Last week, many of you may have come across the story of a Baptist preacher, one Allyson/Daniel Robinson, who, speaking to the Alliance of Baptists, claimed an “angel of reason” helped him to see he was really a woman and that “the Bible is wrong,” etc.
Yeah, I bet Eve also found that “angel of reason” pretty convincing when it was hanging out of the tree.
Oh, and also he considers “Job, Gautama Buddha, Joan of Arc, Rumi and Johnny Cash to be [his] spiritual predecessors far more than Augustine, Aquinas or Barth.”
But before you throw your hands up (or just throw up) and say even the Baptists are going to Hell in a handbasket, let me give you a little history.
Back in the late 70’s and 80’s, conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention had had enough of liberals and moderates controlling key areas of the denomination. The conservatives therefore systematically and successfully worked to regain control of the denomination through the 80’s and into the 90’s.
I remember the “moderates” and liberals in the SBC insisting that they were not liberal, and that it was those Fundamentalists who were the extremists.
Time has exposed that deception. (And perhaps it was largely self-deception, but it was deception nonetheless.) One of the first dissident groups to form, in 1987 when it had became clear the conservatives were in control of the SBC, was the Alliance of Baptists. Yes, the same group hosting Allyson/Daniel Robinson.
To give another sample of the Alliance of Baptists, look at affiliate Pullen Memorial Baptist Church of Raleigh, now pastored by a lesbian. Back in my North Carolina days, I remember their pastor back then, W. W. Finlater could be relied upon to run in front of the cameras to oppose just about every good thing Ronald Reagan was doing, including standing up to the Soviets. A good friend and I dubbed Pullen a “Communist Baptist church.” If memory serves me right, they also ordained a rabidly pro-abortion woman.
I could go on and on about that “church” but read for yourself. Trust me, it gets worse. And Pullen was a member church of the Southern Baptist Convention of long standing. That was one reason I ruled out the SBC when I was searching for a church back in 1988. A denomination with that little church discipline was not for me. Happily, the SBC finally ejected Pullen in 1992.
Back to the big picture, episodes such as Robinson’s speech remind one that the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention was needful and praiseworthy . . . and that those opponents claiming to be just a bunch of reasonable moderates were hardly that. And losing many of them was good for the Southern Baptists. Just look at what the leavers have become – just another bunch of libchurchers.
At times, history works out well.