Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

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Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:06 pm

I recently was posting on the SBC Voices blog relative to Autonomy. I served as Pastor of the famous North Rocky Mount Baptist Church located on Falls Road and one of the largest churches in the 1950's. They became famous when a hidden Independent Baptist, hid his Bob Jones credentials, and became the Pastor who charmed a slight majority to leave the SBC and become Independent.

The minority reviewed all the dirty tricks used as well as the deed to the church property which specified the property would be returned to the donor, should the church ever cease to be Southern Baptist. That 48% hired a lawyer and took them to court in Nash County, NC, over which group wwas the "real Southern Baptists."

Here is testimony from the State Supreme Count upheld case which ended in 1959 with the minority regaining possession of the property they had basically paid for and built:

During the case, Douglas Branch, pastor of Rocky Mount First Baptist and President of the NCBSC, was called to testify as to the nature of Baptist work. He later became Executive Secretary of the NCBSC. On page 212 of the transcript he cites the same Article III as above (AUTONOMY). Then he goes on to explore its implementation. He describes how the annual session of Convention and Association meets: this is the real “convention.” Then, how the General Board / Executive Committee of each deals with between-session matters. He says: “If an individual church wanted to withdraw fellowship, it would not have to wait until the next convening of an association. If a church voted unanimously to withdraw from association with any other Baptist body, or with the Roanoke Association, and so notified the Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Chairman of the Committee could take note of the fact and call a meeting together and declare that this church, by its own action, was not any longer a part of the association. Practice is my authority for that.”

Asked if he could name instances where churches had been excluded he states: “I can’t name instances where churches have been excluded . . . I don’t know of any instance when an Executive Committee has been called on to declare a church out of fellowship.” He goes on to talk of churches which voted to withdraw from the association. He says: “I have known of a number of cases when the associations would not recognize a withdrawal of the entire group unless it was unanimous. . .The only group you could recognize would be which ever one wanted to stay in the association.” It is obvious throughout his testimony that churches do the deciding and associations do their bidding.

The Doctrine of Authority is the next issue. Dr. Harold W. Tribble had written a book entitled. “Our Doctrine,” in which he states: “The local congregation is autonomous. It derives its authority from within.” Doug Branch states he is in agreement with that concept and spells it out: “What I am saying is that my church is free, entirely free and independent, except that as a cooperating Baptist church we necessarily, and in the home, as in the State and elsewhere, have to have certain self-imposed limitations which make it possible for us to work with other Baptist bodies. With that qualification, I agree.”

The most important statement relative to our current condition follows on p.219: “When Dr. Tribble says in his book, speaking of the associations and the Southern Baptist Convention, that neither the association nor the State Convention nor the Southern Baptist a Convention can exercise the least authority over any individual church; that this principle sometimes works to produce temporary embarrassment but in the end it works for the best; that we may well adhere to it for it is a New Testament principle and it has been tried and found worthy; as to that statement, I would say that no association or convention can exercise any authority over a local church except in those areas in which the churches in cooperation have delegated it to the larger group.”


A fairly new Professor at SEBTS, Nathan Finn, responds:

[quote][78 Nathan Finn November 29, 2010 at 9:48 am
Baptists have almost always affirmed that all of our layers of polity–local churches, associations, and conventions–are autonomous. Baptists have always argued that associations and conventions can refuse to cooperate with a church for any variety of reasons. In the middle third of the twentieth century, there was a concerted effort by denominational progressives and bureaucrats to redefine Baptist distinctives according to a particular freedom-centric interpretation. They cherry-picked quotes from Baptists of days-gone-by. They perpetuated this interpretation in colleges and seminaries (including SEBTS, where Gene Scarborough attended school).

They initiated high-handed power plays in various places, including with the North Rocky Mount case in 1959, where the state convention and a Baptist historian from SWBTS redefined Baptist distinctives so they could win a court case. It was, remains, a travesty of historic Baptist polity.

Facts are our friends, and conservatives, while by no means perfect, have a better understanding of historic Baptist identity and emphases than progressives.

The CR was a return to an earlier view of Baptist identity, one that had been systematically undermined for at least two generations. Gene (and many others) are the products of that, and they really, sincerely believe they know who Baptists *really* are because they were indoctrinated to believe that.

Comment IV:

Nathan Finn November 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

In 1954, North Rocky Mount Baptist Church split after its pastor led a majority of the church to vote to disaffiliate with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the SBC. The pastor had an Independent Baptist background and led the church to become an Independent Baptist church. The minority, which wished to remain Southern Baptist, sued the majority, claiming that they were the “real” North Rocky Mount Baptist Church because they were the group in continuity with the church’s past emphases. The minority wanted to keep all the assets, including the church’s property.

The case worked its way up all the way to the NC Supreme Court in 1959, which ruled in favor of the minority. The judge didn’t understand that in Baptist polity, decisions are made by a majority of the congregation. So while it might be unfortunate (from our perspective) that a majority of the church wished to take the church out of the SBC, it is a fact that the church had the right to do so. Baptist principles lost.

This is where it gets interesting. The North Rocky Mount case united conservatives in the state convention, who rallied to the defense of the majority (even while they pleaded with them to not drop ties with the SBC). A formal conservative network was formed within the BSCNC dedicated to defending local church autonomy in particular and historic Baptist and orthodox theology in general.

But the state convention staff sided with the minority, even (allegedly) helping to fund their lawsuit against the majority. State convention leaders testified on behalf of the minority in court. They also urged all BSCNC churches to amend their bylaws so that, in the event of a similar vote to disaffiliate, all the assets would remain with the minority who wished to remain SBC and BSCNC. Most churches complied. The state convention flew in SWBTS historian W. W. Barnes to testify for the minority. Barnes argued that Baptists have always believed that churches that are started as SBC/BSCNC churches are always such churches, and thus the minority should keep the assets. This was a startling reversal on the part of Barnes, who in 40 years earlier was worried that denominational centralization and bureaucratization was a threat to local church autonomy.

This debate was heavily covered in the Biblical Recorder, including editorials, letters to the editor, and guest articles. Conservatives saw the state convention’s involvement in the case as inappropriate, driven by the disdain progressive bureaucrats had for conservatives and especially those who “played nicely” with Independent Baptists. Progressives countered that the conservatives were really Independent Baptists who didn’t appreciate the Baptist Way of cooperative missions, denominational loyalty, etc.

I hope that helps.
NAF
/quote]

This is totally inconsistent with the written document and the descriptions given me by church members who are old and were right there!

It frightens me when hisory is redacted with a presupposition in mind. Sadly, I think we will see more of it! I have saked several senior NC Baptists when they first heard such redaction and it seems to be in the 80's for them.

What is your best memory of when this distortion first appeared among the Conservatives? :brick:
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Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Dr. James Willingham » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:49 pm

My view of this situation is that the majority vote carried the day unless the constitution called for a two thirds or three fourths vote. Baptist Church government is congregational which grew out of the understanding of the meaning of ekklesia as the Congregationalists and early Baptists understood the term from their studies. For a state convention to get involved was clearly an egregious error. The Convention and the local Association can determine their membership and exclude any who they think violate the rules for membership, but to drag the powers of the government into determine an issue in favor of what is clearly the minority is a violation of a clearly adopted doctrine of the church. The actions of the Moderates today reflect the reality that the Rocky Mount North Church majority was trying to maintain (even though they - the Rocky Mount majority - might be considered completely in error). Autonomy of the local church becomes meaningless, if another body can step in and over rule the majority vote. For about 10 years my life was dominated by ecclesiology and the study of church history. During that period I took about 3000 5x8 notecards. My aim in the beginning was to prove the Landmark sucession of the church. I proved it wrong, but I also learned a lot in the process. I learned that old J.R. Graves wrote the best exegesis of Acts 19 and the difference between ekklesia and ocklos that I have ever seen. In fact, I consider Karl Schmidt's article on ekklesia in TWNT to be seriously wanting due to the fact that he had never seen Graves work on Intercommunion. On the other hand, the answer of E.C. Dargan to the exclusivistic local church concept of the Landmarkers established beyond a doubt that there is a universal aspect to the doctrine of the church, and John Thornbury's work on the Church brought it up to date back in the 70s. Out in Missouri where I pastored for few years in he 60s we heard of the North Rocky Mount case and it was obvious that most Baptists felt the state convention was out of line with Baptist doctrine. Interestingly enough, the actions of the institutions of this state are exactly reflective of those of the North Rocky Mount church's conservative majority. Amazing how we switch poles, when the chips are down.
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The Jericho Road Testimony

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:52 pm

Gene's sojourn at SBC Voices for me at least is more evidence that the SBC got lost somewhere in a Dark Hole of the Semantic differential. Pressler and his acolytes and bystanders were able to take academic pursuits and McCarthy them in local church and the confusion became a boondoggle for GOP Strategy of 50% plus one Vote Majoritarianism.
So as genuine as Gene's attempts are, and exquisite as his presentation may be, it doesn't come to anything much when faced with the rhetoric of the SBC Takeover. Just look at how things play at SBC Voices. The English language doesn't persuade there. In the face of page 51 of Diarmand MacCulloch on the Book of Genesis, or no matter how logical Cecil Sherman is, if he isn't with the right party then he cannot win the vote. So Gene is tilting at windmills as I have done on many occasions.

Maybe he can take these links to SBC Voices and see what Wade Burleson can do with the brethren there; Wade having recently engaged the 7th round of the Inerrancy discussion there;

Mike Ruffin's testimony is pretty sound it seems to me. But in the end it comes down to something resembling the blood cult Newsweek magazine wrote about in 1974 when George Wallace had a political ralley at Noccalula Falls, Alabama. The SBC coagulation now is a matter of some bond outside rational discourse.

But for discussion sake, here is Ruffin in a sterling testimony:

http://onthejerichoroad.blogspot.com/20 ... ut_22.html
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Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:42 pm

Ed: I do not have a dog in this fight but I am curious. Why is it being rehashed here 56/51 years after the fact? Is there some sort of lesson to be learned?
But now that we are here, I am wondering what became of the majority and the minority?
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Susan Harding and Ed Pettibone

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:21 am

I think Ed asks a key question maybe two key questions.

At the end however the answer, the one of most realpolitik merit, where there is integrity, is best gotten at through the rubric of Susan Harding in her book of Jerry Falwell where she discusses double meaning.

Even so, I think Timothy George and Mohler have some stout questions to answer; have not to date gone through the SBC version of a Nuremberg trial in regard their role in the evolution of the Takeover.

Gene and now Ed would make better use of our time if they grounded their exploration in the heart of Susan Harding's lens

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6781.html
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Further background reading

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:29 am

Not yet in evidence but calling for Gene Scarborough as he brings his Emory Experience as well as his sojourn at SBC Voices to task on this matter:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/books ... mon_ground
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And Both Ed and Gene Scarborough

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:35 am

http://books.google.com/books?id=V7hIui ... &q&f=false

Desperately need to read the postscript, page 270 in the link above
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Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Gene Scarborough » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:52 am

The purpose of my post was to show clearly how you can turn black into white---given enough time and redacting! It is a partial answer as to why Hitler could take the most intellectually advanced Christians on the planet and con them into exterminating Gypsies / Jews / and mental deficients. It is a classic case of Rationalization gone amuck!

Ed --- The minority who re-occupied the church were made stronger in the conflict. The majority went up the road by 2 blocks and built a new church which has all the classic lines of columns and steeple from a Church Archtecture plan of the SS Board. The group which formed Falls Road Baptist Church is truely an independent church = its deed is in the pastor's name / they support their own missionaries / they have a Christian School / they always do what the preacher dictates.

It is a clear difference in the way each SBC church used to do it's business. Now both churches are in a transition community and are moving. N. Rocky Mount simply sold its facility and property to a growing black congregation. Falls Road has property about 6 miles north on the same road and is using it for recreation until their building sells. Neither church has solved the racial issue like most churches in the south. Megas and ghettos are not mixing!!!!

This is a classic picture of SBC doings in the 60's and it took place in the 50's. No one paid much attention to the "secrets for success" of a takeover:
(1) Count on over-strong "trust" to let religious liars sneak in.
(2) Charm and aggression hidden and presented in a proper fashion will get you conned.
(3) Some people just want to be told what to do to be happy.

The start of this whole mess was another preacher in the association. He was a Bob Jones graduate and wanted a buddy in another church to join him. That "buddy" was a dynamic preacher. A naive Pulpit Committee was told little or nothing about the Bob Jones education---and learned in the school of hard knocks that Bob Jones graduates go out on a mission to take over churches and mold them into the model taught at Bob Jones (it's located near Furman in Greenvile, SC)!

This religious/political mentality of Conseratism believes that '"the end justifies the means to it." Having won, they proceed in 40 years of leading people wandering in the wilderness while they do more background redaction to "prove" they were right in the first place. Like this SEBTS Professor out of Criswell College, he now believes his version of the church history is accurate and adds to it a theory that the NCBSC was sneaking in the background to "rule its churches." This is a total fabrication on the professor's part! He is giving "historical justification" to what is going on now in this state!

The main point I make is that people need to know their own history to the point they can detect a departure from a major point of reference. In this case it is AUTONOMY. NCBSC major decisions are now made in the Execuitive Committee and rubber-stamped at Convention time by the Messengers who used to have a strong say in such activity.

In more recent years the NCBSC has re-written their Constitution and By-laws into a Document of Incorporation. When it was presented for adoption, I pointed out from the floor that the former clear principle of Autonomy (Article III) is now hidden and it took me 3 times readings the document to even find it! A Financial Policy which allows the NCBSC to refuse funds from any church taking a homosexual in as a member allows the Convention or Association to rule a local church. The Georgia Baptist Convention is doing so with BF&M 2000 to kick out churches with female Pastors.

Yes Steve, I feel like Don Quihote! I feel like Dietrick Bonhoeffer as well. At the least, I know our history and stood to cry, "FOUL" If people and churches choose to destroy a basic principle of Baptist success and growth, then it is their own stupidity which led them further into Wilderness Wandering.

Mark my words: Our next national tragedy will be the elimination of Separation of Church and State, then we will be back in England and Europe where that combination doomed the average citizen to poverty----and no chance for moving up the social ladder to rise above their beginnings! :brick: :?
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Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Gene Scarborough » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:48 am

Jim Willingham:

I totally agree with your assessment of Autonomy. Each church in the SBC has traditionally done as it pleased. Despite any resolutions made at the SBC or NCBSC we USED NOT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO IN THE LOCAL CHURCH!

This case in point has a feature you fail to address: What happens when a con job is in place???? That con job, in the N. Rocky Mount situation, was an Independent Baptist "chuking and jiving" to manipulate a group of church members into something he wants over something they truely understand and want. Here are more specifics of his moves:

(1) He started his antics with his constant criticism of the new RSV over his "inerrant" KJV.
(2) His rationale was full of pretended knowledge of what Bible translation is really about.
(3) He sounded as traditional as the "Inerrant" argument sounded to equally naive Baptists who still know little about the true nature of the Original Manuscripts (which do not exist), but are used as a "straw dog" of an "inerrant Bible" (which does not exist)---it is a figment of a "righteous theologian's" imagination!
(4) His calling of the Church Conference to do his dirty work was hidden rather than clearly published---with proper notice to the congregation. The traditional members found out at the last minute and it was too late to pass the word on his trick. The meeting was poorly attended with a game plan already in place by the Rev. Johnson!
(5) Found in his office trash can were valuable founding documents of the church which clearly showed he was wrong in what he was telling people about the need to separate and become Independent. Had these documents been present and read at the Called Conference, it would have been a "no brainer" for the average church member to see they were being conned!

A clear and clean approach to his moves would not have been a problem---and the case would have been judged in favor of his followers = end of story and the church made a "fair Autonomous decision" with all knowing what was involved! A major reason the court took up this case---where normally they would have said, "It's a church matter and we do not interfere with church matters"---was the deception involved in his leadership!

Does this ring any bells with the recent GCTF report having a 15-year moritorium on disclosure of their discussions????

Major changes used to have total transparency attached---in fact that was one of the main points of the Task Force presentation---and no one cried, "FOUL!!!" before the report was adopted???? Those few who did got ignored and are re-discussing it at SBC Voices! HOWEVER, it is now too late = the "bell has tolled" on that one. Strange how the dog which bit the behind of the "Old SBC" is now continuing to bite behinds of the "New SBC!" Closed-door moves in a democratic organization of church or government will surely destroy both! Democracy is built only with faith / trust / open coverage by a free press.

Tolestoy: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls---it tolls for you!"
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The Double Voicing Conundrum

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:30 am

The white Baptist preachers I sat under in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the 1980s were all masters of multiple voices. Among themselves, the exchange of sermonic materials is a given. They read each other's sermons, listen to them on tape, and sit under each other preaching as much as possible. They attend preaching conferences many times a year, precisely to give and receive elements of content and style from each other. Jerry Falwell greets visitors to his sermon web site with the message, You may use these sermons without giving credit to Dr. Falwell.

As a nationally renowned public speaker during the late 1970s and 1980s, Falwell dexterously mixed and matched voices to remake, expand, and diversify his reputation and audience. In crafting his public postures on political and moral issues, he borrowed language from the conservative side of debates within evangelicalism and blended it with certain fundamentalist distinguishing features while discarding others. He selectively absorbed and Christianized secular rhetorics, thus occupying the terrain of his opponents and particularizing their positions. Overall, he juggled several distinct and partial identities to command the attention of discrete audiences and to unify them, if only partially.

The fact that Falwell did not himself borrow and blend most of the language attributed to him -- his ghostwriters did -- further amplified the sense of him as a man of many voices. His in-house ghostwriters were themselves bicultural, having many times crossed over the line between evangelicalism and fundamentalism in their careers, and it was they who enabled Falwell to flex his identities as much as he did, to remix his styles, to reach across generational as well as folk and official theological boundaries.

What God said to Israel

"And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither was thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee, but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy own blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live." Ezekiel 16: 4-6, KJV

Melvin Campbell, another Baptist preacher I sat under in Lynchburg, did not have Falwell's reach in terms of the social, cultural, and political voices of the day, nor did he have Falwell's talent for deploying biblical figures and frames to amplify his earthly scope. But he was a far more gifted ventriloquist of biblical language. He entered the biblical parlor as an equal to many of its ancient speakers. Toward the end of my first long conversation with Campbell -- a conversation which consisted of his talking to me without pause for over an hour -- he told me what God had done for him, and he said, When I was wretched and naked when I was borned, the prophets said it was like I was thrown out onto the ground. I had not been washed in olive oil. I was laying there in my own blood, dying. And when God saw me, there was nothing about me that really made me desirable. Yet God looked beyond all of my faults and saw my needs, and God came and he loved me, and he died for me. When I came to that knowledge, I had no alternative but to want to run to the one that loved me. Because nobody had ever cared for me like Jesus. Here Campbell took up -- he riffed on, he channeled -- the language of Ezekiel, placed Jesus in it, and placed himself in relation to Jesus.

Typology, or figuralism, is as an interpretative method that reads biblical history backwards; it interprets the words God spoke to Ezekiel about Israel as foreshadowing, as pertaining ultimately to, Jesus Christ and to oneself. But as method of speaking and of actively receiving speech, typology does more. It is a citational practice that opens up the narrative time and space of the Bible and invites both preacher and listener into its stories. It turns the Bible into an unending conversation. It enables Bible-believing preachers and believers to talk about biblical characters as if they knew them, as if they had meet them, talked to them, walked with them, sat down and had breakfast with them that very morning.


From:

http://www.nyu.edu/fas/ihpk/CultureMatters/harding.htm
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Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:06 am

Ed: Gene, thanks for the reply. I agree that Churches need to know their history. I am not however persuaded that a convention or an association is of necessity exercising control of a local church when they set up parameters for churches such as the two restrictions you mention. And BTW, I think you know that my wife is a pastor. My take is that the churches that have been excluded for either of the reasons you present are even more autonomous than ever. Further I am convinced churches who refuse to consider women in pastoral roles are only hurting themselves, while churches who accept practicing homosexuals into membership have the potential to corrupt an association. Now let me be clear, in my book, their is a difference in ministering to a sinner and in telling them they are OK. We can not always minister to folk on their terms. I could be wrong but it seems you would allow individual churches to control the larger body by insisting that churches being permitted to do what ever they please. Would that not include calling a Bob Jones Grad. Again let me quickly add that If asked I would generally caution against such a move, even thought I have known of a Bob Jones Grad who was a very good pastor, because he realized that neither Bob Jones Sr. or Jr. where God.

And Jim, some of us have rather selective memory such as when you say "I totally agree with your assessment of Autonomy. Each church in the SBC has traditionally done as it pleased. Despite any resolutions made at the SBC or NCBSC we USED NOT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO IN THE LOCAL CHURCH!" Did you ever try serving real wine in communion. Or allowing the young people to have a dance in the fellowship hall or in the 50's inviting the older youth from a black church to work in your VBS.
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Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Dr. James Willingham » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:48 am

As to the issue of the con game, it is a local matter, the responsibility of that local church. One can't lay all blame on the schools. Ernest T. Campbell, the red-headed Campbell, was in school with my ordaining pastor at Bob Jones, Dr. Ernest R. Campbell, the black headed Campbell, who took his ph.d. from Bob Jones as did Ernest T. who went on the pastor Riverside in NYC. Ernest R. was no great supporter of the CR due to the issue of the manipulators about which Gene cries. Ernest R. and Dr. L.G. Meadows stopped one of the leaders of the CR in Fla, when he sought to take over that state for his own brand of eschatology which Ernest R. happen to believe and L.G. did not, but both stopped the other fellow cold. I voted for the CR due to the fact of being utterly disgusted with the French Infidelity being palmed off on the unsuspecting as "Higher Criticism." Besides, having been an atheist, it was dumbfounding to me that some of the scholars should pass off as the latest devotional doubt some of the slop I had spouted or had read about being spouted by atheists and agnostics. My big problem which eventually caught up with me was that the madness in man (Eccles.9:3) can masquerade under the guise of orthodox biblical beliefs as it did in the days of our Lord in his oppoenents, the Pharisees. Sadly, not many of the conservatives really recognize that as a problem though it is plainly set forth in Mt.22 along with the problem of the Sadducean fallacies, too, which the moderates failed to see. What is sorely evident is that neither camp is willing to pay the price of extensive mediation to work out differences to the point where they can cooperate...although it could be done. My studies and thoughts on I Cors.13 suggest the possibility. We could with time, planning and effort turn this set-to into the greatest transformation for advancement the world has ever seen, if we want the truth itself or should I say Himself to succeed. If we go onto fragment, there is another group in the wings, waiting to take our place. Historically, they have proven to be rather heavy handed in their methods. Our set-tos as in Bill Leonard's paper a few years ago might be quite repulsive to a peace loving Anglican watching from the sidelines (he was referring to events in the mid to late 1700s), but Baptists were getting ready to launch the Great Century of Missions. If so then, why not now look to launch the Greatest Awakening of all, the one that takes the whole earth for a 1000 generations. After all, there is a biblical basis for believing that God might be planning something better for the future of His people than our narrow little systems of eschatology can foresee.
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Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Dr. James Willingham » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:58 am

Well, I did try to persuade one of the churches I pastored to serve wine, but it ran up against the problem of some the elderly ladies in the church were full of fear about alcohol, having had loved ones who had experienced drinking problems. I even tried to return a church to discipline, but the deacons handed me back the tracts I had provided for them to study (Dr. James Leo Garrett's The Discipline of the Charleston Association) and said they didn't think they would try it. The church liked my preaching and my pastoral work, but they did not want to step out in the areas mentioned. They did, however, get more involved in missions. It is a grief that we cannot win them all.
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In addition to Mike Ruffin

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:35 pm

Dwight Moody nuances the territory Gene Scarborough and Dr. Willingham are taking the scalpel to here, in Moody's review of Greg Willis history of Southern Seminary you can find online in last years archive of Baptists Today.

Then again when Scarborough's friend at Voices, Dave Miller, hands down ex Cathedra Papal decrees on things like his current obsession, the Brick Wall Doctrines, then there is not much else to say other than making it clear at CBF minded churches the mindset of folks in charge of the apologetics of the SBC.

http://sbcvoices.com/brick-walls-picket ... st-divide/

AT Ethicsdaily.com Colin Harris, Brian Kaylor, and Richard Pierard are continuously taking a look at Scarborough's concerns about how fundamentalism is inflecting church state issues.

It is no secret the faultline now comes in the headset of Charles Pickering of the Alliance Defense Fund. Scarborough should probably spend some of his time boing up on the findings of Gary Laderman of his alma mater Emory, who with Sarah Posner at http://www.religiondispatches.org are on the cutting edge of that discussion.

Posner has already written about how hard wired SBC CEO Frank Page is hardwired to the Jim DeMint wing of the Tea Party. And just today Brian Kaylor at Ed.com wrote of concerns about Richard Land and President Obama's Health Care Reforms.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9156
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS

Postby Gene Scarborough » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:19 pm

Folks--

I'm not sure our discussion today has reached any results of merit. What I see is that we are on the verge of losing a precious concept which has allowed a wide range of theological and practical differences within local churches to get along with a "live and let live" approach to doing church. Autonomy was at the core of how so many styles of worship and reasonable differences could jointly work together. I have never viewed the theological differences to be more wide-spread than 20 points around the center of a scale from 1-100. 1=Conservative / 100 = Liberal. Baptists are basically a middle-of-the-road concensus group leaning to the conservative in theology.

Our problem has been the political charades on all sides. It is the same one Jesus had with the egos of the Disciples. Even at the Last Supper there was a fuss and fight over who would sit where in relationship to Jesus---to the point no feet got washed!

The so-called "Moderates" are gone to CBF. Still the "Conservatives" are not happy with one another and suspicions are growing everywhere. What is clear to me with current history redaction is that for 40 years SBC members have wandered in this wilderness. During that time Executive salaries have gone through the roof / disclosures of financial abuse abound / missions has suffered / now there is a rediculous attempt to claim CR just returned us to our roots. If so, those roots were briars fighting with one another for light and air and choking the weak ones out!

I am citing 2 basic approaches to church work:

(1) Simple and trusting with money sent as churches intended.
(2) Hidden and suspicious tactics bent on total control by a few mega churches and their Pastors.

Rev. Johnston who attempted a kidnapping of N. Rocky Mount used every trick in the books to con a congregation into thinking he was right. It went so far that the called Wednesday business meeting had no exact thing to adopt. The actual Resolution adopted by people trusting their winsome Pastor was written by him and presented without any preview with him as Moderator on the next Sunday morning. Anyone who raised any objections or Point of Order was ruled by Johnston to be "out of order!"

Thereafter, any SS leader or Deacon not in compliance was replaced by Rev. Johnston. He had a model of church taught him at Bob Jones which was ruled by the Court to be out of compliance with standard SBC general practices, written or unwritten.

My main source of NRMBC witness information is in his late 80's now. As we reviewed the recorded events today he told me something amazing: "I was a young and new Christian then and trusted Rev. Johnston and voted with him. After a few months of his ways, I discovered I had picked a leader I could not trust. Now I still know there are Pastors you can't trust. They just don't tell the truth nor live the truth I assumed they did!"

This is the saddest part of all this: A trusting new Christian was led astray and hurt. What was it Jesus said about anyone hurting a child--spiritual or physical--"he should have a millstone tied around his neck and cast into the midst of the sea!"

Tough talk, Jesus, tough talk and SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES!!!
Gene Scarborough
Gene Scarborough
 
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Bath, NC

Autonomy and the Brick Wall

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:21 pm

In the New SBC Autonomy takes a second place to the Ex Cathedra Brick Wall, Non Negotiable doctrines.


Here are the Boundaries it seems:

http://sbcvoices.com/the-gospel-is-non-negotiable/
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9156
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: Autonomy redacted at SEBTS~~~and SBC, 1988

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:29 am

This link is a marvelous book by SBC women and how their place in church is being redacted. On p.253 and below you will find the "official redaction" adopted in Antonio in 1988 relative to Autonomy and the Priesthood of the Believer:

http://books.google.com/books?id=xIREehqJqDUC&dq=susan+shaw+God+Speaks+to+Us,+Too&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=X7HJXi4fRV&sig=VoK-qX9Q5i2Qy0LL9qPwWqT8ktA&hl=en&ei=EV2uSuT9FoeKsAO4zMHjCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Fair warning to anyone wanting to know what the SBC uses as a guid. It has become vastly different over the last 40 years. Those who do not know our history can be easily led way off into the Wilderness of ignorance and false trust!
Gene Scarborough
Gene Scarborough
 
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Bath, NC


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