May 02, 2007

Lack of Clarity Among Southern Baptists?

There is a spirited debate going on these days among Southern Baptists that does not involve homosexuality. There really isn't much debate within one of the largest religious denominations in the United States--Southern Baptist theology's view of homosexuality as a sin is very deeply entrenched and not really up for discussion.

According to this report from the Christian Post, however, the denomination does not have all the answers:

Southern Baptist pastors opened debate on speaking in tongues at a weekend conference where a charismatic Baptist sought to educate his fellow believers on the Holy Spirit.

After affirming his own conviction that he has been gifted with a private prayer language, Pastor Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church said Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit it celebrates, are largely overlooked in Baptist churches, according to the Associated Baptist Press. And the lack of awareness is a loss for Baptists, he added.

While the majority of Southern Baptist leaders do not practice or accept charismatic practices, Baptists are split on the issue and SBC president Frank Page also recognized and let stand the varying interpretations within the denomination.

"[B]ecause I do believe there are varying interpretations, I believe it is okay to believe one way or the other," said Page, months after the chapel sermon.

For the record, this gift of the Holy Spirit, the ability to speak/pray in tounges, is something I received a couple of years ago shortly after I joined Believers Covenant Fellowship. I was taught about it by Apostle Dale and Pastor Brenda. It was an adjustment for me since I had never experienced it. The first time Pastor Brenda took me to church and used her prayer language (with no warning), I almost wet my pants. It's a gift that most of our congregation has and uses as part of their worship.

"Two people using the same methods of interpretation can look at the same text and come to completely opposite conclusions. When someone says, 'I'm speaking in tongues and it is from the Holy Spirit,' some people believe them and other people don't, and there's the difference," said Bart Barber of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas, as he presented the semi-cessationist viewpoint (belief that some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church), according to Baptist Press.

It's okay for people to interpret biblical text differently and neither one of them becoming a heretic or heathen? Stop the presses for that news flash coming from a Southern Baptist speaker.

Now if only they would open their minds a little farther and reconsider the "clobber passages" they have been abusing GLBT people with for so long.

No comments:

Post a Comment