New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

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New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Sandy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:46 pm

https://sbcvoices.com/finally-a-formal- ... s-debacle/

https://founders.org/2019/07/29/about-that-trailer/

http://www.bpnews.net/53375/akin-mohler ... eral-drift

And here we go again. As if the SBC doesn't have enough to deal with, it seems those within its ranks must stir up more trouble. Apparently there are those who believe the SBC is experiencing a drift toward the theological left and is in need of another "conservative resurgence" to drag it back to its conservative roots. The accusation comes from a Florida pastor, Tom Ascol, who leads a Calvinist group called "Founders Ministries." They've been around for a while and have been caustic critics of anything in the convention that doesn't fly a Calvinist flag or which might look to them like liberalism, such as someone like Beth Moore taking to a church's pulpit on "the Lord's Day" to preach, or Russ Moore's open opposition to the Trump presidency. For some reason, they think recent events in the SBC (firing Paige Patterson in particular) are signs of a liberal drift. They don't seem to have much appreciation for a denomination with agencies and churches that are independent and autonomous and don't have a source of singular doctrinal interpretation or a means of forcing it on everyone like the Presbyterians do.

Apparently they are coming out with a movie intended to set everyone straight doctrinally. I hadn't really thought that the scattered Calvinist infiuence in the SBC would amount to much, and that may still be the way it is, but these guys are apparently stirring up enough trouble to draw the ire of notable personages like Al Mohler and Danny Akin along with William Thornton, the author of a couple of SBC Voices posts hostile to Ascol and Founders Ministries.

It does not appear that Ascol and Co. have enough influence to create problems for the current leadership in the SBC but I've long since realized that there are a lot of Southern Baptists who are genuinely fundamentalist in that they believe there is only one correct view of scripture approved by God and its their's. Ascol and his group fall into that category. And it appears that they have enough support to start their own "resurgence" to nominate presidential candidates and make an attempt to grab the mantle of leadership in the SBC. They probably have enough support to make a big mess.

God's judgment on the SBC for supporting Trump? (just kidding)
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:32 am

Doesn't the Bible make it pretty obvious that a movie will do no good, since only unrepentant sinners will watch such a thing? (Kidding right back atcha.)
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:41 am

This is the problem with doctrinal purity movements. At some point someone will come along and demand that the current movement isn’t yet pure/holy enough and if you’d get just more radical then the last movement you’d get it right. (Begging the question, what far right fundamentalism would come along next if the Founders took over the takeover??)

For grins I hunted up the Founders site. Now, the BFM isn’t good enough, you apparently need to go back to a confession of faith from the 1600s and use it as a catechism. More power to William in pointing out the problems with this movement.

Far be it from me to agree with the authors of the SBC takeover. But, they are right about this creeping Calvinism (or maybe even creepy Calvinism) being bad for the SBC. The SBCs amalgamation of particular and general Baptist strains works for Southern Baptists. It allows for OSAS without killing evangelism. It isn’t my theology as a convinced Wesleyan Arminian. But it is a theological stance that worked for most Southern Baptists for generations. Going full bore 5-point Calvinism would be a sad disaster for the SBC.

Frankly this need for perfect doctrine by the Founders crowd smack of works salvation to me. You aren’t saved by grace, but instead by perfect doctrine.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:38 pm

But of course if you have the perfect doctrine, that's proof positive of saving grace, because how else could a sinner like you have come up with the perfect doctrine, eh?
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:20 pm

Haruo wrote:But of course if you have the perfect doctrine, that's proof positive of saving grace, because how else could a sinner like you have come up with the perfect doctrine, eh?


Gotta love that circular Calvinist logic. “By grace you are saved through faith....” is a good enough faith statement for me.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby KeithE » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:45 am

Interesting. Within my own extended family I know of the disagreements between Calvinists and Wesleyans. Same tensions have existed between particular and general Baptists.

But what interests me most is the irritation politically conservative Christians have towards anything (intersectionality, feminism, racial reconciliation) that sounds like the social gospel when in fact Christ was about social improvements and reconciliations (Jesus called it the "Kingdom of God”).

Social Gospel
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:28 am

I think this is closely related to tensions between pre-, post-, and a-millenialists. The anti-Rauschenbuschianites (politically conservative Christians, in Keith's lingo) are convinced that "Thy Kingdom come ... on earth as it is in heaven" refers to something that God will impose either by divine fiat at or after the Parousia, or through the election of little messiahs like Trump, Johnson (yes, the UK is also on earth), Putin (yes, even Russia is part of our earth), Kim ... who will implement it piecemeal by local fiat.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby KeithE » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:13 pm

Haruo wrote:I think this is closely related to tensions between pre-, post-, and a-millenialists. The anti-Rauschenbuschianites (politically conservative Christians, in Keith's lingo) are convinced that "Thy Kingdom come ... on earth as it is in heaven" refers to something that God will impose either by divine fiat at or after the Parousia, or through the election of little messiahs like Trump, Johnson (yes, the UK is also on earth), Putin (yes, even Russia is part of our earth), Kim ... who will implement it piecemeal by local fiat.

I don’t think I have ever heard discussions about pre-, post-, and a-millenialism since living in Huntsville (since 1979). Heard all about those subjects repeatably in California when partially attending Peninsula Bible Church (the church famous for “Body Life” services with guitars no less) in 1972-6.

But yes this Founders group is anti-WalterR and pro-predestination.

Jesus was not a white nationalist and I hope that no one thinks Trump, Johnson, Putin or Jong-Un are the Messiah.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby William Thornton » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:58 pm

This strain of Cals, I call them "rabid cals " is lethal. I don't think they have much sway in the SBC these days.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby KeithE » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:27 pm

William Thornton wrote:This strain of Cals, I call them "rabid cals " is lethal. I don't think they have much sway in the SBC these days.

That is good to hear.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:35 am

Once you begin a crusade to purify, that crusade takes a life of its own, usually until it is discredited either theologically or morally. Some of the SBC strain is popping out in both. I find this a sad product of what was assumed to have the answers for the future. I hope there can be a greater pivot back to the center for the SBC, but I'm not interested in jumping back into the fractured bandwagon.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby KeithE » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:28 am

IMO, until the strongly held belief in inerrancy is relinquished, the sporadic fragmentation (of not just the SBC but of Christendom) will continue. Each side will find their passages to concentrate on and get all self-righteous, creedal and yes Pharisaic about.

The Founders no doubt rely on Romans 9, and selected other passages while more “general" Baptists rely on John 3:16 and the general tenor of Christ’s and Paul’s teaching of salvific choice.

The Spirit is strong and clear enough to guide us through disparate strands resident in the bible itself (if you are honest reading w/o the constraint of inerrancy). And we should be tolerant enough (avoid judgmental attitudes and especially words) to live with various residual expressions of the Spirit when it comes to actions/doctrinal stances (if you disagree after prayer in some given action/belief of someone else, just let them do it or believe it and do not divide Christendom anymore).

The Founders are also bothered by the various equal rights for (x, y, z) movements in our culture which they regard as extra biblical. At least that is what they brought up in their public statements. But the ministry of Jesus to the marginalized as well Paul’s 1 Cor 13 and Gal 3:28 point to the love and equal rights of all peoples (x,y,z).

Until the Spirit of God and love of all people (including immigrants, various races, various religions, liberals, conservatives, LBGTQs ...) rules, the divisions will continue. Trump and Ascol are not helping.

Please accept my “IMO" at the beginning of this as a note of willingness to accept the beliefs/actions of more conservative brothers and sisters. But I’d like to air my beliefs as well - I believe them to be inline with Jesus’s repeated "Woe to you Pharisee”. I believe Jesus was lovingly trying to change their attitudes. I am doing the same w/o much prospect of success.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby William Thornton » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:48 am

Inerrancy doesn't demand inerrant interpretations. We generally agree in the SBC on doctrine, the BFM is a confessional statement. Employees, trustees, leaders should be in agreement with that. Neither chirches nor pastors are required to affirm it by the SBC.

I'm satisfied that the CBF believes itself to be spirit led. They have been led, as they see it, to places I wouldn't go. We can all agree on what is necessary to join together in cooperative enterprises and to share a common identity; thus, I am pleased to interact and share with my friends here even though it is unlikely I would want them as the pastor of the church I attend, or teach in seminary. There are SBCers thT I wouldn't put in leadership or employment.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:19 am

KeithE wrote:Social Gospel
Whatever he Kingdom of God means, it includes an earthly component. Read Matt 6:10.


John Wesley wrote:Solitary religion is not to be found there. “Holy Solitaries” is a phrase no more consistent with the gospel than Holy Adulterers. The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness. Faith working by love, is the length and breadth and depth and height of Christian perfection.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Sandy » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:00 am

William Thornton wrote: Inerrancy doesn't demand inerrant interpretations. We generally agree in the SBC on doctrine, the BFM is a confessional statement. Employees, trustees, leaders should be in agreement with that. Neither churches nor pastors are required to affirm it by the SBC.



I don't think inerrancy was ever really any issue anywhere in the SBC except maybe at the seminaries or there would have been far more churches severing their ties during the conservative resurgence. These current controversies are related to the doctrinal differences between various shades of Calvinism and Non-Calvinists, or in Baptist terms, between the strains of Reformation Baptist theology. And that leads to different interpretations of "inerrant" scripture with the Baptist tendency to think that there's just one right one, and that's the one they hold.

Really, a lot of this has to do with how tightly wound Southern Baptists have become around extremist right wing politics. The Founders Ministries posts drip with venom over Russell Moore and the ERLC. Some of that is probably because of his anti-Trump stance but some of it is because the ERLC approaches its work from the position that Christians are guaranteed religious liberty by the constitution equally with all other religious or non-religious practice. That differs from the extremist right wing position that Christianity should be favored by the government over other religious practices because the founders were intent on building a Christian nation and Republic. Religious "liberty" means you can be what you want, but that when Christian churches want government favor they should get it. That's why they have such a strong objection to the "wall of separation" or "separation of church and state." They don't believe that Christian practice should only be considered equal with all other religious or non-religious practice. Hence, the strong objection to "social justice." They want a hierarchy of "rights" and for the government to restrict and regulate religious practice if it isn't Christian. The Founders Ministry blog certainly reflects this as to many of the posts on SBC Voices related to the issues of social justice as being contrary to their position.

I use the term "extremist" because it is. It's a Christian Nationalist perspective. And that is extremist.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:34 am

Sandy wrote:They want a hierarchy of "rights" and for the government to restrict and regulate religious practice if it isn't Christian. The Founders Ministry blog certainly reflects this as to many of the posts on SBC Voices related to the issues of social justice as being contrary to their position.


That is just scary! After all, who would get to decide even what religious practices are Christian? My guess is that it would be freedom of religion from far right evangelicals only.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:35 pm

It is a rehash of what separated the Episcopalians and the Congregationalists from the Baptists and the Quakers. It is "extremist" only from our own perspective. From their perspective (the Christian Nationalists', not todays Episcopalians' and Quakers', thank God) it is normative, a return to, I hate to say it, what M.A.G.Anteriorly.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby KeithE » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:48 pm

William Thornton wrote:Inerrancy doesn't demand inerrant interpretations.


Well there you have it. It is specious to claim, as many do, that we just must have the doctrine of inerrancy else there will be no basis for truth. But since interpretations need not be inerrant, we must be on uncertain ground anyway. Let the Spirit speak to us and let any residual differences not divide us.

William Thornton wrote:We generally agree in the SBC on doctrine, the BFM is a confessional statement.


This recent Founder’s statement proves that wrong. The need for BF&M 2000 (so central to the “Conservative Resurgence”) proves that wrong (ousting many missionaries). The Calvinism (so central to the Founder’s movement) proves that wrong. Ladmarkism proved that wrong. Need I go on. Get the picture.

But weasel-worded with “generally” it might be a partially true assessment that gives some degree of comfort to the faithful SBCer. But when people like myself are treated like heretics in an SBC church or a PCA church, it is hard to stay in that church.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby KeithE » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:03 pm

Haruo wrote:It is a rehash of what separated the Episcopalians and the Congregationalists from the Baptists and the Quakers. It is "extremist" only from our own perspective. From their perspective (the Christian Nationalists', not todays Episcopalians' and Quakers', thank God) it is normative, a return to, I hate to say it, what M.A.G.Anteriorly.



What is “M.A.G.Anteriorly” ?

Make America Great towards the head?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anterior

situated near or toward the head or part most nearly corresponding to a head
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Re: Profanity

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:08 pm

The term "profane" (as distinct from "obscene" and "off-color") is a religious one, and at least if etymology has any force, one's notion of what is sacred colors how one uses it, what one applies it to. This is a quadruplex of headlines that forces me to look at Fox. I understand the motive behind their use of the term in a headline like this, but I need to see which particular comments they were so labeling. And then I need to look into the apparent contradiction between the next two headlines. None of these, unlike the fourth, is labeled "opinion", fwiw.
Fox v. NYT.jpg

I was almost glad to see evidence that the Dayton shooter, unlike the clearly MTAAGA (Make Texas and America Great Again) driven El Paso guy, was anti-Trump, pro-Warren, pro-gun-control, and in some sense a socialist. But I have a feeling this will be downplayed in the WAPO, NYT, CNN treatment of the story, just as the Fox rendition may play it up. We'll see.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:20 pm

KeithE wrote:
Haruo wrote:It is a rehash of what separated the Episcopalians and the Congregationalists from the Baptists and the Quakers. It is "extremist" only from our own perspective. From their perspective (the Christian Nationalists', not todays Episcopalians' and Quakers', thank God) it is normative, a return to, I hate to say it, what M.A.G.Anteriorly.



What is “M.A.G.Anteriorly” ?

Make America Great towards the head?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anterior

No, I meant it in the temporal sense, "previously, earlier"; the second of Merriam-Webster's definitions. And in the context, "M" has to be "Made", not "Make". I only used it because it starts with A.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Sandy » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:26 pm

I'm not sure I trust the Washington Examiner or Fox News to deliver truth on this one. Conservatives are panicked with fear that this will keep turning public opinion and are desperate to counter that with anything. What it looks like is that Connor Betts, the shooter in Dayton, was more fascinated with gruesome scenarios and the underlying fear and creepiness that it caused than motivated by any kind of political bias, unlike the El Paso shooter, who responded to a white supremacist dog whistle.

Timothy Bonney wrote: That is just scary! After all, who would get to decide even what religious practices are Christian? My guess is that it would be freedom of religion from far right evangelicals only.


That's pretty much what it would amount to, though I think Founders Ministries are more focused on purifying the SBC and pushing out anyone who doesn't agree with their list of secondary issues.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

In an SBC context, the word "Founders" suggests to me the need to ensure the appointability of slaveholders as missionaries. I'm sure this is not what they mean by it (though it may be hinted at), but I'm not sure what they do mean.
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:44 pm

Sandy wrote:I'm not sure I trust the Washington Examiner or Fox News to deliver truth on this one. Conservatives are panicked with fear that this will keep turning public opinion and are desperate to counter that with anything. What it looks like is that Connor Betts, the shooter in Dayton, was more fascinated with gruesome scenarios and the underlying fear and creepiness that it caused than motivated by any kind of political bias, unlike the El Paso shooter, who responded to a white supremacist dog whistle.

I don't trust any of the media to be free of bias in this sort of reporting. And I don't trust Google to do an unbiased job of suggesting links. But one works with what one has, and I am convinced that it is important to keep on top of what the Trumpian sorts I know are getting. Sometimes, they turn out to be aware of a story, or a legitimate slant on a story, that the MSM has not publicized (whether or not "suppressed" is an appropriate term).
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Re: New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:01 pm

Most of what was billed as profanity was actually just offal, some of it bovine, but it's true Beto O'Rourke used "Jesus Christ" as an intensifier.
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