A week ago, David Gushee wrote an essay bemoaning the absence of Southern Baptists from the Baptist World Alliance. He chided "a generation of wounded "exes" for "their public airing of the hurt and anger that resulted from the SBC controversy" and called on "wounded ex-Southern Baptists to renounce SBC bashing, and to seek the Spirit's power to forgive."
What David Gushee doesn't realize is that forgiving Southern Baptists for leaving the Baptist World Alliance is relatively easy for many of us. We are constantly praying "father forgive them, they know not what they do." We don't seek the Spirit's power to forgive them, we seek it to forgive the myopia of those, like Gushee, who insist that unity is more important to Baptists than moral integrity.
Southern Baptist churches are full of people who know that the fundamentalists controlling their Convention have treated God's servants unjustly, have infused secular politics within their churches, and have shattered world peace by championing unjust, preventive wars. Like Gushee, they think unity is more important than integrity. They are quick to forgive unrepentant offenders for injuries caused to others and tireless in their efforts to silence the outcry and protest of those who are injured. For nearly forty years now, their self-righteous piety has been like a glove protecting and concealing the brass-knuckled fist of the neighborhood bully who takes delight in beating senseless anyone who gets in his way.
Unity on Southern Baptist terms, and those are the only terms by which unity can be achieved, is the last thing that the world needs today. Southern Baptists have completely undermined the integrity of the Baptist witness in the eyes of the world.
More than anything else, the world needs to hear that all Baptists are not like Southern Baptists. They need to know that all Baptists are not champions for a violent clash between Christian and Islamic civilizations. They need to know that all Baptists are not advocates for unjust, pre-emptive wars. They need to know that all Baptists do not condone torture and brutal interrogations. They need to know that all Baptists do not support secret renditions and indefinite imprisonment without opportunity for adjudication. They need to know that some Baptists put their loyalty to Christ and his Kingdom high above any patriotic allegiance to their flawed and fallible nations.
Today, there is no way to maintain moral integrity as a Baptist without distinguishing yourself from Southern Baptists. That may look like "SBC bashing" to some. To others, it looks like an apology to the world on behalf of Baptists and a call for all Christians to repent.