Maybe it was a "Resurgence"

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Rev. Joshua, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    I've been thinking about Luther Copeland's Taint of an Original Sin a lot lately, as well as Shurden's January article about baptist churches returning "home" to the ABC. I think both have a lot to commend them.

    In the time that the Bible was written, slavery, the subjugation of women, and the exclusion of homosexual persons were all the cultural norms. The Bible reflects these norms, and in our contemporary, egalitarian culture is still possible to make strong biblical arguments for all three of these things.

    In the nineteenth century, the rest of the Christian world was moving away from that approach and moving toward an interpretive stance that allows a person to separate the timelessness of the gospel from the cultural context in which it first arrived. The Southern Baptist Convention was created explicitly to oppose this trend (and on the issue of slavery).

    In a sense, then, with the return to this kind of thinking, the SBC has returned to its roots.

    Perhaps the fundamentalists are right, and people who believe that the cultural advice of the biblical writers should be considered culturally biased never really were "Southern Baptists." I do not say this with tongue-in-cheek. From the first day, being "Southern Baptist" meant insisting that the most oppressive possible understanding of the first century worldview was the best approach to society. It meant a willingness to subjugate certain people groups using the Bible as justification. Thanks to the leadership of the new SBC, it does again.

    Maybe its a good thing for us all that they took back the name, freeing us to find more faithful baptist expressions that are not tied to that embarrassing heritage.

    Joshua

    [ June 21, 2002, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua Villines ]
     
  2. TomVols

    TomVols
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    My friend, I love you in Christ, but it's obvious you have no earthly idea what you're talking about and have no grasp of the issues involved whatsoever.
     
  3. Grasshopper

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    So Let's throw out Romans 1:24-28, and not stop there. What other verses do you want to throw out or reinterpret? Slavery is not condoned in the bible as a legit practice, but God through the Word taught people how do deal with the situation they were in.

    Do changing social attitudes change the Word of God? Does your tolerence for the sin of homosexuality make you feel like your a more "open" and "culturally cool" preacher?

    The churches attitude towards people is one thing, but the attitude toward their sin is another. If we allow homosexuality in the church, where does it end? Someone else will say that having more than one wife is OK. Oh the slippery slope.
     
  4. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Tom, not only do I love you in Christ, I even like you ;) . Here's how it looks from where I sit. The SBC was created on a biblical defense of slavery (which is easy to do). In essence, the founders of the SBC wanted to continue to perpetuate an older social order than the progressive, abolitionist one; and they used the Bible to do it.

    For years now the fundamentalists (or "conservative evangelicals") have been claiming that the pre-1979 SBC did not represent "real" Southern Baptists. As soon as they took control, they subjugated women and stopped all dialogue on homosexuality. I think they may be right. I think they have returned the SBC to its roots.

    I strongly recommend Copeland's book if you want to see how baptists in my camp view that process.

    Joshua
     
  5. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Joshua, I am surprised that even you would present the division of Baptists north and south and the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845 to be as simplistic as the leaders desire to perpetuate slavery.
     
  6. Grasshopper

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    I want no where near that camp.
     
  7. Grasshopper

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    Rev. Joshua Villines

    I have a feeling there are a lot of marked out, torn out, or otherwise removed verses from your bible.
     
  8. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    RLV Have you read Copeland's book? He's a baptist historian and makes a persuasive argument for just that. I seem to remember there being some compelling primary sources in one of McBeth's books as well.

    I'm aware that there were other differences between the parties involved, but slavery was very much the issue (just like it looks like homosexuality will be the issue that splits the Episcopal Church).

    Joshua
     
  9. rlvaughn

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    Slavery certainly was an issue between northern and southern Baptists, but that it is a long way from saying that certain leaders formed the Southern Baptist Convention to perpetuate slavery. Though there were several issues between northern and southern brethren, the most direct cause of the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention was the violation by many brethren in the north of the neutrality agreement on slavery, and brethren in the south devising a "test" case (appointing James Reeve, a slaveholder, as missionary) to see what the Home Mission society would do. You can find these documents and others in McBeth's Sourcebook. As far as I am concerned both sides deserve blame in the controversy and division. I am not a Southern Baptist, and I do not agree with its founding nor its power structure, but I believe charging that the Convention was formed to perpetuate slavery is a simplistic misapplication of the facts.
     
  10. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    RLV,

    I realize that, standing where we stand on the other side of slavery, it seems almost inconceivable to imagine sundering a denomination over the issue...but I do think that is the general consensus among baptist historians.

    The Triennial Convention was a threat to slavery, and all the economic and social stability that it represented. When baptists in the South saw that (as demonstrated by the Convention's unwillingness to appoint a slaveholder) they formed their own Convention. The new Convention was one that would perpetuate and accomodate the social status quo in the South.

    Interestingly, they claimed biblical fidelity as their reasoning (just as the modern SBC does). [sarcasm]It had nothing to do with ulterior motives in supporting that system.[/sarcasm]

    Joshua
     
  11. KenH

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    The slavery issue in the 1700s and 1800s caused many problems in the United States - political, secular, and religious - culminating in the War Between the States(its wasn't a civil war as the Confederacy was not attempting to take over the government of the Union). It is very easy to use 21st Century thinking to condemn people back in that era but that would not be fair to them. If we had lived back then, we would not think with the same consensus on the issue of slavery as we do today.

    As far as the modern era of the SBC, just how are women being subjugated? If you are complaining about women not being allowed to be elders, the Bible definition of an elder includes being the husband of one wife - sorta difficult for a woman to meet that requirement. [​IMG]

    Anyway, there are thousands of churches with their denominations to meet whatever stripe of interpretation anyone might want to use in reading the Bible and organizing a body of Christians. Short of a golden era for the church we will always have divisions and it is a waste of energy to try to argue and verbally prod groups that we don't agree with to get in line with our way of thinking. There are enough problems within each of our own denominations and local churches to keep us well occupied.

    Ken
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    Joshua, in order to not divert your topic into an historical discussion of slavery and the SBC, I have started a topic called "The Formation of the S.B.C." in which I discuss some of these things we've started. Here I will only emphasize that I am not downplaying the effect of slavery on the events leading up to the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention. But I am merely taking exception to your continued use of the word perpetuate to describe the motives of the "framers" of the SBC. When they saw the Home and Foreign Missionary Societies would not tolerate or accomodate slavery, they certainly did organize a convention that would do both. But to inject that it was their desire to have the convention in order to cause their peculiar institution to stand forever is reading more into the record than is there, in my opinion.
     

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