Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SBC's conduct is "shameful," says columnist

Kudos to columnist and radio host Roland Martin!

In a CNN column today, Martin rebuked the Southern Baptist Convention for its shameful action of pulling Gospel Today from its bookstore racks because of the magazine’s cover story on female pastors.

Martin’s wife is a female pastor and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. So Martin knows what he’s talking about. It’s obviously not the first time he’s seen this sort of hubris from the male-dominated Southern Baptist Convention.

I had the honor of being a guest on Martin’s radio talk show about a year ago. It was right after the story broke about a Chicago-area Southern Baptist church that knowingly put a convicted sex offender in the pulpit. I remember being impressed with how knowledgeable Martin was of Southern Baptist ways, and now that I know about his wife’s seminary training, it helps to explain why.

At the time, I was grateful to Martin for his willingness to use the power of his voice to shine light on the problem of Baptist clergy sex abuse. Now once again, we see Roland Martin using his media power to confront Baptist leaders with the nonsensical hypocrisy of their action in pulling the magazine.

Martin wonders about whether Lifeway might now cull through other publications to pull from their shelves. It’s a good question and one that I posed in my prior blog posting.

If Lifeway is so concerned about the doctrinal purity of their bookshelves, why don't they pull every book authored by former Southern Baptist president Paige Patterson and mega-church pastor Steve Gaines? Why should Baptist bookstores give any credence to these men as moral leaders?

Surely, Baptist leaders who cover for and keep quiet about clergy sex abuse are more of an affront to Baptist belief than smiling female pastors on the cover of a magazine.


Jeri said...

Amen Christa! I'm still a patriarchist, at least officially. But the SBC's paranoid frenzy to pull those publications while at the same time they posture helplessness about the unspeakable sins committed in SBC pulpits is just one more affront to God Himself.

oc said...

My my my. The SBC was quick to jump on a this percieved sin, weren't they? But they aren't very quick to deal with something like sexual abuse perpetrated by their own SBC ministers,(nor do they even have the heart to admit that there is a problem). But this little episode at least shows the Convention's priorities.

I guess showing female pastors on the front page of a magazine is a much bigger sin and image breaker than allowing "ministers" to sexually abuse their congregations. Admitting that there are women SBC pastors somehow seems to be the bigger sin.


Well, at least they are consistent in their attempt to solve the sin problem. They shoved this "sin" under the counter too. Hide it, and maybe no one will see it; and maybe it will just go away.

Thanks SBC for teaching us by example how we should deal with our sins. Hide it and deny it. I guess repentence is no longer in vogue. It's much more convenient than what the Bible tells me.

Christa Brown said...

Actually, one of the things I found most amazing about this story was that, as best I can tell, the women pastors on the cover of the magazine weren't even SBC pastors. They were pastors in other faith groups. So, the SBC honchos weren't really looking out to protect the SBC's image - they were looking out to protect.... what??? Their act of hiding the magazines under the counter is so over-the-top senseless that I still just don't even quite get it. As you say, Jeri... a "paranoid frenzy."

oc said...

It IS "paranoid frenzy". And that magazine cover reminds them that there are SBC churches with women pastors, whether they like it or not. And they don't.

I have an idea for the women- fearing SBC. Only allow men to be in the SBC hierarchy and in the churches. And go ahead and follow it out to the logical conclusion. Make the the whole thing a "women haters man club". Then wait a month or two, and see what happens to the local churches, and then the state conventions, and then the SBC. And try to find someone to teach Sunday School to your 3rd grader.

And SBC being male only, it might reduce the incidents of clergy sexual abuse. Maybe.

It seems to me that's what's going on with the SBC is a bit like rape. It's really not about the sex, it's about power and control.

Christa Brown said...

Ya know... interesting thought, oc. Maybe they could change the "Southern" part to "Sons-only". So, instead of "SBC" being for "Southern Baptist Convention", it could be for the "Sons-only Baptist Convention."

oc said...

Yes Christa, but "Sons of" what?
Or who?

It breaks my heart Christa. I don't know how we got to this point. I don't how we started preying on children and degrading women and not caring for one another anymore. I'm so very ashamed.

I promise you younger people, it wasn't always this way.

There was a time when it was all about Jesus. There were no politics. There were no personal agendas. There were no power plays. No human control. And we lived as close as we could to the Sermon on the Mount. And we thought that was enough.
Because we loved Jesus, and we loved one another. And it showed, with no effort.

I'm ashamed of what it's become today.
But I do know this much. Jesus is no less because of it. It is man who attempts to distort Jesus. Though religion fails us, He does not. He's the same yesterday as He is today. You just might have to go to a different church to hear it and understand what it really means.

oc said...

He didn't change. We did. I'm sorry for what we left you.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Kudo's to Roland. I am so glad there are some other voices out there.

The SBC should be ashamed. And all SBC'ers should do what my father and I are doing: Not ONE penny to the SBC or even to the local association. It is all designated to our local church. WE are finding more and more people taking this route. And I have been surprised to find that many seniors are doing this...


Christa Brown said...

Since most SBC-affiliated churches give some percentage of their offering dollars to the Cooperative Program (which funds the national and state conventions - buys those big buildings - pays their big salaries, etc.), I sometimes encourage people to save up all their tithe dollars for targeted giving to designated mission programs such as Lottie Moon, etc. - and perhaps sometimes for non-church-sponsored feed-the-hungry types of programs, etc.

oc said...

Yeah. There it is. The only thing they will understand. The almighty Buck. I'm in "surreal" land right now. I'm still dealing and reeling with the fact that Jesus has become a business and a political figure. I don't think the Father would ever be a partner to any of that crap.
And the Holy Spirit cries out. "No, Jesus is Lord." He is not of any part of a man made religion nor any image or any other invention of man. Has any of them even studied the Gospels? Has anyone of them even looked at the Beatitudes? The Sermon on the Mount? Matthew chapters 5 through 7?

How can anyone even look at those chapters, and treat others in a worldly way? I'm not understanding, or maybe not wanting to. Because I can't bring myself to believe that the SBC has lost the heart of the Gospel. But they are making me a believer with every step they take, or the steps they don't take.

Just sayin'.

Just sayin'.

Phyllis Gregory said...

I totally agree with what you said, "It is man who attempts to distort Jesus. Though religion fails us, He does not. He's the same yesterday as He is today."

I totally disagree with, "There was a time when it was all about Jesus. There were no politics. There were no personal agendas. There were no power plays. No human control. And we lived as close as we could to the Sermon on the Mount. And we thought that was enough. Because we loved Jesus, and we loved one another. And it showed, with no effort."

Sexual abuse and power plays have always been in the church. Only in the past few years have people had the courage to talk about those things done to them -- to realize that just because someone is a deacon, preacher, or SS teacher does not make them a decent human being.

oc said...

You may be right. I may just be wishing it wasn't so.


Jeri said...

Hey OC, I think you are right. But it looks like the Lord is knocking down some of the favorite idols of the SBC and the corrupt conservatives. Stocks are tanking, the nincompoopery of George Bush, golden child of the corrupt religious right, is being hung on a pike, and our money is pretty worthless today. We'll all be poor together if the economy goes bust. But cheer up. Poverty will bug the pompous religious leaders a whole lot more than it will bug ordinary people.

Phyllis Gregory said...


I used to like George Bush even though I do think he has screwed up greatly this term. I am not part of the "corrupt religious right". Don't lump us all together unless you know us all. I personally think the "extreme" anything is not good -- whether it is right or left. I don't trust any of them.

Jeri said...

Well, it was up to the religious right to maintain the integrity of the name Christian. But true Christian integrity was traded off. I don't think there's any room to complain if the Winnower starts his winnowing. Like I said, we'll all be poor together. But it will bug the lovers of affluence the most.