What image is being protected?

On Tuesday, messengers to the annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting in Louisville were quick to toss out Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth for being too inclusive of homosexuals in their congregation.

The decision was based on Southern Baptist leaders’ investigations and perceptions rather than any policy decisions by the Texas congregation that asked to continue their 125-year connection with the denominational group.

SBC leaders, however, wanted stronger/clearer anti-homosexual assurances from the church in order to “protect the reputation of the Convention,” said attorney August Boto, executive vice president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, according to an ABP report.

That’s where Boto and those he represents keep missing the boat. Either SBC leaders can’t step back far enough to see how they are truly perceived or they relish being known for their smug, quick-to-judge, self-assured, log-in-the-eye reputation.

A little New Testament reading could be of help. Jesus had a soiled reputation for hanging around with the “wrong people.”

The Pharisees, on the other hand, were intent on staying pure in reputation by avoiding association with anyone who did not think or act exactly like them. (In fact the name “Pharisee” is derived from a word meaning “pure.”)

Boto and other SBC leaders should have no fear. Their widespread reputation is secure.

Oh, well. Here we go again. Another year of explaining to friends, colleagues and casual acquaintances: “No, no. I’m not that kind of Baptist.”


  1. Well, another one come and gone. Now some folks in the SBC can feel good about themselves. I'm still in the SBC and I don't feel so well. Richard Land described how Southern Baptists can take some credit for recent laws such as those having to do with the FDA and more control over smoking. Then he mentions that only God can change hearts and that is what America needs…one person at a time. Well, which one is it? Does the SBC focus on political lobbying or focus on personal evangelism? Looks like Land loves the fact that SBC has political power and can influence Washington. I trying hard to find where Jesus lobbied the Romans to change their laws. I keep finding Jesus ministering to those in need and healing lives. The whole SBC lobbying effort assumes that Christians cannot make political decisions based on their personal faith. That is insulting, especially to me – a republibertarian. (Notice the small "r", lest I also get associated with another organization)

    No mention of Wiley Drake in Louisville, unless I missed it. What a shame.

    Also, no disassociation of FBC Decatur. So at least there was one good thing that did not happen.

  2. Clarification: Bad sentence structure on that last sentence. One good thing is that the SBC did not disassociate FBC Decatur. Well, it doesn't mean much because the GBC already has.

  3. John, no problem here with your sentence structure. I use that one too often myself. I also agree with your suggestion regarding the reading of the New Testament. Perhaps such an exercise will allow the light of God's hesed to shine and open their mind to the promised truth we seek.

  4. Joe: My clarification was for MY last sentence, not John's. His post is well written and on target.

  5. Both Stephen and I have noticed that Wade Burleson is gonna take a year off political blogging.
    I think that is a mistake.
    At Same time I am beginning to think Elvis was wiser than I first suspected when He Told President Nixon:
    Mr. President, you run your show and I'll run mine.

    Even so Ron Rash and Luc Sante have some strong thoughts on Baptism; and just this week the existentialist pilgrimage of Primitive Baptist Newton Knight outside Laurel, Mississippi that 100 years later begat Sam Bowers and Charles Marsh and Jason Campbell put it to me strong on hearing Sally Jenkins talk about her book State of Jones.
    See pages 140-159 in the book.
    Maybe we all got a Jones thing.

  6. Fox-
    That's what I was thinking.

  7. JP:
    I kinda thought you would see the baptism thing connection. NOT a LOL here but I understand the Billy Bob wit back at me kinda thing.
    I think Uncle Fremont told me all the North Georgia boy jokes you must know verbatim.
    Anyway they are having fun with it at sbcimpact.net in the DRiscoll etc post which is indeed becoming a very curious piece of Revisionist history.

    And don't dismiss Newton Knight. Marsh can fill in the particulars for you next time you see him, but not an appropriate pursuit right now.

    In retrospect, maybe I shoulda let your comment stand as is, without reply.

  8. Johnny:

    Forgive me but I got to goofing around and came up with something on baptism after all; kinda original over at my blog.
    As you see there I was right about Luc Sante after all, made perfect sense.
    Click over and get word to JBabbTaylor.
    I got a stellar link there for you and beautiful place for a 2nd dunk if you want to join me and Morris Chapman's wife Jodi in the renewal of vows as it were.

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