Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Jul 15, 2002.
What assumption do you have about a Southern Baptist who labels him/herself as a "moderate"?
Wow... no good answers for me, a person who considers himself a moderate (for lack of a better term).
This seems geared toward people who don't approve of "moderates", whatever the term means.
I am most drawn to "middle of the road" theology because I am usually under assault from both the right and the left for stances I hold. I am more fundamental about some things than those who call themselves "fundamentalists" and more "liberal" than many people who consider themselves "conservative".
But my theology can't really be called "middle of the road", because it does not strike a balance between the two extremes. My theology is internally consistent, but it doesn't fit into a neat popular system. (Of course it seems to be very consistent with the Bible -- in my opinion of course! )
Of course labels like "moderate", "liberal", "fundamentalist" and "conservative" are often used against people so we can pidgeonhole them, demonize them, condemn them and ultimately ignore anything God might be trying to teach us through them. Shouldn't we get past the whole "label" thing?
[ July 15, 2002, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
In my experience, there are three kinds of moderates:
1 - Conservatives who don't like the label "fundamentalist" or who don't like the politics of the fundamentalist leadership of the SBC.
2 - Conservatives who support the ordination of women (but that's they're only "liberal" view).
3 - Liberals who don't want to admit it to themselves or others.
In my experience, most "moderate" laity are in the first two camps, and most "moderate" clergy are in the third group. I consider the word almost completely useless, but it gets confusing since the ultra-right, fundamentalist leadership of the SBC identifies itself as "conservative."
I have found about 80% (my best estimate) of moderates to be in camps 1 and 2, with the remaining 20% in camp 3. Its really shocking how many true conservatives identify themselves as moderate b/c they don't want to be confused with fundamentalists.
Then there are the folks that thought they were conservatives until they got fired or "resigned". Thats when they found out they were liberals.
Maybe. I'm not sure how "conservative" I am though...
Maybe, but I think what is usually called "ordination" is irrevelant from a biblical standpoint -- for men or women. What would other "liberal" views be? (I'd like to know from someone who professes to be a liberal. Please don't help supply answers unless you see yourself that way! )
Hmmm... I've been both the so-called clergy and laity. That doesn't help either.
Personal bias is inherrent in most of my posts as it was, sadly, in this poll.
Apologize for NOT being able to elucidate positions for those who ARE "moderates" and felt all my options slightly perjorative.
Of course, I think you're all unsaved and headed for the pit . .
Yeah, but what are you gonna do? There's nothing wrong with having strong feelings.
Well I have a hard time talking about the group that is currently in charge of the SBC. I've taken to calling them the "so-called 'conservative resurgence' camp" because I can't find a more accurate way to define them without sounding too perjorative. (Of course I'm sure the "so-called" modifier offends some, but what can you do?)
Naw, I think we're heading in the same direction, just carrying different baggage!
From a SBCer who supports the resurgence, let me add my tongue-in-cheek definition of a moderate:
- Anyone who makes it one of their life aims to criticize the "fundamentalist" leadership of the SBC
- Anyone who has 5 or more definitions for the word inerrancy
- Anyone who argues for women pastors using Galatians 3.28 or no support text at all. As a matter of fact they will probably make some statement like, "you just need to hear .... preach."
- Anyone who links the conservative leadership of the SBC with the Taliban.
- Anyone who identifies the complimentarian position as "subjugating women."
- Anyone who criticizes Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, Paul Pressler, Al Mohler, or Bailey Smith
- Anyone who believes Russ Moore and the BP are in some type of malicious conspiracy
- Anyone who refers to the pre-79 days as the better days of the SBC
- Anyone who endorses the CBF, Alliance, Mainstream Baptists, or a "baptist" seminary besides the big 6.
And finally, the sure tell sign of a moderate is:
- Anyone who is to the left of me on any view
As a moderate, I have to say that was a pretty good definition.
SBCByGrace, I would include anyone who believes that the NRSV is the only "real" Bible version worth using.
Alot of us prefer the RSV.
Consider a bird. GOD created birds on the 5th day of Creation (Gen. 1: 21-23). A bird has two BEAUTIFUL wings. A left wing, and a right wing. The bird cannot fly without it's left wing. It also cannot fly without it's right wing. The Bird needs BOTH wings to fly as it soars higher and higher toward heaven. Without it's left wing, or it's right wing, the bird will crash to the ground helpless. We humans are not much different. Both of our human "wings" are necessary for mankind to fly ever higher. Despite which way any of us "lean" (left, right or somewhere in between - moderate), we are dependent upon each other. We are helpless without our other wing.
But we are NOT BIRDS (tho "bird brained" comes to mind!)
And in doctrinal truth we do not really have a "right wing" and a "left wing"
We have a "right wing" and a "wrong wing"!
Oh my. Send your cards and letters to . . .
Hi Bob. Thank you for your comments. Yes, fair enough. I agree. We are not birds. We are also not physical salt (Matt. 5:13), a physical light (Matt. 5:14), or physical branches on a tree (John 15: 5). Yet, Jesus routinely symbolized humans as such to illustrate a point.
Often enough, there is plenty of the color gray in between the black & white colors of the "right wing & wrong wing." Like the symbol of the "scale of justice" (depicted as a left/right,up/down image), the arrival of TRUTH requires balance and an honest review of all the information. A "moderate" is one who (ideally) has put the doctrines of both the Right & Left to the BIBLICAL test. In some instances, the moderate concludes that the "right" are correct while in other instances, he concludes that the "left" are correct.
Of course, the final test of any truth, must come from the inerrant Bible. But even there, our best efforts to arrive at Biblical harmony, through diligent search, study and cross-reference, is itself a balancing act, as we test one scripture against another in our search for "truth." Thank you again for your thoughts Bob. I appreciate your comments and I'm thankful for them.
You just disqualified yourself from the moderate category....on second thought you are not disqualified until you define what you mean by inerrancy.
Amen! Preach! Tell us again!
BB, I take it you're not fond of the concept of an ordained or professional clergy. I think there is a strong biblical precedent for the former since - from the days of the early church - there have been people called out from the body for a particular role of leadership and interpretation.
As for other liberal views, here are a few:
- insistence on inclusive language in worship to include balanced or gender-neutral references to God
- support for full and equal participation of gay/lesbian Christians in their faith communities
- rejection of Christ's divinity/virgin birth/physical resurrection
- categorical rejection of the inspiration of Scripture
- emphasis on social justice issues in church work
- support for free access to abortion
I know baptist ministers who can check off all of these boxes (I can't check them all off, but I can most of them0. Some of them even call themselves "Moderates" - which seems a little silly to me.
Thank you for your kind response.
I’m fine with ordination, but not as it is practiced most of the time. A church (not a body of ordained people) ordains a person for a specific task or vocation. Ordination is simply a recognition and affirmation by a local church that God has called a person (man or woman) to a certain ministry. As far as ordination certificates being used as ministerial credentials, that is a necessary accommodation to our culture that is used to a Roman Catholic-type of hierarchy, but should not ever be used to draw a distinction between so-called “clergy” and “laity”. We are all standing equally before God whether we are vocationally involved in ministry or not.
I have no trouble at all with “professional” or vocational ministers, unless someone enters the ministry to make a “profession” out of it. Too many times “professional” ministers try to climb an ecclesiastical ladder to positions that offer more opportunities for power and wealth. Blind ambition in the ministry causes heartache and destruction and often results in power struggles for dominance. Christ will often move us to positions of greater influence as our gifts mature and our experience and wisdom increases, but we must be willing to move to the smallest church, or the most remote and unattractive place to follow God’s leading.
I have my #2 pencil ready to take your quiz!
I don’t insist on it, but I don’t have any problem with it unless someone tries to turn God into a woman. God displays both “male” and “female” traits and we shouldn’t ignore it, but I can’t stand radical feminist agendas.
I would like to believe it is true, but I can’t justify it.
I’m all for homosexuals being involved in church life (like the rest of us sinners), but people actively involved in sexual sin should not be in leadership roles – no matter if it is heterosexual or homosexual sin. I’m part of the "welcoming, but not affirming" camp. Homosexuals should be encouraged and supported as people, but the church should never sanction homosexual "marriage" or partnerships. A person can't help the feelings or attractions they have, but they can refuse to act on them.
You are not Christian if you do not affirm the divinity of Christ or the resurrection. You may be following a “feel-good happy Jesus” philosophy, but you are not taking the words of Jesus or the early church seriously and should not identify yourself as a Christian. (I’m sure you believe it though! )
??? A true believer in Christ will instinctively recognize the authority of scripture as coming from God, although may not fully embrace some of the more demanding views of reliability. Are you talking about recognizing that scripture comes from God or simply rejecting inerrancy or a certain views of reliability?
I’m liberal here… The church needs to do much more than talk about Jesus. We should do his works. The Gospels and Prophets are full of calls to social action.
Not even close to being a liberal here. I do think that if Christians are going to speak against abortion (like I do), then they need to help women who have an unintended/unwanted pregnancy instead of shake their heads or condemn. I’m convinced that radical “pro-lifers” do as much damage as “pro-choice” lobbying groups because of the way some offer nothing but condemnation. Women need real and tangible assistance, emotional and spiritual support, child care assistance and financial help if we expect the majority of them not to abort their babies. (That may be liberal in some people’s eyes, but it is simply part of being Christian as far as I’m concerned.
I’m undecided on this point.
Yes, it is silly (and completely inaccurate) to call oneself a moderate if you hold to all of these assertions. I’ve also realized that I’ve met very few liberals in Baptist life – and none who deny the divinity of Christ and the resurrection. I guess the “liberals” the SBC leadership keeps finding in Texas are nothing of the sort! (Of course I knew that already.)
Thanks for the info. I would like to hear your comments.
Any person who calls themselves a moderate with those views strikes me as dishonest. No wonder some people can't distinguish between moderates and liberals.
[ July 18, 2002, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: David Cooke, Jr. ]
You just disqualified yourself from the moderate category....on second thought you are not disqualified until you define what you mean by inerrancy. </font>[/QUOTE]Hi SBCbyGRACE. Thank you for your comments. I'm certain that I would be disqualified as a "moderate" by those who are likely to call themselves moderates. Really, I try hard to avoid paying too much attention to the concepts of "left, right, and in-between." If all are looking to the Bible for answers, then all of us are on common ground. In the end, by GOD's grace, the Bible will lead us to the correct answers - and all will benefit as a result.
Perhaps it comes down to this: 1). those Christians who believe in the absolute authority and inerrancy of the Bible, and; 2). those who do not. I am squarely in the first camp. I believe very strongly that the Bible is 100% inerrant, and my definition of that is as straight forward as it sounds.
It is a good thing for believers to "brainstorm" and to work out truth as we are commanded to do (1 Tim. 4:13). I suppose it's the difference between the infallibility of everything done by GOD (such as the authoring of the Bible), and the utter fallibility of anything touched by man (such as our feeble attempts to understand it). Thank you again SBCbyGRACE.
[ July 18, 2002, 05:18 PM: Message edited by: latterrain77 ]