I penned something about the SBC just a couple of hours ago and have thought deeply about it since. I know two things are true, irrefutably so. First, The Baptist way leads people to Christ, anywhere that the Gospel exists does this, even a hotel room with nothing more than a Gideon Bible. When Baptists preach the Gospel people really do get saved. Second, many fine and good Baptist preachers preach the Gospel. Both of those are true.
But lying is a problem. Proverbs tells us this, Matthew, John, Psalms, and others, lies are detestable. I spoke in the last piece about how Twitter is filled with people claiming this or that issue is a matter of interpretation. Some of that itself is lying, some is ignorance and some comes from man’s sinful nature and a rejection of sound doctrine. But it is simple, on every issue the Bible addresses, there are verses that are on topic and clear, primary verses. Beyond that we find verses that do not specifically deal with the issue at hand directly, these are secondary and finally, there are verses that have nothing to do with the topic at all but are often used out of context. When a person uses an unclear or off-topic passage in order to prove their point, that is a lie. They may simply be confused, but the sum and total of what they have done is to mishandle the word and extract from it something that is not true; a lie.
All of the issues that have caused so much contention at the SBC recently have a definite starting point. Someone misinterpreted scripture to read something into it that was not there or to read out something that clearly was there. In effect, all of it is disagreement over a lie. We hear much talk of not breaking fellowship and brotherly love, but I wonder, at what point after you have admonished a person in error does it cease to be merely an error on their part and an active effort to paint a lie as truth?
Two points in the resolutions added by the SBC in 2022 struck me as odd.
First, the messengers denounced Prosperity Gospel.
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Anaheim, California, June 14-15, 2022, in accordance with sound doctrine and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, denounce the teaching of the prosperity gospel; and be it further
I wonder if the Baptists no longer have access to the proper word, heresy. Grifting in the name of Christ leads people to Hell. It is a lie, call it for what it is. But, good on them, I suppose for denouncing what some of their former star pastors preached.
Next, the SBC weighed in on the War in Ukraine. I was curious to see what the messengers believed they had to say about truth here. I do not recall such a resolution being made after NATO illegally bombed Libya, or fomented the Arab Spring (with all those Christians murdered), and silence on our debacle in the Balkans, led by warmongers such as Wesely Clark. Never a word of anything but praise for the US invasion of Iraq, based upon lies chalked up to ‘bad intelligence’. The million or so Iraqis that died did not get a resolution as I recall.
But I was interested to see what they had to say. Perhaps they would bemoan the tragedy of senseless war and acknowledge the sins of the West in meddling in the election in Ukraine in 2014, kicking off a civil war that resulted in atrocities on both sides. Perhaps if they talked of needless violence conducted by a government there would have been mention of what Ukrainians did to ethnic Russians living in eastern Ukraine during that civil war.
No, what we got instead was a lie, one wrapped in Biblical words, much like the prosperity gospel they saw fit to merely denounce. Read it yourself, it is the third resolution. “The God of peace”, taken out of the full context, but sure, yeah, he is that and more. Then we find that it was all Russia, no good faith on the part of Russia (and only Russia), and civilian suffering, (again only because of Russia). This is, frankly speaking, half the story and as such, a complete lie. It ignores the very real involvement of the US and the West in all the circumstances that led to the Russian invasion. If Russia had done in Mexico what the US did in Ukraine, the SBC would have been up in arms for war in a hot minute. Their resolution was hypocritical, non-reflective and it was a lie, told by and approved by the messengers to the SBC.
The Bible says a lot about hypocrisy and lies, when you incorporate both into a resolution as a denomination – what does that say?
No wonder these people have so many other problems and are incapable, apparently, of telling people mishandling scripture to repent or shut up and leave. They did hand Rick Warren a microphone to speak, instead of perhaps telling him they would pray for him but to sit down. So I thought about the idea that if the SBC falls, that is like the rickety fence at the edge of the property falling. But you know what – these people have fallen long ago. Not all, there are Christians there, and some very good preachers…. lets's review.
Without Baptists bedazzling their sanctuaries with American flags two or three times a year and voting for and supporting every war to come along, because ‘murica by God would the War in Iraq have been possible or gone on as long as it did? Would we have tolerated ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ and all that? Is that the sort of injustice we do not create a resolution for, if it is us?
Yeah don’t let your underwear get bunched up over that question, I went over many times and did what I was told, I can ask this.
Maybe the SBC fell a long time ago and only the smartest among us realized it. Some, in government, used them and their propensity to believe what they want to hear – others, seeing the writing on the wall just walked out, in fact, a couple million since 2006. Maybe not a small number of those began to see that believing lies is detestable and following along with anything, without thought is dumb.
I wonder why some of the preachers that are decent at preaching stay. I know, it is complicated, they need jobs and retirements like the rest of us, walking away is not like me leaving a church, it costs them financially. But man, at some point you just have to say, these people I am riding with are lost.
Shame on the SBC, shame on them for supporting wars they like and condemning the ones the NYTs tells them they are not supposed to like (well the NYTs or whatever secondary source written for their tastes that they read and get their ‘knowledge’ from)
What a disgrace! What a shame! What are you people doing…just go be Methodists or something!
Maybe I was wrong about “when” the SBC falls, clearly, thinking about it, it has been wrong a lot for a while. But when they go all in, which despite what those sitting in their favorite pew believe, probably is not far off it will go fast and ugly. The 14 million or so, however many remain, will be the face of Christianity, and the rest of us sitting outside of their mess, well we will just be the backward outliers to be silenced.