Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Godslingers

When J. Gerald Harris, the editor of the GA Baptist newspaper, Christian Index, wrote an analysis praising our GA Baptist Colleges for promoting a "Biblical Worldview" to our students, I took notice.

Now, I'm not so happy about the direction of our GA Baptist colleges.

Harris made this statement:

Sincere Christians embrace a biblical worldview and seek to impart that worldview to others by teaching and living out the principles of God’s Word.

One would think a Christian college would be committed to teaching and reinforcing a Biblical worldview. And, indeed, there are some colleges teaching classes in apologetics and creationism to insure that their students have a Christian perspective on life upon graduation. However, if Christian colleges and universities do not have a biblical worldview their very existence is suspect. [emphasis mine]

Do what? Teaching "creationism?" Have we not realized that there is no debate in the scientific community that evolution is the process by which what is,
is? The evidence for evolution is overwhelming --- preposterously overwhelming. That doesn't mean there aren't questions, but we are simply not educating if we are teaching creationism in our Baptist colleges.

Too many of our Baptist leaders are starting with the interpretation & reading
into the Bible. That is bad theology. We start with the text & ask what does it say. Then we move to the evidence, both internal & external to determine its meaning. Then we arrive at the interpretation & then make the application. I'm afraid Mr. Harris & our Baptist leaders have begun with the interpretation they desire & force the text to repeat it --- then proclaim that interpretation as the "Biblical Worldview."

Of course, that "Biblical Worldview" is an euphemism for a very narrow doctrinal position, coupled with an even more narrow political stance. You're not a "sincere Christian" --- as Harris put it --- if you don't agree with the hierarchy's interpretation of Scripture or have different political views. After all, Jesus is the All American Boy, & all "sincere Christians" believe in privatizing social security, lower taxes, & the Patriot Act. You'll find that reference in II Opinions 4:7.

I fear the SBC is no longer concerned about educating disciples insomuch as wanting to recruit a gang of Godslingers. With a trusty 1611 Shooter, success is measured not in changed lives, but in notches of control. We tell our young people that questioning is of the Devil; thinking is not tolerated; ideas are not welcomed; & truth is only defined by an already formed interpretation. It is not enough to say "the Truth will set us free;" now it is the truth as the majority leaders decide it to be.

If the "Biblical Worldview" doesn't have every
i dotted & every t crossed, there is chaos in the Borg's Collective. With both barrels a'blazing, anything that doesn't fit the Official Interpretation is riddled with the deadly lead of accusation. The Godslingers shoot first & ask questions later. Hollow point bullets of Legalism are fired at our Baptist young people. Assimilation has taken the place of discipleship. Truth is set by interpretative fiat.

When dogma replaces education, we are no different than the Islamic Fundamentalists. Truth should not be feared but embraced.

I am a Christian. I will put my profession of faith up against Mr. Harris' or anyone else for that matter. However, I resent being told that I am not a "sincere Christian" & that my profession is "suspect" if I don't hold the interpretation of scripture that Mr. Harris,, want to impose. Perhaps Johnny Hunt & Mr. Harris will agree that all our Baptist schools should adopt the legalism of Tennessee Temple, but they don't speak for all Baptists.

GA Baptists deserve better. We demand a Christian education, not a Godslinger indoctrination.

1 comment:

Georgia Mountain Man said...

My brother-in-law is a Science Dept. head at a Baptist college in Georgia and is trying desperately to move. The college is dying due to a fundamentalist president and his failure to move the college forward. Unfortunately, I fear that my relative's chances of moving are being hampered by his connection to this college. On the other hand, I refer you to a Methodist affiliated college, Young Harris College, growing by leaps and bounds and moving to four year status. Funding is no issue and it's faculty will increase by 50% in the next year. The reason I say this is that the school isn't hampered by backward thinking leadership.