Useful suggestion of the day

Inexplicably, Albert the Pious has said something that makes sense

Albert Mohler addresses the Houston Chronicle investigation of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention with an essay today. It consists mostly of meaningless and predictable hand-wringing, but does offer one modestly useful suggestion.

Now, it might be that this crisis will foster a new criterion of vital importance for the churches of the SBC — a church that would willingly and knowingly harbor sexual abuse and sexual abusers should not be considered in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention.

This polity in no way compromises the autonomy of the local church. The SBC, however, has the right to determine the qualifications and standards of its own membership. Thus, the SBC exists as a body of autonomous churches, in friendly cooperation with one another, who hold to the doctrines and moral expectations of Southern Baptists.

I say this idea would be only “modestly useful” because — as Mohler well knows — churches are increasingly reluctant to include “Southern Baptist” in its name, or even on its Web site, because of the odium rightly attached to the denomination; a church that is reluctant to publicly identify as Southern Baptist isn’t likely to much care if the right to do so is taken away. Even so, a firm, frank declaration that a church is not in friendly cooperation with the denomination puts it on the right side of the problem and is a small, very small, step in the right direction.

But only a theological shift away from its death-wish theology can save the denomination — and that won’t ever happen because then they wouldn’t even be Christian.

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