'Mainstream' speakers link SBC with Islamic terrorists

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Chris Temple, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    'Mainstream' speakers link SBC with Islamic terrorists
    Feb 19, 2002
    By Russell D. Moore

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP)--Southern Baptist conservatives have more in common with Islamic terrorists than with Baptist "moderates," charged speakers at the first annual meeting of the "Mainstream Baptist Network" Feb. 15-16 in Charlotte, N.C.

    The "Mainstream" movement is made up of Baptists dissatisfied with the conservative direction of the Southern Baptist Convention. Most board members and leaders also are affiliated with the Baptist quasi-denomination, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF).

    Phil Lineberger, pastor of Williams Trace Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Texas, and national co-chair of the Mainstream Network, compared the Southern Baptist Convention's adoption of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs to radical Islam's terrorist ideology.

    "We've learned about the dangers of religious fanaticism lately," Lineberger said, comparing secularist Muslim Salman Rushdie's analysis of fundamentalist Islam with his own analysis of conservative Baptist confessionalism.

    "Fundamentalists have more in common with each other than with their respective religious roots," Lineberger said of conservative Baptists and Islamic extremists. "It doesn't matter their god or their holy book. Fundamentalists are always oppressive and destructive in their behavior."

    Lineberger then compared the confessional commitments of the SBC's six seminaries to extremist Islamic training schools in the Middle East.

    "Islamic seminaries have drowned out all unacceptable stories," he said. "There is just one acceptable story now.

    "That's why we're creating new seminaries and this is why these seminaries are flourishing while [the SBC's] seminaries are dying," Lineberger said.

    Enrollment at the SBC's seminaries, however, has moved from 12,914 for the 1998-99 academic year to 13,591 for 1999-2000 and 14,185 for 2000-2001, using non-duplicating headcount statistics.

    Of Lineberger's characterizations of Southern Baptists, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Baptist Press, "This kind of language is so irresponsible and incendiary that I find it hard to believe that any Christian leader could speak such things. This is a new low for those running further and further from the Southern Baptist Convention. To compare the Baptist Faith and Message to Islamic terrorism is so out of bounds that it needs no refutation. I can only look with grief to such an insult to Christian truth."

    Concerning seminary enrollment, Mohler said, "The various and sundry divinity schools established by the moderates have not impacted the enrollment of our SBC seminaries in any significant way. The total SBC enrollment is in a clear growth pattern with well over 14,000 students preparing for ministry in our seminaries."

    During the Mainstream meeting, Becky Matheny, executive director of the Baptist Heritage Council of Georgia, spoke of those individuals and groups who had had various "dreams" for the future, such as Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr. There have been other, less benevolent, "dreams" articulated, however, she said.

    "In 1978, two people had a dream to change what we knew as the Southern Baptist Convention," Matheny said, in an apparent reference to conservative resurgence leaders Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler. "And in 2001, a group of people had a dream to destroy the United States of America," apparently a reference to the terrorists who drove hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

    Similarly, Mainstream Network leader David Currie called the International Mission Board's move to ask missionaries to sign the Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs an "act of spiritual terrorism."

    David Flick, a former director of missions in Oklahoma, likewise gave a testimony in which he wrote that conservatives in Oklahoma were offended when he asserted on an Internet forum that conservative Southern Baptist attitudes and convictions were similar to those of fundamentalist Muslims.

    Such comments represented an escalation of the already spirited anti-SBC rhetoric within the movement. Earlier in the week, the Biblical Recorder newspaper reported on a "straightforward" letter sent by Currie to North Carolina Baptists in which he referred to Southern Baptist leaders as "a bunch of Pharisees." In the letter, Currie suggested that the SBC's conservative leaders do not share the same gospel of Jesus Christ with moderates, but instead embrace a "perversion of the gospel" denounced by Jesus in the New Testament.

    The Mainstream Baptist Network is a coalition of state groups working toward defeating conservative candidates for state convention offices. At the 2000 General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Orlando, Fla., a breakout session trained CBF activists on using the "Mainstream" groups to organize individuals uncomfortable with the CBF to elect "moderate" candidates to state convention office. Moderate-controlled state conventions could then direct funds away from the SBC. Months later, the moderate-controlled Baptist General Convention of Texas voted to divert funding from the six SBC seminaries, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the Executive Committee.
     
  2. Monergist

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    Reading this immediately brings the Book of Jude to mind.

    V.10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.

    V.16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

    Maybe it's time we learned something from the PCA. We don't hear about them dealing with this kind of nonsense.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    I have found it strikingly strange that the Mainstream/Alliance/CBF baptists take such an ecumenical stance that they can embrace almost everyone except the ones from whence they came.!? :eek:
     
  4. rsr

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    I frequently visit the Baptistlife.com Web site. I understand that Taliban comparison is repugnant. But I have on-line "friends" who have suffered at the hands of the SBC.
    From looking at BP, you have to take it with a grainof salt. Or maybe on truckload. ;)
     
  5. Bob Alkire

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    Like so many who turn their back from which they came, all they can do is find fault with it. Which if they couldn't, they would still be there.
    If you love truth of the bible you would have to part with the "Mainstream group, or so called" and not worship with them but you should pray for them always.
    The Mainstream is way off base on this one!!!
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Amen and Amen. The more I see of that ilk here on the BB (no personal attack, gentlement, but many of your views are repugnant) the more I want to distance myself from them.

    This just adds fuel to that funeral pyre for the death of liberalism.
     
  7. blackbird

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    Some Pentacostal friend of mine asked me what I'd be if I weren't Southern Baptist. I suppose he was thinking I'd be Pentacostal. I told him, "If I weren't Southern Baptist--I'd be plum ashamed!" The CBF ain't nothing but a bunch of crybabies--candidates for the CBF are those who can't get their "man" in a "TOP GUN" position in the SBC or can't get their "prof" in the seminaries, or who think its pure Communism if someone is asked to sign a BF&M statement before gal-i-vantin halfway across the globe to do missions!
     
  8. suzanne

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    Hi all,
    I've heard these comparisons before and it's not just the Southern Baptists that are being maligned, it's anyone who holds a fundamental, conservative view. It's seems that if you stand for righteousness and are outspoken about it you are a target for this venom.

    Maranatha!

    suzanne
     

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