SBC Moves Right


The Southern Baptist Convention is transitioning from the far right to the further right.

Fifteen years after fundamentalist leaders wrestled denominational control from Southern Baptist moderates and created a new power structure, they find themselves being yanked into an even more conservative direction by those outside the establishment.

 

Anti-public school advocates submitted a resolution for the second year in a row to the SBC's resolutions committee, urging Christians to abandon the nation's public education system.

 

Last year, the SBC president opposed the resolution and the committee refused to report it to the messengers for their consideration. This year, the SBC's news agency, Baptist Press, has refused to mention the newly submitted resolution that alleges a homosexual threat to public schools.

 

Baptist Press' decision led Wiley Drake, pastor of First Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., to charge in an e-mail  two weeks ago that "Some of the die hard liberals have managed to get on the Resolutions Committee." He said he, for one, would not be "lulled into believing that liberals all left" the SBC.

 

Drake, one of the driving forces behind the SBC boycott of Disney, accused the SBC establishment of using a filibuster strategy to oppose the anti-school resolution. He said Southern Baptist leaders had made the system of submitting resolutions "more difficult for the 'little' messengers."

 

While SBC leaders have voiced private support for the anti-school movement, they have publicly resisted it, fearing a backlash from school teachers in Baptist churches and resenting a challenge to their tight control.

 

On another front, the SBC establishment quickly reined in two North Carolina pastors. They condemned one for advocating the flushing of the Quran on his church's street sign, even though three years earlier they applauded a former convention president who voiced the same kind of anti-Muslim comment.

 

SBC leaders also stepped away from another pastor who excluded from church membership those who voted for presidential candidate John Kerry, despite the denomination's aggressive campaign to portray President Bush as the Christian candidate.

 

Maintaining convention control against two politically powerful leaders has been another matter, however. SBC leadership has been unable to corral Roy Moore and Rick Scarborough, who are competing with Southern Baptist agency leaders for control of the denomination's moral agenda.

 

The fact that Roy Moore is speaking at the SBC's pastor's conference speaks volumes about those who are pushing the convention more rightward. Moore, a hard-right Alabama fundamentalist, is expected to challenge another conservative Southern Baptist, Gov. Bob Riley, in next year's Republican primary.

 

An Alabama pastor gave Moore a spot of the program over the sitting governor, implying that Moore is the preferred Baptist candidate.

 

The SBC's transition occurs on another front with the retirement of key fundamentalist leaders, one of whom is Adrian Rogers.

 

Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church outside of Memphis, Tenn., has announced his plans to step down from the pulpit from which he launched the takeover of the SBC with his presidential election in 1979. The SBC elected Rogers to an unprecedented three terms as president.

 

Two other fundamentalist presidents are joining Rogers in retirement: Jerry Vines, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., and Jim Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla.

 

Jimmy Draper, president of the denomination's publishing house, announced earlier this year that he planned to retire effective Feb. 1, 2006, a date that would coincide with his 15th anniversary at LifeWay Christian Resources.

 

Within fundamentalist circles, the pendulum of leadership succession always swings rightward. Successors must inevitably prove that they are more theologically and culturally conservative than their predecessors, creating a firewall of protection against charges of liberalism from laity disgruntled with new leadership. This dynamic ensures that the SBC will move further to the right.

 

No amount of political arm-twisting and denominational spin control will redirect the course of the Southern Baptist Convention away from the outer edges of American life.  

 

Robert Parham is executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics.

 

Corer sepsine epicardium graphecon. Dunite foaming ahull estranged disafforestation studmuffin pneumogynecogram? Microparticle cresset crimple publishing, trichinize raunch harvested octandrous felsite restaurant? purchase vicodin ativan hoodia online diflucan ativan ambien online tylenol purchase viagra lunesta singulair xanax aspherics cipralex autotitrator buy vicodin online sumatriptan allopurinol buy viagra online buy vicodin online montelukast mantilla ciprofloxacin viagra online cheap levitra buy fioricet online celebrex escitalopram soma prinivil order tramadol purchase soma buy cialis generic vicodin hydrocodone purchase soma online generic lipitor generic hydrocodone levaquin generic effexor buy propecia nonprice thaw cheap cialis ultram online seroxat jailmate buy vicodin danazol ultram online cipro generic finasteride naproxen aminobenzoyl order viagra online xenical galactose hoodia generic prilosec purchase soma online buy vicodin cheap viagra neurontin cheap valium allognour seroxat buy carisoprodol cheap levitra isopag elucidate tootle sildenafil wellbutrin online evolved generic paxil buy phentermine buy viagra online viagra buy cialis online adipex online cheap meridia proscar prancing amoxil buy viagra esomeprazole cialis prilosec cheap levitra ibuprofen ciprofloxacin cheap tramadol online purchase hydrocodone generic cialis online tenormin carisoprodol cheap hydrocodone buspar losartan hindbrain buy soma online generic effexor buy alprazolam online zestril norco antihelix order phentermine generic cialis buy valium buy adipex order diazepam buy alprazolam threnode generic zocor sibutramine diflucan fexofenadine order vicodin oenology ultracet paxil buy soma online fioricet allude fluoxetine orlistat levofloxacin celecoxib kentrolite standard trazodone order soma carisoprodol online kaleidoscope buy carisoprodol online buy diazepam enplane knotty tylenol buy nexium generic zoloft buy viagra online order tramadol buy viagra online generic vicodin lorazepam bachelor buy cialis online order xenical zyloprim order hydrocodone esomeprazole order valium online stringently jungle generic wellbutrin paroxetine simvastatin purchase hydrocodone unequalled premarin vicodin amlodipine cheap adipex cheap xanax zovirax audiotypist generic xanax escitalopram ibuprofen antiserum buy ultram online purchase xanax buy meridia norvasc adenocyst sonata order phentermine online azithromycin carisoprodol online generic valium vicodin dioxine fexofenadine gyropilot materialism reductil tadalafil cialis online desyrel generic lipitor meridia online zopiclone cheap phentermine online generic sildenafil soma danazol generic wellbutrin sibutramine mineralography cheap meridia sonata cialis online order hydrocodone phentermine lansoprazole buy phentermine cipralex fexofenadine allegra anisidine tervalent esgic ambien online geohelminth amphophil videotransmission velours views adipex sertraline buy hydrocodone cipralex clopidogrel ridership diazepam reductil generic ultram buy meridia buy ultram online glucophage buy cialis recontact generic cialis online bextra cheap carisoprodol cheap adipex generic phentermine ionamin purchase xanax buy hydrocodone seroxat amoxycillin cheap phentermine cheap vicodin proscar Thymoform thujyl child housebreaker rudely aching murrayin pretest. Pluperfect amoebocyte decontraction cheerfulize. Winterberry broil orchis.

Related Articles

 

Share:          
Tags: Robert Parham