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Tuesday, June 13, 2006 

Taking Shots At the SBC While It Meets

I haven't blogged very much lately and while the SBC meets it's not likely that I will be doing much more than just reading other blogs and commenting about what is happening in Greensboro, NC. This afternoon I got on the internet and immediately did a Google Blog Search on "Southern Baptist Convention" in order to try to find out the latest news from Greensboro. Unfortunately, however, what I found was a slew of blogs criticizing the SBC and taking pot shots at it from many different angles. Here is just a sampling:

Pam Spaulding, speaking about the "Fred Phelps Traveling Road Show", writes, "Fred's loading up the bus with his band of hate-mongering family members of his 'church' and plans to picket the only slightly less wingnutty Southern Baptist Convention meeting, or as he calls it, the 'Idolatrous Southern Baptist Convention.'" But I do have to give her props for displaying the official Westboro Baptist Church press release on her website. It's worth a look.

Evil Bender chimed in on this as well in an article entitled, "When bigots attack bigots." He concluded that, "not even the SBs can be disgusting enough to please everyone."

Jbaritone2, a resident of Greensboro, writes, "Speaking of crazy christians the southern baptist convention is in Greensboro as we speek. Every woman hide your jobs and bake something, people of color and different races stay home, and if you happen to be a homosexual for the love of god avoid the convention area! You just might never be seen again!"

Several blogs referenced Dr. Chuck Kelley's statement regarding the opening up of New Orleans to evangelism post-Katrina. In his short address he said that though New Orleans was known for being a "seat of Satan," "Satan got floated out of the flood." Angie obviously took offense to this (as did others) and commented, "Oh please! Can these people just give it a rest already! They talk as if the hurricane was a good thing. [expletive deleted]! People died. People are still trying to get their life back in order. And you are worried about your pathetic little religion."

Anglico at BlueNC offers a few opinions on the SBC as well, opening with, "I love it when the Southern Baptists come to town. Especially when they're in a swivet over who should lead their denomination into its misogynist, delusional future." But the most mind-boggling statement he makes by far is, "I attribute much of the current epidemic in STDs among teens and young adults to the evangelical push for eliminating comprehensive sex education in favor of 'abstinence until marriage' training in public schools. And of course their view of women as nothing but wombs may play into the picture." But, he does note that he is "prayin' for 'em all, especially the men who lead the SBC. Praying that they'll come Greensboro and lose their hateful ways. Come on god [sic], give us a miracle."


And here are a couple of gems from the Baptist blogging world that attack the SBC and Al Mohler:

Bruce Prescott, my favorite former Southern Baptist, points us to Ethics Daily, which he says "has posted additional information about the political turmoil surrounding the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board." Adding so sweetly, "The perpetrators remain the same, the victims change and the Convention's messengers are still bystanders enabling the perpetrators." What a nice guy.

Charles, the anonymous blogger from the Calvinist Flyswatter, helped to pass along information about Dr. Mohler's eye surgery, but decided to ruin his otherwise sincere call to prayer by adding, "Perhaps God will use this time to not only heal him but also awaken him to the many problems at Southern Seminary." Note that the link in his statement was inserted by him and leads to a recent post he wrote entitled, "Is Al Mohler Responsible for the SBC's Drop in Baptisms?" I'll save you the suspense and let you know that he concludes that because Dr. Mohler is a Calvinist, then the answer is a resounding "YES". Can you feel the love?


Now, the reason why I point these things out is to remind us all how the world and even fellow Christians look at us. More is at stake Greensboro than who is elected President of the Convention or whether or not the SBC narrows its parameters for cooperation. People are watching how Southern Baptists interact, what they talk about, and how they address issues. And while I am not naive enough to believe that Southern Baptists could speak in such a way as to not offend anyone (see my previous post "Offending That Which Is Offensive"), I do exhort messenger and speakers this week to heed the words of Derek Webb in his song, "Nobody Loves Me" when describing the Church he says, "And she don't need an apology / For bein' who she is / And she don't need your help makin' enemies." The SBC Annual Meeting is an opportunity to glorify God by meeting together. I pray that it's not an opportunity to "help" the Church make more enemies.

But before I close this post, I did find one critical article from a Baptist that I enjoyed and thought was worth reading and so I offer it here:

David Rainer of Opelika, AL in his article, "Pro-Choicer, Protesters, & Praised Evangelist" laments about three events taking place in Greensboro this week: the unveiling of the Billy Graham statue, the address by Condoleeza Rice, and the protests of Fred Phelps. After quoting John Piper on the importance of teaching doctrine, Rainer writes, "The reason Billy Graham is inclusivistic, Condy Rice is pro-murder, and Phelps is in need of checking into the phunny farm, is because they don't understand doctrine." It's an article worth reading.

Southern Baptist must be doing something right, to draw so much criticism. If you never do anything, you will not be criticized. Being a friend of God does not make one a friend of the world.
Marilyn

1. I posted about you on my blog. You should be honored.

2. What's with the "Greensbororo," Zoro?

Man, I promised I spell-checked that thing twice. But for some reason it kept adding letters to stuff. I just missed that one. Thanks for letting me know. I will go check out what you said about me on More Than Words after I fix that. And yes, I am honored.

I was hoping it was some kind of funny jab at the site of the SBC this year. I think most of us heard "Greensboro" and thought, "who? where?"

That's like having the convention in Mobile or Pensacola.

Great advice on tips. After my brother schooled me on it I always tip!

My favorite one is: "don't eat yellow snow!"

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Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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