Southern Baptists

I recently read an article by a pastor of an “Independent Baptist” church. In that article he made the
statement that Southern Baptist pastors are told what to preach every Sunday. I re-read the sentence
because I thought I had surely mis-read it. Nope. He believed that the Southern Baptist Convention
provided us pastors with sermons to preach every Sunday. I have no idea why he believed that enough
to make such a definitive statement…which, by the way, is totally untrue.
But I began to wonder what other misconceptions about Southern Baptists are “out there”. Based on
news stories and magazine articles I have discovered a few.
First, we are not “Christian Nationalists”. I dislike that term but it has been widely discussed and
attributed to any Christian who votes conservatively. An article moaned that over 75% of Christians
voted for Republicans. Really? That surprises folks? I would have thought the percentages to be higher.
I have very conservative views on abortion, homosexuality, transgender ideology, welfare, and family.
The Democratic Party thinks vastly different than I do. Why would I vote Democrat? That doesn’t make
me one of the hatred “Christian Nationalists”.
Secondly, we haven’t been hiding or covering up sexual abuse and pedophilia for years. A writer for a
magazine in New York said of our denomination “that church leaders covered up sexual assaults and
pedophilia by clergy and other church employees”. There are indeed a few cases where in a SBC
institution a sexual assault was dismissed or “covered up” but all the attention was focused on local
churches and what to do to make them accountable. The media touted a “secret” list of over 300 cases
of sexual impropriety in local churches over the last twenty years. Not once, in any of those cases, was
there any attempt of a cover-up. Nor did any church knowingly recommend a pastor or worker, who
had committed a sexual offense, to another church. In fact, all the cases mentioned were matters of
public record where the offenders had been dealt with lawfully.
It has been said that we Southern Baptists “March in lockstep with theological dogma”. Indeed, there
are things that the convention of churches decree as being “not in friendly cooperation” with the SBC.
You’ve probably read where some churches were “disfellowshipped”. Most for ordaining women as
pastors and one for allowing someone credibly accused as a sexual offender to preach there. But in
individual Southern Baptist churches you will find a variety of worship styles, organization, and activities.
There are SBC churches that focus on the end times and the millennium while others rarely mention it.
Some churches do not like having Santa Claus involved with the church at Christmas time. Some
churches have him come visit every year. Some churches observe Ash Wednesday others ignore it
completely. There are differences in local SBC churches.
Say good things about the Savior and His church here on the Bluff.
Bro. Tony