I’ll Take What’s Behind Curtain Number Three!

June 16, 2008

Oh, we at SBC TooDazed think it is absolutely fabulous that Johnny Hunt was elected President of the SBC! We believe that Pastor Hunt was the only candidate with the ability to revitalize the annual convention meetings. In a day and age where the average Southern Baptist pastor would rather be smitten with boils than attend the annual convention we predict that Brother Hunt will breathe life back into the dying corpse that is the annual meeting. How will he do this? iPods and Hummers!

He may not be giving any away this year at his Pastor’s Conference, but we believe this strategy may well be the very thing that gets the younger crowd to Orlando next summer in 2010. Well, that and Disney World.

Southern Baptists and Alcohol

June 5, 2008

We here at SBC TooDazed simply can’t let everyone else have all of the fun in the debate over alcohol, so we’ve decided, in order to crank up interest in our little blog prior to Indianapolis, that we shall tackle the alcohol debate ourselves. One of the passages on which the debate hinges is in John’s account of the wedding at Cana. Whatever this story may be telling us, the one thing we cannot believe is that Jesus turned water into actual wine. For our explanation of what did happen on that day we turn to our distinguished professor of New Testament, Dr. Allen David as he shares with us the Biblical view of alcohol and Jesus’ miracle at Cana. This message was from a recent chapel service at the Omnidirectional Baptist Theological Seminary.

SBC Endorsements

June 4, 2008

It’s time for blog endorsements related to the upcoming convention in Indianapolis. We here at SBC TooDazed want to be sure and get our endorsements in so that you, the reader, might be informed, equipped and thoroughly influenced prior to the meetings next week. With that in mind, here are our endorsements for next week’s convention proceedings.

For President we endorse the write-in candidacy of Alan Hale, Junior. Several things about Bro. Hale commend him to us. First, he was captain of a small vessel and the SBC is predominantly comprised of small churches. He also had experience navigating turbulent waters, much like the turbulence the SBC appears to be facing these days. Thirdly, he is dead which means that he has experience regarding that perilous death to which the SBC seems headed. Perhaps he can show us what to do when we get there.

For First Vice-President we endorse Benjamin S. Cole. Two things about Mr. Cole commend themselves to us. On the one hand, Wiley Drake has tested and proven the theory that, try as you may, no matter who sits in the position of First Vice-President, and no matter how hard that person might work to blow things up, there is virtually nothing that can be done from that position to harm the convention. On the other hand, Ben Cole as First Vice-President would quickly take our minds off of Wiley Drake as First Vice-President.

For Second Vice-President we endorse Peter Lamekin. Again, several relevant points lead us to this recommendation. Firstly, southerners with mullets don’t occupy places of prominence as they once did. Shoot, even Billy Ray Cyrus gave up his mullet (apparently along with his singing career). It’s time we bring the mullet back to semi-respectability and no one can do that for the SBC like Mr. Lamekin. Secondly, everyone says that any old carbon-based biped that walks upright could fill the position of SBC Second Vice-President and we intend to prove the truth of that. Thirdly, we would love to get the exclusive video footage of the working lunch with these three officers meeting together.

We further recommend the following:

Given the aging nature of convention attendees we recommend the Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery Center. Get that long-overdue face and neck lift or remove that unwanted facial hair so that the pastor’s wife will be sure to look her best the following Sunday. Who knows, you may get your deacons and their wives to attend convention with you next year!

Also, if you were not a proponent of the 2006 resolution on alcohol be sure and check out Nicky Blaine’s downtown martini bar. It’s styled after the Roaring 20s, so the average-aged conventioneer will feel like they’ve been taken back to their childhood.

And for those who are members of the Association of Corpulent Baptists (thank you, Mr. Miller), we recommend the Chicken Maque Choux at the award-winning Yats. It comes highly recommended and looks sure to do its part in your ongoing personal expansion project.

See you in Indy!

Wasted Away Again In Magaritaville

June 2, 2008

In a previous post I said that Southern Baptists love irony. Here’s proof.

More Southern Baptists die each year from obesity-related health concerns than the abuse of alcohol, yet for the past two years if you want to see your blog comments skyrocket to new heights just post something on alcohol. Many have. Peter Lamekin posted an astonishing 19 posts on alcohol earlier in the year and has posted yet another one just this week. Yet you will search in vain for a post on obesity. In fact, obesity is the number one health threat in America. Religious people tend to be more overweight than the average population and Baptists (at a whopping 30%) are leading the way. While we are busy inflating our rolls we are apparently also busy inflating our BMIs.

You’ll get Rosie O’Worley all worked up about little babies who’s lives are destroyed by FAS, but he’ll be doing it with a mouth-full of his wife’s famous strawberry pie. In fact, there’s a good chance his wife and children will prematurely become beneficiaries of his Guidestone Insurance’s death policy without him ever taking another drink of alcohol. But you won’t find any posts on obesity coming from the hills and hollars.

As I’ve said before, we love preaching against Other People’s Sins. We’ve been blogging on it for two years. Two years where it’s quite possible that more Southern Baptists have died from heart disease and other obesity-related health problems than the total number of Americans who have died of alcohol-related concerns. What a vivid picture of straining gnats (out of wine) and swallowing camels (at the Furr’s buffet).

The Association of Convictionless Baptists

May 30, 2008

I’m too darned cheap to go around buying domain names for every brilliant idea I have, so I’ve formed a new Association that I’m promoting here at SBC TooDazed called the Association of Convictionless Baptists. It is a product of my First Year Initiative in which I’m calling for an appreciation of all things Baptist since at least February or March of this year. There isn’t much to go on so far: the resignation of Wade Burleson and a couple of rather ominous-sounding reports from Ed Stetzer’s research group at LifeWay, something heading towards a baker’s dozen candidates for SBC President, and the average Southern Baptist preacher’s expanding girth.

Who is in the Association of Convictionless Baptists?

Well, at the moment no one, but we are taking applications. Baptists who have convictions claim our numbers are very great. However, our membership tends to be much like the “Some” family that exists in many churches. You’ve heard of them, right? A well-meaning (or not-so-well-meaning) person comes to you just prior to the Sunday morning worship service and says, “Pastor, some people are saying you preach too long.” When you ask who these people are you get a blank stare, as if you’d just asked them solve a Navier-Stokes equation. In fact, nearly every complaint or problem in church life originates with the Some family. Likewise, we are told that there are “some” Baptists who are Convictionless Baptists. It is likely that they are in every church, but centuries of Baptist life have failed to reveal the specific identity of any of these people individually.

What is the sine qua non of a Convictionless Baptist?

Lacking convictions there really is no sine qua non for our group. On the other hand, our raison d’ĂȘtre is to look smart by using Latin words the average person must look up. If we can’t find Latin words you don’t know, we’ll try Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, French or even really obscure English words. Like “evagation.” Our only conviction is to look smart at what we are doing.

Where’d the name come from?

For the mathematically challenged, we have chosen a three-word title. But we’ll describe the second word first, the third word second and the first word third. Just to make it interesting.

We are Convictionless. There are other names inappropriately used to describe us, like ecumenists, or reformers, or dissidents. No, we are simply convictionless. Our hope is that the Southern Baptist Convention becomes awash in anything and everything. We don’t care. Baptisms are down? Bah! CP giving percentages are in decline? No biggie. Emergents are taking over like the Russians in Red Dawn? Who cares (we really like Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell and Charlie Sheen – especially the young versions)? Not us.

We are Baptists. Well, for the most part. We trend away from using “Baptist” in the naming of our churches these days. We don’t use LifeWay material. We give a pittance to the Cooperative Program. We would much rather go to a John Piper Conference, or a Willow Creek event, or listen to John Maxwell tapes, or rub our bare bottoms with 60 grit sandpaper than attend a Baptist event. The prominent preachers in our convention spend a good amount of time preaching against us. Baptist watchblogs excoriate us and are not beyond making up things that simply aren’t true to make their point about us. But we like the name. It has a nice ring to it. And even if we’re not “real” Baptists, we hope that one day we might be.

We are an Association. Well, if there really were any of “us” I suppose “we” might make an association. “Some” may join us in our quest for the convictionless. We are often told that there are many of us. Now if we could just get the mailing list perhaps we could ask for our share of the CP giving and I could sit around all day promoting this nonsense. In fact, with as many of “us” as there seem to be I should be sitting under an umbrella on the beach of the French Riviera typing this out on my new MacBook Pro. But I guess my kind of snobbery doesn’t pay as well as I think it should. Yet.

A Resolution On Theological Evagation

May 28, 2008

As previously mentioned I wanted to evaluate the Mann Resolution that will be presented in Indianapolis in a few weeks. This should be brief.

It is a resolution calling for doctrinal precision in Southern Baptist life.

It is a resolution that is, itself, doctrinally imprecise. It’s motto should be, “A wandering Aramean is my resolution.”

We had to wait all the way up until the very first comment was published for the doctrinal imprecision to be exposed.

When Mr. Mann was repeatedly asked to be more doctrinally precise as to his meaning he repeatedly declined. He even invited people to vote against it because of his lack of precision.

Mr. Mann believes in his resolution in theory, but apparently not in practice.

It should be rejected by the messengers in Indianapolis because it is just short of being devoid of any real content.

It will be unanimously approved by the messengers in Indianapolis because Southern Baptists love doctrinal imprecision and because Southern Baptists love irony.

A TooDazed Sighting

May 27, 2008

We were particularly honored this weekend to discover that Babwa mentioned us in an article in the Daily Oklahoman newspaper (HT: SBC Outpost). We are not especially persuaded that SBC Today is as above board as Babwa claims. We here at SBC TooDazed consider veiled references to others (such as “The blogger at Grace and Truth To You”) to be every bit as personal as if they were just to come out and say the name “Wade Burleson” (our apologies to “the unnamed one”). But we’re sort of sticklers that way. In fact, I’ve noticed that on more than several occasions they like to make these veiled references to others and when they are called on it they pull back like King David’s army on Uriah claiming to be speaking about “no one in particular.” In fact, I think Mr. Mann was repeatedly accused of that very thing in the comments regarding his resolution for Indianapolis. [More on that resolution to come.] If they are being honest then they waste a whole bunch of time talking about no one and nothing in particular, which means that they mean to take us all on a regular snipe hunt.

We are also not persuaded that Babwa understands us. We might be inclined to accuse her of misrepresenting us, but perhaps she hasn’t taken her reading comprehension requirement from Liberty Online yet. Apparently she told this reporter that our purpose here at SBC TooDazed is to mock the founders of SBC Today. Well, we would simply invite you to read our disclaimer which says that this is a parody site of SBC Today, not a parody of their founders. While I do enjoy ribbing the co-hosts there, this is ultimately about the things they and others like them promote, not them as people. Truthfully I don’t know any of them to any degree which would allow me to ridicule them. Perhaps if I knew that one of them was, like Martin Luther, given to regular bouts of flatulence I could have some fun with that. Or if, say, Yippee was given to watching daytime soap operas, I might find something in that worthy of some level of derision. Or if Liz really did wear a secret decoder ring and secretly wishes she was Jessica Fletcher….well….now that I mention that, I do suppose I’ve mocked their private investigative skills. But if you’ll not only read the disclaimer, but the posts as well you will discover that I am mocking their agenda and sometimes the way they go about advocating it.

No, truth be told I consider them to be far more dangerous than me. After all, you can read my ramblings and easily conclude that the vast majority of it is satire, tongue-in-cheek and rubbish and that I don’t particularly pretend that it is anything different. However, when you read SBC Today you pretty much get the same amount of refuse as you find here, but it is cloaked in all manner of seriousness.

Bottom line, we have different agendas for the Southern Baptist Convention. They make their points with innuendo. Me. I’m not much into that.

But hey. Thanks for the props! I’m going to have to hire myself a cop to monitor all of the new traffic.

Evidence of a (Not Too) Creeping Fundamentalism

May 24, 2008

The girls over at SBC Today seem to be quite concerned with what they are inappropriately calling “ecumenism.” They must have gotten their training in theological definitions from the same place they got their Inspector Gadget PI kits. In the words of that famous theologian Damned Barebones, “words have meaning.” Try as you might to redefine the meaning, when you are using words who’s definition has meant something particular for, oh, 70 plus years you’re only going to confuse people. Of course, when words are used more for the purpose of engaging people’s emotions than their brains you don’t mind that sort of thing.

Scanning the Wikipedia article on the World Council of Churches, perhaps the most liberal expression of the ecumenical movement, I fail to find the “very definition of an ecumenical movement” as a quest for the lowest common doctrinal denominator. Not even the WCC’s site makes such a claim. Perhaps the claim is true of the WCC and the NCC. I’m not particularly disposed to argue otherwise. But one would think that if it is a part of the very definition of a movement you would find that definition somewhere outside of a Southern Baptist group blog. But to no avail. Well, as they say, start with a faulty premise, end with a faulty conclusion. Or something like that.

Since we’re all into redefining words and whole movements why not just jump on the old bandwagon, shall we? On second thought, let’s just go with an accepted definition.

Before one reads too far into what I will be arguing for, let it be known at the outset and remembered through the conclusion that I am saying that we have people within our beloved convention advocating a Fundamentalist Resurgence. My claim is that the SBC is becoming both the classic expression of Fundamentalism and that there are portions of the SBC that are being affected by Fundamentalism. By its very definition, a Fundamentalist movement is an attempt to find unanimity in the smallest of theological details before agreeing to do missions and evangelism. However, one need not look far to see that when we focus on the minutiae of doctrine, our brains and our hearts grow hard and cold. Allow me to offer a few thoughts that evidence the invasion of a Fundamentalist attitude into some Southern Baptist circles.

First, preaching is reduced to one acceptable method. Never mind that Jesus almost never preached exegetically. Never mind that Ezekiel doesn’t spend too much time expounding the finer points of Numbers or Judges. There’s only one proper way to sermonize and if you preach any other sort of sermon you are a cultural compromiser, a liberal, uneducated in proper sermon technique or the typical preacher at the typical Southern Baptist Evangelism Conference.

Second, you will add definition upon definition as to the meaning of baptism. It will not be good enough that you have been immersed as a believer and that your immersion had no saving value. You and the church in which you were baptized will be subjected to a doctrinal battery fit for an Episcopal ordination examination. You will have to pass the John R. Rice test or it’s back in the water with you.

Third, the Fundamentalist believes that there is no church but the local church. At the same time they seem to believe that each church is accountable to the larger whole in a way that isn’t too far from the pronouncements of Rome. But if you want to really be safe just profess your accountability to them and all will be well.

Fourth, the Fundamentalist believes that there is no “wiggle room” when it comes to the complementarian position of gender roles. They will even push their women out front to tell you so (Not that I read that article. I didn’t want a woman having authority over me, so pardon me if I assume the answers she gave were in line with the men). No, men, if you can’t keep your woman orderly and in line it is not unacceptable to put a muzzle on her – at least in church. We all know she still leads you around by the nose everywhere else.

Fifth, the Fundamentalist insists that there is an undefined set of doctrines that are necessary to being a proper “Baptist.” For you math people, it is not an empty set. It seems to get added to constantly. You simply don’t know/won’t know what belongs there until some expert in Baptist history tells you. Shoot, he may not even be an expert. He may simply like strawberry pie. Today it is some charismatic practice. Or your view on alcohol. Tomorrow it will be your Hawaiian-styled shirt or your quote from The Message. Oh, wait, that’s actually today as well. Ok. Tomorrow it will be worship styles and Calvinism (while Karin Bear wants you to think that such pronouncements are straw men and red herrings it should be noted that these two didn’t come from some out-of-touch nut job from the left coast but from the Chairman of the Southern Baptist Executive Committee who pastors in the heart of the deep south).

Jerry Fallwell was well-known as a Fundamentalist. Even after joining the SBC, he never renounced his Fundamentalism. To be a good Southern Baptist he didn’t have to. Jerry Fallwell didn’t become more like the SBC. The SBC has become more like Jerry Fallwell, because the SBC has become more Fundamentalist.

Thanks, Doc, But I’ll Take It From Here

May 17, 2008

Apparently we’ve all most all of us have underestimated the value of a few online semesters of Bible college at Liberty U. But not Babwa. Now that she’s wrapped up the 201 level course in theology with Electronic Ergun she has become quite the expert in Baptist ecclesiology. Or at least this is what she’s declaring to the world. Not only that, she can tell you how weak your own theology is. Thank goodness she’s got that doctorate masters bachelors 30 some-odd hours of online training and a fraternal relationship with Bart Barber and Malcolm Yarnell. Before you know it she’ll be instructing James Leo Garrett and Wayne Grudem in the finer points of Baptist theology.

As knowledgeable as she is I’m quite certain that she tells her auto mechanic that he doesn’t know a Chrysler from a Toyota, a spark plug from a brake shoe, a gasket from a gas cap. Heck, she probably even heals herself. What respectable doctor is there who knows more about the human body than Babwa? After all, she’s taken the Natural Science elective.

Maybe she’ll stick with it long enough to tell the difference between a Baptist and a Roman Catholic. I mean, we can hope, can’t we?

SBC Today: Theologically Wishy-Washy

May 12, 2008

In a post at SBC Today evaluating the new Evangelical Manifesto, Karin Bear makes a pretty good point when she notes that the Manifesto, which calls for greater ethnic sensitivity and diversity, was not produced by an ethnically diverse group. Woops!!

So, in the long tradition of “Et tu, Brute,” it must be stated that SBC Today is awash in theological vapidity.

If the standard for one’s sincerity is in doing what you expect others to do then SBC Today would get a big, fat “F.”

For instance, Karin takes the document to task for what it does not state. Specifically it does not state a belief in inerrancy. So, while I’m not the professional sort of private investigator that several of them aspire to be, I did a little investigating of my own and discovered that nowhere at SBC Today do they explicitly state, as a group and as policy, that they believe in inerrancy. Nowhere do they state a single theological belief in anything, for that matter. At least not officially. Sure, they all have their own particular theological beliefs, but who knows what they stand for as a group? They don’t say. They have at least given lip service to the notion that they do, at times, disagree with one another (though they may believe in the existence of snipe as well).

That being said we certainly can’t take the statements made by one as official for the whole group. Thus, what they don’t say is what they officially believe in and in that absence one is left to conclude that they may well believe in anything and everything (or nothing) as a group.

And it is for that reason that this Baptist cannot support SBC Today.