a funny statement—until I visited there and got acquainted!

  43. GeneS,

    Let me see if I follow your reasoning here:

    Whereas,

    A. You have baldly asserted that people who believe the Bible are stupid,

    B. I'm from Arkansas,

    C. You saw some hypocrite church people and honest people jailed in Mobile after God slammed the Gulf Coast with a hurricane,

    D. You can quote H.L. Menkin,

    Therefore the Bible isn't so.

    Hmmmm, and that is the sort of clap trap you think that the Southern Baptists are duty bound to pay infidels to teach in their colleges? Really, you are nothing but a blow hard.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  44. Couldn't let this one go. Mark, since when did "Darwinism" become a religion? I'd be willing to bet that you have never read a word of "On the Origin of the Species." And no, Mr. Mills I didn't lose the "debate." I I quit because neither you or Mark are, apparently, capable of understanding what I am saying and cannot contribute anything worthwhile to the issue.

  45. I didn't say, "The Bible isn't true."

    Now, I emailed you privately and you have not answered my questions.

    Let's get on with the program and quit sparring. You are dealing with a "no holds bared truth teller."

    Deal with it or go on back to Arkansas and enjoy your Razorbacks because that is more a religion in the mid-west than going to church!

  46. David, we both know the Bible does not claim inerrancy (textual perfection for itself). Inerrancy is a modern, rationalist imposition upon the Bible, justified by "inerrantists" (Nettles, etc.) who rewrite history and the Bible to suit their own beliefs.

  47. So the Bible does not advocate its own truthfulness?

    Sure it does. Ps 19:6 ("The law of the Lord is perfect") and John 17:1 ("Your word is truth"). Even "inspiration of God" points to inerrancy. Herschel Hobbs said, "a God of truth does not breathe error).

    Scripture goes further than this. It assumes its inerrancy and inspiration down to the tenses of its verbs and number of its nouns. Jesus based an insight into the resurrection upon the tense of a verb (Matt 22:29–32), and Paul based an insight into salvation by grace through faith on the number of a noun (Gal 3:15-16).

    Inerrancy has become more complex in order to answer critics of the Scripture, but a simple (and now a complex, i.e. Chicago Statement) approach towards inerrancy has always persisted in the believer’s church and among others. Fortunately, modern tools of scholarship have aided us in seeing the manifold biblical doctrine of inerrancy.

    Finally, your rejection of Bush/Nettles and Carson/Woodbridge does not constitute evidence. What evidence do you have that these authors have misrepresented the historical record?

  48. David Mills,

    Thank you for your stand, it seems those who lift up an errant bible want to be taken seriously in the world of theology. The left turn taken by many baptists have left them wanting to tell Southern Baptists what we ought to believe and why. Wanting to use history as our only guideline for defining who we are. It just can't be done. Real Baptist are more honest in our understanding of who we are and willing to be grateful for our historical markers but not so tied to them we can't be the Baptists we have always been. People of the book — all of it true — whether some degree laden intellectual says different or not.

    Today they will discard the truth of Genesis 1-11, tomorrow if they have their way they will join Oprah and say there are more ways to heaven then Jesus.

    Go to Bruce's web site bl.com and you will find more acceptance of those who support homosexuality as a normal lifestyle than those who hold to inerrancy as an important truth.

    And they want to be taken seriously.

    Once again, thanks for your stand.

  49. Jon, thank you for your encouragement. I believe you are right to insist that Scripture trumps heritage and history anytime there is a conflict between the two, but I would add quickly, as you alluded to, that Baptist history and heritage are very instructive and can call us to account.

    As for inerrancy, the Baptist heritage is one of inerrancy. Some European Baptists and some Northern (aka American) Baptists are an exception. Southern Baptists are not an exception to that rule. E.Y. Mullins argued for inerrancy in Freedom and Authority in Religion (378-82).

    Keep up the good work, and thanks for the link to the web site. I'll look at later.

  50. Gentlemen:

    “Inerrant” means “free from error”.

    To claim that the writings contained in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are inerrant is simply misleading.

    1. Mankind has approximately 5,800Greek manuscripts that contain all or part of the New Testament, approximately 10,000 Latin manuscripts that contain all or part of the New Testament, and approximately 9,300 manuscripts in other ancient languages. None of these manuscripts has a text that is exactly the same.

    2. There are somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 variations in these manuscripts. There are more variations than there are words in the New Testament.

    3. There have been many accidental copying mistakes and there have been intentional additions, deletions, and changes to the written word by both church members and professional scribes. Many of the intentional additional, deletions and changes were theologically motivated.

    4. While the New Testament was largely written in the first century A.D., the oldest manuscript that we have that only contains parts of the New Testament comes from around 200 A.D..

    5. No human alive today has seen the original of the books of the Bible, nor knows exactly, without any error, what words were in them.

    If in the face of these facts, one still contends that the Bible is inerrant. So be it. However, preaching “inerrancy” when the average layman will think that “inerrancy” means “free from error” is misleading.

    Once these facts are faced, some will claim that the “original autographs” are inerrant. This claim seems to me to be irrelevant. Who has the “original autographs”? Who has seen them? Who can read them? To claim that the Scriptures are “inerrant” when you are really talking about something that we do not have is misleading to the average laymen who only has one of the modern English translations in his hand to read. So all the textual critics make no mistakes? The translators make no mistakes? The readers make no mistakes? The preachers make no mistakes? Your understanding of the Scriptures has no mistakes? Even if we had Scriptures without errors, by the time we got done translating, reading, preaching, and understanding, there would be plenty of errors.

    So, the claim of inerrancy for the Scriptures is misleading. It is also inappropriate. A description of “free from error” is not appropriate to apply to the wide diversity of literary types that are in the Scriptures, types that include poetry, narrative, parables, prophecy, apocalyptic, and history. The description of “free from error” is so cold, sterile, rationalistic, and exacting. It is inappropriate to apply it to literature that is so passionate, so full of life, and so applicable to the very heart and soul of man. “Inerrant”, a very misleading, irrelevant, and inappropriate description that seems to imply a pedestrian and low view of Scripture.

  51. David & John–

    I have looked where you recommended and I don't find anything offensive nor do I find anyone tearing the relaibility of the Bible as a guide (canon) for faith and practic.

    So—where's the beef?????

    I have heard privately from Mark and I appreciate what he had to say–although I find it lacking in much biblical understanding.

    Why is it we see more deep thinking and discussion on the History and Discovery Channels than in SBC Seminaries today. They are pumping a narrow theology / ways for students to control their student pastor churches / while flaunting President worship over God worship.

    I thought graduate level education was supposed to generate well-rounded and informed faith people into our pulpits. Instead, I find most doing what Bob Jones University / Liberty / etc. did with fundamentalism back in the 40-60's.

    Is this a giant step backwards or what???

    When I graduated SEBTS in 1970, I was pleased with the teachings of professors if ALL theological stripes. My only gripe was that my school did not have a library to sustain graduate level research and, therefore, I would liken it more to a high class religion department at a college level.

    I recognize that I had been spoiled at Emory University with gobs of money and libraries to sustain research at a high academic level. If I wanted to read original professional psychological research (my major) all I had to do was go to the Medical Library.

    At Southeastern, the best you could find were good books some 10-20 years removed from the original research. It just puts those being educated behind on what is really current!

    The other gripe was a focus on academia over practical church work. Dr. Lolley and his Administration quickly cured that so students were talking with SS Literature writers and planners every year. Administrators from Boards and Agencies were there every year for personal discussion. They knew what the order form for SS literature looked like and how to order if that was their duty from Pastor to Staff members. It was great, and far from the "liberal" situation described by Paige Patterson and the rest.

    It got so bad after 1979 that professors had to forbid tape recorders from their classrooms because edited versions of the lecture were going to PP within an hour of its delivery. "His boys" sent what "he wanted," and it was a far cry from the total content of the lecture.

    To call it a distorted picture will likely draw your wrath, but that was what I saw and experienced—far from the "liberal" designation the CR leaders were pumping to average church members who had no frame of reference and trusted them for honest information–IT WAS NOT!!!

  52. Widely Interested,

    A couple of items. First, inerrantists are aware of what inerrancy means.

    Second, you are expecting a level of precision found only in science labs. Scripture is not a science text. By that standard your words (in your blog reply)are errant.

    Third, do you ever doubt your doubts? Consistency demands that you doubt your doubts as much as you doubt the Scripture, does it not? If you doubt the word, should you not doubt your doubts first?

    Finally, the Chicago statement on inerrancy has done a masterful job addressing this, as have a number of other works.

  53. David you have done an excellent job of explaining why, if you have a BS / MS / PhD degree the "S" stands for something other than "Science."

  54. Widely Interested–

    You have done an excellent job of putting things in perspective and in a nutshell. Thanks!!!

    I have studied the Bible for most of my 63 years from the time I got one from my father who baptized me at age 9. In all that time and serious study, I find nothing to negate what you have honestly and wisely related.

  55. Mr. Mills,

    Those who have described the Scriptures as “inerrant” have set the standard. In plain English, it means “free from error”. I think that you make my point more succinctly that I did. Yes, the Scriptures are not a science text. To apply the word “inerrant” that is more appropriate to science, technology and mathematics to the Scripture is inappropriate. I think the use of the term to describe the Scriptures is cold, rationalistic, and scientific. The Scriptures are about topics like God, how God relates to man, life, death, and love.

    I have read the Chicago statement on inerrancy. After one reads all of the qualifications and the claim that inerrancy describes the “original autographs”, the use of the word “inerrant” to describe the Scriptures is misleading and irrelevant.

    Maybe each time anyone describes the Scriptures as “inerrant” he should also recite the Chicago statement on inerrancy, so he will not mislead the average person that understands in plain English that “inerrant” means “free from error”. Oh, and then one can explain to him that after all of the textual analysis, translation, preaching, reading and understanding the issue of “inerrancy” is irrelevant.

  56. Widely interested:

    E.Y. Mullins argued that one's approach to the Bible is primarily an issue of one's view of Christ. Jesus labeled Scripture the truth. Do we propose to improve on Christ's view of Scripture? If not, we do not adjust the Scripture to fit our views, but we adjust our views to fit those of Scripture. I have a hard time understanding how any of this is misleading.

    Whether this leaves a person cold is beside point (or "irrelevant" to use your term). We cannot judge Scripture on the basis of what affect it has on any one individual. We must, instead, take its own testimony or we fall short of Jesus' example.

    Historically, when a group, such as the CBF, denies inerrancy it guarantees the death of its missionary outreach. The CBF budget is what it was 1997, and its churches have a 1-92 baptism to church membership ratio. In 2004 one large CBF church in Atlanta running 800 baptized no one. I'd say that is relevant.

    (This is not to say that inerrancy guarantees growth, but it does provide a seed-bed for the theology that creates boundless energy for the Great Commission).

    In the final analysis, all that matters on this issue is this–what does the Scripture say of itself? If we follow Christ, we adopt the Bible's view of itself.

  57. Gene S:

    I appreciate your father gave you a Bible at nine. I did not receive my first one until I was 17. What a treasure.

    May I take exception to your notions re: SBC seminary education? I teach at an SBC seminary and earned 3 degrees from SBC seminaries.

    When I was in the PhD program at SEBTS in 1997, a New Testament professor came on board from Duke. He had studied under a Johannine scholar there and was in the process of having his dissertation published by Brill. He joined the faculty there at SEBTS, and one day viewed the requirements for our PhD program. When he saw them, he exclaimed, "You have to do all this?!" (BTW, you were right re: the SEBTS library. Dr. Patterson improved it, but they stacks were lacking when he arrived).

    A good sampling of the academic standards at Southwestern (where I teach now) may be found in Malcolm Yarnell's Formation of Christian Doctrine. In it Malcolm explains and defends a believer's church set of assumptions to doing theology over against classical liberalism, Roman Catholicism, and Reformed theologies.

    I can assure you that the Bible your father gave you is honored in our seminaries and vigorously studied, explained and defended. If you are in the neighborhood near one, why not sit in on a class? You may not agree with what is said, but I am certain you will not question the academic standards.

  58. David–

    Original Autographs inerrant =

    WE DON'T HAVE ANY AND WILL LIKELY NEVER HAVE THEM!

    Do you know what a "straw dog" argument line is???

    To save you time: putting an imagined thing in the place of things which are fantasy!

    Bottom line question: How many good and intelligent professors have had their career and life ruined by you fantasy????

    In the eyes of Jesus and Matthew 23–you are accountable!!!

    Read carefully an update paraphrase for 1979:

    The Pattersonites and Presslerites control the SBC so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They make many rules and narrow theologies, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not live personal lives under them.

    They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their designer ties bright and their expensive tailored suits sharp, and they love the place of honor at all Pastor’s Conferences. They love being recognized and called “Dr.” by their subservient masses. But you are all the same as Baptists: you have one master, Jesus, and one Father who is God in heaven. Neither be called President or Vice-President, for you have one master, the Christ… But woe to you, dictators to Baptists, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who follow you to go in.

    You go on glorious and expensive overseas mission trips to make a single proselyte and then corrupt him. You make all kinds of Resolutions and use Robert’s Rules of Order in any way to get your way. You don’t care what promises you make or public statements as long as you sound politically correct. Your sermons are slick and designed to please men. You neglect the Gospels and the ideas of God’s love and forgiveness, replacing them with legalisms and judgmentalism to make sinful men feel worse.

    You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Woe to you dictator pastors! You are like dishes and cups cleaned only on the outside while the inside is full of rotting food and disease. First cleanse the inside and the outside will clean itself. You take statements out of context from Baptist forefathers and act as if they applaud your mindless theology. You say you would love what the forefathers died for, but you take away the freedoms for which they would give their life. They went to jail and endured punishment so we could live in a land of freedom of religion and conscience. You would have been in the mobs which booed them and threw them in prison. You would have shot them rather than listen to their cries for freedom of individual churches and believers.

    Many Baptists are saying we have deserted our heritage of freedom in recent years, but you call them “skunks” and “liberals” to anyone who doesn’t know what being free and Baptist means. The hottest fires of Hell wait for those who do not live in love and allow their brothers in the faith to be free. Anyone who claims to serve a God of love, but cannot love his brother who is different or uses different words, is a liar and a hypocrite destined for God’s harshest judgment.

    My brother—this is NO STRAW DOG!!

  59. David–

    I am glad to know you have a PhD. Did it include a section of Paige Patterson worship???

    There is too much of this these days, and too little of serious academic discussion and enlightenment which exposes one to all sides of a given issue.

    A true Professor doing his job properly should have the ethical and academic abilities to expose graduate students to all sides of a given issue with all angles presented from "conservative" to "liberal." Then trust that student to figure out his position and why he follows it.

    All of our seminaries these days seem to think the only person worthy of a graduate certification believes in:

    (1) The Inerrant Bible

    (2) All gays / abortionists / Democrats / left wingers are going straight to Hell

    (3) Whatever PP and associates says is equal to or above the Bible

    (4) Anyone disagreeing with that position is doomed to Hell

    (5) It is our job to put into place the BF&M 2000 and make sure Autonomy is never mentioned

    (6) Keep all Executive Committee decisons totally secret as well as any figures disclosing expenditure of Cooperative Program dollars

    (7) Surround all decisions made with "This is the Will of God."

    You can add any others you might have detected.

    Have you ever considered the possibility that what the Duke generated Professor was saying was: "This is a bunch of hogwash I have never before seen at any accredited and respected institution of higher learning!"

    I happen to be a person who had the priviledge of being at Emory (and President of the BSU) the year Thomas J.J. Altizer did his "God Is Dead" stuff. That institution quickly addressed his presentation with a colloquium where Altizer, himself, presented his theories and our Methodist Chaplain presented the other side and analysis of what Altizer was saying. It was a debate setting where either presenter could dialogue before the audience with his opponent.

    In that setting, every listener had the opportunity to see for himself what was going on. I do not have time for the details here, but it dealt with Transcendence and Immanance and the definition of "dead."

    Would Altizer have had a chance to be even heard at SWBTS????

    Academics in theology carries with it a willingness to listen even if it sounds strange and foreign. A faith which cannot stand some serious doubts is not much faith at all, in my opinion.

  60. Before my conversion, I thought the whole Bible was a pack of lies, unadulterated nonsense, idiocy. But at that time what could one expct of an atheist with chip on his shoulder who told his sister to take her old namby pamby religion and go jump out the window with it? That was the way I felt though I had seen a moral miracle where two people who were threatening to murder one another had their lives changed by that dumb Book and its message. A man with a 3rd grade education who suffered from PTSD. I can never forget the man standing there with a piece of stove wood threatening to brain the woman and the woman with a butcher knife threatening to stab the man. Then he saw the Lord and came home from a hospital and started reading his Bible and praying three times a day. I remember the woman going about mumbling, "Well, I can forgive, but I can't forget." Later, she would say to me, "He asked me to forgive him." By that time I had been converted – in a rather realistic way. A vision, a hallucination(??), who can say? I saw Jesus standing, facing me, looking at me, with his hand raised like He was knocking at a door – just like it says in Rev.3:20. I ran the other way, but He caught me and opened the door for me like it says in Acts 16:14. That night I asked God to forgive me of my sins (12-7-57). In the Spring of '58 I answered the call to the ministry and that Fall began my long years of education which would take in 11 colleges and universities, 5 degrees and work on number 6. In the process I got called ignorant for believing in the Virgin Birth (That ain't hard compared to the resurrection and the fact that Jesus is God incarnate, that the Christian Faith is a supernatural faith). At first it was easy to feel the temptation to go with the flow, go with the folks that looked on the Bible as folk lore with some religious elements thrown in which is where they say it is its only message. Being trained to do research and loving hard nosed facts as the only basis for truth in his world, I ran smack into the problem that the Bible is inspired by a supposedly omniscient God. If such be the case, it followed that it must reflect a depth of intelligence commensurate with that fact and that is were the problem began. The depth of profundity of the Book is so great that even when we think we grasp those parts that seem to be the soul of clarity, we are in over our heads.
    After all, there must be something to a book that will deliver a crazed man and his wife, poor working sharecroppers exhausted by a lifetime of labor and hardship and despair. Deliver them to a state of peace and lead eventually to a good death. I can't quite get that out of my head. In fact, from my studies in intellectual history and other areas, I came to the concluson that the Bible is the most profound, the most subtle, the most challenging of all works ever written, and that it can bring renewal to society and to people in the darkness of despair.

  61. Before my conversion, I thought the whole Bible was a pack of lies, unadulterated nonsense, idiocy. But at that time what could one expct of an atheist with chip on his shoulder who told his sister to take her old namby pamby religion and go jump out the window with it? That was the way I felt though I had seen a moral miracle where two people who were threatening to murder one another had their lives changed by that dumb Book and its message. A man with a 3rd grade education who suffered from PTSD. I can never forget the man standing there with a piece of stove wood threatening to brain the woman and the woman with a butcher knife threatening to stab the man. Then he saw the Lord and came home from a hospital and started reading his Bible and praying three times a day. I remember the woman going about mumbling, "Well, I can forgive, but I can't forget." Later, she would say to me, "He asked me to forgive him." By that time I had been converted – in a rather realistic way. A vision, a hallucination(??), who can say? I saw Jesus standing, facing me, looking at me, with his hand raised like He was knocking at a door – just like it says in Rev.3:20. I ran the other way, but He caught me and opened the door for me like it says in Acts 16:14. That night I asked God to forgive me of my sins (12-7-57). In the Spring of '58 I answered the call to the ministry and that Fall began my long years of education which would take in 11 colleges and universities, 5 degrees and work on number 6. In the process I got called ignorant for believing in the Virgin Birth (That ain't hard compared to the resurrection and the fact that Jesus is God incarnate, that the Christian Faith is a supernatural faith). At first it was easy to feel the temptation to go with the flow, go with the folks that looked on the Bible as folk lore with some religious elements thrown in which is where they say it is its only message. Being trained to do research and loving hard nosed facts as the only basis for truth in his world, I ran smack into the problem that the Bible is inspired by a supposedly omniscient God. If such be the case, it followed that it must reflect a depth of intelligence commensurate with that fact and that is were the problem began. The depth of profundity of the Book is so great that even when we think we grasp those parts that seem to be the soul of clarity, we are in over our heads.
    After all, there must be something to a book that will deliver a crazed man and his wife, poor working sharecroppers exhausted by a lifetime of labor and hardship and despair. Deliver them to a state of peace and lead eventually to a good death. I can't quite get that out of my head. In fact, from my studies in intellectual history and other areas, I came to the concluson that the Bible is the most profound, the most subtle, the most challenging of all works ever written, and that it can bring renewal to society and to people in the darkness of despair.

  62. Gentlemen:

    Thank you for this conversation.

    May God bless us all. May we all become more like Christ. May we all love one another.

  63. I have looked where you recommended and I don't find anything offensive nor do I find anyone tearing the relaibility of the Bible as a guide (canon) for faith and practic.

    So—where's the beef?????

    Two things crossed my mind…

    1 – There are a lot of topics being talked about so you may not have looked deep enough. It is not an everyday discussion but it is there. The welcoming of those who support homosexuality and abortion but a disdain and almost hatred towards inerrancy and those who speak in favor.

    2 – You dug deep and saw it (support of homosexuality and abortion) and found no problem with it.

    My guess for you is # 1, you will have to let us know for sure.

  64. Gents:

    The original post was about Emir Caner's competence at TM, and his ability to hire a competent faculty. We have discussed that, inerrancy, homosexuality, abortion, etc. Let's tie this altogether with a question.

    Is the president of a Baptist institution competent if he hires or maintains the employment of a faculty member who departs from the biblical/historic Baptist perspective on homosexuality?

    You may be able to make the case that the president of a secular institution is competent under such circumstances, but what about a Baptist president of a Baptist institution?

  65. John & David–

    I can tell you want an interesting and lively discussion. However, I have no comprehension of your abbreviated stuff nor does anyone else.

    If you will kindly define your terms and write them out, I will gladly continue with you.

    I am boy sitting 4 grandsons and may not respond as quickly as normal, but you know how it is with busy boys at Christmas.

  66. Davie–

    Define: "the biblical/historic Baptist perspective on homosexuality"

    What is it really and what is it based upon?

  67. I would think that a Baptist institution could do what it wished, but it would shoot itself in the foot if it fired a competent professor for such a lame excuse. Teaching a narrow view makes for narrow minded students and hurts the institution in the long run, unless, of course, it only wants to produce narrow mindedness. Squelching debate in the academic community inhibits learning and progress.

  68. Is the president of a Baptist institution competent if he hires or maintains the employment of a faculty member who departs from the biblical/historic Baptist perspective on homosexuality?

    I would say "NO".

  69. Mountain Man from GA,

    What is narrow minded about teaching that homosexuality is sinful and if you teach contrary to this in our institutions you need to teach elsewhere?

    When you broaden the mind, how far does one go before it is too broad? Problem is, wherever one stops those broader will say you are narrow minded. The only territory where broadmindedness is truly accepted is when there are no borders set to the mind.

    Maybe Jesus was being narrow minded when he commanded His children to "think on these things". I don't think so but I am sure we could round up a few dozen or so who would say He was.

  70. Mr. Mills,

    I am not sure if my opinion is relevant or not since I am not a Baptist nor am I interested in a historic Baptist perspective.

    However, for whatever it is worth:

    First of all, I assume the president of this Baptist institution is an employee of the institution. It is good policy for every employer to make clear to its employees what is required for a good job and how job performance is going to be judged. So, if the issue of homosexuality is important to the institution, and it has a particular view regarding homosexuality and desires to support this view by having all faculty members and other employees agree with the institutional view, then the institution should make this perspective clear to the president and then the president should definitely hire only those employees that share the view of the institution.

    In fact, I think it is also good practice for educational institutions to clearly communicate to its prospective students, students, employees and any other stakeholder what its educational perspective is and what its behavioral and intellectual boundaries are. This practice allows those who may consider affiliating with the institution in some way to make an appropriate judgment about their possible affiliation.

    For example, if you are a parent that wants his child to be taught that homosexuality is wrong, then it is good that an educational institution communicates what its policy is so the parent can make a choice that matches what he wants. On the other hand, a parent that wants his child to make up his own mind about homosexuality, may want an educational institution that allows for multiple views among its faculty and staff. Or, if a parent wants his child to be taught that homosexuality is a natural variant of human sexuality that is perfectly acceptable and wants no challenge to that view, then the parent should be able to have enough information about the institution to make an appropriate choice.

    The BOTTOM LINE: make clear who you are, and be true to who you are.

    The question of whether it is wise and educationally sound to enforce a single perspective regarding any particular issues or group of issues is a completely different question. An issue on which I will not express an opinion, because I think that in the USA the choice of what types of educational institutions that we will have will be determined by the free market place of ideas. If any particular institution’s perspective is not supported by enough people, then it will die. This fact makes every institution responsible to its constituents and makes the choice of how it will behave a very critical decision that will determine whether it survives or not.

    The BOTTOM LINE: choose who you are very wisely.

  71. Some good questions:

    (1) Is the only thing worth having a fist fight about–homosexuality and abortion among Baptists?

    (2) Are college age students so stupid and naive they must be protected from all things worldly?

    (3) Does the local church and family who sent them to the institution not bear any responsibility for what they sent?

  72. DR Mills–

    I am particularly interested in your response to the above questions.

    I wish your picture were less arrogant looking. You might check with PP as to how he covers his junk yard dog persona with such an sweet looking picture!

    I also wish I had a picture of when he fell off his horse in front of Binkley Chapel introducing the "Sandy Creek Revival Series" which still goes on at SEBTS—as if they all needed converting from something–I'm trying to figure how dedicated people need a serious romping, stomping revival service every year.

    Is there anyone there who needs converting????

    Bet Paige might have said a bad word when his posterior hit the ground—ya think???

  73. the majority of Christians and a whole bunch of Baptists would find objectionable.

    Oh, you can PROVE that? Really? I mean, you took the time to poll enough people to say what a "majority of Christians"? Since you don't qualify your outlandish assertion, you must mean world wide. So you did this in person? By email? Oh, and I know your survey is off by at least two because neither my wife and I were contacted.

    Let me guess, this same "majority" also believes:
    (a) the Bible is not inerrant as defined by the Chicago Statement.
    (b) homosexuality is not always a sin.
    (c) Paul and other writers of scripture occasionally inserted their opinions and not everything they wrote was scripture so that the Bible contains the word of God rather than actually being the word of God.

    Sound about right?

    It's wastes of human skin that believe garbage like that which prove that the CR was needed and a move of God.

  74. I also wish I had a picture of when he fell off his horse in front of Binkley Chapel introducing the "Sandy Creek Revival Series" which still goes on at SEBTS—as if they all needed converting from something–I'm trying to figure how dedicated people need a serious romping, stomping revival service every year.

    I've been taught and understand from reading scripture that revival is not about people getting saved but about God's people getting right. The result of that will be spiritual awakening (people getting saved).

    Loosen up the cowboy hat and let the brain cells flow.

  75. Some good questions:

    (1) Is the only thing worth having a fist fight about–homosexuality and abortion among Baptists?

    Not at all but these two are worth fighting against.

    (2) Are college age students so stupid and naive they must be protected from all things worldly?

    Some may be, I don't know them all but to answer more directly, I refuse to send them things like drugs or pornography just because they are college students. I think even you agree (or I hope so) that good people can do stupid things and make stupid choices. It is not our place to help them do so.

    (3) Does the local church and family who sent them to the institution not bear any responsibility for what they sent?

    Local church – NO
    Family – If a family sends their kids to a school which espouses and supports such things, they would probably not see a problem with it. A family that has morals and godly virtues should not send their children to the wolves.

  76. Bob–

    CB is the one I am communicating with. He made motions like he was about to say, "We can agree to disagree." Then he went back to defend himself and continue to claim I am lying.

    Wade wisely observed we are both right in our own right, but CB refuses to offer any apology to me for the insults which I consider as serious.

    I do not challenge him on his allegations. I just stated clearly my understanding and personal observations.

    Again, the ball is in CB's court and not yours.

    Will he be man enough to aske for my forgiveness for his awful epithets which he seems to use quite often according to Wade?????

    I have my Series 6 Securities liscense, the core of which is: "Always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—and never use the word 'guarantee' when discussing equities with any client." I have used that same motto in what I said, but do not in any way deserve being accused of lying.

    Here in NC, them thar is fightin' words!

  77. Sorry gentlemen, my puter put up this blog when I should be on the Burleson blog. Ignore it as in the wrong place, please.

  78. Joe said:

    I've been taught and understand from reading scripture that revival is not about people getting saved but about God's people getting right. The result of that will be spiritual awakening (people getting saved).

    Loosen up the cowboy hat and let the brain cells flow.

    Gene answers:

    Joe, thanks for the confession that many people need to "get right" because that pretty well says they were wrong and the "they" are lover of CR and the dirty tricks which went on with it.

    The separate and hidden meeting of preachers in my local association serves as a good example:

    I found out through another friend about the time and place of the meeting so I went. Mouths fell open as I entered. Then the leader of the gang, a classmate of mine at SEBTS proceeded to tell the group exactly what political plan was on from Conservative Carolina Baptists to group vote at the upcoming annual meeting of the NCBSC.

    BUT–they had claimed the only reason for their meetings was to pary and fellowship together with no agendas involved—OOPS, what were they doing outside of praying and fellowshiping: POLITICING and PLANNING a takeover.

    Just in case I should be called a liar, I had taken a tape recorder with me and had it under the table so my coat pocket would not distort anything. The man beside me said, "Why don't you quit hiding the recorder?" SO I put it up on the top of the table!

    You know how the Bible says, "Weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth?" Well I heard it clearly! The anger was so great, I was glad we were in a public place and preachers would be told on for hitting or lynching someone at the meeting!

    Then I said, "You know, I almost didn't bring a recorder and do a dirty trick, but you guys did it to my professors at SEBTS and I thought you might like to see how it feels!"

    Contrition now ruled with some members of the group saying, "Yeah we shouldn't have done it BUT . . ."

    I think they enjoyed doing it and tried their best to take statements out of context which went within the hour to PP who, in turn, called back to SEBTS saying, "Thus and so was uttered by a professor today and you need to get rid of him."

    Despite my cowboy hat, my brain cells get plenty of blood flow. I try to look beneath the surface, collect sufficient evidence of what I am talking about, and only then offer a public observation as to what I think and why.

    Is this kind of thinking allowed these days when fundies take over a religious and educational institute??????

    Jon–I agree that good people can do stupid things. I further declare that the things done with CR "chucking and jiving" prove good people did, in the past do stupid things AND apparently still do stupid things!!!

  79. Joe, thanks for the confession that many people need to "get right" because that pretty well says they were wrong and the "they" are lover of CR and the dirty tricks which went on with it.

    Loosen the hat Gene, Joe did not type the words you are speaking too, I did.

    I am glad, well maybe surprised, to know that only the CR guys do wrong. I guess that means you don't. Interesting point of view.

  80. Joe / John–not much difference except the letters after "o."

    I do love the way you jokers of the fundamentalist pursuasion are always putting words into someone's mouth so you can find something to criticize one did not even say.

    I may have the wrong name, but I do know what I say and what I believe.

    Number 1 is that ALL are sinful and that, for the grace of God and belief in Jesus as the risen Lord, none of us is worthy. Even Paul was man enough to admit he had sinned, and so have I.

    It would be equally sinful to read and stand quiet when your guys fit the definition of what Jesus despised according to Matthew 23.

    Again is share my update to 1979 ff:

    The Pattersonites and Presslerites control the SBC so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They make many rules and narrow theologies, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not live personal lives under them.

    They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their designer ties bright and their expensive tailored suits sharp, and they love the place of honor at all Pastor’s Conferences. They love being recognized and called “Dr.” by their subservient masses. But you are all the same as Baptists: you have one master, Jesus, and one Father who is God in heaven. Neither be called President or Vice-President, for you have one master, the Christ… But woe to you, dictators to Baptists, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who follow you to go in.

    You go on glorious and expensive overseas mission trips to make a single proselyte and then corrupt him. You make all kinds of Resolutions and use Robert’s Rules of Order in any way to get your way. You don’t care what promises you make or public statements as long as you sound politically correct. Your sermons are slick and designed to please men. You neglect the Gospels and the ideas of God’s love and forgiveness, replacing them with legalisms and judgmentalism to make sinful men feel worse.

    You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Woe to you dictator pastors! You are like dishes and cups cleaned only on the outside while the inside is full of rotting food and disease. First cleanse the inside and the outside will clean itself. You take statements out of context from Baptist forefathers and act as if they applaud your mindless theology. You say you would love what the forefathers died for, but you take away the freedoms for which they would give their life. They went to jail and endured punishment so we could live in a land of freedom of religion and conscience. You would have been in the mobs which booed them and threw them in prison. You would have shot them rather than listen to their cries for freedom of individual churches and believers.

    Many Baptists are saying we have deserted our heritage of freedom in recent years, but you call them “skunks” and “liberals” to anyone who doesn’t know what being free and Baptist means. The hottest fires of Hell wait for those who do not live in love and allow their brothers in the faith to be free. Anyone who claims to serve a God of love, but cannot love his brother who is different or uses different words, is a liar and a hypocrite destined for God’s harshest judgment.

    If you can parse it any different, I welcome your version! Don't mess with God's Word and don't try to deny when it talks about the Pharisee / Fundamentalist. This is serious business before God who sees to the heart of us all.

  81. Wow Gene,

    You paint with a mighty wide brush in your usage of the word "you".

    I supported the conservative resurgence but never once did any of the things you say I did.

    You make the following statement:

    The hottest fires of Hell wait for those who do not live in love and allow their brothers in the faith to be free. Anyone who claims to serve a God of love, but cannot love his brother who is different or uses different words, is a liar and a hypocrite destined for God’s harshest judgment.

    I think you love those you speak so ill of but the way you choose to use your words does not demonstrate love. Maybe I am misreading your love towards those you chuck words of disdain at… maybe you have misread them along the way also.

  82. Gentlemen:

    From a question about how a college President should do his job, this conversation seems to have scattered in many different directions.

    I think some maturity, love and forgiveness is in order

  83. Joe–

    Do you not realize I am speaking Jesus' words had he lived in our present age?????

    Read it again—–It is a word from Jesus in his day addressed to our day and our time given to me by the Holy Spirit who lives today.

  84. Oops—John / Joe confused me again. A neighbor kid could not keep my brother and me apart so he made us Gene/Charles for convenience sake.

    Sorry!

  85. Gene, I understand what you are attempting to do but you are failing miserably.

    At least admit you are attempting to speak Jesus' words if He lived in present day — as you understand Jesus and the things "you" don't agree with.

    I could play the same game with what I believe Jesus would say about those who say the bible (His written word) is errant. I choose not to put words in Jesus' mouth but use what He did say without the spin.

  86. Jon–

    I have clearly invited you and Joe to write Matthew 23 into today's terms as the Holy Spirit leads you. I did it as he led me so you should have the same privilege.

    I know of nothing else which applies in this situation. Some OT or non-Gospel stuff might somewhat address it, but it will not be direct. Stick with the Gospels and see if you can find anything supporting your position.

    The Gospels are Jesus, nothing but Jesus, and nothing else will do!!!

  87. Mr. Gourley,

    You said,

    "David, we both know the Bible does not claim inerrancy (textual perfection for itself). Inerrancy is a modern, rationalist imposition upon the Bible, justified by "inerrantists" (Nettles, etc.) who rewrite history and the Bible to suit their own beliefs."

    But you once made a statement in your forum (you know, back before you banned me) that there are some concepts of inerrancy you can accept. Perhaps you could explain just exactly what concept of inerrancy you can accept.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  88. Joe- One does not have to complete a survey to conclude that the majority of Christians would not affirm a narrow, Baptist doctrinal statement. The only argument against that conclusion would be based on the faulty belief that only fundamentalist Baptists and a few like-narrow-minded believers in other traditions compose the entire Christian family. (Though I would be surprised that some Fundamentalists believe that.) But even very conservative Christians in other traditions (such as Pentecostals) would not likely share all aspects of the BF&M 2000. So I'm pretty confidence of my conclusion.
    And thank God, there are many Baptists — as I affirmed — who don't buy into this nonsense, even if we are a minority.

  89. John–

    I will add my hardy "AMEN" to that.

    There are many very conservative churches in Eastern NC who have joined CBF with smile on face after the BF&M 2000 became a creed rather than a statement of faith. When that happens, even the Fundamentalists running the show should pay attention to the lack of giving and taking of Baptist off church signs—BUT I doubt it will dent the blindered mules plowing rows of destruction.

    Smart people plough out weeds rather than the crop.

    Most intelligent professors who teach religion as well as missionaries will not sign despite being threatened with expulsion!

  90. Gene and John:

    How do you reply to this from B.H. Carroll?

    "If ever on this earth there has been an age which is very hurtful as well as very silly and meaningless, it is the time that decries creeds and confessions of faith and at the same time magnifies religion. You are authorized by the very fact that you have intelligence and reason, to hold in utter disrespect any statement from any man’s lips that he is a creedless man, and if he comes up in the pulpit and says that, you don’t need any other evidence in the world for rising in the next conference and saying, 'I move that the credentials of this man be withdrawn and that the fellowship of this church be withdrawn.'" (Carroll, Baptists and Their Doctrines, 80-81, 92, 133, 139).

    Lest someone think Carroll's views were isolated, remember that Carroll preached at the annual meeting of the SBC each year for 35years.

    This historic SBC practice has been to affix signatures to SBC doctrinal statements.

    Of course, Scripture is our authority, not history or experience. On that point, Carroll argued that several creeds appear in the NT (Carroll, Doctrines 131–42).

  91. The BF&M 2000 is significantly different from the earlier SBC statements in at least three ways: its process of revision, its content and its application.
    Earlier doctrinal statements were drafted by a more representative group of SBC leaders rather than a handpicked group of like-minded fundamentalists with a political agenda.
    The earlier goal was to identify commonly held beliefs among the diverse family of Southern Baptists who cooperated in mission and ministry despite differences.
    Drafters of the earlier statements dared not invade local congregational decision making (such as stating qualifications of a pastor). That, they understood, was none of the convention's business.
    And while the less restrictive statements served as an institutional guide (for professors and missionaries) they were not used as weapons of doctrinal accountability to draw as narrow of a circle as possible to assure uniformity and leave no room for undiscovered truth.
    However, I would quickly acknowledge, current SBC leaders are free to impose this narrow doctrine as they choose. I just want to be sure that non-fundamentalist Baptists are aware of such actions so they will not keep funding such nonsense out of ignorance or habit, as I said. And, most importantly, I don't want to be a part of or be identified with such non-Baptist practices that damage the otherwise good name of Baptists who have historically been champions of religious liberty, congregational autonomy and other cherished freedoms.

  92. I've been watching this stuff play out in Baptist life for more than 30 years. The division is clear. Some feel a strong need (even a conviction) to protect themselves and others from any threat to their understanding of doctrinal correctness or purity.
    Others of us do not share that concern. It's really that simple.

  93. Old BH had a right to his opinion, HOWEVER, the majority of Baptists preferred to have no creed but the Bible and not authority beyond the local church which did not even exercise absolute control over its members.

    Anything Catholics and High Churches were, Baptists were not. In many cases the church could not tell you what it believed, but could certainly tell you it DID NOT believe in any church or the denomination telling anyone exactly what to do.

    We have always had a difference between the control freaks and those who believed in Autonomy and freedom along with a clear separation of church and state.

    You puffed toad frogs can say what you want, but what you back it with is quite weak when it comes to any creed. The BF&M #1 was simply trying to appease fundamentalists who were objecting to Elliott's book on Genesis.

    My own father spoke with J.D. Grey who had an earned doctorate and asked him why, when he knew what myth really meant, he portrayed it as saying "fairy tale" to ignorant church members.

    What J.D. really wanted was to be elected President of the SBC. He got it, but only by destroying an honest man who was a good Professor at Southern.

    Now one to you, my brother: is it ever ethical or Christian to tell things to stir up the masses which are untrue just to gain political power?????

  94. "The BF&M 2000 is significantly different from the earlier SBC statements in at least three ways: its process of revision, its content and its application. "

    Gene S.

    I appreciate your committment to religious liberty and other Baptist principles, but, in my view, almost nothing you said in the statement above has any relationship with reality. Statements are not reality.

    The composition/formation of the 1st and 3rd BF&M committee were very similiar.

    The application of the BF&M 1925 was stern. In fact, Scarborough, in his files and elsewhere moved the have a Baptist college professor removed, and succeeded, because the prof taught theistic evolution (See his Fruits of Norrisism).

    No, historic Southern Baptists were not moderates. They were faithful men who had no patience with departure from the BF&M 1925.

  95. David–

    While I respect your statement, you did not answer my queston above which is of the greatest importance.

    While I was at SEBTS 1967-70 I did not meet the first "liberal." I can say this without reservation because I saw Thomas J.J. Altizer do his "liberal" thing at Emory my senior year while I was also President of their BSU. He was a definite "liberal." He was a member of the College Faculty rather than Candler School of Theology training Methodist clergy.

    The Methodists were just as apalled by his stuff as you or I would be. They were also just as firm that he needed to go–and he did to Colgate-Rochester.

    Whenever the conservatives (fundamentalists) claimed the faculty was "liberal," they were demeaning and critical of Professors like Leo Green and Dr. Wayland, to name 2, who were as conservative as the day is long. The fundies who were my classmates could not wait for Dr. Green's Friday lecture because it was always the perfect conservative sermon for their Sunday services. I cannot tell you how many left with smiles on faces ready to "preach a good one" on Sunday.

    This is why my above question is so critical to our discussion. I believe, from personal knowledge, that PP was raising issues with ignorant church members–especially in Texas–who piled into the Convention meeting at Houston with fire in their eyes to vote Adrian Rogers in by a narrow margin.

    They did so violating EVERY rule of limited representation for any given church they were (possibly) properly elected as messengers to represent.

    The analysis of registration after trusting Credential Committee members gave them ballots PROVED the process was totally corrupted by politically wise Pressler / Patterson looking on from the Sky Box. It was the same as the Florida corrupted election which put George Bush II into office.

    It was an "ends justifies the means" approach to SBC trusting leaders of the day from 1979 and several years after. The Parlimentarian in several meeting thereafter was hand picked and used every trick in the book under Roberts Rules of Order to defeat any challenge to the "iron fisted" President / Moderators who ran the show to insure a Fundamentalist won every election.

    You can claim anything you want, but I witnessed it with my own eyes and cried real tears as all Institutions and Agencies were given members by the Committee on Committees ONLY with a kill mentality to existing leaders.

    Names were called which were totally untrue. Actions were taken which had nothing to do with being Christian gentlemen of integrity. Wade Burleson had the guts to tell it like it is and they even tried to silence him with a vote that nothing from Executive sessions leaked into the public eye from SBC trusting laypeople who were totally hoodwinked—in my opinion and clear observation with plenty of documentation at the time to show.

    Please answer my question!!!!!

  96. As a Christian, I find the issue of boundaries a very interesting topic. It seems that at the very beginning of Christianity boundary issues arose. Paul did not want Gentile Christians to be required to follow all of the Jewish laws. There were Jewish Christians that did not agree. Eventually, the disagreement resulted in a separation of ways and the Church survived mainly as a religious group made up of Gentiles. That was only the beginning of the Church’s problems with boundaries. The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the ecumenical councils, the great schism, the Protestant Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the splintering of Protestants into many different groups and denominations. Amazingly, some in the Orthodox Church still claim to be the one, true, catholic church and consider that Roman Catholics and Protestants are heretics.

    Given these issues in the history of the Christian Church, the disagreements between Southern Baptists, Cooperative Fellowship Baptists and Alliance of Baptists see minor. Additionally, considering the threat of atheism, scientific positivism, and the power of evil in the world, the differences that these Baptist groups have between themselves seem to be insignificant.

    Finding common cause in Christ would seem a logic course of action.

    However, absent that, each group should define its boundaries and enforce them. The Southern Baptists make much of their Baptist Faith and Message. Why do they not teach this in their churches, make each person agree to it before becoming a member, make each church leader, pastor, and teacher sign it, and make each of their schools teach all of it without deviation? It would stop all of the arguing. Those who agree with indicate their agreement and everyone else could leave.

    The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship seems to want each individual person to make their own decisions regarding their faith. This path seems a little chaotic. But I would guess that Cooperative Baptists really do have some type of boundaries. Can you profess atheism and teach ministers for Cooperative Baptist Churches that they should also profess atheism? I know that is an extreme example; however, maybe if you consider the extremes you will be able to affirm some boundaries. What is to say that 50 years from now the CBF will not split over some other issue because it was not clear what the boundaries are for being part of the CBF. I do not know if it is true or not, but it seems to me that one of the main reasons for the Alliance of Baptists and the CBF existing as separate groups is because the boundaries are different. I am guessing one of the primary boundary differences is over homosexuality.

    I think many in the CBF would say that each church gets to decide. That sounds like a good choice except for when Baptists try to do something as a group that requires the money of more than one church to accomplish it. If twenty churches contribute to a school and each church has separate boundary choices, it seems that you are going to end up with conflict, and very hurtful conflict……..all because you joined together in an common effort without common understanding.

    It seems that there is an awful lot of hurt out there over the split between the SBC and CBF. Are you going to go down that road again?

    I do not know the answer to the boundary issue, but I think that it is imperative that every religious group struggle with it. My own personal opinion is that Christians all over the world need to stop looking at themselves and start looking at each other and the world. Christians need to figure out how to find common ground in the cause of Christ, in the cause of love, peace and hope.

  97. Anyone who doesn't agree with the direction the SBC has taken (which I might add is the correct, biblical direction) over the last 30 years should go find themselves a home in the Cooperate_with_anyone Baptist Fellowship. It doesn't matter what you believe there.

    Oh, and as to the comment that there are a lot of hurt feelings over the Conservative Resurrgence and the good that it did, it is obvious that the CR didn't go far enough or hurt enough people. It took how long for Broadway Baptist to be kicked to the curb like the mongrel church that it is? Anyone who got hurt in the CR got WAY better than they deserved.

  98. Let me share important information from the 1950's when Southern Baptists seemed to know who they were and what they were:

    In 1953 the church I pastored, North Rocky Mount Baptist Church, faced a great dilemma. An independent, fundamentalist pastor had come disguised as a regular clergy-man. This Bob Jones educated–seminary and college basher–modern Bible translation trasher–led a slight majority voting to leave the SBC and NCBSC. The minority took them to court over who was the true Baptist congregation and who should maintain their rights to the property and buildings. The case set a precedent and was upheld by the N.C. Supreme court. Its primary purpose was to define “Baptist Church” and examine the Constitution and Bylaws of NRMBC. The conclusion was those wanting to be indepen-dent would have to leave, and the minority who wished to remain associated with the state and national conventions would still own the property.
    During the case, Douglas Branch, pastor of Rocky Mount First Baptist and President of the NCBSC, was called to testify as to the nature of Baptist work. He later became Executive Secretary of the NCBSC. On page 212 of the transcript he cites the same Article III as above. Then he goes on to explore its implementation. He describes how the annual session of Convention and Association meets: this is the real “convention.” Then, how the General Board / Executive Committee of each deals with between-session matters. He says: “If an individual church wanted to withdraw fellowship, it would not have to wait until the next convening of an association. If a church voted unanimously to withdraw from association with any other Baptist body, or with the Roanoke Association, and so notified the Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Chairman of the Committee could take note of the fact and call a meeting together and declare that this church, by its own action, was not any longer a part of the association. Practice is my authority for that.”
    Asked if he could name instances where churches had been excluded he states: “I can’t name instances where churches have been excluded . . . I don’t know of any instance when an Executive Committee has been called on to declare a church out of fellowship.” He goes on to talk of churches which voted to withdraw from the association. He says: “I have known of a number of cases when the associations would not recognize a withdrawal of the entire group unless it was unanimous. . .The only group you could recognize would be which ever one wanted to stay in the association.” It is obvious throughout his testimony that churches do the deciding and associa-tions do their bidding.
    The Doctrine of Authority is the next issue. Dr. Harold W. Tribble had written a book entitled. “Our Doctrine,” in which he states: “The local congregation is autono-mous. It derives its authority from within.” Doug Branch states he is in agreement with that concept and spells it out: “What I am saying is that my church is free, entirely free and independent, except that as a cooperating Baptist church we necessarily, and in the home, as in the State and elsewhere, have to have certain self-imposed limitations which make it possible for us to work with other Baptist bodies. With that qualification, I agree.”
    The most important statement relative to our current condition follows on p.219: “When Dr. Tribble says in his book, speaking of the associations and the Southern Baptist Convention, that neither the association nor the State Convention nor the Southern Baptist a Convention can exercise the least authority over any individual church; that this principle sometimes works to produce temporary embarrassment but in the end it works for the best; that we may well adhere to it for it is a New Testament principle and it has been tried and found worthy; as to that statement, I would say that no association or convention can exercise any authority over a local church except in those areas in which the churches in cooperation have delegated it to the larger group.”

  99. Widely Interested has done a pretty good job of describing the various approaches to being Baptist today.

    Joe is being his usual obnoxious self. He reminds me of my favorite Professor at SEBTS, John Carlton, telling of his return to his Texas home for Thanksgiving. He was pontificating about everything "college freshman" and his father commented after some 20 minutes of his dissertation:

    "Son, you are perfectly right———IN THE MOST OBNOXIOUS WAY!!!!!!

    Now in the above testimony was the heart of why we were growing so rapidly in the 1950-1980 time frame. We became the second largest religious group in the entire USA.

    If you will look at Joe reflecting the current attitude you will find why we are no longer growing / have a reputation for being obnoxiously conservative/political / are having to cut back our mission force by 600—–because we have become so narrow even the Conservatives are now fighting with one another.

    Folks, Baptist churches are now taking "Baptist" off the church sign because average citizens have heard to much about how narrow and obnoxious we have become!!!!!

    God does not bless a mess and that is just what we have had since 1979!

  100. We now have a "top down" approach with the SBC. Those in control make their pontifications and everyone else, like Joe, parrots it. It reminds me of a good story:

    Ventriloquist

    A ventriloquist is visiting this Indian Chief. He decides
    to have some fun and tells the Chief, "Hey Chief, I
    see ya got an old hound dog. Mind if I talk to him?"
    "

    Dog no talk!", replied the chief.

    "Oh, I'll bet he does. Hi buddy, how ya doin?", says
    the ventriloquist while petting the pooch".

    "Oh, not bad", says the dog. "Chief feeds me good and
    I just lay around the teepee.", came the reply from
    the dog.

    The Chief was amazed! The ventriloquist was having fun
    so he says, "Hey Chief, I see you've got a horse outside
    here. Mind if I talk to him?"

    "Horse no talk!", replied the Chief.

    "Oh, I'll bet he does. Hi fella, how ya doin?", say
    the ventriloquist while rubbing the horses nose.

    "Oh, not bad says the horse. Chief stays home a lot
    anymore. I just hang around eating hay.", came the reply
    from the horse.

    Now the Chief was really amazed! The ventriloquist was
    enjoying this so he says, "Hey Chief, I see you've got
    some sheep outside here. Mind if I talk to them?"

    "OH…SHEEP LIE…SHEEP LIE!!", replied the Chief.

  101. Mr. Blackmon:

    Your words,

    “Anyone who doesn't agree with the direction the SBC has taken (which I might add is the correct, biblical direction) over the last 30 years should go find themselves a home in the Cooperate_with_anyone Baptist Fellowship. It doesn't matter what you believe there.

    Oh, and as to the comment that there are a lot of hurt feelings over the Conservative Resurrgence and the good that it did, it is obvious that the CR didn't go far enough or hurt enough people. It took how long for Broadway Baptist to be kicked to the curb like the mongrel church that it is? Anyone who got hurt in the CR got WAY better than they deserved”

    My words,
    I agree with your contention that those who do not like the direction of the SBC should leave. However, I find it offensive when you make fun of some other group’s identification.

    I also suspect that it actually “does matter” what you believe if you are part of the CBF. However, I actually agree with part of what I infer from your remark. It does not seem that the CBF has thought clearly about and communicated clearly about boundary issues. If I were to consider becoming a member of a CBF church, upon what basis would I decide if my beliefs matched the CBF’s beliefs enough to warrant my choice of membership? Should I decide based upon the sermons from the pulpit of the church I wanted to join? Are those sermons representative of most CBF churches?

    I also find offensive your remarks regarding ‘not hurting enough people’. While vigorous debate is good and disagreement is inevitable, I personally believe that speaking and acting respectfully toward every person is a boundary that every church should have.

  102. So? A Baptist school finally faces up to being "Baptist"?
    Has everyone forgotten that the original purpose for building denominational schools is to produce denominational workers? So why shouldn't the people producing those future denominational workers agree to "toe the denominational line"?
    No — I don't like the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message. But I am not being paid to produce Baptist denominational workers, either.

  103. Gene S:

    I recall that case from college and seminary. I have a couple of questions about it that might be better discussed via e-mail. We may be a bit too off topic here to discuss this. Would you mind e-mailing me at dmills@swbts.edu?

    Thanks.

  104. Gene S:

    BTW, good quote from Harold Tribble. He appears, btw, in Thomas White’s, Jason Duesings, and Malcolm Yarnell’s new book Restoring Integrity to Baptist Churches (all current SWBTS profs). An important point is made from Tribble’s work on page 193.

    Churches are not obligated to follow the wishes out any outside association, convention, etc. An association/convention can vote a 100 times ordering a church to take a certain course of action, and that church is free to disregard it and follow its own course.

    At the same time, however, associations/conventions are autonomous, too, and are, like churches, free to determine their own membership. They are not obligated to follow the dictates of an individual congregation.

    As for Brother Branch's comment, he may not have been able to name instances of exclusion, but plenty of examples exist. For example, LR Scarborough and others lead the BGCT to exclude FBC Fort Worth in the 1920s. B.H. Carroll's works reveal other instances in which he was personally involved in counseling associations on the examination and exclusion of churches from association membership.

  105. David–

    Remember the context of the court case is NC where Baptists have been far different than those in Texas.

    After the Civil War many from the South who were constant agitators found a new home in Texas–deep in the heart, no less–their former neighbors were glad to see the rear end of their mule going west and south–anywhere but NC!

  106. David–

    Also, what you said about Associations and Conventions being Autonomous is a new concept in the last 20 years.

    In the past, as per Dr. Tribble, all Baptist churches considered themselvs at the top of Baptist feeding order.

    Associations and Conventions were just places where all could accomplish more by cooperating and trusting then doing it all by themselves.

    BY THE WAY: You have yet to answer my question about the ethics of what went on in 1979 and since?

    Do you dare to do it?

  107. I hold in my hand a Summer 1984 copy of The Review and Expositor (Vol. LXXXI, No. 3) which was published by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. It contains and article written by John I. Durham who was, at that time, Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Southeastern Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

    The title of the article is "The King as 'Messiah' in the Psalms." The essence of the article is that the Old Testament made no prophetic prediction of a coming Christ and that anyone who thinks it did is an ignoramus.

    The anti-Christian nature of such a pronouncement is readily apparently to anyone who is familiar with the teaching of the New Testament or the Old.

    The fact that such teaching could get a hearing among the Southern Baptist theological schools shows just how far the anti-Christian theology of was injected into the Southern Baptist system.

    The core issue between modernists and Bible believers is not women preachers, church autonomy, evolution nor even sodomy. These issues are but the fruit of the root problem. The real issue is Christ Himself and His veracity.

    The fact is, modernists – under whatever name they try to hide – are blatant unbelievers who do not believe in Jesus Christ. This awful heresy has inflicted deep gaping wounds on the Baptist churches and associations of this nation which may never be healed.

    The modernists can cry all day long about Christ being the criterion by which the Scripture is interpreted. The reality is, their own perverted minds are the criterion on which the reject the words of Christ.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  108. Mark,

    I am glad that you profess Jesus as Lord. Although we probably disagree on nearly everything, I do not think it changes the fact of our common cause in Christ. I too profess Jesus as Lord. It is my hope that even though we do not share the same cognitive proposistions about our faith, that people like both of us can come together in "acts of love".

  109. Looks like you fellows, DMills and Scarborough in particular haven't done the requisite reading in the BX 6400's.

    And Harold Bloom's The American Religion was written 15 years ago and sums it up in one sentence

    The Tragedy of the Southern Baptist Convention is the result of Political machinations masquerading as Religious Conviction.

    Mills, you should develop a course in Bloom's The American Religion to show yourself what you are.

    I'm trying to leave it behind exploring Babs Taylor

  110. Mark says:

    I hold in my hand a Summer 1984 copy of The Review and Expositor (Vol. LXXXI, No. 3) which was published by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. It contains and article written by John I. Durham who was, at that time, Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Southeastern Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

    The title of the article is "The King as 'Messiah' in the Psalms." The essence of the article is that the Old Testament made no prophetic prediction of a coming Christ and that anyone who thinks it did is an ignoramus.

    Mark, I would have no debate about the topic in the Review and Expositor, BUT–I seriously doubt John Durham made the last sentence–YOU DID!!!

    Mark, what you have failed to say is that the Review and Expositor is a highly technical and theological journal of that Seminary seldom read by anyone other than a degreed former student or recognized publisher in the field of biblical studies. It was valued at EVERY good theological school in the USA as well as the world! It was despised by Jerry Falwell / Paige Patterson / and the like who ran fundy schools for SS Christians.

    His article was presenting material I bet you don't understand because you added the last sentence. Now why don't you get off your soapbox and get down to the truth: a true theological education and background requires knowledge of all sides of a given theological/biblical issue–even some you do not personally believe! If the Journal presented only your SS religion side of the issue, it would have missed its academic purpose.

    I studied under John Durham at Southeastern and know him personally as well. I can assure you he never brought such material into his classroom, but he DID require us as students to present all sides of an issue in our assigned paper and then conclude with a clearly explained rationale as to why we believed it / the opposite /or somewhere in between.

    I underline: It has to show a grasp of the entire subject to get you an "A." That is simply proper academic argument and presentation adding the mind to the heart and expressing faith in intelligent terms.

    Now, if you can explain exactly to me what he said beyond your inflamatory 1 sentence summary with your last addition of "ignoramus," I will believe it is not the ignorant kettle calling the smart pot black.

  111. The title of the article is "The King as 'Messiah' in the Psalms." The essence of the article is that the Old Testament made no prophetic prediction of a coming Christ and that anyone who thinks it did is an ignoramus.

    Mark,

    Thank you for posting this. Only a non-believer could defend some who made such outlandish claims as this professor did about Holy Scripture. Thank you for posting this reminder to all Bible believers that the CR was needed, was good, and all Christians are thankful for it. On the other hand, mainstream/moderate/Cooperate_with_anyone Baptist fellowship christians will argue til the cows come home that such heretical statements are acceptable in a seminary environment.

  112. Joe–

    You have been omnipresent on the Burleson blog and now you come here to cast your dispursions on anyone with a brain.

    Give me more and I will crack the whip on you as I have done on Burleson.

    You refuse to share your Christian testimony there as has been requested.

    You would rather be a "formenter of discord" than a peacemaker.

    Are you enjoying finding another place to make this New Year's day the start of your attempt to stomp out anything which is not super-fundamentalist?????

  113. S-o-o-o-o-o, Mark—

    You have had many hours to read the John Durham article and have yet to post your understanding of it.

    Is it beyond you reading ability and the words are too hard to really understand.

    You now have good old Joe to back you. Let's do a tag team and see if we make any more sense than before.

  114. Gene,

    The very fact that you are permitted to draw a breath is beyond comprehension.

    Last time I checked, by the way, I don't have to comply with any request you make.

    That professor Mark mentioned has every right to say he believes that the OT never predicted or promised Christ. He just had no right to say that and claim that he is a Christian.

  115. Joe–

    As usual you are full of piss and venom.

    All you need to do is put your spiritual testimony on either of the websites. We will listen.

    OR—do you not really have one???

  116. GeneS,

    You said,

    "S-o-o-o-o-o, Mark—

    You have had many hours to read the John Durham article and have yet to post your understanding of it."

    I read the article years ago when it was first published. I understood it then and I understand it now. It explicitly teaches that the Old Testament made no prediction of a Messiah/Christ and asserts that anyone who thinks it did is ignorant.

    That, my friend, not only means that Mr. Durham does not believe that Jesus is the Christ (because the belief that Jesus is the Christ IS the belief that He is the Messiah predicted by the Old Testament), it also means that he thinks he knew more about the Old Testament than both Jesus and Jesus' apostles, since they all taught that the Old Testament predicted a Messiah and that Jesus was Him.

    Why, even the woman at the well – of whom Jesus said she didn't even know what she worshiped – knew more about theology than Mr. Durham, because even she knew that Messiah was to come.

    Thank God someone had enough Christian manhood to rise up and drive these infidels out!

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  117. GeneS,

    You said,

    "Now, if you can explain exactly to me what he said beyond your inflamatory 1 sentence summary with your last addition of 'ignoramus,' I will believe it is not the ignorant kettle calling the smart pot black."

    Here is exactly how Mr. Durham himself summarized his anti-Christ proposition:

    "Few biblical concepts have fallen prey to this tendency [the tendency of 'discrediting of an ancient idea by imputing to it a meaning it did not have in its own plane of existence' <<<< Durham's own words] any more frequently than has the Old Testament concept of messiah, particularly in its occurrences in the Psalms. Though there are some understandable reasons for this mininterpretation of messiah in the Psalm, they all answer to names like ignorance, prejudice, eisegesis, undisciplined piety, and over-used imagination, and so are wrong and unjustifiable reasons."

    Mr. Durham then goes on to lay his filthy heresy bare. Again, I give you his own words:

    "To deal with the most frequent misunderstanding first, the one connected with the 'width' of the concept of messiah in the Psalms, we must first note that messiah in the Psalms refers always and only to the ruling king, the 'Davidic' king who was Yahweh's appointed and so anointed messiah representative. These references are not intended as predictions of Jesus who is the Christ (Cristos, which also means anointed), though they have very often been taken as such, beginning as early as the New Testament period."

    Yeah, the premise that Jesus was the Messiah predicted by the Psalms, as well as Moses and the prophets, is the very premise on which the whole of the New Testament rests! Without this premise Jesus is but a liar and Christianity a bastard child of Judaism, with no more legitimacy than Islam, Mormonism or the Papacy!

    That such men were ever allowed a foothold among Southern Baptist churches is an eternal disgrace to those who were in charge. Those who exposed their wickedness got to themselves and eternal honor and left to their posterity a golden opportunity to abandon the whole failed Conventionist experiment and restore sanity to Baptist life. Only time will tell whether or not they will seize the day.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  118. Mark–

    What I am reading is a simple exposition on the word "Messiah" and how the Hebrew word was used and understood at the time the Psalms were written.

    YOU are the one who says it doesn't stand for Christ!

    So-o-o-o why don't you disprove his studied analysis with your "studied analysis" of the Hebrew word and its usage.

    So far you are trading biblical exposition for epithets you are making up in your own mind! John Durham did not say Jesus is not the Messiah just that the word could not be used in the same fashion in Psalms as it was in, say, Isaiah.

  119. By the way, anyone who knew Jesus had to make up his own mind that he was "the Christ / Messiah." Jesus, himself, asked the question: "Who do you say that I am?"

    To which the disciples answered, "Some say you are ……" until Peter boldly declared, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

    To which Jesus answered, "Blessed are you Peter for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you…"

    S-o-o-o-o, even the Disciples and the populace had their doubts and interpretations based on exactly what John Durham says of the Messiah word usage in Psalms and in Jesus' day.

    It is an act of faith to declare Jesus to be the Christ. The OT does not "prove" he is the Christ. It just predicts a coming Messiah with the understand he would be another David building an earthly kingdom like David did.

    The Pharisees, in part, had him killed because they were not willing to designate him as the Messiah. I think they expected someone more like you–who would promote hatred and destruction of anyone not exactly what they wanted him to be.

    Think about it!!!!!!

  120. GeneS,

    You said,

    "It is an act of faith to declare Jesus to be the Christ. The OT does not "prove" he is the Christ. It just predicts a coming Messiah with the understand he would be another David building an earthly kingdom like David did."

    Your words prove that you still don't understand what Mr. Durham said nor do you understand the meaning of "faith".

    The only legitimate faith is faith in the revealed word of God. Believing Jesus to be the Messiah does not mean simply deciding you think He is Messiah. It means believing that He fits the criterion of the Messiah as set forth in the Scripture. As it says in the Acts:

    "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."

    As for Mr. Durham, he didn't give the meaning of the Hebrew term messiah in Psalms in contrast to any other Old Testament book. Nor did he merely say that messiah sometimes referred to personages other that the Messiah. Anyone who reads the Old Testament knows it did.

    What Mr. Durham asserted is that the Old Testament never predicted a coming Messiah, not in the Psalms or any other book, and that even the New Testament writers erred and were ignorant in saying it did. If you think I am misrepresenting what he said, I suggest you get the article and read it. In fact, if you will e-mail your mailing address I will mail you a copy of it.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  121. Mark says: Your words prove that you still don't understand what Mr. Durham said nor do you understand the meaning of "faith".

    Well Mark—

    Why don't you educate me on what DR. Durham said as well as what faith means.

    I, obviously at age 63 am in need of educating and you must be just they one to do it.

    By the way, what credentials do you have which I should respect more than my own ability to read and understand?

    Age over me?
    Experience over me?
    Integrity over me?

    What exactly is it, pray tell!

  122. GeneS,

    You said,

    "I, obviously at age 63 am in need of educating and you must be just they one to do it."

    To start with, I don't ever plan to get beyond the need of educating. I figure if a man who is younger than me knows something that I don't I ought to listen, weigh his words against the truth and say "AMEN!" if he is right.

    The fact that you continue to defend Mr. Durhams indefensible and anti-Christian writing would tell me you could use a little educating.

    I offer you no credentials. I simply commend you to read what Mr. Durham said and weigh it against the Scriptures.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  123. Mark–

    Your short quotes are all I need to know about how judgementalism blinds you to what Dr. Durham was trying to say honestly say.

    I figured out Thomas J.J. Altizer who did his God Is Dead stuff and his logic was as lacking as Tricky Dicky Nixon who was nothing but BS after saying, "Let me make this perfectly clear."

    I suspect you might be kin to him in spirit. Superfluous debate with a superfluous (sp?) judgmentalist is just—superluous!

  124. What I am reading is a simple exposition on the word "Messiah" and how the Hebrew word was used and understood at the time the Psalms were written.

    YOU are the one who says it doesn't stand for Christ!

    No, actually you waste of human skin, the AUTHOR is the one who made that claim as Mark pointed out. The AUTHOR SAID:

    These references are not intended as predictions of Jesus who is the Christ (Cristos, which also means anointed), though they have very often been taken as such, beginning as early as the New Testament period

    Now, if you hadn't been raised by a sorry, worthless momma and daddy I would expect you to be MAN enough to apologize to Mark for calling him a liar when he just quoted the man just as I did. Of course, no one who has ever read your vitrolic, liberal, unbiblical, anti-Christian rants will hold their breath waiting for you to "man up".

  125. Blackmon–

    It's the end of the second day of the New Year and you haven't changed a bit.

    Santa is taking notes and you are being very, very naughty!!!!

    I don't respond and debate formentors of discord except to say, "Sticks and stones can break my bones—but words can never hurt me!!!

    I'm still waiting for your personal testimony—if you have one.

  126. Oops, Joe–

    The comment you deleted still came to those of us who clicked the box for follow up comments to be emailed.

    Your blood pessure is really rising!

    Is it possible you are suffering from a hangover for drinking too much Welch's grape juice at communion last night—or is your halo on too tight right now????

  127. Joe's own blog log might reveal a tendency toward hostility.
    There are 23 entries labeled homosexuality while only a few each for humor (5) and happiness (4).

  128. Right, John. Calling homosexuality sin is hostile. Well, at least to a theological moderate/liberal.

  129. I loved this description of the way in which different parts of the Church understand the nature of revelation which in turn shapes their relation to history and tradition:

    "For conservative minds … revelation is doctrine formulated as far as possible in clear-cut propositional statement grounded either in an inerrantly inspired Bible, inerrantly interpreted by men of the Spirit who show themselves to be so by their assertion of biblical inerrancy, or in an unfailing organ of teaching authority, a magisterium … whose rulings through the centuries can be conveniently gathered in a canonist's handbook, and whose verdicts are really all one needs to know."

    "A less hard concept of revelation would speak of scripture and the consensus of the faithful, expressed through the formative councils such as Nicaea and Chalcedon, the definitions of which 'witness' to a divine self-disclosure in Christ for the redemption of humanity. … It remains a presupposition that a criterion of truth in the Church is consonance with scripture and ancient tradition or at least an absence of evident dissonance."

    "An altogether softer evaluation of revelation would see it as a divinely inspired, immanent enhancement of the natural consciousness of the Christian community, enabling it to cut free from the shackles of the past and from the habits of religious convention. Thereby the Church is an agency of creative independence, whether by charismatic renewal or by jettisoning the ways of the past. The criterion of fidelity to the historical foundations of the faith, and to the formative decisions of the age when Christianity was, so to speak, deciding to be Christianity in the ordinarily recognizable form, becomes hardly more than marginal. The crucial test is that Christians should not be ludicrously at loggerheads with the self-evident assumptions of their secular contemporaries who, after all, are also God's creation living in God's world and are likely to have things to teach those who allow their faith to shut them into a cultural ghetto."

    Chadwick, Henry. "Making and Remaking in the Ministry of the Church." in The Making and Remaking of Christian Doctrine: Essays in Honour of Maurice Wiles. Edited by Sarah Coakley and David Pailin. Oxford: Clarendon, 1993. pp.23-24

  130. Widely Interested quoted:

    "An altogether softer evaluation of revelation would see it as a divinely inspired, immanent enhancement of the natural consciousness of the Christian community, enabling it to cut free from the shackles of the past and from the habits of religious convention."

    In other words, to quote the book of Judges, "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Now that is a fair description of the modernist Baptist left and their plunge into the depths of Satan demonstrate their willingness to put their philosophy into practice.

    Woe unto them who call evil good and good evil!

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  131. Mark,

    I find it interesting that you ascribe the most liberal view to the Baptist left. I am not familar with any Baptist groups that have this point of view. Please help me with some written material so I may study some Baptists that have this view of scripture. Thanks so much for your help.

  132. Widely Interested,

    Roach poison is like, what, 98% dog food?

    If I fixed a bowl of your favorite ice cream and dropped a dog turd in it right before I handed it to you, would you still eat it? I mean, you can just scoop it out or eat around it.

    That's a pretty good parallel of moderate/mainstream baptist "doctrine".

  133. Joe—-

    That was ugly!!!

    Why don't you just share your Christian testimony and give us a chance to evaluate more our common ground than silly theology and homophobia????

  134. Gene,

    If the word Internet Troll is in the dictionary, your picture is probably right beside it.

  135. Joe,

    Your analogies between roach poison, dog food, dog feces and theology are quite crude I do not find them very informative either.

  136. Crude, but accurate.

    Moderate/Mainstream Baptist theology has truth to it. However, it has poison in it as well. Just a little bit of poison makes the whole substance poisonous.

  137. Jesus is Lord. I owe loyalty to none other. He is our example of faith, hope, love and peace.

  138. Folks–

    Joe is an import from the Wade Burleson blog.

    Just like here, he has shown himself to be the northbound end of a southbound mule–and you know what that end is full of!!

    If only he would go away when soundly defeated and told he is rude, but he love Conservative Resurgence so that speaks volumns!

  139. Gene,

    It does seem that they have given up at least "here" and for "now".

  140. Today I have posted to Joe Blackmon's blog, which John points out has many homphobic items, the following. Because it is author moderated, I doubt Joe will put it on and we deserve to know. It deals with the exclusion of Broadway by the SBC:

    Joe–

    I will gladly leave my name because you know me well from many discussions on the Burleson blog and Baptists Today!

    What you are applauding is the "New Catholicism" of the SBC, and that's not good.

    From the beginning Baptists were mostly anything Catholics were not–particularly when it comes to church hierarchy!

    Never before the last 20 years has the SBC / State Convention / Local Association exercised control over a local congregation as long as they were willing to participate in Cooperative Program giving.

    The only exception to this was with the Norris Controversy when he and his church became so continually obnoxious and would not change, they finally invited them to leave!

    Were it that era, you, your church, and your kind would have been invited to join them.

    Why don't you just start something new. A good name would the "OBC"—"Obnoxious Baptist Convention."

    I encourage you to think about it and deal with more important things than homosexuality!

    I once had a Senior Minister who decried the corruption of homosexuals as we strolled through the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco with his family and mine.

    Guess what—he turned out to be a flaming homosexual who died of AIDS a few years ago!!! Sometimes when one yells too loud constantly on a simgle subject, it is to cover the corruption of his own soul.

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