Thursday, February 01, 2007

to be baptist or not to be

yes that seems to be the question

My blogpal Steve @ Citizen Bezner has been writing about Christian Education. I found the article and think that it is very intrsting and I support some of the student comments. Let me know what you think.

Just posted to day!!!
Student Senate fights for non-Baptist groups


Keith said...

Chris I am visiting your blog for the first time (you think Microsoft Word would take blog off the misspelled list by now). This is an interesting article. There were a couple of issues that caught my eye.

The Slippery Slope
‘Simmons also said he worried that it would be difficult to separate mainstream Christian groups from cults and that this could lead Baylor into fighting over theological issues.’
"I don't support the bill. I believe that by the university chartering non-Baptist organizations, there is a risk there that we begin to go down a slippery slope (toward secularism),"

First, there is question of where do you draw the line. What groups and what theological hoops would a group have to pass through? When I was attending Central Baptist College in Conway Arkansas, the Wesleyan college Hendrix down the street had a coming out of the closet day sponsored by a rainbow group on campus and a pagan organization. I am sure that George Whitfield along with John and Charles would felt like someone had spit in their face. However, one could argue that working through some theological issues and setting some guidelines would actually enhance the students learning. Maybe that is what is reflected in some of the following sentiment: “She said she feels Baptists could benefit from learning about other denominations.”

If the senate sought to draw up some guidelines it would be a potential powder keg. What about Episcopal denominations that advocate and promote gay priests? Not to mention the off shoot cults such as Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses who for the last couple of decades would be considered orthodox Christians by many Baptists themselves? Drawing the line, hard work and conviction to stand on a Biblically based not PC based position might be too great of a task for a denomination which loves to build fences that keep them from the hard work of hammering difficult issues.

The Reason Behind the Appeal
Is there an appeal for spiritual growth or for diversity? I do not find the following statement a very convincing argument for opening up new charters: "It will provide an opportunity for non-Baptist Christians who attend Baylor to grow spiritually," They have opportunity to grow in their own denominational organizations; opportunity is not the issue as much as convenience. It seems that desire to be all inclusive could be lurking behind the appeal for new charters. I think the following is almost laughable:
Part of the Baptist identity is being accepting of our Christian brothers," Beall said. "So denying other Christians the ease with which Baptists are allowed to worship is just not in compliance with Baptist beliefs."
Personal Thoughts
Here is a main point - this issue is not a church and state issue. Baylor is a private school, students choose to attend their and could attend other schools of their denominational flavor. It should not be downplayed that religious schools have as a main purpose – brace yourself – indoctrination. Baptists have fought for the freedom to be as narrowly dogmatic as they can be. They guard the Lord’s Table and membership with profession and believers baptism. The freedoms Baptists have long fought for were fought so they could be free to be Baptist. And part of being Baptist is being separatist, along with equating “eat’n meetn’s” to fellowships. Denominational schools should unapologetically teach their traditions. Sadly it seems the call to be more open to new charters is another mistaken attempt to produce unity out of diversity.

Lastly, this comment, caught my eye, "I feel like we would be spitting in the face of the BGCT, who gives us over $3 million every year," I am not a fan of the BGCT and I feel that Baylor has already lost much of their Baptist characteristics.

Steve Bezner said...

Chris, I don't know how I missed the news about this bill...crazy. Seems a bit weird to me, but maybe I'm just the silly it a problem if other Christian groups meet on campus?

The real problem seems to me if the sadomasochists wanted to start having weekly meetings. Now that would be a problem...