Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Baptist woes in FW

(Note, I don't normally comment on non-Catholic or specifically Baptist churches, but my buddy Professor X normally does, especially on stuff in our backyard. I was going to email this to him but I can't seem to find his addy anywhere so I'm posting on it as best I can. I'm sure he'll have better, more insightful commentary to follow.)

There's this fairly sizable Baptist church in FW that's having issues with their pastor. No, he didn't do something immoral or even illegal. He made some choices that showed he was a moderate, not a conservative. To be fair, the church doesn't seem to be associated with the Southern Baptist Convention ("Broadway is not subservient to any state or national convention or organization"). In fact, in the latest church newsletter, the pastor speaks of a conference called the "Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant" in Atlanta that he missed. Speakers included Tony Campolo (American Baptist, quite green and quite service and justice oriented) and Sen. Charles Grassley, (small world, ain't it, Prof X?) who you should recognize as the Senator who's hitting up Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar for financial records. Keynote was from former Pres. Jimmy Carter (one of my first memories was my folks gathered around the kitchen table with a down cast look on their faces, like they'd been to a funeral. That was the day that Jimmy Carter was elected.). OK, so the church is not the same kind of Southern Baptist church that gets all the press in TX and has all the stereotypes associated with that. It's an independent historically Baptist church that one blogger who attends defines as "extremely moderate/liberal." The big issues listed in the article are 1) the deacons made a concession for gay couples in the congregation, allowing them to be in the church directory, but only in group shots, not as a couple in the family listing, and 2) he started a homeless program that some (maybe most) in the congregation didn't support or actively opposed, and 3) that he was lenient on having registered sex offenders attend church functions. Poking around, I was able to find some blogging on the "progressive/moderate" side, as well as some statements from the folks who want to oust the pastor. Please note that I really don't have a side in this issue. I'm Catholic, so to me I use quotes around some titles to show that I'm lifting them from other places and don't see any connotations attached. I dunno, do you think this is a matter of the pastor crossing a line and getting too liberal? Or maybe just a group of conservative parishioners who are making themselves known? Who moved, the pastor or the congregation? So, as Professor X would say, what do you think?


Anonymous said...

One question to ask would be "Who was there first, the pastor, or the man who hosted the anti-pastor website?"

bullschuck said...

Good question. I would assume the parishioners predate the pastor. Recently the congregation held a vote and the pastor has been retained. Ultimately, in a Baptist church, complaining about the pastor is like complaining about your congressman. You put him there. And like the saying goes "I was here before him, and I'll be here after he's gone."