Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Public Enemy #2 ??

Will any of you believe me if I say that I am sincerely praying for the folks over at the Baptist General Convention of Texas in these dark days for them? There are more than enough lost people in Texas to go around, and for as long as the BGCT continues to proclaim the gospel, I sincerely hope that they will be a robust agent in that cause. I have profound theological and methodological differences with them, but that does not prevent me from wanting to feel sympathy with them in their current plight. Especially since I am so happy in the SBTC, to the degree that we are not in conflict over national SBC issues I am content to let the past remain in the past and to enjoy some (hopefully mutual) magnanimity with folks over in the BGCT.

But sometimes it is difficult to do so. When Marv Knox (see here) can't write a simple editorial calling for a rebuilding of trust after "Valleygate" without invoking the obligatory "evil fundamentalists" mantra right in the opening paragraphs, I recognize that he is slapping my sympathy in the face. Now really, Marv, what do fundamentalists have to do with this? Or is it just that, whenever the BGCT is having problems, they have to drag out the specter of "evil fundamentalists" to rally the base?

Perhaps it is encouraging to learn, at long last, that my belief in inerrancy, in accountability to the churches, and in our return from the brink of liberalism (aka "fundamentalism" to Marv) "is no longer the BGCT's gravest threat." Does this mean that I have to return my Darth Vader outfit? Am I no longer a part of the evil empire? I guess I'll have to learn to be content with only being public enemy #2.

So, all this makes it more difficult to be sympathetic. But I resolve to be sympathetic anyway. I will not pile on. Unlike Bro. Marv, I will not use this sad set of events as an occasion to slap at one another and pursue other agendas. The BGCT's leadership didn't ask for these problems. None of us are immune to embezzlers and charlatans. Especially, I have to feel sympathy for the thousands of faithful Texas Baptists whose contributions were misappropriated. Ultimately, although I cannot give a good text for it, my heart wants to believe that there is some special treatment that God reserves for those who defraud His church. Certainly the members churches of the BGCT, but even much of the leadership, are definitely the victims of all of this.

Hopefully, at such a dark hour, even the sympathy of public enemy #2 will be welcome down in Dallas.

After all, surely we all know who the real enemy is.

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