Why The Baptist Identity Crowd Is Irrelevant

May 6, 2008

Today we bring you a semi-serious post, but never fear, we will return to our normal jocularity in due season.

The Baptist Identity crowd takes themselves quite seriously and they want you to take them seriously, too.  They don’t like you using the term “Baptist Identity” unless, of course, you mean by it exactly what they mean by it.  Of course, how would you know what they mean by it.  They fairly consistently refuse to define what it means.  Even when asked.  If you don’t use it like they use it you will be accused of cussing them.

Now, you may well want to cuss them, but surely you and I can find more pejorative epithets to hurl than “Baptist Identity.”  Wade Burleson The writer of Grace and Truth to You may have used it in a less-than-flattering way, and perhaps the closest Wade Burleson that blogger can get to profanity is “Baptist Identity,” but let’s be realistic.  Most of us grew up knowing what an insult was.  Even then the label “Baptist” may not have been entirely becoming but it wasn’t like saying, “Your momma’s a Baptist” would have caused a rumble on the playground.

Now, when I say that the Baptist Identity crowd (or the “convictional Baptists or whatever they want to be called) is irrelevant let me be clear that I do not mean that in a profane way.  If that’s what I meant I would say something like, “The Baptist Identity crowd are a bunch of….” well, let’s just leave this suitable for polite company.  Actually, I suspect that no one would even call them the Baptist Identity crowd if that were not what they had consistently chosen to call themselves.

Over at their one of their more prominent weblogs they have proudly displayed the words “Baptist Identity” in the masthead.  They have a “Baptist Identity” category label.  They have twenty-nine posts that fall under that category and when Mr. Mann is through with his current series of posts (which ironically have “Baptist Identity” in the title) there will be at least thirty-one.  If this is how you self-identify then it is disingenuous to complain when others refer to you as such.  If they do not like your particular version of “Baptist Identity” it makes even less sense for you to think that they should glow about the title as much as do you.

But none of that is what makes the Baptist Identity crowd irrelevant.  They are irrelevant because of that to which they have hitched their wagons.

When Baptists in England were looking for credibility in the eyes of English society and government they did two things: dissociated themselves from other groups (usually Anabaptists) who were viewed as heretics, and associated themselves with the Bible – or at least an acceptable understanding of it, like copying the Westminster Confession.  As an example, when Charles Spurgeon commended the 1689 London Confession of Faith to his congregation he did not tell them that in following it they would be good Baptists.  He told them that,

the younger members of our church will have a body of divinity in small compass, and by means of the Scriptural proofs, will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them.

Be not ashamed of your faith; remember it is the ancient gospel of martyrs, confessors, reformers and saints.  Above all, it is the truth of God, against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail.

Let your lives adorn your faith, let your example adorn your creed.  Above all live in Christ Jesus, and walk in Him, giving credence to no teaching but that which is manifestly approved of Him, and owned by the Holy Spirit.  Cleave fast to the Word of God which is here mapped out for you.

He didn’t call them to be good Baptists, or even better Baptists.  He called them to be Biblical Christians.

I believe that the Baptist Identity crowd believes that to be a Baptist Christian is also to be a Biblical Christian.  So do I.  But their error is in the labels they have chosen for themselves.  They do not talk so much about being Biblical Christians who happen to be Baptists.  They talk a lot about being Baptist Christians who happen to be Biblical.  They don’t argue about preserving Biblical identity, they argue about losing a Baptist identity.  A handful  of times they might say that they are one and the same, but as they are fond of saying, words matter.  The primary way you choose to identify yourself makes a difference.  You have chosen to hang your hat on “Baptist” Identity.  Good luck to you.  I think you have about as much traction for that as a bald tire on a frozen pond.

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Please Keep Your Hands And Feet Inside The Ride At All Times

May 1, 2008

It appears that they are cranking up the old Private Investigative skills once again over in the If You’re Not One of Us You’re Not One of His crowd. Yessireee. They’re strapping on their infrared goggles, putting on their camo, painting their faces and dancing around the fire. The Hunt has begun.

It’s open season on Wade Burleson’s ghost writer. We must find him. We must discover what he really believes about the authorship of Genesis. We must discover who taught him such heresies. And we must get them a new job at Arby’s. Or with the sanitation department. Or on Jeremiah Wright’s pastoral staff.

Rosie O’Worley seems to be especially concerned.

Just in case you see a seminarian roasting over an open fire or falling from a Six Flags ride or something I wanted you to be aware of the context of just such an unfortunate event.

Now, if Robert L. Thompson has an “unfortunate accident” on the Mini Mine Train…well….you’ll know that once again they got the wrong guy.

[UPDATE: We apologize for using the name Ade-Way Urleson-Bay.  Apparently it is now custom to refer to him as “that blogger” or “the writer of Grace and Truth to You.”  We don’t want the sort of traffic that Google might send our way for people searching the name Wade Burleson of “this blogger.”  Let them not find “the unnamed one” mentioned by name here.  No no no no no.]

Les Puryear – The Well-Oiled Political Machine

April 12, 2008

The real enemy of the SBCBlogger Les Puryear is a well-oiled political machine. If you don’t believe me just ask Damned Barebones. He was so offended by what he perceived as a shot against him from ol’ Les that he droned on and on for, I don’t know, nineteen or so paragraphs on Puryear’s supposed political machinations.

Reading the always salient “This is your best post ever. I couldn’t agree more!” comments reveals that Bro. Puryear vicariously supports women pastors, the CBF, lawsuits, Private Prayer Languages, alcohol consumption, R-rated movies, tattoos, totalitarian regimes and the candidacy of Barak Obama. I say vicariously because anything Wade Burleson, Ben Cole or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supports, Les supports.  We know this because he once saw Wade Burleson with his own eyes, has thus far failed to unequivocally denounce Ben Cole as the spawn of Lucifer and preached a sermon in which he uttered a paragraph where all the letters in Ahmadinejad’s name were used (coincidence? I don’t think so.).

Les. How in the world do you think you could get elected Sunday School Director in your own church with that on your resumé?

What’s worse is that Les hosted a small church conference. Les, Les, Les. Don’t you know that if you want to get anywhere in Southern Baptist life you must pay homage to the right people (as opposed to the wrong ones, of course) and that would certainly include every bright shining light who pastors a church well over the “small” threshold.

No, my friend. Whatever your political aspirations you can be assured that they will come to the same unfortunate fate of your motion in San Antonio. No. Actually they will come to a much worse fate. That is, if we Baptist Identity folk have anything to say about it.

“Good luck!” <wink, wink>

Preach It!

March 27, 2008

I confess that I love listening to people preach against other people’s sins (OPS). You know you’ve done it, too. You sit there thinking to yourself, “I sure hope ol’ so-and-so is listening to this. He/she sure could use it.” It may not even be OPS. It may be OPT (other people’s theology).

ShoutingYes. It is a joyous sound in my ears to hear some good pulpit thumping against Emergents (or emergents), people who speak in tongues, drink alcohol, have sex, know who Mark Driscoll is, read Brian McLaren books, are Calvinists, baptize babies, vote for Democrats or blog. That’s what makes being a Southern Baptist so rewarding. You can hear this stuff at just about any Baptist conference or convention. You can even post links to them on your blog for others to listen to over and over and over again.

Imagine the hearty “Amens!” you’ll hear when preaching against that Jezebel Hillary Clinton. Especially when there isn’t a soul in the building who would vote for her if a gun was to their head. I mean, everyone can give an “Amen!” to that, now can’t they? Or imagine the frenzy you can whip a Baptist group in to by preaching against Calvinists. Those poor souls account for a paltry 10% of the denomination at best. Give it to them and give it to them good and you are guaranteed to have 90% of the crowd glad-handing you afterwards. Oh, and then there are those emergent people. There may only be two of them in the entire SBC, but what delight it brings to shout their post-conservative, post-liberal, post-Republican, postmodern, Post Toastie-eating selves into as much shame and disgrace as a person can stand.

Yes. We Baptists excel at preaching against OPS and OPT.

Sorry to cut this short, but I’m off to my third helping of that chocolate pie that’s in the fridge. It’s yummy!

The Sounds of Silence

March 25, 2008

It appears that Babwa and the girls, along with all of the other Paige Patterson groupies out there, have gone all Helen Keller on us.

SBC Outpost has been publishing the Paige Patterson court deposition.  My, oh my!  I never thought a public leader would ever prove to have a memory worse than Ronald Regan during the Iran-Contra proceedings.  Boy, was I wrong.

Not only that, but the things he does remember impeach his woeful leadership skills.  We all know that Sonic would not fire a fry cook based upon such unsubstantiated and undocumented hearsay.  In fact, to pursue a professor without a formal follow-up is to act on nothing more than the gossip of some students who’s agenda remains unknown (if those students, in fact, existed in the first place).

Perhaps those student’s names are Huckleberry Finn, Genji and Madame Bovary – real in the minds of some, but fictional characters to the rest of us.  Who will ever know?  The ineptitude of employer Patterson’s memory is only outdone by his equally inept documentation responsibilities.  And these are not simply allegations.  You can read the public transcripts for yourself.

Which makes one wonder where Babwa, Yippee, Liz, Peter, Damned Barebones and Rosie all are at this moment.  Why aren’t they talking at The View?  Perhaps the batteries in all of their wireless keyboards have all mysteriously gone out at the same time.  Oh, no, that can’t be it.  After all, some of them have made announcements about the official decision of the court.  When it comes to defending Paige Patterson these folks are usually about as inhibited as Rosie O’Donnell and Alec Baldwin are in their comments regarding George Bush (though in an opposite sort of way).

I’d bet my pink Cadillac that not a one of them will have anything at all to say about this deposition.  Oh, brother Barebones may try to find some creative way to make angels dance on the heads of pins.  The rest will just stand there combing their hair in hopes of finding an angel or two up there.

Man-crush Gone Wild

March 24, 2008

It appears that poor Wade Burleson may need to remind Peter Lamekin of his staunch record of heterosexuality. It appears that in Peter’s man-crush he has “devoted” an entire web page solely to Wade Burleson.

I remember a while back someone accusing Peter of an obsession with Wade which Peter vociferously denied. Now he’s started his own e-Harmony-like web page to capture sixteen photos of Wade (along with two photos of Wade’s right ear) and a page full of quotes from Wade – mostly taken out of context. Uhhhh…..right, Peter. Right.

Personally I don’t have a lot of interest in Peter (wink, wink). I hardly think of him at all (never mind my last post). But a “friend” of mine compiled a list of quotes from Peter that I am sharing here.

That Peter’s one scary dude (kiss, kiss).

In Honor of Peter Lamekin

March 17, 2008

The fondness that our sisteren over at The View have for their friend Peter Lamekin has not gone unnoticed here at SBC TooDazed and we don’t want our fondness for Pedro to go unnoticed, either.

Peter is one of the most loquacious, even if a little obtuse, members of the Baptist blogosphere. He knows how to bless with grace even when he’s cursing with every other word he hammers out on his keyboard. We also noticed that Peter seems to have some sort of man crush on Wade Burleson. We don’t know what Peter did with his last video installment, which he claimed had no agenda, yet in which he made reference to Wade Burleson (or rather Wade BURleson) no less than 11 times, but don’t think that it escaped our admiring notice.

We have noticed that Peter enjoys a commenting toleration at his blog that is similar to that of his sisters at The View. Fortunately for Peter most of those who comment there are his friends so that he does not have to put up with those pesky people who refuse to confirm him in what he already believes.

Historically the Lamekin clan is traced back to Northumberland in England. Northumberland is situated on the border between England and Scotland and is the site of many historic battles between the English and the Scots. It is no surprise to us, then, that Lamekin enjoys a good fight.

So, here’s to our brother Peter who takes arrogance and condescension to new heights on a regular basis. Cheers! And tell Wade that we send our best.

With that, I am…….

Nancy

Esmeralda And Quasimodo Vote For Frank Cox

March 13, 2008

In this seven part series of Esmeralda and Quasimodo guest contributor Kay Sarah Sarah tells us what would cause her to raise her ballot in favor of Frank Cox an SBC presidential candidate. Rather than punish you seven times with seven posts, we’ll only punish you this once with our entire seven point series.

There are certain qualities that I believe Frank Cox a candidate needs to serve as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. I hope that you, too, will consider these qualities as you consider the Frank Cox person you will raise your ballot for in Indianapolis.

1. First and foremost, the man who serves as President of the SBC should not be named Wiley. We all remember Wiley Coyote and the shenanigans he kept trying to pull with that road runner. You simply can’t trust a man by the name of Wiley vote for Frank Cox.

2. He should be from the heartland of the U.S., preferably from the deep South. After all, we are the Southern Baptist Convention. What in the world would someone from, say, California Bill Wagner know about Southern Baptists? A vote for Bill Wagner is like a vote for Hillary Clinton.

3. He should be from a mega church Frank Cox. After all, how can a person who only deals with a couple hundred people Wiley Drake each week Bill Wagner be trusted to speak for 16 million Baptists? Frank Cox has grown his church well into the thousands. Please vote for him.

4. He should have his own campaign website www.frankcox.org, but he shouldn’t say anything too specifically there www.williamwagner.org. He certainly shouldn’t have gone so far as to articulate any sort of platform on that site. No, he should have some nice pictures, a current resume listing the nine or so state and national convention positions he’s held, the 26 or so prominent places at which he’s been invited to speak and the two or so books he’s written. Or something like that.

5. He should never publicly admit that he actually desires to serve as SBC President Bill Wagner. Instead he should have all the appearance of the desire, such as a campaign website, without the public admission that he would actually desire the position Frank Cox.

6. It would be nice if his name was not too difficult to spell. After all, Baptist Press will be spelling it for two years. There are some difficult names out there. Names like…oh…I don’t know….Wagner. I mean, is there, or is there not, an “o” in there? Is it one “n” or two? No, something simple like….well….let’s see….Cox, maybe. That’s a good three-letter name that’s really hard to mess up. You must, you must, you must, vote for Frank Cox.

7. He should be a uniter, not a divider. Under no circumstances under God’s blue sky should you give one moment’s consideration to voting for Wiley Drake.

These are the things I will be considering as I raise my ballot in the air in Indianapolis for Frank Cox one of the presidential candidates who meets these criteria. I hope you will give due consideration to these points as well so that we can elect Frank Cox a president we can all be proud to call our own.

Sincerely,

Kay Sarah Sarah

The Vamos Method – Cross Cultural Ministry

March 12, 2008

For those uninitiated in cross-cultural ministry the word “vamos,” sometimes alternately known as “vamoos,” is a Mexican word for “let’s go.”

We here at SBC TooDazed recently read a white paper on cross-cultural contextualization that was written by Dr. Malcolm Inthemiddle, professor of Theology at Omnidirectional Baptist Theological Seminary. Thanks to Karin Bear for giving us a head’s up on this paper. Dr. Inthemiddle’s paper is especially important because of his extensive cross-cultural missions experience which includes regularly waving at the Hispanics on the ODBTS lawn crew, eating at the local Chinese buffet and pausing for no less than five seconds each time he passes Univision on cable TV.

Dr. Inthemiddle’s paper inspired me to do some cross-cultural ministry of my own, so yesterday I set out for a cross-cultural missions experience. I decided to go to Wal-Mart because I had seen some Hispanics there stocking shelves recently. As I passed through the store I made my way to the lawn and garden department and it was there that I encountered Jesus arranging tomato starters for the upcoming gardening season. This was my golden opportunity!

I approached him and asked him if his name was really Jesus and he replied in a thick, broken accent, “My name Haysoos.” Apparently he had a speech impediment as well. Nevertheless, I was undeterred.

I said, “Friend, I know Jesus. I met Jesus in Vacation Bible School about 20 years ago. Friend, you’re no Jesus.”

To which he replied, “¿Qué?”

Now we were making progress. Even though he left the “O” off of his “OK,” I understood. We often do that sort of thing here in the omnidirectional part of the world, too. Maybe this wasn’t going to be as difficult as I’d imagined.

So I says, “Friend, I can introduce you to the real Jesus. Would you like me to do that?”

Again, he replied in good omnidirectional fashion, “¿Qué?”

Excellent! He was obviously open to the gospel.

So, I shared Jesus with him. Told him that he was an obvious sinner because no good, upstanding, moral, Bible-believing person would ever go around impersonating the Savior of the world. Besides, we know that Jesus didn’t stock tomato starters for Wal-Mart. If he had our inerrant Bible would have told us so. But I told him that God is so loving that he’d even forgive a man for impersonating the Lord of Glory. All he had to do was pray this little prayer.

So I asked him, “Friend, would you like to pray a prayer and ask the real Jesus to come into your heart and save you from eternal damnation?”

Once again, he said, “¿Qué?”

So right then and there I invited him to get down on his knees, beg God for forgiveness and ask the real Jesus to come live in his heart. That little fella didn’t say a whole lot, but that little lopped off “OK” he kept repeating was good enough for the Lord, so it was good enough for me.

Now, this is what we call cross-cultural contextualization. It really has nothing to do with differences in culture. That little Hispanic worker in Wal-Mart didn’t need me to understand his language, didn’t need me to present the gospel in some “relevant” way. He just needed the real Jesus.

And I told him to just keep the name tag the way it was because now he really is a little Jesus.

If you would like to see just how freakish Southern Baptists can be, go check out Peter Lumpkins at http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/

Dear Dr. P

March 11, 2008

We here at SBC TooDazed wish a long and prosperous life for Noche, the K-9 companion of Dr. Paige Patterson. We hope that he is treated to many more days serving as the Pecan Manor fertilizer and heir of the Patmos Evangelistic Association. We trust that he will enjoy many future visits to the student cafeteria and will take his owner on many more long walks. However, when the day comes for Noche to pass into eternal bliss we think we know where you can find a (slightly wounded) pug named “Jerry.” Just call this guy.

Keep up-to-date on the latest SBC happenings at Wade Burleson’s blog: http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/