BLOGGING CONDEMNED BY
GEORGIA BAPTIST LEADERS
On November 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 precisely that!
the Resolution “resolves” that those who want to be heard should only use the channel of “elected boards
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 Bray, pastor
Beulah Baptist Church, Douglasville
and William Harrell, pastor
Abilene Baptist Church, Martinez
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
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 6:16-19; 1 Cor 1:10); and since personal differences should not be dealt with in public view,
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that all personal attacks should cease immediately
(Proverbs 17:27-28; John 17:21-24); and
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 good will.
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 1:10
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
GBC: 1 Cor 1:10.
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.
“second-guessing elected officials.”
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?
GBC: “all Georgia 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 blogging.]
Comment: I 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.
GBC: “activities that militate against harmony.”
Comment: That has always been the ignored cry of the majority against
change. If this were biblical ---
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
(5) Methodists would
not have left Anglicanism.
Baptists would not have left Lutheranism and Presbyterianism
All of the above “militated against harmony” because they believed that their cause was right and