Dissension in the #SBC heats-up

It’s been clear for the past few years, as the Conservative Resurgence generation of leadership passes or falls into disrepute (Paige Patterson, Paul Pressler), that the folk in the pews are ready for a less conservative, less crazy, less malicious and straight-jacketed denomination. I thought the fight would be joined last year, but … No.

It’s going to happen this year.

Wade is among the most decent, generous-spirited pastors in the SBC; he is one of the very few whose church I could picture myself sitting-in without feeling that I had soiled myself. We disagree about some important things, obviously, but he isn’t one of those pastors who is so stupid and mean-spirited that his mere presence is painful.

So: What is he tweeting about?

Every year, in connection with the annual meeting, there is something called the Pastor’s Conference. Nominally, it is administered separately from the annual meeting, but it is funded and controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s kind of like the children’s table at Thanksgiving; they’re apart, but there is still oversight by the parent organization.

What do you know? This year, the Pastor’s Conference decided to invite a woman speaker. It’s like the boys at the children’s table inviting the free-spirited teenaged girl from down the street, the one who causes the mommies to cluck about how she dresses.

You can see the problem, I’m sure. Naturally, the ‘adults’ stepped-in and told the boys to disinvite her or there’d be no Pastor’s Conference at all.


This invite, y’all should understand, is not the entire source of friction; it’s a proxy for a wide range of disagreements. The Old Guard wants to hold the line against gays, cohabiting couples, acknowledging sexual abuse, trans-racial couples, on and on. The younger pastors want to be more welcoming and do church in society as they find it.

The icing on the cake is that Albert the Pious, the dullest mind of the 16th-century, is running for SBC President this year.

It’s going to be a great meeting. I swear, if I belonged to a church I’d try to get credentials to be there.

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Deranged tweet-screed of the day

The Trump cultists will lap this up and are probably vibrating with anger right now — but the truth is that the Mueller report makes a strong case for Treason. Donald Trump …

  • Knew that Russia was meddling in the election, and …

  • Expected to benefit from the meddling. He did …

  • Not share his knowledge of meddling with the FBI, and he …

  • Tried repeatedly to derail and frustrate the investigation into the meddling.

All of that is settled, incontestable fact; there is no longer any conversation to be had about it.

How is that not giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

The reason that Trump still rails about it, of course, is that he knows he is guilty and that Barr’s dishonest account of the Mueller investigation hasn’t fooled anybody but his cult. He doesn’t respect them, and he knows that the people whose respect he does want weren’t fooled, still despise him, still laugh at him.

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Quote for the day

If Americans are concerned that President Donald Trump and Republicans are moving the US toward becoming a one-party, authoritarian state, they are running out of time to stop them, experts warned.

Business Insider

Trump does not intend to leave following the November election, no matter how the vote goes. If he loses — and I think that’s quite llikely — he will simply insist that he won, that the count was somehow corrupted (probably by an unholy alliance between James Comey, Nancy Pelosi, and sundry others) and defy the government to remove him. His cult will probably rally to D.C. to support him.

We are on our way to a banana republic.

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Baptist club: Exclude gays — or else

A Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church in Georgia has been excommunicated from the Atlanta Metro Baptist Association because it welcomes gay members.

First Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia – a flagship Cooperative Baptist Fellowship congregation kicked out of the Georgia Baptist Convention in 2009 for calling a woman as pastor – has been excommunicated by the Atlanta Metro Baptist Association because of homosexuality.

Pastor David Jordan said in his sermon Feb. 9 that he received a letter a week earlier informing him “that our church has officially been kicked out of the Atlanta Metro Baptist Association.”

Religion is in decline even in the south; a shrewd, growth-oriented pastor would try to protect his church against that by welcoming everybody. That Southern Baptists, and other flavors of Baptist, would take exception to gays in membership, insisting upon policies plainly contrary to the direction of the culture, the progress of science, and their own financial interest, tells you something: They actually believe an Invisible Friend wants them to stigmatize gays and will eventually reward them for it.

They actually believe all this crazy stuff.

Albert the Pious, meantime, is encouraging them by fetishizing the Bible.

Never mind Mohler’s incorrect usage of ‘secularist;’ it would probably shock him to learn that John Adams and Patrick Henry, two of the most pious of the Founders, were adamant secularists. Tweets and teachings like this occasionally cause me to wonder: Does the average pew-sitter know anything about the Bible? Do they ever wonder where it came from? Do they even know that the Catholic and Protestant Bibles collect different texts, that they are different anthologies?

Do they imagine that humanity awakened one morning to find the Bible resting on a tree stump, opened to Genesis and glowing with divine light — a mysterious cosmic gift that simply appeared one day?

It seems to be allright with Mohler if the folk in the pews believe that, though he undoubtedly knows better. Christians fought for centuries over which texts should be part of Scripture — Catholics and Protestants, as noted above, never did reach agreement — and the oldest extant versions of those texts often differ in dramatic ways from the familiar KJV Bible. Luke 23:34 — Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. — is not found in the oldest Lukean texts.

All of which points toward a reasonable question: What do you mean, what are you referring to, when you use the word ‘Bible,’ anyhow? My experience has been that those most adamant for inerrancy are the least able to answer.

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Am I the only person …

… reminded of the famous prom scene in Carrie when reading news stories like this?

As far as President Trump is concerned, banishing Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman from the White House and exiling him back to the Pentagon was not enough. If he had his way, the commander in chief made clear on Tuesday, the Defense Department would now take action against the colonel, too.

“That’s going to be up to the military,” Mr. Trump told reporters who asked whether Colonel Vindman should face disciplinary action after testifying in the House hearings that led to the president’s impeachment. “But if you look at what happened,” Mr. Trump added in threatening terms, “I mean they’re going to, certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that.”

This is an unsettled time in Mr. Trump’s Washington. In the days since he was acquitted in a Senate trial, an aggrieved and unbound president has sought to even the scales as he sees it.

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