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Embracing creedalism?

 

Is it just me or have we Southern Baptists embraced creedalism to the point that we no longer value the time-honored concept of the autonomy of the local church?

I am concerned that we have at least one generation of young ministers whose mentors have failed to teach this important detail about our core beliefs as Southern Baptists. Perhaps Martin Niemoller’s famous quotation should be re-visited by the SBC, a variant of which follows:

“First they came for the Communists,

and I didn’t speak up

because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn’t speak up

because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,

and I didn’t speak up

because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,

and by that time there was no one

left to speak up for me.”

We have been dazzled by the gifted oratory of SBC leadership (especially those berating the straw man “liberal”) for years only to suffer the consequences of religiosity and politics in our beloved denomination which has culminated in an acknowledged dilemma. That denominational crisis is evidenced in fewer baptisms and lowered cooperative giving.

Maybe the question should not be about what those extremists on either side of the Baptist battle may or may not have believed or done, but what would Jesus have us do – now.

I believe that if we followed His leadership, there would be no time to lay blame or excommunicate or disenfranchise others who disagree with us – that is, if we were standing shoulder to shoulder laboring together in those fields which are white to harvest.