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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Turning church history on its head

In their article “Why We Left the Episcopal Church”, which appeared in the January 8, 2007 edition of the Washington Post, the Rev. John Yates and Os Guinness write:

“Fundamental to a liberal view of freedom is the right of a person or group to define themselves, to speak for themselves and to not be dehumanized by the definitions and distortions of others. This right we request even of those who differ from us.”

Yikes, talk about turning church history on its head… The Episcopal brethren have become the champions of religious freedom while we Baptist are busy meeting behind closed doors to see who we need to investigate next (the impact of Calvinism), bar from serving on our committees (anyone who drinks a class of wine with their evening meals), or reject as a missionary (anyone who speaks in a private prayer language).

Regardless of your position on any or all of the above mentioned issues it is clear that many in the Southern Baptist Convention are just fine with the loss of religious freedom… as long as it is the loss of someone else’s religious freedom.


Anonymous said...

Hi Greg,

"not be dehumanized by the definitions and distortions of others."

It's a bit early on the Lord's Day... after setting the clocks forward... but I did go back and check that post #21 (over on Bro McKissic's blog) has two questions. Which of those two didn't I answer to your sufficiency.

Preach the Word, brother!

And... do you believe heterosexuality is a sin? Homosexuals are, and always have been, members of SBC churches. I'm not sure what one's sexuality has to do with service on the Board of any set of Trustees, nevermind a seminary's BOT.

One shows signs of homophobia when one makes statements that reflect a fear of, or a severe lack of understanding regarding homosexuality. To go to the extreme to search for and find a homosexual in the cryptic, apocalyptic language of the last half of Daniel... adds just a little bit of weight to the indication that one is... homophobic. It is not unlike the (Southern {Baptist!}) white man's 'ability' to find support for his ownership of and treatment of slaves prior to the freedom we all experienced after President Lincoln's Proclamation. The Bible is abused by all and sundry. Bro McKissic does so again, just against different minority. The white man feared the black slave; for some reason, some people fear homosexuals (and/or their sexuality-- no, it is not a sin-- one's sexuality cannot be a sin; it is a sin to say that any sexuality is a sin, since that is the way God makes us).

Episcopalians are concerned about this as well.

Talk about turning biblical history on its head.

The history of the book of Daniel calls your thinking into question, Brother Greg. It didn't exist in Hebrew Scripture before 190-170 B.C. It gets its first mention in Hebrew scriptural circles in 150 B.C. 166/65 B.C. falls right in between those two dates.

Taking a 1st century A.D. LXX placement of Daniel among the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, when it had never been among the prophets in the Hebrew Bible-- the Law scroll was fixed and the Prophets scrolls were fixed-- is a bit arbitrary... from the careful historian's point a view.

And you don't care what I think of Daniel? That is really odd. I thought Baptists had a high view of Scripture, alluded to on another of your topics: "we won the war on the (inerrancy of the) Bible." Do we doubt the veracity of Daniel if we know for certain that it was composed in the form we now have it in 166/65 B.C.? I think not.

Would one be barred from serving as a missionary if one believed that Daniel was a mid-2nd century composition?

I'm not your sister; I'm your brother-- male, married, with kids. Blessed Lord's Day to you and yours, RM

G. Alford said...


Forgive my misunderstanding you to be a Woman… I hope you would agree that “Rhonda” is not a common name for a Man… (at least not in the Old South) No disrespect was intended.

I ask the questions about your views on homosexuality because you singled this issue out as something to criticize brother McKissic for his anti-homosexual stand. Sadly, your answer has confirmed my suspicions.

I must strongly disagree with your statement that Homosexuals are, and always have been, members of SBC churches. The vast majority, and I do mean the vast majority, of Southern Baptist Churches do not accept Openly Homosexual individuals into membership, just as they do not accept Openly Adulterous individuals into membership.

By your comment [The Bible is abused by all and sundry. Bro McKissic does so again, just against different minority.] Are you suggesting that Homosexuals are a minority group just as Blacks in this Country? Are Pedophiles also a minority group? Just where do you draw the line on what is a sin or a crime, and who is just acting according to the way God made them and deserve protection as a minority group?

You say some people fear homosexuals (and/or their sexuality-- no, it is not a sin-- one's sexuality cannot be a sin; it is a sin to say that any sexuality is a sin, since that is the way God makes us. Is Adultery a Sin? Is Pedophilia a Sin? Is Rape a Sin? Many who have committed these acts also claim that they cannot keep themselves from doing so and are actually obsessed with doing them day and night. According to your logic if God made them with these desires then their acts cannot be sin…

It is clear that you do not accept the validity or the authority of the Bible (in its traditional composition) as the complete and accurate revelation of God’s will for man. Which leaves me with the question of just what is your finial authority? What is your source of truth for your belief that God made homosexuals that way?

On the other hand I believe the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. (From the BFM2000)

Brother Rhonda, I leave you with this; “You MUST have a foundation for truth that is unmovable, steadfast, and unless you are God – Greater than you.”