Sign the Shorter petition

Discuss current news and trends taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Enticing remark

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:48 am

But BOGUS

I do hope Sandy you will read The Anointed as a matter of conscience by January 15. You could get your hands on a copy from any decent Library by Friday if you call them tomorrow and ask them to put the order in pronto.
I give you credit for expressing yourself well. Just the substance don't scour as well as you have convinced yourself.

I hope Pierce himself and Aaron Weaver wll engage your point soon. I hope to bring it to Pierce attention by Wednesday if he doesn't see it here on the Forum.
Sincere thanks, however, for engaging this aspect of the tragic world of Nelson Price; Tragic not a throwaway word as it was intentionally selected by Harold Bloom to describe the "sandy" as in sinking sand, foundation on which you have constructed your allegiance: The Fundamentalist Takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby BTeditor » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:46 pm

OK, Fox, I'll chime in.
1. My potato chip parable is spot on.
2. Shorter is controlled by the Ga. Baptist Convention and the GBC is controlled by fundamentalists. Therefore, the GBC is taking on that orientation. No surprise.
3. The GBC presidents (and other key elected leaders), over the last decade or so, have little legitimate education (despite their well-used "Doctor" titles). It's a classic case of bearing false witness. Therefore, in the current GBC culture, as expected, indoctrination trumps quality education.
4. I also preferred the other college in Rome, Ga., anyway.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:10 pm

John---

I think you made one of the best images possible. It totally clicks!

My comment on your blog depicts my naive mother who, at age 93, still gives to a cause which is totally against what she achieved as a graduate of Carver School of MIssions and a woman who took the RA's when no man would.

The whole deception is terrible and she won't listen to her son who has tried to give her some insights she won't believe! :brick:
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:18 pm

BTeditor wrote:OK, Fox, I'll chime in.
1. My potato chip parable is spot on.
2. Shorter is controlled by the Ga. Baptist Convention and the GBC is controlled by fundamentalists. Therefore, the GBC is taking on that orientation. No surprise.
3. The GBC presidents (and other key elected leaders), over the last decade or so, have little legitimate education (despite their well-used "Doctor" titles). It's a classic case of bearing false witness. Therefore, in the current GBC culture, as expected, indoctrination trumps quality education.
4. I also preferred the other college in Rome, Ga., anyway.


Tooting your own horn is something you've accused the fundamentalists of doing in the past. The problem with your analogy, and your view of Southern Baptist Convention politics is that the current direction the vast majority of state conventions, associations, and the SBC is taking is being overwhelmingly approved on a grass roots level over and over and over again, while your attempts at either getting back in the saddle, or at reasoning out why so many people just won't take up your side of the cause, are lacking any sort of grass roots affirmation by Baptists. It's not a matter of habit, by any stretch of the imagination. It's not a matter of always buying the same brand, its that the contents of your bag are still the same old greasy, lard-cooked potatoes while everyone has moved on to something healthier and more vibrant.

The problem is that what you think is "quality education" is nothing more than humanistic reasoning, and chasing after the wisdom of this world. That may be education, and in some people's minds, it might also have quality, though given the state of public education in this country these days, including public higher education and secular private education, quality isn't generally associated with the educational process. But it is not "Christian education." The difference may be lost on you, but it is clearly not lost on a lot of Baptists in the pews, especially those seeking a higher education to train for vocational ministry or missions. It's why the majority of Baptist students studying for the ministry who hail from Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia are doing so in classrooms in Lynchburg, rather than Winston-Salem or Macon, which is where they'd be if your potato chip analogy was true.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:30 am

Sandy----

For you there is a parable of the mule:

Once there was a farmer with a mule. He was a hard-headed old rascal who would always want to do what he wanted to do. He would pay absolutely no attention to the commands of his owner. He would stop and eat whenever he pleased in the field. He was allowed to always do what he wanted whether it was wise or not. He enjoyed his ways but had no direction in his life beyond doing what he wanted when he wanted as he wanted.

The farmer had 2 choices: hit him over the head so hard with a 2X2 so many times that his brains would spill out / send him to the school for mules to teach him how to be a productive animal. He chose the latter.

The school for mules was run by a wise Veternarian who understood the ways of mules. The first thing he did was use an electric prod whenever that mule wanted to do his own thing. Despite the pain of having to do it a different way, the mule ultimately learned to respond to voice commands of "gee" and "haw." He learned to eat from his trough at the right times of day and after a productive day of plowing. After a month the mule was returned to his owner who was flabbergasted at the changes in his animal.

"What was you secret to success?" was his first question.

"Well," said the Vet, "I realized he was spoiled with hard-headed mule ways. You never challenged him with new ideas. You never made him mad because you just let him do what he wanted. He never progressed beyond his basic nature because you never challenged his mule brain with being directed by a man with some good sense who had been some places that mule had not gone."

"I challenged him even though he didn't like it. I became his professor and mentor and he developed beyond his spoiled ways by a man who was just thinking like a mule only beaten by blinders on. When that animal was controlled by his mind instead of blinders, he got the full picture and enjoyed his walk in the field!!!"
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:00 am

The nice thing about Jesus' parables in the New Testament is that they had a point, and were illustrations of a particular principle of truth. The parables that have emerged here are tied to pointless straw men.

Save them, Gene, for those Baptists you think are too stupid to care about anything in the church except the fried chicken and where the thermostat is set.

Here's a suggestion. Choose twenty Southern Baptist churches at random. Pick a few in Georgia, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina to get some of that Sandy Creek tradition flavor, a few from 'Bamy and "Miz-sippeh", some Tennessee and Kentucky folk, a few of the Yankee Brethren in Maryland and up into the Northeast, and some from the Southwest and the far west. Tell them these four things, and see what their reaction would be:
1. You can't believe all of the Bible because some of it has errors.
2. The next time your church's pulpit becomes vacant, you must consider female candidates to fill it. You can ignore those passages of scripture that restrict the office of elder/shepherd/overseer to men because they are culturally outdated.
3. You need to ordain several women as deacons in your church to keep up with the times and avoid the appearance of being "fundamentalist."
4. Open your membership and leadership up to gay people. Paul was homophobic, and so you can discount whatever he had to say on the subject.

It's not that people are just in the habit of supporting the Cooperative Program because they always have. It's because they've seen the leftward drift of mainline denominations and don't want the same thing happening to theirs. There has been ample opportunity, and over thirty years of a learning curve for Baptists to "get it" and there's been no movement whatsoever to the left. The odds are that if you picked twenty churches at random, you probably wouldn't find a half dozen people in all of them total who would even give consideration to any of the things I mentioned. And it's not because they've always bought the same bag of chips. To even think that is condescending and arrogant.

This is an easy problem to solve. If you don't like what's happened at Shorter University, or at any other Baptist related college, university or graduate level school that Southern Baptists have reclaimed, you don't have to go there, send your children there, or contribute to its endowment. It doesn't seem like there's a line, or a waiting list for any of the "free thinking" non-fundamentalist Baptists schools and I'm sure, given their current financial status, they'd take your check.
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"An Intellectual Disaster"

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:45 pm

First, JPierce; thanks for chiming in. The conversation is metastasizing in several places today and I don't have time to cover all the nuances but I will cherrypick at the week goes on.

Johnny, I do commend to you and to David McKenzie who teaches the Church state course at Berry every other year, and all the Progressive Baptist forces in the Rome area, the Giberson and Stephens Book The Anointed. With me you can learn from it too. I hope Baptists Today will do a feature on the book soon, and as I have said before great opportunity for Tony Cartledge to bone up on the book and interview one of the authors when they come to Wingate in March.

But now focussing on one apsect of this conversation I am having with Sandy.
The Anointed, in a grand two page riff on Al Mohler, bout page 246 of the book, spotllight Alan Wolfe's online piece in the Atlantic of a few years ago.
Bottom line, when Mohler and Nelson Price overreach into the world of Liberal arts, they speak "gibberish". Read the book to do justice to the assertion.
Order a copy from your local Barnes and Noble. You are not obligated to buy but it would be a shame if there aren't two copies of the book already in the Berry, Mercer, Baylor and Samford Libraries.

To whet your appetite--and I am expecting Gene Scarborough to read all four installments of this piece before he utters the first word in response :brick: :wave: :gavel: :wall: :thumb: :wave: -- here is the Link of the Year for thinking Baptists; and a big Shout Out to Nelson Price and his Regime at Shorter:

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/is ... /wolfe.htm
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:32 pm

Alan Wolfe in The Opening of the Evangelical Mind in Atlantic Monthly wrote:No college is likely to attract a world-class faculty if it peremptorily eliminates members of most of the world's religions.


Says who?

First of all, that's a statement that is made by someone who already holds a biased, skewed opinion of both the broader definition of the term "Evangelical Christianity" and a school that operates under a distinctively Christian educational philosophy. "World Class" is a subjective term based on subjective opinion, with its objective basis being determined largely by individuals who have no comprehension of Christian educational philosophy.

Apparently having a "world class faculty" is not necessarily prerequisite to student achievement. Wolfe points out that Wheaton, which has a clear doctrinal statement that faculty and students must sign, and which includes a very concise statement on the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible as God's divinely inspired, written word, is quite attractive, not only to excellent students, with a high average SAT for entering freshman, and over 60 national merit scholars among its most recent freshman class, an academic ranking that puts it in the same range as Oberlin College and the University of Virginia, a long trail of graduates accepted into grad school at places like Yale, and one of the highest percentages of graduates who go on to earn doctorates in the country.

I particularly like this statement:

Alan Wolfe in Atlantic Monthly wrote:Surprisingly, for a college deriving from a religious tradition that was hostile to Darwinism, Wheaton managed to recruit the chairman of its biology department -- the first place where conservative alumni are likely to look for insistence on the Bible's inerrancy -- from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


Why is that surprising? In an earlier discussion on this board with Gene Scarborough, he attempted to make the point that the faculty at Southeastern, now that the school was being run by backwoods fundamentalists, came from a bunch of low class diploma mills. So I went down the list of faculty, pulling up their credentials and where they were earned, and contrary to Gene's assertion that they were all from "fundamentalist" schools, I found that they had attended a wide variety of what some would consider "world class" universities, especially earning graduate and post-graduate degrees.

So what's the problem if the trustees at Shorter want to lead their school to put itself in Wheaton's bracket? It's obviously quite possible to be an academic high achiever without compromising a distinctively Christian philosophy of education, including requiring faculty members to believe in the Bible's inerrancy and infallibility, and not to believe in evolution.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:01 pm

Sandy----

You have just proven the point of my mule-headed story = thanks!!!! :)
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Mark Noll and Sandy

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:01 pm

So the thinking of Mark Noll on these matters means nothing to you, Sandy?

And Rachel Held Evans?

You had to do a lot of cherry picking to make it seem like Nelson Price knows what he is doing at Shorter; and the Fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention was good for critical thinking in American Universities
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:29 pm

Gene Scarborough wrote:Sandy----

You have just proven the point of my mule-headed story = thanks!!!! :)


I don't believe so, but if it makes you feel better, you're welcome.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:34 pm

Stephen, do you have any idea what is involved in a Christian philosophy of education? It's a whole lot more than college where you have to attend 24 out of 32 chapels in a semester and take six hours of "religious studies."

Wheaton is not the only Evangelical Christian college that requires its faculty to subscribe to the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, considers Darwinism a flawed theory, and yet ranks in the top quartile of American institutions of higher education from an academic perspective. And yes, there are a lot of conservative Evangelicals who have successfully made it through one of the so-called "world class" institutions of higher learning with their belief in the Bible's inerrancy intact, and convinced that Darwinism is wrong.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Gene Scarborough » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:43 am

Sandy---

You have a view of higher education based on undergirding presuppositions rather than exposing students to all and making them make choices supported with their own logic and view.

Education which shows in the class "certain views" to make the grade is not education, but indoctrination.

For me the Evolution Theory of Darwin and the Bible are both theories. When examined more closely both have more in common than at odds. That seems to be the Great Divide in education these days and it is long past the ignorance shown in the Scopes Trial!
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:20 am

Gene Scarborough wrote:Sandy---

You have a view of higher education based on undergirding presuppositions rather than exposing students to all and making them make choices supported with their own logic and view.

Education which shows in the class "certain views" to make the grade is not education, but indoctrination.

For me the Evolution Theory of Darwin and the Bible are both theories. When examined more closely both have more in common than at odds. That seems to be the Great Divide in education these days and it is long past the ignorance shown in the Scopes Trial!


That is compared to your definition of higher education. Indoctrination is just a put down code word used by those who think their way of thinking is the only way of thinking.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Bruce Gourley » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:00 am

Sandy wrote:Here's a suggestion. Choose twenty Southern Baptist churches at random. Pick a few in Georgia, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina to get some of that Sandy Creek tradition flavor, a few from 'Bamy and "Miz-sippeh", some Tennessee and Kentucky folk, a few of the Yankee Brethren in Maryland and up into the Northeast, and some from the Southwest and the far west. Tell them these four things, and see what their reaction would be:
1. You can't believe all of the Bible because some of it has errors.
2. The next time your church's pulpit becomes vacant, you must consider female candidates to fill it. You can ignore those passages of scripture that restrict the office of elder/shepherd/overseer to men because they are culturally outdated.
3. You need to ordain several women as deacons in your church to keep up with the times and avoid the appearance of being "fundamentalist."
4. Open your membership and leadership up to gay people. Paul was homophobic, and so you can discount whatever he had to say on the subject.


1. You're the one arguing that you can't believe the Bible if the text is not perfect, and thus obviously should remove yourself from Southern Baptist life. Your Baptist ancestors, of course, did not hold your modern presuppositions.
2. You can also tell the church that the Bible explicitly prohibits from the pulpit men who are unmarried; who have unruly children; who are not good teachers; who are not respected by all in their community; who are not long-time believers; and who think too highly of themselves. Any pastor who does not meet all of these qualifications is living in sin and unqualified as a minister of the Gospel, according to a literal reading of the Bible.
3. You must, of course, tell the congregation that the Bible explicitly allows women deacons ... but does not teach that deacons, men or women, are to be "ordained."
4. And of course, the church must be informed that all long-time gay members of the congregation -- and there are gay members in most Southern Baptist churches, in all liklihood -- must immediately be kicked out. This will result in an immediate shortage of certain staff positions - paid and volunteer - in Southern Baptist life, especially in the musical realm.

After doing all of this, you, Sandy, should be a happy man. :-)
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby William Thornton » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:11 am

Bruce Gourley wrote:4. And of course, the church must be informed that all long-time gay members of the congregation -- and there are gay members in most Southern Baptist churches, in all liklihood -- must immediately be kicked out. This will result in an immediate shortage of certain staff positions - paid and volunteer - in Southern Baptist life, especially in the musical realm.


Are we stereotyping here? The music minister is more likely to be homosexual than the pastor or other staff member?
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Bruce Gourley » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:29 am

William Thornton wrote:
Bruce Gourley wrote:4. And of course, the church must be informed that all long-time gay members of the congregation -- and there are gay members in most Southern Baptist churches, in all liklihood -- must immediately be kicked out. This will result in an immediate shortage of certain staff positions - paid and volunteer - in Southern Baptist life, especially in the musical realm.


Are we stereotyping here? The music minister is more likely to be homosexual than the pastor or other staff member?


I'd say it is safer for homosexual members of Southern Baptist churches, of which there are many, to gravitate toward music ministry rather than pulpit ministry. But you might speak to your own ministerial experiences in regards to this matter.
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:53 am

Bruce Gourley wrote:
Sandy wrote:Here's a suggestion. Choose twenty Southern Baptist churches at random. Pick a few in Georgia, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina to get some of that Sandy Creek tradition flavor, a few from 'Bamy and "Miz-sippeh", some Tennessee and Kentucky folk, a few of the Yankee Brethren in Maryland and up into the Northeast, and some from the Southwest and the far west. Tell them these four things, and see what their reaction would be:
1. You can't believe all of the Bible because some of it has errors.
2. The next time your church's pulpit becomes vacant, you must consider female candidates to fill it. You can ignore those passages of scripture that restrict the office of elder/shepherd/overseer to men because they are culturally outdated.
3. You need to ordain several women as deacons in your church to keep up with the times and avoid the appearance of being "fundamentalist."
4. Open your membership and leadership up to gay people. Paul was homophobic, and so you can discount whatever he had to say on the subject.


1. You're the one arguing that you can't believe the Bible if the text is not perfect, and thus obviously should remove yourself from Southern Baptist life. Your Baptist ancestors, of course, did not hold your modern presuppositions.
2. You can also tell the church that the Bible explicitly prohibits from the pulpit men who are unmarried; who have unruly children; who are not good teachers; who are not respected by all in their community; who are not long-time believers; and who think too highly of themselves. Any pastor who does not meet all of these qualifications is living in sin and unqualified as a minister of the Gospel, according to a literal reading of the Bible.
3. You must, of course, tell the congregation that the Bible explicitly allows women deacons ... but does not teach that deacons, men or women, are to be "ordained."
4. And of course, the church must be informed that all long-time gay members of the congregation -- and there are gay members in most Southern Baptist churches, in all liklihood -- must immediately be kicked out. This will result in an immediate shortage of certain staff positions - paid and volunteer - in Southern Baptist life, especially in the musical realm.

After doing all of this, you, Sandy, should be a happy man. :-)


It has nothing to do whatsoever with what makes me happy. The contention is being made that most people have remained with the SBC, and haven't gravitated toward moderate leadership in CBF, or other Baptist alternatives because they're not really aware that there has been much of a change and they stay Southern Baptist because they've always been Southern Baptist. I'm saying go out, find twenty churches, lay out a moderate-backed church agenda with the hot button issues, and see whether you get a reaction from the grass roots Baptists in the pews and in the churches. I'm contending that a majority of Southern Baptists, and I'll put a percentage figure on it, 95%, of those who show up for worship in their church three Sundays out of four, would not be in agreement with those things moderates insist on incorporating into their own Baptist identity.

I would also contend that in the preaching and writing of Baptists going back as far as we have them, there is not a hint that anyone did not accept the scriptures as being without error, and if you asked any of them face to face the direct question, "Are there errors in the Bible?" the answer would be an emphatic "NO!"
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Sandy » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:57 am

Bruce Gourley wrote:And of course, the church must be informed that all long-time gay members of the congregation -- and there are gay members in most Southern Baptist churches, in all liklihood -- must immediately be kicked out. This will result in an immediate shortage of certain staff positions - paid and volunteer - in Southern Baptist life, especially in the musical realm.


Really? Would you please provide the research and evidence that confirms this contention?
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:04 pm

Sandy wrote:Here's a suggestion. Choose twenty Southern Baptist churches at random. Pick a few in Georgia, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina to get some of that Sandy Creek tradition flavor, a few from 'Bamy and "Miz-sippeh", some Tennessee and Kentucky folk, a few of the Yankee Brethren in Maryland and up into the Northeast, and some from the Southwest and the far west. Tell them these four things, and see what their reaction would be:
1. You can't believe all of the Bible because some of it has errors.
2. The next time your church's pulpit becomes vacant, you must consider female candidates to fill it. You can ignore those passages of scripture that restrict the office of elder/shepherd/overseer to men because they are culturally outdated.
3. You need to ordain several women as deacons in your church to keep up with the times and avoid the appearance of being "fundamentalist."
4. Open your membership and leadership up to gay people. Paul was homophobic, and so you can discount whatever he had to say on the subject.



I find your list amusing, because I have never heard a moderate Baptist go in and tell anyone what they had to believe. Your list is also intriguing, because it assumes that whatever the SBC has supported, moderates are automatically against it. Also, moderates tend to form study and discernment groups to find God's will. They seldom rely on mere public pronouncements. I'm seeing far too many recent SBTS/SEBTS who come and thrust Calvinism and elder rule on churches that don't want it.
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Again, Sandy

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:11 pm

In regard Wheaton and Creationism and Inerrancy

Page 246 of Giberson and Stephens The Anointed goes begging for you to read. It answers your reservations with Specific reference to Al Mohler. Mark Noll who taught at Wheaton for a long time is often referenced in the book.
Apparently you missed what Noll said about Inerrancy in America's God in regard, Whitman, Lincoln and Emily Dickinson.
Your plow don't scour.

Read the book, We'll take it from there. But on this matter I honor my Mother and one of her favorite verses and I paraphrase: "I Would Not have you Ignorant, Brethren.,......"

As Jeremiah Wright said: It's in the Bible
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Jeff Rogers could Help Sandy

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:51 pm

I am disappointed Rogers lecture in the series is not online; but this should help Sandy and Dr. Thornton and their church libraries get hold of a copy, or buy one and send it to Nelson Price at Shorter:

http://www2.furman.edu/sites/chaplaincy ... fault.aspx
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Gene Scarborough » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:05 pm

Lord knows Stephen---Do you EVER post anything of your OWN understanding and clear position from your own brain???? :brick:
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby William Thornton » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:17 pm

Bruce Gourley wrote:
William Thornton wrote:
Bruce Gourley wrote:4. And of course, the church must be informed that all long-time gay members of the congregation -- and there are gay members in most Southern Baptist churches, in all liklihood -- must immediately be kicked out. This will result in an immediate shortage of certain staff positions - paid and volunteer - in Southern Baptist life, especially in the musical realm.


Are we stereotyping here? The music minister is more likely to be homosexual than the pastor or other staff member?


I'd say it is safer for homosexual members of Southern Baptist churches, of which there are many, to gravitate toward music ministry rather than pulpit ministry. But you might speak to your own ministerial experiences in regards to this matter.


Just asking. I'd make the same connection but it was a stereotype. Tsk tsk
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Re: Sign the Shorter petition

Postby Bruce Gourley » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:23 pm

Sandy wrote:
Bruce Gourley wrote:
Sandy wrote:Here's a suggestion. Choose twenty Southern Baptist churches at random. Pick a few in Georgia, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina to get some of that Sandy Creek tradition flavor, a few from 'Bamy and "Miz-sippeh", some Tennessee and Kentucky folk, a few of the Yankee Brethren in Maryland and up into the Northeast, and some from the Southwest and the far west. Tell them these four things, and see what their reaction would be:
1. You can't believe all of the Bible because some of it has errors.
2. The next time your church's pulpit becomes vacant, you must consider female candidates to fill it. You can ignore those passages of scripture that restrict the office of elder/shepherd/overseer to men because they are culturally outdated.
3. You need to ordain several women as deacons in your church to keep up with the times and avoid the appearance of being "fundamentalist."
4. Open your membership and leadership up to gay people. Paul was homophobic, and so you can discount whatever he had to say on the subject.


1. You're the one arguing that you can't believe the Bible if the text is not perfect, and thus obviously should remove yourself from Southern Baptist life. Your Baptist ancestors, of course, did not hold your modern presuppositions.
2. You can also tell the church that the Bible explicitly prohibits from the pulpit men who are unmarried; who have unruly children; who are not good teachers; who are not respected by all in their community; who are not long-time believers; and who think too highly of themselves. Any pastor who does not meet all of these qualifications is living in sin and unqualified as a minister of the Gospel, according to a literal reading of the Bible.
3. You must, of course, tell the congregation that the Bible explicitly allows women deacons ... but does not teach that deacons, men or women, are to be "ordained."
4. And of course, the church must be informed that all long-time gay members of the congregation -- and there are gay members in most Southern Baptist churches, in all liklihood -- must immediately be kicked out. This will result in an immediate shortage of certain staff positions - paid and volunteer - in Southern Baptist life, especially in the musical realm.

After doing all of this, you, Sandy, should be a happy man. :-)


It has nothing to do whatsoever with what makes me happy. The contention is being made that most people have remained with the SBC, and haven't gravitated toward moderate leadership in CBF, or other Baptist alternatives because they're not really aware that there has been much of a change and they stay Southern Baptist because they've always been Southern Baptist. I'm saying go out, find twenty churches, lay out a moderate-backed church agenda with the hot button issues, and see whether you get a reaction from the grass roots Baptists in the pews and in the churches. I'm contending that a majority of Southern Baptists, and I'll put a percentage figure on it, 95%, of those who show up for worship in their church three Sundays out of four, would not be in agreement with those things moderates insist on incorporating into their own Baptist identity.

I would also contend that in the preaching and writing of Baptists going back as far as we have them, there is not a hint that anyone did not accept the scriptures as being without error, and if you asked any of them face to face the direct question, "Are there errors in the Bible?" the answer would be an emphatic "NO!"


Probably most Southern Baptist congregations of today have moved away from their faith heritage of strict church state separation and belief in the Bible as authoritative in matters of faith (but not in textual perfection) (to use two examples). But, I'll bet you $10 (not Romney's $10,000) that very few, if any, of the Southern Baptists in any 20 congregations of your choosing believe that the Bibles in their hands are textually perfect. Biblically inerrancy is not only a modernist, humanistic theory imposed upon the Bible, it is an intentional red herring in many cases.
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Bruce Gourley
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