Moral Contradictions

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

RESOLVED: We've missed the point

From the 2005 SBC meeting:

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 21-22, 2005, call on the United States Senate to return to the constitutionally established principle and two-hundred-year-old practice of basing “advice and consent” decisions on a simple majority vote of the Senate; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon all future presidents to nominate strict constructionist judges who will interpret rather than make law; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon Southern Baptists and all members of the Body of Christ to provide their United States senators with verbal and written encouragement to stop the obstruction of judicial nominees; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we commend Tennessee Senator Bill Frist for courageously standing in the gap in his position as Senate majority leader, defending the appointment of fair and impartial judges to the federal bench and insisting upon their right to a vote of confirmation by the full Senate.

As Ethics Daily points out as does this resolution, this stance is indistinguishable from that of the Republicans in Congress.

I remember when the Disney resolution first came out about a decade ago. My father explained to me that the beauty of being Baptist was that an individual church didn't have to follow along one way or the other. He also pointed out that the downside to this was the media didn't always understand this nuance of the SBC and reported these items like they would a Catholic bishop making a decree for the whole church.

Unfortunately, since then, I've seen and heard Richard Land, among others, using this misunderstanding and go on national media and pretty much speak for all Southern Baptists. Perhaps since then there's just more like-minded people installed in seminaries influencing new pastors and in-turn influencing more congregations with their religious and political beliefs. For those left in the SBC who don't agree with this statement, yet is reported by media that "this is what Southern Baptists believe", how do they grapple with that and still feel welcome?

Furthermore, what place does this resolution have next to Jesus' commandments and His Great Commission?

I expect a similar statement out of civic groups and other types of organizations, not from a group that represents churches. I know the SBC isn't the first and won't be the last church to say something like this, but I'm still appalled that a church would ignore Jesus' life and get involved with politics in such an overt manner. Not content to force their own interpretation of the Bible on the rest of us, we must endure their intrepretation of the Constitution and its use in national politics. Leave the politics to individual members organizing within their own preferred political party or organization and leave the church to fulfilling God's mission and will, I say.

Jesus spent everyday of His ministry either reaching out to the down-and-out, teaching large groups about God and Scripture and who He was, and struggling against the politicians of that time. He fundamentally changed the world using this method... what happened to our faith that we abandoned His example for the ultimate corruption of politics?

2 Comments:

  • Very well said, Nathan! The SBC has seemingly become more of a right-wing political organization and less of a spiritual one.

    I especially like the part where you say, "Leave the politics to individual members organizing within their own preferred political party or organization and leave the church to fulfilling God's mission and will, I say."

    And to that I say, Amen! There's nothing wrong with individual believers being political, but there is something desperately wrong with entire denominations virtually demanding that their members belong to "the party." And there's something equally wrong with denominations attempting to create a Church-State amalgam. Those things don't mix, and all attempts at mixture have produced monsters.

    Peace,

    Mike

    By Blogger Dr. Mike Kear, at Wednesday, July 06, 2005 8:34:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    Thank you for reading and commenting. :)

    I'm sure there are similar elements in other denominations, but it definitely seems like the SBC is the "squeakiest wheel".

    The more I study them and the religious battles that have invaded our national political discourse, the more surprised (and saddened) I am to find quotes and comparisons like this.

    Nathan

    By Blogger Nathan, at Wednesday, July 06, 2005 8:53:00 PM  

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