Liberalism

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by gb93433, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    What do you think of the following article?

    Associated Baptist Press

    January 30, 2004 Volume: 04-09


    BWA president Kim says
    'liberalism' is in eye of beholder


    By John Pierce
    ATLANTA (ABP) -- On a tour of American churches, the head of Baptist World Alliance said Southern Baptist Convention leaders' attacks against his group could be turned on themselves.

    An SBC study committee recently recommended the denomination break all ties with the worldwide umbrella group for Baptists. BWA President Billy Kim and BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz have spent several days speaking in prominent moderate Southern Baptist churches to rally support for the organization.

    The BWA connects 211 national and regional Baptist denominations comprising 47 million baptized believers.

    Meeting with reporters prior to a Jan. 28 appearance at Atlanta's Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Lotz and Kim said the SBC study committee report claiming the BWA advocates "aberrant and dangerous theologies" gives an inaccurate portrayal of the group.

    "The Korean church, by in large, is very conservative," said Kim, pastor of the 15,000-member Central Baptist Church near Seoul, South Korea. "[O]ur church is much more conservative, fundamental than probably the average Southern Baptist church in the United States.

    "Everybody carries their Bible; everybody carries their own hymnbook.... If you don't go to early morning prayer meeting, 5 o'clock [a.m.] everyday, then [we] don't consider you conservative or biblical.... [But] you cannot [say] that we are conservative and the U.S. church is liberal. We just practice different."

    "So when they [SBC leaders] label a group [as] liberal, it don't set too well with me," said Kim. "Because the fellows who call me liberal are so far out there in left field [compared to] what we practice in Korea."

    Lotz also said the charge of liberalism against the BWA is unfair and that the term is relative.

    "That's a generalization," said Lotz. "Baptists in Russia and Baptists in the Ukraine are much more conservative than Baptists over here. They think Americans are liberals because their women wear lipstick, earrings, jewelry, miniskirts and things like that."

    Kim said theological diversity exists within the BWA, but it does not justify the accusations in the report.

    "There might be within Baptist World Alliance some liberal-leaning people, and I don't deny that -- people in Europe or somewhere," Kim confessed, "but we cannot put them all together and say that Baptist World Alliance is liberal."

    Lotz said that is the problem with generalizations. "Because somebody stands up in a Baptist World Alliance meeting and says something that someone doesn't like, it doesn't mean that [position represents] the Baptist World Alliance."

    During earlier appearances in Texas, Kim brought a Korean Baptist children's choir to perform at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. While Kim is reportedly close friends with the seminary's president, Paige Patterson, Patterson is a member of the SBC committee that recommended the BWA be defunded.

    According to a Jan. 28 Fort Worth Star-Telegram story on the appearance, Kim hoped the children's performance would "soften the hearts" of SBC leaders toward the BWA. While the singing did, according to the paper, move Patterson's wife, Dorothy, to tears, it didn't change her mind on the BWA issue.

    "Dr. Billy Kim has made every effort to bring conservatives into the makeup of the Baptist World Alliance," to no avail, Dorothy Patterson said. "Paige and I kept participating [in BWA meetings], but in almost every meeting, we heard the Southern Baptist Convention denounced."

    Paige Patterson, in a letter that also appeared in the Jan. 28 Star-Telegram, complained about religion reporter Jim Jones' portrayal of international Baptist criticism of the study committee's decision. "So why exactly would Jones or anyone else expect Southern Baptists to pick up a large chunk of the bill to support those who teach doctrines contrary to our most cherished beliefs?" Patterson asked.

    He added: "And why would the report in the Star-Telegram mention the negative response of people 'around the world' and fail to mention the tremendous support from equal numbers of Baptists around the globe?"

    Patterson and other SBC leaders, however, have not offered any specific examples of international Baptist leaders who support the SBC's defunding of BWA.

    -- With additional reporting by Robert Marus
     
  2. rsr

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    I think he has a point.
     
  3. Artimaeus

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    A generalized response to a generalized criticism isn't very informative.
     
  4. Jim1999

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    Sometimes I wonder if modern leaders have any idea what liberalism is all about. We love to label everything not in our own camp.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. gb93433

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    I think you are absolutely right! A friend of mine from Denamrk told me that we have no idea what liberalism is like in America.

    He went on to say that the liberals and fundamentalists lie in the same bed just on opposite ends. Of course by fundamentalists he meant those who have an unbiblical dogmatism.
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    I agree that the BWA is a liberal organization. [​IMG] I'm glad the SBC has broken all ties.

    Diane
     
  7. Jim1999

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    For me to label the SBC a dangerous cult would be a disservice to all the fine people in conservative churches. To label the BWA liberal, meaning denying the deity of the Lord Jesus, would also be a disservice. I know men in both organizations, and would not be so disingenuous.

    Two of my former associations are members of the BWA and I ws ordained under the first, The Baptist Union of Great Britain.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Jimmy C

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    My definition of Liberalism (SBC Style) - Any thing the executive board of the SBC cannot control 100%.

    As long executive board can use the liberal tag, they can justify any action they choose.

    It reminds me of the kid with the bat, as long as things go his way he is fine, as soon as things turn against him he takes his bat and goes home.

    The SBC needs the BWA, but when Dorothy Patterson got into a yelling match at a BWA conference I knew the BWAs days were numbered.
     
  9. Hardsheller

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    Jimmy C,

    Why does the SBC need the BWA?
     
  10. Jimmy C

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    Hardsheller

    We (SBC) needs the BWA beacuse we can more effectively particpate in the needs of Baptists worldwide through the BWA. The SBC is becoming more insular, our mission efforts have become more about church planting, which is great, but there are many other needs (relief efforts, hunger, human rights) that the BWA is involved in that we need to keep a hand in.

    By withdrawing from the BWA we lose our voice, and our influence. I do think we help the BWA stay more conservative, the BWA needs us, as well as the Koreans, Africans etc to do that.

    How much is the SBC going to spend to duplicate the effort that the BWA is already accomplishing. Can the SBC do it with excellence? Will the SBC, with our limited funds, do it at all?

    In the end it matters little what the average church member thinks, the BWA commited the unpardonable sin of accepting money from the CBF, their fate (SBC wise) is sealed. My opinion is that we are making a mistake - most on this board will probably disagree.
     
  11. drp737

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    Why must we fight over who is more conservative/liberal? It is utterly pointless. Everybody has their own beliefs and thoughts on how things should be done. Many of these differing thoughts are inspired by God. God has led me to keep a Bible wherever I may be going. I have one in my Sunday school class, my dorm room, my room at home, I don't have one in my vehicle but I plan to soon. If I have a Bible in the sunday school room and the sanctuary pew then why should I take my Bible from home and take the chance of accidentally leaving it there. There are many more important issues we should be discussing though.
     
  12. StraightAndNarrow

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    Let's see now. The question is why does one part of Christ's Church need another part? Right? I don't really think I need to answer that now do I?
     
  13. donnA

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    I don't know anything about the BWA, but if indeed they do not believe in the deity of Christ, then why would we want to align ourselves with someone who is false? You say you believe whatever you to, but it's who you align with that tells the real story. You don't align yourself with people you disagree with.
     
  14. rsr

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    No one here, at least, has said the BWA denies the deity of Christ.
     
  15. Precepts

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    It would be nearly impossible for anyone to deny the part politics plays in these allinaces and conferences and such. Wicked, just plain wicked.

    I look for ways to unite, not divide, but I will not relinquish my stand, so divide if you may, I'll still stand by the power of His might and not by some fellwoship or allinace.

    Man did always have a way of messng things up with his politics.
     

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