Paynter Retiring from CBF

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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Sandy » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:09 pm

JE Pettibone wrote:Ed: As an active participant of CBF who was there, and expressed my disappointment with Killinger's presentation. I am satisfied with Danial and CBF's response. As for criticism from opposing religionist, seems Jesus encountered a good bit of that.


:-)

Yes, I get that most of those involved with CBF are not keen on any kind of honest analysis that doesn't use rosy, flowery language sprinkled with words like "inclusive, diversity, meaningful dialogue", or "women's perspective." I've observed since its inception, and became involved in a church committed to it early on. It wasn't doctrinally or theologically that far removed from the SBC at its inception, at least, not from the public image it promoted, but it always seemed that there were those among what seemed to be a pretty closed off leadership group who kept wanting to push the social and theological envelope, so to speak. The main focus appeared to be the creation of a fellowship that was genuinely Baptist in polity, and the lines were held in policy against hiring LGBT persons, and in the defunding of the BPFNA. But things like the invitation to John Killinger, whose theological perspective would have been far to the left of most of CBF's constituency, seem to indicate, at least to me, a "testing of the theological waters."

Vestal took responsibility for the invitation, how could he not have done so in an organization the size of CBF, where everything about the GA was run through his office? But he waited until after both the Baptist Press and the Florida Baptist Witness blistered them for inviting him. OK, so you're satisfied with the response. But Killinger's position on the deity of Christ was known prior to the General Assembly to which he was invited to present breakout sessions. He was raised Southern Baptist in the hills of Kentucky, got his undergrad at Baylor and pastored several SBC congregations before, according to his writing, he "saw the light." I think there were those in power in CBF who saw having him as a General Assembly presenter to see what kind of reaction they would get from CBF's constituency, as well as to use his appearance as a slap in the face to the SBC, and as a means of making themselves look more open minded and, one of their favorite words, "inclusive of diverse viewpoints" (I think those words were actually used by Vestal in his explanation). Would there have even been a fuss if Baptist Press hadn't got in there and blew things up?

I imagine I might have had a greater appreciation for CBF if I had ever felt that it was moving toward being more genuinely "Baptist" in practice and polity than it was trying to recreate the SBC kingdom that the leaders who were replaced by the conservative resurgence had built prior to 1979. The Baptist faith in which I was raised held to a high view of the Bible, and to a strong practice of Christian holiness and discipline, and doesn't seem to fit in the Southern Baptist expression of blending hard right politics with compromising theological convictions, or with CBF's slide into accepting and including everything for the sake of keeping the organization afloat. That makes me particularly discerning when it comes to "criticism from opposing religionists."
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby KeithE » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:54 pm

JE Pettibone wrote:Ed: As an active participant of CBF who was there, and expressed my disappointment with Killinger's presentation. I am satisfied with Danial and CBF's response. As for criticism from opposing religionist, seems Jesus encountered a good bit of that.


I'm late on commenting on this, but I with you here Ed (I think, if I’m hearing you right).

“Criticism from opposing religionists” is countered by Jesus a great deal (or as Ed says “a good bit of that”). Just read all the "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees” (aka called "blind guides”, “teachers of the law”, “hypocrites”) in Matt 23 (and elsewhere). The judgmental attitudes of “religionists” is called out with special scorn by Jesus. I follow my leader in calling that out as well, while still allowing those having the judgmental attitudes/speech to have their say at conferences or wherever.

We are way too concerned with theological correctness and way too lax on loving all, listening to all, and being respectful of viewpoints. So what if something wrong is said at a convention, we all have our own antennas for truth.

Although I would side with those who claim Jesus was fully God while being fully human, I do not see Jesus really caring much about how He is viewed (God or man or both). He cared about whether or not we were going to emulate him (i.e. “follow Him”). Thus I have more respect for John Killinger on this matter than for the many who criticize him or say he has no right to speak at a convention.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:44 pm

KeithE wrote:
We are way too concerned with theological correctness and way too lax on loving all, listening to all, and being respectful of viewpoints. So what if something wrong is said at a convention, we all have our own antennas for truth.


Exactly! Philip Gulley spoke at my church in Sioux City a few years ago. There is a lot of Philip’s theology that I’m sure I don’t agree with. But I learned a lot about his world view in the process.

And Sandy, I have a lot of friends I grew up with who are in the CBF, they are a lot better people than the pictures you continue to paint of the organization. I’m sorry you had a bad experience. (I’ve had them too in other places). But I think it is coloring your view over much.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby William Thornton » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:21 am

Killing er: "Now we are reevaluating and we're approaching everything with a humbler perspective and seeing God's hand working in Christ, but not necessarily as the incarnate God in our midst," Killinger said. "Now, that may be hard for you to hear depending on where you are coming from, but we can talk more about it.""

If religious bodies don't show concern for theological correctness (such as the deity of Christ) then who should? To this day the CBF, I feel sure, would not entertain a speaker or staffer who wasn't settled on that bit of Christian orthodoxy.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:57 am

I am not taking up for Killinger, because I was not there to hear him in that particular year. I do know why he was invited. At the time he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, VA, and was widely known as the most prominent thorn in Jerry Falwell's side. Indeed, he took up the religious liberty cause in local politics every time Falwell managed to get favorable zoning or other services denied to other religious applicants. His stature was because he was forcing a local community to be faithful to religious liberty on the local level.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby William Thornton » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:11 am

Dave Roberts wrote:I am not taking up for Killinger, because I was not there to hear him in that particular year. I do know why he was invited. At the time he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, VA, and was widely known as the most prominent thorn in Jerry Falwell's side. Indeed, he took up the religious liberty cause in local politics every time Falwell managed to get favorable zoning or other services denied to other religious applicants. His stature was because he was forcing a local community to be faithful to religious liberty on the local level.


Get a heretic if he is right on religious liberty? No thanks, but Vestal recognized this. Water over the dam. If it happens again we will hear about it.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby KeithE » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 am

William Thornton wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:I am not taking up for Killinger, because I was not there to hear him in that particular year. I do know why he was invited. At the time he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, VA, and was widely known as the most prominent thorn in Jerry Falwell's side. Indeed, he took up the religious liberty cause in local politics every time Falwell managed to get favorable zoning or other services denied to other religious applicants. His stature was because he was forcing a local community to be faithful to religious liberty on the local level.


Get a heretic if he is right on religious liberty? No thanks, but Vestal recognized this. Water over the dam. If it happens again we will hear about it.


William says, ready to pounce on any perceived theological point out of step with his norm (wakes him up from yawning, not to discussing the point made but just to accuse the "heretic”).

Many conservatives parameters of faith are so set in concrete that any consideration of deviation from those parameters has to be called down ASAP. Even discussion of what has to be a logically inconsistent stance that Christ is fully God and fully man is out of the question.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:16 am

You don't want me to pounce on the most extreme SBC heresy of the day, but I'm tempted every time I read dispensational premillennialists in SBC publications talking about things that remind me of what a lady once told me. She said she could prove that the Bible teaches suicide. I bit and she said, "It's in the Bible that Judas went out and hanged himself. The Bible also says, 'Go and do thou likewise.'"
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby KeithE » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:27 am

Dave Roberts wrote: .... She said she could prove that the Bible teaches suicide. I bit an(d) she said, "It's in the Bible that Judas went out and hanged himself. The Bible also says, 'Go and do thou likewise.'"


LOL
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby William Thornton » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:21 am

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:I am not taking up for Killinger, because I was not there to hear him in that particular year. I do know why he was invited. At the time he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, VA, and was widely known as the most prominent thorn in Jerry Falwell's side. Indeed, he took up the religious liberty cause in local politics every time Falwell managed to get favorable zoning or other services denied to other religious applicants. His stature was because he was forcing a local community to be faithful to religious liberty on the local level.


Get a heretic if he is right on religious liberty? No thanks, but Vestal recognized this. Water over the dam. If it happens again we will hear about it.


William says, ready to pounce on any perceived theological point out of step with his norm (wakes him up from yawning, not to discussing the point made but just to accuse the "heretic”).

Many conservatives parameters of faith are so set in concrete that any consideration of deviation from those parameters has to be called down ASAP. Even discussion of what has to be a logically inconsistent stance that Christ is fully God and fully man is out of the question.


A lean mean opinion machine at work, are you? The "perceived theological point" is one that is essential to orthodoxy. Even CBFers recognize this. The church has several centuries of discussion about the incarnation and the question was settled. Whomever disagrees is a heretic but then to some there is no heresy, just different opinions.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:01 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Get a heretic if he is right on religious liberty? No thanks, but Vestal recognized this. Water over the dam. If it happens again we will hear about it.


So there would be no circumstances in which you think a Baptist body should have a non-Baptist speak then? Let's say Killinger held an orthodox view of the incarnation, but he is still a Presbyterian. He believe in sacraments, infant baptism, presbyterial polity rather than local church autonomy, the ordination of women, etc. etc. Surely several of those would be considered heretical by Southern Baptists and some by most Baptists.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby William Thornton » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:23 pm

He picked a top tier doctrine. Has nothing to do with not being a baptist. If it upset the Mods the it was no small doctrine. That episode was an embarrassment for which an apology was felt necessary.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby KeithE » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:50 pm

William Thornton wrote: The church has several centuries of discussion about the incarnation and the question was settled. Whomever disagrees is a heretic but then to some there is no heresy, just different opinions.


Yes the docetic question (was Christ just an allusion? or actually had a human form) was settled at the Council of Nicene which claimed that Christ was both fully God and fully human.

This is not an easy question - the Nicene conclusion is really inconsistent - how can one entity be both fully deity and fully human. Evangelical (and Baptist orthodoxy) has pushed the deity side and when someone comes along (Killinger) and pushes the human side of Christ, that orthodoxy gets all upset. It is worthy of discussion.

For instance I'd say Christ had a God-like power to miraculously heal (something a human does not have); while Christ did feel pain as a human. Thus He is not fully God or fully human. He stands alone.

Taking William’s quote of Killinger as factual.
Now we are reevaluating and we're approaching everything with a humbler perspective and seeing God's hand working in Christ, but not necessarily as the incarnate God in our midst," Killinger said. "Now, that may be hard for you to hear depending on where you are coming from, but we can talk more about it.""


Killinger is perhaps questioning what an “incarnate God” means. Could a man (Jesus) be so infused with God’s Spirit that He was a representative of God on earth. I'd say maybe.

I’d rather that charitable take of Killinger's words than a sour demonstration inherent in calling someone a “heretic”.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby JE Pettibone » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:02 pm

ED: Tim, where do you get the idea that for William "there would be no circumstances in which you think a Baptist body should have a non-Baptist speak then" ?

I see nothing in William's comments about the Killenger's appearance at a CBF Assembly which suggest that "there would be no circumstances in which you think a Baptist body should have a non-Baptist speak"?
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:11 pm

JE Pettibone wrote:ED: Tim, where do you get the idea that for William "there would be no circumstances in which you think a Baptist body should have a non-Baptist speak then" ?

I see nothing in William's comments about the Killenger's appearance at a CBF Assembly which suggest that "there would be no circumstances in which you think a Baptist body should have a non-Baptist speak"?


Well, Ed, I just wondered. Because it depends on your definition of heresy. William declared Killinger's views heretical. I wasn't there, so I won't judge. But, I think many Baptists would also see Killingers views on baptism as heretical for example. And if that were the case that would leave out many if not most non-Baptist speakers. So, I just wanted to know from William where the line is. I wasn't sure. Now I am as he clarified.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:18 pm

William Thornton wrote:He picked a top tier doctrine. Has nothing to do with not being a baptist. If it upset the Mods the it was no small doctrine. That episode was an embarrassment for which an apology was felt necessary.


I agree with the difference you've drawn there, that the incarnation is a top tier doctrine. I'd never support ordaining a pastor in the UMC that didn't believe in the incarnation.

But I can still think of circumstances where I could see a Christian group inviting someone whose beliefs are far different than theirs in order to speak on some topic relevant to both. The Archbishop of St. Louis once spoke at Missouri Baptist University to support our common opposition to the lottery in Missouri. He spoke on a topic which we agreed though we obviously would disagree on some very important doctrines.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Sandy » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:55 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
William Thornton wrote:[

Get a heretic if he is right on religious liberty? No thanks, but Vestal recognized this. Water over the dam. If it happens again we will hear about it.


So there would be no circumstances in which you think a Baptist body should have a non-Baptist speak then? Let's say Killinger held an orthodox view of the incarnation, but he is still a Presbyterian. He believe in sacraments, infant baptism, presbyterial polity rather than local church autonomy, the ordination of women, etc. etc. Surely several of those would be considered heretical by Southern Baptists and some by most Baptists.


There's a lot of difference between the incarnation, and the distinction it is given in scripture, including by the Apostle John, (I John 4:1-3) where he says that to not believe Jesus was the Christ was the spirit of antichrist. That's a far cry from just about anything else up there, including infant baptism, which some baptists might consider heresy based on whether or not it was considered salvific. Killinger wouldn't ever have been invited to an SBC gathering, and I think the fact that he was raised Southern Baptists, pastored SBC congregations and attended Baylor, along with his presence in Lynchburg all helped his presence to be a slap at the SBC. He might have gone unnoticed, or not received negative attention had he not brought up the very thing that most CBF'ers wouldn't have agreed with him on.

If he'd have been a hard line, right wing Republican, and came to blast liberal Democrats and left wing politics, he'd have probably been given a graduation speaking slot at Liberty, as long as he didn't mention his views on the incarnation, they'd have cheered for him.

I'd be curious as to the reaction in your former church about having Phillip Gulley speak. I've read his books, he's a Quaker, but very liberal, a universalist, I get the impression he's more of a believer in the "god within" than an immanent, all powerful one, and I don't think he accepts the incarnation, either. I'd show up to hear him speak, but I wouldn't invite him to speak at any Christian gathering where theology was an expected topic, at least, not if I were in charge. He isn't really widely accepted in the Quaker community either, though they don't openly declare those sorts of things, the Friends meeting I attended prior to leaving Pennsylvania made a point of distinguishing their views from his in the Bible class they had for adults.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Haruo » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:22 pm

Imminent? Or immanent? They're quite distinct descrptors in describing God.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby William Thornton » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:27 pm

Keith, your view is heretical but a lot of your stuff is just for argument.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Sandy » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:53 pm

Haruo wrote:Imminent? Or immanent? They're quite distinct descrptors in describing God.


Ha, didn't even realize it! Duly corrected.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby KeithE » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:33 am

William Thornton wrote:Keith, your view is heretical but a lot of your stuff is just for argument.

It is for discussion. Sure I'm not an expert on this subject like some you seminary trained pastors. I just know orthopraxy (meaning at a minimum loving all people, and not calling down heresy at thoughts offered by others) means a lot more to me than orthodoxy. True I call out the attitude of heresy pouncing frequently (something Jesus did).

Think about it (longer than a reaction) Jesus never demanded a theological point more than Follow Me (which is a practice not a propositional belief). Peter did confess Jesus as the Messiah but I do not recall Jesus demanding that. Matthew 16:13-20.

I am not saying propositional beliefs are unimportant, but risking relationships by calling out heretical theological points is not good.

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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby William Thornton » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:42 am

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Keith, your view is heretical but a lot of your stuff is just for argument.

It is for discussion. Sure I'm not an expert on this subject like some you seminary trained pastors. I just know orthopraxy (meaning at a minimum loving all people, and not calling down heresy at thoughts offered by others) means a lot more to me than orthodoxy. True I call out the attitude of heresy pouncing frequently (something Jesus did).

Think about it (longer than a reaction) Jesus never demanded a theological point more than Follow Me (which is a practice not a propositional belief). Peter did confess Jesus as the Messiah but I do not recall Jesus demanding that. Matthew 16:13-20.

I am not saying propositional beliefs are unimportant, but risking relationships by calling out heretical theological points is not good.

Enough, but think on these things.


There is a body of belief that should be settled in a church that calls itself Christian and whatever departs from this is heresy. I've got a twenty year plus record of interaction here and very seldom in that period has the word "heresy" left my keyboard. Orthopraxy is a essential outcome of orthodoxy, not a substitute for it. If you are working out your own salvation and trying to digest some of the difficult beliefs like the hypostatic union, I understand that. Just because you can't fully explain it doesn't mean it should not be a core doctrine necessary to be accepted.

I'd guess that your pastor would draw some doctrinal lines at some point.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:57 am

Sandy wrote:
I'd be curious as to the reaction in your former church about having Phillip Gulley speak. I've read his books, he's a Quaker, but very liberal, a universalist, I get the impression he's more of a believer in the "god within" than an immanent, all powerful one, and I don't think he accepts the incarnation, either. I'd show up to hear him speak, but I wouldn't invite him to speak at any Christian gathering where theology was an expected topic, at least, not if I were in charge. He isn't really widely accepted in the Quaker community either, though they don't openly declare those sorts of things, the Friends meeting I attended prior to leaving Pennsylvania made a point of distinguishing their views from his in the Bible class they had for adults.


To further clarify, it was an event sponsored by Morningside College held at my former church, which is on the campus. We often acted as the "chapel" for the college. I wouldn't have minded inviting him myself, but I'd have not had the funds to pay for him coming as he is quite popular. That was one of the great benefits at the church. We had at least one major speaker a year we could have never afforded.

As to my church's reaction, many members of the church came to the lecture. The liberals in my congregation loved him, a fairly conservative couple in the church didn't like his presentation at all. But, no one would have thought that it was a bad thing to hear him.

I believe you are right that Gulley is a universalist. Many if not most United Methodists, even if they don't know the term, are inclusionists, believing that persons of other faiths outside of the Christian faith may be saved. This goes all the way back to John Wesley who felt that observant Jews and Muslims could be redeemed if they were diligently seeking to serve God, but that always salvation was up to God. There are also some United Methodists that are universalists, but not all that many. Even those United Methodists would say that it is the saving work of Christ in the world that saves all and would support the incarnation.

One of the oddities of United Methodist polity is that I am required to believe the teachings of the Church as UM clergy. But lay members are never asked or required to subscribe to the official teachings of the Church outside of the basics of salvation. When they are confirmed (or join as an adult) they are required to repent of their sin, resist evil, injustice and oppression, confess Jesus Christ as savior, and be loyal to the United Methodist Church by supporting the church with their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. But they are not asked to subscribe to the doctrines of the Church.
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby KeithE » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:58 pm

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Keith, your view is heretical but a lot of your stuff is just for argument.

It is for discussion. Sure I'm not an expert on this subject like some you seminary trained pastors. I just know orthopraxy (meaning at a minimum loving all people, and not calling down heresy at thoughts offered by others) means a lot more to me than orthodoxy. True I call out the attitude of heresy pouncing frequently (something Jesus did).

Think about it (longer than a reaction) Jesus never demanded a theological point more than Follow Me (which is a practice not a propositional belief). Peter did confess Jesus as the Messiah but I do not recall Jesus demanding that. Matthew 16:13-20.

I am not saying propositional beliefs are unimportant, but risking relationships by calling out heretical theological points is not good.

William Thornton wrote:I'd guess that your pastor would draw some doctrinal lines at some point.


So, go to your pastor and have him straighten me out. Hmmm.....

If I were to talk to him (Dr. David Freeman) about Christology (e.g. Incarnation/Jesus’s humanity vs His deity), he would probably state his view, and listen to mine (which are not very settled at this time). He might discuss it for awhile but he would not dictate what I should believe. An example - we discussed the Open View very thoroughly (each doing one reading suggested by the other) before having Dr. Tomas Jay Oord talk to the church. Although we differed (he is a compabilist) he allowed Dr Oord present his “Essential Kenosis” view - a more developed form of Open Theology at our church. And I am sure he would let John Killnger speak. He just does not get up in arms over theological beliefs . He is more about encouraging others on more practical matters (e.g. as of late with me - swim daily, help Brandy but only when she asks, and continue the Discovery Center).

Last Sunday, Dr. Freeman’s sermon was about Baptists being a non-creedal people. At our best, Baptists find our focus on what we do together in unity.

Here’s his sermon. One key passage from that sermon:

Baptists do not recite the creeds because we choose not to find our unity in what we believe. We find our unity in what we do. What do we do? We do missions and evangelism. We rehab affordable housing. We feed hungry children during fall break and spring break. We welcome the international community. We provide a respite for families with a member with disability. And all the other things that we and other Baptists do. That’s where we find unity—in what we do.


He has never been about “drawing doctrinal lines” to our congregation and would not try to set anyone straight if someone disagreed with him on some doctrinal point.

That may have been a function of the pastor in congregations you pastored and most evangelical churches; but not ours.

If you consider this “condescending", so be it.
Informed by Data.
Driven by the SPIRIT and JESUS’s Example.
Promoting the Kingdom of GOD on Earth.
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KeithE
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Re: Paynter Retiring from CBF

Postby William Thornton » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:20 pm

Still, I'd bet he has lines. Heck I'd bet you have. We all do. But I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy over all the tolerance shown here.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
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