Moral Contradictions

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The IMB unbiblical?

The Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board has once again proved that it works to preserve itself and the SBC's obsession of doctrinal purity instead of following the Great Commission.

Jesus had a little something to say about the danger of this kind of legalistic thinking:

You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. (Mark 13:9-10)

Folks, Jesus commanded us to go throughout the world and preach the good news and baptize those who believe. He didn't say that the word "Baptist" had to be on the church door outside. He didn't say that you couldn't work with other denominations in achieving a goal.

The missionary couple in the above article are operating in a country where very few missionaries live. The country is 99.9% Muslim and they're working on one church plant out of six in a population of 2.5 million. To casual observers, like myself, it seems like what has happened there is a miracle by itself.

Yet, what appears to fulfill Jesus' Commission isn't good enough for the Southern Baptist Convention.

I have some shocking news - not all Southern Baptists are going to heaven, and not everyone in heaven will be Southern Baptist.

UPDATE: Just some further thinking on this: I truly believe this is another example of Southern Baptists reaping what they sowed. They were in love with the structure of the convention and the power that it came to enjoy, despite its original purpose of supporting local churches. They became enamored with the possibility of taking a local church/bottom-up organization and flipping it on its head to impose strict conservative doctrinal purity from the top-down. They found a way to make the Convention a Church, and those that stuck around are now having to deal with these situations, as they were inevitable.

Their interpretation of the Bible continually narrows while their power continually strengthens, and now they are eating their own - all of the sake of uniformity.

UPDATE 2: Further underscoring the irony of all this comes from a comment at sbc outpost:

It seems that the problem is that our agencies can be taken over by small groups piecemeal. They can then bide their time and build up political influence through appointments and by taking over one committee or section of an agency at a time. In time, they influence the whole thing, and we have an oligarchy controlling the whole convention....Eventually, even if it is slow, these things have a way of working through the entire body, kind of like yeast working through the dough...

Gee whiz! In much the same way conservatives took over the SBC, it can be taken over by another group! Wow, how could be?!?

The more things change, the more things stay the same...


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