Thursday, June 15, 2006

Recent SBC events

The SBC convention in Greensboro, NC has elected Dr. Frank Page as the SBC President which sounds like a good thing. In particular, I hope he can steer the SBC back towards the middle-ground within evangelicalism rather than out to the theological right. I really, really, really liked this quote from him (HT: CT): "I believe in the Word of God," he said. "I am just not mad about it. Too long Baptists have been known for what we are against. Please let us tell you what we are for." To my SBC friends, I hope you are listening to this. My old theology professor Jim Gibson (a Wheaton and Dallas grad) said that the difference between an Evangelical and a Fundamentalist is that a Fundamentalist is more excited about what he's against (anti-NIV, anti-charismatic, anti-ecumenical, anti-alcohol etc) while an Evangelical is more interested in what he is for, i.e. gospel proclamation, God's glory, Spirit led holiness, kingdom building missions, discipleship and so forth.

On the other hand, I read over at RNS this report:

Southern Baptist delegates meeting here on Wednesday (June 14) approved a resolution that declared their “total opposition” to alcohol use in this country. The statement was amended to specifically urge that no one be appointed to Southern Baptist-related trustee boards who is “a user of alcoholic beverages.” While one pastor pointed to biblical references to wine as a reason not to pass the statement, others said it was important to take a stand on the biblical admonition against “the very appearance of evil.”

I come from a family and a non-Christian lifestyle where alcohol abuse or abuse caused by alcohol was rampant, but I do not find in Scripture any calls for the complete and total abstination from alchol for Christian leaders. No doubt getting drunk is ruled out but a glass of cab sav at dinner with a pasta cabonara is heavenly. Watch out for my future post: "What wine would Jesus drink?" Wolf Blass cab sav yellow label of course! Folks, read Rom 14-15 and 1 Cor 8, alcohol is adiaphora. But those who enjoy a drink should exercise their convictions loving so as not to offend the weaker brother.


Luther's Stein said...

Cab Sav . . . a red which compliments those passover meals!

Matthew D. Montonini said...

Amen, Mike.
I have no reservations concerning alchohol in moderation and I don't even drink.
I remember sitting in on a Sunday school lesson that taught total abstinence from alcohol due to the fact that Jesus and his disciples drank unfermented wine. Yep, you guessed it grape juice! The comment was followed up by the rather authoritative claim that this discovery was based on the Greek! Oh oinos! I think maybe the teacher was the one tipping a few!
It just amazes me how far one will go to make a personal conviction a biblical one.

Anonymous said...

I am really saddened about SBC's decision/commitment for total abstinence on alcohol. This was not a wise decision to make. After all, there's no scriptural basis for such conviction.

As a committed southern baptist member, I'd like to say we stress a little too much over this issue.

Ian said...

That's why they say that the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest presbyterian denomination in the world!
My question is, what right does a Baptist denomination have to arbitrate in supposedly autonomous churches on an issue that has no biblical warrant?
It would appear that your hopes have been dashed.
After watching Waking Ned Divine last night, it'll be Jameson for me!

KMBC Pastor said...

I share your appreciation for Page's quote, but I also share your concern about the continuing nature of the SBC. The alcohol-related statement is just one example that if the SBC is going to move back to center there is still much work to be done.

thunderbeard said...

i don't think that the sbc will be moving back to center any time soon. and, to be honest, i would prefer that to be the case. however, there is a difference between holding conservative theological beliefs and being complete jackasses. let's just hope that there is just as much theological (stress on the THEOLOGICAL, not necessarily other cultural aspects) conservatism and much less jackassery in the sbc. as i said, it's one thing to be a conservative evangelical that is engaging the culture, it's another thing to be a fundamentalist unwilling to admit to any form of ethnocentricity.

DCM said...

Why do you always take two Baptists with you when you go fishing?

Because if you took one he would drink all your beer!

C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

Well not being a Southern Baptist or even a son of a Southern Baptist I am sort of surprised they are getting back into the "rules" game, thought they had out grown that aspect of their heritage.

BTW, passover wine isn't Cab Sav is it? I thought it was more like the stuff they guys down on Skid Road carry in their overcoats. I drank a bottle of it once made me sick as a dog. Too much sugar!

thunderbeard said...

well, as long as southern baptists remaind SOUTHERN baptists, then they'll never be out of the "rules" game. i attended the undergrad school at southern seminary, and the overwhelming push to make students (particularly future pastors) fit a certain cultural mold was so intense that i had to leave. it was much more than not drinking alcoholic beverages and wearing suits in the pulpit.

i've had discussions with many other bible college/seminary students, and we normally talk about how restrictive the places were. but then the other person will say, "yeah, there were so many rules. you couldn't do anything without breaking a rule."

to which i would reply, "well, aside from a curfew and not drinking, there weren't many rules at boyce (the undergrad school at southern). it was mainly the entire single-minded and close-minded culture that was created there."

and speaking of southern and abstinence from alcohol, i'm pretty sure that boyce himself (one of the founders of the sbc and southern seminary) had much affection for good wine.

exegetical fallacy said...

I wonder how many SBC authorities, who promoted this rule, are overweight and overpaid?