Monday, June 4, 2012

The Hostile Takeover of the SBC

I got in trouble teaching adult Sunday School one day last year.

I go to a conservative, loving and gracious, Spirit-filled, country church. The father-in-law of the pastor used to be a Southern Baptist preacher. And he remembers the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) of the good old days. I mentioned, in passing, the trouble that the SBC is going through. He was right there to defend his old SBC.

But what he was defending was the SBC that he knew, that noble institution that was actually worth a rip before the Fundamentalist Takeover, before Paige Patterson and others like him got their fleshly mitts onto the reigns of power.

My friend Hannah, of Emotional Abuse and Your Faith (in my blog list) linked a book over at Egalitarian Christian Alliance (in my link junction).
Hannah had this to say:

"My Uncle was a missionary for the SBC, and all my cousins were born in different countries.  He retired and returned to the states about the time all this junk started.

"I remember him telling us that if he was starting over now - he would have found a new church to work with.  He was appalled at all of it.  

"I knew how loyal he was, and it shocked me to hear about it.  We were not SBC, so where a bit removed at that point.  My parents grew up Southern Baptist, but once Dad got transferred to the north?  lol I remember the church telling us do NOT go to those 'northern' baptists!"

Here is the link to the book:
The Fundamentalist Takeover in the Southern Baptist Convention

I'm thinking of sending the link to my pastor's father-in-law. What do you think?


shadowspring said...

I think the SBC os the 60s and 70s is why I have an understanding of God as loving, gracious and sincerely caring for and about every person. I think the SBC of the 60s and 70s is where I learned the concept that while the Bible is a record of people who experienced divine interventions of one kind or another, Jesus WAS God. Everything Jesus said or did, God was revealed.

The supremacy of Jesus and his mission of love and reconciliation WAS the message I got from my grandma's church (60s SBC) and the Jesus movement of the 70s. I learned about the trinity, the indwelling presence of God in all who ask, and the unquestionable truth that the old covenant was OVER and DONE.

Fundamentalism was making inroads into my life already by the late 70s, and was used to spiritually abuse me as a teen. When I returned to church in the early 80s, the fundamentalist influence was starting to invade the entire American church spectrum. But the SBC of my early youth was NOT fundamentalist.

It was during the 80s that I first heard a preacher say that evolution was a lie, or that playing fantasy games or reading fantasy literature would invite demons into your life. I remember hearing as a younger child that specifics of creation was a mystery and that the Bible account was about man's relationship to God.

It wasn't until the 80s that people began demanding the flood was a world wide phenomenon. I remember talking about in Sunday school at the Jesus movement church in the 70s and my teacher said that it was probably oral tradition handed down, and flood waters covering everything probably meant everything the original story teller knew existed. I mean Bronze Age people did not know about other continents even. They knew what they could travel to and return to tell others that these places existed.

But in the 80s all that changed. The catch phrase "God said it; I believe it; that settles it." was popular at the charismatic church I attended. All other Christians were hapless liberals who didn't really obey God. I was surprised when I finally attended a Wesleyan church, that people believed pretty much the same thing all over except for the speaking in tongues part.

What was the common influence? The infiltration of fundamentalism across demoninational boundaries. Fundamentalism, with its doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, is a malignant cancer destroying the church in America.

But maybe the institutional church "needs killing", as a good redneck might say. I don't plan on returning anytime soon.

Mara Reid said...

You are right. The infiltration is all over and sometimes I don't know what to do. Run and hide or stay and fight. So I just blog along and compare notes with others who are seeing the same things.