Letter to the N. C. Baptist Convention

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 2 Timothy2:1-4, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    http://www.mpbconline.org/news_baptist_letter_11-07.php



    Senior Minister Rev. Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker
    Myers Park Baptist Church
    November 12, 2007
    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
    I appeal to you by the mercies of God to refrain from removing churches like ours from your fellowship. Christian fellowship is too divided as it is and is a scandal to Christ who prayed that we might be one.
    I appeal to you as Baptists who treasure soul freedom, soul competency and the autonomy of the local church. These great Baptist principles argue on behalf of including those of minority witness and minority interpretation of scripture in its fellowship.
    Our church studied the Bible, sought the Spirit of God and talked earnestly with each other for over 20 years to get to the place where we said we were “open to all and closed to none,” and fully welcomed gay and lesbian persons who wished to follow Jesus with us. We do not claim to have the whole mind of God, and we respect those whose interpretations of scripture differ. It is the spiritual freedom we offer one another.
     
  2. Allan

    Allan
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    I could not tell from the article if they were merely allowing Gays and Lesbians to attend their church services (no problem there) or when they were speaking about fellowship meaning apart of the membership/christian fellowship. If the later is the case then they are biblically incorrect and should be removed.

    On can not continue in a homosexual lifestyle and claim the name of Christ anymore than one can continue in adultries or any other sins (as a way of life) and claim to be saved. If there is no repentance of sin and change of life there has been no life change/new creation with in them - Salvation.
     
  3. JustChristian

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    I don't support a homosexual life style. Neither do I support adultry or any other sin against God. That being said I have to ask the following question. Which one has the stricter requirements, being a member of a church or being saved? Many on this board reject the need to repent to be saved. Many reject the need to look upon Christ as Lord. I don't support either one of their interpretations of the Gospel. If you do, however, how can you support removing a church from fellowship because it doesn't require them for church membership? Jesus spent most of His time with sinners. He met with lepers who were considered more of an outcast in His day than are homosexuals today.

    My real point is that this is hypocrisy. Church members need to repent (often) and to follow Christ as their Lord,
     
  4. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    They do. However Christ spending time with sinners is not the same thing as allowing homosexuals as members of the church. Two seperate issues.
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    This is a more complex issue than rhetoric seems to allow. I'm happy the North Carolina convention took action (it was needed.) One of the hard things behind this matter is the 3 different state conventions of the SBC in NC.

    I completely agree that practicing homosexuals should not be admitted into church membership or leadership...and would say the same requirements should be extended to adulterers, sexually promiscous individuals, and so forth. Regnerate church membership also includes the need to greater accountability.
     
  6. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    Unfortunately church dscipline has been thrown out the door. And we should be watchful of each of these issues.
     
  7. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    It seems strange that Baptists no longer seem to believe their own
    distinictives. The ones at play here are:

    soul freedom
    soul competency
    the autonomy of the local church

    I feel like a person raising a Baptist Flag on a Baptist
    Board and Nobody will salute it :(

    The really sad thing is a month or six ago I mentioned:
    Soul Competency and had to explain it.
    Are we sure this is a Baptist Board and not a
    Calvinist Board?

    BTW, we should NOT discuss homosexuality here, for that
    is a Human Sexual thing and CANNOT BE DISCUSSED
    ON THE OPEN BOARD.
     
  8. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    maybe you do not know your Baptist history as well as you would like to think. Reformed theology (while I disagree with some of it) is a very lare part of Baptist history.

    This decision by the N.C. association in no way effects the autonomuy of the church. And church discipline is a clear and biblical dstinctive. with regards to such ungodly behavior.
     
  9. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    //maybe you do not know your Baptist history as well as you would like to think.//

    Maybe you should tell me what I don't know?
     
  10. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    //This decision by the N.C. association in no way effects the autonomuy of the church.//

    Actually that is exactlywhat it is all about! (well, at least the part
    we can discuss here on this forum).

    The N.C. Association has denied cooperation with the
    local church -- the autonomuy of the local church is
    not being allowed by the N.C. Association.
     
  11. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I agree with this sentiment. The landmarkists and fundamentalists hordes have invaded the SBC at many levels and are robbing this fine convention of its Baptist distinctives.

    Ironically I had to do the same thing about 2 months ago...with a fellow minister on staff with me. We have lost our heritage, I weep over this.

    Well I disagree with that sentiment. The issue here is what is going on with the decision and churches, I heavily doubt anyone will get into the particulars of this matter. This is a polity discussion that is important to our churches, I say let it stay.
     
  12. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    But all of that is under the inspiration, inerrancy and authority of the Scripture. Those issues do not mean that a Baptist church can deny the authority of the Bible and allow into membership those practicing ANY unbiblical lifestyle.

    btw, this same church is now allowing those with same sex partners to be pictured together in their church directory.

    Soul freedom, soul competency and autonomy are flags that always get raised when a church or a person want to disobey clear commands of Scripture.
     
  13. Martin

    Martin
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    ==No denomination or covention, which claims to be Christian and Bible based, should knowingly associate itself with churches that are in open apostasy or disobedience (1Cor 5:9-13). If the idea of local church autonomy becomes a reason to excuse sin and compromise than that autonomy is misguided and unBiblical.

    The Southern Baptist Covention has been drifting in the wrong direction for far too long. Electing Bobby Welch, the bean counter, as president should have been a wake up call to all serious Southern Baptists. It is time for us to wake up and return the Convention to its conservative, Biblical roots. We need to shake off the compromisers, the bean counters, the apostates, and the popularists, and we need to get back to the Bible. If we don't shake those people off we can never expect to get the Convention back to the Bible.

    I am an active member of a Southern Baptist Church. Thankfully, my church has not fallen for the compromise, the fads, and the apostasy that seems to be infecting far too many churches within the Convention. However my church, and your church, will not remain Biblical unless we are concerned with proper doctrine and holiness. Defending the faith, defending proper Biblical teaching, is no longer an option for the church. It is time for us to take the Biblical command seriously (1Peter 3:15, Jude 3-4).
     
  14. Martin

    Martin
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    Please note the compromise and apostasy this "church" is supporting:

    "I thank God that I am able to continue my spiritual journey at Myers Park Baptist, the church whose membership elected me to serve them as a Deacon without regard to my sexual orientation...I am a lesbian. I am a Baptist. I am a devoted follower of Christ." (from their website)

    ==Yet Scripture tells us clearly that:

    "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor theives, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the Kingdom of God" -1Cor. 6:9-10

    Don't be mislead!! That is the warning from the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul. Don't be mislead by nice sounding talk!! Don't be mislead by "empty words" (Eph 5:6)!! God is clear that His wrath is coming upon these "sons of disobedience" (Eph 5:6). Because of this we are commanded to "not be partakers with them" (Eph 5:7). This is not "interpretation" these are crystal clear words. Maybe these words are too clear for the modern "feel-good" "church"?

    These people who compromise with sin are in serious eternal trouble (Rom 1:32). Don't fool yourselves, these people are heading for an eternal HELL (Rev 21:8). They need to be told the truth. Allowing these type of apostates to remain in the Convention would be sinful.
     
  15. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Yup!! 'Tis truly a shame that Christians (?) can't/won't just accept what God has said, just as He said it, and run with that.

    Instead, we get all manner of "explaning/spiritualizing/modifying/clarifying of His word until it suits "US", but then no longer resembles what He originally said.

    If one has enough faith to believe Him re: salvation, why not believe Him re: His instructions and admonitions to us?

    Wierd, ain't it?

    (It really makes me wonder if these folks HAVE believed Him re: salvation.)
     
  16. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Matthew 23:13 (NIrV = New International Reader's Version):

    How terrible it will be for you, teachers of the law
    and Pharisees! You pretenders! You shut the kingdom
    of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves
    do not enter. And you will not let those enter
    who are trying to.


    Matthew 23:15 (NIrV = New International Reader's Version):

    How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees!
    You pretenders! You travel everywhere to win
    one person to your faith. Then you make him
    twice as much a son of hell as you are.
     
  17. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    I'm not Ed Edwards, I'm t'other Ed. Still, maybe I do know a bit about Baptist History. Whaddaya' wanna' know? :laugh:
    Probably, at best, a misleading statement, here. Many, for many years, including today, and in fact, probably even most Baptists for some of this time believed in and taught Reformed Theology, in some, or even many aspects. However, that aspect is not the only defining factor of 'Baptists', so that is why I say this is misleading, at best. I note that you are "SBCSBC" whatever that means. I am a member of a church that has chosen to align with the SBC, as well, although we are not and could not ever actually "be" a "Southern Baptist Church", since we had already been around for 63 years, preaching Christ, before there was any such thing as a Southern Baptist church, as we were constituted in 1782, and BTW, just celebrated our 225 Anniversary and homecoming, and also dedicated a new larger Christian Life Center with much needed classrooms and a combo auditorium/Gymnasium, today, as an 'independent' Baptist church. [If she ain't independent (Yes, a church is a "she".); she ain't Baptist, save for a very few (usually small churches and/or 'missions') that are 'owned' by another church or some group of churches, such as an association .]

    Is one who is in general agreement with the NH Confession, or the BF&M any more or any less 'Baptist' than one who is in general agreement with the Philadelphia Confession, or some other group such as "Free-Will" Baptists or "Seventh Day" Baptists, or one who agrees with the sentiments of the so-called "Old Regular Baptists"? Is, among So. Baptists, the so called "Founders" movement more "Baptist", than those who are more oriented toward an 'Arminian' Theology? Is Al Mohler, President of SBTS, more "Baptist" than is Paige Patterson, President of SWBTS, or Chuck Kelly, President of NOBTS more (or less) 'Baptist' than is either? Is the GARBC any more or less 'Baptist' than is either the SBC, the CBF, the BBF, or some Baptist church that is completley independent of any other formal affiliation, and there are some of those, as well?

    Of course, the answer to all the above is that one is just as much a Baptist as is the other, in every case. But they all have differences, some more significant than others, with each other.

    You and I agree, here, as to the autonomy of the local church. (The "other Ed" does not.) The 'Association' is also autonomous, in its own sphere, and has the right to extend and/or withdraw fellowship to another church, as it sees fit. Just because my church wants to associate with some particular Association, does not mean that said Association wants to, wants to keep on associating with, or has to associate with my church. They are under no such legal or moral obligation, other than perhaps, some real or imagined Biblical obligation. Likewise, a church is under no obligation to associate with any 'Association', either. That is what is known as, and called "autonomy".
    I fully agree with you on the need for church discipline. However, it does not seem to be in the same vogue, occupy the same priority, or be done in the same manner today, that it once was. I'd say that "two-edged sword" is both good (where there has been a 'de-emphasis' on legalism, and where the focus has not been so much on perceived 'intentions') and bad (where obvious morality has taken a hit, and poor testimony has been allowed to give the church and the cause of Christ) but sadly, that seems to be the way it is in many churches, today. :tear:

    Ed
     
    #17 EdSutton, Nov 18, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2007
  18. JustChristian

    JustChristian
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    I do not support homosexuality. But ask yourself how many fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves,the covetous, drunkards,revilers, or swindlers have ever been removed from SBC churches. These sins are not ranked in the Bible. Jesus' standard is much stricter than the ten commandments. You can commit adultery merely by looking at another woman with lust in your heart. Divorce and remarriage is common these days. I'm sure you have some of these adulterers in your church. Shouldn't they be expelled from fellowship too?
     
  19. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    It isn't clear where your going with all of that but to be truthful there were more particular Baptists than General Baptists at the conception of associations among Southern Baptists. Particular baptists are at the very foundation of the convention. I have no ideas what you find misleading that was not made clear but nothing I said was misleading. It was clear and direct as it was ntended.
     
  20. Martin

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    ==I am really not sure what that has to do with this issue. We are talking about a church that is endorsing a behavior that Scripture calls an abomination. We are talking about a church that is calling evil good and good evil (Is 5:20-21, Pr 17:15). This is not just a church that refuses to take action against members who are in open sin (1Cor 5:1-5). This is a church that has gone much further and has started defending its members open sin. That is not acceptable (1Cor 5:6-13) and should not be tolerated. Churches that follow Scripture should not associate with such a compromising church.

    Churches should engage in more discipline. In this case the church in question can't discipline because it is busy supporting sin in the life of its membership.
     

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