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Blog // Thoughts
May 12, 2005

Baptist Theology 101

Here’s a story that has moved fast and a lesson in getting it very wrong. A few days back Kyle Potter drew my attention to a story about the pastor of East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina, demanding repentance or removal of church members who supported the Democrats in the last US election. Later, […]

Here’s a story that has moved fast and a lesson in getting it very wrong. A few days back Kyle Potter drew my attention to a story about the pastor of East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina, demanding repentance or removal of church members who supported the Democrats in the last US election. Later, a deacon and eight other members were struck from the church role. It seems this politicalisation of church membership went all the way back to the election campaign itself. The latest development is, the pastor has quit claiming it was all a “great misunderstanding.”

Well it seems the only “great misunderstanding” was on the part of the pastor himself (i’d like to make a few more comments about this pastor, but will wait till more information is available). Somewhere along the line he seems to have either missed or chosen to willfully ignore the key idea of liberty of consicence. The heart of this idea is that our consicence is accountable only to God, not to human authorities, be they church or state. It is from this, that baptists came to support the idea of religious liberty for all.

Sadly it has become something of a fashion amongst the fundamentalists who hide under baptist clothing to ignore or disavow liberty of conscience, even to the point of calling it a”liberal” heresy. But to do so and claim to be a baptist is knavish and misleading. Change your name, or change your game.

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f 18 years ago

I’ve just seem that mainstream baptist has a great discussion here and emmaus theory has some more comments here.

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