Southern Baptists in their final death throes?


albert-mohlerDr. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ken., says the Southern Baptist Convention is in danger of collapse.

The Associated Press reported today on a recent Mohler speech on the campus of the seminary. He told students, faculty and staff that Southern Baptists must either change and grow or die out.

“The Southern Baptist Convention is either going to become younger or dead. Here we have a big issue; we’re losing at least two-thirds of our young people somewhere along the line between adolescence and adulthood,” The AP reported Mohler saying. “A generation that has reduced religion and Christianity to what is called moralistic, therapeutic deism — believing that God basically wants them to do well and to do right and to be happy.”

The impending death of the Southern Baptist Convention should come as no surprise. For at least the past decade, if not two, the denomination has been on a death march as they forget, ignore and erase any semblance of traditional Baptist principles, faith or heritage from its ranks.

Eugene Wagner writes at Ex-Gay Watch:

Centuries ago, the Baptist church was founded on the principle of freedom of conscience. According to Baptist belief, individual Christians are fully competent to study the Bible for themselves and to seek guidance from God (the “priesthood of the believer“); consequently, Baptists of all stripes strongly opposed the adoption of any formal creeds, save perhaps “Ain’t nobody but Jesus going to tell me what to believe.” To this day, many Baptist churches maintain this commitment to the autonomy of the local church and the individual believer.

Since 2000, however, the Southern Baptist Church has departed sharply from its roots. Although the SBC’s updated Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M) statement is not formally labeled a creed, all references to individual conscience have either been eliminated or redefined to effectively outlaw dissent on any matter outlined in the BF&M. Southern Baptist congregations must now strictly interpret the Bible according to the positions detailed in the BF&M, and the Bible itself has been elevated to a position once reserved for Christ alone. Churches that even appear to be deviating from the party line may be subject to disciplinary hearings.

Mohler isn’t innocent in the campaign to erase traditional Baptist principles and understandings of faith. Again, Ex-Gay Watch

Again, Wagner reports:

In light of this major shift, it comes as little surprise when Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the driving forces behind the changes made to the BF&M, claims to speak infallibly on behalf of all true Christians, as he does in his most recent essay on the issue of homosexuality.

In Mohler’s mind, any Christian who disagrees with his claims of “truth” on this issue is a “liberal” who has “surrender[ed]… to the homosexual agenda” and “redefined compassion.” That many Christians who take the Bible seriously have reached different conclusions than his – or that allowing for such disagreement would be fully in keeping with Baptist tradition – is simply not an allowable possibility.

[…]

Within such a legalistic mindset, the Holy Spirit is treated as powerless to guide individual believers, and certainly does not have permission to act in any way that might appear to deviate from what the Bible (as clarified by the BF&M) “clearly” says on any matter of consequence. “God’s standards” are so perfectly understood that any evidence that might cause His followers to reconsider their stance on an issue can never be anything more than the lies of the devil, and even the most sincere change of heart can be nothing but “surrender” and “capitulation.”

Without strict conformity and unquestioning obedience, the entire church would quickly be in danger of apostasy, according to Mohler. By such standards, the founders of the Baptist church would have been heretics of the worst sort.

Take a moment to remember that this is the same Albert Mohler who has advocated the use of eugenics and pre-natal genetic manipulation to stop the birth of LGBT people (and here is some great video of a sit-in after those heinous remarks were made).

With radically blind leaders such as Mohler, the Southern Baptist Convention’s death will likely come sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, independent and free-thinking Baptist churches adhering to the faith’s founding principles will continue to thrive and grow in their understanding of faith, creation and Creator.


Comments
7 Responses to “Southern Baptists in their final death throes?”
  1. Randy says:

    I have my hammer, and some nails. I am ready to help nail that SBC coffin shut. And I am a graduate of that seminary in Louisville. Oops, am I directly attacking the SBC?

  2. Mike J Baron says:

    Consider the source.

  3. Billy Glover says:

    I just happened to have read an issue of The pathways, publication of the Missouri Baptist Convention, which discusses disagreements among Baptists over several issues, which proves that the “church” is not folowing the original thinking-certainly separation of church and state. It is important for the lgbt community/movement to read and “hear” what is being said by these people.

  4. Jarred says:

    I remember that XGW article. It really is a shame that the SBC has become increasingly authoritarian in its approach to both theology and morals over the years. It’s also unfortunate, but inevitable, that the denomination suffers decline as a result.

  5. Jarred says:

    I’d like to draw attention to another statement Mohler made in the article:

    If we stand by the scriptures, we’re going to have to say hard things to a culture around us that will consider us backward, Albert Mohler, Jr.unloving, intolerant.

    This statement demonstrates quite clearly the Mohler still doesn’t get it. What he’s talking about is continuing the recent trend of SBC to be moralistic rather than religious. In fact, I’d say there’s a good bit of unintentional irony — at least I assume it’s unintentional — in Mohler’s criticism of the current generation as making religion into something that’s moralistic.

    If Mohler wants to stand by scriptures — which may leave some wondering why he isn’t standing Christ instead (bibliolatry?) — then I suggest he quits focusing on telling everyone what bad people they are and why and instead focus on the good news of salvation and redemption. And while he’s at it, he might want to try teaching his church to live out the love described in 1 Cor. 13 and being the kind of people Christ declared blessed in the Sermon on the Mount.

    But instead, we see a man dedicated to ensuring that his denomination continues in the behaviors that have sullied the reputation of Christianity, according to the Pew Forum research done in the recent past.

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