The Red Herring starring the CBF
On Friday, the
Independent Baptist Press released not one, but two articles critical of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
The first of the two articles written by Gregory Tomlin, entitled "SBC, CBF Seminaries Differ in Educational Approach," accuses CBF affiliated seminaries/divinity schools of "leaching off of non-Baptist universities and seminaries for educational support." Tomlin's second article, "CBF Church Count Violates Church Autonomy", claims that the CBF's method of counting members violates local church autonomy!
Those of us out here in the peanut gallery often wonder why the Southern Baptist Convention continues to rag on the CBF? Baptist Press loves to show how small the CBF really is. If that is correct, why then should the largest Protestant (are you really protestant???) body in America be bothered by the tiny CBF? Perhaps its because the SBC always needs an enemy to bash. OR is this a red herring; chase after the CBF when Southern Baptists are engaged in a Battle Royal among themselves?? With no biblical harmony in sight, ya gotta chase after the good ole CBF?
So Russ Moore, Mark Lemke, Malcolm Yarnell, and the folks of the Baptist Press are worried about how the little-ole Cooperative Baptist Fellowship counts churches? Maybe it's just me - but shouldn't Southern Baptists be concerned about how they count baptisms. That is the key to the SBC's numerical success, correct? But has the SBC leadership ever had the integrity to acknowledge that baptizing Methodists and Presbyterians (and they are now joining because of the Calvinist renewal within the SBC) IS NOT the same thing as baptizing new converts.
When will the SBC develop a counting procedure which acknowledges that MANY baptisms are second, third, or even fourth in some hellfire and brimstone churches - rather than the baptism of a convert??
Go ahead and bash CBF counting; Vestal is honest - how 'bout the SBC???
In the article entitled "SBC, CBF Seminaries Differ in Educational Approach," Tomlin writes...
Adherence to that confessional perspective has led many CBF leaders to charge that SBC seminaries are more concerned with indoctrinating than educating. But Moore, Yarnell and Lemke all agree that "indoctrination" is a term they do not find offensive.
As for indoctrination, it's nice to know that Yarnell, Lemke and the omniscient Moore like the word. I was temporarily impressed at their honesty. But then they defined the word to suit themselves (something they accused the liberal of in the article). Seems that they think indoctrination is just teaching doctrine. Of couse most people know the popular definition of the term is a type of teaching that spoon feeds on particular view, disallows dissent and doesn't allow anyone to think.
Why are Moore & Company so anxious about CBF seminary enrollment anyway? Proportionately, I would hope that a body of 40,000 plus churches did have more seminary students than a teeny weeny body like the CBF (or so they say).
On the subject of taking classes at non-Baptist schools, I guess that real education is a mystery to SBC administrators. They equate ecumenism with infidelity. Hmmm. Seems quite a few evangelical scholars that Southern Baptists like to read were educated at institutions outside the SBC, even Ivy League Schools?
But back to my original question - WHY is the Baptist Press bothering itself with the CBF?
Must be trying to whip up on an old enemy because Southern Baptists can't get along with themselves....