Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Baptists Overcoming Geographical Divisions

Ethics Daily reports that First Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia has left the Georgia Baptist Convention and joined the Baptist General Association of Virginia.

The Georgia Convention is dominated by Fundamentalists. The Virginia Convention is led by Moderates.

Baptist congregations are independent and autonomous. They are free to affiliate with any association or convention of their choosing.

In times past, geographical proximity was paramount in the configuration of the partnerships in which Baptist congregations found fellowship, support and cooperated to support missions, benevolent institutions, and educational institutions.

Today, Southern Baptists are reconfiguring and theological affinity is replacing geographical proximity as the primary determinant in the formation of denominational partnerships.

This is good news for Mainstream, moderate Baptists and bad news for Fundamentalist, Southern Baptists.

Fundamentalism in Baptist life reached its apex in 1989. It has been in decline ever since. It's demise will continue to be slow and painful, both for Baptists and for the nation and world that the Fundamentalists are trying to dominate rather than serving to redeem.

5 comments:

jtr said...

Thanks for the link about the SBC "takeover". You often mention it but I was ignorant of the details. I find some of these changes in the SBC quite disturbing.

What happened in 1989 that was the apex of SBC fundamentalism and what caused its fall?

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...
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Dr. Bruce Prescott said...
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Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

jtr,

1989 was the year that the Fundamentalists elected their 10th consecutive Fundamentalist president of the SBC -- which meant that literally every trustee of every institution and agency of the SBC had been appointed by a Fundamentalist president. It was a clean sweep -- not a single moderate, mainstream Baptist had a place on any board or agency.

In 1990 moderates formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and our churches began leaving the SBC.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you really enjoy using the word "fundamentalist"...it's useful fodder for your rhetoric.

You are obviously still bitter over changes that have taken place in the SBC. There were two choices for conservative Baptists to make in the late 70's, 80's and 90's: stand on the rock of truth or float downstream with what is now called the "mainstream." We don't even have to bring up the "L" word. Truth stands alone.