Thursday, March 27, 2008

Skating on Thin Ice

The Baptist Messenger, mouth piece of the baptist general convention of Oklahoma is navigating some perilous waters. In the latest issue they publish at least two articles telling their readers why they should not vote for Barack Obama. I'm not really sure about the IRS rules in regard to church owned newsletters. I would think that since the BM is an agency of and wholly owned by the bgcO the same rules would apply to it that apply to churches. But maybe not. Someone really ought to tell the IRS about it and let them decide.

One article with a front page lead-in is "EDITORIAL: A gay bully pulpit?"
This staff-written editorial opens with the broad statement,

"If Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has his way, he will use the Presidency as a bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws."

They also make the common mistake of assuming that since a resolution passed at the annual meeting is the voice of Oklahoma Baptists with the statement, "Oklahoma Baptists do not agree with Sen. Obama on this issue." That is not consistent with baptist theology or ecclesiology but is common practice. Resolutions passed at an annual meeting represent only the majority opinion of those who vote at the meeting. These are non-binding resolutions and have absolutely no direct effect on the beliefs and practices of individual baptists or baptist churches. No one can speak for Oklahoma baptists because each Oklahoma baptist can speak for her or himself. The only proof I need of this is that, at least for the moment, I am an Oklahoma baptist and I don't agree.

The other article is just plain wrong for attacking Obama's view of scripture. For some reason that article does not show up in their online version so I will have to synopsize it here and make corrections after I get home tonight if I happen to mis-state any of the facts. Anyway it accuses the Senator of not believing the whole bible is inspired because he said he would prefer to act according to the Sermon on the Mount rather than an obscure passage in Romans when he was dealing with the homosexual issue. Obama is wrong because "real" Christians believe all the bible is inspired and every word is just as authoritative as any other word. I can't really do it justice from memory so I will do a follow-up tomorrow.

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