June 16, 2004

SBC, Christians, and Public Schools

The resolution is being debated right now.

88% of young people raised in the church leave and never come back. Aparantly, that is totally the fault of public schools. Christian parents can aparantly only have anything to do with their kids' education if their kids are in private schools or homeschools. Funny -- my parents were very involved throughout my public education.

The law cannot keep Christian teachers from answering questions about their faith in school. The law cannot keep kids from praying in school. The law should not prevent kids from sharing their faith in the school -- when it does, we need to fight it. The law can only prevent forced participation in religious activities.

Parents are responsible for teaching their children. Parents need to be involved -- wherever their kids go to school. Many parents do not have the background, the time, or the ability to teach their kids themselves, and many more lack the resources to place their kids in private schools. Parents -- teach your kids. Teach them to share Christ in their schools. Teach them their rights as Christians in public schools. Fight for their rights in public schools. Teach them morality at home.

We talk about kids in high school not understanding or believing the fundamentals of the faith. Whose responsibility is that? The church and the parents. If kids don't understand the basics of Christianity, then I want to know what the youth leader is doing. I want to know what the parents are doing.

Disciple your kids. Train them. But if you want to make a difference in the lives of kids, Christian and non, get involved in public education. Make a difference.

If you are lead to homeschool your kids, I support you -- in fact, I am seriously thinking about doing the same. If you have your kids in private school, I commend you. If your kids are in public schools, I pray for you. I pary that you will have the strength to do as God would have you do, and that you will be involved in your child's education. Actually, I pray that reguardless of where you send your kids -- be involved in their education.

(BTW -- to one of the messengers who spoke: acid does not neutralize salt. Salt neutralizes acid.)

{Update}
The ammendment failed. The resolution concerning the secularization of our culture passed, but without the 'pull out of public schools' ammendment.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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June 15, 2004

Why Did The SBC Leave the BWA?


Nicene Theology, Neo Theo(b)log, and MSNBC have commented on this so far -- I'll link to others as I find them, and edit this post.

I never thought I'd end up an SBC apologist. Even after I joind a Southern Baptist church, I didn't think I'd ever end up defending them. But I do. I'm one of the "resident SBC experts" on the Fundamentalist Forums. And I'm getting ready to jump into the fray again over the SBC vote to leave the Baptist World Alliance.


The BWA has, the SBC alleges, theological differences which make it necessary for the convention to withdraw fellowship. I have talked about separation before -- this is not the second, third, and fourth degree separation practiced by modern fundamentalists. This is Scriptural separation from organizations or individuals who differ on theological basics. Among the differences are:



  • Questioning the truthfulness of Scripture

  • Not affirming the necessity of a conscious faith in Christ for salvation



Other issues, such as promoting women preachers and the criticism of the SBC's foreign missions board, are minor things for me. The BWA has issued a statement affirming the necessity for Christ alone in salvation, but that is not binding on member groups. Nothing that I was able to find on the BWA web site addressed the concerns about Scripture at all. There is also concern about the membership of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) -- an offshoot of the SBC, made up of former SBC members who are upset with the conservative direction that the convention is taking.

After the SBC has fought for decades to eliminate theological liberals and moderates from the convention, it seems silly to me to expect the Southern Baptists to suddenly embrace fellowship with these same people. The vote to leave the BWA is a signal that the fight is over, and that there is no interest in the leadership of the convention to re-fight these battles in another forum. There is considerable ammounts of ill-will between the SBC and the CBF -- should we expect these two groups to work together?

Neo Theo(b)log quotes Alistair McGrath that "One of the purposes of doctrine is to divide." We need to make sure that the doctrine that we divide over is important. Faith in Christ as the sole means of salvation is such a doctrine. The infalibility of Scripture is such a doctrine. I would argue if ordination of women is sufficient for division, although I do not believe that it is biblical. I know that criticism of missions boards isn't grounds for separation -- it's not a doctrinal difference. But if someone was openly deriding the ministry that you were involved in, one of the most distinctive ministries that you offer, would you want to support them financially? Would you want to be associated with them?

Neither would the Southern Baptist Convention.

{edit} Take a look here for the Baptist Press story about the vote. The convention has been discussing it's differences with the BWA for a year, and hasn't been able to resolve things. This isn't a spur of the moment decision, folks. This is a 100 year association that has ended. That doesn't happen overnight.

For a non-American view of the subject, click here.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:52 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Watch the SBC Online!

Go here to view streaming video of the procedings!

I think this is a great resource not ONLY for Southern Baptists who didn't get to go (like me) but for people who don't know how the convention works and are curious.

I plan on going either next year or the year after. I was able to go to the convention in Atlanta, and it was fascinating to me -- that was my first year of being a Southern Baptist. That was when I learned that a lot I had been told before about the convention was wrong. Of course, I learned that some of what I had been told was right, and found things I didn't like that nobody had told me about.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 02:22 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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