Moral Contradictions

Monday, May 23, 2005

Thou shalt love thyself and reject others...

...that's how I interpret the rhetoric of prominent Southern Baptist leaders and other hard-right Christian organizers. After reading the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message (or the Baptist Creed) my wife pointed out that they're trying. 95% of the text is fairly scripturally sound.

My opinion, while not disagreeing with her, is that between denominations and groups within denominations, most everyone probably agrees on 90-95% of what the Bible says. Yet that last little bit of difference can produce some ugly splits. Additionally, one has to examine the attitude behind the differences and how they can be misused to coerce people too choose to believe everything they are told without question or be told they 'don't believe the Bible'. (You think this stuff doesn't happen?)

The above rambling drivel is inspired from the article "World Baptists more interested in unity than U.S. squabbles, BWA head says". The article says some good things that are applicable to all Christians, not just Baptists.

“It’s a lot better to hand out Bibles than to fight about the Bible,” said Lotz, citing BWA’s Scripture distribution efforts in Cuba and other ministry projects around the globe. “Baptists of the world don’t want to get involved in all of our national conflicts. They want to concentrate on missions. They want to concentrate on Jesus Christ.

The head of the Baptist World Alliance also states there are three challenges to all Baptists and Christians:

  1. The charismatic movement. Christians must not let the fringe leaders of the charismatic movement keep them from embracing the Holy Spirit, he said. “We as Baptists are going to hurt ourselves if we become Binitarian” rather than Trinitarian.
  2. AIDS/HIV. The disease has killed 40 million people in Africa and left 6 million children orphaned, Lotz noted. “Who’s going to take care of their children?”
  3. Laity involvement. Many churches have become too pastor focused, Lotz said. “We don’t want bishops or cardinals, but we’ve got a 100,000 little popes we call pastors.”

On that last challenge, here's an anecdote where if they believed that pickles had souls, the fundamentalists leaders would force the seminary professors to teach that, no questions asked.

Again, here is why the last 25 years are important (from what I've gathered so far...):

  • Step 1: Take over Presidency and top Southern Baptist posts by bringing like-minded Baptists to the Convention.
  • Step 2: Appoint like-minded fundmentalist preachers to Boards of Trustees of SBC agencies and institutions
  • Step 3: Upon control, force out seminary presidents and professors that don't agree with agenda and install ones that do.
  • Step 4: Fire all women professors and others who don't agree with agenda.
  • Step 5: Hire professors that do agree with you.
  • Step 6: Tell professors that they must impress the fact on new pastors that they know the right answers and that they are in charge of the truth.
  • Step 7: As these pastors are trained and spread out throughout the land at various churches, use this new network to gather resources to push for political clout in Washington.
  • Step 8: Pass laws where pastors can preach politics and endorse candidates without risking their tax-exempt status.
  • Step 9: Focus on salvation, homosexuality, and abortion at the expense of living for Christ with daily actions to help the poor, homeless, un-insured, hungry, down and out.
  • Step 10: Establish Christianity as official religion in the country and condemn others for being "CINOs" - Christians in Name Only.
Ask for more links if you don't agree... most of my information is from books and Google isn't cooperating with me at the moment.


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