Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Monday, September 18 the SBC powers used Baptist Press to level their full bore cannons at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship for daring to defend itself from previous Baptist Press charges that the way CBF counts churches violates local church autonomy. What is the substance of this broadside against CBF over the issue of church counting? That CBF uses the pretense of donations of as little as $1 from an individual church member to the CBF in order to count the unsuspecting church as a CBF church and thus inflate their membership stats. The evidence? The personal testimony of three fundamentalist Baptist pastors.

All I know about those three particular pastors is that they seem to be willing tools of the BP lie and deception machine. But I can testify firsthand that over the years I have supported CBF (contributing directly to CBF) while holding membership in several Southern Baptist churches which did not include CBF in the church budget. In each instance, CBF did not count that given church as a CBF church. On the other hand, I see no reason why CBF should not recognize individual gifts given through a local church (even if not via the church budget) in identifying CBF churches. In fact, the fundamentalist Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) utilizes this very practice in counting contributing churches, as do many other Christian organizations. Leave it to SBC leaders to find some pretense to condemn CBF for doing precisely the same thing that many of their own fundamentalist churches are doing. Yet the hypocrisy apparently goes much further: according to several Texas Baptists, the SBC counts among its member churches all BGCT congregations, regardless of whether the individual congregations contribute to the SBC or not, despite years of requests from some non-SBC local Baptist churches to the SBC to take them off SBC roles.

So just what is the real story behind this latest “we hate the despicable CBF” piece from SBC liars and spinmasters? Why do SBC leaders continue to feel compelled to lash out in anger at little ole’ CBF? Why are these fundamentalist Baptists infatuated and infuriated over how CBF functions in the first place?

Are SBC leaders really as insecure as their actions indicate? Does berating CBF allow a little bit of a distraction from their own growing choruses of lament over the historically-unprecedented decline of baptisms and evangelism within the SBC, not to mention the leadership scandals? As the failures of the SBC fundamentalist leadership mount, will CBF be the brunt of ever greater anger and rage?

It seems to me the SBC leadership is more desparate than ever in light of their escalating failures. Their misplaced berating of CBF is a weak attempt to mask the sound of their own implosion.

3 comments:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

It continues to fascinate me that the SBC ignores the Alliance of Baptists even though we at the Alliance really do welcome and affirm GLBT persons (the SBC lie about CBF), have far more women in positions of authority, have strong Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian interfaith statements, have endorsed a call for making same sex marriage legal, etc.

So, we are a liberal Baptist group. While the CBF was working so hard to get BWA membership, the Alliance was becoming the newest member of the National Council of Churches--sponsored by the Disciples of Christ and the UCC. But our small size means that the SBC, needing an enemy, goes after the CBF, instead. Weird.

Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

I continue to be amazed at the insecurity of the SBC. They have the six seminaries, boards, agencies, and CP dollars rolling in. They "won" it all and still remain in a fighting posture. They are upset because they can't control CBF and can't make it conform. What they cannot control, they seek to destroy. Watch and see what happens within the SBC over the next several years. There's another "holy war" on the horizon.

Ricky said...

Bruce,

I will preface this post by writing that I am an ardent supporter of the SBC. I love our denomination. The reality is that I love the CP of our denomination. And to be perfectly honest with you I would be called a fundamentalist. It is amazing how over the years our designation has been changed by those in the CBF and other moderate and liberal organizations. Liberals are now called moderates, moderates are called conservative and those who were called conservative are now called fundamentalist. I write the preface to let you know where I am coming from.

Perhaps the BP published the article because it is deceptive to designate a church as belonging to the CBF when only one member or one dollar was given to the CBF. If this charge is not true then you have pastors and BP that need to be held accountable for “bearing false witness.”

Dr. Chisholm writes that we in the SBC fear the CBF because the denomination cannot control nor make it conform. I question how an article that calls attention to a deceptive practice within an organization conveys fear. The logic does not add up. It would be as if I were to say “I know of a dog that was a particular breed which bit a child so therefore I am afraid of that breed.”

Have a great day. Whether we are CBF or SBC this is still a day that the Lord has made so let’s rejoice and be glad in it.

Ricky