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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why Care About David Roach?

OK, so I stole the title from Baptist Like Me - a Yale Divinity grad and licensed ABC-USA preacher with an exceptional blog that more Baptists need to discover.....

And David Roach is the guy to the right. A Baptist Press reporter who recently spent three days in D.C. attending both the CBF and ABC-USA meetings.

From that experience, he wrote this drivel....
Why care about the CBF?

WASHINGTON (BP)--Why should Southern Baptists care about the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship?

That was the question bouncing around my mind after spending three days in Washington, D.C., attending the CBF's General Assembly as a correspondent for Baptist Press.

With all of the responsibilities I have in life as a husband, pastor, student and employee, it seems like I have enough to occupy my time without worrying about a group of moderate Baptists with which I am not even affiliated. And with all of your responsibilities in life, it may seem at first glance like reading about such a group of moderate Baptists is not the best use of your time.
Ouch. But Roach continues by listing several reasons why Southern Baptists should take note of moderates and give thanks for the Takeover....
The list of speakers at the General Assembly reads like a who's who of what might have been in the SBC if not for the conservative resurgence. CBF executive coordinator Daniel Vestal would have been elected SBC president in 1990 had conservatives not voted for Morris H. Chapman. CBF speakers Bill Leonard, Frank Tupper and Glenn Hinson all could have been my professors at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had not conservatives turned the school around.
Baptist History with Bill Leonard would undoubtedly cause one to lose their salvation...

And the Roach continues with more drivel...
One of the saddest moments during the entire General Assembly was when the Lord's Supper was served at a joint worship service involving the CBF and the American Baptist Churches USA. No one at the service ever explained the meaning of the Supper or who should take it.
Why would a group of VERY ACTIVE Christians need reminding about the meaning of the Lord's Supper? Given the breach between the North and South over slavery, the taking of the Lord's Supper was seen to many as chock full of biblical reconciliation, something Mr. Roach apparently has no clue about.
In fact, during the entire General Assembly I never heard anyone celebrate the Gospel or express passion about the glory of God displayed in Christ. The Lord's Supper seemed only to be a generic symbol of Christian unity rather than a remembrance of the glorious salvation we have in Jesus.
Revelation, Revelation 21:8! Liars go to where? As the church camp song goes...
Even with all our disagreements, Southern Baptists have substantive convictions worth unifying around. Seeing unity without substance should be a vivid reminder that we must take full advantage of the opportunity to unify with those who share our most valued convictions.
Yep - lots and lots of unity in the Southern Baptist Convention these days....

And instead of sending Detective Roach to the gatherings of American Baptists and Fellowship Baptists - perhaps Baptist Press would be better served if they covered actual news of the Southern Baptist Convention. Pray-tell, when is the last time that Baptist Press actually broke a story? And why is the general consensus that the Associated Baptist Press provides the best coverage of Baptist news - both Southern Baptist and Fellowship Baptist? Shouldn't the news agency of the nation's largest Protestant denomination be leading the way?

When it comes to quality-coverage, Baptist Press is rather low on the totem poll, don't you agree? Of course you do.

UPDATE: Since I had to leave 10 minutes or so before the Lord's Supper - I did not notice this. However, thanks to American Baptist Ed Pettibone for pointing this out:

Instead of taking the elements, Roach writes:
So I let the elements pass by, discouraged that Fellowship Baptists only celebrated unity abstractly without articulating a solid doctrinal foundation for that unity.
Pettibone observes...
Major flaw here for an astute observer, the elements did not pass by, each person who participated went to where the elements were being served and then back to his or her seat after partaking.
So, if the elements did not pass by but Roach says they did - the question begs: was David Roach even present during the Lord's Supper??? Honest and accurate reporting there....



Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

And a great comment from the Rev. Timothy Bonney....

"If this guy was there than he was only to do a hatchet job. Did he mention the Christ centered worship music? Did he mention the reports of joint mission and ministry? Did he mention the ministry and mission that the ABC, CBF, and PNB did together in the south rebuilding churches and lives after Katrina?

Did anyone notice that he also totally ignored the presence of the Progressive National Baptists at the meeting. This was a multi-denominational meeting.

Those who officiated at the table did represent more than one Baptist convention, more than one race, and more than one way of looking at the world. Apparently that made this writer uncomfortable enough that he missed the words of institution which were quite clear as well as the prayer for the bread and cup.

What a liar! If Baptist Press says the sky is blue you better look out your window to see if it is true or not."

9:23 AM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I had Bill Leonard, Glenn Hinson, AND Frank Tupper at SBTS and considered myself blessed. I also had such greats as Glen Stassen, Molly Marshall, Danny Stiver, Emmanuel McCall, Henlee Barnette, Alan Culpepper, David Garland, George R. Beasley-Murray, Pamela J. Scalise, John N. Jonsson, Page H. Kelly, John D. W. Watts, Paul D. Simmons, David Mueller and many more. Some of these greats have passed on, but the rest are so scattered now that no one could have them all again. Fundamentalist destruction of SBTS meant that never again would so stellar a faculty of Baptists be gathered in one place.

And Bill Leonard never taught Baptist history while at SBTS. That was Glenn Hinson's course until Karen Smith (now teaching at the Baptist Theological College in Wales, UK) took it over. Leonard's specialty was American Christianity and he never imagined that he'd be writing books on Baptist identity and history@@

9:25 AM

Anonymous Lee said...

The guy takes several paragraphs to admit to being distracted, not particularly happy with his assignment, and to tell us that, not only is his mind and interest focused on other things, but to express his personal bias as well. In essence, he said, "I'm going to write an article about the CBF general assembly that is neither accurate nor objective."

Ironically, I see this as an improvement for BP. At least this reporter told us in advance his work would be sloppy, inaccurate and lacked objectivity or insight. Usually, they just dump that on you without warning.

12:33 PM

Blogger Christa Brown said...

Every fiscally conservative Southern Baptist in the country ought to be angered by how the Baptist Press uses their dollars. It's not only self-serving drivel, it's poor stewardship. They have the resources to better, and they don't. In this country, where the word "press" means something, Baptist Press doesn't deserve to have that word in its title.

8:57 AM

Blogger Gil Gulick said...

I was thinking about this last night, and what amazes me is this. When you think about it, where are the "rebellious" pastors in the SBC coming from. Are they students who had Tupper and Leonard (both of whom I have had at WFU) at SBTS? No! They are the students who have come out of the "newer" seminaries that were the result of the split.

10:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Roach is right. We have a lot to be thankful for. big daddy, you note that the lord's supper represented reconciliation of northern and southern (geographically speaking) baptists. My understanding is that the Lord's supper is to proclaim the Lord's death till he returns. To proclaim reconciliation of man to God. Paul is clear that brothers who are not loving each other are disqualified and much care should be taken in recieving the supper. However, if the primary function of the Supper is not to proclaim the Lord's death and forgiveness of sins, then you're relegating it to something it's not.
I take Mr. Roach to mean that the Lord's supper was not observed expressly for the forgiveness of Sins and proclamation of the Gospel. Not "fencing" the table is serious to those who believe it actually means something. I take Mr. Roach as saying this was the case and thus his objection to observing was on that basis.

Also, if He is a Liar, as you claim, why don't you backup your serious claim of condemning Mr. Roach to Hell with some examples of how the assembly DID "express passion about the glory of God displayed in Christ." That is a specific criticism. His words have meanings. Were there EXPRESSED sentiments to this effect that Mr. Roach is lying about. We all know that you can go to a worship service that says generic things about God and loving Jesus, with all the Sunday school answers and comments flying around, but it is different than someone standing up and saying, "Today, we stand in humility before the and Awesome God and we seek His glory above all else today."

This is what he's saying. You can throw arrows and take shots and call him a liar. He's saying that noone did this. If it is not true, bring some evidence, don't snipe from the bushes. Be honest and courageous enought to be factual.


9:10 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Read what I wrote:

Why would a group of VERY ACTIVE Christians need reminding about the meaning of the Lord's Supper?

Sir, we're very aware of the meaning. In addition, the Lord's Supper also served as an example of biblical reconciliation.

Revelation 21:8! A funny church song...a little levity.

His piece was a hatchet job. Did he attend the worship services? Did he sing the hymns and praise choruses? Did he go to the many many workshops that easily would have turned his claim on its head?

Was Mr. Roach even there?

Based on his description of the Lord's Supper - I do wonder.

Whether he lied about being present - I don't know. But clearly he purposefully misrepresented the historic celebration between the CBF and ABC. A hatchet job, sir.

1:48 PM

Blogger Beth said...

I was at the Lord's Supper that this post describes. The entire service was filled with the glory of God and with believers offering praise and honor and blessing to God. The Lord's Supper was indeed implicitly about salvation, forgiveness, reconciliation of humans to God and humans to humans and about worship. My understanding of the Lord's Supper from the early church is that it was also about table fellowship, something with which our Lord was notably active.
My New Testament professor, Dr. David May, impressed upon us that in the early church the Lord's Supper was also the rare time that the poor actually received enough sustenance. Although we did not sit at table, but went to people offering to us the elements, I suggest that for many there who have been marginalized, or who carry a history of marginalization, there was enough spiritual, reconciling sustenance for all.

5:39 PM

Blogger ElhananWinchester in Pinstripes said...

I was present at the very meaningful and rich Lord's Supper at ABC/CBF. One of the richest parts about it was both what it emphasized and deemphasized.

I applaud the service as a celebration of Christian community and oneness--as "communion," which is the most spiritually whole understanding.

And, of course, it is good that the more pagan understandings of the Lord's Supper were de-emphasized. To understand the ritual as does Roach as a proclamation of the blood sacrifice of the Divine Son to the Divine Father to atone for the sin nature of humans is vulgar and sadistic--a form of divine child abuse if ever I've seen it.

Glad we are moving beyond seeing Jesus as an atonement to something else.

I wonder why Roach needs to critique CBF so much? I don't need to critique them. They have my blessing to go their way. What are they afraid of?

10:20 AM


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