Mainstream Baptist leaders credit ‘freedom’ for keeping them Baptist

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Source : http://www.abpnews.com/www/1775.article

    Mainstream Baptist leaders credit ‘freedom’ for keeping them Baptist
    By Marv Knox
    Published: February 26, 2007



    IRVING, Texas (ABP) -- A refrain of freedom echoed through a Mainstream Baptist Network convocation in suburban Dallas Feb. 23-24. About 80 participants from across the South gathered for the sixth-annual event.


    During the session, seven speakers addressed the theme “Why I am still a Baptist.” They mentioned a broad range of issues, but freedom -- and resolve -- provided a common denominator.


    “Many folks today are scared of being a Baptist, and [they] run off in fear,” Joe Lewis, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Petersburg, Va., said. “I stopped counting the friends who left.”


    In the early 1600s, spiritual pioneers John Smyth and Thomas Helwys “began the Baptist movement demanding freedom,” Lewis said. Citing church historian Walter Shurden, Lewis noted that “four fragile freedoms” -- Bible freedom, soul freedom, church freedom and religious freedom -- are Baptist hallmarks.


    After Lewis spoke, Tyrone Pitts recalled that his appreciation for religious freedom and its corollary, the separation of church and state, grew as he worked with other faith groups like the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.


    “Others in the ecumenical movement do not have this quality,” Pitts said. He is the general secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, one of four predominantly American-African Baptist bodies.


    “We are unified around soul freedom and liberty,” he said. “It was no accident that Martin Luther King was a Baptist, just as it was no accident that other key civil-rights leaders were Baptist ministers.”


    A focus on freedom is Baptists’ defining characteristic, agreed Bill Underwood, president of Mercer University in Macon, Ga.


    “We are free to think for ourselves, free to read the Scriptures to determine what they say -- free,” Underwood insisted. Although people are accountable to God, no government and no individual has the right to tell them what to believe, he said.


    Unfortunately, such a conviction “is becoming somewhat out of fashion,” not just among fundamentalists but also among moderate Baptists, Underwood said. He mentioned the "Baptist Manifesto," drafted in 1997 by a group of “Baptist communitarian” scholars.


    The group, influenced by Methodist ethicist Stanley Hauerwas, has said it cannot commend the “unchecked privilege of interpretation” of the Bible. “Who will do the checking?” Underwood asked, noting Hauerwas has advocated “spiritual masters” to regulate correct interpretation.


    “Who are the official ‘spiritual masters’?” he asked. “It is right to suggest we exist in community and have a responsibility to the community, but it is wrong to insist the community can declare orthodoxy. It is wrong to deny a place for the individual in community.”


    No one has a monopoly on truth, Underwood continued. Besides, he said, sometimes the community is wrong, like the Roman Catholic Church’s past declaration that the sun rotates around the Earth and the Southern Baptist Convention’s endorsement of slavery.


    “What truths held today will be proven false?” he asked. “What communitarian Baptists ignore is the need to acknowledge a place for that lonely, prophetic voice -- the voice of dissent.”


    In his speech, Bruce Prescott, executive director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists, said the historic demand for that freedom is rooted in an understanding of God and creation. The Mainstream movement is composed of so-called moderate Baptists who strive to preserve what they see as traditional Baptist distinctives.


    “God did not create androids and robots,” Prescott said. “You cannot coerce someone to love you. God desires everyone to love him, but if love is a free response of faith, then to reject him must also be a possibility. So, if God leaves us to be free in matters of faith and religion, then what right do men have to force them upon others?”


    Although some religious conservatives claim otherwise, Jesus advocated the separation of church and state, Prescott insisted. Moreover, Baptist forefathers “would have scoffed at the notion that nationality has anything to do with being Christian. Nations cannot be Christian; only people can be Christian.”


    Freedom also manifests itself in the unique nature of Baptist churches, said Suzii Paynter, executive director of the Baptist-affiliated Christian Life Commission in Austin, Texas.


    “A group of individuals will have its own character,” she said. “We live in a franchise-oriented culture, where people validate their identity by being like others. Church is not a franchise.”


    Instead, molecules make better models for Baptist churches, she said. A molecule is a cluster of cells that attract each other, and they differ in type by the way they form clusters. Similarly, each church is free to cluster with churches and denominations as it sees fit.


    “Every molecule is different, despite intense efforts to franchise,” she said. And just as “there should be room for every molecule to be different,” churches should be free.
     
  2. whatever

    whatever
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    I like how people call themselves "Mainstream" in order to marginalize all of the other free Baptists who disagree with them.

    The "android" argument is always fun and exciting too.

    Unfortunately I really do not have anything useful to say.
     
  3. kmichael

    kmichael
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    LOL....me either...so here I go. Who are the mainstream Baptist? Who knows and who cares. One thing we do know is that they are not mainstream. Unless this is a correlation to "broad is the way."

    Additionally know know that they are the "anti-remnant".......the fallout from the conservative resergence in the SBC.....they are the liberal force who ARE NOT free to worship in sin unless they remove themselves from the fellowship of the Godly and seek to tear down the truths of the Bible that limit the scope of their sin.

    But now....free they are indeed to pitch their tent toward Sodom.......though many are brother and sisters.......how many of the children have they led astray.

    Broad is the gate...

    :godisgood:
    K
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Are you sure about what God thinks rather than what the politicians tell you?

    Perhaps you should find out who the real liberals were when the trustees lied to the public about why they fired Dr. Dilday at SWBTS. Tehw local Ft. Worth newspaper reported it. My mailman whom I had begun to share nmy faith in Christ with shut down when he knew about the religious trustees and how they treated Dr. Dilday. He knew Dr. Dilday personally. I also knew Dr. Dilday personally and had many conversations with him in private. Never once did I ever heard him make a negative remark about anyone.

    I would call those kind of religious leaders what Henry Blackaby said to many he was speaking to a few years ago. His remark was that many were conservative in doctrine but lived like atheists.

    The religious Jews claimed to have the right doctrine and somehow believed that God had favor on them but Jesus called them whitewashed tombs. James talks about them as well in his book as being deluded.

    My Bible says who the real liberals are in James 1:22, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves."
     
  5. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    The minute the liberal agenda is exposed the pharisitical pistol comse flying out of the holster. Paul did not agree that there was as much freedom as the libs describe:

    Hebrews 13

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.


    17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    We are to follow after the faith of past Pastors and present. There is nothing here to suggest that Paul was making a suggestion. We are to give serious consideration and follow after the leaders God places over us in the church.

    Im sure this will stir up something.
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
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    That is the test of a real Christian not just a professor.

    Some professors are bound for hell.

    Mt. 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven [will enter]. "Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'
     
  7. kmichael

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    In the spirit of good Christian debate, this passage in Matthew is quite inapropriate and insulting. Who are you to judge the salvation of your fellow brothers? YOu sir, should leave that up to God.


    It appears the lines of liberal and conservative theology are just a skewed on BB as they are in the SBC itself.

    The Mainstream and CBF (including the BGCT) folks will one day realize that to compromise on God's word is to ultimately compromise the salvation of the future generations.

    And this has nothing to do with Dilday, the SWBTS Trustees, or any current rift in the SBC. It has everything to do with those associated with the afore mentioned apostate groups who continue to seek to do harm to the SBC.

    K :flower: :godisgood:
     
  8. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    :confused:

    I must be missing something here.

    A group called Mainstream Baptists has a convocation, during which they affirm Bible freedom, soul freedom, church freedom and religious freedom--four principles which are the distinctive heart and soul of the entire Baptist movement. In addition, they not only affirm the authority of scripture, but also the fact that we are free to study and determine the meaning of scripture apart from any ecclesiastical authority and under sole accountability to God. One of the speakers makes the obligatory jab at ecumenism, in flatly stating that the National and World Council of churches do not have this element of freedom. Virtually everything they say is straight down the line historic, traditional Baptist practice and belief.

    And we have a couple of posts that say they are "liberals."

    Either you do not know what "liberal" is, or you are insanely jealous of this particular group and can't think of anything uglier to call them.

    Is there any place on this board where someone can say or suggest something, and not have a bunch of nattering nabobs of negativism come rushing forward with their own human, personal interpretation of scripture to disagree?

    I teach a group of college students in a weekly Bible study and I sincerely hope that none of them ever finds this board. Most of them are either very young in the faith or not yet believers, and if they saw some of the critical jabs taken by people who think of themselves as the premier experts of theology and doctrinal purity here they'd be crushed and discouraged. This "we've got it right and everyone who disagrees with us is a hellbound liberal" stuff is strong evidence that you don't have it right at all, and that you have little understanding of either grace or the Bible.
     
  9. kmichael

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    You, sir, make it sound all lovely and like we are all on the same page theologically. No we are not.....not at all. Ask these same folks their view of the BF&M 2000. Ask them the specifics of doctrine (from an historical and distinctively Baptist perspective). We are NOT of live mind on issues such as Biblical authority, women in ministry, homosexuality, alcohol consumption, church polity, eccumenicism, criteria for ordination and church discipline.

    Historical Baptist doctrine is as diverse as it is today. No one group has a market on the way in "was" done. So you can go ahead and shelter your kids from everyhting out there that is contrary to "your" doctrine. This is a discussion board. Nothing more, nothing less. Prepare for emphatic remarks. Defend your position.

    but don't knock the process........allow for everyones view. Your desire to silence the opposition shows a lack of something on your part.


    K :godisgood:
     
  10. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    I have no clue what you are talking about.
     
  11. tinytim

    tinytim
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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Now that is funny.

    Instead of condemning each other, why don't we thank God for the diversity amongst Baptists.
    Baptists have always been diverse. We do not have a decree that links us together. When we do, we quit being Baptists.

    The fastest way to show immaturity is to say, "I am right and everyone that disagrees with me is not a good Christian." I can just imagine Christ in Heaven just shaking his head and saying, "Come on Father, isn't it time yet? ":BangHead:
     
  12. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    TD Jakes thinks he is right when he believes there is no trinity. Copeland, Hagin, and Meyers think they are right when they teach that mens words create reality. Osteen thinks he is right when he refuses to preach on sin, hell or satan. Being diverse is the new gospel of the age.
     
  13. gb93433

    gb93433
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    The Bible teaches in that passage that there are those who claim to be Christians but are not. They appear as a genuine believer but are not what they claim. They are false prophets.

    It seems that there are those who claim someone is liberal and is bound for hell and that the conservatives are going to heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are those who claim to be believers in each group but are not. The religious Jews were guilty of that kind of religion.

    Jesus was accused of being irreligious by both camps. I would doubt that most anyone who fits exclsuively into one camp is nothing more than a follower of a group rather than knows God. Jesus never fit into any camp and was criticized by both. How can someone follow a grouip and know God at the same time.

    If anyone looks at groups that have fallen prey to a man it is often those who claim to be believers who are being misled and trust their leader. Everyone has a leader they follow. Some follow a man while others follow Christ.


    We must be careful that we examine the Bible to see if what someone says is true.

    For years in a Bible study I would take an idea and run with it often using Bible verses to support my idea and then stop. Almost every time nobody said anything. I would let a few minutes go by and then give them the truth showeing them how important it is ti take scripture in context.

    A few years ago several pastors in Arizona spoke out about the unbiblical and unethical practices of the BFA but few listened. I was one of those and the deacons in the church I was pastoring came against me claiming I was anit-Baptist. When they did not listen then we lost all of the church's money except $3,000 which was in the local bank. Some lost nearly a million dollars because they trusted a financial institution with the SBC name on it.

    If being Baptist means you always follow the crowd then I want no part of that kind of religion.
     
  14. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I don't think any of them are Baptists.

    Earlier someone posted about thanking God for the diversity among Baptists. In 1 Cor one finds that spiritual gifts are gifts of grace from God to the church. If you do not have a diversity then you have conformity. By having conformity you are scheduled for death. One does not have to go very far in church history to find those who were conformists and the time they died.
     
  15. Jack Matthews

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    You're the one that made the accusation. And your language in your posts here clearly shows your disgust and contempt for Baptists who don't believe exactly as you do, or think the way you do. That's more of a demonstration of your own insecurity than anything else. You made the accusation, but offer no evidence from what gb93433 posted to prove your point.

    You must be one of those Baptists that God will have to keep in a private room in heaven for 10,000 years so that he can gradually let you be able to deal with the fact that there are other people who made it too.
     
  16. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    I have not heard conservatives make such a claim. But I have heard and made the claim myself that those who hold to a liberal theology that refuses to acknowledge sin, hell repentence, satan, the cross or the blood cannot have been converted toward Jesus Christ. There is alot of that going on today especially in the EC. It is a false gospel to say that it is enought to simply follow Jesus. It sounds good to some but falls short of biblical measurment.We cannot receive redemption except we kneel at the cross first. Sin must be acknowledged and turned from, put under the shed blood of Christ, and a godly fear of an eternal and literal judgment of God is to be understood.

    Now this issue of tongues is secondary but important still. We are Baptists because we identify with one another. When we fail to do that we are no longer Baptists. Freedom cannot mean lose all standards and identity marks. There must always be a standard for what a Baptist is and is not. Contrary to popular belief Baptists were not born because of a diverse lack of identity. But because we have stood for something.
     
  17. tinytim

    tinytim
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    As someone said above, they are not Baptists.
    They would shriek away with indignation if we called them Baptist.
     
  18. whatever

    whatever
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    From the OP:
    First, I wish Jesus were Baptists' defining characteristic, but who am I to tell you what your defining characteristic should be?

    Second, can anyone point me to any Baptist who says that any gorvernment or individual has the right to tell anyone else what to believe?

    Third, this kind of talk reminds me of the days of the Judges. May it never be said that each Baptist did what was right in his own eyes.
     
  19. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I would not expect that you would. The Jews would not have made such a claim either. They thought they were safe because they were secure in being a Jew. However Jesus called them whitewashed tombs. James 1:22 talks about those who are deluded. The tongue is not the proof. The proof is the fruit.
     
  20. StraightAndNarrow

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    You know that Christ was a liberal. The conservatives were the scribes and the Pharisees. They were His greatest enemies.
     

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