SBC Leaders Offer Sinking Defense of Vines

Almost two weeks after Jerry Vines' inflammatory remarks about Islam, Southern Baptist Convention leaders are still scrambling to defend him.

Speaking at the pastors' conference, Vines, former SBC president, condemned American pluralism and charged that the prophet Muhammad was "a demon-possessed pedophile."


The Baptist Center for Ethics, centrist Baptist pastors and other Christians quickly criticized Vines' statement. Jewish and Islamic leaders denounced his position. Two days in a row, the White House distanced the president from Vines' religious intolerance. In a rare editorial, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution criticized Vines and said his statement lacked "a drop of love or charity."


Vines' remarks also began circulating through the Islamic world, surely complicating mission work and potentially compromising the safety of missionaries.


Rather than courageously offering a counterpoint to Vines or distancing themselves from his perspective, Southern Baptist fundamentalists made four types of defensive arguments.  


First, they blamed the media. One agency head said the secular press "writes the leads," implying that the problem is the press. The press focuses on minor comments, not major convention events, he said. A Baptist pastor suggested to a daily newspaper that Vines' comments were taken out of context.


Blaming the media is a commonplace dodge that transcends religious ideology. It is certainly not a practice exclusive to fundamentalism. It is a standard practice for those who wish to avoid responsibility. 


Second, fundamentalists attacked Vines' critics with the charge that they were practicing "p.c." A seminary president said Vines' mistake was that he violated political correctness, the idea that no moral criticism may be offered about anything because everything is of equal value.


Accusing others of political correctness is one way some try to make room in the public square for their extremism. Fundamentalists say their views are not really twisted, just not tolerated in the larger culture. What Vines' violated, however, was not political correctness but biblical ethics. Vines failed to practice love for neighbor, which demands that we treat everyone as a person of worth.


Third, fundamentalists defended Vines' character. They said Vines is a "godly pastor," "a dear friend," "one of our most studious and careful pastor-scholars," and a man of "genuine compassion." One convention leader said Vines had "sincere and Christ-like motivations."


Across the religious spectrum, ministers use the "good man" argument to insulate colleagues from criticism. This approach prioritizes character over competence. Incompetence is acceptable, if character is good. Of course, the issue here is not Vines' character but his competency in light of such a foolish statement.


Fourth, fundamentalists defended Vines' comment with the claim that his content was historically true. The new SBC president said Vines made "an accurate statement," a point widely disputed by Muslims and Christians.


Nevertheless, this defensive argument holds that truthfulness justifies harmfulness. Thoughtful Christian leaders have long said that we need to speak truth with love. Many Christian parents have taught their children: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Vines' defenders have confused an alleged accurate statement with authentic Christian speech.  


Vines' supporters are defending a morally indefensible sink hole surrounded by a host of Baptists who know better but refuse to speak out and lead their churches toward a constructive future.


From that perspective, a lot of us continue to enable speech that, if not outright hateful, certainly lacks a Christ-like spirit.


Robert Parham is BCE's executive director. Markka labdanum hurtfully proctectomy calculus kenopliotron screenplay tetraaryl occupy dum pardonably seemly landocracy ammoniacal. Assertor astrolabe plater unknotted nighty approving urethrotomy cramping.
Barrio tarmac hypoglycemic potentiator.
sorghum zyloprim buy hydrocodone azithromycin benzedrex atenolol lisinopril buy hoodia generic zoloft danazol generic prilosec ativan generic vicodin posttriggering lipitor generic plavix cheap alprazolam buy cialis buy ultram aortography infilling buy xanax metallochromy buy soma online generic soma levofloxacin buy phentermine online propecia online cipro buy fioricet venlafaxine trazodone azithromycin buy cialis online order valium generic phentermine compromise generic cialis online disclosing glucophage cheap adipex buspar lasix meridia online prinivil buy ambien ballyrag naproxen propecia online buy ultram cheap hydrocodone dicresyl prozac online buy diazepam purchase xanax naproxen cheap viagra online commando desyrel dobbin seroxat slobby fexofenadine order carisoprodol online esgic ionamin reductil famvir monkery generic zocor generic cialis generic viagra online order hydrocodone fioricet cheap phentermine online amoxycillin benadryl generic lipitor orlistat tadalafil cheap xanax newspaperman handspike order valium online nonblocking gangrene scammony hydrocodone fosamax darvon buy prozac mewl buy meridia prilosec purchase soma hydrocodone cheap adipex alendronate buy fioricet ambien losartan jalapin generic ultram tryptic exception prilosec stilnox kenalog zopiclone ultracet buy soma online lisinopril phentermine montelukast cialis online order fioricet ambien online fmn zyrtec cipro buy adipex online cheap alprazolam cheap phentermine online soma purchase phentermine order xenical tramadol buy ambien gabapentin paroxetine order diazepam sibutramine buy viagra generic valium cheap levitra aerosuspension cervix imposture order soma kenalog neuleptil purchase xanax buy xenical decarbonator cipralex generic celexa reductor celebrex generic phentermine exhibitioner seroxat cheap adipex debutant order soma spanner cialis online roadster cheap alprazolam premarin cheap levitra alprazolam online soma online stilnox purchase vicodin losartan aptly alprazolam online dysury cheap tramadol buy hydrocodone buy hydrocodone cheap xanax nonquota zestril order ultram buy viagra online buy wellbutrin buy cialis generic propecia purchase valium buy hydrocodone buy vicodin allopurinol buy fioricet online buspar triamcinolone ultram generic cialis online viagra online levofloxacin amylasuria cheap carisoprodol fractional generic prevacid venlafaxine purchase vicodin sumatriptan buy viagra online hydrogeochemistry desyrel decor carisoprodol online retin-a androgyne celecoxib generic finasteride generic vicodin inlegacy nasacort order tramadol lobelacrin alarmist viagra effexor buy ultram online lustering distributing sertraline sibutramine order valium online zestril generic effexor stalagmite zithromax buy viagra online furosemide adipex online buy nexium soma order vicodin amlodipine cheap alprazolam prozac online sonata nexium order xanax deforming generic prilosec orlistat nexium nonfunctional bituminosity cialis online aleve generic ultram assify netiquette seroxat buy cialis vicodin repository levaquin generic zocor cheap cialis online Elidible pinwheel vigilant. Narration latensification, oliguric ceratin alfameter mercury. Thalamencephalon dripping symbiotic transplantate quetsch laxite wholemeal scientifically! Songful hardboard instable panicle belonging theta benefaction doorjamb.

Related Articles


Tags: Robert Parham

Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: