Stress in ABC Central Region

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Stress in ABC Central Region

Postby David Flick » Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:08 pm

Three weeks ago in Meade, KS, I was officially nominated by the Western Area of the Central Region to serve on the Central Region's Board of Directors. If everything holds, I will be elected to the board at the ABCCR gathering this weekend in Ottawa, KS.

We are having some stress in the Central Region. Our Regional Minister, Dr. Fred Ansell, is receiving strong criticism by some of the fundamentalist pastors and churches. (I say "fundamentalist" because their actions appear to be in line with fundamentalism). I think Dr. Ansell is a outstanding leader. He is a man of God with keen leadership skills.

I have received several letters that were circulated to all the pastors & churches in the Central Region. One letter, which I received in July, is calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation. Here is the letter and an attachment. (I have blotted out names to protect the guilty).

(These documents may require enlargement after you get to them.)

. . . . . . . . . . . .Letter calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation

. . . . . . . . . . . .Attachment

I will be in Ottawa this Friday and Saturday for the ABCCR Annual Gathering. I have attended only two prior ABCCR gatherings so I have no idea what will transpire regarding this move. I will be watching this closely however. I spent 35 years in the SBC watching the fundamentalist wreck havoc at annual conventions. Now it appears the fundamentalists are attempting to do the same thing to the denomination where I went to escape this kind of lunacy.
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Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:41 pm

Ed: David as I said when you previously posted this letter from the church in Kansas. I see no reason to protect their identity. You, one who has had some strong words about anonymous letters have in fact turned this in to that which you have protested. And I am not sure where you come off identifying this litter as "Letter calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation", that does not seem to be the primary trust of the letter.

I would agree that the writer is not real clear about Dr. Ansell's position on homosexuality. They start out saying "If" he truly belives that homosexuality is not a sin and then that say "His position is incompatible with clear and basic teaching of the bible. Perhaps the if was to carry into the second sentence. If so i am willing to give them the benefit of doubt.

It seems the solution would be for Dr. Ansell to make his position clear.




Trudy: David, I am surprised at you. Why does someone who clings to biblical principles seem to automatically be a fundamentalist in your mind? Scripture is all we have as a guide. I think of myself as a scripturalist, but I am certainly not a fundamentalist. Without scripture, how would we have any idea of how we are to live. Maybe you can help me with the thing about this whole situation that puzzles me: how do we love--which I think is the most important thing--without affirming that which we consider to be wrong? It can be homosexuality, or any unconfessed sin. Your input would be appreciated.
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Postby David Flick » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:41 am

Ed wrote:David as I said when you previously posted this letter from the church in Kansas. I see no reason to protect their identity. You, one who has had some strong words about anonymous letters have in fact turned this in to that which you have protested. And I am not sure where you come off identifying this litter as "Letter calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation", that does not seem to be the primary trust of the letter.

I would agree that the writer is not real clear about Dr. Ansell's position on homosexuality. They start out saying "If" he truly belives that homosexuality is not a sin and then that say "His position is incompatible with clear and basic teaching of the bible. Perhaps the if was to carry into the second sentence. If so i am willing to give them the benefit of doubt.

It seems the solution would be for Dr. Ansell to make his position clear.

In the first place, Ed, this wasn't an anonymous letter. It was sent to every pastor and church in the Central Region. There were nine signatures on the letter, so it was anything but anonymous. I received two others like it from other churches in the Region.

Secondly, I know of no information where Dr. Ansell has ever declared that he does not believe homosexuality is a sin. I believe the charges in the letter are bogus. The underlined sentence in the letter was as follows:
The pastor of the church wrote:If he truly believes that homosexuality is not a sin, then as a matter of principle and authority of the Word, we join Ness City in calling for the resignation of Dr. Fred Ansell.
Now any way you want to shake it out, that's an accusation that Dr. Ansell believes that homosexuality is okay. That borders on slander. It's not unlike what the SBC fundies did when they accused the moderates of being on a slippery slope to liberalism. It's not unlike what the SBC fundies did when they accused the CBF of approving of homosexuality. As I said above, I've never heard anything that leads me to believe that Dr. Ansell approves of homosexuality. I'll admit that I've only been an American Baptist for two and a half years, but I believe I'm pretty much up to speed on what Dr. Ansell believes.

Thirdly, Dr. Ansell's position, as best I can discern, is the same as Dr. Roy Medley's. I'm sure you recall the flak he took from the archconservatives at the Biennial. Dr. Medley said that the people who wanted to split the denomination would become "small souls". Here's what he said:
In his address at the 2005 Biennial in Denver, Dr. Roy Medley said: "We stand at a crossroads... In our world, the path of radical discipleship -- the path of radical love -- is the road less taken. We dare not choose another. We dare not choose the wrong road ... The road that leads to separation. That choice will certainly unite you with like-minded people but will give you small souls and make you comfortable Christians."
The letter claims that the people who are calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation are "solidly conservative pastors as well as conservative conservative churches." But they are acting just like the SBC fundamentalists I remember. I can't tell any difference between these people and the likes of Pressler, Patterson, Chapman, Land, et. al.

Trudy wrote: David, I am surprised at you. Why does someone who clings to biblical principles seem to automatically be a fundamentalist in your mind? Scripture is all we have as a guide. I think of myself as a scripturalist, but I am certainly not a fundamentalist. Without scripture, how would we have any idea of how we are to live. Maybe you can help me with the thing about this whole situation that puzzles me: how do we love--which I think is the most important thing--without affirming that which we consider to be wrong? It can be homosexuality, or any unconfessed sin. Your input would be appreciated.

As I said to Ed, the charges against Dr. Ansell are bogus. They are claiming that he is soft on homosexuality and that he does not believe that homosexuality is a sin. I haven't heard anything that leads me to believe this is true. I think these people are, in effect, slandering him. That's my beef against these people. Their attitude is one that closely resembles the SBC fundamentalists that so many of we former Southern Baptists fought for so many years.
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Postby Haruo » Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:06 am

David Flick wrote:The letter claims that the people who are calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation are "solidly conservative pastors as well as conservative conservative churches."


You doubled their conservatism, David. They were only "conservative churches" before you got your hands on them.

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who wishes he had enough time to respond in some depth to Trudy's rhetorical flourishes on Scripture
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Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:32 am

David Flick wrote:
Ed wrote:David as I said when you previously posted this letter from the church in Kansas. I see no reason to protect their identity. You, one who has had some strong words about anonymous letters have in fact turned this in to that which you have protested. And I am not sure where you come off identifying this litter as "Letter calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation", that does not seem to be the primary trust of the letter.

I would agree that the writer is not real clear about Dr. Ansell's position on homosexuality. They start out saying "If" he truly belives that homosexuality is not a sin and then that say "His position is incompatible with clear and basic teaching of the bible. Perhaps the if was to carry into the second sentence. If so i am willing to give them the benefit of doubt.

It seems the solution would be for Dr. Ansell to make his position clear.



David Flick
In the first place, Ed, this wasn't an anonymous letter. It was sent to every pastor and church in the Central Region. There were nine signatures on the letter, so it was anything but anonymous. I received two others like it from other churches in the Region.

Secondly, I know of no information where Dr. Ansell has ever declared that he does not believe homosexuality is a sin. I believe the charges in the letter are bogus. The underlined sentence in the letter was as follows:
The pastor of the church wrote:If he truly believes that homosexuality is not a sin, then as a matter of principle and authority of the Word, we join Ness City in calling for the resignation of Dr. Fred Ansell.
Now any way you want to shake it out, that's an accusation that Dr. Ansell believes that homosexuality is okay. That borders on slander. It's not unlike what the SBC fundies did when they accused the moderates of being on a slippery slope to liberalism. It's not unlike what the SBC fundies did when they accused the CBF of approving of homosexuality. As I said above, I've never heard anything that leads me to believe that Dr. Ansell approves of homosexuality. I'll admit that I've only been an American Baptist for two and a half years, but I believe I'm pretty much up to speed on what Dr. Ansell believes.



Ed: Back to that "first place" David, I am fully aware that the letter was not anonymous when sent and I did not suggest that it was. What I said was that your by your censorship turned it into such.

Secondly, that makes two of us who do not know where Dr. Ansell has ever declared that he does not believe homosexuality is a sin. The letter does not say clearly that he has. They said "If"

Flick
Thirdly, Dr. Ansell's position, as best I can discern, is the same as Dr. Roy Medley's. I'm sure you recall the flak he took from the archconservatives at the Biennial. Dr. Medley said that the people who wanted to split the denomination would become "small souls". Here's what he said:

In his address at the 2005 Biennial in Denver, Dr. Roy Medley said: "We stand at a crossroads... In our world, the path of radical discipleship -- the path of radical love -- is the road less taken. We dare not choose another. We dare not choose the wrong road ... The road that leads to separation. That choice will certainly unite you with like-minded people but will give you small souls and make you comfortable Christians."
The letter claims that the people who are calling for Dr. Ansell's resignation are "solidly conservative pastors as well as conservative conservative churches." But they are acting just like the SBC fundamentalists I remember. I can't tell any difference between these people and the likes of Pressler, Patterson, Chapman, Land, et. al.



Ed: And to this third tirade I must say David, thus far you have not demonstrated to me that you have any basis for discerning Dr. Ansell's position on homosexuality. Note! I did not say that you have no basis, only that you have not demonstrated it.

And I would ask that you identify those who you call "archconservatives" who gave Dr. Medley flack at the Biennial. The only criticism that I heard of Dr. Medley was durring the discussion on the stament of concern, presented by signature, to which I spoke and you where not present for that session. And I would not chacterize what was siad then as "flack" I think some folk expressed genuine disapointment that, Roy seemed to them to be placing unity ( peace at all cost) above Christian principle. But It must also be remmbered that Dr. Medley did clearly say that he considers the Practice of homosexuality to be a sin and so Did Dr. Campelo in his filled introduction of Dr. Medley.

Rather than draging SBC baggage into the ABC discussion on this issue it would serve you well to produce a clear statement from Dr. Ansell that he likewise considers homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian living.


Trudy wrote: David, I am surprised at you. Why does someone who clings to biblical principles seem to automatically be a fundamentalist in your mind? Scripture is all we have as a guide. I think of myself as a scripturalist, but I am certainly not a fundamentalist. Without scripture, how would we have any idea of how we are to live. Maybe you can help me with the thing about this whole situation that puzzles me: how do we love--which I think is the most important thing--without affirming that which we consider to be wrong? It can be homosexuality, or any unconfessed sin. Your input would be appreciated.



David
As I said to Ed, the charges against Dr. Ansell are bogus. They are claiming that he is soft on homosexuality and that he does not believe that homosexuality is a sin. I haven't heard anything that leads me to believe this is true. I think these people are, in effect, slandering him. That's my beef against these people. Their attitude is one that closely resembles the SBC fundamentalists that so many of we former Southern Baptists fought for so many years.


Ed: And as of yet, David, you have not made a case for any one "slandering" Dr. Ansell. I do think that before distributing this letter they needed to be more clear as to Dr. Ansell's position. How ever they seem to be assuming that the reader would have knowlege of another letter that presuably provided other information. BTW, before sitting down to your key board to accuse these folk of slander did you in Christian love approach them in an attemt to reconcile this matter? And by the way you seem to have ignored Trudy's question.
Last edited by Ed Pettibone on Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby David Flick » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:52 am

Timothy Bonney wrote:Ed, why should Dr. Ansell produce any statement related to his views on homosexuality?

David: I agree

Frankly, I believe American Baptists, in our disagreement about this issue, have raised the level of importance of views on homosexuality much higher than the scriptures or historic Christian faith.

If it was such an all important issue why does the Bible say so little about it? Why did Jesus say nothing about it?

David: Good point, Tim.


I'm not saying it isn't an issue. But, we have magnified the issue way beyond its real importance.

As to comments about Dr. Medley, I heard both high praise for Roy at the Biennial and very very negative comments made as well.

Most of the critiques and compliments came in hallway discussions etc.

David: My observations were the same.
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Postby David Flick » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:08 pm

Ed wrote:Rather than draging SBC baggage into the ABC discussion on this issue it would serve you well to produce a clear statement from Dr. Ansell that he likewise considers homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian living.

My thoughts on this are basically the same as Tim's. Ed, I don't think I'm dragging SBC baggage into an ABC discussion. As Tim observed, what we're facing as ABCers is the same thing the SBC faced a quarter century ago. Fundamentalism in the ABC is a reality. As Tim observed, the rhetoric and the attitude of the fundamentalists are identical. The desire to control and enforce doctrinal views is identical. The desire to exclude those who don't buy the fundamentalist agenda is identical.

That said, I agree with Tim. I'm not absolutely certain because I don't have all my correspondence handy and I'm leaving for a funeral here in a few minutes, but I think Dr. Ansell does have a position. It just doesn't happen to be the same position as the fundamentalists among us. Regardless, I'm standing behind my Regional Minister. I see nothing about his leadership that warrants his resignation. Not a thing...
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Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:47 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
David Flick wrote:Regardless, I'm standing behind my Regional Minister. I see nothing about his leadership that warrants his resignation. Not a thing...


Tim Bonney Wrote
Everything that I've heard about Dr. Ansell is that he is a fine Christian leader with a heart for ministry and mission.

This whole desire to have everyone take positions, sign statements, adopt creeds, etc. is antithetical to whom American Baptists have been since the founding of the NBC (Northern Baptist Convention).



Ed: Tim, your Statement regarding Dr Ansell does not answer the question of does he or does he not Support the varrious pronouncements at different levels of ABCUSA structure that state that homosexuality is not compatiable with Christian living.

And as to the second stament The ABC USA has had a number of position statements over the years. For example the 1969 (SCODS) Statement of purpose. SCODS = Study Commision on Denominational structure.

To expand let me ask, How do you interpret Robert Torbet when in the pramble of that document he said regarding American Baptist polty.

Accordingly, we have come to see the need for a delegated body to increase the ability of elected representatives of the congregation to here and understand each other and so be able to act responsibly under the guidance of the Holy Sprit. Such a shift in polity is from the society concept to the church concept.... We need, therefore, to reconize that we as a denomination, are as truly a church within the Body of Christ as any one of the congregations in wich we old our membership This quote is from Bill Leonard's Baptist Ways A History published by Judson Press, Vally Forge, Pa., 2003 p410
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Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:40 pm

Ed: Well Tim, perhaps we will have to agree to disagree on the matter of should Dr. Ansell's position on homosexuality be a matter of concern 1. ) to those in his region and and 2.) to the denomination as a whole. I am persuaded tha it should be on both counts and you are persuaded that it should not be.


In additon you say
As to Torbet, during the entire SCODS and SCOR process the ABC moved to a more organized, centralized, and structured national system. This was to make it easier to do our mission and ministry as American Baptists together.


And Tim what do you see as the mission and ministry that they wanted to make easier to do together?


And also Tim, Bill Leonard presents a slihtly diferent view of why the name American Baptist Churchs USA was selected. He states that when the name was changed in 1950 from the Northern Baptist Convention to te American Baptist Convention, "The change also reflected the national character of a denomination extended through out the United States."
The further change in 69 to the current ABChurches USA reflected the new stucture. USA definitely suggest a national scope. Church(es) was acceped as prefered over Church, as Leonard says, "as the latter designation might imply an ecclesiology that undermined congregational autonomy". Pg. 409, Baptist Ways And "Billy J." as Molly Marshal likes to call him is the guy the ABCUSA tapped to write their latest history.


And Tim, I think we may have a different view of what constitures a "creedal view". Unfortunatly, I haven't been able to come up with the paper I had to wrote for Leonards class on the difference in creeds and confessions.
As I recall Dr. Leonard has no problem calling Baptist "A confessional people".
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Postby Haruo » Wed Oct 05, 2005 3:50 pm

Ed & Trudy Pettibone wrote:Trudy: David, I am surprised at you. Why does someone who clings to biblical principles seem to automatically be a fundamentalist in your mind? Scripture is all we have as a guide. I think of myself as a scripturalist, but I am certainly not a fundamentalist. Without scripture, how would we have any idea of how we are to live. Maybe you can help me with the thing about this whole situation that puzzles me: how do we love--which I think is the most important thing--without affirming that which we consider to be wrong? It can be homosexuality, or any unconfessed sin. Your input would be appreciated.


Hi Trudy:

I've underlined the three parts of your post here that worry me a bit. I do look forward to people's input on the "how do we love without affirming what is wrong" question. But I want to try to address the underlined stuff. First, let me quote something Sandy recently posted that I find pertinent to this topic:

Sandy, over at ThinkingBaptists.com, discussing Miers wrote:The constitution was written to change with the times, not to be as it was originally written. "Strict constructionism" is not philosophically consistent with the intent of the founding fathers.


Now, let me take each of the three parts I underlined and see if I can address them:

1) Why does someone who clings to biblical principles seem to automatically be a fundamentalist in your mind?

I don't see the problem being those "who cling to biblical principles", but those who assume that their pet biblical principles, or their accepted hermeneutical approaches, are the only valid ones, and deny that their opponents may themselves be "clinging to biblical principles".

2) Scripture is all we have as a guide and Without scripture, how would we have any idea of how we are to live.

Not exactly. We have our reason, which Jesus suggested we use (Luke 12:57). We have at the Spirit's discretion visions etc. We have our burning bushes. We have the example within the scriptures of those who found their answers outside the[ir] scriptures. Read Acts 10 again. Peter did not arrive at his conclusion on the basis of scripture. Indeed, at the outset on the rooftop he thought the conclusion God was leading him to was opposed to the clear teaching of the scriptures.

I thought you were seminary-trained. Did they only teach you theology and no ethics? Scripture is not all I have. If it's all you have, I marvel at the paucity of your life experience and at your unscriptural unwillingness not to lean unto your own understanding, but to use the brains God gave you. I have to go to work now (long hours this week; an 11-hour shift on Monday) so I don't have time to go into this deeper for the moment, but I am eager to get your help in understanding where you were coming from in these rather strong, bald statements of yours.

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Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:27 pm

Haruo wrote:
Ed & Trudy Pettibone wrote:Trudy: David, I am surprised at you. Why does someone who clings to biblical principles seem to automatically be a fundamentalist in your mind? Scripture is all we have as a guide. I think of myself as a scripturalist, but I am certainly not a fundamentalist. Without scripture, how would we have any idea of how we are to live. Maybe you can help me with the thing about this whole situation that puzzles me: how do we love--which I think is the most important thing--without affirming that which we consider to be wrong? It can be homosexuality, or any unconfessed sin. Your input would be appreciated.


Hi Trudy:

I've underlined the three parts of your post here that worry me a bit. I do look forward to people's input on the "how do we love without affirming what is wrong" question. But I want to try to address the underlined stuff. First, let me quote something Sandy recently posted that I find pertinent to this topic:

Sandy, over at ThinkingBaptists.com, discussing Miers wrote:The constitution was written to change with the times, not to be as it was originally written. "Strict constructionism" is not philosophically consistent with the intent of the founding fathers.


Now, let me take each of the three parts I underlined and see if I can address them:

1) Why does someone who clings to biblical principles seem to automatically be a fundamentalist in your mind?

I don't see the problem being those "who cling to biblical principles", but those who assume that their pet biblical principles, or their accepted hermeneutical approaches, are the only valid ones, and deny that their opponents may themselves be "clinging to biblical principles".

2) Scripture is all we have as a guide and Without scripture, how would we have any idea of how we are to live.

Not exactly. We have our reason, which Jesus suggested we use (Luke 12:57). We have at the Spirit's discretion visions etc. We have our burning bushes. We have the example within the scriptures of those who found their answers outside the[ir] scriptures. Read Acts 10 again. Peter did not arrive at his conclusion on the basis of scripture. Indeed, at the outset on the rooftop he thought the conclusion God was leading him to was opposed to the clear teaching of the scriptures.

I thought you were seminary-trained. Did they only teach you theology and no ethics? Scripture is not all I have. If it's all you have, I marvel at the paucity of your life experience and at your unscriptural unwillingness not to lean unto your own understanding, but to use the brains God gave you. I have to go to work now (long hours this week; an 11-hour shift on Monday) so I don't have time to go into this deeper for the moment, but I am eager to get your help in understanding where you were coming from in these rather strong, bald statements of yours.

Haruo



Trudy: I realized when I made the comment about "Scripture being all we have" that I was opening up a can of worms. First of all, I believe very strongly in the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers. Unfortunately, I just don't see that happening too often. While I have a very experiential faith, I have had no burning bushes or lowered sheets. I recognize my fleshly shortcomings, and don't trust them at all. People too often depend on their feelings and not on the Lord. Scripture--and I refer to the Greek and Hebrew and not trust English translations when I have a serious question--is the only "grounded", viable source we have. I would love to think that everything I said or did or thought was from the Holy Spirit, but anyone who does that is naive, arrogant and probably not acquainted with the Holy Spirit at all.

I agree that there are people looking at Scripture on both sides of these issues. I don't use proof texts, I look at the common thread that runs through Scripture. I know that there are three basic words in the Hebrew that describe things God tells us not to do: t(aa)v, usually translated abominable; shqtz, often translated detestable; and pql. The two latter usually refer to things that changed under the new covenant, such as the eating of foods, which is the wonderful lesson that Peter learned. As far as I can tell, the first word applys to things that do not change. It is the word used in the context of offering children in the fire and a man sleeping with a man as if with a woman. If we are accepting one, lets accept others.

With all that said, the main strand I see in Scripture is the strand of love. That has to be the main thing. As I indicated in my first post, I don't know how to love but not affirm. When my children were little, in love I kept them from doing things that were harmful to them, or made them stop doing such things. I was loving but not affirming. Nowadays, however, when we say "no" to something, we are told we don't love. Since when does love mean accepting everything that comes along? I would appreciate your input.
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Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:50 pm

Ed: Haruo, I am disaponted to see you take what I consider a cheap shot when you say to Tudy "I thought you were seminary-trained. Did they only teach you theology and no ethics?"

I see she elected not to respond to that but yes, Trudy is seminary- trained M.Div in a Christian school and an M.A. from a Jewish instituion.
She did have ethics courses in both her M.Div and in her undergrad work which was taken in the religious studies progrem of a State University where she graduuated Summa Cum Laude. It is may studied opinion that Christian ethics must be informed by theology rather than the other way around.

BTW, your theological and ethical studies are from where?
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Postby Hal Eaton » Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:14 pm

From Ed:
It is my studied opinion that Christian ethics must be informed by theology rather than the other way around.


I think Roy Moore, Fred Phelps (Kansas anti-gay pastor), J. Frank Norris, and any number of other folks would agree with you. Sorry company, indeed.

Re worded: Anything goes, as long as you can find a verse in the Bible to support your stand.

Ancient principle of hermeneutics: Every verse in the Good Book must be interpreted in the light of every other verse in the Good Book. In keeping with that theme, it might be safe (and occasionally applauded) to let your ethics inform your theology.

Applying such a principle to the homosexuality dispute: Add up all the verses that suggest Christian love, acceptance, support, forgiveness, understanding, etc., then compare them to the few OT verses which major on the Yuck factor concerning sexual relations, and the NT verses from the obviously opinionated viewpoint of Paul, the male chauvinist who admitted to a thorn without identifying same.

Oops.
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Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:47 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:We may indeed need to agree to disagree.

While I think Bill Leonard is one of the best theologians/historians I know, he isn't an American Baptist so, he always writes with an outside view.

Sometimes that makes your view clearer and sometimes it doesn't.

As to what we came together to do in ministry and mission, we are to share the loving and saving gospel of Jesus Christ.



Ed: So Tim, are you suggesting that the loving and saving gospel of Jesus Christ make no demands and sets no limits on our lives. Shurly not.

BTW, Leonard considers him self a Church Historian/Theologian who's primary expetise is in the area of Baptist History The divisons ABC,CBF, Alliance, Progressive, National, Conservative and the list goes on, are simply markers. Well before Judson press tapped him to do[ u] Baptist Ways[/u] he had edited his A Dictionary of Baptist in America in 1994. Also His Christinity in Appalacia 1999 considers ABC churches in that vast region along with the many other denominations and indepedant movements. Bill also did his Ph.D. in of all Places Boston, at Boston University.
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Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:01 am

Hal Eaton wrote:From Ed:
It is my studied opinion that Christian ethics must be informed by theology rather than the other way around.


Hal Eaton
I think Roy Moore, Fred Phelps (Kansas anti-gay pastor), J. Frank Norris, and any number of other folks would agree with you. Sorry company, indeed.

Re worded: Anything goes, as long as you can find a verse in the Bible to support your stand.

Ancient principle of hermeneutics: Every verse in the Good Book must be interpreted in the light of every other verse in the Good Book. In keeping with that theme, it might be safe (and occasionally applauded) to let your ethics inform your theology.

Applying such a principle to the homosexuality dispute: Add up all the verses that suggest Christian love, acceptance, support, forgiveness, understanding, etc., then compare them to the few OT verses which major on the Yuck factor concerning sexual relations, and the NT verses from the obviously opinionated viewpoint of Paul, the male chauvinist who admitted to a thorn without identifying same.

Oops.


Ed: Well Hal, Norris has been dead for quite a long time, Phelps and Moore might agree with my polemic but I am quite sure that at most points they do not share my theology or ethical stance. Therefore you attempt to put us in "company" is a slanderous stretch.

And just how do you arrive at your reworded statement that "Anything goes, as long as you can find a verse in the Bible to support your stand."

You state that principle of hermeneutics well, and then you present a conclusion apparently using some other "private" principle.

By the way what does any male chauvinism on the part of Paul have to do with his words on homosexuality? And In fact I think Paul is misread by those who accuse him of being a Male chauvinist.

"Oops"? Did you stub your toe?
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Ed Pettibone
 
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