Sunday, May 08, 2005

Portents of Things to Come

Associated Baptist Press reports that a Baptist church in Waynesville, North Carolina dismissed members for disagreeing with the pastor's political views. The report also says,

In October, one month prior to the November 2004 presidential election, Chandler (the pastor) announced in a sermon that anyone who was supporting John Kerry should repent or resign from the church, Lowe said, and then the pastor offered to hold the door for them to leave.


We can expect to read a lot more stories likes this if Walter Jones' bill to politicize churches, the so-called "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act," passes congress.

Dr. Mike Kear at the Emmaus blog has an insightful response to this pastor as "political boss" model of pastoral leadership. He said, "Freaky. For some strange reason I thought it was Jesus we were supposed to follow."

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

You took longer to post comments on this than I thought you would. I figured you would jump right on this. Now I suppose you will paint all Southern Baptist Churches with the same brush, when in reality it may be an isolated case. What does that matter though, as it is grease for the fire.

Greek Shadow said...

Anon, No this does not paint all Southern Baptist Churches. This is an extreme example, but in the the Churches here in Albuquerque those who open their mouths in Sunday School with contrary opinions, such as the stupidity of premelinial dispensationalism, letting people know you actuall belong to the Teacher's Union, and are against Bush's Leave no Child a Dime attempt to destroy the public schools, and that in less than one month after I made the mistake of saying while a music minister that I was a Democrat I was fired, and that was eighteen years ago when Ronald Reagan was President. There is a prevalent mood of ostracism, and pariah response to issues that have nothing to do with Baptist beliefs, tradition, or Christianity. Those churches that turned so partisanly Republican voted in Gary Johnson as Governor for eight years in New Mexico. He illegally ushered in the lottery, and casino gambling, but by the time the courts could right his blantan misuse of power it was a fait acompli and they let the ruining of countless lives in state continue. That same good Christian Republican governor became the mouth peice of the Lindrith Foundation leading the charge for legalizing Marijuana, Heroin and Cocaine. But those of us that wanted adequate school funding, and supported a good Baptist Governor that had vetoed gambling legislation for four years were treated like the anti-christ. Anyone with a sense of empiricism, pragmatism and plain old horse sense would know that the churches in this state have been played for patsys by the Republican Party, but they are too damn dumb to breath.

Anonymous said...

greek shadow, I wonder why you were discussing political issues at church. It seems to be the opinion of Bruce and some others here, that Christians have no business being involved in politics and I agree to the extent that I wonder why you were discussing the mentioned issues. I feel that our mission while attending church, is worship, praise and hearing the Word preached so that we CAN go out into the WORLD and make a difference. I hear every election where Democrats are showing up in churches and I do not hear the outcry from the media. I am a former Democrat, now independent, and it seems onesided that there is no outcry when Democrats show up in churches. I don't want either side to be there, except to worship, but there should be some consistency when the criticism comes.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Anonymous,

I've never seen you criticize a Republican. You are always quick to defend them.

Your critique might carry more weight if you practiced what you preach.

Anonymous said...

Bruce, I don't have a blogspot putting my every opinion there. You don't know me, or you would know that I will stand against the same things no matter the political affiliation. Likewise, I have never read your criticism of Democrats or their positions. This site needs to be renames Democrat headquarters.

Greek Shadow said...

Anon, I have never gone to any church and brought the issue of politics up first. I will respond in a Sunday School class if it is brought up. The purpose of those settings is to share ideas, and I will share mine. Since you seem to disagree with so much of what is said on this site, I wonder why you bother to visit it? Is heckeling what turns you on?

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to see what turns you and Bruce and SBC bashers on. Is that you enjoy heckling? Are oposing opinions not welcome here? If you thought you were having a discussion at Sunday school, why would you object to one here at a secular site?

Greek Shadow said...

Bruce,
I struck the match and was getting ready to light the flame, but decided it wasn't worth the ogygen that would be spent.

TammyJo58 said...

Hi!

Hopefully, this is not a "portent of things to come," however, I have conversed with many Christians on the web before and after the election, and I can tell you that shades of this pastor's attitude are alive and well in a lot of churches and they are not all Southern Baptist Churches. It became extremely uncomfortable in my own Church the closer it got to election time. From the pulpit our Pastor would say, "I can't tell you who to vote for right now, but if you'll meet me at the door after the service, I'll be glad to share my thought's with you." I think there is something inherently sacriligious about someone preaching politics in Sunday School or from the pulpit. I find it equally disturbing that someone would go to church to find out who to vote for. God and His Son are taken right out of the picture when Churches are used in this manner. As far as I'm concerned, the only advice that my pastor should give during election time is for every Christian to read their Bible, pray, and listen the the leading of the Holy Spirit. It's almost like they don't want you to pray for what God wants, but for what they want.

Now, I'm sure there are some Churches out there where politics never come up. They are too busy doing the Lord's work. But, I don't believe they are the majority - and this is the greatest abomination of all.

God Bless,
TammyJo58

Anonymous said...

tammyjo58, You sound like a sincere person and I am only addressing you to bring up another side to what you said. When one stops to think what issues now classified as political, consist of that concerns the church, homosexuals marrying, abortion to name a couple; are these not moral issues? The preachers I have heard speak on these moral issues are then being called political by the people who are political. If a church does not warn people about what the Bible says is sin, they may as well take the sign from over the church and just be a social club or place to gather. On the other hand, take notice of all the Democrats that get in the pulpit and down right campaign and where is the outcry. I have said before that I am a former Democrat, raised by two Democrat parents, married into Democrat affiliated home and on and on I could go, but first and foremost I am a Christian and my loyalty is not to a political party that has lost its values.

TammyJo58 said...

Hi!

There is nothing wrong with preaching against abortion and homosexuality. I am not for either of those. My problem stems from the fact that in many churches, these two issues are preached exclusively, especially during election season. THAT is political. Why preach to us repeatedly about these issues, when most of us are in agreement that they are bad? The motive there is political. There are no sermons about how decisions made by the government adversly effect people, there are no sermons about being good stewards of the Earth, there are no sermons about EVERYONE being a child of God - no matter what country they are from. It's as if man has decided which sins God is the most against, and that's how you should vote. I'm sorry, that's not biblical. That's not Christian. My pastor, God Bless him, has demonstrated a remarkable ability to preach from any scripture in the Bible, and ultimately bring it all back to abortion, homosexuality, and the evils of the ACLU. It is amazing!

When this is the focus of our Church, we turn our backs on "the least of these," and I have heard Christians justify this by intimating that you'll only be poor if you choose to be, or anyone who wants a job can get a job, etc. We are not willing or we are unable to take "the least of these" into our own homes to feed and clothe, yet we resent every penny we pay in taxes when the government attempts to do the job Christians should be doing. That is not Christian. It's not even biblical.

Got to go.

God Bless,
TammyJo58

Anonymous said...

The fact that most of us know that homosexual marriage and abortion is wrong is not in evidence by the way a lot of church members are voting and that is the point. What good does it do to know something is wrong if you still vote for the individuals and party that publicly and proudly proclaim that they will protect and preserve these issues? As for the government not being concerned with the needs of the poor, I think this Nation is the most generous in the world and statistics have shown that Christians are the best givers to charities; and look at how generous have been the gifts in times of disasters. I don't think we can minimize that. The church is told to take care of the poor, orphans and widows but the Bible does not ask the government to do that. I still think you seem like a person who can take some debate, so thanks for your comments. I imagine I am quite a few years older than you and in earlier times, I was more reluctant to look at things squarely but life has a way of teaching some lessons.