December 18, 2017

Conservative resurgence stalled?

The Eclectic Web – SBC edition

Two articles regarding the Southern Baptist Convention indicate that no action will be taken about a recent controversy over New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California. The pastor of this church recently announced a change of views regarding homosexuality when his son announced that he was a homosexual.

This preconvention article – Southern Baptists not expected to address gay-affirming congregation – said that “Sources within the SBC say they do not expect the denomination to respond to, reprimand, or remove New Heart from fellowship during their annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland this week.” The rationale is unclear, but some are saying that the church is not considered a full-fledged church but a mission church. This justifies no action? Another excuse offered was that no one in California was complaining, just pastors or churches from places like Mississippi and Arkansas. It is hard to see that as a reason.

A later ABP article – SBC passes on discipline of gay-tolerant church – quoted Al Mohler as expecting action to be taken. “I am confident that the Southern Baptist Convention will act in accordance with its own convictions, confession of faith and constitution when messengers to the convention gather next week in Baltimore,” Mohler predicted.

Nevertheless, again according to RBP, delegates had difficulty getting the issue to the floor.

Former SBC vice president Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., stepped forward at the first opportunity to make a motion requesting convention officers to represent convention messengers in visiting discipline on the church for violating a constitutional ban on congregations “which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior.”

An order of business committee determined Drake’s motion was not in order, and the matter wasn’t reintroduced in subsequent business sessions.

Interesting that the matter was laid aside on a procedural problem. Wiley Drake made one more attempt to get something done, but appears to have received a rebuff.

Toward the end of the convention, Drake approached a microphone during a report by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeking advice about the proper method for convention messengers to discipline a wayward church.

Seminary President Danny Akin replied that discipline is a matter for the local church, but Southern Baptists can rest assured that graduates coming out of their six seminaries are committed to the traditional view of marriage as the union of a husband and wife.

Perhaps there is more to the story, but if the facts stand as reported in these two articles, one is left to wonder at the strength of the so-called “Conservative Resurgence” in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Publication of links in The Eclectic Web feature does not imply endorsement of the viewpoint or contents of any of the websites linked. The links are provided as a matter of interest to Christians.

The Eclectic Web is compiled by Don Johnson. Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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