Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

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Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Sandy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:09 am

https://adammcduffie.wordpress.com/2016 ... brate-yet/

The issue of support for ministries or entities which are LGBT friendly is going to keep coming up for CBF. It has attracted individuals and churches which see inclusion and affirmation of those in the LGBT community as a "prophetic" advancement. On the other hand, there also appear to be many individuals and churches within the fellowship who see prophetic ministry as one which brings conviction of sin, repentance, redemption and restoration by the cross as the pathway to God, for those who are LGBT as well as those who are captured and imprisoned by other sin. It's executive director pointed out, accurately, that individual churches already have the freedom to go where they wish with regard to their approach to ministry. The question is, does CBF have to go there in order to be considered "prophetic" by those who think that affirmation fits that definition?
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:23 am

Sandy wrote: The question is, does CBF have to go there in order to be considered "prophetic" by those who think that affirmation fits that definition?


If the CBF as an organization doesn't want to "go there" their best bet would be to have no statements on LGBT issues and quite clearly leave that up to the local church. Where the ABC/USA screwed up is that the General Board at the time voted to punt and leave such decisions up to local churches and ABC regions but then put anti-LGBT statements in the denominations faith stance.

This is a problem because it is bit contradictory to leave it up to the local church and then take a denominational stance one way or another. (At least for Baptists who claim to believe in local church autonomy at a very high level.)

The UCC as a denomination is pro-LGBTQ while not all of their location churches are. But their polity is different. They are some what more connectional than most Baptist denominations are so it is slightly less of a contradiction to take a denominational stand.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:27 am

Sandy wrote: On the other hand, there also appear to be many individuals and churches within the fellowship who see prophetic ministry as one which brings conviction of sin, repentance, redemption and restoration by the cross as the pathway to God, for those who are LGBT as well as those who are captured and imprisoned by other sin.


I noticed you couldn't manage to discuss it without having to make a plug for the anti-LGBT side of the argument. :wink:

The only thing the LGBTQ community is imprisoned by is discrimination and mischaracterization of who they are. (Yes, I couldn't resist taking a shot back, I know.) :lol:
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:14 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote: On the other hand, there also appear to be many individuals and churches within the fellowship who see prophetic ministry as one which brings conviction of sin, repentance, redemption and restoration by the cross as the pathway to God, for those who are LGBT as well as those who are captured and imprisoned by other sin.


I noticed you couldn't manage to discuss it without having to make a plug for the anti-LGBT side of the argument. :wink:

The only thing the LGBTQ community is imprisoned by is discrimination and mischaracterization of who they are. (Yes, I couldn't resist taking a shot back, I know.) :lol:


Ed: Of course Tim you and some other friends would be delighted if there where no argument with the anti homosexual side.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:16 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote: On the other hand, there also appear to be many individuals and churches within the fellowship who see prophetic ministry as one which brings conviction of sin, repentance, redemption and restoration by the cross as the pathway to God, for those who are LGBT as well as those who are captured and imprisoned by other sin.


I noticed you couldn't manage to discuss it without having to make a plug for the anti-LGBT side of the argument. :wink:

The only thing the LGBTQ community is imprisoned by is discrimination and mischaracterization of who they are. (Yes, I couldn't resist taking a shot back, I know.) :lol:


Ed: Of course Tim you and some other friends would be delighted if there where no argument with the advocacy for the homosexual side . :roll:
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby William Thornton » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:18 pm

If I were CBFer I'd be concerned. Keith's church was considerably on the liberal side of moderate, based on what he has sais over the years, and yet when the gay marriage was put squarely before them a bunch of folks left.

I don't know how the CBF can thread this needle without some difficulty and loss.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Sandy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:53 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote: On the other hand, there also appear to be many individuals and churches within the fellowship who see prophetic ministry as one which brings conviction of sin, repentance, redemption and restoration by the cross as the pathway to God, for those who are LGBT as well as those who are captured and imprisoned by other sin.


I noticed you couldn't manage to discuss it without having to make a plug for the anti-LGBT side of the argument. :wink:

The only thing the LGBTQ community is imprisoned by is discrimination and mischaracterization of who they are. (Yes, I couldn't resist taking a shot back, I know.) :lol:


Yeah, that's my plug, of course. But that "plug" is a general characterization of where a whole lot of CBF's constituents stand, and that's not a conclusion they've reached by vote or feeling. Most "progressives" I know are just as dogmatic, insistent upon their own correctness, and condemning of those who don't accept their position on this issue as "prophetic" as any fundamentalist is over inerrancy.

CBF, as an organization, defined itself when it determined not to distribute funds to organizations that affirmed a LGBT lifestyle, nor hire staff members who were openly LGBT. It doesn't restrict partnerships with churches that feel differently, and as the exec affirmed, its churches are free to do as they wish, without any action or reaction from the fellowship. That's a little less restrictive on this issue than the United Methodist Church, which has fairly recently removed a minister's credentials here in PA for performing a same sex ceremony.

I'd say that was a wise course. It doesn't interfere with churches who want to be welcoming and affirming. And by not making a statement that calls that position "prophetic," and keeping its policy the same, it doesn't force churches to support something against their conviction, or weight the "prophetic" value of the pro-LGBT position against those who hold a different view. My anecdotal observation of churches that have moved to become more welcoming and affirming is similar to what William noted regarding Keith's church. They may lean to the left, and be very tolerant or affirming, but ultimately, making a statement and taking a position costs them members, in some cases, a lot of members. A reversal of CBF's position, and an affirmation of a more liberal policy on this issue would put the fragile structure in danger, and the big gift they just received might be the last large contribution they have left to spend.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:02 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Ed: Of course Tim you and some other friends would be delighted if there where no argument with the advocacy for the homosexual side . :roll:


Y'all can argue about it all you want Ed. I just noticed that Sandy couldn't make a statement about both sides without slanting the description To make his side look better. One side being prophetic, the other side being Biblical. Balderdash.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:29 pm

Sandy wrote:CBF, as an organization, defined itself when it determined not to distribute funds to organizations that affirmed a LGBT lifestyle, nor hire staff members who were openly LGBT. It doesn't restrict partnerships with churches that feel differently, and as the exec affirmed, its churches are free to do as they wish, without any action or reaction from the fellowship. That's a little less restrictive on this issue than the United Methodist Church, which has fairly recently removed a minister's credentials here in PA for performing a same sex ceremony.


First of all our polities are different. Baptist claim their churches are entirely autonomous then Baptist organizations interfere in that autonomy by taking sides on an issue their supporting churches disagree on.

United Methodists have rules that we are all expected to follow and that is part of our polity. I disagree with the UMC position on same sex marriage. But our denomination never claims that its churches are autonomous. They aren't.

Basically the CBF is saying, "you are free to do as you will with LGBT issues but we are financially taking a side. And that makes us neutral." It is contradictory.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Sandy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:54 pm

As an independent, autonomous organization itself, CBF made a decision regarding how it, as a fellowship, would handle this particular issue long before most of those who are now agitating for change decided to join it. If it had made the decision to come down on the other side of this issue, many more of its current partners would not be involved. It offers the opportunity for churches to decide what they will support, and it doesn't part ways with churches that think differently on this particular issue, even though as an entity, it has taken this path. You can't get much more respectful of church independence and autonomy than that.

It's a wise choice, simply because if it became the focus of a change, it would probably result in the loss of most of its partners and financial support.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:23 pm

Yes Sandy, I get that, every Baptist organization is separately autonomous.

The CBF can pretend to be independent from its own constituency and take a position that many in its constituency wouldn't necessarily approve. It is why most denominations with congregational polity have SOME connections that modify autonomy. The ABC/USA has a system of clergy recognition and you have to join an ABC region to be an ABC church. So the ABC doesn't believe in the same kind of total disconnected autonomy that the CBF does or, for that matter, that the SBC claims (even when they don't follow it.)

So the whole thing is just one big disconnect. No wonder younger members are frustrated.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Sandy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:02 pm

The stance of a denomination or fellowship, or other entity, in Baptist polity has no effect on the independence or autonomy of a church. Church autonomy rests on its ability to ordain and call its own ministers and deacons, to determine the qualifications for membership and to choose its members, to determine its own doctrine and theology, and to choose what denomination, or organization, or entities, or mission boards, that it will support. The theological position of any group with which it is affiliated has no bearing on autonomy or independence. In most Baptist organizations, churches can walk away by simply stopping their financial support through the organization or entity. If it holds a position that they are not in sympathy or agreement with, they can choose to join or not to join. If they join, they can certainly participate in efforts to bring about change, while accepting the fact that a previous group of leaders has spoken, and made a decision, with the support of the majority, that they believe is best for the good of the organization. If a congregation is disfellowshipped because the organization believes its perspectives are not congruent with the church, that's not a violation of the church's independence or autonomy. Nor is it a problem when a church decides it will leave. There's no penalty for either the church, or the denomination, that results. And since CBF doesn't disfellowship churches, it's a moot argument as far as they are concerned.

I've watched Presbyterian churches here attempt to disengage from their denomination, PCUSA, and it's not easy for them. They forfeit their property, and their ministers lose a lot in the way of pension, insurance coverage, salary and other benefits. Quite a difference. Anything the SBC might do that appears to be interfering with church independence and autonomy is not even close to that.

I'd guess that the group pushing for a more open policy on LGBT persons in CBF is a pretty small minority, or they'd have succeeded in changing the bylaws and constitution by now. I'd also guess that if they succeeded, there would be a lot of churches exercising their options, and leaving.
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Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:10 am

Sandy wrote:The stance of a denomination or fellowship, or other entity, in Baptist polity has no effect on the

I'd guess that the group pushing for a more open policy on LGBT persons in CBF is a pretty small minority, or they'd have succeeded in changing the bylaws and constitution by now. I'd also guess that if they succeeded, there would be a lot of churches exercising their options, and leaving.


Baptist Global News should do an in depth piece focusing on these folks about and their response to Sandy's framework and the Parham ed dot com piece Ive named his Gettysburg address on the matter.

These folks know about the Alliance. In some respects it looks like they want the CBF money,and there aint a lot of it, without taking responsibility for the rest of the fellowship. I think they are a minority. My friends at Baptist Church of the Covenant in Bham may be a good test case on local congregation. See how the conversation goes with Fisher Humphreys a go to theologian of Johnny Pierce and Baptists Today Nurturing Faith.

400 people seems a small group to hijack a "fledgling" organization when they have room to vent in the Illumination Project and Alliance. The Ill Project could in retrospect be a mistake. It shoulda maybe been set up at the Alliance for the 400 petitioners to vent there. Lot of distraction from noble CBF endeavours when the Alliance would appear to be ready to embrace LGBTQ passion and conversation and "prophetic" works
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Ed Pettibone » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:17 am

Ed: Sandy when you say "I'd guess that the group pushing for a more open policy on LGBT persons in CBF is a pretty small minority, or they'd have succeeded in changing the bylaws and constitution by now. I'd also guess that if they succeeded, there would be a lot of churches exercising their options, and leaving".

I agree that those "pushing" are a pretty small group, however they a gaining adherents and sympathizers. I also agree that if when they achieve the objective of making the Welcoming & Affirming stance a standard for CBF the number of people supporting the organization will take a decided dip and I doubt that those currently pushing for unrestricted inclusion of practicing homosexuals have the financial wherewithal to maintain it. There are many in CBF whom I respect and consider to be friends who go along with the idea of inclusion and in my studied opinion they are being led down a primrose path and taking others with them.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:18 pm

Sandy wrote:The stance of a denomination or fellowship, or other entity, in Baptist polity has no effect on the independence or autonomy of a church.


That is what I've always been told. But it never quite rings true to me when I've seen how Baptist associations have bullied local churches by threatening disfellowshipping. Complete autonomy is the ideal but the system doesn't live up to it.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:30 pm

Sandy wrote:I've watched Presbyterian churches here attempt to disengage from their denomination, PCUSA, and it's not easy for them. They forfeit their property, and their ministers lose a lot in the way of pension, insurance coverage, salary and other benefits. Quite a difference. Anything the SBC might do that appears to be interfering with church independence and autonomy is not even close to that.


Connectional polity from a non-connectional point of view. :lol:

The property isn't the local churches, it belongs to the denomination and always did. The clergy person loses pension and insurance given by the denomination because they are for employees connected to the denomination. If I worked for Boeing and left to work for Lockeed Martin I'd not be able to carry Boeing insurance. As to salary, if they keep working for a church they keep getting a salary. The PCUSA doesn't pay pastors salaries. Also no clergy person loses money they put into a pension plan themselves as that is actually illegal.

Finally, no one who is Presbyterian (or Methodist) believes the local church is autonomous. There is no "interference with autonomy" when such never existed. PCUSA churches like UMC churches are all part of a single national (or in the UMC case international Church). The Church helping make decisions for one of its own branches isn't "interfering" any more than the Board of Deacons in a Baptist church is "interfering" when they make decisions on behalf of the rest of the congregation they are chosen to serve.

Also remember that PCUSA pastors aren't members of the local church they are serving. They are members of the Presbytery that oversees local churches. UMC pastors aren't members of local churches they pastor. They are members of the Annual Conference that appoints them.

Connectional churches never claim autonomy. It is mostly only Southern Baptists that preach absolute autonomy. American Baptists, General Baptists, etc. have a modified autonomy and often talk about "interdependence." (A word used quite a bit in the ABC/USA.)
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Sandy » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:18 pm

I realize the differences between connectional denominations and those made up of congregational churches with their own independence and autonomy. I was using that as a comparative example. Keith's church still owns its property, has its pastor, makes its own decisions, and even though they may have lost a few members, and had to make some adjustments in staff insurance and retirement, the are still the same church, and they still hold the same position. Much different than the experience of a connectional church, and a clear demonstration of the church's autonomy. And if you're staying in an association or convention that holds a position with which your church strongly disagrees simply because of the insurance, pensions or benefits, it's hard to claim that the denomination is "bullying" your church.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:25 am

I doubt buy the lack of associational bullying because I've seen it. Hire a woman pastor, you are out in the cold. Give to the CBF and some associations booted you or threatened not to see your messengers. Cutting off a relationship when you don't like someone else's actions is a form of pressure. It may or may not be an effective for of pressure and bullying but that's what it is.

What started out was for a group of like minded Baptists to fellowship together. But what it turns into in some cases is threats of shunning to keep people in line.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:35 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:I doubt buy the lack of associational bullying because I've seen it. Hire a woman pastor, you are out in the cold. Give to the CBF and some associations booted you or threatened not to see your messengers. Cutting off a relationship when you don't like someone else's actions is a form of pressure. It may or may not be an effective for of pressure and bullying but that's what it is.

What started out was for a group of like minded Baptists to fellowship together. But what it turns into in some cases is threats of shunning to keep people in line.


Ed: Tim re read you own statement "What started out was for a group of like minded Baptists to fellowship together." Note the phrase "like minded Baptist", what happens is that at times some within a group come up with an idea that others are not willing to accept and in fact believe is detrimental to the purpose of the group. In other words the group is no longer like minded. BTW, Baptist Associations are generally gathered for more than just fellowship.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:48 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: Tim re read you own statement "What started out was for a group of like minded Baptists to fellowship together." Note the phrase "like minded Baptist", what happens is that at times some within a group come up with an idea that others are not willing to accept and in fact believe is detrimental to the purpose of the group. In other words the group is no longer like minded. BTW, Baptist Associations are generally gathered for more than just fellowship.


The problem with the phrase "like minded" is that it is so nebulous, which I think causes the CBF problems. How like minded does like minded mean? Does everyone have to agree on everything? Can you disagree on one or two things and be "like minded?"

I think the lack of definition is a strength in some ways for the CBF but it other ways keeps it from getting more traction. If it is just a fellowship of like minded Baptists there isn't a very big incentive for a church to join it. Fellowship is a pretty low hanging fruit benefit.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:33 pm

As I've said another thread, I think I'm going to drop out of discussing local church autonomy with you all. For you it is an important part of your church structure for me now it is just an interesting item to discuss as it no longer relates to what I do. I'll just observe further discussions on the topic.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Sandy » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:21 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:I doubt buy the lack of associational bullying because I've seen it. Hire a woman pastor, you are out in the cold. Give to the CBF and some associations booted you or threatened not to see your messengers. Cutting off a relationship when you don't like someone else's actions is a form of pressure. It may or may not be an effective for of pressure and bullying but that's what it is.

What started out was for a group of like minded Baptists to fellowship together. But what it turns into in some cases is threats of shunning to keep people in line.


It's ridiculous to claim your autonomy is violated, or an association is bullying a church because it calls a female pastor, and the association has made it clear that its interpretation of I Timothy 3 leads them to believe that women should not be called as pastors, and that belief is a parameter of cooperation with the association. If you know that up front, and you do it anyway, you've made a choice as an autonomous congregation. Where's the bullying, especially if you knew the likely outcome

Of course, if churches left an association or state convention because it approved of female pastors, or of ordaining LGBT persons to the ministry, or it pressured congregations to adopt their specific definition of "prophetic" on such issues, they'd be accused of being fundamentalists, and pressured to leave. In the pre-1979 SBC, allowing speaking in tongues was the issue.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:32 pm

Oh Lordy Sandy, I'm not going to argue with you or anyone over women in ministry. It is no longer 1979. And I've not served in a denomination without women clergy since 1991. American Baptists, United Methodists and many others have had women clergy since before you were born, unless you are way older than I think you are.

This isn't an issue outside of Fundy World.
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:01 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:Oh Lordy Sandy, I'm not going to argue with you or anyone over women in ministry. It is no longer 1979. And I've not served in a denomination without women clergy since 1991. American Baptists, United Methodists and many others have had women clergy since before you were born, unless you are way older than I think you are.

This isn't an issue outside of Fundy World.


Ed: Tim TIC are you calling Catholics fundamentalist?
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Re: Not Everyone in CBF is Celebrating

Postby Sandy » Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:19 pm

Whether it's ordaining women, or gays, or transgender, or marrying people of the same gender, or believing that all pulpit furniture must be made out of oak, the issue doesn't matter. If your church belongs to an association that states that a condition of membership is having a pulpit made of oak, and yours is knotty pine, then they're not violating your autonomy if they decide you don't belong. That's a silly example, but it certainly illustrates the point. It's not a violation of your church's autonomy if it decides to take a position or do something that is contrary to a principle that is considered a requirement for cooperation with an association or convention. It might be a position on an issue that you, personally, disagree with, or on which entire denominations have taken a different position, but Baptist associations and conventions are also autonomous, and as such, all relationships they have with churches are voluntary. Churches are autonomous in that they choose whether or not to pursue membership or affiliation, based on what those associations and conventions have decided are the basis for the relationship.

CBF has decided that, as an organization, it won't distribute financial support to organizations that are considered "LGBT friendly," (according to their definition of that position), and it will not hire persons who are openly LGBT. But it doesn't restrict affiliation or partnership with churches based on their position on that issue. Seems kind of selfish, arrogant and intolerant of those who want to force their view, which is that of a small minority within the fellowship, on everyone else that doesn't share it, calling their own view "prophetic," and caring more about an issue than they do about the ministry of CBF.
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