http://www.abpnews.com/www/1342.article SBC too liberal? Baptist group ousts Ohio college for SBC ties By Hannah Elliott Published: September 6, 2006 CEDARVILLE, Ohio (ABP) -- Although the Southern Baptist Convention has established itself as a stalwart among conservatives, one group of Baptists thinks it's not conservative enough. The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches recently broke ties with Cedarville University, a school affiliated with the association since 1953, according to an Aug. 29 Christianity Today article. The move came at the association's national conference, when GARBC messengers ratified a dissolution statement by a vote of 311 to 283. Although GARBC no longer approves partner ministries, it has allowed Cedarville to have displays at the denomination's annual conferences and provided the school with funds for a scholarship program. Then, in 2002, the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, which is affiliated with the national Southern Baptist Convention, approved a relationship with Cedarville. GARBC then declined Cedarville’s application to display at its 2005 national conference, and the rift emerged. At the June GARBC annual meeting, officials said Southern Baptists permit the presence and ministry of liberals within the national convention, an offense warranting "biblical separation." “In an age of religious inclusivism and worldliness, I urge that we recommit ourselves and our churches, as we have repeatedly done throughout our fellowship’s history, to biblical separation -- from sin and error and unto holiness and truth,” said John Greening, the GARBC national representative. Greening commended Southern Baptists for their “well-publicized conservative resurgence” but said the move toward conservative theology was only “a good step forward, though it did not win unanimous support.” He criticized the SBC for honoring Billy Graham, saying there was “no one in evangelical circles who has done more to blur the lines of distinction between evangelicals and Catholics than Billy Graham.” Greening said the debate over Cedarville is an issue of “primary versus secondary separation” -- that is, should the school be held responsible for its theology alone or for that of its friends, such as Southern Baptists. “Cedarville’s announced partnership has led to increasing involvement with the SBC as evidenced by speakers, board members, SBC meetings hosted at the school, and the president attending an SBC church,” he said. “That is a broader set of parameters than those of the GARBC.” “There are individual SBC churches that are endeavoring to take a stand for truth and a historic Baptist position,” he said. “Notwithstanding, it is obvious the SBC is a work in progress.” He pointed to the election of Frank Page as new president of the SBC as cause for concern, since Page reportedly acknowledged the practice of tongues. With 1,359 churches worldwide, the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches is one Baptist organization that embraces the term "fundamentalist." It has no centralized authority that governs the actions of its churches, which are fiercely independent. Each church decides what to support, so many GARBC churches view the SBC's Cooperative Program, or centralized denominational budget, with suspicion. “In their attitudes toward convention machinery and toward people who deny fundamental doctrines, the SBC conservatives and the GARBC are basically incompatible,” said Kevin Bauder, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis. “Furthermore, if pressed to change its position, each side would quickly insist that its view was too important to abandon.” Cedarville University, with more than 3,000 students, insists the new relationship with Ohio Baptists signifies no change from its historical direction. A statement on the school’s web site says Cedarville has no official ties to the SBC. Neither the GARBC nor the SBC gives the school any financial support, according to the site.