Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fundamentals of Hate

Kudos to Tony Cartledge for his outstanding coverage of the latest rift within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Cartledge calls attention to a blog by Oklahoma Fundamentalist pastor Wade Burleson who says,

Our convention hated liberalism twenty years ago and we expelled it from our midst, but at this hour we better hate legalism and Fundamentalism as much as we did the former liberalism or we will find ourselves so fractured and fragmented that we no longer have the ability to cooperate about anything, including missions.

While Burelson calls for conservatives to sheath their swords, he continues to use the sabre-rattling rhetoric that draws them out. Burleson still talks about hating "liberalism," and now he's added hating "legalism" and "Fundamentalism." The thread tying these all together is a heart that still condones "hate." That's what's killing the SBC. Hatemongering and the rhetoric of warfare always leads to division and death.

The bleeding won't stop until Baptists like Burleson stop competing to be seen as most "conservative" in the eyes of other Baptists and start competing to be seen as most "Christ-like" in the eyes of their Savior. You'll know that they've turned the corner when you stop hearing them scapegoat "liberals," and start hearing them talk about loving all their neighbors.

Sooner or later you'd think these guys would realize that "liberal" is a relative term. If recognizing "context" wasn't so foreign to their way of thinking, they might not be so slow in catching on.

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