SBC, fundamentalists and other US Baptists - an ignorant limey writes

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Matt Black, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Life seems pretty simple over this side of the Atlantic: we have the Baptist Union of Great Britain, which divides in my neck of the woods into the Southern Baptist Association; my church is a member of both. From the US side, OTOH, I hear talk of not just the SBC, but also the CBF,the IBF, the ABC and a plethora of others, about which I am largely ignorant. Also, some of my more liberal Baptist US friends talk interms of some kind of 'takeover' of the SBC by fundamentalists in the late 70s and early 80s; again I am largely ignorant of this.

    Can some of you kind folk please enlighten me on these points, in particular the history of these various groups and what they all stand for and why? Also, where does this particular board fit in to the grand scheme of things?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. dwd

    dwd
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    Hello Limey, I am a Tennessee redneck from the home of Davey Crockett and Dolly Parton.
    Now I will try to address your question as simple as I know how. The truth is not that the fundamentalist took over the denomination, the truth is the fundamentalist took the denomination back to its conservative roots. The liberal side had taken over the colleges and were producing schools that were denying the infallabilty of the Bible. they denied the creation account, the virgin birth. and even went so far as to some even were endorsing the same sex marriage.
    Now I know that someone will deny these statements but believe me it is true.
     
  3. Matt Black

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    Thanks dwd for that. Can you or anyone elaborate on the methodology of this and also give me more info on 'who's who' in the various groups. The only thing I've come across is the following on Baptist History - if you scroll down to the last two paragraphs, the issue of fundamentalism is highlighted there but the author seems to be drawing the opposite conclusion to you in that he is saying that fundamentalism (as well as liberalism) represents a departure from Baptist roots.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  4. David Cooke Jr

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    Matt,
    do your own research. Mainstream Missouri Baptists published a straightforward acount of the takeover that is the most objective I have read. It has many direct quotes from the participants, and cites newspaper accounts from the time, as well as minutes of meetings. There are hundreds of footnotes. But look at every source, including Walter Shurden as well as the opposing views by Pressler and Dobbs.
    This was a naked political power grab, fueled in part by some good minded people who had legitimate theological concerns. But the bottom line is that evil people used misinformation and dishonesty about the issues and their opponents for their own material gain and advancement. That these people won victory is the ONLY reason there exists the "conservative resurgence" explanation given above. I encourage you to do your own research. Read both sides' accounts and you will get the answer.
     
  5. dwd

    dwd
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    Matt
    Sorry I have not answered sooner, my grandchildern came through the door this morning. That grandson of mine thinks tractors and horses are more important than computers and discussion boards.
    I like the way that our friend from Atlanta has used the label "evil people" I guess he is referring to Arian Rogers, Jerry Vines, Charles Stanely and W.A. Criswell. These are all good men of God.
    Now seeing that this is not the place for character assisnation but for history of the Baptist let me give you one piece of data and a quote.
    On January 29-31 1962 the fifty four man Sunday School board, representing all of Southern Baptist, so they thought, approved Ralph H. Elliot book, The Message of Genesis. this book attacked the Creation account and refers to it as a "myth". When W.A. Criswell responded to to such attitudes toward scripture with his book "Why I believe the Bible"He was rebuked.
    The Sunday School Board then announced and I quote "It will continue to publish books representing more than one point of view". That meant liberal and often denying the scripture it self theology.
    I will not continue with this discussion. I am sure that there are some articulate persons around here that could inform you of some more info on the subject. but one last thought on the subject> If you want to know what liberalism has did to some SBC universities look at Furman, Wake Forest and Baylor. Find out their stand on such issues and decide for yourself.
    Charles Spurgeon said in his leaving the Baptist Union of England."As soon as I saw or thought I saw,that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate, but Quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been, come out from among them.
    These evil men that our Attorney friend refers to did not come out they just returned to the "OLD PATHS"
     
  6. rsr

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    I suggest this be moved to the Denominations forum, at least in its current form.
     
  7. rsr

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    Matt, I will take a swing at some of the questions, avoiding the polemics. Others can correct me where I am wrong and fill in where I have insufficient information.

    The first national organization of Baptists in the United States was the Triennial Convention, formed in 1814, which met in general assembly every three years. It includes churches from both north and south and primarily was a vehicle for churches to share in missions work.

    Shortly thereafter, differences on missions caused some Baptist churches to leave the convention. The Primitive Baptists, which survive to this day, reject salaried clergy, mission societies and instrumental music. They are Calvinistic in soteriology; there are several good ones on this board. (They also, with some exceptions and reject Sunday school and instrumental music in worship and, to a great extent, practice footwashing.)

    Differences over slavery, distribution of missionaries and convention structure led the southern churches to break away and form their own convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, in 1845.

    Denominationally, the southern and northern baptists differed in that the southern tended toward a tighter denominational structure (with the convention controlling the associated bodies, such as the Sunday school board, foreign missionary agency, etc.) than the northerners. The northern association for many years was more a group of churches affiliated with a confederation of autonomous agencies.

    Centralization took longer to come to the north; the societies finally formed the Northern Baptist Convention in 1907. It is now known as the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

    Southern Baptists have traditionally been more conservative — politically and theologically — than the Southern Baptists.

    The "resurgence" or "takeover" (you've seen how each side describes it) within the Southern Baptist Convention caused another large-scale split. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was formed by churches that no longer felt comfortable within the SBC, or not entirely so. The CBF is not, strictly, a "denomination" by SBC standards; it does not own any seminaries or colleges, but "partners" with some. The statement of faith is vague, compared to the SBC, because it contains a number of disparate elements — ranging from liberal churches to conservative churches who just don't like the SBC leadership. (Warning: This is my opinion.)

    To further complicate matters, it is possible for a church to be affiliated with both the CBF and SBC, or with the CBF and ABCUSA. Or, for liberal Alliance of Baptists churches, with both the Alliance, the ABC and the United Churches of Christ (a liberal congregationalist body.)

    I'm not sure you want to know any more of the intricacies of Baptist life, Matt. For example, the Baptist General Convention of Texas is associated with the SBC, but it has opposed SBC leadership on many items and has opened its membership to churches from outside the state.

    Then there are Free Will Baptists (Arminian in soteriology and who, for the most part, regard footwashing as an ordinance), the General Association of Regular Baptists (another Arminian group) and the Seventh Day Baptists (who differ from other Baptists only in the observance of Saturday as a day of worship).

    Independent Fundamental Baptists hold to the fundamentals (generally, as outlined by the Niagara Conference) and reject organizations above the level of the local church. They are conservative theologically and, generally, socially and politically.

    URL=http://www.geocities.com/schfrs/congress.html]WORLD CONGRESS OF FUNDAMENTALISTS[/URL]

    This is an IFB board, by and large.

    I have omitted the Landmarkers because I really don't know enough about them to comment. I will hazard the opinion that most of them hold to Baptist successionism.

    That's far more than you wanted to know, I'm sure. If it's not, ask again.

    It's a popular saying among American Baptists that "Wherever two or more Baptists are gathered together, you will find three opinions."

    ;)

    (Oh, and I haven't even touched upon the African-American Baptist groups, which range from the Primitive Baptists to the National Baptist Convention, which seems to me to be much like the ABCUSA.)

    [ April 02, 2003, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  8. Matt Black

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    Cheers, RSR, that's helped to expand my knowledge!

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  9. David Cooke Jr

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    Matt, rsr's comments are a fair summation of the lay of the land.
    DWD, your comments about the prelude to what started the takeover/resurgence are very often glossed over by my moderate and liberal friends. By the way, "myth" does not necessarily mean "fiction". Regardless, there was some arrogance among some moderates and liberals who dismissed the fundamentalist's viewpoints that fueled the fire of many folk'd demise.
     
  10. Matt Black

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    Cheers, guys!

    But where did CBF and the Alliance of Baptists come from? And who actually set up this BB?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  11. rsr

    rsr
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    The CBF was formed in 1991 (primarily) by Southern Baptists disenchanted with the direction of the convention.

    The Alliance of Baptists predates the CBF (1987) and was founded by more liberal Baptist churches who left the SBC. Although the impetus came from the south, it has now formed a Pacific coast association initially to serve former ABC-USA churches. The alliance is a much smaller group than the CBF.
     
  12. Squire Robertsson

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    This board is an independent one. The Webmaster set it up as an agora for Baptists of whatever stripe to gather and fellowship in.
     
  13. Squire Robertsson

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    I am copying and pasting from a thread on the Denominations Forum As you can see, the Northern Baptists took quite a different road than the Southern ones. Three major organizations rose directly from that body.
     
  14. Matt Black

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    Thanks again! One final qeustion - do people still regard the SBC as "in the grip of the fundamentalists"*/"adhering to good old conservative Biblical Baptist truths"*?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt

    *Delete as appropriate according to your theological stance!
     
  15. Matt Black

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    David, many thanks for pointing me to the Mainstream Baptist view. I visited their website and they're pretty much on all fours with where I'm at (and I think also without being presumptuous what a lot of UK Baptists think as well)...but I guess most of you are not surprised by that ;)

    YOurs in Christ

    Matt
     
  16. Haruo

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    My guess is that if you look around a bit more closely you may find other kinds of Baptists where you are, too. Harald, a BaptistBoard member from Finland, writes of being a "Dryland Baptist", and of being closely allied with the "Gospel Standard Baptists of England".

    I recall seeing a Religious Yearbook of the United States or whatever it's called from a couple decades back that listed 42 different brands of Baptists in the USA, and I'd lay money (if gambling weren't so unbaptistic) [​IMG] that they missed a few. One must never forget, inter alia, the Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists, few though they be in this evil generation. Adherents.com is a good place to look for odd Baptists.

    Haruo
    ABC/AWAB Aptist
     
  17. rsr

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    Not to mention the the Baptist Briders. Or the No-Hellers among the Primitive Baptists. You'd be surprised at the disparate places universalism crops up among Baptists.
     
  18. Speedpass

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    Telling the story of the SBC-CBF conflict is like telling the story of the Three Pigs. Each side has their own verbage and plot.
     
  19. David Cooke Jr

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    Only in this case the "hams" were also the wolves. ;)
     

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