Monday, August 21, 2006

Pick-and-Choose Inclusivism

Does anyone else notice that the loudest voices calling for inclusiveness in the SBC today only call for the inclusion of people like themselves? Here's a brief and incomplete history of those with whom the SBC has parted company over the years. Those of you who are super-astute in Baptist history will have to forgive my omissions and consolidations as an effort to be concise:

  1. The Northern Baptist Convention (presently, the American Baptist Churches)
  2. The Primitive/Hardshell/Anti-mission Baptists
  3. The Associational/Landmark Baptists
  4. The Independent/Fundamentalist Baptists
  5. The Modernistic/CBF Baptists
Wade Burleson and other left-sympathizing Southern Baptists call for our reconciliation with the Modernistic/CBF Baptists. For them, this issue and only this issue is the defining mark and epitome of forgiveness, Christian unity, hot-hearted missionary sentiment for the entire world, etc. For them, all theological issues except the core doctrines of the gospel must be set aside if they pose any obstruction to reunity with this group.

But what about the other groups? Why is there no heart for reconciliation with them? If this movement toward reconciliation really represents a desire for Christian unity and not just a sympathy toward liberalism, then why no constructive suggestion, plan, expression of support, or call for repentance offered toward those Baptists and other Christians who are to the RIGHT of Southern Baptists?

Indeed, why is there no encouraging comment toward the amazing and unprecedented recent efforts of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention toward reconciliation with the BMA? Talk about a "deafening silence"! In fact, the conservative resurgence of the Southern Baptist Convention has not, entirely, been a movement that has brought about exclusion. It has demonstrably brought about healing with some of the Associational/Landmark Baptists and some of the Independent/Fundamentalist Baptists. These groups, of course, are objects of scorn and derision from the very people who pride themselves upon being "inclusive" and "forgiving" in their dealings with other Christians.

The message from those who have made Landmarkism and conservatism their whipping boys is not so difficult to discern: Let us reconcile with everyone except those who dare to differ at some point that our new "inclusivists" actually hold dear.

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