Thursday, June 12, 2008

Southern Baptist Convention to Sit Out 2008 Election...

Yesterday, one report pointed out that that there wasn't an election-related gathering of the GOP for Baptist pastors across the street from the SBC annual meeting. Personally, I see this as one of the more positive things that did not occur in Indianapolis. The Southern Baptist Convention should be an issues focused body and no one's forgone conclusion as far as political party affiliation. Even if I do not completely agree with the fine points/issues of Dr. Richard Land's Four Modern Horsemen of the Apocalypse, at least it wasn't presented on the stage of a political candidate (or political party).

I, for one, do not appreciate the Southern Baptist Convention's association with the election of the current administrative leadership in Washington. As an individual, I helped elect the Bush administration...and frankly, I haven't been as disappointed with White House leadership since the Carter administration. I firmly believe that each and every Southern Baptist should actively participate in the political process, however, as a convention/organization I strongly believe that we should avoid entanglement with party affiliations and focus on candidate positions on the issues...there is a difference. There is a BIG difference.

To take a position that says the GOP = Southern Baptist is offensive. To take a position that says to be a Democrat = Southern Baptist is equally offensive. If one asks why our church attendance, memberships, and convention attendance numbers are dwindling, consider the divisive nature (for an individual) to either of these two offensive positions.

There is confusion in SBC circles about John McCain, although this article indicates that many convention attendees will vote for McCain because he is a Republican and perceived to be less liberal than Obama. I share some of that wary feeling...wondering if I should vote for McCain in spite of the fact that he is on the Republican ticket. My suspicion is that confusion will lead to apathy among SBC voters and they will sit this one out. That is a shame, because there are issues that cross political party lines that will require quality politicians from both political parties to address... and those parties need to hear from individual (and refugee) Baptists.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your view on this issue. I have been a Southern Baptist for over 20 years now, and I am very uneasy with the conversations that have been presented in the church for the past eight years. I don't believe that politics should be pressed on church members, nor do I believe that church members should be pressured to have their vote dictated to them. This current campaign has been the worse yet. I receive so many negative emails on a daily basis, and they do come from the church members, and strong convention supporters. It has not made me reluctant to vote, but just the reverse. I study these emails thoroughly, and then do my research to decide if these are just options or the truth. I will be a much more advised voter this election, not because I am forced to vote any certain way, but because I am just much more personally "intuned" in this election. It is my choice and my vote! I will not stay away from the poles, but what I have stayed away from are some of the church functions. I am not allowing the church leaders to influence me, one way or another. I also don't want to be "booted out" because I might would disagree with them!

No Longer Bound said...

Having been a member of the SBC for the majority of my saved life, I wonder just how much longer the passionate Believers in the SBC will tolerate the slow and growing trend of political fronts among our institutions. The Church should really take a lot more responsibility for what those who represent her in administrative duties say on behalf of her.

Those are my two cents.

Much love,