The SBC continues to be roiled by Russell Moore behaving like a Baptist and a Christian.
Unless Russell Moore resigns from his post between now and summer, the controversy surrounding the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission will most certainly show up at the convention in Phoenix this June. While there are some who will never be satisfied, I am hopeful that Dr. Moore and those who have been offended can sit down in the same room together and agree to walk together as brothers even if they do not reach a place of agreement on the issues that have caused the current rift.
Moore has given offense on two fronts. First, he supported a mosque that was having difficulty obtaining a construction permit, the chief problem being … MOOZLIMS!! Second, he made no secret of his dislike of Donald Trump.
Ho-hum. I can’t help feeling badly for Moore, but I don’t feel too badly. He’s a grown man, and hasn’t any good excuse for not knowing that Christianity is grounded on resentments and held together with marketing lies.
What makes this dust-up so interesting to me is how blatantly the Southern Baptists have turned their back on their Baptist heritage, that they are Baptist in name only.
Historically, there are three great theological distinctives associated with Baptists:
The doctrine of the priesthood of the believer, the teaching that, with study and prayer, Biblical meaning is accessible to all. That doctrine was effectively overturned by the Southern Baptists in 1988.
Be it further RESOLVED, That we affirm that this doctrine in no way gives license to misinterpret, explain away, demythologize, or extrapolate out elements of the supernatural from the Bible; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer in no way contradicts the biblical understanding of the role, responsibility, and authority of the pastor which is seen in the command to the local church in Hebrews 13:17, “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account;” and
Be finally RESOLVED, That we affirm the truth that elders, or pastors, are called of God to lead the local church (Acts 20:28).
The second great distinctive is the rejection of baptism before the age of reason. But look at this.
In last year’s Annual Church Profile, 60 percent of the more than 46,000 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) reported no youth baptisms (ages 12 to 17) in 2012, and 80 percent reported only one or zero baptisms among young adults (ages 18 to 29). One in four Southern Baptist churches reported zero baptisms overall in 2012, while the “only consistently growing” baptism group was children under five years old.
And so much for that. Only a drooling idiot imagines that a child less than 5-years old understands what he or she is buying into.
The third great distinctive is the separation of church and state, which Moore upholds and his critics have clearly rejected.
There should be no confusion on this point: If you truly uphold the doctrine of separation of church and state, you don’t approve of messing with zoning permits in order to frustrate construction of a mosque.
The uncomplicated truth is that the Southern Baptists are not baptists any more; they’ve morphed into something else. In fact, given their authoritarianism and disdain for conscience, I’m not sure they should even be considered Protestants. They aren’t Catholic, because all good Southern Baptists know that the Pope is the Whore of Babylon, but they sure don’t have much in common any more with the spirit of Martin Luther, either.