23, 2007, the Georgia Baptist Convention newspaper,
The Christian Index (page 3) printed the text of a resolution to condemn many bloggers and asked for them to cease and repent.
Although they state in their first paragraph that
this is not an attempt to limit First Amendment freedom of speech, it is exact that!
Furthermore, the Resolution “resolves”
that those who want to be heard should only use the channel of “elected boards of trustees.”
What can church members do if the leadership will
not permit their issues to reach the “elected boards of trustees”?
This Resolution goes against the grain of what it
means to be a Berean-type Baptist with freewill to express his or her priesthood in Christ.For the first centuries church leaders in God’s Word were merely the administrators or “presidents”
who presided over the order of worship. The gifts of the Spirit such as teaching resided in the laity which was guided by
the pastor. It was much later before monarchial bishops gathered the gifts into the select few. In practice the leadership
of most Protestant churches today more closely resembles that of Roman Catholics where the laity is stripped of doctrinal
gifts and told to obey what was formerly only administrators.
While I also frown on “personal attacks”
I believe that believer-priests, like Jesus and the Apostle Paul, should attempt to overturn money-changers tables of false
doctrine through open dialog and that is being quenched.
RESOLUTION ON BLOGGING
submitted by Wayne
and William Harrell,
WHEREAS the American people have the distinct privilege
of freedom of speech as provided by our United States Constitution, and this resolution is not intended to limit that freedom
of speech we all value so much; and
WHEREAS responsible blogging can be a means of encouragement
of our people, but certain people use this tool for divisive and destructive rhetoric at the expense of peace among
the Brethren; and
WHEREAS blogging is also being used by some as a tool
for personal attacks among other Christian Brothers and Sisters, and this critical and divisive use promotes a negative
view of the Southern Baptist Convention in the eyes of the society we are striving to reach with the Gospel (James 3:6, 14),
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the messengers of this
convention oppose blogging when it is used to cause division and disharmony among the members of our Southern Baptist
Family (Proverbs -19; 1 Cor );
and since personal differences should not be dealt with in public view,
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that all personal attacks should
cease immediately (Proverbs -28; John -24);
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that we affirm the historical
method of administering our agencies and institutions through elected boards of trustees, and we call upon bloggers to cease
the critical second-guessing of these elected leaders; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all Georgia Baptists
respectfully request and expect that individuals that disrupt the fellowship through blogging repent and immediately
cease this activity and no longer cause disharmony for the advancement of their own personal opinions and agendas; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we set our eyes once again
on the fields to which we are called to labor, refusing to dishonor God with activities that militate against harmony and
GBC: James 3:6, 14
Comment: Compare James 2:1-12, especially 2:5. James
opposed respecting those who have money and making the poor sit in the back. Look at our churches today and see who the leadership
is and how many poor sit on church boards!!!
GBC Proverbs 6:16-19; 1 Cor
Comment: Those whose complaints are legitimate are
trying to rid the church of those who “have lying tongues, devise wicked schemes, are quick to rush into evil and are
false witnesses who pour out lies per Proverbs 6:16-19.Every day the news media
reports of corrupt church officials. Why act like they are in every church organization except your own? Paul said they would
be “fleecing the flock” in Acts -30.
GBC: 1 Cor .
Comment: Paul’s command to “have no divisions
among you” does not mean that we should accept what the church presently teaches and not hold it accountable to the
Word of God. Paul’s epistles were written to correct the errors of church leaders.
GBC: “All personal attacks should cease immediately.”
Comment: I agree. We should not attack persons, but
attack their false doctrines. Follow the example of the “woes” of Jesus and how Paul corrected doctrine.
GBC: Stop “second-guessing elected officials.”
Comment: This may be adequate if it only refers to
the way they administer the church because they were elected to do that. But does it mean we cannot be heard in matters of
doctrine? They do not make Bible doctrine for us. In fact Baptist statements of faith have always been fluid and have ebbed
back and forth for over 300 years. Should this now stop?
Baptists respectfully request”
Comment: Since when do the elected officials speak
for “all” Georgia Baptists?Most of those committee members are hand picked or approved by the pastor and those appointed by him. Baptists
have always been fiercely independent and do not like being told what to believe.
GBC: “Repent ... and ... immediately cease [divisive
say, “Give us a voice, a forum, an ear to let our grievances be heard. The BP does not even allow blogging or e-mail
contact after the articles it publishes. And the GC has not answered any of my requests for a committee hearing even thought
it was requested many times in writing. Why?
GBC: “activities that militate against harmony.”
Comment: That has always been the ignored cry of the
majority against change. If this were biblical ---
(1) Christians would not have left Judaism.
(2) Greek Orthodox would not have left Catholicism.
(3) Protestants would not have left Catholicism.
(4) Luther, Calvin, Zwingli would have done nothing
but bite their tongues.
(5) Methodists would not have left Anglicanism.
(6) Baptists would not have left Lutheranism and Presbyterianism
All of the above “militated against harmony”
because they believed that their cause was right and biblical.